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Demons in the Dark Part 1
DISCLAIMER: The following stories are all non-profit, amateur efforts not intended to infringe on the rights of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, David Geffen, Warner Brothers, Geffen Pictures, Knopf, Randomhouse, the city of New Orleans, the U.S. Consititution, any copyright holders that I might not have thought of or even a certain author who shall remain nameless but who has a set of initials which are, coincidentally enough, just one letter off from spelling "B.S."
Demons in the Dark Part 1, an After spec
by the Brat Queen (Louis) and Lady Black Death (Lestat)
Warning: This spec contains specific spoilers to Mick and Susie's
version of Memnoch. It is *highly* recommended that you read it
before reading this. This spec also contains language some may
find offensive as well as sexual acts.
Winner: Best Louis/Lestat '95-'96
I bolted awake, screams filling the twilight. My voice or
Louis'? I didn't know. Not that it mattered. Screaming, they
sounded the same. The next howling wail shattered the air, filled
with the hopeless despair of one who had nothing left to lose. Ah,
Louis' voice then. My screams echoed only in my heart. The sound
poured over my raw nerves like acid. Reaching out to wake Louis
I saw that my hand trembled, like an old man. "Wake, beautiful
one." I whispered. "Wake and be with me."
Another scream tore from Louis' throat, driving a dagger into
my heart - I knew what was coming and hated it with everything in
me. I tried to brace against it, but there was no escape.
"Lestat! Lestat! Help Me!" And finally "LESTAT!!"
I knew this would be the last before the death sleep released
him. My name was always the last. Then Louis flung himself from
the bed, crashing into the far wall to land in a trembling heap on
At once I knelt beside him, but did not touch. I had learned
quickly that to touch Louis, as I so longed to do, might provoke
another series of screams until the nightmares faded from him
completely. Or worse, Louis might react mindlessly to the arms
around him. The new dresser against the wall was ample proof of
that. Louis had propelled me through the old one some time ago.
"I'm here, Louis. I'm here. You're home. You're safe."
Over and over I whispered the words, Louis gradually calming
enough for me to risk extending my hand. I had almost grasped the
cool white shoulder when Louis seemed to convulse, doubling into
a ball. Then suddenly he was in my arms, great heaving sobs
wracking his body. "Make them stop, Lestat. Please, make them
stop!" He whimpered like a child, hands clenching into fists
against my skin. "I love you, Lestat. Please make them stop!"
I held him, stroking his hair, my own tears mingling with his.
Gently rocking back and forth, I whispered first in French, then
English, but the message was always the same, choked out over the
ever increasing feeling of helpless rage. "I'm here, Louis. I'm
here. You're home. You're safe."
Eventually the trembling stopped and Louis lay limp and
exhausted in my arms. I hated myself even as I cradled him, for
this calm moment was always my favorite part, if "favorite" is the
proper term. He could not deny that he needed me, not now. He
could not deny that I helped him, that I was doing something to
help fight against the nightmare visions, if only for a moment.
In some small way, I made a difference.
Finally I attempted to slip my arms under him, to carry him
downstairs as I had so many times, but he pushed me away and stood
on his own. "I'm... over it now, Lestat." he said. "It's over.
I think I need some time." Without another word he shrugged into
his discarded clothing from the night before, turned and left the
room. Moments later I heard the front door close behind him.
The back of my head thudded dully against the wall as I closed
my eyes against a fresh wave of frustration. My arms ached with
the need to hold him while my fingers twitched with the need to
break something. I knew I could do neither, but entertained myself
briefly with the mental image of the dresser strewn about the room
in tiny splinters - glass covering the floor.
Eventually I stood and dressed. I hunted quickly, more for
the comfort of the warm blood coursing through me than from hunger.
I returned home at once, wanting to be there when Louis came back.
To my mounting frustration he did not return until just before
dawn. For a tense moment I thought he might refuse me when I slid
into bed next to him. But finally he turned into me, allowing me
to put my arms around him. I drifted to sleep not sure who was
trembling, him or me. One of us was.
