Chapter 1: An introduction
Leandro ‘Lance’ Alvarez-McClain liked to think that he was mostly a normal seventeen-year-old. He got pretty good grades; he liked hanging out with his friends at the local café after school, and, like most teenagers desperate to get into a good university, had a mild caffeine addiction after depending on it to survive many all-nighters.
There were a few small(ish) differences that set Lance apart from the rest of his age group:
1) He could recite the Greek alphabet backwards.
2) He genuinely liked brussels sprouts.
3) He was descended from a long line of vampire hunters.
Now, you might be wondering how and why the hell vampires and, in turn, vampire hunters, ended up in the New World. Well, you see, after the major European powers of the day had finished ‘settling’ (*cough* murdering the natives and later marginalising the survivors for centuries to come *cough*) newfound lands, said Europeans started settling there, in hope for a better life. Vampires headed for the New World in hope of living in peace, and not having to live in the constant fear of having a wooden stake* driven through them. It was then, in 1582, that Felipe Victor Alvarez**, vampire hunter, was sent to the Spanish colony of Cuba to head the hunt for vampires***. In 1588, he met Maria Luisa Lopez, and thus began a dynasty of vampire hunters.
Now, vampire hunting had changed drastically since the 16th century. After a series of agreements between vampires and vampire hunters, vampire hunters had, well, taken a chill pill. Pretty much everyone agreed that there was no need to hunt vampires indiscriminately; there was no need to drive a wooden stake through your average, law abiding vampire who drank blood only from their blood rations ( AKA unsuitable blood donations****) or from a fully consenting blood bank. And so, both sides reached a comfortable peace; vampires no longer lived in fear of being killed, and vampire hunters could stop running around like maniacs driving wooden stakes through people*****. Really, they became more of a specialised police force for vampires.
This didn’t really affect Lance very much. You see, he wasn’t really expected to follow tradition and become a full-time vampire hunter; in fact, Lance quite liked the idea of working for NASA. He had a large family to carry on hunting, and his older brother Luis was already a vampire hunter. Lance could do the whole hunting thing part time anyway, if he so chose.
Lance’s lineage hadn’t really affected his life much, only in very minor ways. His mother always insisted that her children wear silver bracelets and chokers, ‘just in case’; he went to ‘vampire hunting classes’ after school every Tuesday after school. While Lance had resented this when he was younger (”Jewellery is for girls,” he had whined. ”And the classes are so boring!”), he really didn’t mind it now. In fact, he like the aesthetic that wearing jewellery brought; and ‘vampire hunting classes’ had turned into a weekly meetup of friends.
The only problem that his background had brought was wondering whether people who avoided him were vampires (avoiding the silver), or just assholes.
And that was why he was currently standing in the middle of a corridor, staring at his
crush rival, Keith.
Keith was unfairly good at everything (superhuman strength- a vampire trait), allergic to garlic****** (vampire trait) and avoided being within a 10m radius of Lance. Which could mean that either Keith was your average human being who just hated Lance, or that he was a bloodsucking fiend whose kryptonite was silver.
Lance really hoped it was the latter- because he liked Keith. Keith, who helped out with the football team, who twirled his pen around when he was concentrating, who’s smile lit up the room- nope, not going there.
”Oi, lover-boy, stop staring at your crush and get your ass moving!”
”Wha- He is not my crush!”
Pidge smirked. ”Sure, he’s not. You’re just conveniently staring at him and watching his every move when we have physics to go to.”
Lance made a strangled noise before turning to the boy opposite Pidge. ”Hunk, back me up here!”
Hunk sighed and shrugged his shoulders. ”Sorry bud, but your pining can be seen from space. Why don’t you just go up to him and talk to him instead of staring at him from your locker?”
Lance huffed in reply. ”He hates my guts.”
Katie ‘Pidge’ Holt and Hunk Garrett were a pair of geniuses. Like seriously, those two could get into Oxford or Harvard or something on a full-ride scholarship. They were also the firmest believers in the power of science- and it was for that reason the Lance hadn’t told them about his rather unique family background. Two aspiring engineers weren’t likely to believe in the existence of vampires. And it was for that reason that both of them thought that Lance was staring at Keith only because he had a crush on him- not that Keith was possibly a blood-sucking supernatural creature.
