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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."

Sins of the Past Post 13
by the Brat Queen

Act 25 cont'd

*word*=italics, used for emphasis, thoughts or dreams.
_word_=emphasis in thoughts or dreams.
:word or sentence:=something spoken telepathically.

Without waiting for a reply, Lestat flung Nicolas up into the air. He crashed through the ceiling of the Temple and landed on the roof. After giving Louis a quick glance, Lestat followed.

The roof of the Temple, though it had been rebuilt, was covered with moss that flourished in the moist rainforest environment. Lestat found that he had to struggle to keep his balance on the slippery vegetation. Nicolas was nowhere in sight and Lestat cursed the fact that he could not read the mind of his vampire child and locate him.

"No I didn't actually." A burst of pain exploded in his head as Nicolas struck him with one of the large building stones that littered the Temple roof. Lestat fell and rolled away, springing to his feet once he knew he was out of range.

"*What*?" Lestat asked.

"Miss you," Nicolas said. He lept forward and knocked Lestat flat onto the roof. "You asked if I did and I didn't."

"I asked you that three topics ago!" Lestat said as he struck Nicolas across the face. "It's no wonder our relationship failed. You have the worst communication skills I've ever seen. Anyway, I'm not that thrilled to see you either so we're even."

"Our 'relationship'," Nicolas slammed Lestat's head onto the edge of one of the loose stones, "failed because you are a selfish, evil bastard who doesn't deserve to live!"

"Typical," Lestat brought his knee up hard enough to make Nicolas fly off of him. "It always has to be something dramatic with you. You couldn't call me a jerk, I had to be a selfish, evil bastard who doesn't deserve to live. You know, that annoyed the hell out of me when we were living together. If you weren't such a good lay I would have left you years before I actually did."

"Fine," Nicolas said. He ripped one of the thick vines from the Temple roof and began snapping it at Lestat with such frequency that he was barely able to duck out of the way each time. "How about if I say that it failed because you were a drunken lush that couldn't keep his pants on?"

"You'd be getting closer to being accurate." Lestat held up his arm and let the vine wrap around it tightly. He grabbed on with his other hand and jerked on it with enough force to make Nicolas loose his bearings and fall off the side of the roof. Lestat looked over the edge so that he could see Nicolas dangling from the end of the vine. "However, if any one of us was a lush, it was you. Or do I have to remind you how many times you couldn't perform because you were too drunk? And I don't mean play your violin! Gods, if I had to give you the 'No, Nicki, it's ok. I understand. It happens to all of us.' speech *one* more time I think I would have gone insane." Lestat grinned. "No offense."

"The very fact that you exist offends me," Nicolas snarled. He reached out with one hand and braced himself against the temple wall. He kicked with a booted foot and pushed himself back onto the roof, shoving Lestat down onto his back as he did so.

"*Again* with the drama," Lestat said. He took Nicolas by the shoulders and twisted so that the dark haired vampire was now underneath him. "Couldn't we just agree to disagree?"

"Never!" Nicolas rolled over and pinned Lestat underneath him. He picked up another one of the loose stones and held it high. "Not until I see you dead and having your skull crushed to pieces suits that need just fine!"

Louis felt the alter begin its descent back down to the floor of the Temple as soon as Lestat had left. It was almost as if the force of Lestat flying had pushed the alter but Louis knew that wasn't the reason. Ash came forward to get Morrigan as soon as she was within reach. A movement at the back of the Temple caught Louis' eye.

"Don't come a step further!" Louis said.

"She's mine!" Aiken said. "She was promised to me and I will be damned if Ashlar will have her!"

"Test my patience and find yourself truly damned," Louis said.

"Oh really?" Aiken sneered. He pulled out a knife that he had hidden on him.

"I warn you," Louis said.

"Stay away from her!" Ash said, standing between Morrigan and the small man.

Aiken ignored them both. He lashed out with the knife, aiming for Ashlar's heart. Just as he was about to hit his mark he was lifted up as though by an invisible hand and thrown against the back wall. He was killed instantly.

"Anyone else care to try me?" Louis asked.

"I do," Lasher said. He made a motion with his hand and the mortal guards that had been lined up against the walls drew their weapons and advanced towards those gathered on the Temple floor.

Louis made a sweeping motion with his hand and the guards were pushed back in a tide until they were shoved helpless against the walls.

"Impressive," Lasher said. "But can you do this?" A wind began to run through the Temple with hurricane force. The huge statues of Memnoch were tipped over onto the floor and those in the Temple had to scramble for safety. One statue would have crushed David if Marius had not pulled him out of the way in time.

"Oh, Lasher," Rowan called. She held up the emerald necklace. "Aren't you forgetting something?"

Lasher stopped the wind at the sight of the old jewel. "Give that to me!"

"I don't think so," Rowan said. She tossed it over to Louis who took hold of it with his mind and smashed it into dust.

Lasher cried out in a telepathic howl. "You will pay for that crime!" he said but he quickly vanished from sight.

The mortal guards beagan to stagger to their feet. They looked around for some form of leadership but all they could find was the dead body of Aiken. Cleopatra was nowhere to be found.

"Here it is," Louis said, "and I will only say it once. This temple is going to be destroyed. I give all of you a fifteen minute head start before I begin. Jesse, go down to the hospital and get rid of the mortals there. Take Marius with you."

David stepped forward. "Louis, are you sure that's--"

Louis fixed him with a dead stare. "Fourteen minutes," he said. "Get. Out."

Nicolas brought the stone down sharply. Lestat's hand shot out and caught Nicolas's before the stone could touch him.

"I don't think so," Lestat said. He squeezed his hand tightly around Nicolas's and noticed as the other vampire shut his eyes in pain. "Oh, does that hurt you?"