I bolted awake. "Lestat! Lestat! Help Me!" And finally
"LESTAT!!" It was as though we were trapped in a time warp, an
endless loop. He called for me, screamed my name, begged me to
help him... and once again I was forced to watch him attempt to
pick up the pieces alone. Again Louis left almost at once to hunt.
I couldn't bring myself to even leave the house. Instead I sat
before the fire, willing myself not to think, to simply lose myself
watching the flames.
This couldn't continue. He was well aware of his history;
he knew that to keep the trauma of the dreams locked away would
simply cause them to get worse. But in the last few days he had
seemed to regress to a state similar to his return, perhaps even
a bit worse. And after three years of fighting them he and I were
both totally exhausted. Never in my life had I felt so defeated,
not against Akasha, not against the body thief. But Louis'
suffering had utterly beaten me.
I walked around aimlessly, endlessly, the memories of my
victim that night quickly forgotten only to be replaced by the ever
increasing despair that filled me.
What was happening to me?
Every day my nightmares--though I find it an understatement
to call them as such--get worse and every night I must suffer
through both the memories of the day before and the fear of the
day to come.
And what an unnatural thing it is, to fear sleep. Sleep
should be that which makes us stronger, gives us solace to face
what is to come. But there is no such comfort for me. Nor can I
reverse the process, take my waking nights as my time of strength
to face my dreams for my nights are filled with the horror of the
effects of my dreams which in turn fuels my dreams which in turn
fuels my nights until I have turned and turned and turned and
completely lost myself as though the very pieces of my soul are
torn from my body in this neverending downward spiral.
But best not to think of that. Best not to think of losing
myself for then I must face the vision of my past self. The self
who appears to me in shining new clothes with a shining new smile
and who moves from activity to activity so quickly and with such
obsession that I can picture the red dancing shoes on his feet,
forcing him on to his inevitable destruction.
Forcing him... forcing *me*.
Ah, but it is not just me now, is it? No. There is also
Lestat. My ever vigilant lover who watches for any sign that I am
in danger and who has found too much familiarity in the ritual of
soothing me after I wake and in trying to fight those demons which
he cannot reach but who can find me all the same.
And what am I to do? I cannot face my nightmares alone, yet
neither can I allow myself to make these demands upon the man I
love and who needs my comfort as much as I need his. This is
taxing him far too much for anyone's safety, including his.
But I don't know what to do.
I find that I am standing still. I look up and see that my
footsteps have led me home. Home to Lestat once again. And as I
stand there I know that there is nowhere else I want to be and that
I want nothing else than to go inside and have Lestat hold me and
tell me that everything will be alright even though he cannot begin
to fully know what it is that troubles me.
A wave of exhaustion overwhelms me and I make my decision.
I go inside to him, but put a clamp upon my fears. I must not let
them get out of control as they did before or it will be the
downfall of us both. So long as I have that control, I can face
It is only the thought of losing that control which terrifies
Who knows how much time had passed? A sudden noise drew my
attention, and I looked up to see Louis standing in the doorway.
He looked as weary as I felt, and at once I opened my arms to him.
He stretched out next to me and for the first time that night I
felt myself begin to relax. The world seemed a much better place
when Louis was in my arms. I closed my eyes, sighed deeply, and
felt myself begin to drift.
I noticed the cold first, the damp chill which went straight
to the bone, and I shivered. I was so cold! As though I hadn't
fed in days. Blinking rapidly, I tried to bring my surroundings
into focus. The room was dark, even to my superior vision. No
windows, walls of stone. The dull gleam of metal caught my eye,
and I saw a massive table in the center of the room. On it,
glinting now and again, rested weaponry of every shape and size;
knives, whips, even a flail, reminding me of my mortal days when
I went to hunt the wolves. The walls - there were chains on the
walls. It suddenly made sense. I stood in a torture chamber.
Turning slowly, I scanned my surroundings. The shadows
darkened, lengthened, then one seemed to leap out at me. Someone
was chained to the wall, hanging lifelessly, the weight of the
painfully thin body supported by thick cuffs at the wrists. I
couldn't quite see... Moving with maximum stealth I approached
the skeletal figure, his blood soaked hair hanging around his face
like a matted shield. Angry red welts crisscrossed his body in a
pattern I felt I should know...
