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[SL] From the Ashes


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Victor Lockheed

The world swam before him like a desert mirage. It was impossible to tell what was real and what was a dream anymore. For a while, Victor been able to grasp at the ethereal edges of consciousness, fighting for purchase on the silken strands, but with each hour that passed, his tenuous grasp was weakened. He was only pulled from the quiet, black ocean of peaceful nothingness when his captors decided to once again spin the wheel of pain.

Time meant little here, at the edge of wakefulness. How long had he been here? How many times had they strapped him down in the sun to burn, waiting until just before the point of no return to shove him back into darkness? He couldn’t remember anymore just what they’d done when they’d opened his belly time and again, lashed to a table and injected with something that burned like hellfire and sapped the strength from his body.

What he did remember, was hearing Mackenzie’s voice. He wasn’t sure if it was hours, or even days ago, but he remembered it… and he hoped it was real.

Mackenzie had told him that it would be okay.

Through the fog of poison, through waiting for the next blow, the next slice, he hung on to her words.

In the end, they saw him through to the other side.

Victor didn’t know what time it was, let alone the day, when the cruel hand of consciousness pulled him from the muddy waters. He felt hands clamped around his arms, hauling him up and moving him sluggishly into a building, where he was dumped without care at the threshold.

He grunted in pain at the impact of his body upon the pavement, and he tried to move his limbs to prop himself up, though it was difficult to force their cooperation. It was as though his body and mind were emerging from molasses.

Blinking heavily several times as he tried to clear the fog, he managed to prop himself up into a sitting position with the help of the brick wall behind him. From somewhere nearby, he heard the distinct sound of a vehicle door shutting before an engine revved, signaling its departure.

Where the fvck…

Even in the darkness of what he could only assume was late evening, his eyes had trouble adjusting to the exterior lights of the building. After a few moments of getting his bearings as best as he could, he realized where he was.

Seventh Circle.

Unless this was all some sort of cruel joke, this would mean that his ordeal was over. Through the mounting pain in his body as his mind became slowly clearer, he realized that knowledge didn’t comfort him as much as he would have expected.

Through sheer force of will, Victor managed to pull himself to his feet and get inside the manor. He quickly realized that the building seemed to be too vacant, but he couldn’t focus on that fact just now. His priorities were simple.

He needed to rest. Also to feed, but there was no making that happen in his condition.

However, as he approached the massive staircase that led to the coven apartments, he felt the will leave his abused body. Painfully, he sat - nearly fell - down on the third step of the staircase, and let his body rest against the railing.

Just for a little while.
September 14, 2019 03:20 pm


The moment she awoke, Mackenzie was scrambling to get to her feet haphazardly. She feels drunk, heavy, and hazed. For just a moment, she forgets just where and when she is, and begins to stumble about the horribly unfamiliar surroundings. The rug is missing, the couch is all wrong, the bookshelves gone. There should be a vase on that table, forever empty and serving no real purpose. "What the f-ck..."

But as she stumbles toward the bedroom, she remembers everything.

"Vic," she would whisper.

Blinking through the fog, she looks about the foreign space before turning and going back into the open living space. Upon the kitchen island, another note. A rush of adrenaline kicks in, and she moves as quickly as she can, shaking hands grasping at the standing card.

Seventh Circle.

A groan, and she is already on the phone, calling for a cab as she fights her way out of the vacant space and outside. It takes too long for the cab, but she has little choice in the matter. Walking is out of the question, and there is no way she could drive. Not like this, at least. Her insides burn like a smoldering log, and she knows the poison has yet to work it's way out.

Thus, once seated, she practically barks the address at the driver. The way she badgers him throughout the ride surely sets him on edge, but it certainly does the job. Still, it takes too long to reach her destination, and she practically throws cash at him before launching herself out of the vehicle.

She nearly trips on her way in the door.

"Victor? Vic?"

Sniffing, her nose wrinkles, and soon enough her sights would land upon him. A surge of energy strikes, and she is fast at his side, sinking to her knees on the second step and throwing her arms around him carelessly. Unable to keep herself together, her petite frame shakes as she sobs, doing her very best to be as quiet as possible.

There is little concern to either of their physical states, let alone how painful every action is or may be for them.

"I am so sorry, Victor.."

Let unsaid, though laced within her apology, is the deep-seated fear she had felt and still feels at the thought of a world without Victor Lockheed.
September 14, 2019 03:55 pm

Victor Lockheed

What seemed like minutes to Victor, was in reality well over an hour. Dressed haphazardly in the same monochromatic clothing he’d been picked up in, the dirty fabric torn in places and stiff with dried blood, he would present a shocking picture to Mackenzie, who knew him well. His skin, typically a healthy olive tone, was pallid; tiny beads of sweat upon his brow slid down his face and neck until they darkened the fabric of his filthy shirt, and his frame was visibly thinner, as though he hadn’t fed in well over a week.

