Sympathy for the Damned
Chapter 2

A/N: It all belongs to me, except vampires, who belong to themselves and death, which, in a way, belongs to us all.

All he could see was black; it swirled around him climbing down his throat, suffocating him, eating him alive. He struggled against it, fists striking out at nothing, lungs desperately trying to claw some air. Spots danced across his vision, and stars were starting to explode at the back of his head, he could feel them vaguely.

A shape drifted into focus at the bottom of his vision, pale skin and a tangle of brown hair. Recollection stabbed at him, but it was getting harder to think. He closed his eyes, his head hurt and he was very tired. So very tired.

Something sharp punctured his arm and he cried out silently, the black clouds swirling into his mouth, choking him. He shook his arm to clear it of the pain; he wanted to tell it that he was trying to sleep. The sharpness withdrew and a pale arm grasped his own, it pulled at him turning him around.

The arm withdrew, and he could see a figure only a little way away. He moved forwards, trying to reach the figure, he had to tell her, he had to tell her it was no use, he was too tired.

Light spilled around him in a dizzying array of colours, and then just as suddenly as it had come it vanished into blackness once more.

Carl sat up and rubbed his eyes tiredly. His whole body felt like it had been beaten with a stick. His neck ached, he could feel bruising and it felt about twice as large as it should be, not a good sign. He stretched his arms and winced, and then recalling a sharp pain he looked down to see two puncture wounds about halfway between his elbow and his wrist. A tiny trickle of blood still ran from one hole and some bruising had already started.

A groan caused him to turn around. A pale shape lay on the floor a few feet away from him, a tangle of brown curls running down her back almost to her waist. Carl blinked, and everything came running back to him.

Feor rolled over and hissed; she closed her eyes for a second mumbling under her breath. "Where are we mortal?" She sounded more like Karya than Carl remembered. "You bit me.Twice!" Her brows creased and with an effort she pushed herself to her feet. "I needed your blood to get through the gate and the second time." She turned away from him; "You wouldn't have survived if I hadn't. Now where are we?"

Carl opened and shut his mouth a few times in indignation and then confusion. she had helped him? But could think of nothing else to say. For the first time he looked around him.

It was dark, a few objects lay scattered about, and Carl peered at the closest one. It was a soccer ball. Puzzled he got to his feet, they were in a room, a very small room and there was no sign of the blackness they had emerged from only seconds ago. There were a lot of coats and jackets hanging from near the ceiling or lumped in piles on the floor.

He took a step backwards and bumped into a door, light streamed out from a small crack at the bottom. He glanced a Feor; she was inspecting a large black leather coat, running her fingers over the seams with a critical eye.

Carl was surprised to see she hadn't changed much; she seemed shorter than she had been, but then that was in hell. He blinked and shook his head, hell? It sounded so stupid here, but Feor. She glanced up at him and raised her eyebrows; her eyes still made him shiver.

He sighed and opened the door, might as well find out where the hell, uh, where they were. Bright light blinded him for a second, and he covered his eyes with a hand, a room came into view, he felt something nagging in the back of his mind, like he should know were he was. But before he could fully comprehend where he was Feor shrieked. It was a loud unnatural sound and he felt her reach past him hissing violently and slam the cupboard door shut.

"What was that?" Carl glared at her; she sat crouched in the corner furthest from light as she could get still hissing slightly. "I cannot stand in direct sunlight mortal" Her voice still held a strange inhuman quality that hadn't been there before. "Um, okay, but that wasn't sunlight, it was just a normal light" "Sunlight, light it's the same thing" she spat, then she sighed "You obviously don't understand, here on Earth I am. not quite like you."

She wasn't looking at him, Carl swallowed, his hand rising involuntarily to the bite on his neck. "To get back to the mortal realm I needed a mortals blood, and to stay here I need the same thing.regularly." Carl tried to move, as quietly to the door as possible, but he didn't think he could make it through the door before she got to him; he'd seen how fast she was.

I needed a mortal's blood. Regularly It reminded him of a movie line. Rubbing the swollen bites on his arm he tried to calm his rapidly pounding heart. One word kept a unheeded repetition in his head. Vampire.

He kept a steady eye on her and kept moving backwards. Holy shit, he was stuck in a cupboard with a vampire, if that's what she was. He didn't want to think about it. How could he ever have felt safe around her? It felt like an age ago. But he was back to normality now; if he could just get out of this closet he could shut her in and call the police.

