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Opposites by Tasha

Opposites is a Highlander/Kindred : the Embraced Xover.

 

Part 9

Damon was not a bad fighter, but he was not as good as his opponent. In fact he seemed to be at a complete disadvantage, and there was no luck to be had on the vacant lot. His white shirt was slit in several places and blood oozed from some relatively deep cuts. There seemed to be continual healing going on, and occasionally a bright spark of energy would become visible, sealing an abrasion in an ever present cycle.

There were no flippant comments from Richie as he fought. No snide words for his adversary, as he continued to carve up Damon's defence with an almost effortless ease. This was a battle that had been fought before, and one he should have won, he had no intention of letting it go again. Move flowed into move as his mind worked and his instincts led him to small victory after small victory. It was only a matter of time before the other Immortal would tire and loose what concentration he had left.

Richie had just landed a particularly vicious cut on Damon's leg when the opening appeared for final conquest. By lunging forward and going for his opponent's thigh, the younger Immortal had appeared to leave an weakness to his right side. By now his adversary was desperate, and although he had been fooled before, he had no choice but to try for at least a damaging blow. As Damon moved in for a slice to his side, Richie spun and locked his own sword under that of his opponent. With a quick flick of his wrist and a little turn of the blade, the other Immortal's weapon went spiralling into the air.

Defeat was written in Damon's stance, he knew he was going to die, and yet the emotion didn't quite reach his eyes. There was one last trick up this Immortal's sleeve. He'd used it before, and it never failed. Seeing Richie out of the window had given him time to prepare, and there was more than just the dagger in his boot, on his person. A small device nestled on the inside of his left wrist, and contained within was a blade coated in poison.

There was the smallest click as he flicked his hand back and a spring released, but much to his surprise, Richie heard it. There was no way human senses could have picked up the small projectile, but with the Kindred edge, the younger Immortal saw it fly through the air. His free hand lanced out, and with the dexterity of a swallow picking flies from the air, he plucked it from it flight path and threw it away.

"You've cheated me of your head twice, Damon," Richie said, even as he moved in for the killing blow, "but not this time."

The other Immortal's face was glazed with shock, and the last thing he saw was the golden eyed gaze of man who was about to kill him. The body slumped to one side as the sharp blade of Richie's sword separated it from the head. The first mists of the Quickening appeared immediately and twisted slowly into the air. The victor just stared at them with vampire eyes as the wound round him, not quite touching him, as if they were exploring first. There was a tentative touch that sent a shiver up his spine, almost as if the Quickening was making sure of what he was. Then it hit him all at once. One second there was deathly hush and the next the lightening took away all thought.

The pain was different at first, it lanced right to the very heart of him and found the changes the embrace had made. It destroyed them like a red hot poker removing infection in a wound, and fought to reclaim this body. Then, satisfied that this was a vessel suitable for it's gifts, it entered him with full force. Bit's of stone exploded around him, and one of the street lamps fused as stray energy lanced into them. Damon was not a young Immortal, and he had taken many heads in his time ... the Quickening lasted a good few minutes.

As the final tendrils left him, Richie fell to his knees, totally exhausted, and feeling somewhat strange. He looked around him slowly, and realised that he was scarred. It was not anything that would show on the outside, but his Immortality had found something it could not totally wipe away. Although not a keen as before, his surrounding did not appear to be in quite as much darkness as they should have been, indicating that his eyesight had retained some of it's sensitivity. With little effort he found that his hearing was in a similar state, as well as his sense of smell. It appeared that there were still hints of Kindred about him, although as he stood up he was feeling a great deal saner than he had been for the last few days.

The world had returned to the perspective he expected of it, and there were absolutely no signs of any other personalities in his head. For all intents and purposes he was back to normal, and he gazed around, a small smile appearing on his face. The extra sensitive senses might fade with time, or they might not, for now he decided they were probably useful.

He could say that he was almost happy as he dragged the body under some rubbish, removed all items that could be used to identify it immediately, including all weapons, and set off to find Duncan.


