Sabretooth: Blood Song – Chapter 5 – The Candle Burns

Time moves a summer wind
I can see your face again
Was it such a tragedy
being you, being me?

Smoke clears, the picture fades
but I stay back in yesterday
All the strangers come and go
all of them will never know

Nobody’s touch feels like your touch
Nobody gets to me that much
Nobody’s kiss moves me inside
and I have no place left to hide

Tell me what can I do?
I have a vision of you
Tell me what can I do
with this vision of you?

Did I walk? Did you run?
What’s the way to love someone?
Oh my darling did we know
what it meant when we let go

Nobody’s touch feels like your touch
Nobody gets to me that much
Nobody’s kiss moves me inside
and I have no place left to hide

Tell me what can I do?
I have a vision of you
Tell me what can I do
with this vision of you?

How can a candle ever burn so bright?
Casting a shadow on my life
I am blinded by your light
Even without you

~ Vision of You (Belinda Carlisle)

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Spoiler Warning: For those who have not yet read the Sabretooth limited series, Mary Shelley Overdrive or my story tribute to it, Overdrive (details at chapter end), there is a spoiler of that story in the following chapter.

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The metal circlet was warm against his brow as he sank from his knees to sit slumped on the floor against Claudette’s couch. His fingers trembled as he slipped the device from his head and set it back in its open case on the coffee table. He closed his eyes and bowed his head, his hands curled in his lap. He’d shown her all of it, every memory he had of the woman who had turned his heart inside out – except for the moment when he’d put his hands to her neck and twisted…

“Come wit’ me, mon coeur, and rest.”

~ ~ ~

Victor was woken by a terrible noise. He lifted his head in a panic to look for Claudette, saw that she was safe, and turned away from her. He’d woken up screaming again.

He flinched away from her fingers when she tried to touch his back. “Don’t…”

“You ‘ad to do zis, to keep your promise to ‘er.”

His body tensed. “What’d ya say?”

“You ‘ad to break ‘er neck – or zee virus would ‘ave killed ‘er in terror and pain, no? I am so sorry zis ‘appened.”

Victor sucked in a breath in shock and then the growl rumbled through his chest, low and vicious.

“Do not be angry…”

With a snarl, he got away from her so fast that he nearly fell as he stumbled away from her bed.

“Mon cher, please…”

“How’d ya fish that outta my head?”

“You were projecting – as you used to do.”

“That can’t happen anymore…”

“Veektor, you are always ‘ealing, you know zis.”

“No, I can’t have that, can’t…” His fists opened, the claws tearing free and curling long.

Claudette rose on her knees, holding her hands out palms up to entreat him. “I am sorry eef you did not know, but you projected and I felt and saw your pain. Your injury, eet must be starting to completely ‘eal – oh, Veektor … you know I would never ‘arm you…”

“What they did, what they can do…”

“Who?”

“Xavier an’ ‘is mind-witches,” he whispered.

“But zey are enemies – Veektor we were both asleep, relaxed, we know each ozer so well and you are not guarded around me. You may be ‘ealing and some day it may be a danger, but we are not like zem, mon cher. Please do not fear me…”

He felt sick, but the healing factor wiped it away almost as soon as he felt it. Hissing, he hooked his claws into his abdomen, ignoring her frightened outcry as the blood dripped.

“If it’s healin’ my head that good, maybe it needs somethin’ else t’ distract it.”

She rose, approached slowly, and grasped his wrist. Greatly daring, she gently unhooked the claws and pulled them away.

“Zis woman, your Bonnie – you need ‘er to distract you. Forget ‘er unfortunate end and zink of zee comfort she gives you. I will show what you ‘ave shared wit’ Morpheus – go and ‘ave ‘er, mon cher.”

“No, don’t – I can’t cope with that right now. I gotta go…”

He turned away and tore his wrist out of her grasp. Yanking his clothes and coat on, he retrieved the MII from the coffee table, snapping the case shut. He stuffed it into one of the deep pockets on the coat and almost fled from her.

