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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 8
by the Brat Queen


SINS OF THE PAST
Acts 16-17
A SPECULATION Post


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


Time: An hour later.

Daniel walked along the shoreline, picking his way through the rocks and seashells. Whatever had possessed Lestat to come back here, where he had been found, Daniel did not know.

He found him leaning against a boulder, staring out into the ocean. He was alone. His face was emotionless and Daniel didn't know if he should feel relief that Lestat didn't look depressed, or worry that he didn't look anything at all. Unsure of how to approach the older vampire, Daniel sent a mental feeler ahead to see if he could gauge Lestat's mood. He suddenly felt a sharp pain in his head which forced him to break the connection.

"Try that little stunt again," Lestat said, "and I'll slap you back into the Western hemisphere."

"Sorry," Daniel said. "But did you have to be so rough?"

Lestat turned to look at him. "I'm in a bad mood," he said. "I'm allowed to be rough. Why are you here anyway? Did Marius send you?"

Daniel considered lying but thought better of it. "Yeah, he did," he admitted.

Lestat turned back towards the ocean. "Lovely. Apparently the phrase 'leave me alone' holds no meaning for him. Well you can tell Monsieur Marius that I *had* a father and was considerably unimpressed by his job performance. I've stopped looking to fill that now vacant position and I don't care if he wants it or not!"

"Does he?"

"Mind your own damn business."

"And what is that exactly?" Daniel asked.

"Back at the house, which is where I'd prefer you to be."

"Not on your life," Daniel said. He walked up to Lestat and leaned against the rock beside him. "Armand's in a bitch mood and I don't particularly feel like sitting around bearing the brunt of it. He can fight with Marius on his own time. I'll stay here and listen to your charming attempts at humor."

Lestat frowned. "Armand and Marius are fighting?"

"Well, not as such," Daniel said. "They're actually going around the house trying to prove which one of them can not speak to the other the longest. David cut out to hunt twenty minutes ago. I gave up not long after."

"What are they fighting about?"

"Hell if I know. I thought I might ask you."

Lestat shook his head. "I don't know anything about it," he said. "Yet another thing going on in my life that I'm completely unaware of."

"You're worried about Louis, aren't you?"

"No, Daniel, I'm worried about the ozone layer! What on earth are you thinking of?"

"Hey! There's no need to be sarcastic, I'm worried about him too, you know!"

"So go do something about it," Lestat snapped. "It's not like anything that I do is going to help him."

"What are you talking about? So you didn't find out anything at the Talamasca, big deal. Something's got to come up soon and he'll be back sooner than you think."

"It's not just the Talamasca, Daniel," Lestat said. "This goes back long before that."

Now it was Daniel's turn to frown. "Really? How so?"

Lestat studied Daniel's face for a moment. "Level with me, Daniel. You and Armand, what's going on there?"

"You're changing the subject."

"Fancy me doing whatever the hell I want. Don't change the subject in return, answer the question."

Daniel shrugged. "I don't know. He's so hard to live with sometimes. I think I'm getting close to him, then he does something stupid and shoves me away. Sometimes it's fun, but sometimes.... I don't know."

"Do you love him?"

Daniel tried to think of a snappy comeback and failed. "Yeah," he said. "I honestly do."

Lestat nodded then looked back at the water. "Good. Stick with it, Daniel. It'll be an uphill battle, but he'll come through for you in the end. At least you'll have that." He sighed then spoke as if to himself. "It's more than I ever had."

"Lestat," Daniel said. "With all due respect to the fact that you're older and significantly stronger than I am, can I ask you something?"

"Sure."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"I beg your pardon!"

"How can you say that it's more than you ever had when you have Louis?" Daniel said.

"Daniel," Lestat said. "With all due respect to the fact that I'm pointing out the glaringly obvious, no I don't. Don't push this, Daniel."

"But--"

"I said, don't push this," Lestat said. He began to walk away.

Daniel followed. "Lestat, he's still alive, he's not hurt, he's coming back."

Lestat stopped so abruptly that Daniel nearly crashed into him. "Yes," he said through clenched teeth. "He's still alive, he's not hurt and there's nothing that can stand in his way of coming back now is there so what does that tell you?"

"I--"

"I'll tell you what it tells you! It tells you that the reason he's not coming back is because he doesn't want to! He doesn't want to, Daniel! He doesn't want me!"

"Are you insane? God, Lestat, are you really this dense?"

"Watch it, Daniel!"

"No! I want to know if you really think he doesn't love you."

"I'm not stupid, Daniel. Even I can piece evidence together."

"What evidence is that?"

"Besides the fact that he's not here now?" Lestat asked. "More than I care to mention."

"Give me one then."

Lestat folded his arms and looked Daniel right in the eye. "He shut me out," Lestat said. "He always did. I'm not only speaking about what happened with Juliano, this was all of our lives."

