DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 54: Breakfast
animated
arc_wrench wrote in damned
For once, HK was working very hard to hide a giddy facial expression as he met his nurse at the door. He'd already hidden his scalpels in his clothing. The wonderful, sharp implements of doom would be needed today. “Statement: Despite my reticence towards all processed meat and plant products, I am experiencing intolerable levels of hunger,” he informed his nurse. “I require an especially large meal.”

It was the easiest and best excuse to load his food tray with several of these 'inglish muffin sandwiches', and two glasses of white milk. He then found a table strategically located in the center of the refueling area, and waited. He needed the room as full as possible before the Evil Plan could begin.

[Free, but planning doom upon all.]

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Feeding should've put Damon in a better mood, but that was so far from the truth, it wasn't even funny. There was nothing that constituted as funny right now. He'd noticed the injuries first, the ones that hadn't healed; for the first time in 145 years, he had stitches. Stitches, for fuck's sake—

—And the girl wasn't even dead. This was not good. He didn't need any loose ends, especially not here. He had Elena to keep alive, Stefan to...well, Stefan was Stefan. It wasn't like he cared for his brother, but he did prefer him alive than dead at the moment. For practical reasons. If nothing else, Stefan was on his side. A couple of months ago, that would never be a sentence that passed his mind, but things had changed. Even he couldn't deny that. On his side, but still self-righteous as ever, so not that much had changed.

Anyway, the point was, she had to go. He couldn't kill her during the day, though. Well, he could, but he'd be drawing attention. As pissed as he was, he wasn't stupid. There'd be a way to handle this until tonight, when he could take care of her more permanently. It just would've been nice if this hadn't become a problem in the first place. Was it even worth giving his compulsion another try? That it'd failed the first time was enough to let him know something was deliberately blocking it for good. It didn't fail. That was a fact. His compulsion wasn't a used car; it didn't just randomly stop and start.

If she'd only stayed out of his way—except she hadn't, she'd gone and, what. Saved him? Ugh. Whatever, that didn't matter. She'd seen too much. She was dead. End of discussion.

He paced the confines of the room, feeling—did he even have to say? How did you think he felt?

The chair flipped and crashed into the closet. The door opened. Damon spun around. The nurse could thank whatever the hell was going on this morning for her life because instead of snapping her in two, her demeanor instantly shifted his attention.

Well, something was different this morning. She hovered, halfway between stiff and awkward—you know, sort of the way Stefan looked whenever his diary was being read out loud by Damon. Her eyes flitted to the tipped chair, but she said nothing. Now that was strange. Very interesting.

It didn't stop him from brushing past her with a snapped, "Oh, be quiet," before she could open her mouth. The last thing he wanted to hear was her voice.

By the time he entered the cafeteria, it was so painfully obvious what was going on that even the media could've gotten the facts straight for this one. It'd been a long time since he'd been a soldier, but nothing ever changed. Someone way up the chain came down, people started getting twitchy. There'd been plenty of reasons he'd hated the war, and that had been one of them—being expected to respect anyone for whatever arbitrary reason, rank or because they happened to think themselves a father. It was all just titles.

In the end, they were as mortal as the next one. That was what none of them ever seemed to get.

Their loss, his gain.

His attention might've been divided by this sudden development, but it didn't mean he was any less focused on his current problem. He moved through the crowd without obviously searching for the girl. He wouldn't be the one to approach her—she was going to look for him. She had to. Come on, he ate her. She'd show. Predictable as the plot of a teen romance.

He found a seat in the periphery, casually picked at his food without a care in the world. He couldn't see Elena or Stefan yet, either. He'd give them time.

[omnomnom Claire.]

Edited at 2011-01-12 09:16 am (UTC)

"What's going on?"

"Nothing to worry about, Charlotte."

Claire shot a frantic glance at the militian man shrinking behind them as they carried on, immobile in his stance near the end of the hall. He wasn't the only one. Far from it.

"They're from the army?"

"Nevermind that. And don't pick at your arm. You'll heal up soon enough."

Frustration bubbled in her chest, but Claire didn't bother arguing. She stopped scratching at the bandages and let her hands fall to her side.

Though the sight of the soldiers here had been enough to shock her speechless (at first), there was no more delaying the storm. The nurse's reminder of the scratches on her arm shot them to the front of her mind once more. Or rather, what had happened after she got the scratches.

Damon was a dead man.

He was already dead, if you were going to split hairs about it. Claire knew what he was now. That he wasn't human and likely hadn't been for a long time, and that he had no intention of playing nice.

