bmblbee (bmblbee) wrote in bloodclaim,
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The Crossing

Title: The Crossing
25/41
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.


A hot bath before dinner. It was a luxury that Xander had come to know and
enjoy aboard the Titanic. A sampling of the good life and a small peek into
what it must be like to be one of the rich and privileged. It was an illusion, and a
short term one at that, but Xander reveled in it.
Until today.

The horrendous news that was passed along in the form of gossip by the sailor
earlier had hit him like a brick and taken all the joy out of his afternoon routine.
His brain churned with facts that could support or refute his suspicions. He bathed
quickly and efficiently letting his fingers methodically do their work with no thought
of dawdling as they rolled and lifted the lightly haired sac or scrubbed clean the
crevices at the juncture of thigh and crotch.

He barely noticed the tingle and wink of his wrinkled, tight hole as his soapy cloth
scrubbed between his firm cheeks. Part of him wanted to forget everything the stupid
boy had said. He was clearly a busybody, an old woman who delighted in spinning
tales and frightening the passengers. There probably weren't even any deaths on
board the ship. After all, this wasn't an ordinary boat. This was the Titanic!

He rinsed his cloth, resoaped and started on his legs as his thoughts rolled on down
their designated path. And what if there really were a murderer on the loose? The
boy had said it was down in third. They were the lowest class anyway and there was
no telling what sort of caliber of people they were. Xander paused, immediately ashamed
of himself for the arrogance of his assumptions. He knew that if it weren't for Paddy and
Emma's generosity, he couldn't have even afforded a broom closet in steerage.

As he stepped from the tub, he climbed another rung of the mental ladder.
His brain experimentally poked at the dangerous thought he had been avoiding actually
thinking about. He cautiously jabbed at it in the same way one picks at a sore, a cut or
a bruise to see how painful it will be to touch. The thought that Spike might not be the
man Xander thought he was. The possibility that Spike may be.......dangerous.

Before he was completely dry, Xander pulled on his clean clothes and he hurried back
to his cabin. He opened the door and tossed his towel and dirty clothes in where they
landed in a heap on the floor and he pulled the door shut. One thing was certain and
that was that his concerns and curiosity far outweighed his hunger. He needed some
answers and he had a general idea of where to start looking.

Hurrying down the hallway, Xander slowed and glanced all around to assure that no
one was about and he darted off to the right. As suspected, there was a steel door
marked:

"AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY".

He was positive that Spike had come this way, so with no hesitation, he jerked the
door open and hurried through. Once inside, it was more than obvious that this was
not an area of the ship intended to be seen by the passengers. There was no rich
decor, no opulence and no luxury. It was stark, grey and functional. He was facing
a long, narrow hallway flanked on both sides by matching doors and each had a curt
stenciled sign that stated its business.

"MOP CLOSET"
"LINEN"
"MAINTENANCE"
"RECORDS ROOM"

All the door handles he tried were securely locked so he continued on. At the end
of the hall was a stairway leading down into the very lowest levels of the ship and on
the wall beside it was a painted arrow pointing down that carried the label "STORAGE".

Xander tried to ignore his misgivings about wandering into an area of the ship that
was below sea level. He had always been slightly claustrophobic and it seemed as
though he were gazing into the pits of hell, dark, dank and shadowy.

Standing at the top, he stared down into the unknown as his ears strained to pick
up any indication of life, although he knew it was nearly impossible to hear
anything over the ever constant sound of the roaring ship's boilers.

Gripping the cold iron banister, Xander placed one foot in front of the other
and slowly, steadily lowered himself down into the bowels of the great Titanic.
To prevent his brain from exploding in terror as he descended into the belly
of the great metal fish, he focused on counting the steel steps beneath his feet.
When he hit the last one, he shuddered. 13. 13 stairs. That sounded unlucky.

He stood on the bottom landing with his hand still firmly holding onto the handrail
and he stared off into the space ahead. It was black. It was more than dark, it
was a total lack of any form of illumination that seemed to reach out to him with
ghostly, invisible tendrils that wanted to coax and draw him in.

He knew if he didn't move quickly, cowardice would drive him back up to the
safety of the light, the warmth and the familiarity of his stateroom. But he would
go with no answers to the questions that haunted him and that, more than the fear,
forced him to take that next step. He released the handrail and moved forward,
shuffling his shoes as he waved his hands in front of himself to feel for obstacles and
hazards.