Not many people were speaking to Alexae, and he chose to stay away from the trio of Lillie, Julian and MacLeod who sat in a booth. He hadn't mentioned the piece of knowledge he had come by the previous evening, but it was difficult not to notice that he appeared to be waiting for something. Those who knew about Richie, assumed it had something to do with that, others just didn't care.

Cash was sat at one of the side tables, watching everything with his habitual vigilance, but tonight he did have something to distract him from time to time. They'd broken it off, they'd yelled at each other, they'd decided that clan loyalties had driven them apart, but whenever anyone decided it was finally over they'd turn around and find Sasha and Cash together. The Brujah in question was sitting opposite the Gangrel, sipping on a cocktail and smiling at her lover. Both sets of clan members watched the pair with disgust, but tonight the couple weren't arguing and so they didn't much care.

It was Sasha who spotted the entrance of the willowy looking girl first.

"Now, what do we have here?" she said lightly, and indicated to show her companion the source of her question.

There were lots of eyes on the newcomer, and she seemed kind of nervous. Jessica had chosen the white dress, a velvet jacket and silky pumps as her outfit this evening, and with her hair flowing about her shoulders, she looked every bit the siren. It didn't take more than a second glance to figure out she was Toreador clan. She looked around rapidly, in her haste not seeing Alexae at first, but as her eyes ran back again she was suddenly overcome by relief.

The Artiste had seen her instantly, and he was already on the move. There were questions in most Kindred's minds as the pair came together, and the stranger literally beamed at the older vampire. This newcomer was young, only just made and not fully through the change, but there was an air about her that warned all to stay away. This was heartily backed up when, as he slipped his hand under her elbow to guide her across the room, Alexae glared at his compatriots in warning.

"Let's go somewhere a little more private," he said warmly, and Jessica just nodded.

The older Toreador looked across the room to Lillie and indicated upstairs with is eyes. The Primogen was a little surprised, but nodded and smiled anyway. The two disappeared towards the stairs quickly.


The pavement was hard, that much Frank found out when he was dumped out of the car directly onto it. The first thing he saw was a pair of feet, and he slowly worked his way up. The face that met his gaze did not bode well for his future. One of the Brujah that Richie had so cheerfully beaten the crap out of the previous night was leering down at him, and as he slowly climbed to his feet he became aware of the others as well.

"Not so brave without your friend, little man?" the leader of the pack sneered loudly.

A cold feeling started in the pit of the police officer's stomach.

"Hey, look," he said slowly, "last night had nothing to do with me, I was just with the guy. I have no quarrel with you."

"Wrong," another of the group said from behind, "you laughed at us."

That wasn't true, but then talking a Brujah out of something they had decided were the facts could be like chiselling granite with a bobby pin. There was only one route left open to the cop.

"Um, look I was supposed to meet Julian Luna at the Haven, he's not going to be pleased if I don't show," the implicit warning was there, but it fell on deaf ears.

"Oh, don't worry Franky," the leader started, "we're not going to kill you. We thought we just have a little fun and rough you up a bit. Now Mr Luna might be a little annoyed at us for a while, but he's not going to go against Cameron over some bruises."

The police officer had a sinking feeling that the brute might actually be telling the truth. All safe ground just crumbled away from him.

"Can't we just talk about this?" he tried, a little desperately.

His reply was a fist in the face. Now that hurt like hell, but not as much as the one which followed and did something nasty to his kidneys. Now Frank could handle himself pretty well, and he even managed to land a couple of punches, but he was not Kindred and he really didn't stand a chance. Every time he turned to try and bloke a blow, one of the other Brujah would attack from behind, or beside him.

He really had no idea what he was doing by the time he flailed out desperately and managed to sink his nails into flesh. His legs weren't under his control, he'd taken so many hits that he didn't know which way was up, and the Brujah were passing him around like a toy, but somehow he fell in just the right way to actually do some damage. There was an angry yell from whoever he had managed to hurt and then strong hands grabbed him and literally threw him through the air. His head found the car, and there was a nasty snapping sound: Frank knew no more.

