Disclaimer: The Bee owns none of the characters or products named and
makes no money off anything. Sad state of affairs. She does own the story
that is posted here. Please don't take without asking.
Warnings: Bad language, strong sexual content between M/M.
Second warning: Although I did do a lot of research, this story is not intended to
be an exact historical account so please don't scream and pounce on a detail or
two that may not be entirely accurate.
Credit: The snipits at the tops of the pages are from a web site entitled "Titanic,
A Time Line of Events" Earl Chapman on the Titanic Discussion List originally
published this chronology of events. Chapman modified it slightly in 1997. The
1997 version formed the basis of this timeline.
Summary: AU. It is the spring of 1912 and Xander Harris, who has been living
with relatives in Ireland, is heading home. As a gift of love, he was booked
passage on the maiden voyage of the Titanic with the promise that it will be the
adventure of a lifetime.
Author's note: This story is NOT a retelling of any of the Titanic movies.
It is the tale of one man and one vampire forgotten by history and the destiny they
both find on this doomed crossing.
Happy Birthday to the lovely Windandsummer!
As always, thanks to Petxnd for the wonderful banners and the valued friendship.
"You all packed?"
Xander folded the last of his heavy cotton shirts and he placed it in the large valise.
He then closed the lid and buckled the straps that fit snugly around it and he set it
off the bed and onto the floor by his feet. He hung his head, put his hands in his
suit pockets and found a small, quiet voice.
"Yes, Sir. I think that is everything. Uncle Paddy, Sir, I'm......."
"Don't be long, boy. The carriage will be here in a few minutes to take you to the
dock. I have a letter of explanation for you to deliver to your father when you arrive
in New York. It says nothing of the indiscretions or misunderstandings. It says only
that the arrangement between you and my niece, Anya, did not work out compatibly
and that you have shown less interest in the employment opportunities that you were
offered and have expressed a desire to return to your native land. After much
consideration, the missus and I deem it best all around to comply and we have booked
Xander flinched. Indiscretions and misunderstandings. Such a polite way of describing
the horrifying experience of being caught in the small room over the carriage house, naked,
rigid and in passions's grip with Danny Osborn, the blacksmith's apprentice.
He had, until then been praised for his gentlemanly restraint in his courtship of the lovely
and very eager, Miss Anya Patrick. He had taken their relationship very slowly despite
knowing that the inevitable result was to be a lifelong commitment.
It was why he was sent here two years ago. It was the arrangement, the deal between
two distant cousins in two faraway lands. One, a bartender in a small tavern in the
Bowery of New York with a son that he had hoped to give a better future to, and the
other, a successful factory owner in Ireland with a stepniece and no suitable prospects.
It was decided through lengthy correspondence that Xander would travel to Ireland and
find a new life.
He would be given the opportunity to work his way up and one day, if all went as
planned, take over the management of the fabric and woolen mill as Paddy had no sons
of his own. He would earn this position through the matrimony and subsequent providing
of several fat babies who would fill Paddy and Emma's house with love and family.
Things had not gone as planned. For any of them.
"Sir, I just wanted to say......"
When Xander lifted his face, he realized he was alone. The portly, pink faced older
man had gone to tend the final details. Or maybe gone to avoid further discussion and
contact with a young man he had invested so much emotion in only to be so crushed
and shocked by.
With a sigh, Xander sat back down on the edge of the small bed in the room that had
been his for the past two years. He looked all around. A bed. A dresser with a
mirror and a wash stand with pitcher and bowl. It was sparse. It was plain. It was
the most wonderful place he had ever lived and it broke his heart to leave it.
This was his biggest shame and regret. Paddy and Emma were good people. They
had taken him into their arms, their home and their hearts from the moment he arrived
on the emerald shores of the old country. At just 17 years old, he was filled with so
much hope that this new life would squelch all those terrible urges that consumed his
mind and body. And for a short time it did.
"Xander? Honey? Are you all ready?"
Xander quickly swiped the back of his hand over his eyes to erase any stray tears
that would betray his manhood. He subtly sniffed and he sat up straight as the chubby
woman sat down beside him. As she softly spoke, the gentle lilt of her accent twisted
his gut and broke his heart.
"Xander, you listen to me. You are still a young man, barely on the turn of 19 years.
We all have a path to take through this life and sometimes it takes a while to find the
right road. This wasn't the road for you and Anya was not to be your traveling
companion but there is someone waiting for you."
Unable to control himself any longer, Xander threw himself at the older woman
and sobbed as his arms circled her ample waist.
"I'm so sorry I let you down. I really wanted this to work. I wanted to be everything
you and Uncle Paddy wanted me to be. You have been so good to me and I......I......."
Emma held the crying boy close to her bosom and rocked him lovingly.
"Shhh. Xanny, my boy, your Uncle Paddy and I love you as though you were our
own son. Nothing will ever change that. We aren't sending you home because we
are ashamed of you or don't want you here. We are sending you home because this
is not where your life lies. You can't live here and pretend to be what other people
want you to be. Anya deserves better and so do you. You are a good boy, Xanny
and you will one day soon be a good man. There is just one lesson you need to learn
before that can happen. Always remember, Xanny, to thine own self be true. Stop
trying to please everyone else and find your own happiness. When you can do that,
you will be a man on your own life's destiny."
Xander pulled away and rubbed his red puffy eyes. He couldn't imagine his life without
this woman who had been a true mother to him and he again regretted that he couldn't
just suck it up and suffer through a marriage and life with Anya just so he could stay here.
He cursed this affliction that made him twisted and sick. He was what the parish priest
would call an abomination.
It was what made his own parents keep him at arms length. Ever since he was very
young they had recognized that there was a shortfall in him. He was their only child and he
was not enough. They grew cold and distant. He shuddered when he imagined them
reading the letter telling of his homecoming.
"How can I ever find happiness when I am like this? Why did this happen to me? Why
can't I be what I am supposed to be?"
Emma just laughed and ruffled his hair.
"Silly young laddie. You are exactly the way you are supposed to be. Why was I born
to be left handed? Why is your Uncle Paddy's right ear so much lower than his left?
Why do the birds cringe and fly away when I try to sing my beloved church hymns?
We are all the way God made us, Xanny. There is a reason for it all and someday,
when you least expect it, you will find love with another just like you."
Xander sniffled and looked into her watery green eyes for the truth. What he found
was a confirmation that she honestly believed what she said and it gave him hope.
She then patted his hand and reached into her apron pocket.
"Here you go. Here is the ticket for your passage. You should be excited. You are
to sail on the most important ship in all the world. The Titanic! It is our special gift to
you. It is said to be so fancy you will forget all your troubles. Now, we couldn't afford
first class but you aren't in steerage either. You have a small cabin in second class.
You will have about a week before you dock in New York. Take the time to look
inward, Xanny. Enjoy the holiday and when you arrive, send us a cable to let us know
you got there safely. We will write. We will always love you and someday, when you
are settled, you will come back to us. You hear?"
Before Xander could burst into a fresh round of tears, Paddy's voice boomed from the
living room of the house.
"Carriage is here! Time's a wastin' Hop, Boy. Hop. Hop."