Vampire. A real live vampire. She didn't want to believe it, because it was so stupid and so impossible that she would have dropped the notion in a heartbeat any other day. But there was no other explanation for it. She was racking her brain from the moment she woke up for anything else that might fit. Cannibal was the easiest one, but that didn't cover what had happened to his face. The skin around his eyes had - had shriveled somehow, and the eyes themselves went dark. She had seen his teeth. And he was definitely draining her from the bite. Claire could rationalize away anything she wanted, say that the change in face was a trick of the light. The one thing she couldn't was the feeling of her blood being suctioned out of her body. It was the most bone chilling sensation she'd known in her life.

If she had any hopes of convincing herself it was all a dream in the morning, she was mistaken. She'd woken up far too dizzy and pale to write the whole thing off. The nurse was carrying half her weight in the grip she had on her arm, and Claire faltered and fumbled and sweated cold the whole way.

Not even the wave of scent that hit once they'd entered the cafeteria could distract her. Her belly growled, but she ignored it. The only things that existed for her at this moment was the fatigue trying to drag her into the floor and the escalating mess of emotions donated by Damon Salvatore.

He was sitting on the edge of the crowd.

Claire's fingers tightened around the edge of her freshly filled tray. Lips thinned. He looked so calm, so damn smug over there even without a smile. And yet, even now, all she could see was Boone with longer hair.

Being a vampire meant being dead first. Claire hadn't seen anything around his grave in the past three years that indicated any digging up, but...it wasn't completely impossible, was it? She wasn't there when he died. She only saw his body for a brief moment before it was wrapped up in tarp like leftovers in tin foil and dropped into the whole. And she had never kept a good watch over the old camp. That was exactly where the Others expected her to be.

She paused. Stared.

There was a clatter as her tray dropped onto his table. Steely eyes with a burning gaze suggested more life in Claire than the rest of her cared to show. She practically spat the words out. She would have been yelling if the soldiers hadn't been so close.

"What the hell was that, you bastard?!"

That didn't take very long.

Damon didn't turn around, made no indication that he was even aware of her looking at him, until she was barreling straight in his direction. He glanced up, watching her approach with the air of complete patience.

She had spunk, he'd give her that. You always had three kinds of people: the first ran screaming in the other direction, the second went down the oblivious route, and the third went for the throat and got themselves killed in the process. Killed faster, he meant.

Guess which category she fell under.

Honestly, if he'd had his way, he would've been nice about it, all right? It wasn't his fault this place had done away with all of the neat little tricks that made the eat-erase-leave method a complete non-option. If he could've compelled her, he would've. It was just easier. And no matter how much Stefan kept insisting it was something to nail yourself to a cross over (the melodrama gene had gone to Stefan twice), on a scale of saving puppies to sacrificing virgins, taking a bite and making them forget was hardly on the "sacrifice virgins" side of things.

Anyway, his point was, her inevitable death was really all on the institute for dicking with his compulsion in the first place.

Was she going to sit, at least? If she was planning on having any kind of conversation with these G.I. Joes roaming around, she'd do well to not attract attention. Not that it was any concern of his, of course.

Damon, for his part, was very well-behaved. He eyed her steadily. No reason to rush an answer. Well, response would be a better way of putting it; whether he felt like answering anything was...hm. Up for debate. He hadn't decided yet. He couldn't say she'd caught him in a charitable mood—metaphorically speaking, that was, since his moods were never charitable—but he knew the value the mere promise of information held. He held all the cards, after all. What did she have on him? A bite mark in an institute full of things that bit?

She had nothing. He was good at this. He'd played the entire Council for idiots; he could handle Jungle Barbie over here.

Damon propped his elbows on the table, all wide-eyed innocence. "What do you mean? I thought we had a lovely time together, Claire." A split second, and then a smile curved his lips. At another time it might've been gently teasing, but the circumstances threw it straight under the heading of mocking. "C'mon. What do you think happened? Don't tell me you haven't done the math by now."

She wouldn't have approached if she didn't already know deep down. She was only here for confirmation, to make sure she wasn't crazy, because that was the way people worked. They needed validation. Which, really, did he care enough to grant her that comfort? Let's see...

Nope.

And suddenly, she was reminded of the boys who had suffered less acne than the rest of high school. The ones who had figured out they were good looking long before the regular kids had any shred of confidence, and wore sleazy, knowing smiles whenever they talked to anyone they thought was less than them. In short, everyone.

She hated those guys.

Claire's lip curled incredulously when that smile appeared. You would have thought she was staring down a bloated boar carcass with the look she gave him. God, she could just reach out and grab him by the hair. Smash his stupid face into the table. Bloody up that expression that didn't belong on Boone until she stopped seeing him in this bastard. Even as she considered the idea, the hard-faced soldier standing some distance behind Damon locked eyes with her. She breathed thinly, staring back.

Today was not the day for it. Any other time, maybe. But not with these men here. Claire grit her teeth and willed herself into the chair, shoulders hunched. She didn't touch her tray.

