Disclaimer – I do not own SVM/TB characters or origins. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made. I just want to play with the Viking!
I hope you like it!
The ladder of the fire escape ran the length of the side of the building with landings on each floor to the side. Everything entered into slow motion as it had the night before when I fell on the set. I remember staring at the open window; eyes wide open in disbelief while I began to fall backward. I reached out; in some self-preserving lapse of judgment wishing the arm would return and save me. The figure who had grabbed me was gone.
As my body fell, my foot slipped and was caught between the steps of the ladder causing me to turn upside down, where my head and back crashed into the metal rungs. That’s gonna leave a mark! The upside down angle released my foot, but the momentary pause did nothing to stop me from sliding down and starting to fall, in earnest, head first to the ground. I shut my eyes tightly and tucked my chin to my chest. I did not want to see the ground coming closer to my face knowing that I would soon be dead or, at the very least, paralyzed from breaking my neck. I flailed my arms, reaching behind me trying to grab onto anything that would slow my descent. I could feel the tips of my fingers scraping along the rusty rails of the ladder, slicing the pads.
When I reached the second floor, my fingers caught for just an instant, thanks to the holes in the metal landing, causing my upper body to stop forcibly while my lower half continued its trajectory and jerked down, hitting the ladder at full force against my chest and the top of my head, the same way my back and head had done only a moment earlier.
The unexpected jolt caused me to bite my tongue, which instantly filled with blood. It made me nauseous when combined with my little circus act. I was thankful though that I hadn’t smashed my face into the rungs. ‘What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs and makes a slinkity sound?’ I almost laughed in my deliria. ‘A spring! A spring! A marvelous thing!’ I heard what sounded like my fingers breaking when they hit the landing and I couldn’t hold on, but at least I was now falling feet first and possibly might only break my ankles or legs.
That instant of relief didn’t last long as my entire body then fell away from the ladder completely, with no hope of slowing or stopping again. Now prone, I was free-falling and the thoughts of breaking my back returned as I knew I was nearing the ground. The weightlessness did nothing to help the nausea I was feeling from my apparent failed attempt at a gainer.
I had always felt that sensation of life changing to slow motion when faced with a situation of danger. It seemed as if this ‘extra’ time should allow me an opportunity to think of a way out of my peril, when in reality it only served to prolong my fear. My screaming had turned to whimpering as I held a pity party for myself and for JP, whom I knew would miss me when I was gone.
I cursed the high ceilings of the old building when I realized what would have been thirty feet was actually forty, as if that really mattered in the grand scheme of things. What took mere moments seemed to take full minutes as my mind wandered. I read somewhere that when you are about to fall or crash you should tuck your head, arms and legs in and relax on impact. I had already tucked my chin, so I tried to pull myself in the rest of the way. I wasn’t sure I could relax on impact, but how much worse could it be if I didn’t?
I wondered why, if I was going to die, that my life wasn’t flashing before my eyes? Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? Maybe my life didn’t have enough highlights in its reel to make a difference? What a depressing thought to have right before you meet your maker. The last thought I had before I hit was of Eric and how comforted I had felt last night when he was holding me in his arms. I wished I could feel that again before I died, but I would carry it in my memory until the last moment.
When I finally, FINALLY, hit the ground, it didn’t feel like I thought it would. My eyes were still shut tight and I knew my body had tensed up and fallen out of my ‘tuck and roll’ stance. Somewhere along the way, my muscles had ignored my mental directions and I had panicked at the last second. No, there was certainly no relaxing on impact for me.
I landed on two metal bars that felt like…a bike rack? One bar was under my knees and my legs were hanging loosely over the edge. The other had hit under my arms when I landed leaving them splayed open. My head had whipped back and bounced, expelling most of the blood from my mouth. It settled onto nothing as I felt more blood pouring out of my, now open, mouth on both sides. I was surprised I didn’t get whiplash on top of everything else. Then again, maybe I did? Maybe my neck was broken after all? I had no idea. All I knew was that it knocked the wind out of me for a moment, but I was mostly relieved to have stopped falling.
Then my mind turned to the animal in the school! Was it coming to claim its’ prize?! Would it smell the blood? Was I now a sitting duck waiting for it to finish me off?! I started flailing erratically, trying to get myself up and off of the bars so I could run. Would I even be able to run? I now knew I wasn’t paralyzed. Thank God for small favors! That didn’t necessarily mean that I could run or even stand on the foot that had stuck in the ladder.
Aside from the fact that I was having trouble catching my breath because my sternum felt like it was pushing against my lungs, I didn’t want to start screaming again and draw its attention if I could help it. I was also too terrified to open my eyes and look to see if it was coming or there already.
