A/N: I don't own Cirque Du Freak, both unfortunately and obviously, though I do own my lovely little OCs.
"Hate" is a rather vague term for someone who has truly experienced it.
It's a simple word, really. Anyone can say it without meaning it with a slip of the tongue, and so it is misused more than 99% of the time. Real hate is much more complicated and sticky compared to how it would be used in a political argument, or how a model might detest her life counting each and every calorie she consumes.
No, real hate is a thoroughly weaved web of ugly memories and dead emotions, crushed dreams and fraying morals. Like a snowball rolling downhill, it continues to pick up bits and pieces of anxiety, remorse, jealousy, anger, sorrow… until it stops at the very bottom of the hill, at the lowest place possible. Few have ever truly reached that point in their existence. Most that begin treading the life of hate usually lose a bit of themselves with each step they take. Most break before they reach the end. That itself may be considered an act of mercy compared to those who have the tenacity to cling to life and thrive on hate itself, growing and manipulating it so it grabs onto others, pulling them towards the same path.
So, as you can see, "hate" is a heavy word. Onto it clings countless years of pain that stains the past, present, and future. All words carry weight. Each one carries different amounts at different times, and when someone spills the wrong ones at the wrong moments, the damage is usually forgivable. It will heal, given time.
But forgivable and forgettable are not synonymous. There are some things you say that you will instantly regret, things you say that you will never be able to take back. Words are a double edged sword. They will strive to work for you. They will plot to work against you. After all, a weapon is only as good as the person who wields it.
And, for this reason, a certain vampaneze made sure to use his words carefully. He refused to toss them to the wind as if they were worth nothing, as most humans would. When he spoke, he meant every bit of what he said. There were no slips of the tongue for him. He would not let petty emotions twist what he wanted to say, or how he said it.
Perhaps this was because he had lost most of them in the course of his life. Nonetheless…
He hated vampires.
They were disgusting. Traitorous. Arrogant.
The vampaneze cracked his neck and a few other joints, satisfied with his work. Red splattered the old brick walls like Jackson Pollack had let loose some of his best art work.
He stood back and admired his mural he created with his own hands. Blood shone brilliantly in the moon's dim light, looking slick and delicious. It double coated every inch of the alleyway, filling the empty area with a disturbingly sickly sweet scent. That was enough to make any human retch from the scene, the smells, but it made the vampaneze almost drool with longing.
Still, he clamped his mouth shut and strode away after several more minutes of observing the slick, warm puddle of blood that had been pooling at his feet. There was much work to be done, and drinking from a vampire was extremely toxic to vampaneze. He had no intentions of going insane now.
But maybe you already are, a small voice in his head taunted.
Reit shook his head, ignoring the jeering voice. It would be foolish and embarrassing if he drove himself mad not from being poisoned, but from his own weakness.
New York City was a bustling city with too many lights and harsh sounds that were hell to the vampaneze's heightened senses. The screeches of car tires skidding on paved roads and their infernal beeping that was merely irritating to people was basically torture to the dark skinned (the man was of Spanish descent, and had naturally tanned skin that made the natural purple tint of a vampaneze almost nonexistent) night dweller. The worst, though, were the voices outside of his head. Did people always have to talk? Reit thought it was annoying enough in the small towns he came across in England… but this.
The voices went on nonstop. Endless complaints from teenagers, scolding from over protective parents, clients screaming at businessmen, tourists drooling over national monuments…
"…dammit, I told you the files, get the files! I…"
"…and I was like, bitch please, she don't even…"
"…but I want it! I WANT IT…"
"…that the empire state building? Wow…"
All useless, stupid conversations that would be soon forgotten as soon as the next new item piqued their interests. Reit not only thought it was a waste of breath, but it was incredibly stupid as well. The more people spent time blabbing, the less time they spent to think. That just concluded in smaller brains and bigger mouths, which was the worst possible combination, in his opinion.
Still, he just gritted his teeth and waited for himself to fully adapt to the environment. After all, that's what his body was built for, regardless whether it was physical hardship or just his tolerance for humans (which was wearing thin).
It turned out his patience was rewarded. Unlike the more quiet towns of England, America had people everywhere, anywhere, anytime. It was like getting a free ticket to an eternal all you can eat Chinese buffet. And this also meant that vampires, attracted by the same idea, came crawling to larger cities like moths attracted to light. Two birds with one stone.
Weeks have passed since he had indulged in such barbaric glee, being able to maul a vampire in such an inhumane manner. Luckily, with his elevated hearing he had cursed in the beginning, he had overheard a television forecast about a high percentage chance of rain within the following days. Perhaps it could be used to wash away some of the blood, though in his opinion he couldn't have cared less. The alleyway was deserted; no one but drunken fools and rats wandered through, totally oblivious to the surroundings around them. The vampaneze just took the weather forecast as a sign from the vampaneze gods that he was allotted to do whatever he wanted that day, and didn't give it a second thought.