When he stopped running mindlessly through the city, he fetched up against one of the overpass structures of the L. Sinking down in a near-fetal ball, the dirt and pebbles scraped the concrete under his boots as he pulled his legs up closer. He yanked the long coat around him like a blanket, let his chin hit his chest, and waited for the trembling to stop.

His mind was plagued with echoes of pain, humiliation, and the horror of being trapped physically and mentally as his enemy split open his memories and trephined his soul.

Growling, he struck his face so hard to wipe away an offending wetness that it took a moment for the bruises to fade. Shaking fingers rose, the claws tearing free slow. Gripping the sides of his head, he tried to pierce his skull, but only the skin would yield to the lethal tips. When Logan had cloven his brain, the skull around it had not been bonded with Adamantium.

Victor curled into himself tighter, sliding down until he lay on his side in a trembling ball. “Get out,” he whispered to the face that floated in his waking nightmare. The harsh lights that had hurt his eyes had gleamed off of the bald skull, shadowing the eyes that stared mercilessly into his. “Get outta me, leave me alone! Go away!” he screamed.

A train on the Green Line was approaching fast. Victor hissed, his mouth dripping with saliva. He uncurled and grasped one of the metal supports. With a snarl, he began to climb. Barely getting up to the tracks in time, he set his chest on the ties and stretched to lay his temple on the vibrating metal rail. Opening his eyes, he snarled as he watched the train come at him.

It struck with concussive force, tearing a path in the flesh on his face before it threw him into the dark to fall from the overpass. He landed hard on his back in the road as the train rattled and screeched overhead, unaffected and indifferent.

Turning onto his side, he caught the loose flap of flesh in his palm before it fell away to hang from his skull. Both eye sockets, the Adamantium bridge of his nose, and a tear at the base of his ear were pouring blood onto the asphalt. Pressing the flesh in place, he felt it knit itself back together with the rest. When it would stay on his skull, he struggled to sit up and pulled his knees into his chest. His arms wrapped around his legs and he hid his disfigured face as the buzz of healing repaired it. His lips felt hot as they were mended. The blood in his mouth coated his teeth, but the cuts to the gums were already healed.

As he sat there, he could feel his eyes and lids growing back. His ribs hurt on one side, but there was no injury there – it was the psychosomatic phantom pain he’d felt off and on, all of his life.

When he could see, he forced himself to rise, to stumble down the road until he could walk without a limp. Finding an abandoned car, he sat on its hood and ignored the crush of the fiberglass under his weight. Fishing for his phone with trembling fingers, he growled at the cracked screen. The metal case of the inducer device had protected it perfectly.

Looking around, he got his bearings and shoved the phone back into his coat. He stood and began to walk, heading for home.

~ ~ ~

Victor tried to relax as he sat on the polished wood floor of his bedroom at the foot of his bed. Lenusya sat on the bed over him, her gnarled and wrinkled fingers unwinding and brushing out the braid, trying to pluck the bits of grass and weeds from the golden strands.

“If it heals completely an’ leaves me vulnerable t’ those freaks, they’ll lock me up or turn me int’ their ass puppet again.”

The sound of fancy dress shoes pacing in front of the curtains stopped. Obinata moved to the leather armchair where he could see Victor and sighed, spreading his hands in front of him. “What can we do?”

“Dunno,” he whispered. “All I can do is try t’ stay one step ahead an’ keep in tha wind.”

“She had a point,” Lenusya offered, “you are familiar with her and accustomed to sharing like that – maybe it only happened because it was her.”

“Let us hope,” Obinata said. “May I suggest you go back there and see?”

“After I sleep, or try t’ sleep…”

“You should eat, I’ll bring you some sirloins,” Lenusya suggested.

“No, don’t.”

“Victor, you were hurt.”

He looked away from her. “Said no. Just wanna sleep.” Neither of them had brought it up and he hadn’t told them, but they knew: he had tried to hurt himself again.

Victor stopped listening to them as Lenusya let go of his brushed out hair and rose from the bed. He stood, dropped the robe, hauled the fresh bedclothes down, and crawled in.

“I will transfer everything to a new phone, Creed-san.”