"So that's it then." Her stare returned to him, and she kept her voice low. With how she had stormed over the soldier was probably expecting her to start something. No need to give him any reason to come over. "...You're a vampire."

The word sunk into the air around them. Claire couldn't believe she was actually saying it out loud. It sounded stupid in her head. It was worse in the chatter and life of the cafeteria. But daylight couldn't erase the pair of punctures on her forearm. And Damon, sitting there smiling like the bastard he was, wasn't bothering to hide it. He was giving her an open invitation to ask.

"So...it's true? Garlic, and crosses, that stuff...how are you out in the day like this?" She shook her head at him. Disgust and confusion had her mind swimming with a million things to say, and Claire couldn't settle on just one. "Why did you try to kill me? I got those things off you, and you just try to eat me?"

Wait for it—was she going to fly across the table in a frothing rage? Because that could be...no, guess not. Too bad. He could've used the soldiers to get her out of his way for him. It was always nicer when other people did the work for him, especially people who weren't even on his side. Poetic irony.

Nobody ever got their mythology right, either.

"Less Dracula, more Anne Rice. And I fed on you," he said, "because you were convenient."

Because she happened to be there and he happened to be hungry. There was no greater meaning to it than that. Oh, he supposed he could've spun an explanation for the hell of it; he knew it was what she was looking for. See, that was the problem with people: always trying to make things more complicated than they were. Which was stupid. Life already sucked enough as it was. There was no need to give yourself more reasons to feel bad about it.

Her comment about those things raised a flash of annoyance inside him. Don't think for a second he'd forgotten about how he'd spent half the night being chewed on, or that only the night before that, they'd screwed with Stefan and nearly gotten Elena killed. Claire, he wanted dead out of circumstance. She drew the short straw, that was all. Whoever was responsible for trapping him and the people he cared about in here—he was out for blood.

Something flickered in his eyes, easily missed in a blink. He settled back in his seat, studying her with lazy curiosity. "So why did you do it?" he asked. Abrupt but casual, as if it were a passing thought he decided to voice on a whim. "I remind you that much of your dead boyfriend?"

Well, they were both dead so she'd gotten that part right. She was incredibly quick to accept the vampire thing, too, which was interesting, but not surprising given the situation. Stick around for a few days, you were bound to run into a few freaks of nature, as last night had proven quite clearly. Vampires must seem pretty tame after that.

And hey, he was a better option to die by, anyway. This way, the last thing she saw would be his dashing good looks as opposed to a lump of metal with teeth. It counted for something.

Any inclination she had to roll her eyes at the Anne Rice reference vanished with the explanation that followed thereafter. Or rather, lack of.

"Convenient?" she repeated, scandalized. "What do you mean, 'convenient'? Were you really waiting for the next person who walked by, just to - just jump on them?!"

There was a furious moment where she almost accused him of setting up the monster attack to lure someone in, but common sense made her shut her mouth before it leaked out. That was ridiculous. Those things were animals, and they had been shredding him to bits before she came in. Though with how things had turned out, she might have been better off letting him get ripped apart.

It was an opinion which only grew stronger with every second spent talking to the arrogant slimeball. He was barely even taking her seriously. Look at him! Leaning back in his chair with an easy smile, like they were talking about what was on the telly last night or something stupid like that. It was driving her crazy. He needed to go. She was going to put her ax clean through his neck. That was a surefire way to kill vampires, right?

Maybe if he had tried to say sorry, Claire would have given the matter some thought. But the moment he decided to whip out the smug grin, Damon had signed his own fate. If she ever saw him at night, it wouldn't matter who he hid behind or who he was with. She would kill him on the spot. If anyone tried to stop her, they could join him on the floor. The institute would be a better place without him.

She glowered at him fiercely. Just try saying this to my face when the nurses aren't here. I dare you.

"He wasn't my boyfriend," she snapped. Boone hadn't been her type. Handsome, but not her type at all. The term 'boyfriend' only brought Charlie to mind, and that did nothing to soothe her temper. (Though it did make her glad that he looked like Boone, and not Charlie. She didn't think she could handle this from a guy with his face.) "I did it because you were going to die if I left you there."

She sat back in her seat, bitterly crossing her arms. "Next time I'll save them the trouble and give them a fillet."

Shocking, wasn't it.

Actually, the truth was, no, he hadn't been waiting. Damon had been looking for a perfectly innocent food source other than a warm body, which was the irony of this whole situation, but was there any need to fill her in on the specifics?

Yeah. Thought so. Because he didn't give a damn if she believed he'd gone out intending to kill; it was what he would've done under usual circumstances, it was what he'd been doing for the past century and a half, and that he hadn't been killing anyone as of late made not a single difference. The idea of apologizing for being what he was (i.e. a vampire, in case you hadn't been paying attention) was laughable.