He didn’t stir to the sound of the front door opening and closing, only awakening when Mackenzie nearly crashed into him, pushing his abused frame back onto the stairs as her arms came around to cling tightly about his shoulders.

Mackenzie’s frantic assault shocked him awake, and his hands instantly lifted as if to push away the intruder, but it was impossible for him not to recognize the shaking frame that clung to him.

Coming down from the shock of her appearance, his arms came around to hold her tightly. Her name tumbled from his lips as if he needed to confirm that it was actually her, and not some fragment of his exhausted mind.

Lowering his face to her long, dark hair, he instantly picked up the scent of blood and smoke. She’d been through something, and he had no idea what.

Though she was attempting to stifle her sobs, the intensity of them wracked her body, and he didn’t have to hear her say it to understand that he had been close - so very close - to being silenced forever… and it had terrified her.

His arms, though weak with fatigue, tightened around her.

“Wasn’t your fault…,” he muttered, deep voice husky with exhaustion. “I’ve actually been thinking,” he mumbled against her hair, “that karma might be the real deal.”

If one were to be objective, Victor hadn’t experienced even a fraction of the hell he’d inflicted upon others in his unnaturally long life. It only made sense that things had to come back around eventually.

Pulling back slightly, he looked down at her face and just about managed to pull off his trademark smirk.

“Stop crying. You’ll ruin my shirt.”
September 14, 2019 04:51 pm


She has a complex. Short as her undead life has been, Mackenzie has become horribly used to loss. Far too often, she finds herself watching as those around her drop like flies, never once having the opportunity to say goodbye. These two are estranged, and while some form of goodbye had been had, that possibility of loss had brought her to desperate times and measures.

There is little now, with the worst of it behind them, that can shake this from recent memory. Instead, she only presses her face into his shoulder, uncaring of smell and grime.

"It is," she would choke out, arguing already. "I stopped."

There are a multitude of reasons why she had stopped, but in hindsight, Mackenzie understands that she should have known better.

'...karma might be the real deal.'

She would shake her head, lifting it up to rest her chin upon the space instead, if only to raise her gaze to look upon the stairs behind him. Victor pulls away, and she has to will the urge to lay eyes upon him and view the damage her carelessness has done to him.

He says stop crying, and she only cries harder, bowing her head in a poor attempt to hide it.

There is a moment of silence had in which she presses her forehead to his chest, and Mackenzie works hard to get herself under control. He'd nearly been gone from this Earth, and she would have had to live with that for the rest of her days.

"I could see you," she whispers. It wasn't even at his worst. "I'm just glad we got to.." but she can't finish the thought, already reminded of the nature of that conversation. Those promises were not quite something she should have made. The risk of failure had been high. The unspoken farewells...

Taking a deep breath, she lifts her head and withdraws her arms, wiping at her cheeks to no avail. It would take time, to stem the flow. "Victor... I sent so many of us to him."

Finally, she settles upon him, hands moving to push his filthy mop of hair from his face. "We need to get you upstairs. Cleaned up." Sniffling, she glances over his hollow features. "You smell horrible."
September 14, 2019 05:18 pm

Victor Lockheed

Victor’s attempt to coax a smile from her had only managed to make her tears come more forcefully, drawing an uncharacteristically empathetic response from the typically aloof vampire. Rather than try to distract her, he simply held her, allowing her to cry as long as she needed.

It would be foolish not to acknowledge just how bad things had gotten.

’I’m just glad we got to…’

He nodded silently against her hair, on the same page. Exhausted, starved, and brutalized, nothing else had really mattered to him - to them - in those few moments they had been allowed to speak.

’I sent so many of us to them.’

Of course.

Of course that’s what she’d been forced to do. He sensed that this was the explanation for why she smelled like she’d been in a war zone.

Victor watched her carefully as she wiped her face, not knowing the exact details of what she’d been through, but able to understand the effect that it would have on her. They were much alike; whatever it was that needed to be done would get done, damn the torpedoes.

Reaching up with his right hand, he wiped away a streak of tears that she’d missed upon her jaw.

“I would have done the same for you.”

Too exhausted and disoriented from the days - weeks? - before, Victor spoke freely, with no energy left to even bother lifting his guard or dredging up the past.

Damp strands of curly hair were pushed from his face, and he nodded in complete agreement with Mackenzie’s assessment of his current state. “I know. It’s bad.” He sighed heavily, glancing behind them at the tall staircase.

