Author Topic: Rehabilitation  (Read 762 times)

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Offline Saiketsu

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Rehabilitation
« on: February 21, 2019, 11:55:53 AM »
There was no kind way to treat her, he quickly realized, sending the quick but controlled thought to Nadia. A blood-starved Odessa was wild, frantic, and she would not allow Nadia to calm her. The car pulled to a stop roughly and Pierre ran to unlock the newly-emptied house and the basement door. Next to him, Odessa thrashed weaker than he had expected, but enough to shake off any firm, considerate hand he used to compress her limbs. Already he had been scratched -- no clawed -- by the Ancient, his cheek split just below his eye. Cool, thick blood trickled down his face, smearing as Damien tried to restrain her, pressing into fabrics of his own car and his sweatshirt.

Damien had hold of both of her arms now, pinning them down to Odessa's lap -- too intimate to be forgiven later for -- while they temporarily sat in the parked car. The second he opened that door she would try to bolt down Alcott road, and Damien was not going to have that. He had pity for this companion her madness hopefully a symptom of her desiccation and nothing more, but Damien suspected this was not the case. There had always been some underlying madness there -- it had been the reason he and Pierre had left them in Paris all those years ago. Now she required his help. She was mentally fragile, less than half of her full strength to him now. Had she been at peak health she would be throwing him from the car via windshield rather than getting caught between his arms.

"Pierre," he commanded, though made no other notion of speaking besides grunting with the efforts of Sonya's struggles.

"Release me now!" She hissed, scratching the palms of his hands, his wrists, whatever skin she could find leverage on, leaving large gouges in his flesh.

Pierre came out of the house and began to open the door. Sonya lunged at the side of the car as the door leaned open, but Damien, fully formed and sharp, grasped onto her as she passed him, slowing her down just enough for Pierre to scoop her up into a bear hug that lifted her from both the car and the ground as she shot out of the backseat like a bullet. Damien saw one wrist grab the other around Odessa and knew that for now they had her. For now. They still had to get her into the house, down the stairs into the basement and into the Blood Room. And then one of them had to stay with her while she recovered.

Just stand back, Nadia. Pierre was already beginning his journey towards the front door of the house. Fortunately the entrance for the basement was only in the hallway, just passed his office, through the foyer to the right. Half a dozen stairs and twenty feet from the entrance. Be nearby in case we lose her. Damien closed his eyes and leaned into the dark place that was Sonya's mind, pressing himself down to suppress her rebellion mentally. A sharp headache pulsed through his temple immediately.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2019, 12:57:48 AM »
She was becoming frenzied now that she could not manage to overpower this boy masquerading himself as Damien.  How she could not manage to free herself from him was maddening.  But it was no matter.  As soon as she was given the opportunity she would take it, even if it meant dragging Nadia along with her.  Nadia may have fallen for the lies but Odessa was no fool.  The craving for blood had been rising steadily like a tide, shaking her focus several times and it seemed as though she would fall into the mind of an animal once more.  If not for Nadia, she would have slipped back entirely--now more than ever considering the manner in which she was being restrained--hands pinned in her lap.

"How dare you" she hissed at this Damien, struggling to wound him in any way she could.  The more he fought to hold her the more she was convinced that this was not Damien.  She would not let herself be contained.  Soon they would have to open the door.  Soon she would run.  She could come back for Nadia--it would be too difficult to drag her across 'Damien' and Odessa couldn't risk it.  As soon as she had a taste of the fresh air she had been craving--as soon as she regained her bearings on the world spinning around her.  Maybe after some blood--then she would come back for Nadia.  She wouldn't forget.  But she couldn't rescue them both--she knew she wasn't strong enough.  Nadia would forgive her, surely.  She had to.

The second the door clicked open Odessa summoned her entire strength in a last attempt at escape.  She expected to be slowed by 'Damien'--and was prepared for that.  She knew that he could not hold her, and that being in the car was his only advantage in her mind.  So bolt she did, and straight into the arms of the man calling himself Pierre.  That was unexpected--how did she not see that coming?  She hadn't even noticed that he left the front seat of the car.  Worse still was his strength--and she so detested being lifted this way.  She thrashed against the grip, crying out unintelligibly as she sought for an opening with her body.  There was none--and as this fact cemented itself in her mind she began to wilt, craning her neck in an effort to find her daughter.

"Nadia!"  she called weakly, desperate, and so very unlike the way she had presented herself around others.  Why was Nadia allowing her to be handled this way?  Surely no matter what spell the two men had Nadia believing--surely she would not allow this?  Why was she being taken into some unknown house?  What were they going to do to her?