I began sobbing pitifully when I found it impossible to pry my body off of the hard bars. The only thing I had accomplished was somehow pinning my arms to my sides as I slipped down the bar under my back, which was now holding up my shoulders. The bars seemed to have tightened around me stopping my movement. Maybe my poor, broken, body was mangled to the extent that it had wrapped around them? Imagination can be a terrible thing sometimes. I continued to jerk my body spasmodically, trying again in vain to loosen myself from my metal cage as tears slipped from my eyes.
“Shh, Chelsea, relax.”
Eric…He truly would be my last thought! Yes, this was how I wanted to die. I wanted to hear his soft, comforting voice as I left this world. The thought of that calmed me as it had last night, and my body relaxed for the first time since I began my journey into this hell I was living, or rather dying, in now. I felt sorry for whoever would find my body. I hoped it wouldn’t be JP. Seeing me like this would crush him.
My eyes felt heavy, but they had relaxed with the rest of me. I tried to smile thinking of Eric, but my face would not cooperate fully. I was sure I had some grim expression like a villain from a comic book. It didn’t matter really. I knew he couldn’t see me.
“I have you,” the gentle voice said, the voice of my perfect blue-eyed angel.
“So beautiful, if only …” I trailed off, whispering to myself. If only I had asked him to stay! I thought.
In truth, I was glad, then, that I hadn’t. What could he have done? He was just a man and the animal would have hurt him or worse. It was better this way. It was better that I was alone.
I must have been in shock because I couldn’t feel the wounds that I was sure were covering me. I felt my body shutting down as the adrenaline left me. The voice continued, comforting me.
“I am here. Look at me,” my angel whispered.
My metal cage had finally loosened and released its tight grip on me as my body relaxed even more.
“Look at me,” it coaxed again.
I was looking at him! Why did my angel keep saying that? I could see him perfectly in my mind. The crashing waves of his eyes boring into mine as I imagined myself touching his face. While my arms stayed uselessly at my sides, my mental fingers were running through his soft blonde hair gripping it and pulling him to me. Every other thought faded away, when I felt myself pressing my lips gently to his as I had wanted to so badly that night in the parking lot.
The sensation felt so real as his lips touched mine, gentle and soothing. I relished it. He still smelled so good, even in my mind. I tried to smile again, but the moment was ruined when I tasted the blood from my tongue. It must have started bleeding again with my thrashing. I tried to turn my head to the side and spit it out, but I wasn’t able. I felt the thick liquid run down my throat as I swallowed it to keep from choking. Why couldn’t I have passed in that perfect moment of the perfect world I had created with my imaginings?
“Just die already!” I moaned quietly, scolding my body for betraying me. I began to see spots behind my eyelids and I gave up any fight I had left. My body was heavy and I was drifting into unconsciousness. Thank God. It was then that I knew my angel had returned to take me home or wherever I was going.
“No. Open your eyes and look at me,” the voice said quietly.
I felt cool lips press against my forehead, and then something tender pressing against each of my shredded fingertips. My Imaginary Boyfriend, in my imaginary world, was caring for me again. I was heartbroken that this was the last I would see of him and it was only in my head, but what a perfect way to leave. I was happy I had a chance to know him. He was so…everything! I thought before I slipped away into the dark.
The distant sound of voices brought me back to the surface of my mind again. Would this never end?
“Eric! What the hell are you doing?!”
“She is hurt, Pam! I need to help her!”
Pam? Can’t she even leave me alone in death? I vowed I would come back and haunt her!
“What happened to her!?” she actually sounded concerned for me.
“She fell and hit her head, more than once, I think. I did not see it all.”
“Did you do this!?”
Why is she frightened for him?
“Gods, Pam, of course not!”
Why would she think my angel would hurt me?
“It’s not beyond the realm of possibility. You’ve done worse.”
Take that back! He wouldn’t do that!
“I would not do this, not to her.”
“Don’t, Eric! I don’t know why you care for her, but it’s too much.”
Of course he cares. He’s here to take me away.
“Perhaps I was too late,” my angel’s voice sounded agonized.
“Is she dying?”
“No! She will not!”
“Is she conscious?”
“She was fighting, but now…” he sounded lost.
“Eric, you need to let her go.”
No, don’t go, please, stay with me.
“I will not leave her.”
“You’re not going to…”
“She is already suspicious from your actions, your words, you have tormented her! It would not surprise me if you were behind this!”
“What are you talking about? I would never do something to hurt you! You know that!”
“I want her safe.”
“No! I don’t want her with us…with you!”
“Be careful with what you say next,” my angel’s voice turned cold.
