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Eternal II: Perfect Memory

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Posted to the RareSlash mailing list September 6, 2002

Title: Eternal II: Perfect Memory
Author/pseudonym: Caroline Crane
Fandom: The Forsaken
Paring: Sean/Nick
Rating: PG13
Status: new
Archive: yes to list archives
E-mail address for feedback: caroline_crane@hotmail.com
Series/Sequel: part 2 of 3. That's it. I swear.
Other websites: http://desiderium.slashcity.net
Notes: This part is significantly shorter than the first part, but I never did get the tone quite the way I wanted it so basically I'm settling. Hopefully part 3 will make up for that.
Summary: Nick looks back on his relationship with Sean and the choices he's made.
Warnings: Spoilers for pretty much the whole movie



        A fucking poem. It still makes me laugh every time I think of it, seducing the guy with a goddamn poem. It's not like I set out to do it; I was trying really hard not to let him see what he did to me, even after he spent three months driving around trying to find me. I mean I'm not an idiot so I pretty much figured when he pulled up next to me that it was about more than him feeling like he owed me. When I saw it was him in that car I was so goddamn happy to see him I could have cried. I wanted to cry, wanted to pull him out of the car and press him up against the door and show him just how glad I was to see him.

        And I knew I could have, that he would have grinned and wrapped himself around me and told me this was exactly what he'd been hoping for when he finally tracked me down. I don't think he'll ever really understand why I didn't just tell him right then, why I didn't kiss him or tell him to stop at the first motel we passed. That was what I wanted to do, and I knew if I asked him to pull over and spend a night or two making up for lost time he would have. That was why he followed me in the first place, it wasn't like he would have argued about getting what he wanted without even having to work for it.

        I didn't know for sure that he'd come after me, though, so when he pulled up next to me it was enough of a surprise to keep me from doing anything I would have regretted the next day. Maybe the letter I left him was kind of desperate, my way of asking him to follow me without having to feel like I'd forced it on him. It was just that when we were together, even when we were fighting off vampires or fighting about whether or not to keep Megan off the drug, I liked having him around. It wasn't like I was lonely before he came along, but after I left him in that hospital I sure as hell was.

        When he finally pulled up next to me I told myself just the fact that he was there was enough. I didn't need to touch him, I just needed to know that he wanted to be with me. I fed myself that line for another three months after he picked me up, and I'd probably still be telling myself that if I hadn't given in that night. I still don't know what made that night different, why I could lie next to him every night for three months and never touch him, then lose it over a stupid book.

        Okay, so it wasn't really the book. It was the way he looked at me when he said he liked the way it sounded when I recited the fucking poems. Like it was my voice that was the turn-on, like I could have been reading him a grocery list and he would have gotten off on it. Or maybe it was just that he didn't try to make me feel stupid for knowing that stuff. I mean there was a time when I actually cared about that shit, thought it would matter one way or the other whether or not I knew what Milton was getting at when he wrote 'Paradise Lost'. And part of me still kinda missed that, I missed being able to pretend that stuff still made a difference to anybody.

        So when he looked at me like he thought it might still matter...I just lost it, I guess. I let my guard down long enough to make a move, and he was more than willing to go along for the ride. I always figured he would be, that he'd be the type to feel first and ask questions later. Which is pretty much exactly how it went down; he let me fuck him, then he let me fall asleep on him. When I woke up a couple hours later he was walking out of the bathroom smelling like cheap shampoo, and once he'd kissed me again he started asking questions.

        First he asked me why I'd made him wait so long. He didn't say it out loud but I could tell he was a little pissed that we'd wasted six months when we could have been fucking every night since he got released from the hospital. It wasn't even just the fucking, though - I mean I wanted him, I still want him all the time. He's practically all I ever think about, but it's not just the sex. He loves me, he never said it out loud but I know he does. And damn if I didn't love him too, I just didn't love him enough to sacrifice what I wanted to keep him safe.

        I know what he'd say if he heard me talking like that, he'd say he could take care of himself and then he'd bitch me out for trying to make decisions for him. The thing is the guy's got a death wish, he'd have to or he wouldn't have tracked me down knowing what could have been waiting for him. He had no way to know whether I was still the guy he remembered, the virus has been in my system for closing in on two years now and nobody knows for sure how long the drugs work. So he could have been asking to die, or at least gotten bitten again. I don't know which he'd think was worse, but I know I don't want to be the one to do that to him.

        That was why I was so worried about protection, because I didn't know whether he could get the virus from other things besides blood. There's no research on how it's transmitted, I'm just lucky they figured out a drug that slows it down. I didn't know if he could get it just from sucking me off, and I didn't want to make him sick again. It was my fault he got infected the first time...I didn't bite him, but if it wasn't for me he wouldn't have wound up in that bathroom to get bitten.