“Sorry Mick, but you’re gonna have to help haul my nasty ass up there.”
September 15, 2019 03:50 pm


Just like that, Mackenzie would haul them both up, making the slow trek up the stairs and through the hallways until they finally reach his suite. "I made a mess, I'm sorry..." she would murmur, glancing around at the disaster area of her clothes and other items from the unpacked boxes strewn about the apartment. In a corner of the bathroom, a pile of bloodied clothes remains. At the vanity, her makeup and other personal items.

There had been no time to clean up after herself.

She would leave him in the doorway, moving to the shower to start the water for him. She's exhausted, and hungry, but focused still on him. Only once satisfied that the water is the perfect temperature would she look at him, sights flickering over him before meeting his eye.

Chewing at her lip for a moment, she brings a hand up to push her tangled hair from her face. "I'll be right outside the door, Vic," would be her promise before she makes herself scarce.

Stepping around him, she would step out and pull the door behind her, leaving it cracked just enough to allow them to continue talking while allowing for privacy. More than once, she nearly nods off before being brought back to the present by sheer fear of sleeping.

To keep herself awake, she would tell him of things. The fight between Gray and Jasper, and how she hadn't heard anything of Victor's disappearance until recently. But each time The Reverend entered the picture, her emotions bubble up, and she stops to apologize for things outside of her control.

Barely any of what had transpired makes it out.

Only once she is satisfied that he is cleaned would they trade places, though she insists that he go rest rather than babysit her. In the shower, Mackenzie scrubs herself pink, trying desperately to rid herself of her misgivings. Her mind travels all over the place, sending her into silent fits of hysterics until finally she gets her temporary release by cracking a tile with her fist.

"I'm fine, it's fine," she would call out, turning off the water. Once dressed, she would emerge, walking out only to find her way to the bed. She sits upon the edge, looking at him with a miserable gaze, and allows herself to fall back. "At least he had the sense to keep this place in order.." she muses darkly, a hand rising to rest heel of palm to temple.

"...We need to get this poison out of our systems," she groans, pushing herself to stand. Stepping up to the window, she looks out at the street, watching as people walk by in the cool evening air. In the end, she would put every ounce of energy left into compelling a group of young adults into the mansion, and they would be left to feed easily, and ravenously, though she leaves much of the meal for him.

Finally, she comes to rest, laying down at the right edge of the king size bed. Fidgeting, she grabs at her phone, turning it on and sighing as the messages begin to roll in. "I'll stay unt-"

Just like that, her phone rings, and Mackenzie looks at it with no energy to hide her annoyance before picking up. "You need to call Ja- ...Slow down. I can't- ...What? I did not say to do that. What the f-ck? Are you f-cking kidding? This isn't cute."

But she goes silent, listening intently as she stares at Victor, and it is clear that she is torn. Turning on speakerphone, she allows Victor to hear what can only be described as utter chaos, and her own voice bellowing madness as Jameson contradicts her.

The line goes dead.

"I have to..."

She's already moving to sit up, difficult as she finds it. Her fight, it would seem, is not over.
September 15, 2019 04:49 pm

Victor Lockheed

Whatever energy he’d managed to recoup during the brief, uncomfortable nap on the staircase was sapped by the trek up to the second floor, even with Mackenzie’s help. He hadn’t even really noticed the state his rooms were in as she made a comment about the mess; quite atypical for the chronically organized vampire.

Victor couldn’t even summon the energy to wave her off and insist he could handle the shower faucet himself, instead lingering in the doorway and leaning his weight upon the doorframe. He was a mess, and hated it. He couldn’t remember the last time he felt so fvcking weak.

At the very least, she decided not to deprive him of what little dignity he had left to his name, stepping carefully around him and into his bedroom to allow him to clean up. She kept the door cracked, presumably so she could hear if he collapsed in the shower, but made herself scarce as he peeled the filthy, bloodstained clothes from his abused body.

Without having fed in what felt like over a week’s time, even the simple motion of pulling his shirt over his head brought him great pain. Once the shirt slipped over his head and was tossed carelessly to a corner of the room, he caught sight of himself in the mirror and stilled.

His gaze sharpened, and he took a step closer to his reflection, his hand coming up to run across his abdomen. Wounds and incisions that should have healed rapidly had barely closed, and there were blotchy discolorations upon his skin where he’d been beaten.

It was that poison they’d been mainlining into his system, he deduced. Once he fed properly, and had enough time to get it out of his system, he would look as if nothing had happened at all.

With difficulty, he made it into the shower and simply stood there, letting the hot water run across his body. He turned the faucet to the left, making the water just the right side of too hot. It burned, but it felt good to cleanse his skin from the days and weeks that he’d endured.

Mackenzie spoke to him through the cracked door, though he only responded once or twice, too tired to do much more than listen to the lilt of her brogue.

