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Rob Thurman fic: Blood and Trust

September 4th, 2007 (05:23 pm)

Title: Blood and Trust

Summary: Cal never would have wanted this, never wanted to live like this. That hardly made it easier to accept--his brother's blood, literally on his hands.

A/N: It's NOT fic about Sam and Dean! What is the world coming to!?! But it IS the next best thing, which I have decided is fic based on Rob Thurman's series about Cal and Niko Leandros. The first one is called "Nightlife" and if you like Supernatural, I think you'd enjoy these books. Brotherly bonds in the chaos of fighting the supernatural. You can't ask for much more. So go out, buy them and read them :)

A/N 2: This is a missing scene from the end of "Nightlife." That story is all in Cal's POV, so here's Niko's POV after the end up at Rafferty's. It's mostly gratuitous, but it was fun to write. Thanks to 

sendintheklowns for the beta and geminigrl11 for the last minute look over. 

A/N 3:  My amazing friend Brenna is trying to get a site up and running for this series.  So check us out at Light in the Darkness.  Hopefully there will be updates soon :)

Disclaimer: I do not own these! Rob Thurman does and she is awesome!

-o-

Rafferty's place wasn't fancy, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it was small and efficient. Niko had appreciated that in the past, just as much as he'd appreciated Rafferty's straightforward approach to things. The healer wasn't a man who messed around. He took nothing for granted.

People like them couldn't afford to.

They were all people with something to lose. Rather, they were people who had already lost too much and were clinging to the remnants of what was left.

Niko sighed, scrubbing a hand over his face. He figured that was the only reason Raff had been as gracious as he had been. Clearly the healer didn't like the idea of healing something truly evil, but he of all people understood that sometimes evil wasn't as clear as black and white.

Robin had crashed in a spare room, after hovering for a few hours. The puck had watched the action, afraid and tentative. Niko had been reluctant to trust Goodfellow--trust was not something he gave easily, but Robin had been steady by Niko's side. He'd been there when no one else was, when Niko was coming apart, and that meant more than Niko could even verbalize. While he had nothing to say to Goodfellow, he certainly did not begrudge the puck's subtle strength.

Raff was out with Catcher, albeit somewhat reluctantly. Apparently while Rafferty was willing to help, he didn't like leaving Darkling unattended, not even with Niko. Because among the three of them, it was clear the healer was the only one who had much ability to control Darkling.

Well, control him without killing him, Niko thought to himself with a rueful smile.

Rafferty had cleaned the place up, mopped the floor of all the blood, and for that, Niko was grateful. Not that it made a lot of difference. He could still see it, still feel it.

Blood he had spilled.

Cal's blood.

After 17 years of protecting Cal, of parenting Cal, he'd thrust a sword into his little brother's gut.

He'd done it to save him; Niko had no illusions otherwise, but he'd done it nonetheless. Cal never would have wanted this, never wanted to live like this. That hardly made it easier to accept--his brother's blood, literally on his hands.

The monster half of Cal was undeniable. It was in his genetics. But that wasn't Cal. It had never been Cal, no matter how afraid of it Cal had been. Because Cal was stronger than his genes. He was stronger than a lot of things.

He had to be, to make it this far.

But Niko didn't know if he was stronger than this.

Glancing over at the bed where Cal was stretched out, Niko could only hope he was right about that, that there was something left of Cal left to save. His little brother's memories were certainly still there, that much was certain, but he had no way of knowing if any of his consciousness remained exclusively his, if something inside of Cal was inside fighting against Darkling for all he was worth.

Sighing, he pushed himself up off the cot he was on and moved to his brother's side. Rafferty's healing had done its trick--the last time he'd check the wound, it was stitching nicely, already nothing more than a scar. The blood loss was the only thing that still had a lingering effect. Despite Rafferty's efforts to speed up the production of blood cells, Cal was still pale. Well, paler than usual. Cal was always pale, but the blood loss gave him a lifeless air that unnerved Niko more than the Auphe in Cal ever had before.

He let his hand drop lightly on Cal's forehead. His younger brother would scowl if he saw that, but Rafferty had assured him that Cal would be out for hours.

Besides, it wasn't like Cal was exactly Cal at the moment.

Which really was the problem.

He swallowed hard, smiling softly down at his brother. "I'm sorry," he murmured. "It was never supposed to get this far."

It was supposed to be over at the warehouse when they closed the rift. Niko had gone to the warehouse with every intention of killing his brother, of ending his brother's torment.

He had accepted that Cal was dead to him. Accepted it, grieved it. Sheared his hair and prepared to move on.

And for the second time Niko could remember, he failed.