Lance did feel bad about keeping his biggest secret from his two best friends, who he had known since the age of five, but he really didn’t want them to think that he was mad. Really, Lance considered, it didn’t affect their lives. It wasn’t like he was putting them in danger by not telling them about the existence of vampires.
They’ll be fine, he thought, as the three of them headed to physics, Lance looking back to glance at Keith one more time before he left.
* Wooden stakes were seen as the best way to fatally harm and kill a vampire. Since no one had really tried execution À la wooden stake on normal humans before, it was thought that this means of killing was only fatal to vampires, and not everyone. This resulted in a lot of accidents due to some overzealous new recruits driving a wooden stake through everyone who expressed a dislike for garlic.
** The ‘McClain’ in Lance’s name comes from a Scottish family of vampire hunters who had to flee Scotland for Cuba (and then married into the Alvarez family) in 1658 after mistakenly staking a prominent member of nobility.
*** Unlike the founder of the Alvarez dynasty, the Alvarez-McClain family did not come to the US to hunt vampires- they came during Castro’s rule fleeing political persecution.
**** A vampire’s stomach can kill off any diseases found in the blood, making them suitable outlets for expired and infected donated blood.
***** refer to the first note. Vampire hunters were seen as a little crazy, especially in later years when belief in vampires waned. This view was not helped by the number of accidental stakings.
****** Lance found this out when he passed round garlic knots and gave one to Keith. Keith did not know that it was a garlic knot. Keith ate the garlic knot. Keith’s throat started swelling up.
Keith Kogane was most decidedly not a normal teenager. For starters, he firmly believed in the existence of mothman. And, y’know, there was the whole drinking blood business.
Keith was a vampire. He did not know whether or not he came from a long line of vampires, because he was an orphan. His mother was probably a vampire*, but she had upped and left when he was a baby. His father was not- Keith remembered that much of him. Keith’s father had died in a fire when Keith was eight, and Keith was then taken in and adopted by another vampire family, the Shiroganes. He was eternally grateful to them; without them, he’d have probably been placed into foster care by someone who didn’t understand his unique needs.
Vampirism had affected Keith’s life in many ways. While it meant that he was pretty strong, and therefore pretty good at sports, right now it meant that he couldn’t even get with 10m of his crush.
Lance Alvarez-McClain. The boy he ate a garlic knot for**. The boy whose laughter filled the whole room. He had eyes as blue as the sea- Keith, stop it. Keith sighed. He was way too far gone.
It just so turned out that the boy he liked seemed to wear silver every single goddamn day (like seriously, it was real silver as well- not the fake stuff). For those who don’t know, silver seems to be an irritant to vampires***, and while Keith would really like to actually talk to Lance and not avoid him 24/7, Keith also really didn’t want to break out in a rash because he accidently touched one of Lance’s bracelets****.
Keith turned around to look to where Lance stood, flanked by his two friends. Now, Keith, as a bit of a bad boy loner (he only helped out with the football team because his brother forced him to), didn’t have many friends, so was a little envious of how easily the three got along. He gazed wistfully at the trio, wishing that he could actually talk to Lance instead of having to resort to stealing glances from across the room.
*Vampirism seems to be a recessive gene. While Keith’s father wasn’t a vampire, he carried the vampirism gene, which meant that Keith was a vampire. Many human-vampire children turn out to be completely normal humans, since most humans do not carry said gene. This meant that Keith’s mother was either a vampire or a human with the vampirism gene. It’s more likely that she was a vampire.
**Keith did, in fact, know that he was being handed a garlic knot, but didn’t want to disappoint Lance, so ate it anyway. Keith didn’t regret this even after he suffered through anaphylaxis. Keith is, most definitely, a disaster gay.
*** The reason for this is unknown. This trait is shared and often associated with werewolves, who are said to only be killed by a silver bullet. This is not true- werewolves can also be killed by being stabbed, shot by a normal bullet, and the numerous other ways that humans can be killed by. It’s just easier to kill them via silver bullet. Anyone would die after getting shot by a maniac with a silver bullet.
* ***Lance had worn those bracelets for as long as Keith could remember. When asked why he wore them, Lance would just say ‘to ward off vampires ’. Keith had no idea whether or not he was joking.
Chapter 2: An Interogation
Hunk and Pidge were as different from Lance and Keith as night and day; both came from very normal backgrounds, with next to nothing to do with the supernatural. However, they were both very special, albeit in different ways; to put it simply, both were absolute genii with an insatiable appetite for meddling.