“Thank you for coming so fast, Ryu.”

“Of course.”

Lenusya came close at Victor’s back and leaned down to kiss his temple. “Sleep well, my friend.”

When they left, she shut the doors softly. Through the curtains, he could scent the rising sun. Staring into the dim room that he could once again see clearly with his enhanced vision, he lay still and silent. His fingers lifted to touch the path where the metal wheel had ripped half of his face away from the shining skull underneath.

Closing his eyes briefly, he snapped them open again when the image of those baleful cold blue eyes stared back at him.

“Go away…” he whispered to the empty room.

~ ~ ~

Small waves lapped against the golden fur dusting his abdominals as the metamorph slipped back up to him. Victor lifted his arms to stretch them out on the wide rim of the bathing pool, smirking when Morpheus’s hands eagerly began to caress the stacked muscle groups.

When the boy shifted his balance in the warm water to let one hand disappear below the surface, he winced, his battered insides protesting any sudden movement. The groping hand ended up grabbing Victor’s cock a little more roughly than he’d probably intended.

“Claudette should hire a healer, so she can patch up ‘er best asset quicker.”

Bending down to lick the curling thicker fur on Victor’s chest, he whispered, “I’m glad she hasn’t. I like wearing your marks – for as long as they last, anyway.”

Victor chuckled. “If I gave ya one that’d last, ya wouldn’t live long ‘nuff t’ enjoy it. We don’t scar, boy – embrace tha concept.”

“You have scars, little fine ones, here, there – especially on your back. Courtesy of Wolverine?”

Victor growled. “No. That’s from when I was a brat, before tha change hit me.”

“Puberty?”

“Sooner fer me, dunno why. Healin’ factor hadn’t kicked in, so I got marks. End o’ topic, Morph. Ya gonna do somethin’ with that, or just hang on t’ it?”

Morpheus smiled, his hand beginning to lazily stroke him. Victor leaned his head back and let his abrupt irritation breathe out slow. It was too gentle a touch to arouse, but the boy knew it was one of the fastest ways to relax him. He needed to relax desperately.

It was after midnight and he’d been in the west suite with the boy since sundown. He wasn’t trying to avoid Claudette – but he also wasn’t ready to face her. Fucking the boy was easier, and since sleep was so elusive, it was likely all the rest he would get.

“Do you trust me, Victor?”

Pretending he was just fine was starting to get easier. Staring at the fancy moldings around the lit chandelier, he let a slow grin take over his face. “My safeword is ‘entrails’.”

“I’m serious.”

“Think I’m kiddin’? Whether that shit is show or tell depends on tha sitch. Say what’s on yer mind, boy.”

“You said you keep a house here. I could be there for you, anytime you want.”

Victor lifted his head up to face him. “Claudette’d shoot me. She treats ya good – don’t wreck it.”

“You never stay around long, and I never know when you’ll come back, or if you will. If you took me with you … I could help – with your work.”

“Ya gone mad, Morph? Did I fuck ya bonkers? People just die ‘round me, mostly cuz I end up killin’ ‘em; stay here an’ keep breathin’.”

“Wouldn’t you like to ‘practice’ whenever you want?”

“When I wanna do that, I can do it by comin’ here. Host o’ dead folks can tell ya I don’t do team-ups real well. ‘Sides, ya can hardly walk fer days after bein’ with me – what makes ya think day-t’-day wouldn’t do ya in?”

“Haven’t you wanted … someone to stick around, who gives a damn and isn’t afraid to touch you? I know you do.”

Victor was silent. Thought I had it – but Tabitha left me. Never gotta chance t’ want that with Bonnie – had t’ break ‘er neck. Hell, somethin’ woulda whacked ‘er anyway, sooner or later, but I … had t’ do it. Way it felt, doin’ that – an’ tryin’ t’ cope with losin’ Tabs – don’t never wanna risk it again.

Moving against him, Morpheus held his face in wet hands, leaning in until his lips almost touched Victor’s. Instinctively, he pulled his head back, but the boy didn’t retreat.

