The early spring breeze fluttered my jacket and blew through my hair as I stood at the foot of the grave. No birds sang this day. It were as if they too were mourning his death. A single tear ran down my pale cheek as I stared at the gravestone in front of me. It shouldnít have ended this way. His life wasnít supposed to have ended this soon. He still had many years ahead of him.
I blame myself for his death of course, if I hadnít gone to him and told him I was alive he never would have been put in danger. Itís my fault. I was selfish. I couldnít control my emotions and now heís dead. The one person I ever truly loved is dead.
I took a step closer to the grave and knelt down in the soft earth. My fingers traced the letters carved into the smooth granite. Sean Patrick Astin, February 25, 1971 Ė March 30, 2004. I pressed my forehead against the cold stone.
"Oh Sean." I whispered, "Iím so sorry."
Although I was not the one who killed him his blood had still stained my hands. I might as well have killed him though. I put him in that situation. Me. If I hadnít come back then he would still be alive mourning my death. But I had to go and see him. I couldnít listen to simple rules. I was never one to go by the rules and look where it got me.
A few more tears fell from my closed eyes. He was my Sam, my Sean. And now he was gone.
"Elijah, we are lost." Sean said looking out the passenger window at the unfamiliar streets.
Elijah gripped the steering wheel "We are not lost. I know where we are."
Sean turned his face to him and smiled as they reached a red light "Then where are we?"
Elijah could never resist Seanís smile. He loved the way his eyes crinkled at the corners when he smiled. The younger man finally broke down and confessed "I have no fucking idea."
"I knew it." Sean said shaking his head, the smile still on his face. He knew Elijah too well by now to know when he was totally clueless about something. That was one of the things he found cute about him.
"I know weíre somewhere in California." Elijah announced smiling as the light changed from red to green.
Sean sighed "Well thatís good to know. At least weíre still in the right state."
"Shut up." Elijah said as he continued to drive "Oh a bar."
Sean turned to where he was looking "Trust you to find a bar at twelve in the afternoon."
Elijah pretended to ignore him "We can get some directions." He pulled the car into the small parking lot behind the building. They got out of the car and walked together to the door.
It was the middle of March, Seanís divorce had just become finale, and Elijah and Sean were finally able to go out together without being secretive.
As they walked into the bar they left the bright afternoon sun behind them and plunged into the smoke filled barely lit bar.
"Nice place." Sean said as they sat down at a table, "Kinda reminds me of The Prancing Pony."
"That was a set Sean." Elijah smiled and placed a cigarette between his lips.
"I know. Want a beer?" He stood up and patted his pockets to find his wallet.
Elijah blew out a puff of smoke "Sure."
Sean went to the bar and ordered them two beers. As he made his way back to their table be became aware of two men at a near by table looking at them "Are you getting a sense of de ja vue?" he sat down and slid one of the beers towards Elijah.
"How so?" Elijah asked his brows furrowing.
Sean tipped his head slightly towards the two men who looked away "Like Prancing Pony Aragorn sorta de ja vue."
Elijah wasnít following him "What?"
Sean rolled his eyes and lowered his voice "Those two guys over there were just staring at us."
"I think youíre paranoid Sean." Elijah took a swig from his bottle.
Sean glanced at the two men who were talking to each other "Maybe youíre right. It just seemed like they were watching us."
"Yeah cause weíre so interesting." Elijah smiled then took another drag on his cigarette.
"Yeah right." Sean said. As they sat in the bar he continued to keep an eye on the two men. He was beginning to think that maybe Elijah was right; maybe he was slightly paranoid. But he figured that was normal considering everything that had happened in the last few months. About an hour later they left and eventually found their destination.
When they left the bar the younger of the two men that had been watching them turned to the older one "Which one?"
"The younger one." The older man said.
A few nights later Elijah, Sean, and Dominic Monaghan were leaving a club and heading towards Seanís car. Sean had been deemed the designated driver since he never drank very much if anything at all when they went out.
"Whatís the difference between a light bulb and a pregnant girl?" Dom asked as they turned a corner. Dom was by far the drunkest of the three and Sean was still amazed that even in his state of intoxication he was still coherent enough to make jokes that made sense.
Elijah thought for a moment then gave up "What?"
"You can unscrew a light bulb." Dom said. Both him and Elijah started laughing hysterically.
Sean chuckled and shook his head "Whereíd ya hear that one?"
Dom took a few deep breaths to stop his laughter "I donít remember." Elijah stopped walking and put his hands on his knees and took a few deep breaths but continued to laugh.
"Heís a lost cause." Sean said. They stopped and waited for Elijah to stop laughing. "Are you good to go?"
Elijah stood up straight "I think so." They continued walking towards the car. "Why did we park so far away?"