Broken glass, gutter scum, and old gum crackled under his footsteps as he weaved his way through abandoned buildings filled with the trash of human society. It didn't particularly surprise him when the smell of fresh blood wafted by his nose; violence wasn't all too uncommon around these parts. What caught his attention, however, was the familiar scent that mingled with it. Vampire blood.
He was ecstatic. Two vampires in one night was a well appreciated stroke of luck. The scent was awfully weak; he might have not caught it if he wasn't taking his time strolling through the city slums, so he thanked his gods one last time before he began his hunt for his next victim.
Weaving his way in and out, above and below evicted apartments and rotting drugstores, he kept up his steady pace, not wanting to lose his trail.
It was odd, though. At this time of night, most vampires would be up and about, not staying in one specific spot... Unless they were feeding, which explained the stench of human blood. In that case, he considered it another bonus. Reit was beginning to get a bit hungry, especially after getting rid of the first vampire. The vampaneze gods were certainly being generous tonight.
After a while he finally came to his destination. He had almost went past it a couple of times, being that all the homes in the slum looked exactly alike and were too close together.
Knocking down the door (being discrete wasn't that much of a priority. If his prey wanted to run, then so be it. A heavy chase would be good exercise), Reit strode in the old building. Dust scattered at his footsteps and rotting wood creaked dangerously under his weight. He noted to tread more carefully. It wouldn't do any good if he fell through the floor, a particularly embarrassing incident he didn't wish to repeat.
In a few seconds his highly trained ears picked up the sounds. A muffled, higher pitched warble, a kind of sound only a small child could produce. An ordinary person wouldn't have been able to distinguish the noise, but the vampaneze caught the sound as if it was in the room with him.
Did the vampire target a child? How despicable, he thought.
Reit swiftly followed the cries which led him into a rusty locked door. Again not caring for a subtle approach, he kicked down the door with ease, a second billow of dust covering him.
The room was completely barren except for a heavily stained, moth bitten rug. Dust had settled just about everywhere, so it was easy to see the clean swipe marks on the ground —signs of a recent struggle. It was also hard to ignore the blood. Not unlike Reit's earlier work, it was splattered on the floor, the walls, even marking some spots in the ceiling.
The gruesome scene was focused heavily in a depressing corner across the room, where a small girl was crouched over a larger figure, frantically shaking it, willing it to wake up.
"Get up… please…" she hiccupped, unable to keep the strain from her wavering voice. Reit felt a pang in his heart. Somewhere in the crevasse of his mind, he held a very similar memory.
The girl met the vampaneze's gaze, and her eyes widened, glazing over in fear. She shook the figure more vigorously, beginning to panic.
Reit began walking over to the child, unsure of what to do. He stopped, though, when it became apparent with each step he made she was feeling more and more frenzied. It wasn't his goal to terrorize her.
After a few minutes her heart rate slowed, but it was evident that she was still insecure about the red eyed man. Still, she hovered over her mother, clutching her protectively, even if she knew that the man could easily steal her away if he wanted to.
She stiffened as he came closer, though she knew if he meant harm he would have done it already. The girl was weary of strangers. Especially ones covered in blood with red eyes.
"You know she's dead, don't you?" Reit asked, trying to make her relax by using a (what he considered kind but was actually somewhat threatening) soft tone. He had never dealt with children before, and didn't understand the concept of delicacy, so he was surprised at her outburst.
"No she's not!" the girl screamed, anger washing out any leftover bits of fear that was left over.
The vampaneze wracked his brain for something he said wrong. He had only said the truth, hadn't he? Humans were complicated. Most of the time they wanted to hear lies, or just wanted to you to say what they wanted to hear. He always looked at that trait with a bit of contempt; humans were far too spoiled.
"Yes, she's actually quite dead, as you can so obviously see," he said, waving his hand at the blood that soaked the floor beneath them. What a waste, he thought, just a bit disappointed. The girl opened her mouth to continue the argument, but Reit was having none of it.
"We will not waste time bickering. She is dead, and that is the end of that. Now, tell me, do you have any injuries?" he asked, scanning her carefully. No cuts that he could see, only small bruises that speckled her pale body.
The girl ignored the vampaneze and burst into tears, surprising him a second time. What had he done wrong? He was not one to lie, and this child was in denial. He was just attempting to snap her out of it.
He sighed. There would be time to deal with her at a later moment. It was foolish of him, really, to waste time idly speaking to a hysterical human when there was a vampire he had to—
…He had ignored the possibility. The smell was strong… but he had still ignored it, nonetheless. He had ignored that the child, too, was covered in blood. He ignored that much of it was coated around her mouth. He ignored that they had locked gazes when it was much too dark for a human to see.
Reit grabbed the girl's wrists and pulled her slippery hands closer, despite her struggling.
Each fingertip carried an all too familiar scar.