And when 'Damien' pressed himself into her mind she made an unearthly sound, thrashing weakly against it.  If she could not fight him than she would drag him into the darkness.  And with a wicked smile, she mentally opened wide to him and hooked on with all her might, delirious with an opportunity to cause him hurt.  The effort was blinding and excruciating--if it had any effect on the man Odessa would not know.  In her lack of blood to sustain the attack for more than a moment, she slipped into unconsciousness and went limp in Pierre's arms.

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2019, 03:05:55 AM »
Nadia reached out mentally to steady Damien under the onslaught Odessa pressed into his brain, willpower and impotent rage burning through the bloodline she shared with the ancient vampire in his arms. As her sire slipped into unconsciousness, Nadia once again grasped her hand, "It'll all be alright," she murmured, though it was unclear to whom she spoke.

Once Damien moved, so did she, obeying Pierre for once and staying out of the way.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2019, 12:02:00 PM »
She was a lot more manageable to grapple with when she wasn't flying against him in rage. Pierre watched as Damien's eyes closed and the silent electricity flow between the two elders in a mental battle of stamina. Damien grunted with the effort, his jaw tight. Odessa thrashed madly in his arms, tearing Pierre's hands off for the briefest of moments. With Sonya's frail shoulder, now not as fleshy as it should be, stabbing painfully into his chest, Pierre resteadied his grip on his other wrist and squeezed tighter. She was losing the battle, he knew as he half dragged her, half lifted her up the stairs to the house.

"Come on, Odessa," he grunted with the effort of transporting the hissing Ancient - why did Damien have so many front stairs? Every unwilling step and hoist accented the pain in Pierre's abdomen as Sonya's weight swung back into him as inertia pressed her close. He would have ordinarily felt guilty half-dragging the ancient - or anyone for that matter - up the stairs against her will, but tonight was very different from ordinary.

His irritation was still hot in his chest, bubbling in his throat. She was lucky that he wasn't dragging her by the roots of her hair after everything that she had done to him. The rage that filled him was rage that had been building for centuries, frothing just beneath his even temper during every interaction with the bitch. Why was he helping? Why did he care? Odessa was the reason Nadia wasn't with him after all, the reason he had to leave Nadia in Paris, the reason he couldn't be with her now. She was a loose canon whom Damien had trusted once upon a time. Now she was volatile, bursting at the seams of her own sanity. Why the fuck was he bothering getting himself involved when he should have been making a drunken attempt at seducing a very angry Lisa-Joe Hampton? They should just snap her neck and hand her to Nadia and be done with the whole mess of them.

Sonya stopped writhing then, falling limp in his arms. Finally.

--

Blackness overtook him almost immediately and he felt like he was diving deep into a pit of tar. Thick, viscous, and hard to move. Sharp too, like needles stabbing him for traction. Desperation, fear, hatred, laughing. The pain in his head kept him grounded, leaning against one of the columns of the porch. Damien could barely remember that he had a body at all, if not for that blinding headache. He felt himself being shaken savagely, like an animal backed into a corner.

Calm, relax, return.

Blinding darkness that pulled on every bit of him, taking him deeper and deeper still. He needed to breath but he darkness was too thick. The pressure of an ocean on top of him. They were at the bottom. He could see the seabed, feel hands - her hands - digging, digging, throwing up sand that floated ominously in front of him.

Calm, relax, return.

Rage pulled him down into the ground. More pressure. His chest was collapsing, his nostrils filling with salt and sand, stinging sea water. Too deep. Blackness. He tried to kick off the sand, to rise through the blackness, to return. The sand shifted. No traction here.  Lost, lost, lost.

Odessa.

Crushing now, more than ever before. Air he didn't need or knew he had exploded from his mouth. Bones cracking, muscles pinching, eyes bulging. Choking, choking. He kicked off hard and found his breath again. Air filled the places were water was and Damien opened his eyes, gasing like a fish, coughing.

"I couldn't pull her back," Damien gasped, saliva filling his mouth as if vomit was coming next. He spat on the brick under his palms and realized he was kneeling on his own front steps. Pierre had scooped the Ancient up like a lover, holding her against his chest now, grunting with the effort but watching Damien. The older vampire caught his breath before murmuring. "Get her downstairs. Fast."