"Cause there were no spots closer to the club." Sean said as they neared the car.
Elijah pouted "Well there should have been."
Dom took one look at him and started laughing again which caused Elijah to start laughing. Sean smiled and shook his head. He loved hearing Elijah happy; it made him happy.
Suddenly a womanís scream cut their laughter short.
"What was that?" Dom asked looking around.
"I think it came from over there." Elijah said pointing towards the corner ahead of them. Without a warning he took off running.
"Lij wait!" Sean called. He sighed and looked at Dom "Weíd better go after him."
Dom nodded and him and Sean ran after Elijah. When they reached him he was just about to turn the corner.
Sean grabbed the back of his shirt and pulled him into him "What are you doing?" The woman screamed again.
He pulled away from Sean and turned the corner.
"What the fuck is he doing?" Dom asked leaning against the building. His head was starting to spin.
Sean shook his head "You stay here Iíll go get him." He turned the corner and saw Elijah a few feet away looking into an alley. "Elijah get back here." Either he ignored him or didnít hear him because he plunged into the alley. A moment later someone came running out of the alley heading in the opposite direction from where Sean was standing. When Elijah didnít come out of the alley he got worried. "Dom!"
Dom peaked around the corner, when he saw the worry on Seanís face he ran to him "What? Whereís Elijah?"
Sean turned back towards the alley "Someone just came out of there." He glanced back at Dom and their eyes met. They both took off towards the alley. They stopped dead in their tracks when they reached the mouth of the alley.
Seanís heart practically stopped when he saw Elijah slumped down against one of the brick buildings that made up the alley. He was clutching his stomach. He ran into the alley and dropped to his knees next to him. He was vaguely aware of Dom running in after him and of the girl about a foot away who was whimpering.
Elijah lifted his head slowly and looked at him "Is it cold?"
Seanís green eyes widened when in the dim light from the moon he noticed the blood running over Elijahís fingers. "Oh god." His voice was barely a whisper. He looked up at Dom who was already on his cell calling an ambulance.
"I think he was stabbed." Dom said running a hand through his hair. "Iím not sure. We didnít see. Just send a fucking ambulance!"
Sean pressed his hand against Elijahís to put more pressure on the wound. Elijah winced and tears started running down his face. He wrapped his other arm around Elijahís shoulders and rested his chin on his head "Itíll be ok. Youíll be ok. Just hold on." Tears threatened to spill down his cheeks but he was determined not to cry.
"SÖSean Iím cold." Elijah stammered, as Dom dropped to his knees on his other side. "Someoneís on their way." His eyes locked on Seanís. They were full of worry and concern. Nothing like this had ever happened to anyone either of them knew and for it to happen to someone that they were so close to just didnít seem possible.
"Dom, see if sheís ok." Sean said looking past him to the girl who was still whimpering. He did as Sean told him.
Elijah tilted his head back to look at Sean "Iím sorry." He choked out.
"Thereís nothing to be sorry about." He tried to keep the tears back but a few slipped down his cheeks.
"I s..should have listened." He said his eyelids drooped.
"Elijah! Look at me. Stay with me." Sean said, he kissed Elijahís forehead "Youíre gonna be ok." He couldnít believe that moments ago they had all been joking and laughing and just normally heading towards his car. Now someone he cared about more then anyone else in the world laid in his arms possibly dying.
Elijah coughed and looked up at him "I love you. You know that."
Sean bit his lip and tried to blink back more tears "Elijah donítÖ.youíreÖ.Oh god."
Dom looked over his shoulder at his friends as he heard sirens "Help is on its way."
It was getting harder for Elijah to breathe. His chest hurt and despite the closeness of Seanís body he was getting colder. "Sean!" his breathing was becoming shallow. "God dammit! Canít they hurry up." Sean cradled Elijah in his arms now "Just hold on."
Elijah closed his eyes and heard the sirens of the ambulance get closer. A moment later everything got silent.
His lungs felt like they would burst as he took in a sharp breath. His chest hurt and he couldnít see. Where was he? Last thing he remembered was Sean and Dom in the alley. Where were they? What had happened? He has been stabbed in the stomach, he knew that much. But where was he now?
When he had reached the mouth of the alley heíd seen a man and woman. The man had the woman backed up against the wall and it looked to Elijah like he was about to hurt her. Without thinking he had plunged into the alley and tried to hit the man. But the guy was both taller and stronger then Elijah and before he had realized it the guy had pulled out a knife. Heíd been too slow in his intoxicated state and didnít move out of the way quick enough to avoid the sharp blade as it sank into his flesh. The guy had run off moments later and the next thing he knew Sean and Dom were there.
A shiver ran up Elijahís spine and he realized he was naked, lying on a cold metal surface. He slowly opened his eyes to find that he could still see nothing. Not only was wherever he was dark but there was a sheet covering his body and head.