“Fine! If you want to help her, call the authorities, but put her down! This is dangerous! Eric, you can’t…” she stopped.
“Leave! If you must call someone, call Russell. He is with her friend.”
“Please, Eric! Think!”
It was silent for a moment. Then finally, he spoke.
“Make the call, but leave us now. Now! Go! ”
I felt myself moving lower, almost floating, which was strange, since I thought I was already on the ground?
“Open your eyes, Chelsea! Look at me!” the voice ordered.
My eyes snapped open at the command and I saw him. He was really there and I was in his arms! He was kneeling on the ground, cradling me like he’d done before. I’m not dead!
“Welcome back,” he said quietly as a smile passed over his lips.
I sighed in relief and smiled until his faced turned very serious.
“You really do not listen well, do you?” he said sternly.
My brow furrowed as I looked up at him.
“You, quite deliberately I might add, refused to open your eyes. I told you several times to look at me. It took my scolding you to bring you back to me,” he said smirking.
“It wasn’t deliberate! I thought I was imagining you,” I said defending myself.
“I told you I was here.”
“I thought you were an angel,” I whispered.
“Hardly,” He said laughing.
I blushed remembering the kiss I had imagined.
“You know, if you wanted me to hold you again, you did not need to go to such great lengths,” he said with a raised eyebrow and a crooked smile.
“I wasn’t…I didn’t… Why are you holding me? Where’s the thing I landed on?” I said trying to look around.
“The thing you landed on was me. I caught you when you fell.”
I started coughing, and I put my hand over my mouth, turning my face away to keep from spitting blood on him. Stupid tongue! When it subsided I realized it was too late. He already had quite a bit of blood on his shirt, presumably from my face, in addition to the handprint I had just left from my bloody fingers. I remembered my fingertips slicing open on the rails. I looked at my hands and gasped. There was blood, but there were no cuts.
He looked down to see what I was seeing. My fingers were discolored and swollen. They didn’t look right.
“It is only blood. As for your fingers, I can…” He paused as if deliberating. “Some, I believe, were…dislocated when you fell, but I can mend them,” he said.
Instantly, my whole body filled with pain. Seeing the blood had brought it on full force. The shock was gone and I could feel the result of my falling, flipping and crashing into…apparently him. Every inch of my body seemed to hurt simultaneously; I couldn’t tell which part hurt worse.
“I think I’m dying,” I said somberly. My eyes filled with tears.
“No. Your injuries are not as severe as you think.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I would know.”
“Do you want me to care for your fingers?” he said, obviously changing the subject.
“Will it hurt?”
“Yes. I am afraid it will hurt quite a bit,” he said honestly.
“Well, I guess it can’t hurt worse than the rest of me.”
He set me on the ground gently and took one of my hands in his.
“Close your eyes.”
“I thought you wanted me to look at you?” I said, somehow playfully.
He smiled and I closed my eyes.
Pop! Pop! Pop!
I screamed from the pain of my fingers snapping back into place. Tears poured from my eyes. Then I realized they didn’t hurt anymore.
“Are you ready?”
I opened my eyes in fright.
“There’s more? But they feel better!” I choked out.
“You have two hands, songbird, so yes, there is more,” he said.
“Oh God,” I moaned as he exchanged one hand for the other.
I closed my eyes and turned my head away. Now that I knew what to expect, I concentrated on not screaming. It didn’t work, exactly.
Pop! Pop! Pop!
“FUUCK ME!” I cried out as fresh tears ran down my face.
Then it was over. I flexed my fingers and reveled in the fact that the pain was gone. I was so thankful, I opened my eyes and threw my arms around his neck without thinking and cried.
“I do not think we have time.”
“What?” I said from over his shoulder, still sniffling.
“An ambulance should arrive soon. You need to see a doctor, more than likely several. I do not believe there is time for us to fuck,” he stated as if contemplating the idea.
What did he just say? I leaned back onto my knees and looked at him slack-jaw. He cocked an eyebrow.
“Then again we could do it quickly, already you are only half dressed. I am not sure your body is ready at this moment, but I suppose we could try,” he said smirking.
“We…what?” I stammered. He chuckled at my response.
I looked down to see that he was right. I was sitting there in torn yoga pants, one sneaker and a strapless bra. I tried to cover my breasts by crossing my arms over them. I was blushing furiously. I could feel the heat. I knew my entire body was as red as the blood on his shirt.
He stood, still smiling at me, and walked to the ladder of the fire escape. He bent over to pick up my shirt that had, at some point, fallen from my hands. He looked up and I followed his eyes. My shoe was on the second landing. It must have slipped off when my foot was stuck and dropped to the next floor. Well, at least I didn’t lose it! He started to climb the ladder.