Lance would, very unfortunately, fall victim to this particular trait of theirs.
You see, they had seen Lance pining for Keith for ages. Like, years. Ever since Keith had eaten that garlic knot for him (Hunk suspected that Keith did in fact know that there was garlic in those garlic knots. It was pretty impossible to have a sense of smell, and not be able to smell the garlic in those knots), Hunk and Pidge were absolutely sure that Keith liked him back, and after further close observation, were sure that Keith had been pining for Lance for a long time.
A very freaking long time.
Which leads to this very moment, when both genii are in engineering soc, poring over resources as a cover for their devious little plot; how to get Lance to finally admit his feelings and ask Keith out.
“We could just lock them in a cupboard and leave it to them to figure it out.” Pidge didn’t look up from the article she was skimming over.
“I mean, I think it’d be great idea, and would take minimal effort from us!”
“Pidge, think about it. Both boys are the most emotionally constipated people I’ve ever met- Keith’s more likely to pick the lock than admit his feelings for Lance.”
Hunk looked up from his book as if struck by a eureka moment.
Which, in fact, he was.
He had found the solution to all their problems. Their milk to their tea; their Orpheus to their Eurydice.
“Why don’t we just, maybe, talk to Lance about this whole thing? In a confined space obviously- we can’t let him get away this time.”
Pidge chewed the end of her pen thoughtfully. “Y’know, that’s not a bad idea. Tomorrow lunch?”
At approximately 13:38, a kidnapping took place.
Leandro ‘Lance’ Alvarez-McClain was gagged, bounded, and taken to a supplies closet, where he was locked and interrogated.
In reality, Pidge jumped on Lance’s back, by chance gagging him with her hand, while Hunk led them through a crowd to the supply closet.
No one said anything. Why? Because this was a fairly common occurrence at the school. They only got a few stares at most directed their way (most of which were from Keith, staring longingly at the love of his life).
“Guys, what the fuck?” Lance screeched when he was unceremoniously dumped in the closet.
“Right, Lance. We’re sick and tired of your pining. You quite obviously have feelings for Keith, and you’d be fucking blind if you didn’t notice his feelings for you too, so why the ever-loving crap have you not asked him out yet?”
“I don’t have feelings for Keith. Nope, none found here, no feelings of love-“
“AHA! Love. I never said anything about love.”
“Nor did I!”
“Just admit it Lance- you’re gay for Keith.”
Lance visibly deflated. “Okay, fine. You got me. I like Keith.”
Pidge let out a shout of triumph, while Hunk motioned for Lace to carry on.
“I just- I can’t date him, okay? Not when…”
“Not when what?”
“Not when… he’s allergic to garlic. Yep, that’s it. I can’t date someone who’s allergic to garlic.”
Hunk looked at Lance incredulously. “And that’s a problem because…?”
“I can’t feed him garlic knots then! What other declaration of love is there?”
Lance looked down, all defensiveness leaving him. “I think he’s allergic to silver too, and…” Lance motioned towards his numerous bracelets.
Hunk and Pidge slowly turned to look at each other, before breaking out into laughter.
“What, Lance, he’s a vampire? Seriously? Allergic to garlic and silver?”
Lance scowled. “You know what, you can ask him yourself!” And with that, he stormed out.
Keith was peacefully making his way to football training. He was doing the usual; scowling at everybody, thinking about Lance… you know. The usual.
He felt a tap on his shoulder. Ready to give whoever disturbed his peace his ultra-scary-pee-your-pants-scowl he turned around to see… Lance’s friends?
The big one (Hank? Hunk?) started speaking to him.
“So, where are you off to now, Keith?”
“Ah, cool! We have chemistry together, don’t we?”
Keith vaguely recollected seeing these two around Lance in his chemistry class. Ah. Lance.
“I’ve been hearing some strange things about you, Keith…”
Uh oh. Keith on red alert.
“Is it true you’re allergic to both silver and garlic?”
Keith let out a sigh of relief.
“Oh, yeah, that- that’s true.”
“What, like a vampire then?”
“What- yeah no, definitely not, nope, not me, no vampire here! Oh, would you look at that, I’m basically at football! Bye!”
And with that panicked rant having been spoken, he walked quickly away, leaving a flummoxed Pidge and Hunk behind.