The poor devil made the slightest movement, raising his head
slowly, painfully, and I froze. For just the briefest of moments
our eyes met and I gazed into the emeralds I knew so well...
It was common for me to wake to the sound of screams. It took
me a few moments to realize that these screams were, at last, my
As if from a great distance I heard Louis' voice, calling me
over and over. It was his voice that drew me from the horror of
the vision, his voice that I clung to like a lifeline. "Louis?"
I finally whispered, my voice raw.
"Lestat, what happened? Can you tell me?"
I looked around in surprise. When I had drifted off we had
been sprawled on the sofa. How had I gotten on the floor? Against
the wall? "I had a dream."
He smiled gently. "So I gathered. Do you remember what it
I looked into his eyes, identical to those in my vision.
"No." I lied, the pain ripping into me. "I can't remember. I want
to go to bed now."
I stood on legs that still shook, slightly, and headed
upstairs. I stripped of my sweat soaked clothing and climbed into
bed. At once Louis curled around me, holding me tightly until the
dawn filled the sky. My thoughts were troubled, and for the first
time I dreaded sleep not for the scene we would have upon waking,
but for what might await me during the daylight hours.
Perhaps this was madness at long last. Perhaps I had finally
fought beyond the level of my endurance. I was still shivering
when sleep claimed us both.
I awoke disoriented. Something wasn't quite right. I looked
over to where Louis slept, his breath coming in quick gasps. "no."
he moaned quietly. "please... not like this..."
A new dream? A new nightmare? I knew he suffered from
variations, but all along one of three central themes - the wall,
the temple, and the sun. This was new. "no..." he moaned again,
and I reached out to caress his hair from his face. "Juliano...
don't! Please! We didn't..." He gasped and bolted awake, staring
wildly around the room, searching for someone. Juliano perhaps?
"He's not here, mon cher." I said quietly. "Juliano is dead.
It's just me, now."
He shook his head, still searching, until he finally
understood where he was. "Lestat." He blinked rapidly, then
smiled. "At least we're not on the floor this time!"
"That was new." I commented. "Was it a new dream?"
He looked away. "No, I've had it before."
"Which one was it?"
Clearly he didn't want to discuss it. "I was chained to the
It was as though cold water had poured over me from the
heavens. Until that moment I had forgotten my own nightmare. I
abandoned my questions at once and fought for calm. Louis needed
me, and I had little enough strength for him anymore.
"Come on." I said, ignoring his small sigh of relief. "I need
After feeding I felt much better. I returned home moments
before Louis walked in. He spirits seemed improved as well, and
I thought that perhaps the worst was behind us.
"So, what shall we do tonight?" I asked brightly. "Movie?
The warmth of his smile melted into me. "Well, if you
insist." I drew him into my arms and kissed him, keeping it light,
teasing him. Then we headed back to lounge before the fire,
cuddling. I felt ridiculously safe and happier than I had in
days. Nestled against him, I listened to the quite thrumming
of his heart. The light of the fire bathed us with warmth and
peace, and I found myself wondering, as I finally drifted off, how
a nightmare could possibly find us in such a serene setting.
Louis' heartbeat suddenly increased, not so much in rhythm,
but in volume as the fire danced before my eyes. I blinked
rapidly, trying to clear my fogged vision. The beat grew ever
louder, shaking the stone walls themselves with the power of the
drums. The amphitheater seemed to have been carved from the bowels
of the earth, bonfires and torches the only source of light. The
air was thick with the stench of sweating, unwashed mortals,
sickening sweet incense floating in clouds above us.
In the heart of the amphitheater lay an altar, shaped as a
pyramid, with rows upon rows of steps leading to the flat top.
Mortals swarmed the steps, and the theatre itself, but the altar
itself was curiously devoid of activity.
As though responding to an unseen signal, the throng grew
silent, clearing a path up the stairs to the altar. Figures
appeared through one of the arched doorways, moving slowly through
the crowd and finally up the stairs. A chant began, soft at first,
but then increasing in intensity until it drowned out even the
drums. "MEMNOCH! MEMNOCH! MEMNOCH!"