“I know about her – it hasn’t been that long, has it, since you met her? When you came the other night to see Claudette, she said a nightmare was driving you out of your head; you said her name then.”

“Takin’ notes when I talk in my sleep, either o’ ya, an’ then gossipin’ t’gether ‘bout it? Not tha way t’ make me trust ya, boy. Claudette sure as fuck knows better – or I thought she did.”

“Claudette showed her to me. She said you wanted her to. Didn’t you?”

“After tha mind-witch went fishin’ in my brain when I was down, told ‘er not t’. Gonna hafta chat with ‘er ‘bout that shit.”

“She would never do anything to hurt you and neither would I. Victor, I asked her to show me. You should know by now that I don’t care who or what I have to be for you.”

Fear and want tangled inside of him. He closed his eyes when he felt the boy’s erection shift and fade under the water, felt the press of full breasts against his chest. The hand that still held his cock became delicate, but strong; she pumped it once, and then squeezed. Plump lips that he knew would be a perfect soft pink feathered over his. Drawing his exhaled breath into her hungry mouth, her voice, flawlessly remade, spoke to him from beyond the grave.

“What we did tonight, this was real, wasn’t it?”

“Bonnie,” he whispered, and crushed her lips with his.

Razor metal claws slipped into her curling blonde hair, one hand at her back to pull her to him. Opening his eyes slowly, he sucked in a breath to see her. He knew it wasn’t real, knew she still carried Morph’s scent, but he abruptly couldn’t care.

Victor turned, swirling her in the water, and lifted her up to sit on the edge. Water cascaded off of him as he rose, her long and pale athletic legs circling his hips. She clung to him with a shocking passion devoid of fear, crying out her need as he sank into her heat.

“Promise me, Victor, promise me….”

His mind clouded, hyper-senses and desire warring inside him as he thrust. He held her fiercely, knowing she loved his rough lust, but careful not to hurt her with claws, with fangs, or with the strength that could snap her in two.

Her scent, like lavender, enveloped him, but it was a lie … a lie. The scent came from her left hand, where the metamorph had crushed a fancy perfumed bath bead.

It ain’t real, she’s dead, I killed ‘er… I had t’ kill ‘er

“Victor, promise me…”

“Yes … keep ya with me – keep ya … keep ya safe…”

 

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Author’s Note/Spoiler: The woman, Bonnie Hale, appeared in the Sabretooth limited series, Mary Shelley Overdrive (Dan Jolley/Greg Scott, Aug – Nov 2002). The “this was real” and “keep you with me, keep you safe” lines are borrowed from that story.

Victor saved Bonnie accidentally, and she was both physically and emotionally grateful, much to his surprise. They only had one night together, but she had an effect on him he wasn’t prepared to deal with. He did have to kill her (potentially saving millions by doing so) but if you want more details on that, I highly recommend reading that story and hey – Sabey gets laid in canon! However, you don’t need to read the limited series in order to follow this story; you can read my tribute fic to it, Overdrive, you’ll have all the information you need, as well.

Incidentally, I think one of the reasons that Victor can be so brutal to women is because he’s rarely had one respond to him at first meeting with anything other than fear, disgust, and horror. It’s likely the reason he goes to prostitutes so much, in canon and out. He can still smell their fear, but they are paid to pretend and to give him what he wants. When Bonnie wanted to be with him at first meeting, and continued to want to, it probably short-circuited his brain for a bit, shocking him into being protective of her. Of course, the other main reason for his brutality to women would be his mother – a mother who didn’t protect him from his abusive father. I think this is what induces him to harm women, with a deep psychological rage against them pushing him to it. Actually, if Bonnie had lived, I doubt if she could have maintained a successful relationship with Victor for long, without a major change inside of him. Relationships are give and take, and Victor’s nature at that time was all take. Bonnie was already irritated at his habit of giving orders and “treating her like a ten-year-old”. Bonnie may have lit the fuse on helping Victor to change, though, and that is a major theme of my series. Here ends this installment of Psych 101. Thanks for reading! – AnonGrimm  (@MET_Fic)

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