After a good 15 minutes of gingerly easing forward and still being unable to see
the feet in front of him, Xander was seriously considering turning around and finding
his way back to the stairway. Part of him wished he had dropped bread crumbs
like Hansel and Gretel but the fact was that he never would have been able to locate
the fucking things again anyway.

So he stopped. His feet snapped together and he decided to give it one more listen
before packing it in and chalking the whole thing up as a preposterous notion. He
almost decided that he must have been mistaken. There was no way Spike had
come down here.

That's when he heard it. A far off, muffled sound. Indiscernible and unclear, it was
the intonation of some activity. Although he was unable to clearly identify what it
was, Xander had a general idea of where and he was again on the move.

Within just a few minutes, he could hear the hiss and smell the faint odor of gas
lights so he hurried off letting his nose lead the way like a beagle. He was
overwhelmingly relieved to see a dim circle of light directly ahead and, impersonating
a moth, hurried toward it.

Interspersed with the constant roar of the engines, Xander again heard the sound
of activity and this time he paused, fearful of giving himself away and being charged
with trespass. As the pupils of his eyes expanded to collect the sparse available
light particles, Xander could now see that the space he was in was vast and open.

It was stacked on both sides and in all corners with crates, boxes, steamer trunks
and even, at the far side, a few horseless carriages, the kind Xander had heard
were gaining popularity in the big cities. He would have loved to explore them
further but right now, he had other concerns.

Ducking behind a row of boxes, he slowly wove in and out of the rows, continually
moving in the direction of the noise yet careful to make no noise of his own.
As he got closer, the sound he was focused on began to become clear. It was
voices, but not what he expected. It wasn't the mundane conversation of the ship's
employees discussing the business of the Titanic.

The only word his brain could conjure up was 'scuffle'.

It sounded like two people. A man's voice, low, growly and intimidating and
a woman, high pitched, whining, struggling and pleading without specific words.
It was the sound of feet scrambling, shuffling and not in a romantic dancing sort
of way.

Crouching down, Xander picked up his pace and moved stealthily and silently
through the aisles of crates, quickly closing the distance between himself and the
suspicious activity.

Within seconds, he knew that whatever was happening was right on the other
side of where he hid. He heard the sobbing struggles of the woman as her
feet kicked across the floor and he jumped when something slammed against
the very wooden box that concealed him.

As he vacillated, unsure what to do, the noise suddenly stopped.

Xander held his breath. The roar of the Titanic's boilers continued to ring in his
ears and vibrate through his feet as he waited to see if the sounds on the other side
of his safe spot would start up again. They didn't and Xander was confused.

Cautiously he raised up.

What he saw sent ripples of fear and shock down his spine and settled like
a cannonball in his gut. In the circle of the gas light, Xander could see the back
of a man wearing a very familiar, long black coat. He was hunched over with his
lips on the side of the neck of a woman who slumped limply in his arms.

Xander tried to convince himself that it was a lover's embrace that he was seeing.
That he had intruded on the intimacies of a romantic tryst, or on the business deal
of a woman who sells her attributes for a coin.

But Xander knew better. Her face could be seen at the side of the arm that held
her upright and her open mouth, frozen in a silent scream, along with her bulging,
cold dead eyes told the truth of the situation.

"OH, GOD!"

Realizing the words had slipped from his own lips, Xander slapped his hand over
his mouth but it was too late. In a flash, the man dropped the body in his arms
allowing it to tumble into a heap on the floor and he spun around locking eyes
with the intruder.

Xander screamed. The snarling, distorted face was like nothing he had ever seen.
The eyes were slitted and glowed yellow. The forehead was ridged and fierce
with deformed bones protruding where eyebrows should have been. The ears
were slightly pointed and the nostrils flaired.

But the worst was the mouth. Snarling and blood smeared, the thin lips were
stretched back to reveal a row of razor sharp teeth and two extended fangs
that dripped as he hissed and growled.

Terror and revulsion turned Xander's blood to ice as the last functioning
brain cell sent the order to his feet.

"RUN, YOU FUCKING MORON!"

When he turned to do so, Xander was tackled from behind.
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