They were dancing now, moving with wild abandon, and above
them all Juliano gave his hideous benediction, beckoning for a
small clump of people to come forward. I was still too far away
to see for sure, but I thought I could make out a tiny figure
struggling between them. That of a child...
Furious motion erupted at the base of the altar, torches and
worshippers alike tossed aside like ragdolls as a desperate figure
attempted to gain access to the altar. At once I moved, trying to propel
myself through the crowd, but to my horror I seemed mired in quicksand.
What should have been a journey of seconds became nearly impossible. I
could only watch as Louis was captured and the little girl thrown into the
flames. Louis' voice slashed into me. "Claudia!" he screamed as the
mortals swarmed around him, holding him. I saw them strip Louis' garments
away, exposing his pale skin to the fascinated gaze of the faithful.
Juliano drew his own knife, carving a wound deep into Louis' inner arm.
He was already bleeding from a scalp wound, but this sent a small river of
blood down the altar steps. But the worst was yet to come. Inertia
trapped me where I stood, my vocal cords clenched tightly by a brutal,
invisible fist. I watched helplessly as Louis was carried to the altar
and surrounded by over a dozen of the fiends, all of them with knives
drawn. I choked out a moan, deep in my throat, pulling at my leaden limbs
to the limits of my strength as the knives arched down... and suddenly I
forgot to breathe... Impossible! I heard Louis' voice in my mind.
:Lestat!: he cried out as the knives plunged into him. :Lestat! If I
ever needed you, Lestat, if I ever loved you, please hear me!:
I saw the priests swarm over Louis, drinking from the open
wounds, and screamed... "NOOOOOOO!"
I was awake. Some part of me knew it. And yet I felt myself
trapped in the temple. If I tried I could still smell the incense
clinging to my skin. I heard Louis calling me, saying my name, and
immediately I responded. "I'm here! Louis, I'm here... for the
love of God... I'm here!"
"I know you're here, mon cher." Louis whispered comfortingly.
"Of course you're here! You're in my arms, safe again." I could
hear the sad smile in his voice as he held me tightly. "Who would
have ever thought nightmares were contagious?"
I said nothing. All I could do was turn into his embrace,
clutch him to me as though my life depended on it. Mon Dieu... I
hadn't known. The little girl... he never told me. The knives,
the rape afterwards, yes. But Louis had deliberately omitted the
death of the child, sparing me that particular horror, bearing it
I suddenly stilled, and Louis looked at me, the question plain
in his expression. But I simply shook my head and stood, feeling
a need to move. I didn't go far, choosing to pace before the fire.
Had there actually been a little girl? Or had I, in fact,
internalized so much of Louis' story that I had begun having
nightmares myself, incorporating my unending guilt over Claudia
with my fresh guilt over Louis? Were these hellish visions his,
or my own? I had to know.
I watched as Lestat moved back and forth as though he were
caged like the very lion he appeared to be. I remained on the
couch, caught in a nauseating sense of deja vu, knowing that this
was the same scene that has been played out between us for months
upon months, only now it was Lestat who was upset and I who had to
find the words to help him through it.
"Was it very bad?" I asked.
"Yes," he said, tersely. There was a slight movement in his
hands and I knew that he was fighting the urge to break something.
"As bad as mine?" I asked, hoping to distract him from this.
"You had a nightmare as well?" he stopped his pacing long
enough to look at me.
I hadn't been referring to that when I spoke, but I could not
lie to him.
"Yes," I said.
Another flicker of movement in his hands. "Which one?" he
asked. "The sunlight?"
"No," I said. "It was the Temple. The Sabbat."
"Ah," he said, thoughtfully. "Where Juliano proved that he
was insane once and for all."
There was a strange note of certainty in his voice when he
said this, but I do not know why or how.
"How do you mean?" I asked him.
He shook his head dismissively, then continued pacing. "You
know how I mean," he said. "When he attacked you like that, with
no provocation at all."
I closed my eyes and the memories of that moment played before
me in a sickening slow motion. "He had provocation," I said
softly, mouthing the words more than actually speaking them.