-----

The basement was brightly lit, just as he left it before he ran to bring Rachel over to Malakai's house. Now that she was calm, Pierre had no trouble taking an unconscious Sonya down the stairs, through the ivory-painted hallways, deeper into the prepared medical space known as the Blood Room. He could feel Nadia's hesitance as she watched first Pierre with Sonya, then Damien descend into this private suite. Had he anymore ability to use his mind, Damien would have reached out to Nadia in comfort. With Odessa now quiet and small in Pierre's arms, the stress of night was catching up to all of them. Nadia's pretty face now seemed edged in worry and cognitive exhaustion.

"Put her on the table," he said pointlessly to Pierre, who was already doing just that, laying Odessa down with the gentleness of a lover. "We're going to need a lot of blood for her." Damien rolled out his shoulders and set to work.

The Blood Room - as Pierre and Jenella were fond of calling it - was a stainless steel room not very unlike a morgue. The room was roughly a third of the size of the bottom floor of the house, easily enough room for the three of them to stand and move about comfortably. The floor was a high polished concrete, smooth and without crack, a drain centered in the floor. Two pedestal dissection tables sat side-by-side, plain and clean albeit covered in a thin layer of dust after many months of not being used. Damien hadn't had the time to clean off these benches before having to find Pierre at the pool hall. In one of the mini refrigerators on the stainless steel counter blood bags stolen from a blood bank had been stacked regardless of blood type. Fluorescent light from overhead filled the space providing a cold, medical feeling that made even Damien feel uncomfortable.

Digging in one of the drawers, he brought out supplies for two IVs - two poles, a catheter, and enough tubing, gauze, and tape - and set to work setting everything up quickly. Damien eyed the blood as he worked, not having set up such apparatus in a very long time. There was no telling when Sonya would wake up, either.

"Nadia, go in that cabinet there," he nodded over at a base cabinet near a deep sink, his voice sounding rough in his own ears, scratchy "and get the restraints and strap her down to the table."
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2019, 01:05:22 PM »
Nadia followed the trio closely, keeping her mouth shut and doing as she was bid. She did not need directions beyond where to find the restraints; once located, she applied them with deft and practiced hands, strapping her mother securely to the table. She made a face at the dust covering the shiny silver surface, but there was nothing to be done.

Danger contained for now, Nadia stroked Odessa’s sunken cheek with one finger, “Once she’s well, none of this will hold her,” she warned, looking down at her sire. The hard lines of her face softened with worry, though her words were as clipped as ever, “She’s never been like this before.” This bad, she meant.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2019, 11:26:07 AM »
Damien said nothing, unwilling to acknowledge Nadia's painful comment. Hands worked fast to thread the tube to needle first, then to the bagged blood that he grabbed out of the fridge. His head throbbed awfully and he would have loved to just tear into one of those bags to take the edge off. The feel of it chilled beneath his hands kept his attention on his task rather than his Thirst. He felt like he had been punched in both temples, the base of his neck. It would recede faster if he just took care of it properly...

But Sonya could wake at any moment.

Perhaps he should break her neck to keep her still for a while longer...

He took the bag and hung it from the IV stand that he had already set up, telescoping it to just about shoulder height. The blood shifted and started filling the tubing slowly, making his attention shift slightly with Want. Focus. He reached for Sonya's arm and turned it gingerly until the wrist was exposed to him beneath the restraint that Nadia had just put on. There was no need to search for her veins with any prodding - they bulged unevenly beneath her pale, malnourished skin. Had she any more blood, the task of finding a proper vein would have been much harder; then again if she had anymore blood, they wouldn't be in this predicament at all.

Focus.

He was hoping that she would remain still, but expected her to awaken, lash out, and act with incredible aggression. With hesitance and held breath, Damien held the Ancient's hand down and pressed the needle into the base of her wrist.

--

Pierre stood watching the other two work, stepping back to be out of the way. He resented Sonya and her pot-stirring, snobbish, homicidal tendencies. She was a nuisance and a liability to everyone who knew her, and while Paris was a means of survival she had proved herself to be even more unstable now than she was back then. It was nostalgia and loyalty - neither of which Pierre felt - that kept Damien coming back to help the Ancient, rather than some kinship or appreciation for her. For Pierre, the hardest part of being around Sonya was remembering her role in his and Nadia's downfall.

In Paris, shortly after Lucretia and the entirety of their family was burned, Pierre and Damien stumbled into an official's Ball where (then)Odessa and Nadia had staked out their own claims on the city's human population. An accident, where Damien acquiesced to the elder's position in exchange for the right to feed and live in Paris. Back then, the two had gotten on grandly - until Odessa started her rampages, her blood bathing, her obsession with peeking into and controlling Nadia's relationship with Pierre. Meanwhile he had fallen in love with Nadia when Odessa wasn't watching. And, he believed - at the time anyway, for lately he felt uncertain - she had fallen in love with him. They had dreams of leaving their Sires to their own devices, nights spent making love on rooftops and in fields, hours spent talking about what life would have been like had they not been claimed, had they not been separated by countries and years during their human lives. Yes, he was sure back then that she loved him.

