"Where is he!?"
Louis yelped as his coffin lid was thrown open and Lestat appeared. His hair was wild around his face and his eyes were mad with fury.
"Where is our son?!" The older vampire bellowed.
"What-" Louis startled as Lestat curled his fingers around the collar of his shirt and pulled him up and out of the coffin.
"Where. Is. Daniel?" Lestat yelled, shaking him hard. "Did you let him go-"
"What are you talking about?" Louis shoved Lestat off him and looked to his right at the reddish-brown coffin they'd gotten for Daniel the night before, realizing with disgust that it was empty. Daniel was gone, he'd left. Louis turned back to Lestat; eyes wide. "Oh, no…"
Lestat growled, "So. You didn't let him go. Good. I wouldn't have taken it kindly if-"
"Shut up!" Louis cried. There was no time for dick-measuring. Daniel was missing, he was gone. He could have run away, Louis could have lost him. He knew he was being selfish, but he was unable to stop fearing being alone once again with Lestat. Daniel's missing presence hovered over him, pulling him down. "How long has he been gone?"
"Where would he go?" Clearly Lestat was not paying attention to Louis.
"How am I supposed to know?" Louis cried out in reply.
"He hasn't told you anything about his life before, whenever you rut against him at night?" Louis was a bit shocked to hear the bitterness in Lestat's voice, but he didn't have time to worry over the other vampire's seeming jealously.
"No, he didn't," Louis said quietly. "He doesn't tell me things, he-"
"Asks questions," Lestat rolled his eyes, shoving Louis out of the coffin. "I know. It's annoying."
"If he annoys you so much," Louis snapped, angry. "Just leave the boy alone. Stop pretending you're going to give him what he wants-"
"He annoys me, I didn't say he angers me," Lestat replied. "That he doesn’t do. I'm not going to leave him, and I'm not going to let you take him."
"I didn't!" Louis cried out. "I don't know where he is, but if he wanted to leave, I would take him from you."
"You know you wouldn't be able to do that," Lestat sneered. "I would follow you, everywhere you go-"
"And if I leave?" Louis asked. It wasn't something he thought he was capable of doing, but he wanted to know. "If I take up and leave, who would you rush after? Me, or him?"
"Him, Louis, I'm no fool," Lestat replied immediately. "If you leave and I take him, how long would it take before you rush after us, to make sure the boy is safe and sound? Don't try and play games with me, Louis. I know you far too well for that to work."
Louis shook his head, bluff called, and stepped out of the coffin. Looking down at it, he wondered to himself if this was better. It would be safer, perhaps, for the child to be away from the toxic dynamic between him and Lestat. Had that not been one of the reasons Claudia grew so bitter? It couldn't have only been about the trap her body had become eventually. It had to be because of her fathers as well.
"Perhaps you'd like to let him go, though?" Lestat asked with faux kindness. "You want him away from me, no? You may leave now, no child to hold you back."
Louis turned away, unwilling to look at his maker.
"He might be safer, without me. He knows how to hunt, and he understands the world he lives in. He'd be just fine."
He would, wouldn't he?
"Shall we leave him to his own devices?" Lestat drawled.
"Y-" The word got caught in Louis's throat, unable to get out.
Groaning in horror, Louis hid his face in his hands, shaking his head sharply. He was a monster, truly. But he couldn't give up on his bright, kind, wonderful boy.
"That's what I thought," Lestat clicked his tongue, placing his open palm on Louis's cheek. "Perhaps you're not the perfect moral compass you wish yourself to be, hmm?"
Louis closed his eyes, knowing there was nothing he could say to refute Lestat's words.
"Well, stop moping," Lestat slapped Louis's cheek playfully. "Time to find our son."
Louis choked back a sob and stumbled after Lestat.
It wasn't so hard to find Daniel, as it turned out. There was a dead, bled out girl a few alleys away from the estate, and the two vampires followed the trail of blood for a few more streets. And there he was.
Daniel was walking with his hands in his pockets, back slumped and legs dragging. He looked slightly depressed, and tired. Certainly not as though he were in the middle of an escape.
He looked a bit like he was on a walk.
Lestat did not seem to realize this, or perhaps he didn't care, because as soon as Daniel came into view he bellowed Daniel's name, voice full of horrifying fury, and stomped towards the boy.
Daniel stopped moving and turned, eyes wide with clear fear, which Louis thought was a rather appropriate reaction. Not that he had any intention of allowing Lestat to give him cause for fear. Louis rushed forward and grasped Lestat by the shoulder.
"I will not allow you to hurt him," Louis warned.
"And who," Lestat sneered, "Said anything about hurting the boy?"
Louis decided that question was not worth a response, and instead calmly asked Daniel, "Where were you going?"
"Why?" Daniel asked with a rather petulant frown. "Do I need to tell you where I'm fucking going?"
"Yes," Lestat hissed, shoving Louis off him roughly. "Where were you going?"
"None of your fucking business," Daniel replied immediately, but Louis couldn't tell if he was just angry at Lestat or had been planning something that he did not want the two of them to know of.
"Oh, it very much is," Lestat told him sternly. "Louis was quite worried about you."
Louis would have found that comment amusing if the situation was not so dire.
"It doesn’t matter," Louis said quietly. "We found Daniel, let's take him home."
"No," Lestat shook his head, exposing his fangs to Daniel. The boy took a step backwards, body tense and ready to sprint at a moment's notice. "I want to know where he was going. Who he was going to."
