bmblbee (bmblbee) wrote in bloodclaim,
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The Crossing

Title: The Crossing
4/41
Author: BmblBee
Paring: S/X
Rating: NC17
Disclaimer: The Bee owns none of the characters or products named and
makes no money off anything. Sad state of affairs.
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 snippets 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.




As always, thanks to Petxnd for the wonderful banners and the valued friendship.

Supper at home with Emma and Paddy was a relaxed, easy going time of informal
reach and grab. It was familiar foods and limited options. It was comfortable.
But this was 'DINNER'.
This was an occasion. An event.

Xander was amazed by the efficient and obviously practiced routine of the waiters
who flooded the dining room with course after course of incredible culinary delights
that teased and tempted the nose and eyes as well as the palate. It started with soups
and salads and went to meat and vegetables. By the time the desert cart was wheeled
out, Xander was ready to explode.

Part of him wondered if this was intended to fill him up for the entire crossing and he
would not be given another meal till they docked in New York. His bulging stomach
thought he could probably live with that.

The entire served meal had lasted for nearly two hours and Xander spent the time
observing and enjoying. The dining room was enormous and filled to capacity.
Couples, families and singles, like himself, all talking, laughing, trying to be heard
over the din and clatter of plates, glasses and other diners.

He too found enjoyment engaged in pleasant, light conversation with his table
companions. Besides Yvette, who continued to lean uncomfortably close, Xander
was flanked on the right by an older gentleman and his wife. The Websters. He was
a store owner who loved to speak at great length of the women's shoes he sold and
the newest fashions he had gotten in France. Xander struggled to feign interest.

Directly across for them sat the love birds. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Tinner. Married
for just three days, they still found it nearly impossible to keep their hands from
each other. A situation the Websters found very uncomfortable and improper.
Yvette's opinion was much more continental.

When he wasn't trading idle chit chat with the others, Xander spent his time marveling
at the wonders of the Titanic and had to admit, it was everything the cabby had
promised, and ever so much more. He couldn't wait till tomorrow to get out in the
light of day and explore it's decks and rooms. For now, he spent the duration
between courses oogling the space around him, still amazed that he was really here.

The ceiling of the massive hall was at least fifteen feet high and contained no less
than twenty incredible crystal chandeliers that flooded the room with a glorious golden
light. It made Xander wonder, if this was second class what the was first like? He
imagined it must be surrounded with the pearly gates and St. Peter himself had been
hired to seat the guests and serve the wine.

"You are enjoy the dinner?"

Xander slumped back in his chair and smiled at Yvette.

"Oh, God. So much food. I think I might explode."

She laughed her well practiced, coy, tinkerbell laugh, dabbed her napkin at the
corners of her mouth and batted her long, dark eyelashes.

"You must, how you say, pace yourself. Take only a few bites of each coarse and
send back the rest. You are not expected to eat all that is served you."

Xander nodded. He knew that made sense, but it went against what he had been
taught about the sin of wastefulness. Everything about this trip was a new experience.
There was so much to learn and he wanted to know it all. He wondered if Paddy
knew it would be this way.

Gently, Yvette laid a small delicate hand over Xander's.

"Perhaps a stroll on the deck would be nice? I would love to go, but it would not
be proper, A young single woman alone. Viens avec moi?"

Xander frowned. A walk out in the chilly, night air, looking out over the huge,
endless, vast ocean was exactly what he wanted. But not with her. He knew any
encouragement and he would be stuck with her for the rest of the crossing. He
didn't want to appear rude, but a clingy silly girl would spoil everything. Besides,
Xander Harris was no fool.

He may have lived a somewhat sheltered life but he knew the look of matrimony in
a young woman's eyes. He had seen it in Anya's for months before it was slowly
replaced by a resignation then a sorrow that he regretfully understood was his
responsibility. He would not let that happen again. No matter what he decided to
do about his strange mental disorder, he would never lead another woman on like
that again.

So, with a yawn and an exaggerated stretch, Xander gave his patented, apologetic
puppy eyes and goofy grin.

"I'm sorry. That sounds great but I am bushed. It has been a long day and I think I
will turn in, but, hey, Mrs. Webster said her and her husband were going to walk the
deck, I'll bet you could go with them."

Before Yvette could conceal her horror and protest, Mrs. Webster threw a fleshy
arm around Yvette's small shoulders.

"Oh, that's great, Hun. Timothy and I would LOVE to have you tag along. That will
be exciting. We just adored France and you and my husband can talk all about them
great French shoes."

Yvette spun quickly in her chair to fully face Xander. Her lovely blue eyes spoke
volumes as they begged him to rescue her from this fate worse than death. Xander
pretended not to notice and instead, jumped to his feet and dropped his napkin by
his plate. With a smile and a nod to each of his table mates, he then stepped away
and walked, whistling, with his hands in his pockets, from the room.

The moment he opened the door, the cold night wind slapped him in the face and
caused a violent shudder to wrack his body. The sky was overcast, blocking out the
moon and stars and the deck he now stood on was nearly deserted save one or two
men banished with their foul smelling cigars.

The contrast between this and the warmth, light and activity just inside the small steel
doorway was startling but the return for the physical comfort wasn't a consideration.
Instead, Xander moved slowly across the wooden deck towards the railing.

The fog that surrounded him was wet, salty and deep as it seeped through his
woolen jacket and pants. Nights in Ireland had been cold and damp but nothing like
this! Xander pulled his coat tighter around his body but made no shift toward the
area of the second class cabins.

He walked over and placed his arms along the rounded tops of the smooth, polished
railings and he leaned over to look down. The ocean. The Atlantic. It was mind
boggling. A huge, vast crater in the surface of the planet filled with water and teeming
with unseen life and treasures.

Xander drew in a deep breath of salt water and air as he watched the sides of the
massive ship cut cleanly through the waves leaving very little wake in it's path. The
water was black. Completely opaque and Xander leaned even further oddly
desperate to see beneath it's surface.

"Shouldn't lean so far, Pet. Might accidentally tumble over and be fish food before
anyone knows you've gone."

The voice, only inches from his ear startled him so unexpectedly that Xander jumped
back and stumbled away.

"Wha? Oh, Yeah. Thanks, I....I guess I wasn't thinking."

The stranger tipped his hat slightly and smiled. It was so dark, Xander could not see
his face but he could make out the outline of his form. A man. Shorter than he was.
Trimmer. Dressed in black with a long overcoat and a hat with a brim that rode low
over his eyes.

"I really should know better, it's just that the ocean is so amazing."

Xander walked back to the edge and gazed out as he continued to explain.

"I've seen it before, of course, but never like this. It is so......"

When he turned back to face his companion, Xander found he was alone.
The man had gone.
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