And he loved her still, despite Sonya's best efforts to turn Nadia away from him. He would always love her, despite his own best efforts.

A large part of him wanted to leave the two of them there to worry about the old witch. He wanted to be drunk again, pressing someone else against a wall roughly, taking his pleasure seriously. He wanted to be having fun somewhere else, rather than reliving a life that was surely over. But Sonya - fucking Sonya - had different plans yet again.

He wished silently that he could reach out and mentally comfort his ex-lover, to hold onto her like he assumed other immortals did to their lovers. He watched her skillfully yet reluctantly restrain each of Odessa's limbs, pull the strap tight across the Ancient's chest and another across her thighs to keep her from moving on the table when she did finally wake. How many times had she done this? Had she ever done this before? Or did Sonya typically go uncontrolled when she awoke? Pierre's jaw remained clamped shut, not caring really about the answers so much as the person who would give them to him. There were pangs of guilt there, and Pierre tried to put himself in Nadia's shoes. What would it feel like to see Damien Rise like this, harrowed and gaunt, not present? To restrain him? Pierre had seen Damien at his worst, covered in blood, crazed and cold after the murderous rage in what was now Germany. He was a terror to behold that neither one of them acknowledged to this day with the other.

As Nadia finished, he did reach out to her, and placed a hand on her shoulder, finding comfort for himself in the contact. Whether she would pull away from him, he couldn't tell. He hoped that she didn't, but, then again, were they even that familiar with each other anymore?

"Blood will help, now," he said with a faulty level of certainty in his voice that failed to convince him. Hopefully Nadia wouldn't read too much into it. The needle went into Sonya's wrist first on one side, then the other with no initial reaction from the Ancient. Her veins would suck those bags dry within minutes, but who knew what she would be like when she awoke again? "It's all we can do."
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2019, 10:16:13 AM »
Nadia tightened the strap across her mother's chest unnecessarily, and nodded at her former lover's words. Her eyes flicked to the hand on her shoulder, then up to his face. Her mouth, already a soft line, tightened at the corners, but she left the hand where it was.

"Can we go upstairs?" she asked quietly. She would know when Sonya was rousing herself, but for now she needed some air. She sounded tired.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2019, 11:57:43 AM »
Damien refused to turn around, allowing the youngers to have their moment. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Pierre nod, glance in his direction and then turn to go back upstairs. Nadia followed him in a fluid motion and shortly after, Damien heard the click and lock of the cellar door closing him into the soundproofed basement.

Now, all he had to do was wait for Odessa to wake. He found himself a bag of cold blood to ease the headache as he offered the others their privacy. He then set to work wiping the dirt and blood from Odessa's exposed skin.

--

Pierre slid the bolt closed on the cellar door once Nadia was upstairs, locking his Sire downstairs like he would have wanted. They both knew that this house was no longer Sonya-proofed. Not with Rachel here. He was thankful that Rachel wasn't around to witness this mess - partly because it was never a good idea to keep any human around Sonya for too long, but also because it provided him with the opportunity to finally be with Nadia alone.

He didn't have anything comforting to say to her, nothing important or life altering - all those things had been said before. So he stood there for a long moment feeling stuck between wanting to reach out to her and wanting to walk away from the entire situation altogether - including Nadia herself. But he stayed for the same basic reason that he always stayed - he liked being around her.

It was the first time that they had been together, relatively alone, since the night of the Masquerade Ball. Sure, they had seen each other in different situations over the past few years - when Nadia had first discovered that Sonya was missing, when Nikolai had shown up, furious and crazed on Sonya's doorstep. They texted each other small things that didn't matter much every few months or so. But none of it meant anything.

What right did he have to reach out to her now and offer comfort? They weren't lovers. They weren't even considered friends by common standards. He was her acquaintance and nothing more now, right? They had no relationship now, right?

The urge to pull her into an embrace was nonetheless too strong to simply shrug off. Pierre put his hand on her upper arm in a weak gesture of friendship - or something - calling her attention back out of the basement and hopefully away from the things in her own head. He smirked at her, "Relax, would you?" His tone was soft, gently prodding with its attempt at injecting something good into the situation. "She's back now. She'll be fine, Nadie."
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2019, 10:12:57 AM »
"Of course she will," Nadia sighed. Her eyes and her thoughts remained locked on the basement door, despite Pierre's best efforts, "Until she pulls this bullshit again."

