Louis lay in the coffin, the boy on top of him. There was no room in the coffin for any other arraignment of their bodies, but it was clear to Louis that Daniel was uncomfortable and wanted nothing more than to punch the coffin lid open and escape. Louis, fearing the boy would attempt to run into the sun, slipped his arms around Daniel's body and held him tightly. He was stronger now than he was as a human, but much weaker than Louis, and of course weaker then Lestat as well.
And there was no doubt in Louis's mind that Lestat was awake in his own coffin, waiting to see what Daniel would do. What Louis would do, as well. He must be hoping for Daniel to try and escape, so Lestat could stop him, teach him the strength of his new father.
"I'm sorry," Louis whispered again, burrowing his nose into Daniel's raven hair. He wanted to hold the boy for eternity, keep him safe. But it was too late for that, was it not? He'd condemned the boy to the existence that had destroyed him for hundreds of years. Not only by feeding him his blood, but by talking to him in the first place, handing the boy to Lestat on a silver platter.
"Oh, give it a rest, won't you?" Daniel snorted, shifting a bit in Louis's grasp. "It's done, it's over. And Lestat's right, the world's really beautiful now."
Louis sighed, head hitting the coffin. He could feel Daniel trying to escape from his grasp, and snapped, "The world won't be beautiful for much longer."
"I know," Daniel said, and suddenly he sounded wiser, smarter than he had before. Still so innocent, though. Such an innocent child, Louis almost hated him for a moment. He wanted to be this innocent. He had been once, hadn't he? He could barely remember now. "But it is now."
Louis smiled, sadly, and knew that he couldn't hate his boy. He probably never could. The boy wanted to learn so much, to see so much. He was curious, and it was such a deep part of him, Louis doubted it would ever be stripped away from him. As he grew older, it would be harder and harder for Daniel to find things he did not know, things he could find out about the world. He would get frustrated, get furious at Louis and Lestat for rendering the world boring for him. But he would never stop looking, never stop searching for new things to learn.
"Tomorrow night, I'll show you how beautiful the world is now," Louis promised, carding his fingers through Daniel's hair. Daniel turned around, so they could look each other in the eye, and Louis swallowed. He was beautiful, so beautiful. Like an angel come to save Louis. For a moment Louis almost allowed himself to believe it, that Daniel was his savior, that Lestat had been right. Daniel would save them, both of them. Daniel, this beautiful and sweet creature, would save the two of them, make them whole again. "I promise."
"Ok," Daniel whispered. "And when it stops being beautiful?"
Louis placed his hand on the back of Daniel's neck and pulled him close, gently kissing his forehead.
"I'll be there when the world stops being beautiful, as well," He promised. He would stay with Daniel until one of them died.
"We should leave," Daniel said, and it seemed to Louis that his promise had emboldened Daniel. "As soon as the sun comes down, we need to leave."
But Louis shook his head, "Lestat would simply follow us."
"Why are you so scared of him?" Daniel demanded. "You said- you said that he can't handle the modern world. That he got scared by fucking police sirens. He won't be able to follow us; we can get away-"
"I was wrong," Louis snapped, frightened. He could not allow Daniel to incur Lestat's wrath, it was not safe. Claudia had, and Lestat had attempted to kill her. He would not allow that fury to attach itself to his child. Not that, not again. "You saw, he followed you. Every time I underestimate Lestat, he proves to me how foolish that is. I will not allow you to anger him, Daniel. I must protect you-"
"You don't have to," Daniel snapped. "You know I'm not actually a kid, right? No matter what Lestat says."
Louis smiled, "How old are you?"
The glare Daniel sent at him was rather petulant, and did very little to convince Louis of his maturity, "I'm twenty-five."
"A child, then," Louis declared, rubbing the back of Daniel's neck fondly. He could see (it was impossible not to see) the sparkling of lust in Daniel's eyes. He'd been able to see it during the long interview, but it was even clearer now. Louis hesitated for a moment, and then carefully raised his head and kissed Daniel softly.