"How do you mean?"

"God, Daniel, are you really this dense?" Lestat mimicked Daniel's tone of voice. "Come on, Daniel, this piece of information was tailored just for you."

"So I'm a little slow at picking it up," Daniel said. "Tell me anyway."

"You honestly--" Lestat put his hand to his forehead and walked a few steps away. "Daniel, he felt more comfortable telling his God damn life story to some stranger he met in a bar than he ever did in telling it to me! Does that spell it out for you? Hell, it was even mostly true. All save that part about seeing me at the end. I really did treat him like crap, Daniel, why would he ever want to come back to me?"

Daniel was stunned. "You mean--he never told you about that? Told you why?"

"No, Daniel," Lestat said, speaking with exaggerated slowness. "He did not tell me why. He did not tell me anything. Ever."

"It was a dream, Lestat," Daniel said.

"Come now, Daniel, can't you come up with something better than an old cliche? If you're going to lie to me, put some originality into it."

"I'm not lying!" Daniel sighed. "Lestat, there was a whole other part to that interview that never made it to any book or movie. He knew that the part about him seeing you again in New Orleans wasn't true. That was the dream. He'd been having it for the whole week before I ever met him. He couldn't stand it. He hadn't heard a thing about you in years and the dream only told him what he didn't want to know: Either you were dead or so far gone that you'd be better off that way."

"That doesn't prove anything," Lestat said.

"You should have seen him when he was talking," Daniel said. "I still curse the fact that I had no video equipment with me. He was so sad that night, there was this emptiness in his eyes that never left him."

"How unlike him to be depressed." Lestat sneered, or tried to.

Daniel ignored him. "It never left him, except when he talked about you. His words, they only hinted at it. I think he was scared to admit how much he cared because he thought you were gone. But his face! There was this look about him whenever he said your name, spoke of going out with you, of being with you. This look of pure joy and happiness that I never saw again until years later."

"And when was that?"

"When he actually saw you again, Lestat."

Lestat grew still. "But, why did he lie?" he asked softly.

"In some part, he wanted everyone to know the truth. He wanted to take away some of the glamour that vampires had gotten. He thought that speaking of his time and loneliness might help."

"And the other part?"

"He wanted it to be true. He wanted, in some small way, for it to be true that you were alive somewhere. He told me to write it that way. That way, to him, you would still be alive. Even if it was only in a book."

"Really," Lestat said, thinking about it, not challenging what Daniel had said.

"There's another part to it," Daniel said. "He knew the truth about Claudia. He knew that he never should have let it happen--"

"It wasn't his fault--"

"It was as much his fault as yours. He knew that. That's why he wanted to speak to me and why he wanted the dream conversation put in. That way, if you were alive, you would know that he was admitting his guilt."

"I thought he blamed me for it," Lestat said. "It's his right, it was my fault, all of it."

"I'm not saying that he thought you were a saint," Daniel said. "He was angry about some of the things you had done. However, he told me that he realized that he hadn't been a prize to live with either, that you weren't entirely to blame for it all."

Lestat grinned. "He actually said 'I was no prize to live with either'?"

"Well, I'm paraphrasing a bit," Daniel smiled. "But the sentiment is there. You can listen to the tapes if you want, I still have them."

Lestat shook his head. "No, that's too personal. I wouldn't do that to Louis."

"Wait a minute, I thought you said you read his diary," Daniel asked.

"That was different," Lestat said. "I *checked* his diary to see that I had the right date for our anniversary, I didn't read the whole thing. There's something that I don't understand though."

"What is it?

"Did he attack you or was that too made up?"

"That was true," Daniel said. "And everything I said which inspired him to do it is true as well. I only cut out the parts in-between the telling of his dream and his asking me to write it as though it had actually happened."

"And you did it even though he attacked you?"

Daniel shrugged. "It was Louis. I couldn't *not* do it, even though he drank from me."

Lestat nodded. "I know the feeling."

"He loves you, Lestat," Daniel said. "He loved you then and he loves you now. If something is making him stay away, it's not you."

"Perhaps you're right," Lestat said. He then began to walk away.

"Where are you going?" Daniel asked, suddenly worried.

"Out to find the best spot to watch the sunrise, I'm going to do it right this time," Lestat called back.

"*What!*" Daniel cried.

Lestat looked at Daniel from over his shoulder and grinned, mischievously. "I'm kidding! Honestly, Daniel, take a joke once in a while."

"Some joke!" Daniel gasped.

Lestat walked back to him, put his arm around him and led him down the beach. "Come along, my friend! We've a long night ahead of us."

"Doing what?" Daniel asked, suspiciously.

"What else? We're going to go hunt and then we're going to find my beautiful Louis. And nothing, but *nothing* will keep me from him this time!"