After some time, he wasn’t sure how much, he turned the water off and stepped out of the shower, retrieving a towel and drying himself off. The towel was secured around his waist, and he stepped slowly out of the bathroom, careful to support his weight with a steadying hand on the door frame.

He knew Mackenzie saw the state of his body, though he didn’t meet her eyes, and moved carefully toward his closet to retrieve some clothing as she took her turn in the bathroom

Once he’d pulled on a shirt and some sweatpants, he took a seat on his large bed, but propped himself up against the headboard so he wouldn’t fall asleep.

However, despite his intentions, he realized he must have dozed when he woke with a start at the sound of a fist crashing into a tile wall.

Having gotten up halfway, he stopped when he heard her voice call out that it was fine, and carefully returned to his previous position with a pained sigh. He couldn’t even bring himself to b*tch at her about undoubtedly putting a hole in his wall.

A few minutes later she emerged from the bathroom with clean clothes and damp hair. The image sparked a feeling of nostalgia, and he couldn’t help the slight, amused smirk that managed to touch his lips.

Victor nodded at her assessment of their situation. “You’re not wrong. I don’t think I’m going to be much use with that, though… I feel like a piece of bloody meat.”

Not needing to be convinced, Mackenzie left briefly and returned a short while later with a small group of what appeared to be university students that were all compelled into a serene, compliant state. Victor drank deeply, ravenously, and between the two of them, not one was left alive.

With every ounce of human blood - clean human blood, Victor could feel a measure of strength returning to his body. However, even with the two humans that he’d drained, it didn’t slake his thirst. He felt full, but not satisfied.

Just as he’d slipped into the bathroom once again to clean the blood from his face, he heard Mackenzie phone ring from the bedroom. It wasn’t until he heard her voice rise that he returned curiously, wiping his face with a hand towel.

The call having abruptly ceased, Victor gave a short chuckle. “What, they can’t make it a few days without you?”

’I have to…’

Mackenzie had gotten up and moved for the door, but Victor was instantly blocking her path, concern etched into his handsome face.

“Where do you think you’re going? If you think I’m going to let you board a flight in this condition, you’re out of your mind. You need to rest. We need to rest.”

She didn’t seem to be listening. His hands rose lightly take her upper arms. “Kenz, what’s so wrong that it can’t wait until tomorrow?”
September 17, 2019 06:08 pm


The minute he is in her path, Mackenzie is moving to sidestep him. She could take him, if she wanted to. But he isn't in a state that would allow her to feel as if she were doing either of any favors. Instead, an annoyed little hiss would escape her, a breath of fast escaping air that she forcefully thrusts from her lungs. "Vic-"

Where do you think you're going?

She doesn't even stop, already talking over him as she has a million times. "I need to get to New York. I can f-cking handle it, Victor. I'm not some delicate flower."

He is wrong, and right. She is listening, but she isn't hearing. Mackenzie is once more coiling, stress rising with each moment it takes to leave. Her mind is already on the flights, knowing the schedule between New York and London nearly by heart now. She knows precisely when she needs to be there, how much time she has to get to the airport, and what it will take to get through security.

She knows it will take twenty minutes to get through customs, and another forty just to travel from JFK to her tunnels.

He takes her arms, and Mackenzie looks, truly seeing him, for what feels like the first time since this short encounter began.

A deep breath.

"That wasn't me yelling." Confusion fuels the darkness behind her gaze, and she is unable to truly grasp at what is happening. But she does know that her home and city are under attack. Her people are scared, and suffering.

F-ck, she doesn't even know who really called her.

"It... something about a Legion? It's.." trailing off, a frustrated growl escapes her, and she shoots off a text. Then another, in response. Back and forth she goes for a minute, until she finally pockets her phone. Still, she's ridiculously close to crying again, and that alone is enough to tell her she isn't okay to be saving anyone.

"New York is under attack," she breathes out, looking up at him as if searching for some answer neither of them could hope to provide. "And everyone is there.

"It's a hostile f-cking takeover, Vic. I'm losing everything." Shuddering, she bows her head. "I made them go home to New York because Jack came back around and was threatening to kill everyone. He left again, and then so did I, but.. I never freed them to travel."

Restless, she shakes her head, itching to pace about but forcing herself to remain rooted. "F-ck. F-ck me."
September 17, 2019 06:54 pm

Victor Lockheed

Of all people, he knew she wasn’t someone who needed to be coddled. But he also knew that she always put others before her own wellbeing, and it had been a point Victor had been making since the day he’d met her. She needed to take care of herself first, and others after.

’That wasn’t me yelling.’

Victor’s brows pulled together minutely. Of course he’d been able to hear the raucous phone call, and although it had sounded much like Mackenzie’s yelling - he would know - it hadn’t occurred to him to think anything of it.

