bmblbee (bmblbee) wrote in bloodclaim,
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The Crossing

Title: The Crossing
33/41
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.


April 15th
Midnight

Bruce Ismay, who has been asleep in his luxury suite on B-deck, is awakened
by the strange noise caused by the iceberg. Without bothering to change out of his
nightclothes, he goes to the bridge and asks Captain Smith what has happened.
"Do you think the ship is seriously damaged?" Ismay asks, hoping that things aren't
as bad as they might be.
"I'm afraid she is," is Captain Smith's only reply.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Spike and Xander prepared to leave the cabin and head up on deck. Xander had taken
one last look around and made certain that anything of value had been secured in
one of the pockets on the underneath pair of britches to assure that nothing would fall out
and be lost. During their discussions of precautions, neither man spoke the fearful
words, "if we should have to enter the water" although both clearly thought them.

At the last minute, before closing the door, Xander had a thought.

"Wait. Leave your coat here in the cabin. They are looking for a man in a long
black woolen overcoat. There is no need to draw unnecessary attention to us."

But Spike would hear none of it.

"Fuck 'em. If the worst happens, this is another layer of warmth to wrap around
you and I'll not discard it. If this is as I think, things are about to get ugly and the
last thing on people's minds will be looking for me. The coat stays."

There was nothing else to discuss. The clock was ticking and the water was
gushing in from the sea to fill the lower compartments. Holding tightly to each
other's hand, the two men reached the outer deck doorway and shoved open the
steel door.

As they stepped out and into the freezing night air, they felt the ship tip and veer
slightly to the starboard side. It was a movement that, on any other night would
have been giggled about and chalked up to a rough sea but now, on this night, it
felt ominous.

Xander twitched uncomfortably. The layer upon layer of heavy clothing combined
with the fear and running had his body feeling overheated and sweaty. A light
sheen of perspiration speckled his forehead and when met with the icy night air,
threatened to freeze on his face. He quickly dabbed it with his sleeve as he
looked around at the passengers.

"I think they know, Spike."

The mood on the deck had sobered considerably. The laughing and game playing
with the huge chunks of ice that lay at their feet had ended and the air of frivolity
was now replaced with confusion and concern. It was apparent that the ship had
stopped and that the engines were shut down. All attempts to question the ship's
staff were at first met with platitudes and later ignored altogether before they rushed
away to parts unknown.

Unconcerned with their inappropriate appearance of affection, Spike continued to
grip Xander's hand almost painfully, locking their fingers together as they advanced
out onto the deck and amongst the passengers who were now milling about like cattle
in a holding pen at the slaughter house.

The frightening sight of the mountain of ice that loomed in the darkness along the
entire side of the ship no longer seemed funny.

Xander's eyes darted wildly in all directions as he looked for someone who may
have a rational explanation. He, along with the others on deck, expected that at any
time a Ship's Officer would announce that corrective measures were being taken and
all would be as it was. When it was clear that such a proclamation was not forthcoming,
Xander again started to hyperventilate. Spike's concern was more selfish. He wanted
to get his boy to the lifeboats before the others realized just how critical things were.

"Stay calm, Love. They know something is wrong but I'm fairly certain they don't....."

"CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG"

The rest of Spike's answer was cut off and inaudible. Lost in the sound of the
ship's distress bell that rang out, repeatedly splitting the night and sending a shock
wave throughout the ship.

It was a harsh, loud metallic sound meant to wake those few still sleeping and also
ring out into the darkness, like a sea siren, calling out to any sailor who may hear
her begging them to come and help. It was an irritating sound that would carry them
through the next hours and stay in the heads of the survivors till their deaths.

The sudden new sound caused a frenzied reaction in those on deck. Side doors
flew open and passengers, some still in their flimsy nightclothes charged out
to demand answers and seek silence. Within seconds, their outrage turned to
apprehension then fear as a vague understanding of the drastic state of affairs
became clear.