"Let go you son of a bitch," Nicolas snarled.

"You watch what you say about Gabrielle," Lestat said. He released his grip on him. Nicolas dropped the stone he was holding in favor of nursing his pain-filled hand. "In fact, you watch what you do in general. You've made nothing but a nuisance of yourself ever since you returned. But I'm a bigger man than you so let me help you forget the pain of having mortal hands."

"How?" Nicolas gasped.

"Like this," Lestat said. He took hold of Nicolas's left hand, massaged it with his fingers then grabbed a loose stone and rammed the sharp end right through the palm, pinning the hand to the roof.

Nicolas screamed. He held on to his left arm and kicked at the stone but only managed to rip the hand itself off in the process. His arm snapped back reflexively with enough momentum to carry him across the roof until he fell through the very hole that his body created when he came up in the first place. He heard even more bones snap as his body hit the Temple floor.

"So, you've come back," Louis said. He was still standing on the alter. Nicolas looked around wildly but could see no one else. Lestat came back down and landed with ease next to Louis.

"I see you've got things here under control," Lestat said.

"I do," Louis said. "I've been quite busy since you left. In fact, I even learned a few things."

Lestat looked interested. "Oh really? What sort of things?"

"All sorts of useful things," Louis said. He went over to one of the idols on the alter. "Like this for example. Did you know that not only does it open the Temple roof--" Louis pushed the idol and the roof of the Temple opened to let in the faint rays of the rising sun "--but it also manipulates the sunlight?" Louis turned the idol and the faint rays sharpened into a thin but powerful beam.

"The light does not hurt me," Nicolas said.

"Oh but it does," Louis said. "Or have you forgotten: 'Louis, please! It took a great amount of effort to rebuild this temple. I'd like to keep it for a bit longer before you turn it back into ashes.' That wasn't the reason why you pulled back! You shielded yourself because of the firelight. You couldn't stand how bright it had gotten. Now then, if the light of a simple fire could make you react so, I wonder what the intensified light of the sun would do to you?" Louis gave the idol another twist and the beam of light moved towards Nicolas.

Nicolas scrambled backwards until he hit the back wall of the Temple. The beam of light went from one side of the Temple to the other, barring any escape. The back doors were locked shut. There was no way out. Louis waited until the beam was only an inch away from hitting him before letting it stop.

"As you can see, Nicki," Lestat said, "Louis and I are *very* disappointed in you. Trying to rule the world we could understand but trying to separate us? Never!"

"Quite unforgiveable," Louis said. "You sealed your own fate with that, really."

"You can't stop me this easily," Nicolas said. He cradled the stump of his arm in his lap and tried to glare at Louis and Lestat but the light of the sun was too blinding. He squinted his eyes and saw a figure emerge from one of the side doors. She walked out directly in the beam of the sun and stood inside of it as she addressed him.

"Nicki, Nicki, Nicki," Cleopatra said. "Look at what has become of you! How unfortunate. Louis was not given Trevor's formula and the mortal that was to be the executioner turns out to be Lestat, come for his revenge. Why, you'd think that someone deliberately set you up."

"You whore!" Nicolas said. "How could you?"

"You shouldn't have gone back on your word," she said. "Making an enemy of me is such a bad thing to do." She turned and faced Louis. "Our truce ends here, vampire. We both got what we wanted. But I warn you, Ramses and his friends are now free game to me."

"I understand," Louis said. He smiled, suddenly. "Of course, I shall warn them accordingly now."

"Of course," Cleopatra said. She gave Nicolas one last look of disgust before leaving. "I'm bored here. I think I'll go take a walk. After all, it's supposed to be a nice, sunny day."

"She has a point, Louis," Lestat said. "Let's end this now so we can go home."

"Agreed," Louis said. He turned the idol once again and Nicolas screamed as he was bathed in the beam of light.

"So nice to have our final farewell," Lestat said.

"I'm afraid not, brother," Lasher appeared. "Cleopatra might not have any further need of him but I do. You cannot have him, just yet."

Lasher took Nicolas in his arms and flew up into the air, disappearing through the opening in the Temple roof.

"Dammit!" Lestat yelled. He was about to go after them when a strong hand held him back.

"Forget it, Lestat," Jesse said. "It's too late. The sun will be completely up soon and then where will we be? He's undoubtedly in the ground already. We'll just have to wait for another time."

"She's right," Marius said. "Nicolas's immediate threat has been stopped. Our own safety is now our prime priority. If we leave now, we can get back to New Orleans before the sun rises there."

"Fine," Lestat sighed. "If we must. Come on, Louis."

"No," Louis said.


"I have to finish this," he said. "Jesse, did you clear out the hospital?"

"Yes," she said. "We didn't find Trevor but we were able to get rid of the other mortals left here."

"Good," Louis said. He stared out at the empty Temple. "You go now. I'll take care of this."

"Yes," Lestat said. "We'll meet you--"

"You too, Lestat."

Lestat looked stunned. "Louis, why can't I stay?"

Louis turned to look directly at him. "I have to do this myself," he said softly. "Go. I'll join you soon. I promise."

Jesse took Lestat by the arm. "Come on, let's go. We need to get back to New Orleans ASAP and I need a ride. Marius is still too weak to carry me."

Lestat frowned, distracted by her presence. "Can't you fly on your own?"

"I haven't fed in so long that I can hardly *walk*," she replied. "Now be the gentlemen you pretend to be and carry me."

"Sure," Lestat said. He put his arm around her waist and waited as Marius rose up through the Temple roof. He looked questioningly at Louis, who had returned to looking out at the Temple itself, then rose up into the air as well. Though he directed his body northwest, he could not help but look back at the temple as a thunderous roar came from it and the great building collapsed in a cloud of dust.

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