bmblbee (bmblbee) wrote in bloodclaim,
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The Crossing

Title: The Crossing
37/41
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.


2:10 AM
The sea is pouring onto the end of "A" Deck and Titanic's tilt grows steeper.
Captain Smith goes to the wireless cabin and releases Phillips and Bride telling
them that they have "done their duty". On the way back to his bridge, Smith tells
several crewmen that it's "every man for himself". At about this time, Hartley
chooses the band's final piece, "Nearer My God To Thee". Hartley had always
said it would be the hymn he would select for his own funeral.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! It's rider was named Death, and
Hades was following close behind him.
Revelations 6:8
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The Titanic was in the last of the throes of life. Her extinguished stacks bellowed
steam caused by the flood of water into the massive boiler rooms, and all forms of
light disappeared. The irritating, constant clanging of the metal alarm bell had
mercifully stopped and the only sounds that remained were the agonizing screams of a
mass of doomed humanity. The tilt of her deck was now so severe that, combined
with the thick layer of ice and the sloshing water, walking was impossible. The
hundreds of panicked passengers grabbed and clung to railings, stairways and door
handles knowing that the enevitable was already nipping at their heels.

Many of the younger men chose the ocean's embrace instead of prolonging the inevitable.
They scrambled to the sides of the ship, life jackets tied tightly around them and
clutching anything in their hands that they hoped would be buoyant as they threw
themselves overboard.

None of the items they would hold would help them. The instant their bodies hit the
shock of the freezing water, their minds went numb with pain and their fingers released.
If the item floated, it floated away.

As all of this suffering and horror played out around them, Spike saw none of it.
He cradled the lifeless body of his precious boy in his arms and he rocked and
cooed to him. Tears streamed down the vampire's face.

"Let him go, son. Your friend is gone."

Spike's head snapped up to see the old man who was apparently the only resigned
and calm person still left on the face of the earth. The old man smiled, patted Spike
kindly on the shoulder and nodded before turning and struggling to move away. It was
just what Spike needed to bring him out of his fog and slap him with the reality of time
and space.

The water no longer pooled around or even touched them as the bow was raised
too far above the rest of the sinking ship and Spike knew if he let go of the step
bracket that he held, they would slide backward and into the deep end.

Time was up. It was time to go.

Realizing that a human in this situation didn't stand a chance, Spike immediately
shifted. He allowed not only his face, but his entire being, all his senses and every
primal instinct to be 100% vampire. He quickly shed his wool overcoat. Peeling it
from his body, he watched it drop and fall backward down the deck. With no
body heat to hold in, it was pointless and, in fact, its weight in the water would only
be a hindrance. Maybe, he thought, if he survived this, he would find a new coat.
Possibly one of those leather ones they were making.

Next, he checked and double checked both of their life jackets to make certain
they were as securely tied as possible. The coming moments would be hard and
fast and he didn't want anything knocking them ajar.

Finally, when the ship took one more shuddering jolt, Spike leapt into action.

He lurched to his feet and steadied himself as best as he could. He then grabbed the
front of his boy's limp body and he jerked him up, tossing him over his shoulder
in a fireman's saving carry.

Spike threw his head back and let out an animalistic screech that pierced the night
and he took off at a speed no human could match or believe. He raced, the muscles
of his legs straining as he ran straight uphill to the point of the bow that now rose
over 100 feet out of the water.

He flew like a bat out of hell toward the peak. When he was within just a few inches,
he sprang, jumping straight into the air, his left foot touched the top railing and he
shoved with all his might. Spike knew the key was in getting as far from the sinking
ship as possible aware that when the boat went down, the extreme sucking action
it stirred would take everything, people included, with it straight to the bottom.

For the next few moments, all time seemed to be suspended.

With Xander clutched tightly, Spike was a black figure framed against a dark night
as he appeared to fly. A black raven soaring through the air. Powerful and free.
And then.....

SPLASH!!

They hit the water like a ton of bricks.

Spike gasped! The air he didn't need was slammed from his body as the freezing water
engulfed and assaulted him. It was like a million razor blades slicing and stabbing every
inch of his body with a pain he had forgotten was possible. It was overwhelming.
It was an all encompassing shock that, for a moment, stopped his brain from functioning.

He floundered. His hands and arms went numb and his grip on his beloved released
as his body began to sink below the level of the water. Suddenly, like a second
wind, he snorted, shooting the burning cold salt water from his sinuses and he kicked
his legs. When he realized again where he was and what was happening, a new terror
wrapped its icy fingers around his throat and his head snapped in all directions till
he found what he sought.

Several feet off to his left, Xander floated slowly away, held above water by the
life jacket. Immediately, Spike swam to him, pulled him close and again began
working his ineffectual legs. Soon, he found that the more he kicked, the stronger
he got. Spurred on by the sobs and screams of the dying in the water, Spike heard
the desperate voices as though they were spectators cheering him on.

Pausing once, Spike glanced back. The Titanic was standing almost on end.
The bow stood straight in the air and the stern was completely submerged.
There was no light and the passengers left alive still hung to the railings and
life knowing their fate was only moments away.

The lucky ones were already dead.

Then something happened that caused Spike to stop swimming and stare incredulously.

The ship gave one last metallic death rattle and appeared to crack and break in half.
The front half slid smoothly down below the surface while the back end bobbed,
righted itself and gave the appearance that it, as a separate entity, may float and
give a reprieve of time. It was a lie. It was a false hope.

In less than two minutes, it tipped up and the propeller broke the surface of the water.
It was nothing less than magnificent and awe inspiring. Like the tail fan of a huge grey
whale, it rose, glistened in the moonlight and appeared to touch the sky before silently,
gently, sliding down to the bed of the North Atlantic some 13,000 feet below.

Spike turned back and whimpered. He had gotten far enough away that unlike
hundreds of others, they weren't taken down with her but he already felt the pull
of the circumference of the suction and he again tugged the dead body to him and
began to swim.

It was quieter now. The screams of terror and panic were done. The worst had
happened and all that was left now were the tears of agony from the cold and the
knowledge that husbands, brothers, fathers, and lovers were gone forever.
Spike blocked it all out and he pressed on.

Off in the distance, too far for any human ear to hear or eye to see, Spike could
detect a ship. The Carpathia who had spotted the last of the Titanic's fired rockets
was racing toward her. He knew if he could reach the area of the first of the
lifeboats, they would be pulled out.

But, even a vampire has his limits. Spike's legs, nearly paralyzed by the frozen waters,
were starting to tire. His left arm gripped his lover's body while his right arm alternated
between paddling and shoving aside the ice chunks and dead, floating bodies that
filled the waters around them.

Passing several of the small boats launched, it was too dark to see his distorted
features, yet the passengers in the dingys shouted at him to stay away. Fear of
being capsized prevented them from offering aid to anyone still alive in the water.

On he swam. No longer able to think, his body simply moved on its own.
When the silhouette of the Carpathia formed in the moonlight, Spike sighed.

His body gave up and he closed his eyes.
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