bmblbee (bmblbee) wrote in bloodclaim,
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The Crossing

Title: The Crossing
9/41
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.

Spelling checked by the gracious Silk_Labyrinth




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


When man invented the wheel, he ruled the earth. When he built the
Titanic, he conquered the seas.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The frigid night air swirled around the huge ship as it cut cleanly through the
deep, living ocean. The sky was impossibly black and overcast, preventing
lovers on the deck from gazing up at the moon and stars which was just as well.
Even the most romantic of poets can only retain body heat for a short time in
the presence of a chill factor that would make a polar bear smile.


But that didn't mean the population of this huge floating city slept. Exactly the
opposite. The Titanic was a living, breathing entity. Her every deck and level
were alive as each class of passenger spent their evening hours celebrating the
thrill of the cruise. The parties, dinners, dances and games were distinctly tailored
to reflect and suit the station in life of the attendees.

The lowest level, third class poor and emigrants, were the least catered to aboard
ship. Their paid passage, while it was every cent of savings and borrowed money
they could get their hands on, was to the White Star Line, petty change. They
were, in fact, looked upon as little more than the cargo that filled the hull.

They were not plied with drinks and hors d'oeuvres. They were not entertained by
elegant hired orchestras and bands. Left to themselves, they packed the huge open
dining areas of the hull of the ship to find and create their own forms of celebration.

They drank the ales and beers that they themselves provided. They sang and
danced in wild uninhibited fashion to the music they had learned to play at their
grandparents' knee.

Harmonicas, guitars, and fiddles were the prized possessions being carried by
some to their new lives in America and tonight these were the instruments used
as the travelers comemorated the chance to escape the poverty of their homelands
and to honor the less fortunate friends and family they left behind.

Not one of them lamented the inequity of their station on the ship in comparison
to the privileged passengers on the uppermost decks. To the contrary, they
counted their blessings each night and the Titanic's name was always whispered to
their God in prayer.

In the most extreme contrast, the first class was the pinnacle. No expense was
spared in the effort to cater to the rich and famous. These were the passengers who
mattered. The ones who were hardest to impress. World travelers. The ones who
had already seen and done it all. They were the people who had to be startled by
glamour and opulence unimagined.

No personal request or whim would be denied. Nothing less than the best wines,
the richest foods including exotic meats prepared by the world's finest chefs and
served on expensive china and crystal. They slept in cabin suites that would not
only rival, but surpass, anything the Waldorf could offer.

And the White Star's efforts were successful. It was guaranteed that even the most
jaded millionaire would depart in New York commending the Titanic's success.
For the ship's line, that praise translated into money.

The second class was in between. Their comfort was a ships's concern but not
overly so. The quarters were a combination of large dorm style rooms that slept
as many as eight up to the single cell-like cabins that the highest priced second
class ticket afforded.

The meals were nourishing, plentiful, and adequate. They were fixed and provided
from a separate kitchen on the second class level to ensure that none of the food
or liquors from top deck were accidentally served.

The evenings were programmed with nightclub-like entertainment. Local bands
comprised of musicians who were paid in passage and meals in exchange for
the price of a ticket to New York.

The common areas were bright, clean, colorful and garnered no complaints
from any of the passengers who enjoyed them. The minimum expense which
was invested in the second class brought the greatest return on the paid passage.
Second class was the bread and butter of the White Star Line.


"Captain?"

The young crewman tried to catch his breath from running across two slippery
decks in the freezing cold.

"Yes, son?"

The older man in the elegant, gold trimmed uniform of the ship's master stood
ramrod straight, staring out the front window into the black night. When he
answered he made no move to turn around.

"Sir, we have reports of ice in the area. A cargo ship wired that she passed
through two days previous and encountered huge caps in the strait. Should
I instruct the boilermen to ease back and drop our speed?"

The captain spun around to face the impudent young man. The fierceness in his
eyes and the set of his jaw gave no doubt who was in charge. Without being
conscious of it, the young ship's officer stepped back and dropped his gaze.

"You will do no such thing. We, so far, remain ahead of schedule and I intend
to keep it that way. The Titanic will complete her maiden voyage well before
her projected arrival in New York and nothing, certainly not unsubstantiated
reports of floating ice, will prevent that."

He made no mention of the huge promised bonus from the owners of the White
Star Line if he brought her in to port early. The ship had made headlines worldwide
even before it was launched and they wanted its first Atlantic crossing to be the
news of the year. Possibly the century.

The success of the quick crossing would mock the naysayers who took great
pleasure in pointing out the unfortunate debacle that had befallen her during her
original launching in Belfast. The headlines stating that God himself had cursed
the Titanic for her owners' blasphemous claims would be forgotten in the face
of the triumph of the maiden voyage.

Everything about the Titanic's first trip had been carefully calculated by the
conglomerate of owners, designers, and builders. After much debate and
consideration, they had settled on Captain E.J. Smith as the best candidate to
assure that a quick crossing happened and although he had promised his wife
that he would retire, this was the opportunity every Captain dreamt of.

His previous experience on the Atlantic guiding other ships with their company
and his stern, no nonsense personality gave them confidence that he would succeed
where others could not. As fair consideration, they offered him a salary that ensured
he would not say no.

With all this on his mind, Capt. Smith stared daggers at the young Second Officer
Lightoller.

"Yes, Sir, but....."

The captain sniffed and again turned his back, dismissing the boy and his
unimportant reports.

"That will be all son. Keep me apprised of any further radio calls."

Frustrated, the young radioman wanted to tell the captain that it was nearly
impossible to receive or transmit due to the constant stream of first class
passengers monopolizing the radio for personal overseas calls to the mainland,
but he knew it was pointless.

The Titanic was all about the passengers and the Captain's job was to
see that nothing interfered with that. Not even the threat of icebergs.

"Yes Sir."

He quickly turned on his heels and rushed away.
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