Spike could feel the rising terror in his boy. He could smell the perspiration, hear
the rapid fire heartbeat, and the shudders that ran through his body shook even in the
fingers that Spike held so securely. Jerking on his hand to get his attention, Spike
shouted to be heard.

"Stay calm Xander! Look at me! Come on. We need to get over to where the
lifeboats are."

Xander nodded and together they began pushing and shoving their way through a
mob of people that, by now had begun to grasp the gravity of the situation. It was a
moving wave of humanity with no real direction. Some were trying to make their way
back to their cabins to dress in warmer clothes, some were obstinate, refusing to
believe this was anything more than a drill or an overly cautious Captain reacting
to a slight misstep in the voyage.

Unbeknownst to the passengers in second class, the ship's officers and deck hands
alike were already rushing through the first class corridors, waking and warning the
rich and elite to prepare themselves to board the lifeboats. They coaxed them from
their warm beds, often serving as their personal servants to help dress and organize
them. They were given the first life jackets and they were sent out on deck.

Third class was, at this point, little more than a side thought. Like a family who
moves from their home, third class passengers were the pets, the children's cats
who are abandoned to survive on their own.

Outside, the sky was clear, nearly cloudless as the stars and moon shone brightly
above. They twinkled like Christmas candles; cold, distant and uncaring, they sparkled,
looking down on the growing chaos that filled the decks of the doomed ship.

Filled with determination and still moving forward, Spike took the lead and shoved
people aside to make a path for his boy. He knew Xander wanted to stop and help
when a child lost from his mother cried for a comforting arm. He refused to slow
when a young woman tugged Xander's sleeve praying he had an explanation for
what was happening. Xander may have felt he was part of a suffering humanity but
Spike was not. At this point he would have slapped babies and eaten their mothers
to make way for his boy.

Next to the railing, two older businessmen calmly smoked their cigars, ignoring
the crazed discord behind them as though it had nothing to do with them, and they
continued their discussion of the stocks and railroads.

And still the damned bell rang on.

Finally, out of breath and overheated, they reached the area of the boats. Still covered
in tarps and secured to the ship, they were guarded by ship's officers armed with hand
guns discreetly pocketed and prepared for the madness they feared would soon ensue.

Before Spike had the chance to demand an explanation, a new wave of passengers
flooded the deck as rapidly as the ocean was pouring into the ship. Led by a front
line of ship's officers blowing whistles and jostling people aside, they led an onslaught
from first class directly toward the life boats, shoving aside the second class women
and children in favor of the rich and powerful men of commerce.

Knowing their place in the world, most of the passengers meekly stepped aside.
Spike was not one of these. Still holding tightly to his lover's hand, he again
worked his way through.

"What the fuck do you think you are doing! Uncover these boats and allow us
to board! These pricks are no more important than we are. How dare you put
them first."

Third Officer Maitland blew his whistle just inches from Spike's nose before placing
his hand in the center of the vampire's chest and shoving him roughly back. Spike
fought the urge to change and rip the throat from the worthless dog in uniform.
Xander quickly placed his other hand on Spike's arm and shouted to be heard.

"No, Spike, let it go. It's all right. We will still get in a boat. It doesn't matter if
it isn't first. We still have time."

The mood on board was at a high level of unease although full blown panic was
not yet evident. The main fear they all shared was the inconceivable idea that they
would actually have to evacuate into the small, unsteady boats and row out onto the
open seas to await either another ship or until the repairs would make the Titanic
again viable.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
12:10 AM
Captain Smith orders a radio call for assistance. Phillips taps out the regulation distress.
CQD...MGY...CQD...MGY... The 13,600 ton Cunard ship Carpathia receives the
message. Her Captain, Arthur Rostron, immediately turns his ship around and heads
at full speed toward the Titanic's radioed position.

The squash court, 32 feet above keel, is awash. The majority of the boilers have been
shut down. Huge clouds of steam roar out of the relief pipes secured to the sides
of the funnels. Captain Smith orders that the lifeboats be uncovered and musters the
crew and passengers.
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