"You don't know-"
"He wasn't out hunting, Louis! He wasn't running anywhere," Lestat snapped his head back to Louis, and while Daniel's eyes were full of fear, Lestat's were full of anger. "He was going somewhere, and I will find out where."
"I'm not telling you shit, you dick."
Louis wasn't entirely sure if groaning out loud would be the right thing to do. He decided it would be safer not to.
"Don't," Louis whispered, looking at Lestat. "Don't hurt him."
They stared each other in the eye, and then Lestat slashed Louis's chest.
Louis gasped, stumbling backwards for a moment as he healed. His hand went up to the wound, rather shocked, and then shook his head and rushed forward.
But that moment was too long. By the time he made it to Daniel, Lestat had him pinned to the wall, and his hand was-Louis wanted to scream-buried deep into Daniel's gut.
"Lestat!" Louis screamed, horrified. "Stop, stop!"
He tackled the blond vampire, tumbling with him to the ground. Fury clouding his mind, Louis saddled Lestat's lap. For a moment he stopped, looking down at his maker, and then Lestat smiled up at him cruelly, and Louis screamed, attacking.
When it was done, he wasn't sure how long he'd beat Lestat. It was still night, of course, though Louis could tell that it would soon be light. A few hours, then.
Horrified, Louis looked down at the broken, battered body underneath him. His clothes were entirely torn, and covered in mud, and if his blood had not disappeared as soon as it escaped his body, he would have been drowning in it. And he was looking up at him, laughing.
Laughing as though he had finally lost his mind.
"Louis…" Lestat hiccupped, shaking his head as he struggled to sit up. "I didn't know you had it in you, ma chere."
Louis shook his head, his mind trying to deny the amusement in Lestat's voice. He was enjoying this. He was enjoying this.
"Oh, Daniel, I have to thank you," Lestat continued. "You made a sadist out of my Louis!"
"Shut up!" Louis screamed, rubbing his face. He wanted to die, he wanted to die so badly. He hadn't wanted to die this passionately since-
Since before the grief from the loss of Claudia had became numb.
"Oh, God," Louis groaned in horror. "Lestat, what did you do to me? What did you do?"
"I did nothing! You were the one to bring the child to me, you were the one to turn him," Lestat scrambled to his feet, shoving his finger into Louis's chest aggressively. "Those were your choices, yours!"
Louis shook his head, denying Lestat's words, "You fed from him. You forced me to make that choice-"
"You did not allow him death," Lestat kept going, merciless. He never had any mercy. "You chose this life for him. You had a choice, and you chose this."
"Because I did not want him to die! I wanted him to live!"
"No, you wanted him!" Lestat screamed, eyes wide and mad. "You turned him because you wanted him! I see the way you watch him. You wish to devour him, don't you? You want to-"
Louis punched Lestat in the head. Again.
Lestat fell, laughing as he went down, and Louis collapsed on the ground in front of the blonde, heaving and gasping. He could feel his mind unravelling around him, forcing his sanity further and further into the depth of his consciousness, leaving him. He was becoming like Lestat, mad and without a centre-
Oh, Daniel, Louis opened his eyes and looked at the boy's amber eyes. So beautiful, my Daniel. My sanity.
He could never let him go; he wasn't selfless enough.
"Daniel," For a second Louis almost apologized to the boy, but he had done so much of that in the past few days. It had little effect, when it came with no attempt to fix Daniel's existence.
He wanted to touch Daniel, he wanted to feel his body against his, feel his smirk against his lips as he kissed him, his cock growing hard against Louis's thigh. But he was covered in dirt and he was sure his eyes were still wild and nearly mad, and Daniel's were full of apprehension and concern. Daniel doubted he would be receptive to his touch at the moment.
Besides, he didn't want Daniel to get dirty. All he wanted was for Daniel to remain clean.
"I think," Lestat's smooth voice made Daniel stiffen, and he scrambled behind Louis, hunched down as if he could hide behind the other vampire. As if Louis could keep him safe. "That it's time we go home."
"Yes," Louis whispered, getting up an uncertain feet. He felt Daniel rise with him, his fingers hovering inches from Louis's shirt. It was as if he wanted to clutch Louis and hold on to him like a child, but held himself back. "Let's go."
"But before we do," Lestat raised a finger, sauntering towards the other two vampires. Louis took an automatic step backwards, and Daniel moved with him. "I want to know."
"What," Louis asked, exhausted, "Do you want to know?"
"Where the boy was going," Lestat hissed.
"Can you not just leave it, for tonight?" Louis begged. "Please. Just for tonight, let's go home."
Louis swallowed as Lestat's cold eyes ran over him, assessing. And then Lestat's chin went up and he nodded, softly.
"We need to find somewhere new to live," He said suddenly, voice as light as air. "I don't think I can handle your burned down estate for much longer, Louis. Somewhere new, perhaps New York. I'm sick of your New Orleans."
"If that's what you wish," Louis nodded, far too tired to even attempt to put up a fight. "We'll find a new place tomorrow night."
"That is what I wish," Lestat said softly, and gently caressed Louis's jaw with his knuckles. The touch sent sparks down Louis's spine, and he shivered, unable to stop himself.
Lestat smirked, noticing the reaction. And his smirk was full of satisfaction.
"And we must do as I wish, mustn't we, ma cher?"