[identity profile] illyriaone.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] wl_fanfiction
Title: Affliction: Epilogue
Author: illyriaone (Thesseli)
Pairing: Colin/Ryan
Rating: PG-13
Summary: The brief musings of three people involved in the events of ‘Affliction’.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction.
Type of Feedback Desired: Any.






1. Epilogue: Affectation


It's not that he's sick -- it's not that at all. It's what I've been trying to make you and everyone else understand.

It's that it’s not really him anymore.

Besides…he *can't* get sick now, isn't that right? Because of that damn virus, or whatever the hell it is inside him. They still don't know exactly what the disease is. Hundreds of years ago, they would have called it a curse. I think I still would. Why? Because I've seen the effects, I watch the news. It's not just a physical change. I've seen what happens when people get it.

When they get it, they're not really people anymore.

You think I'm being too harsh? I'm not; I'm just facing reality. That isn't my husband anymore…it's just something that looks like him. It's an animal.

Why? Because they have to be taught not to kill, that's why. *How* not to kill. Their first instinct, once they've changed and they're hungry, is to tear out the throat of anyone unlucky enough to be nearby. Why do you think the government responds so quickly, whenever a new case is diagnosed? Someone's sent right away, so that nobody gets killed. That's also why they're given those identification cards -- if they don't have to worry about where to get blood, the government figures they probably won't hurt anyone to get it.

Probably.

Plus there's that whole territoriality thing -- 'increased possessiveness', according to the literature -- that we would have to worry about, on top of the danger that's already there. They look at us like we're things that belong to them. *Property*. Do you really want that? What if he won't let us go?

I know, sweetie, I know. I hate it too. I hate that damn disease for taking your father from us…for taking that sweet, shy, gentle man and turning him into a monster.

Yes, maybe they'll find a cure someday.

How do I think he's doing? I don't know. Yes, he has been phoning a lot; and no, I don't think we should call back. Not yet. If anything was wrong, Ryan would call. Yes, I'm sure Ryan is perfectly fine. I don't think your father would hurt him.

Ryan would tell us if anything important happened.

Wouldn't he?




2. Epilogue: Affection


At the time, I knew that maybe I shouldn't be doing it. Trying to get him to talk about it, I mean. Trying to confirm what my research said it would be like. What *he* would be like.

It's just that I hated seeing him hurting so much, you know? Especially with how Deb was acting. One phone call and then nothing. I don't know what her problem is -- her husband needs her, and here she goes and…

Sorry…I'm getting sidetracked. It's just that I've loved him for so long that I can't stand it when anyone treats him badly. Especially his wife. When he was back at my house, miserable, and said that he had to go through all this alone, well…I couldn't just sit back and do nothing.

I honestly don't know if this was something I'd planned, subconsciously, once I'd finished my investigation into the disease. I already knew that people with it couldn't live without blood from an outside source -- human or animal, but it was acknowledged almost unanimously that human was preferable. Aside from tasting better to them, it’s easier for their systems to absorb and requires less alteration to make into something their bodies can use. They don't really have red cells in their bloodstreams, did you know that? Their hemoglobin molecules float around naked. That's why their blood looks so thin. I know; I've been with Colin when he goes to the doctor, and when they take his blood (turning the tables on him, for once) it looks almost like cherry soda. You can actually see through it. Oh, and by the way…if you're in a public restroom, that guy at the urinal next to you may *not* have a raging kidney infection after all. To this day, I still can't drink pink lemonade…

Damn, I'm getting off the subject again. But some of the medical stuff is really interesting, even to a guy like me, someone who never finished high school. Like the fact that there's something in their saliva that helps blood clot. You wouldn't think that, right? You'd think they'd want to have you bleed as freely as possible. Well you do, but only while they're actually biting you. Once the teeth are gone, you stop bleeding pretty much immediately; and it doesn't hurt much, not like you might expect. Another interesting thing they've found out is that being a donor gives you some degree of protection against getting the disease yourself. Not that I was afraid I was going to catch it…although if I did, it *would* provide some relief for my back.

So as I was saying, I was nervous that day. I didn't know what to expect from Colin, now that he had this disease. I did all that research before he came back from New York -- I tried to find out as much about this illness as possible, so I had some idea what to expect. I’d heard all the rumors, of course, but I wanted the facts. The literature said a lot about some of its effects…that people who caught it were stronger than they were before, and that they could practically see in the dark, and that they could be wildly possessive. I'd learned some things about the sexual aspect, too; and I have to admit this is what intrigued me the most. Even before I knew what I was going to do. The articles hadn't gone into much detail, but I was able to gather that Something Happens when they drink from another person -- some kind of intense physical thing the writers didn't want to talk about -- and if they drink from one person more than a few times, this physical whatever-it-is turns into a really strong emotional attachment. There were hints in there that this was something you shouldn't fool around with, unless you were absolutely sure that you and the other person were compatible.

