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A Small Space of Time
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."
A Small Space of Time, a 'tweener spec, Year 1
by the Brat Queen
Please read Susie's "No Words at All" before reading this.
As the sunlight fell safely beyond the horizon, David felt himself
begin to wake, his dreams vanishing from his conscious mind just as the
rays of light disappeared from the sky. And what dreams they had been!
Dreams of hotel rooms and long blond hair and lions and Marius.
David opened his eyes and saw the ancient Roman lying beside him.
Marius! The Child of the Millennia, the keeper of Those Who Must Be Kept
and, as of the night before, the only vampire that David had ever made
"You're awake. Good." Marius said. He turned on his side and
looked at David with his deep blue eyes. "I didn't want to move for fear
that I'd disturb you."
"After last night's activity, I don't think an earthquake could
have disturbed me," David replied.
Marius laughed. "You slept well then?"
"Yes," David said. "Although I must say that I had the strangest
"Really? What kind of dreams?"
David shrugged. "I hardly remember them now. And I don't think I
could explain them if I could, they were a string of non sequiturs that
boggled the mind. In one of them, yes, I do remember that in one of them
I was in the jungle and that there was a castle but the courtyard, instead
of people, was full of lions."
Marius raised an eyebrow. "A *Lioncourt*?"
"Bite your tongue!" David said with a mock shudder. "Dear God, I
hope not. He's the last person we need to see right now."
"Too true," Marius said. He lay back in the bed. He was about to
speak, but stopped and looked at David thoughtfully.
"Yes?" David asked, unsure what to make of Marius's gaze.
"I have just realized that last night I did something that Lestat
never could. And moreover I'm in the odd position of scolding myself for
being proud of that fact!" Marius reached over and put his hand against
David's cheek. "I'm not sure what to make of it."
David found himself leaning into Marius's touch without having to
will himself to do so. What was it that made Marius's hand, something
that would be as stone to anyone else, seem so gentle against his skin?
"Why make anything of it?" David asked softly, not even sure anymore if
the words he said made sense or if he had even spoken aloud. All he knew
was the soft feel of Marius's palm which carried inside of it the steady
beat of Marius's heart. A heart that was starting to pound quicker.
And how many moments passed as they lay like that? Frozen in
place, neither daring to move, neither daring to even look into the
other's eyes for fear of seeing what they did not want to see, the names
that they did not want to speak, the reality that was slowly coming upon
them, sending a deep chill into their minds as the memories of what had
been forgotten the night before came back to them. And it was only until
David's lips nearly touched Marius's--a movement of which neither of them
had been aware of until it happened--that reality refused to be ignored
any longer and cruelly cut between them, physically forcing David's head
to turn away at the last minute and Marius's hand to fall back to his
"We should get dressed," Marius said, his back to David as he got
up from the bed. He retreated into the bathroom and politely left David
to find his clothes in the other room, not coming out until more than
enough time had passed for the both of them to hide the most personal
evidence of their activities the night before. Except for one.
"It would appear that I am without a shirt," David said. He held
the remains of the shirt he had worn in a ball so that the tears in the
cloth could not be seen. "I suppose that I could wear my coat wrapped
tightly against me but I don't believe that will go unnoticed,
particularly in a hotel of this stature."
"You could borrow a shirt of mine," Marius said. "It is only that I
have not yet had the chance to fully supply myself here. I only have two
shirts. This one--" he lightly tugged on the front of the shirt he was
wearing "and--and that one," he finished softly and gestured to the red
shirt that was still lying on the floor. The one that he had been wearing
when David arrived.
"Considering the alternatives," David said wryly, "I'll take it."
He threw his old shirt into a wastebasket then put the red shirt on. As
he finished buttoning the last button, he caught sight of himself in a
mirror. He found himself staring at his reflection. He'd never worn this
"Do you think it suits you?" Marius asked.
"I believe that I could get used to it," David said. He caught
sight of Marius in the mirror. They watched each other for a moment,
brown eyes on blue, until David broke away. "I'm still not quite
presentable yet. If I might make use of your bathroom?"
"Of course," Marius said, stepping away as David passed by.
The bathroom was outfitted in antique marble and brass, but David
only barely made note of this. He turned on the cold water in the sink
and splashed it on his face. When that didn't help, he turned the water
off and placed his hands firmly on the marble countertop, leaning forward
until his forehead was pressed against the mirror in front of him. His
hands were trembling and he knew that he could not leave the bathroom
until he could somehow gain control of his hands.
What was he thinking? Where was the old, sensible David Talbot?
But then again, who wanted that David? And what was wrong with
thinking these thoughts? Why couldn't he and Marius stay this way, just
for a little while?
His hands had stopped shaking, though the ideas that had made them
shake had not stopped in turn. He wiped his face with a towel then walked
back into the room where Marius had stayed.
Marius was sitting in one of the armchairs, looking through a book
of maps. He did not look up when David came in and instead placed the
book on the endtable by his side, his fingers tracing the pages that the
book was open to.
"Have you ever been to Japan, David?" Marius asked, still not
looking at him.
"Yes, years ago," David said. "On business."
"It's an extraordinary country, isn't it? It's truly like another
world. Nothing is the same. Not the language, not the people, not the
customs. One can go there and get lost in it all. It's almost as though,
over there, you're given a completely new life and nothing of your past
life is remembered." Marius looked up then, his blue eyes forcibly neutral
as though they were talking of nothing important such as the weather, or
the color of a man's shirt. "I have a place there. Right here, not far
from the coast." He pointed it out on the map. "Did you know that?"