"You have worked it out haven't you mortal" Carl paused, for the first time he noticed the difference of her voice compared to his, he wondered how long she'd been dead. For all he knew she could be millions of years old, but one glance at the remains of her jeans stopped that thought.

"Vampires don't exist" But neither did hell, right? Yeah, right. Feor didn't seem to have heard him; at least she made no reaction to his comment, maybe she hadn't heard him, yeah and maybe the dead walked.

Better not to think about that.

"Where are we mortal?" Her voice held no expression but Carl noted with relief the strange frequency had vanished. "I'm not entirely sure" Cold fear washed through Carl's body. He didn't remember anything, he felt he should know where they were but he just didn't.

He had hoped that as soon as they were back to Earth he would remember everything; at the very best he had hoped the whole thing was a terribly realistic nightmare. But the first memory he had was entering hell; he shuddered as he remembered the bloodied grime soiling his face.

He sat down on the floor of the cupboard and pressed the palms of his hands against his eyes, causing spots of colour to explode in his head until it ached. A hand rested itself tentatively on his shoulder and he started, finding himself looking into the inhuman brown eyes of the vampire.

"I must feed" Carl felt her trembling slightly, and noticed the red veins running through the whites of her eyes. Something in her eyes hypnotised him, he found himself staring at her thinly drawn lips, and at the ivory points just beyond them, he remembered those same points piercing his skin and found himself almost wishing for those pale needles on his flesh once more.

Feor glanced down, breaking the spell and Carl scrambled to his feet hurriedly. He backed himself against the door once more, hand tightening around the handle at the small of his back. "I'm going to-uh." His voice sounded high and scratchy, even to him.

Feor turned her back to him, "I must feed," She stated clearly annunciating each word precisely. Pinpricks of sweat broke out on Carl's forehead and he twisted the handle behind him, almost tripping over his own feet in his hurry to be out of the confined space.

Light flooded the walk in closet and Feor hissed shrilly once again, but this time Carl slammed the door shut on her cries. Not that it made them any less audible.

Blinking in the light, Carl realised how long he had been in the dark for. He glanced around the room, piles of dirty clothes surrounded him on all sides, an unmade bed lurked in the corner and a study table was almost visible underneath a month worth of forgotten homework and pizza boxes.

A feeling flooded through him, though he wasn't sure what it was, he did know what it was telling him. This was his home, dirty, unwashed and disgusting as it was. The feeling was pushed aside as Feor shrieked another unnatural curse in a language unfamiliar to him.

He waded through the mess to sit on his bed. All of a sudden he was realising the impact of everything. He had no idea who he was, if he had any friends or family, what school he went to, how old he was and he had a hungry vampire in his closet.

He sat there on his bed, silent and still until Feor's screaming died. Then he stood and turned the light down until there was barely any light at all and devoid of expression he opened the door of the cupboard.

She stood in the doorway, regarding him silently. He stared back, still no emotion registered on his face. Eventually she broke the silence, "If I do not feed soon I will become frenzied and uncontrollable with the bloodlust. We must go now." She spoke every word in a deadly deliberate tone.

It was a second before Carl registered what she had said, "Go?" He questioned, slightly puzzled. "Yes mortal, we must find someone for me to drink from" Carl's knees went weak with relief; it wasn't him! He never told her that he would have let her drink if she had so wished it.

The streets were damp and the night cold when they finally left the apartment. Carl had not been surprised to find out that fact, although he still had no idea where he was.

Feor turned her head up to the sky, lips slightly parted, eyes obscured by the dark sunglasses Carl had made her wear, despite the lateness of the hour. He had also found clothes for her to wear, his loose denim jeans ill fitting on her slim figure. They were rolled up several times at the bottom above bare feet as none of the footwear he owned fitted her. She wore a leather jacket she had picked herself from the ones in the cupboard.

The cold air didn't seem to affect her; neither did the wet pavement on her feet. She sniffed at the air, exhilarated by the smell of mortal blood all around her. Then, with a speed that caused Carl to jump slightly she crouched down to the pavement tracing imaginary lines on the wet concrete.

She grinned, a maniacal expression that made Carl very glad he couldn't see her eyes. She stood and looked around for a second, then disappeared. Carl blinked, and stared at the space she had been only seconds before. He looked around frantically and felt panic grip his heart.

Feor may have been dangerous and unpredictable but she was the only thing he knew in this unfamiliar familiarity he felt. She was the only one who probably felt the same as him. Alone, stranded in a new world.