“No! Don’t!” I said panicked.
“It will only take a moment,” he said, and turned to climb again.
“No! Please just stay here,” I said unsteadily, starting to tear up again.
I wasn’t sure when I would be climbing another ladder, but I certainly didn’t want to watch anyone else climb one either. Crazy? Probably. Too soon to watch? Definitely! He nodded in understanding and returned to where I was kneeling. He started to hand the shirt to me, but then stopped when I reached my hand out to take it.
“Give it to me!” I demanded. I really wanted to put it on. RIGHT. NOW.
“I think it is better if you leave it off,” he said, smirking again.
“Please, give me the shirt,” I tried again.
He continued as if I hadn’t spoken.
“From what I understand, they will only cut it from your body when you arrive at the hospital. Do you not wish to have it any longer or should I keep it for you?”
I thought it over for a moment. He was right. With the condition and bruising on my upper body, they would cut it off and I did want to keep it. My shoulders slumped and I sat on back on the ground. I looked at him and nodded.
“It is a shame they will cut your corset. Perhaps you would like to leave that with me as well?” he said flirtingly as he sat next to me.
“It’s not a corset; it’s a bra and no. I’m going to keep it, thank you very much. They can cut it if they want. It’s ruined anyway.”
“Well, it was a very lovely bra,” he said, admiring it with his eyes.
Seriously, how could he look at me like that, now? I was a mess. I knew I had dried blood stuck to the sides of my face. I probably looked like the Joker with his crazy smile. I didn’t know if I should be flattered or freaked out.
“Stop looking at my breasts!”
“I was looking at your bra,” he paused. “In truth, I was looking at your breasts. However, I believe that is a customary action of a ‘perv’, is it not?”
“God, I don’t even remember that and you’re not going to let me live it down, are you?” I rolled my eyes.
“No, I do not believe I will,” he said laughing.
We sat in silence for a few minutes. Where is the fucking ambulance? Not that I was exactly complaining, but I was in pain. Actually, when I thought about it, I wasn’t in that much pain. In fact, I was feeling better by the minute. It must have been the shock of it all. I had been terrified.
“Where did you learn to do that? The thing with my fingers, how did you know what to do?”
“I have been in many…fights. I was also a soldier. I learned to tend to many wounds.”
“Is that why you said I wasn’t as hurt as I thought and that you would know if I was dying? I really thought I was.”
“Yes, something like that.”
“You know, I think you’re right. Now that the shock has worn off and I know I’m not going to die, I feel better. I guess the fall wasn’t as bad as I thought. I’m not a hundred percent, but I don’t feel like I’m knocking on death’s door now. I think it must have scared me more than anything. I think I have a concussion, though. I know I hit my head and I think I passed out. I thought I heard you and Pam arguing.”
“It all happened very quickly. You did fall unconscious. Perhaps you dreamt it,” he said.
“Maybe I did, I guess I overestimated the severity of the situation. Thank you for catching me by the way,” I said.
He reached over and put his arm around me, placing a kiss on the top of my head.
“What are you doing here, anyway? I thought you left and went to change or whatever,” I asked.
“Ah yes, I did, but I realized that I had forgotten something. I returned here in hope to catch you before you left for the evening. Luckily for me, I did ‘catch’ you,” he smiled.
“I think it was luckier for me,” I replied, returning his smile.
“I have a present for you.”
“You do?” He did?
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, square box with a satin bow tied around it. What the hell?
“What is it?”
I untied the ribbon and opened the box. I looked inside and a wide smile spread across my face. Tears started falling from the corners of my eyes. I looked up at him and his brow was furrowed.
“Why are you crying? Do you not like the gift?”
“No! I love it! I’m happy! Thank you so much!” I threw my arms around him again and hugged him tight.
He wrapped his arms around me and rested his chin on my shoulder.
“I do not like when women cry, especially if it is of my doing. Especially if it is you,” he said seriously. I pulled back and put my hand on his cheek. He leaned into it slightly.
“You didn’t make me cry. This is so…perfect. How did you know?”
“Someone may have told me,” he said as a very wide grin spread across his perfect face.
I looked at him for just a second longer before I removed my hand from his face. I was so excited my hands were practically shaking. I pulled out the contents of the perfect little box and looked at my very own set of ‘Truly Bloody’ fangs. I couldn’t wait to try them on!
“I will teach you how to use them. Do not worry. I think Workman’s Compensation will cover the cost.”
We sat there silently and smiling at each other until we heard the sirens in the background.
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Please review! It keeps me going! Thanks for reading! 🙂