Now tell me, who's more compatible with Colin than I am?

Yeah, that was my first thought when I read it. Of course, at that point Deb was still in the picture so I didn't dwell on it; but still, it must have been in the back of my mind. It was only after Colin came back to my house, and we were talking in the kitchen, that I let myself really think about it. Sure, I was a little afraid -- who wouldn't be, the first time? But I loved him, and I wanted to do everything I could to show him how I felt. To prove that he wasn't alone, and would never be alone.

Had I been planning to offer myself to Colin this way, before I actually did it? I'm not sure. One thing I do know, though, is that I probably never would have been brave enough to tell him I loved him if this hadn't happened. And while I feel bad for what he's gone through, and what he continues to go through, I can't help being grateful that we're together.

What if they find a cure? I don't know. It's not something I think about, very often…




3. Epilogue: Affirmation


I'd known for a long time. That he loved me, I mean.

The thing is, I didn't know what to do about it. I didn't really think I would ever need to do anything, to tell you the truth.

It wasn't a big shock to me that I loved him too. I had for a while, and I accepted that. But I assumed that nothing would ever come of it -- he was with Pat, I was with Deb, and that was that. Still, it didn't stop me from thinking about it, every so often. I also thought that if we went on the way we were -- each of us with our feelings for the other and no chance of acting on them -- that nothing would ever happen. That the feelings, even unacknowledged, would be enough. That nothing would ever change.

Until I changed.

That's what happened. I changed, and Deb left. Oh, she hasn’t come out and said that she doesn't want anything more to do with me, but I know that sooner or later my lawyer will be calling with divorce papers I'll need to sign. And then it will be over. I can only pray we can work out some kind of custody arrangement that at least lets me see my son.

Yes, it still hurts. Wasn't it supposed to be "in sickness and in health"? Even if they do find a cure someday – and I wasn’t with Ryan -- I could never go back to her. Not after how she's treated me. That possessiveness we're so famous for doesn't seem to be operating right now.

Thank God for Ryan. I don't know what I would have done if he hadn't been here. I'd never realized how much I cared about him -- loved him -- before this.

I know, I'd never been with another man before. We'd joked about it onstage, made veiled references and innuendos, all of us…but I'd never really done it. Neither had Ryan, even though he was the one who usually made most of the suggestive remarks -- I guess it had been on his mind for a while. But when he actually came out and offered to let me take…to let me…

I thought, there must be some mistake, hadn't he realized what I meant when I told him what drinking from someone else does to us? Even if he'd wanted a relationship with me before, how could he possibly want me, the way I am now? I knew that if we started anything, I wouldn't be able to stop. I wouldn't be able to let him go. He knew it too, and he still offered himself to me.

Neither of us regret any of it.

Sometimes, when I'm alone, I wonder if we would have ever gotten together if it hadn't been for this disease. I like to think that we would have -- if I'd truly known how Ryan felt, *I* would've been the one to make the first move -- but I can't be sure. Maybe, or maybe not. It's hard to tell. Then there are the times I wonder what it would have been like if I hadn't gotten the disease, but Ryan had. And I have to think about what I would have done for him. Would I have offered myself up so willingly to Ryan, had our positions been reversed?

Do you even have to ask?

Date: 2010-09-10 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not2bscene.livejournal.com
Wow! Great ending to a great story. Ever think of doing a sequel? I'd stand in line to read it. Well done.

Date: 2010-09-10 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pdglyph.livejournal.com
I like the ending with 3 viewpoints of the same events. You said in your disclaimers that "I once swore I would never write a vampire story..." Not sure why not. You created an interesting twist on the idea.

~ Glyph

Date: 2010-09-11 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pdglyph.livejournal.com
We both love Nicholas! I think their "torment" was mostly self-imposed since I noticed LaCroix wasn't bothered too much.

Again, great idea. Any chance of some more in this line, or is this a stand-alone?

~ Glyph

Affliction

Date: 2010-11-10 08:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not2bscene.livejournal.com
I, for one, would still very much like to see a sequel to this. Anything yet? ^_^

Date: 2013-02-20 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wickedground.livejournal.com
I really liked this story. I wished for it to be longer even, it would have made a great epic.

Will rec on ny Rycol tumblr :)

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