Time: afternoon.

Ash came into the kitchen just as Rowan put the phone down.

"The young vampire," he said. "He is alright?"

"So it would seem," Rowan said. "He and Daniel have gone off somewhere without telling anyone, but apparently that's a good thing for him."

Ash laughed. "The impetuousness of youth. But what of the others? Have we heard anything about them?"

Rowan shook her head. "Not a word. Although I think it's safe to say that once we find one of them, we'll find the rest."

"True," Ash said. "If only that first step was not so difficult."

"If we weren't stuck *here* perhaps we could get something done," Rowan said.

"I'm not having much more fun than you are," Mona said as she entered the room with Morrigan right behind her. "But Michael was right. They've taken a two vampires and an immortal. It only makes sense that one of us is next."

"Agreed," Morrigan said. "It might further be said that our enemy not only wanted to bring our species together, but specific members of said species. Our thoughts may have been too general. Though we have all been subject to numerous threats, it would seem that the first stage of attack is capturing those of us that he or she wants. Until we know who our enemy wants next, our best plan is to remain guarded at all times. Since we have no locations which suggest themselves as being conducive to our learning more of our attacker and since Ramses, Michael and Eliott are already out checking what avenues of information that we do have, our staying here is as proper a plan as any until further information presents itself."

Rowan made a face. "I know. It doesn't mean I have to be pleased with it though."

"And I'm feeling completely useless," Mona said.

"Be careful of what you wish for," Ash said. "I believe we shall certainly regret when it comes true. Our enemy has proven to be a worthy one. It will not be easy to take him down."

"Or her," Mona said, absently.

"We should try to do *something* while we're here," Rowan said.

"What do you suggest?" Ash asked.

"Trying to figure out who our enemy wants," Rowan replied. "If Morrigan is right, then the attacks aren't random. There must be some method to it all."

"That could be any of us," Mona said. "We can narrow it down to the witches and the Taltos, but I don't think we have enough evidence to suggest if we can narrow it down further still."

"Can't we?" Rowan asked, thoughtfully. "The Taltos are the only ones who have not suffered an attack of any kind. They weren't even at the party the night of that 'visit'."

"We cannot eliminate anyone on the basis of attacks such as those," Morrigan said. "Remember that Eliott's house was set on fire, yet Julie was still taken. I don't think that we can include such things in our equation."

"There must be some common denominator," Rowan said.

"It's an elusive one, if there is," Morrigan said. "The files taken from the Talamasca covered the full range of knowledge about us so there is no denominator there. There is no pattern that can be seen from how our companions were captured as it was one experienced, male vampire, a female fledgling and a female immortal. It could be suggested that, if a pattern existed, the next capture would be a male immortal and one of us. But such a pattern is more mathematical in nature and not the sort of one that an actual person of any species would use."

Ash studied the piles of papers scattered over the kitchen table. "If only we could figure out which one of us is next. That way we could keep them protected and draw our enemy out."

"Or," Rowan said. "We could leave them open and use them as bait."

"Rowan, what are you saying?"

"Don't misunderstand me," Rowan said. "I'm not suggesting we stupidly put ourselves in danger. But we do have something that our enemy wants. We should use that to our advantage to bring our enemy closer and find out more about him."

"That is far too risky," Ash said.

"Is it?" Rowan asked. "Look at who is left around us. We're all very powerful in what we are. If our enemy could take us, he would have done so by now. I think this last capture is proving too difficult for him. If we opened things up a bit, made it appear that the one he wanted was within his range, he might drop his guard long enough for us to find out just what we need to know to defeat him."

"Or perhaps our enemy is waiting so that *we* will drop *our* guard long enough for him to take who he needs," Ash said. "There are many things to consider here."

"I know," Rowan said. "But it's an idea worth exploring. Why don't we--" The sound of the front doorbell ringing interrupted her.

"I'll see what it is," Morrigan said and left the room before anyone could stop her.

There was no one waiting for her when she opened the front door. She quickly checked to see where the guards where and found them in their proper places: two by the gate and two walking up and down the length of the porch. Curious, she looked around her. She found a small package lying on the floor in front of her. She picked it up and quickly opened it. Inside there was a small pin in the shape of a monkey.

"Excuse me," she called to the guards. "But who left this here?"

"Someone just dropped it off," one of the guards said. "They said something about giving it to 'the red-haired beauty'. We didn't want to leave our posts so we put it there."

"I see, thank you," Morrigan said and went back inside. She examined the little trinket and found it to be harmless. *It must be for Mother. She must have some new suitor that she has not had the time to tell me about.* She put it in her pocket, deciding to give it to Mona when they had some time alone and could talk about who had sent it. Until then, she would keep it to herself. *What a lovely surprise it will be!*

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