A sharp shake of her head and she turned on a heel and stalked into the family room, then straight through onto the piazza, unbuttoning and tossing her suit jacket onto a couch as she went. Underneath was a simple but elegant camisole in a rich royal blue trimmed in eyelash lace. The tension of a breath held too long underscored every step she took and every movement of her long fingers.

She walked until the railing outside stopped her, both hands braced against the painted wood-- 

--And the held breath released, in a long, raw-throated scream that bent her body near double. It was a terrible sound, the likes of which Pierre -- nor anyone, really, but Sonya, would have ever heard from her before. Nadia was a study in languid poise; a locked door; a placid, sharp-tongued doll. The moments she let anyone see anything else were few and far between, and this -- this was another animal altogether. 

Once the breath was gone from her dead lungs, she let her chin fall back to her chest and her shoulders sagged. Normally, she wore her thinness and sharp edges with a venomous snake's confidence, but now she looked as frail and brittle as shed skin.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2019, 04:02:54 AM »
Pierre followed Nadia through the house at a distance, allowing her the space to have her moment of weakness alone for several long breaths. He was incapable of steeling himself against that scream - it cut through every wall he had built to keep himself whole in her presence and genuinely scared him. His protectiveness, his love for her, his want for nothing but life with her all flooded into his chest as he listened, jaw set. Now was certainly not the time for any of this age-old nonsense, and he haphazardly tried to shove it all back into the depths of his chest where they had come from.

He left the house and stood next to her as she recovered. After a short time, he reached out to her and guided her away from the rail by her shoulders. With gentle but firm pressure, he guided her into a tight, protective embrace. He half-expected her to fight him but hoped she wouldn't. Pierre wanted to tell her that she wouldn't have to deal with it again, that she could just walk away, that they could just leave just like they had talked about all those years ago. He could feel the years slipping away from him as he held her, as if this was just some dream from their days in Paris. He said none of these things, but simply held her until she calmed.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2019, 05:56:41 AM »
She did fight, but only for a moment; a weak fist thumped against his chest before Nadia let herself be folded into his arms and dissolved into quiet sobs. He'd never seen that from her, either; any tears she'd shed previously had been scrubbed angrily away with the back of a hand before they could dirty her porcelain cheeks.

They stood there like that for several moments as she quieted, and then several more in silence before she pulled away a sort distance, her hands resting on his chest. She didn't look up at Pierre. She didn't dare. "What kind of life is this?" she asked, barely a whisper.

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2019, 09:40:03 AM »
He accepted her fists wordlessly, taking little notice of the assault until her balled hands melted flat against him in a position that, in any other situation, would have brought him great joy. She refused to look at him and he felt pained at the entire exchange. Her words, rhetorical and honest in the same breath, stuck in his chest and Pierre didn't have the strength to make them better.

Pierre sighed and ran his hands down her shoulders, the backs of her arms. The feeling of her cool bare skin made him pause and remember unhelpful events of their past. Pierre licked his bottom lip and looked around at the night before responding to her. "Why do you keep coming back to save her?" His voice was as quiet as hers, without judgement or aggravation. Just concern for her that Sonya never seemed to show.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2019, 08:35:18 AM »
"What else would I do?" Nadia did look up at him now, cheeks streaked and smudged with blood tears, "she's my mother. She's all that I have."

A beat, and then, "Why? What would it take for you to leave Damien behind?"

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2019, 09:14:02 AM »
She's not all that you have, he wanted to say. "Damien has never given me the abuse that Odessa has given you," Pierre said firmly. He reached a hand up, unthinkingly, and placed it on the side of her beautiful face, wiping the tear smudges with his thumb as he spoke. "I've left him behind once, and I would do it again, too, if I needed to. But Damien respects me in ways that Odessa doesn't offer you."

Besides, you've cut better people out for less than what Odessa does to you. He was once again thankful for having a mind that was unable to be penetrated.

Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

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Re: Rehabilitation
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2019, 07:47:31 AM »
Nadia shook her head. She let him touch her face once, but took over the job for herself shortly after, wiping away the blood with one long finger as if it were stray mascara, "But you came back." She patted the corners of her mouth with a fingertip, checking her lipstick. The mask was slipping back into place, the manic tension draining from her eyes.

"You know how she is. She'd never let me in again, even if I needed her."