Mackenzie, frustrated and confused, pulled her phone out and began to send out feelers. Victor’s hands released their light grip, and he crossed his arms over his chest as he watched her fingers fly across the screen, waiting with her for some kind of clarification. If something was happening within her crew, it affected them both.

After a long few moments of back and forth, she finally pocketed her phone, and Victor could see that she was nearly on the verge of tears. Mackenzie wasn’t one to cry at the drop of a hat, and she’d already done more than enough of it today. She’d been under a mountain of stress, for days, and something more being piled on top of her right now was too much.

’New York is under attack.’

Victor’s dark gaze sharpened intensely, and his hands dropped to his sides. “What? By who?” he uttered, instantly snapping into high alert. His jaw set as she elaborated on what she knew, which was very little, but he immediately understood her desire to get on a plane right now.

Who is taking your city, Kenz? Is it Jack?” He asked with quiet insistence. Victor didn’t get frantic when sh*t hit the fan. Panic clouded judgement, and he’d learned long ago, even in his human life, that panic was a useless emotion. Instead, he became focused and resolute.

Victor glanced at the clock on his nightstand, and knew well enough that there was little she could do.

’F-ck. F-ck me.’

Attuned to her as he was, he could feel her stress as it threatened to bubble over. “Mackenzie, look at me.” He took her hands firmly in his. “I know you want to go help them, but I’m telling you, even if you left right this second, it will be too late by the time you get there. Even if by some miracle you could do something about it by the time you arrived, you’re a mess.

“You should get ahold of whoever you can and tell them to shelter here until it’s over. I’ll get ahold of Gray, and we’ll make arrangements for transportation so they don’t have to board a commercial flight.” Releasing her, he automatically reached for his pocket, but paused.

“F-ck. Phone. I have no f-cking idea what happened to it. Go ahead and get ahold of your people, and I’ll go see if Gray is around.”

He turned and made to head for the door. Honestly, he was amazed Gray hadn’t found him laying half-dead in the stairwell.
September 17, 2019 07:46 pm


Mackenzie would remain silent, thinking on the short conversation she'd just had via text as she listens to Victor's reasoning. She's exhausted, her emotions heightened to an extreme in her starved and altered state. Without a thought, she is waving off the notion of calling Gray, finding the man completely useless.

He'd abandoned them, after all - not that she blamed him for it.

"I can't just leave them to their own devices, Victor. These people depend on me. My-"

Snapping her mouth shut, she stops herself from saying something that would sour whatever truce has been called between them. It wouldn't be words of malice that did this in, but something deeply personal to her. Anything to do with her heart, outside of this room, would bring the roof down over their heads. She needs this.

Really, she just needs to be consoled. There is no question that Victor is right.

I'll go see if Gray is around.

"He's in New York."

The words tumble out before she can stop them, and she is raising her sights to look at him. "Victor... he shut down Seventh Circle. We didn't know until I made Jasper call him because you weren't answering me. He joined Jameson, and they moved Wahnsinn to New York. Gray is in New York. We are alone."

Bringing her arms up, she pushes her fingers into her tangled, wet hair, letting them slide until the knots stop them. She would turn, returning to the bed if only to take a defeated seat, hunching over and resting elbow to knee as she holds her head. "Victor, I'm sorry. I thought you heard me..."

Once more her phone would ring, and Mackenzie would jump up, closing the distance between herself and Victor as she fumbles with it. Two rings, and she answers the call, immediately putting it on speaker. "What is happening?"

Jameson's voice would boom through, a calm sort of frantic as he hurriedly explains the situation. He speaks of dopplegangers, Shadow Spawn, and Legion. A true rebellion, if ever there were one. No one can trust anyone, and everything is unclear. They've infiltrated every portion of her tunnels, of his subway platforms, of their city.

Taking a deep breath, she can feel herself begin to accept fate.

"Evacuate the city."

It is all she can muster to get out before she presses end, the heavy weight of loss upon her shoulders.

"They'll tear apart every inch of our world, Vic..."
September 17, 2019 08:11 pm

Victor Lockheed

Victor’s purposeful steps pause at Mackenzie’s words, and he turned to give her an inquiring stare. Why would Mackenzie know exactly where Gray was - she detested the man.

He shut down Seventh Circle.

He joined Jameson.

Wahnsinn was in New York.

We are alone.

With each bombshell, Victor’s expression barely changed. Only the small movement of his brows drawing together betrayed what was in his mind.

Mackenzie’s small form moved over to the bed, and he heard her speaking, but didn’t respond. Already exhausted, his mind worked to process and catalogue the information she’d just given him.

“That f-cking-,”

Just as he was about to burst into an impressive string of expletives, he was interrupted by the ring of Mackenzie’s phone. She almost leapt off the bed and moved over to him so he could hear what was happening.

