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Home / Fan Fiction / V(cough) C(cough) fic / 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.

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 love with.

"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 dreams."

"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 side.

"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 color before.

"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."

"Marius--"

"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 vampire's body.

"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 before.

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."

"David--"

"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.

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