He looked up and down the street and then muttered a fervent prayer as he caught sight of her in the glow of a streetlight further up the street. He ran after her before she vanished again, heart pounding in sync with his trainers.

Just as he was drawing close to her she disappeared once again, he saw her up ahead and followed the rhythm she set. Running ahead, stopping until he was almost level with her and then starting off again.

He didn't realise they had reached the main street until he noticed the people, on all sides bars and clubs played loud music, competing with each other for customers. Drunken teenagers stumbled over the sidewalk singing loud obnoxious songs. A group of girls giggled unsteadily at the advances of an equally unsteady man.

Carl ignored the music and people, most of them probably around his age, as he searched the small crowd, looking patiently for Feor. But she had gone.

He pushed his way through the crowds till well past midnight, even trying the bars and one of the clubs but to no avail.

He walked quickly out of the last bar quickly, trying to squash the feelings of desperation and intense loneliness. He wandered along the street for what felt like hours, unsure of where he was or what he was going to do.

Without Feor everything he had experienced would become what he had wished for, simply a terrible nightmare. But that terrible nightmare had been all he had, he didn't know who he was but he knew who they were, who she was. What would he do without her, even though he had only known her a few hours Feor was a big part of his life, a part that wouldn't exist without her.

How would he forget this? Even if he regained his memory would he simply be able to live his life in feigned ignorance, all the time knowing what was waiting below?

It wasn't until the early hours of the morning that Carl stumbled on Feor once more. He had followed the winding streets aimlessly; unable to remember anything about him that might help for the future when he had walked into a seemingly innocent alley.

At first he didn't quite realise what it was that he was seeing, two figures stood locked in a tight embrace black hair mixed with tangled brown, dark glasses lay on the ground, at the feet of the man Feor was embracing. It took Carl a moment to realise they weren't embracing, a dark liquid was falling down the man's neck and shoulder staining his white collar a deep crimson red.

But the man wasn't struggling, he wasn't moving at all, his arms drooped limply by his sides and his eyes were staring straight ahead an expression of awe fixated on his pale face. For a horrified second Carl thought he was dead and then Feor receded from his neck, lips red and full and he saw the man take a shaky breath.

He wondered if Feor had even seen him standing there, for she had not even looked at him once. She held the man at an arms length and looked into his eyes steadily, Carl could remember the effects of those brown orbs, shuddering as he relived for a second the moment in the cupboard were he would have been glad if she had put those lips to his neck again.

The man slumped forward in a deep sleep and Feor dumped him unceremoniously on the grimy floor. Then she picked up the glasses from where they lay and put them in her pocket slowly.

Only then did she acknowledge Carl, "It is almost dawn, I must be out of the sunlight" The blood of the unknown man had agreed with her, her lips were plump and full and her cheeks flushed, there was something else also, but Carl couldn't place it.

He stared at the crumpled figure of the man and for a second almost envied him. Feor saw him staring, "He will wake up with nothing more than a headache and a strange scar on his neck that he won't remember acquiring" She paused, but Carl cut her off with a shake of his head, he didn't want to hear anymore about what would happen to this man, or how she knew.

They began the long walk back to his house and Carl became aware of how exhausted he was, he had spent most the night looking for Feor, wandering the streets and before that in an entirely different.what did Feor call them.realm? He was hungry, thirsty but most of all just plain tired.

He somehow made it back to the apartment, not to mention three flights of stairs. Never in the entire journey did either one of them mention parting ways, Feor walked back with him and he took her. There was no questioning; in some strange way Carl still supposed they needed each other.

When they reached his apartment dawn's fingers were only just beginning to appear over the horizon. Feor did not seem surprised but Carl was sure he had read somewhere that vampires could sense the dawn. He was too tired to worry about how weird that sounded to him.

Feor went immediately to the cupboard and without speaking shut the door, if he was any less exhausted Carl might have felt offended. As an afterthought he piled some of the dirty washing around the crack at the bottom of the door and pulled the curtains tightly shut.

It wasn't until he was collapsed on his bed just drifting off into blissful unconsciousness that Carl realised what had changed about Feor. She was mortal, her heart pumped blood that, while it was not her own, worked just as well, and she breathed. Her eyes.yes her eyes; she had pupils. Carl was asleep before he even comprehended what he was thinking.

And as light flooded the land neither him nor Feor were awake to witness the black shadow sniffing the air before vanishing through the wall.