It was Jameson, and his words were dire. Nevermind the fact that apparently Mackenzie and Jameson were now on speaking terms, if not more than that - something that would have been more of a bombshell if there wasn’t a bigger one being delivered over the phone right now.

Doppelgangers. Shadow spawn. Legion?

Shadow spawn weren’t unheard of in their world, but the fact that they were stealing faces… the damage that could be done was difficult to wrap one’s brain around. What better way for the spawn to eliminate their targets by wearing a friendly face. The initial cities under attack would have absolutely no warning, no countermeasures.

However, their hand had been tipped. Everyone would be on high alert now.

As the information came, Mackenzie and Victor’s eyes met in an unspoken understanding. Things were bad. Very bad, and no matter what had happened in the past, they needed to work together now.

Evacuate the city.

Victor gave a subtle nod at her decision, understanding that with her position as leader of a coven, it was an incredibly painful decision to make.

The call is ended, and Mackenzie all but deflates before him.

They’ll tear apart every inch of our world.

For a long moment, Victor said nothing.

“They had no warning. But we do.”

His tone was quiet, resolute, and husky with exhaustion. Reaching out briefly, he gave Mackenzie’s hand a firm, reassuring squeeze that attempted to remind her that she was not alone in this.

“There’s nothing we can do right now except worry, and we both need to sleep before we go off our heads. I can barely think anymore. Go ahead and lay down, I’m going to go check the security. F-ck knows if Gray disengaged it before he took off.”

Leaving her to attempt to relax, Victor gathered what little strength he’d regained from feeding and headed to the lower level to check all the doors before moving upstairs to his office. He powered on the desktop and made sure all the security protocols were in place and armed. If anyone tried to enter while they slept, he would be made aware.

When he returned to his apartment, he found Mackenzie curled up on the couch in his living room with a blanket and pillow she’d borrowed from his bed. Victor very nearly woke her to insist she take the bed, but the fact that she’d managed to fall asleep at all was a small miracle. Leaving well enough alone, he moved to his bedroom and fell uncomfortably into bed.

His body was still sore, and he was sure his wounds had only barely closed by the pain he still felt. The poison would take time to get out of his system, he was sure. His fall couldn’t have come at a worse time. His crew had been disbanded in his absence by Gray who, as far as he knew, had done little to nothing to alert their allies. Where there could have been shelter for Sine from the invasion happening, there was now an empty husk of a coven with its fallen leader barely a match for anyone right now. There was no protection to be had here, especially with The Reverend undoubtedly monitoring the manor.

He would have to leave as soon as he was physically able.

It was need rather than desire that finally pulled him into a fitful, but deep sleep. Even Mackenzie’s slight weight tipping the edge of the bed in the middle of the day didn’t cause him to stir.

He would need every drop of rest he could get for the coming days. They both would.
September 25, 2019 03:10 pm


There was little fight left in her, in the end. In a game of give and take, Victor cared for her just as she had for him. It is an unusual dance for the two, a foreign concept only in that they are both speaking exactly what it is they wish to without any sort of distraction. So she would wait until he is gone before moving about the apartment, making a quick sweep if only to pick up the disaster she'd left behind in the past few days.

Only then did she find her way to the bed, blanket and pillow in tow, becoming a small, huddled mass beneath the safety of comforting warmth.

She is out within moments.

Her rest is fretful, her sleep fleeting as she remains with just one foot in the waking world. Every little noise enters her dreams, turning them into nightmares. Soon enough, Mackenzie would creep her way into Victor's room, pillow and blanket in her arms as she becomes small once more at the foot of his bed.

When she would wake, it would be to the dim glow of the setting sun peaking out from behind the curtains. Dusk had always been her most favorite time of day, and it is not without irony that she should dwell now only in what it creates. She'd stretched out, at some point in the day, remaining at the bottom half of the bed but no doubt restricting Victor's ability to sprawl, himself.

As she lies there, she glances over her phone, checking flights and ensuring everything would be business as usual.

She remains, until he wakes. Cool blue eyes would lift as she tilts her head back, looking at him as he returns to the here and now. Sighing, Mackenzie pushes herself to sit up, glancing over his covered form before allowing herself to consider past and present circumstance. Pressing her lips together, she prepares for a difficult discussion.

"I need to go back to New York, Vic. That cannot wait." quiet as she is, she knows he hears her loud and clear. A hand comes to rest upon leg, just above his ankle, if only to ground them both. "I'm not comfortable leaving you here, alone. It.."

Tapering off, she rolls her eyes, fully aware of what it is that she is asking him of. "From what I can tell, it is only getting worse and.." Jasper would never appreciate this, but he'd certainly understand.