The six Brujah were suddenly very still as they looked at the crumpled body.

"You broke him," was all one of them said to the ring leader, who had blood running down the side of his face.


What brought Richie to the docks he would never know, but on his way to the Haven he had been unable to resist the urge to see the water. The sight that met his eyes made him very angry, and he moved forward before his better judgement could get in the way. He barely realised he had a sword in each hand.

"Which one of you killed him," he yelled at the top of his lungs.

To say that the sight of him scared the hell out of the Kindred gathered around the body was putting it lightly. He still felt like Toreador even though he had given up most of the powers, and blades like those he was carrying could be nasty for vampires. These Brujah knew death when they saw it coming towards them and they ran.

The question had brought the look of guilt to one face and it was this Kindred who Richie pursued. The Immortal dumped one sword by the side of Frank's lifeless body and then charged after his prey. The dagger he had lifted from Damon was very useful in bringing down the vampire before he could change shape or escape. The knife in the leg wouldn't hurt him too much, but it did cause him to fall.

With an incoherent cry, Richie ran at his victim, sword at the ready and swung it for the killing blow. It was the look of pure terror on the fallen Kindred's face that drew the slice up short. Millimetres from the Brujah's neck the blade stopped, and the Immortal glared at his prey.

"This time you live," he said slowly, quite surprised by the sentiment himself. "Frank's dead now, but he won't be for long. This time you escape with your life. We are something you do not understand, we are something you should fear. Remember that well."

The vampire was too scared to do anything but nod. He hadn't been so afraid since he was mortal and the younger looking man's words hit home.

"Run home, dog," Richie said with a dangerously quiet tone, "and next time you see Frank, remember to be afraid."

He turned on his heel and just walked back to the car, in a few seconds the Brujah was gone.

The keys were in the ignition and the doors were open so it didn't take Richie long to load the police officer and the sword onto the back seat. There was a chance the clan members would come back for their vehicle, and without the help of surprise, the Immortal could live without facing them. He drove away quickly, and rapidly decided to head for his hotel.

The journey was half over when Frank opened his eyes again for the first time.

"Welcome back," Richie greeted and kept his eyes on the road, "I wouldn't move for a while if I were you, those Brujah really did a number on you."

"You're telling me," was the slow reply, "my head feels like someone's hitting it with a base ball bat."

"Lie still and it'll pass," was the next instruction, "dying's hard on the body."

There was silence from the back seat for a while, and then Frank's brain caught up with what Richie had said.

"Dying, what do you mean dying?" the tone was a little anxious.

He didn't feel much like he thought a vampire should feel, they couldn't have embraced him, could they?

"The beating ended with you breaking your neck," his companion supplied helpfully. "At least that's what I suppose killed you, since your head was at a very funny angle. You're Immortal, Frank, like me and Mac, you just didn't know about it before. Now you've died for the first time, you'll heal fast, never get sick, and lots of junk like that."

He glanced round and grinned before turning back to the road.

"A shock, yeah I know," he said cheerfully, "at least I had a little longer to get used to the idea of Immortals. Let me guess, you're the type of guy who must have weeks of vacation time backed up at work, right?"

This was a new turn to the conversation, but Frank was too bemused to answer anything but the truth.

"Ah, yeah," he responded blankly, "the Captain's always trying to get me to take some time off."

"Great," Richie said and turned into the street which contained his hotel, "then I suggest you take it now. You have a lot to learn and not a lot of choice about it. You're lucky, only Kindred saw you die and they're not likely to blab, so you won't have to move on. Mac taught me how to be Immortal, and you're going to have to learn as well. There's this nice dojo up north, where we can both give you the crash course if you like."

He pulled over and looked at the startled police officer.

"There's a lot you don't know, but to stay alive you'll need help," the blond man continued sincerely. "Mac and I can give you that help until we can sort something out down here. Take the sword you're lying next to and go hole up in my hotel room for now. I've got to go find MacLeod, and then we'll explain everything. Room 228."

Frank wasn't really thinking very clearly, he decided that following the instructions might be a good idea.

End of Part 9

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