"Oh, go ahead, pull your judgy human morals on me." Dismissive, just a touch exasperated, like he'd heard it all before. "I was hungry," he went on bluntly. "Get over it."

Not to act as if that explained everything, but well, it did. Even now, the blood from her wounds last night was hard to ignore. She should be thankful she wasn't evoking any particularly strong emotions from him. Whether she knew it or not, her superficial temper tantrum was keeping her jugular intact.

For now.

So. Not a boyfriend. A friend, then. Someone close, someone personal. At the very least, someone who meant something to her somehow. Nobody was a good Samaritan at heart. Or, fine, with the exception of...a couple of people, but exception was the point.

Guess he couldn't blame her. The whole doppelganger thing could really screw your life over. He'd know. The opportunity to fuck with Stefan had been only half of why he'd first been drawn to Elena. Her resemblance to Katherine was unsettling, though mistaking the two was impossible. There'd always been a cruel edge to Katherine's beauty. She might've fooled everyone else, but he'd glimpsed it. Part of the attraction.

Elena had been different from the start.

He turned his gaze back on Claire. It seemed as if he had something to say, or that he was thinking something in particular (like maybe there wouldn't be a next time, not for her) but if so, he apparently had no inclination to share with the class. Or maybe he just wanted her to believe that. Who knew?

Oh, that was right—only he did. Funny how that worked.

Edited at 2011-01-18 08:24 am (UTC)

Get over it. He told her to get over it.

It was fortunate that some sort of riot seemed to have started behind them while they talked. Food was starting to fly, shouts and scuffles, soldiers and nurses alike barging in. If it hadn't, Claire wouldn't have been able to get away with flinging the back of her hand across Damon's face.

Crack!!

The sting from the hit felt oh so good. Claire rose to her feet, fixing the man with a stare that was more cold than livid by now. "I'll get over it when you're gone," she said quietly.

Then she turned from the table and made her way to the nearest door.

Maybe it was a good thing he didn't act one bit like Boone. The more he ran his mouth, the easier it was to separate the two. Boone was hardly a saint. Shannon had attested to that several times. But he had never once, as far as she could recall, reached this level of being a complete bastard. That was a talent Damon could boast of all on his own.

Though Claire had to admit she was fuzzy on a lot of the stuff from when Boone was alive. Not just because it was so long ago, but because in spite of Libby's help, she never did remember everything from before Ethan took her. The ordeal itself she could recall in great detail now, but the weeks between the plane crash and the kidnapping were largely lost to her. She could remember bits and pieces. Little flashes of things, like huddling under the plane wing with Hurley right after the accident and Charlie's jar of peanut butter. But most of it was gone. And with it, the bulk of her memories of a living Boone.

What she did know, however, was that Boone tended to be polite, if brash at times, and spent his time with John. John was a good enough judge of character that Claire was sure he wouldn't have wasted a minute on him if he acted anything like Damon.

And Claire wouldn't either. Not anymore.

[lol escaping to the Courtyard now and somehow miraculously not getting hit by food on the way.]

Ouch. Guess he'd really done it now. How unfortunate.

For her.

Tragically, a hurtling plate had him ducking before he could tear out her throat or something equally poetic. Looked like she wasn't that stupid; she snatched the chance to escape their little...conversation in an instant. He could follow, but—nah, not worth his time. Not with the cafeteria going insane in two seconds flat.

"Oh, you've gotta be kidding."

Seriously. A food fight? Yeah, like that was gonna end well.

He slid his chair back. No point in standing to attract attention, but he needed to know where the hell Elena and Stefan had gotten to. Were they even here? Claire had been distracting him; he hadn't watched the entrance like usual. Elena had slept in a couple of times so with any luck, she was still oblivious in her room. He hoped. Stefan was here, though. Had to be. Oversleep and risk not being there for his beloved, thus relinquishing his white knight title?

Yeah, not likely. Stefan was around. Probably taking cover, then, or slipping out. Or looking for Elena?

Damon frowned, eyes sweeping over the cafeteria again. Nothing. So either she wasn't here or she'd ducked out of the way, too. Good.

As for him, there was no way he was staying here. The fork that narrowly missed his eye sealed the deal. He had things to do and those things didn't involve getting nailed with needle or the wrong end of a rifle. He doubted he'd get far, but it'd give him a good idea of how tight security was with these guys around. If he got stopped, whatever. Look, they couldn't blame him for wanting to get the hell out of the way. Whatever was going on, this place was still trying to play as though there was some semblance of order and regulation. Otherwise, they wouldn't have waited for the patients to make the first move.

What that implied was something he didn't like at all.

But first things first.

[slipping into the Sun Room, but that's as far he goes. :C]

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