Bowing her head, she allows her sights to fall to her lap.

"Come with me. Please."

The most uncomfortable request she may ever make is on the table, laced with all her love, worry, and selfishness. Neither of them are fit to enter a war zone, least of all Victor.

"It's not ideal, I know, but after all of this.. it would be a comfort, having you close. You're... I need you. This isn't something either of us should take on alone."
September 25, 2019 04:01 pm

Victor Lockheed

When Victor finally stirred with the last remnants of sunlight that disappeared beyond the horizon, he felt rather as though he’d been… well. Beaten, starved, and tortured for days on end. Sleep had helped clear the cobwebs from his mind, but it had done little to nothing for his ailing body. His hand ran over his stomach as he lay there, feeling the foreign sensations of ridges, bruises, and unevenly healed skin. Idly, he wondered how many lives it would take to flush the poison from his system and allow him to heal.

He woke slowly, and it took a moment for him to realize that Mackenzie had migrated to very nearly the foot of his bed in the midst of the day. She’d clearly meant to be as unintrusive as possible, but Victor was sure it would have taken at least nearby cannon fire to wake him.

The events of the previous day and the days before rushed back to him as he quietly studied the lines of worry upon her eternally young face. Perhaps she’d already received more information during the day, and had more news for him.

It chafed to be so ignorant about what was happening; to be so weak. There was little he could offer anyone right now in the way of protection or even information. He hated the thought that Mackenzie would undoubtedly feel the need to take care of him.

Their interactions over the past night had been vastly different than before the Reverend’s return. The seriousness of their situation had stripped away all the detail and had left only the bare foundation in its wake. They cared for each other, deeply. Loved each other. What needed to be done, was done.

Looking at her now, as she rose to sit with something clearly on her mind, Victor wondered if perhaps something had changed between them last night. And if it had, he needed to know what it was.

‘I need to go back to New York, Vic. That cannot wait.’

Instantly, Victor had bristled. With a quiet grunt of effort, he moved to sit up, leaning back against his headboard, expression grim. Going back to New York was an incredibly dangerous, pigheaded idea, and it was the last place he wanted her to go. But, at the same time, it was where she needed to be, and he knew he wouldn’t stop her. If their situations were flipped, he would be doing the same thing for those that depended on him.

That didn’t stop him from hating the idea.

Her hand moved to touch his leg above the blanket, and she seemed to struggle with something. She starts and stops once, twice, and then,

‘Come with me. Please.’

Victor stilled, very aware of how she was refusing to meet his gaze. The request itself wasn’t necessarily surprising in this situation. Rather, it was how she was asking.

’It's not ideal, I know, but after all of this.. it would be a comfort, having you close. You're... I need you. This isn't something either of us should take on alone.’

She could have simply listed the many logical reasons that he should go with her, but she hadn’t. She was asking him something else. She wasn’t asking him to come because he should, but rather because she wanted him to be there with her. Needed him close.

Victor was silent as he regarded her downcast face, many things passing behind the burnished copper of his gaze.

He sat up fully, leaning in so he could hook a finger beneath her chin to raise her gaze to his. He regarded her carefully, never knowing whether she understood what she was doing to him in this moment.

“I don’t think your husband would be happy having me as a guest.” He spoke with a quiet, even tone, not completely masking the bitterness he felt at the manner of her request. At the selfishness. Victor would be the first to admit that he’d taught her to embrace her selfish side; to take what she wanted unapologetically. But right now, he refused to allow her to have her cake and eat it, too.

The fact that she was pressing buttons that she knew were chinks in his armor hadn’t broken his resolve. She was saying things that she knew he wanted to hear, and it only served to anger him.

His hand dropped from her face, and it would seem that a wall had been thrown up between them for all the distance that would be felt in that moment.

Victor shifted, moving to rise from the bed. “I wouldn’t be much help to anyone in New York, least of all you. I’d just slow you down.”

On his feet, he gingerly rolled his neck and winced lightly at a sharp pain. “I know how to lay low. I just need time to recover… gather my strength. And I need to find my f-cking phone so I can get ahold of Gray.”

With that, Victor stepped out of the room and set about searching for the missing device, not meeting Mackenzie’s eyes.
September 27, 2019 12:52 pm


She doesn't want to look at him.

His weight shifting upon the bed tells her what is to come, and her eyes would close as he touches to her chin, bringing her face upward. No doubt, he desires her to look at him - she simply cannot face it. It is only after the few, steeling seconds that she takes that she complies to his wordless demand. A pair of electric blues would flutter open to meet his darkened hues, desperate to withhold her feelings from him. Mackenzie fully understands her emotions betray her, and this is no different, a frustrated breath escaping her as he no doubt sees right through her.

