bmblbee (bmblbee) wrote in bloodclaim,
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The Crossing

Title: The Crossing
29/41
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.


9:40 PM
After making his rounds of the ship, Captain Smith made one last visit to
the bridge before retiring for the evening.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Xander sat back and rubbed his full belly. He was thoroughly content in
body, mind and soul. He knew once they arrived in New York there would
be issues to face. His family was to be waiting on the docks expecting to collect
a confused boy that they would have to take home and help find his way in life.
A young man who they prayed had left his deviant ways on the emerald shores.

But they would not find that. Xander wasn't a lost boy anymore. Now he was
a man and he knew exactly what and who he wanted to be. He would thank
them kindly for coming and attempt to help them see that this was the way for him
but, if they didn't, the loss was theirs.

He would seek some sort of employment. New York was a huge city and
somewhere there would be work. Maybe a shopkeeper, a dockworker or even
laboring in one of the factories that built those new horseless carriages. It didn't
matter. The details of the task at hand were unimportant as long as there was
a paycheck at the end of the week that afforded them an apartment and a meager
life together. As long as he had Spike, he could survive.

Xander did feel a slight pang of regret at the thought of Paddy and Emma.
In his heart, he wanted them to be proud of him, more so even than his own
folks. Their love for him had been unrestrained and unconditional. For the first
time in his life, he had known words of encouragement and the physical affection
of a hug and a goodnight kiss on the forehead.

Xander was painfully aware that Paddy and Emma must have sacrificed a great
deal to afford him this opportunity. Xander remembered the day of his sailing
when Paddy had thrown his arm around Xander's shoulder, drawn him close and
told him to be brave. He had said that the Titanic would take Xander to his destiny.

That memory made him smile. Paddy was right and suddenly, Xander knew
the old man would still be proud of him. Everything would be just fine.

Snapping back to the present, Xander leaned forward intending to ask Mr. Webster
to consult the time piece he wore on his wrist. He had fully expected Spike to have
joined him by now.

"Excuse me, Sir, could you tell me............"

"ALEXANDER HARRIS. PAGING ALEXANDER HARRIS."

Xander spun around in confusion at hearing his name. When he saw the young
page in the red cap and jacket, he hesitantly raised his hand.

"Over here, boy. I'm Alexander Harris."

The young lad scrambled over quickly and handed Xander a neatly folded slip of
paper then stood patiently with his palm extended. When Xander's quizzical expression
continued, Mr. Webster subtly coughed into his napkin.

"*cough* tip."

Xander blushed at his ignorance and shoved his hand into his pocket, retrieving
one of the bills he had sullied the day earlier and handed it over. Both the page's
and Webster's eyes grew huge. After the boy hustled away, the older man
leaned forward, hoping not to embarrass the young man.

"That was too much, son. A simple coin would suffice."

Xander had already lost interest in the exchange and was totally focused on the
note. Nothing good ever came in suspicious small notes. With trepidation,
Xander lowered the paper below the table level and the view of his dinner mates
and he unfolded it.

Xander,
Ran into a bit of a problem. Can't meet you on deck.
Return to your cabin and I will see you there. Tell no one of
our meeting.
S.

"Oh, dear me. What is this all about?"

Mrs. Webster's harsh, curious whisper caused Xander's head to snap up and a
million innocent responses to scatter and attempt to form on his tongue but then,
when he saw her face, he realized her questions had nothing to do with him or his
note. Following her line of sight, Xander saw the small army of ship's officers
that poured into the dining hall and spread out in all directions.

In what had to have been a predetermined manner, the officers fanned out, each
claiming and approaching a table of passengers. The constant din of cheerful
conversation dropped off to a low hum and the silence was made more noticeable
by sudden cessation of the band. Immediately one of the officers approached the
band leader and the music hesitantly started back up.

Xander and his table mates glanced at each other and waited as a handsome, somber
looking man in a trim, neat uniform came to their table.

"Good evening. I am Second Officer Penn. We apologize for the interruption
to your dinner. We are looking for a man and we are asking everyone's cooperation.
We don't have a name but we do have a description and would like to know if it
sounds familiar to any of you. He is short, maybe 5'6 or 7". He is slim. Pale
skin, blue eyes and blond hair. He generally wears a long black woolen overcoat.
Sometimes a dark fedora. Does this sound like anyone you may know or might
have seen?"

Mr. Webster glanced over at Xander before turning his attention to the shipman.

"What has this man done? Is he someone we need to be wary of? Are we in
danger?"

Immediately, the officer raised his hands and attempted to allay their fears.

"No, no of course there is no danger. The Titanic is still the safest ship on the seas.
This gentleman is a passenger who we believe to be a stowaway. We simply wish to
find and confirm that he has paid his passage."

No one at Xander's table believed that bullshit for a second. The thought that
a virtual army of ship's officers would converge to locate someone who had
skipped out on the price of a ticket was absurd.

Patiently, Officer Penn looked from one to the other. Just when it seemed no
answer or cooperation would be forthcoming, Mrs. Webster calmly laid her linen
napkin by her place setting and she tugged at the wrists of her white gloves.

"I'm sorry, young man, but none of us have any information that will help you.
Your description doesn't sound like anyone that we have seen but if we do,
we will certainly contact one of the ship's employees immediately. Isn't that
right Dear?"

Her husband patted her hand and smiled.

"You are, of course, correct, My Dear."

Second Officer Penn looked at all the faces at the table and an uncomfortable
feeling that he could find no definitive name for crept across his skin. He knew
challenging them was unthinkable which left him with no option but to accept their
word and leave. Besides, he still had several other tables to consult and time was short.

"Yes, well, if you think of anything........."

"Of course, Mr. Penn. Good evening."

As soon as the ship's officer had walked on, Mrs. Webster, who had apparently
appointed herself the table's spokesperson, turned to Xander with a stern, well
practiced, motherly look.

"The description of the man that they are seeking certainly sounds like the gentleman
that you have been in the company of, Mr. Harris. I trust that you are not making
a foolish decision that will visit trouble upon us or ruin this very pleasant crossing,
are you?"

The others at the table gasped at the woman's brash, unfeminine nerve but quickly
turned their disapproving, accusatory faces in Xander's direction. Xander sat
back in his chair as a million panicky thoughts danced through his brain, none
of which expressed concerns for the previously pleasant passengers who had
now sided against him.

"No, ma'am. I believe you are mistaken. The business associate of which you
speak bears no resemblance to the description given. He is a taller man of
stouter build and besides, I know him to be a paid, ticket holding passenger.
I have seen his stub."

As soon as the last statement left his mouth, Xander blushed furiously and he
quickly leapt to his feet, feigning insult.

"Now, if you will excuse me, I believe I will take a stroll in the moonlight before
retiring."

Several of the others tossed insincere apologies at him as he retreated but he cared
about none of them. The combination of the note and the interrogation left
Xander terrified for the safety of his vampire.
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