        When he asked me why it took me so long to give in that's what I told him, that I didn't want to run the risk of infecting him again. He looked like he didn't think that was a very good excuse, like maybe he thought I was just a coward and I didn't want to make a move until I was sure. Maybe that was part of it, who knows. But he forgets what happened the first time he got sick, how fast the virus took hold of him and how the drugs weren't really working. If he hadn't killed his Forsaken that night...I don't know for sure, but he might not have had much time left. I could have lost him out in that desert, and I still wake up from nightmares about watching him turn to dust.

        That alone should have been enough to stop me from ever touching him. It didn't, though, and that's the part that made it hard to sleep for those first few weeks. I could barely look in the mirror back then, I felt so fucking selfish for risking his life when he'd given up everything to try to save mine. He had nothing to go back to: no job, no apartment, he'd even sold all his stuff just to keep himself going long enough to find me. I don't know if he ever even stopped to think about what would happen if he didn't find me, or if he found me after it was too late. I guess neither of us liked thinking about that possibility too much, but we both knew the chances of catching up with my Forsaken got a little more slim every day.

        Once he got over being mad at me for holding out on him he started asking questions that really made me wonder, like what I knew about vampires and how much they remembered after they turned. I mean I'd wondered the same thing myself, I'd thought about how much I'd remember if I didn't find my Forsaken. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to go through with killing myself, but I was pretty sure once I turned completely that I wouldn't want to.

        Sean would never do it, even if he promised me he'd go through with it I know he wouldn't be able to. I wouldn't ask him anyway, because I wouldn't want him to have to live with that. The questions made me worry, though, because it almost sounded like he was trying to figure out if he could stay with me after I turned. I might have been pissed at him for giving up if I hadn't wondered the same thing myself, but I never would've said any of that to him. Even when he asked me I wouldn't admit that I'd thought about it, I just told him I didn't know and it didn't fucking matter because as soon as we tracked the fucker down and dusted him we could forget all about this vampire bullshit.

        He could tell I was lying, but he didn't push it. Maybe he knew it would just start a fight, and he didn't want to fight any more than I did. Neither of us knew how much time we had left, so it seemed pretty stupid to argue about stuff we didn't have any control over. Fighting over his bad fucking taste in music was one thing, but fighting over whether or not I was scared to die just wasn't worth it.

        I guess the hardest part was that I never expected to fall for him. Until I met him I didn't even think about shit like that, all I worried about was where the Forsaken was going and how long it was gonna take me to catch up with him. It's not like I was a virgin before Sean came along; I'd picked up guys along the road every once in awhile, and before that I had a whole life. I'd always figured love was something chicks made up to give themselves an excuse to stay in lousy relationships, but when I met Sean all that changed.

        Not right away - to tell you the truth I didn't even like him that much at first. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have kicked him out of bed even then. But he came off sorta uptight, like he'd spent his whole life playing by the rules. I got the feeling he thought driving that car across country was some kind of big adventure, which meant either he didn't get out much or he'd never learned how to have a good time. He tried to act like he knew what he was doing, but it was pretty obvious right from the start that he didn't have a clue.

        Clueless looks pretty good on Sean, so I could've done a lot worse as rides went. But once he got bit and he became part of my one-man crusade I started really paying attention to what was going on under the surface. And it turned out he was more than just another L.A. pretty boy that didn't care about anything but what was staring back at him from the mirror. The fact that he cared about me...well, that pretty much blew my mind.

        Hell, for awhile I thought he was into Megan. I'd be pretty embarrassed about throwing a little jealous tantrum over him wanting to put her on the drugs if I thought he'd even noticed, but I really don't think he knew I was into him until long after he tracked me down on the way to Colorado. And that's what makes this whole thing so unbelievable - he came after me even before he knew how I felt about him, he spent over three months tracking me down just because he couldn't stand the thought of me on the road by myself.

        He actually told me that one night, not long after we starting sleeping together. I'd gotten sick of listening to him harp on the three months I made him wait for me to finally give in, so I finally asked him why he didn't just come right out and tell me what he wanted from me. He got this look on his face...it killed me to see him looking at me like that, all insecure and embarrassed about whatever he was about to admit. I wanted to tell him to forget it, to lean forward and kiss him again until he forgot what the question was. Part of me wanted to hear the answer, though, so I let him talk.

        When he told me he wasn't sure I'd still want him around if I knew how he felt about me I felt like the biggest jerk ever born. That was the closest I ever came to just coming right out and telling him just how much I wanted him around, just laying it all on the line so no matter what happened he'd always know for sure how crazy I was about him. Instead I just kissed him, which didn't even come close to the whole truth but it was the best I could give him.