"That is my concern," she whispers, annoyance evident in her voice. Jasper is her concern, and at the end of the day.. "He will understand. He would do the same for Gray." It is an enigma, but it is the God's honest truth. Jasper and Mackenzie both are so horribly alike in all things. They are solid, yet they still hold all the love they always have for those they left behind.

It is the glue that binds them together, this understanding between the two.

Complete trust, and total respect.

His refusal on the matter is only serving to increase her anxiety, and just as he pulls away, she turns her head to look away from him. Things have always been complicated between them, but these feels so much more. She's always been the emotional one, and now, he seems to be on the same page as her. It would seem neither of them have anything to hide anymore, or there is simply no time or energy to attempt it. Recent history will do that to a person.

"You're not so great here, either," she watches as he stands. "You're unwell, and compromised. There is no one here. They could enter London at any time, Victor."


Back to this, again.

And I need to find my f-cking phone so I can get ahold of Gray.

His name has escaped her multiple times as he continued, starting in a whisper until finally, she hovers somewhere between a normal volume and a raised voice. Mackenzie is losing grasp of herself, and it shows as she stands, the comfort of pillows and blankets left behind as she trails after him. "Are you trying to keep me here? Is that it? I have to be with my people."

God, she wishes she hadn't even attempted to clean up. She wishes her things were still strewn about carelessly, instead of in a pile upon the arm of the sofa. Mackenzie would play nearly any card in the book to ensure Victor's safety. Nearly.

"The attacks are spreading. They have every major city in the States. You think they're going to stop there? They will come here, and I need to know you are safe." Without thinking, her hand slaps down upon a small table that sits against a wall. There is no mind paid to what lays upon it, though the items somehow survive her wrath. "Will you.. Jesus f-cking Christ, Victor. F-ck your phone. F-ck Gray Taylor."

She is burning. She can feel it. Be it exhaustion, be it hunger, or perhaps even the cruel mixture of fear and stress that courses through her veins tirelessly. It propels her forward, bringing her to step into his path like a human barricade before he can look further for his cell. If she weren't so very aware of his current state, she would likely shove him right now. This is who she has become: the woman who goes completely off the wall when it all becomes too much.

But she can't. The energy is almost completely sapped from her very soul the moment she looks upon his face.

Her sights lower, trained upon his chest as she tries again to express herself. "Victor, please."

Pigs have certainly taken flight, now.

"Leaving you here is not an option. I just got you back. I can't.." Taking a deep breath, she wrings her hands, lowering her voice to a whisper. "Please."

Once more, she would address his very first concern.

"He would understand.."
September 27, 2019 06:21 pm

Victor Lockheed

Tired, hungry, and not remotely recovered from the abuse inflicted upon him by the Reverend and his lackeys, Victor was not in a position to restrain himself when Mackenzie was so earnestly demanding that he joined her. Denying her once was likely all the restraint he would be able to muster, and she was refusing to accept his answer.

Victor’s purposeful stride didn’t break as her voice rose behind him, calling for his attention, which he didn’t give. Reaching the spacious living area, it became quickly apparent that she’d attempted to clean up the mess she’d made the night before, and he set about searching for his phone.

He could hear her light steps coming down the hall, trailing him, but he didn’t cease his efforts. It wasn’t that he was ignoring her; rather, he was steeling himself against what was sure to be another attempt to convince him. And truthfully, he really needed his fvcking phone. If she was right about the shadows taking every major city in the US, Gray wasn’t the only one he needed to contact.

Mackenzie trailed him closely as he moved around, looking under the couch cushions, on tables, within a pile of papers that had been scattered across the floor, and he withstood her verbal assault in silence right up until she bodily blocked him from moving through the doorway to the spare bedroom.

Forced to stop, his jaw set as he looked down at her face, feeling the flames of his own anger rising at her refusal to leave him be.

’Victor, please.’

Having resorted to begging, he finds that she can’t meet his eyes.

’Leaving you here is not an option. I just got you back. I can't... please. He would understand.’

“I’m not going with you. I-” His voice had risen forcefully with his anger, and the words came before he could think. He stopped himself, lips pressed together, and forced his gaze away. A moment of heavy silence passed before he regained whatever composure he had - which wasn’t much at all - and he leaned both of his hands upon the doorway she was blocking, his face angling to the floor between their feet.

“Why are you doing this to me, Mackenzie.” He murmured, deep voice tightly quiet with restraint. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to hear you say these things? Any idea at all?” He glanced up at her searchingly. “The other night… when they had you on the phone. You didn’t know if you were going to see me again. You said you loved me.” His eyes were upon her, looking for something.

“If something has changed, Mackenzie… I need you to tell me right now.”
October 09, 2019 05:29 pm
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