"No," David said.
"That's right, who would have told you? None of the others know of
it," Marius continued to look at him, hardly blinking. "It's nothing
extravagant. Just a small little home. I didn't want anything grand, that
wasn't important. The important thing was that it didn't stand out, that
it was a place where I could go and disappear and not have to worry about
responsibilities. Do you know what I mean?"
"Yes," David said. "A place where you could get away from all the
things that bind you, that you have to care for. Not because you don't
want to care for them, but because you realize that you never knew when
you began to care for these things, that they just came upon you without
your even questioning it at the time and you know that you can't leave
forever, you only want a small space of time when none of it is upon you."
"Exactly," Marius said. "A small space of time to get away from
every little worry, even the worry of having to tell everyone that you've
gone. Oh, you don't want to frighten them. It's a quick enough time that
that shouldn't happen and even if it did, the relief and happiness that is
felt when you see them again more than outweighs the not telling." Marius
turned back to the book. "When I was a mortal, it would take years to
journey to the East. Now, the journey can take place in a few scant
hours. It is possible to 'do' it in a weekend, as they say."
"David, I have some business to attend to, some people that I must
speak with very soon. I cannot avoid that meeting. But after that--after
that it is a very long night, longer still if one flies away from the
light of the sun and one night is a very small space of time for two
people to spend together, don't you think?" They were together again,
standing inches apart. David could feel the fine trembling in the older
"I'll wait here," David whispered.
"No," Marius said. "You need to hunt, we both do and my meeting is
not near this hotel. Let me give you an address to meet me--" Marius
took pen and paper from the desk and scribbled down the information.
"Here. Meet me there in an hour. I can get there immediately after I'm
done. You have only to wait for me."
"Of course I will," David said. He took the slip of paper from
Marius, drawing the other man close as he did so, their lips coming
together for a second that stretched into a minute.
"One hour," Marius said. He caressed David's cheek, then left.
Fifty minutes later, David found himself in a restaurant,
pretending to drink a glass of Scotch. For the first time since he had
known the taste of blood, he wished he could drink it for real.
Not knowing how to spend the time until he met Marius at the
restaurant, David had hunted, then impulsively decided to try to sneak
back into the Rue Royale flat and change into new clothes. He had thought
it would be difficult to get past Louis and Lestat who would undoubtedly
be waiting for his return so he wisely scanned ahead. He couldn't read
Lestat's mind, of course, but he could read Louis' and he was skilled
enough at telepathy so that he could only touch the outer fringe of Louis'
thoughts without Louis ever becoming aware of it.
And Louis hadn't been aware of it. Louis wasn't aware of
anything, really, except Lestat. David's scan found them in Lestat's
bedroom, their minds solidly shielded but their actions perfectly clear.
They hadn't even noticed that David hadn't returned the night
David checked his watch. Fifty-five minutes. Never had an hour
seemed so long to him, never had time gone so slowly. He had to force
himself not to look towards the door every time it opened, his neck was
beginning to get tired. Instead, he watched as the ice melted in his drink
and only looked up when a shadow fell on his table.
"Mr. Talbot? David Talbot?"
"Yes?" David looked up at the man who had spoken. He was a young
man, perhaps not even twenty, and he was wearing a uniform of an employee
of the Pontchartrain Hotel. "I am David Talbot."
"I was told to come here and tell you--"
"Never mind that," Marius appeared behind the young man. He
slipped a few bills into the uniform pocket and indicated that the man
should leave. "I'm here now. You can go."
Marius had changed. This impacted on David's mind more than the
retreating form of the young man. He had not completely changed clothes,
but he was wearing a long coat that he wasn't wearing when David saw him
last. Marius had gone back to the hotel.
"David, I'm sorry," Marius said. "I have to leave. I can only
stay a moment, my limo is waiting for me outside--"
"When are you coming back?" David asked, his voice not quite his
own. He already knew the answer from the look in Marius's eyes.
"I have to leave New Orleans," Marius said. "I don't know how long
I will be gone. Something has come up with Pandora. That's what my
meeting was about. She needs--she's in a bad way, right now. I don't
know how long it will last."
"You sent a messenger," David said, an accusation, not a question.
"That was earlier. It was another message. I had no idea he would
be so slow. It was about something else."
David stared at his drink, refusing to look anywhere else. "I've
never met Pandora. I've heard of her though. Lestat has spoken of her.
Not to me, of course, in his novels. She's one of the older ones, isn't
she? Certainly your oldest child."
"What?" David looked at him then and, when Marius could find no
other words to say, looked back at his drink. "It's unfortunate. You
would think that being that old would protect one from such damage. Or at
the very least that living through so much would make one used to it but
it would appear that it doesn't. But look at me. Here I am rambling on
about philosophy when you have a living person who needs you right now.
Look, I believe that's your limo driver at the door. You should go. You
probably have a plane to catch. Go on. I'd hate to think that I made you
late with my musings. Have you spoken to Lestat or Louis?"
"No, I didn't have the time."
"That's alright, I'll speak to them for you, explain why you left.
I'm sure they'll understand."
The limo driver approached then, keeping a respectful distance
away, but making it clear that there was no time left.
"I'm sorry, David," Marius said. He reached out to touch David's
arm, but made a fist of his hand before he was close enough. He tapped
the table lightly with his knuckles before turning away.
David could see Marius's reflection in the mirror behind the bar.
He looked there and watched as Marius paused at the door, looking at the
reflection of David in the glass, then disappeared into the dark night.