        The thing was I could never give him as much as he deserved, and I knew as long as I had this thing in me I'd never be able to. He never complained, though, even when he was bitching me out for wasting that first three months he never tried to make me feel like it was my fault we didn't know how much time we had. That didn't stop me from feeling guilty, but he never tried to make me feel that way. He seemed like he took the whole thing in stride, and sometimes his upbeat routine got under my skin so bad I just wanted to shake him until he admitted that he was scared.

        I just wanted to hear him admit out loud, just once, that maybe we weren't gonna find my Forsaken. Maybe we were gonna run out of luck after all, the trail would dry up and then he'd have to make a decision. And what kind of fucked up decision would that be? Me asking Sean to decide if he loves me enough to kill me before I turn on him...I couldn't do that to him. He should be worrying about his career, how he's gonna pay next month's rent, maybe whether or not his sister's gonna freak when he comes out to her. He shouldn't be worrying about whether or not to kill his boyfriend when he turns into a bloodsucker.

        Telling him that wouldn't do any good, so I never tried. He knew it anyway, he was just ignoring the obvious because he didn't want to write me off until he had to. And I was grateful - maybe he'll never know how grateful I was, but if he hadn't showed up when he did I might not have survived as long as I have. I can feel the virus getting stronger inside me, but I could ignore it as long as he was with me. As soon as I was alone again it got harder to ignore...I could hear the fucking thing whispering to me, like my Forsaken was inside my head, calling me from wherever the hell he was hiding. And part of me wants to listen, that's the worst part.

        I'm still fighting it, maybe because I have a feeling Sean's still out there fighting for me. I don't know if he'll try to come after me or if he'll just keep hunting, but I'm hoping if he's too stupid to go back to L.A. and give up on me that he at least keeps looking for the Forsaken. At least that way he'd be saving the others, the ones that still have a chance. It's too late for me; I don't know how I know, but I do. So I left him behind where he'd be safe...safe from me, and how fucked up is it that I love him, but I still have to protect him from myself?

        It took me a few days after I decided to leave him to actually go. He probably wasn't all that surprised, I'd been quieter than usual for awhile and judging by the looks he'd been giving me when he thought I was asleep I could tell he knew something was up. I didn't slip out of bed and ditch him after one last round of mind-blowing sex or anything like that, although maybe that would have been some kind of weird poetic justice considering all the drama we'd been through since we met. It would have been too easy for him to find me if I did that, especially if I was on foot. I couldn't take the risk that I wouldn't get a ride before he came looking for me, so instead of ditching him while he was asleep I did it pretty much right under his nose.

        I wasn't ready to leave him even then, and if he caught up with me again right now I might not have the strength to tell him to fuck off. I had to take the opportunity when it came up, though, because I knew the only way to keep him from throwing his life away on me was getting far away from him as fast as I could. So when he pulled into a crowded truck stop I followed him inside, only when I got up from our table and said I was gonna go piss I went back outside and got my bag instead.

        I don't know why I bothered taking the pills with me, I guess it's more habit to take them than actual need at this point. I can tell they aren't working anymore, at least not like they should. So it's only a matter of days, or maybe I have a couple good weeks left. Sean wouldn't have understood why I couldn't spend them with him - why I couldn't wake up one night with a bloodlust so strong that I didn't even know it was him I was sinking my fangs into.

        Even thinking about it now makes me crazy, nauseous but wanting it at the same time, like my blood's actually humming in my veins. It's a weird fucking feeling, and I know if I hadn't left when I did there was no way I would have been strong enough to walk away before it was too late. I was lucky there was a guy willing to give me a ride before Sean caught on to what I was doing and came after me; the last thing I needed was some big scene in a truck stop parking lot in redneck country, because I know Sean would have been too pissed to worry about pretending we were just friends.

        It's kind of a funny image, picturing Sean standing in the middle of a parking lot screaming at me for trying to leave him again. Only I still would have gone, and then he would've been alone with a whole bunch of truckers that probably wouldn't have thought twice about doing a little queer-bashing to round out their afternoons. Ditching him that way meant I didn't have to picture him hanging around some motel room hoping I'd come back, too, and maybe that was kind of selfish but I already felt bad enough for leaving without saying goodbye without adding that image to my guilty conscience.

        And the funny thing is that after a couple days without him around, I kind of miss all the stupid fucking questions he used to ask. I never had answers for him, not ones that he wanted to accept, anyway, but at least when he was around to ask them it gave me something to think about. Now all I think about is him, what he's doing and whether or not he wised up enough to figure out I'm not worth tracking down again. I wouldn't even mind answering his stupid questions. Maybe I should write him another letter, send it to his sister in Florida. At least I could finally tell him that he was right all along about one thing - turning won't make me forget that I love him.

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