The boy froze, and then Louis could feel his smile against Louis's lips, and he was kissing back, much rougher and harsher than Louis would have expected. But it was good, it was wonderful. He could feel his member twitch slightly as Daniel's hand cupped his cheek, deepening their kiss.
But then the boy pulled away, smirking down at him, and Louis thought, dizzyingly, I have never seen anything more beautiful in my many years. He wanted this boy, wanted him all to himself. The thought that he would have to share Daniel with Lestat made Louis want to burn down his estate. Again.
"If I'm a child, do you know what that makes you?" Daniel asked with clear satisfaction.
Realizing what Daniel was implying, Louis's eyes widened and he found himself laughing, unable to stop himself, "God, Daniel."
"What's sex like, for vampires?" Daniel asked, and he looked down at Louis with the same burning curiosity and need to know that had been so infectious while Louis had told his story.
"It's…. rather like it is for humans," Louis replied, caressing Daniel's hair fondly. "What did you think?"
Daniel shrugged, "Well, in-"
"If you say in Dracula…." Louis warned, but Daniel just smirked, and Louis rolled his eyes, finding himself unable to prevent a smile from entering his face.
But Daniel was growing serious again, and placed his open palm on the coffin lid, saying seriously and quietly, "You and Lestat…Why didn't you tell me about that?"
Louis closed his eyes, "It was one thing, Daniel. I told you everything else. I didn't hide a single other thing. Could I not keep one thing to myself?"
"It wasn't an accusation, it was just a question," Daniel replied, and then frowned, tilting his head slightly. "I want to know about him."
Louis felt a sense of apprehension grow in him, "Daniel-"
"I want to know who his maker was, and where he comes from," Daniel's eyes were sparkling now with excitement and wonder. "God, can you imagine the stories he could tell-"
"Daniel, no," Louis wanted to sit up, to grab the boy and shake him, but that would open the casket and expose Daniel to the dangerous daylight. And that he could not do. Daniel must be protected, this was now his one purpose. "He won't tell you anything, you can't ask him."
He could not allow Daniel to hand Lestat such a strong weapon against him. He would use it to rope Daniel in, keep him close, feed him small pieces of information that would only cause the fire of his curiosity to grow into a raging flame. Even if, somehow, Louis managed to get Daniel away from Lestat, Daniel would not want to go. He would want return to Lestat's side, to hear more.
The curiosity wouldn't allow him to do anything else.
"Daniel, he won't tell you a thing," Louis begged, tightening his hold on Daniel's body. "You can't manipulate him into speaking, you can't force him to do a thing he does not want to do."
"I know," Daniel replied. "I just need him to want to tell me. Then he'll tell me everything I want to know."
Louis had to hold himself back from slapping the idiotic child, and instead placed Daniel's head on his chest, kissing his hair gently.
Daniel fell asleep, in the end, curled into Louis, face buried into Louis's neck. Louis lay in the coffin, holding the boy, thinking about how Claudia had lay beside him in their coffin, when she was still young. But Daniel was not a child, his was the body of an adult, and that body was eliciting rather dramatic reactions out of Louis. His cock was hard, his body was buzzing with excitement. He had not felt this way since…Lestat.
As if beckoned by Louis's thoughts, the casket lid slipped open and Lestat's face appeared, framed by his blond locks. Automatically, Louis wrapped his arms much more tightly around Daniel, wanting to keep him safe from the beautiful monster hovering over them both.
"The night has fallen, Louis," Lestat whispered, and reached out to caress Louis's hair out of his eye, rather like Louis had done for Daniel. The touch sent a shiver down Louis's spine, and it frightened him that it was not an unpleasant one. "Come on out with our son."
"He's still asleep," Louis protested. He didn't want Daniel awake yet, did not want him to be forced into his new existence quite yet.
"Yes, I can see that," Lestat moved his hand from Louis to the boy, and touched his forehead gently. "Carefully, then, don't wake him."