The first had been the day when Cal was 14, the day he had planned to take his brother away from their mother, from their poverty, from their misery once and for all. The day that Cal disappeared.

Cal had always thought him strong for staying there, for sticking it out and waiting for him, but Cal had been wrong about that.

Niko had stayed because he was weak. He was terrified. He didn't know how to live without his brother. He didn't want to live without his brother.

It had been his weakness then. It was his weakness now.

Because after he'd run his sword through his brother, as he'd seen the blood covering his brother's hands, he knew he couldn't let it happen.

It didn't matter that he'd come prepared for this. It didn't matter that Darkling would never let go. Niko couldn't live without his brother.

"I had to save you," he said, his fingers running smoothly through Cal's hair. The dark locks were greasy, limpid against Cal's skin. "I couldn't let you die."

And Cal couldn't already be dead. Cal didn't survive Sophia, he didn't survive the Auphe, he didn't survive a mortal stab wound to die because of some hitchhiking Darkling. It didn't matter what Darkling said. It didn't matter what Darkling believed. Cal was stronger than that.

He studied his brother, the still features, the slow rise and fall of his chest, and he realized something.

"Back in the park, you had a chance to kill me," he said. "Why didn't you?"

He didn't expect a response, but he didn't need one.

Because it wasn't just the park. It was every meeting he'd ever had with Darkling. Yes, Darkling had tried to kill him. But if Darkling was half the creature he claimed to be, Niko should be dead by now. Not even Cal was that sloppy.

Unless Cal was still in there, fighting this. Not much, but just enough to slow Darkling down, to distract him, to make him think twice.

Cal could do that.

Cal would do that.

He smiled. "I never should have underestimated you, little brother," he said. "It is not a mistake I will make again."

That meant he needed a plan. He needed a way to get Darkling out of there, once and for all.

"He's found a perch he likes."

Robin was right. Darkling did like Cal or he would have left when the whole thing went south.

"Short of killing Cal, I honestly don't see a way of shaking him loose."

Niko's heart clenched, and his hand stilled on his brother's head.

Killing Cal.

It was what he had started, to put Cal out of his misery.

It was what he could finish, to save Cal once and for all.

His throat tightened, hating the plan even as he formed it. He closed his eyes against his doubts, willing them away.

He opened them again, looking down at his brother, trying to remember the familiar shade of gray behind his brother's eyelids and how much he'd give to see them again.

"Just hold on, Cal," he said. "We'll get him out. Trust me."

Cal didn't need to answer for Niko to know he did.

Comments

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 8th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
dude

I love finding out new people who like these books!! I feel like the whole WORLD should know, or at least the entire SPN fandom.

And the focus on family is so good in these books, and in some ways, I really enjoy Cal's nearly total acceptance of his darkness. And how in the end it makes him light.

Niko's hair just KILLED me. That was such a cool touch.

Thanks!

Posted by: percysowner (percysowner)
Posted at: September 5th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC)

Another Rob Thurman fan, yippee! I loved Nightlife and just got Moonshine. This goes perfectly with the first book, and I love seeing Nico's POV. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 8th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
more brothers

Sweet! Rob Thurman fans UNITE!

Niko's POV is fun to write in. Maybe because I already am predisposed to make Cal limp...

Posted by: sendintheclowns (sendintheklowns)
Posted at: September 11th, 2007 03:49 am (UTC)
cradle

I love this peak into Niko's mind set. He's trying so hard to hold on to his brother. It should be sad but you infuse Niko with so much heart that I just know he'll find a way to save his brother.

Lovely limp Cal images here, too. Squee!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 7th, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC)
bunnies

I need to write more for these boys. If only the bunnies were taking over my brain!!!!!!!!

Posted by: ChristianGateFan (cgf_kat)
Posted at: July 8th, 2009 06:10 am (UTC)

Well that threw me for a loop, seeing these fics here, but now I'm happy! Dragonfly_sg1 told me about these books, and I bought the first two. I'd only read half of Nightlife before I went back and bought the second two, lol. :P I haven;t gotten around to reading the other three yet, but that's only because I have summer reading junk to do for school, besides working on my own SPN fic and writing the story for the Summer of Sam Love thing. I can't wait to read them!

I like this look at Niko; it fits perfectly between the scenes of the book, and I like seeing more of how Niko cares for Cal. I too love these books already because of how the family bonds are similar to SPN.

Anyway, once I've read the other two books I'll definately be reading your other two fics for this series! Whee! And wait, Rob Thurman is a woman or was that a typo? *is confused*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 7th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
bloody hero

These books are awesome! It's so sad they only come out once a year, though!

And yeah--Rob Thurman is a woman :) I believe her real name is Robyn.

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