Lestat looked at me sharply. "What do you mean? What provocation
did you give him?"
I pressed my hand to my forehead. "Lestat, please," I said.
"I... I'd rather not discuss this."
"No," he said. He stood before me. "I think we should
discuss it, Louis. Maybe this is why your dreams have become as
bad as they have, because we've been trying to avoid them. And
that is too much like what we have done before for me to be happy
There was a look of both fear and concern in his grey eyes.
I sighed, knowing what "before" he was referring to and the thought
of it frightened me as much as it did him. But I was slightly more
frightened of Lestat's reaction should he find out the full content
of this particular dream. I struggled to find a way out of this.
"What happened, Louis?" he asked.
I settled on a half-truth. "He attacked me because I attacked
one of his priests," I said, hoping that it would be the end of it,
but knowing that it wasn't.
He paced a bit more, then leaned against the mantle of the
fireplace and stared into the fire.
"Was that all?" he asked. Once again there was that note of
certainty in his voice, as though he already knew the answer and
my giving confirmation of it was only part of a dance that we were
both caught up in and helpless to stop.
"Was that all?" he said it more firmly this time, enunciating
each word with a particular force that only Lestat could give.
"No," I said, dread filling me as I saw the outcome of my
I swallowed hard, knowing that I could not hold this back from
him any longer.
"He... burned a child," I said. "A little girl. I tried to
get to her in time." I closed my eyes painfully. "I couldn't."
There was an excruciating silence before I heard Lestat take
in a hissing lungful of air.
"God DAMN!" he yelled, his words deafening. Anger filled his
every movement and his eyes turned murderously cold as he looked
for something to take his emotions out on.
"Don't you dare!" I said, getting up from the couch.
"What? Dare what?" he demanded, clenching his hands into
"Don't you dare do whatever it is you are about to do," I
said. "Don't you dare make this about Claudia or about your guilt
for making her or about anything else that has to do with you! It
has *nothing* to do with you! It has nothing to do with anything!
It is a terrible, horrible thing that happened to *me* and the only
thing I want is for it to have never happened but it did and there
is nothing that either of us can do about it!"
"I don't want to talk about this anymore," I said. "I'm going
I turned on my heel and left the room. Lestat made no attempt
to stop me. I'm not sure if I was happy about that or not.
In any case, I was alone in our bedroom for quite some time.
I readied myself for sleep, then lay down under the covers, hating
the fact that this was yet another night that the day would come
without Lestat and I being intimate together. I wiped away tears
of frustration, knowing that even if Lestat appeared to me right
then and there, there wasn't enough time for us to be together.
The sun was about to rise.
I heard the sound of his footsteps, then the sound of the door
closing and being secured. The bed moved under his weight as he
removed his boots, then slid under the covers with me.
"I'm sorry," he said, kissing me on the shoulder.
For what? I wanted to ask him, but his voice had sounded so
contrite that I didn't have it in me to hurt him that way. When
I did not reply, he moved away from me so that I would not have to
feel him lying against me.
It was only then that I remembered.
"Lestat?" I asked, not turning to look at him but still with
"Your nightmare. I never--what was it about?"
There was a long moment of silence.
"I dreamt," he said softly, "that someone was hurting you."
"Oh God," I whispered. "Oh God, Lestat, I didn't know. I'm
sorry. I'm so sorry."
The sun was rising now and I could feel my limbs turning to
lead but I forced myself to turn around blindly, searching for him.
It was with relief that I felt his arms around me as he pulled me
"I'm sorry," I said again, or tried to.
"I know," he replied, the words sliding into my thoughts as
the last ray of sun hit the earth and I lost hold of myself
Had it not been for my vampiric nature I would never have
found rest that day. I fought the death sleep which might lock me
into another nightmare - another shared vision of hell. Even
though I had been with Louis (with few exceptions) every night
since his return, I had no idea just what strength had been
required for him to go on. The very thought of facing another
dream filled me with a dread which nearly defied comprehension.
With Louis wrapped securely in my arms once more, I succumbed
to the rising sun, trying my best to brace myself for what might
lie ahead. But nothing could have prepared me for what awaited.