Louis sighed deeply, but obeyed, gently raising to a seated position, cradling Daniel in his arms. Daniel groaned in his sleep, but Louis hummed to him gently, kissing his forehead, and Daniel tumbled back into a deep sleep.
Lestat slipped into the coffin, sitting in front of Louis, with the boy curled up between them. The two vampires looked at one another, each eyeing the other as if trying to see what their time apart had changed in them. Louis did not know what Lestat could read in him, but what he read in Lestat was growing madness, and a cold satisfaction.
And as Lestat looked at Daniel, Louis realized with a sickening horror that it was Daniel who was bringing that satisfaction to his creator and former lover.
He'd heard, Louis thought. He heard Daniel talking, he heard his curiosity. He knew that Daniel wanted information from him, he knew he'd been given a leash to put around the boy's neck. Louis sighed deeply, knowing there was nothing he could do now. The damage was done.
"You don't-" Louis caught himself, taking a deep breath. "You don’t need him. What can he give you? You can let him go, right now. I will be…forever grateful for you if you did."
"Let him go?" Lestat laughed softly, cruelly, and leaned forward, so Daniel was trapped between their bodies. Louis felt Daniel stir and wake, and try to move away. But Lestat grabbed Daniel, pulling him away from Louis. Lestat trapped Daniel in place with his arms as the boy began to struggle, eyes wide and legs kicking, hitting Louis in the stomach. "Now why would I do that? We're a family now! You're not going to leave your family, are you, Louis?"
"Let him go!" Louis sneered, jumping up and taking hold of Daniel, attempting to extract him from Lestat's hold. "Daniel-"
"Daniel, darling," Lestat licked Daniel's ear. "Calm down, or I'll have to punish you."
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Daniel yelped, and elbowed Lestat in the gut. Lestat let out an angry growl, and released Daniel.
Immediately, Louis grabbed Daniel and jumped out of the coffin, pulling the boy behind him, "You won't touch him."
"And how, Louis," Lestat sneered, elegantly slithering out of the coffin. "Do you intend on disciplining our son for misbehavior?"
"He's not a child," Louis said, even if it was hard to view Daniel as an adult. He looked backwards at Daniel, seeing the excitement and that fucking curiosity in the boy's eyes. He didn’t seem to realize the danger here was in. He just wanted to know what Lestat was thinking, and he didn't seem to care about anything else. "And he's not yours to control."
"Is he yours, then?" Lestat asked, nearly innocently. "Yours to touch, clearly. Yours to love. Is that what you did with Claudia, all the nights she slipped into your coffin?"
"I didn’t touch Claudia," Louis replied, the mere thought horrific. Claudia did not hate being in the body of a child without cause. She had wanted something that Louis could never give. Her spirit he could love, her body he could not.
"Jesus, you say that like it's a bad thing," Daniel mumbled behind him. Both Lestat and Louis ignored him.
He truly was becoming their son, Louis thought rather bitterly. They were fighting over him like separated parents. Or perhaps not separated. He certainly didn't seem to be leaving Lestat. He didn't even seem to want to leave Lestat at the moment. Mostly, he was forced to admit to himself, what he truly wanted was to curl into a bed with Daniel, knowing that Lestat was watching over them both, keeping them safe.
Nothing changes, Louis thought bitterly. I can't escape him, no matter what I do.
"We need to take him haunting, he hasn't fed yet," Lestat said, looking at Louis intently.
Louis felt Daniel stiffen behind him, but kept his eyes on Lestat, "I'll take him-"
"So you can teach him how to drink from rats?" Lestat scoffed. "No, I won't allow that, Louis. Daniel is coming with me. Do you want to come with us, and watch him kill, or do you want to stay here? You don't have to watch it."
Lestat grinned, and Louis thought that he never hated Lestat as much as he did at that moment. He turned away from his creator towards his creation and said softly, "I'll come with you. I'll always be with you, I promised."