ĎWhere the hell am Ií he thought to himself cautiously lifting an arm to pull away the sheet. His hand hit metal above him. He stretched his arm to his side and felt more metal. His heart started beating rapidly as his eyes tried to adjust to the darkness. Where was he? He was surrounded by cold metal and he was naked. There was only one place he could possibly be. He ran his hand over his stomach and found no stab wound. He had been stabbed hadnít he?
He froze as he heard what sounded like a door opening. A moment late he heard the release of a latch then light flooded in on him. His eyes stung as they adjusted quickly to the sudden light. He heard the squeaking of wheels as the surface he laid on was pulled out of the metal tomb he had been in.
A young man with light brown hair stared down at him. Elijah thought he looked somewhat familiar, but he couldnít think of where he had seen him before.
Elijahís eyes roamed around the room as he still lay on his back. In front of him were other metal doors. The room was stark white, sterile and very bare.
"Put these on." The man said tossing some clothes at him, "Hurry up. We donít have much time."
Elijah sat up and stared at the man as he realized where he had seen him before. "You were in the bar."
"Get dressed." He went to the door and looked out into the hall.
Elijah slid off the metal table and began getting dressed. As he buttoned the jeans his fingers grazed his pale stomach. He examined the smooth unmarred flesh in the light; sure enough there was no sign that he had ever been stabbed. He finished getting dressed then joined the young man at the door. "What is going on?"
He turned and locked eyes with Elijah "Letís go." He pushed open the door and went out into the hall.
Elijah sighed and followed after him. As the door swung closed behind him he glanced over his shoulder and felt his heart skip a beat as his eyes fell upon the sign sticking out from the wall Morgue.
When he looked back in the right direction he almost collided into the young manís back, he had stopped at a bend in the hall. He checked to make sure Elijah was behind him then turned the corner. As they turned the corner a set of double doors came into view; the sign next to them read Stairs.
Without warning the man grabbed his arm and pulled him into an empty room a few feet away from the stairwell.
"What the fuÖ" Elijah started but stopped when he heard the double doors squeak open. He peered through the small window in the door and saw two doctors in green scrubs stroll by.
"Itís such a shame." A female doctor said as they passed by.
Elijah had a feeling she was talking about him but then again he was probably being paranoid.
"Come on." He was aware that the man had not yet let go of his arm when he pulled him back out into the hall. They reached the stairs and climbed two flights.
Who was this guy? Elijah wondered as he followed behind him. Where was he leading him? How had he known Elijah was there and in the morgue no less. An even better question crossed his mind. Why if he was alive had he been in the morgue in the first place?
The man pushed open a door at the top of the second flight of stairs. Sunlight and a soft breeze entered the concrete stairwell. "This way."
Elijah placed a hand over his eyes as they adjusted to the bright sunlight. He squinted and saw the man running towards a black thunderbird convertible. An older man was sitting in the driverís seat. The engine was running.
"Took you long enough." The older man said without turning to look at them.
The younger man opened the passenger door "Jeez Iím sorry. Had to wait for the kid to wake up. Youíre calculations were a bit off." He glanced at Elijah who was standing a few inches away from him "Get in."
All the things his mother had ever told him when he was younger about never accepting rides from strangers suddenly flashed through his head. "What is going on?"
The older man turned in his seat and looked at Elijah; his eyes were hidden by dark sunglasses "Youíll find out soon. Get in."
Elijah hesitated for a moment before climbing into the backseat of the thunderbird. The younger man climbed into the passenger seat and before he could close the door the older man practically floored the engine as he pulled away from the hospital.
They drove in silence down the streets of LA. Elijah sat slumped down in the backseat. He was chewing on his right index finger; he had already chewed his nails to the quick. He wished desperately that he had a cigarette.
After a few minutes the older man pulled the car up the curb in front of a martial arts school. The two men got out of the car and waited on the sidewalk for Elijah to follow them.
Elijah got out of the car and crossed his arms over his chest "Now will someone tell me whatís going on? And if I hear Ďyouíll find out sooní again Iím gonna go fucking crazy."
The older man looked at him sympathetically "Letís go inside. Weíll explain everything inside."
Elijah sighed "Fine." They went into the building. There were mats on the floor and a punching bag hanging from the ceiling. Various weapons and pictures hung on the walls. They walked through the empty room and down a hallway to a freight elevator.
The older man lifted the wooden cage like door and they stepped into the elevator. It was a short trip up to the next floor but the silence the three men traveled in made it feel much longer. When they reached the next floor both men exited the elevator into a large studio apartment.
Elijah stood in the elevator for a moment before following them.
"Make yourself at home." The older man said hanging his long black coat on a coat rack near the elevator.
Elijah walked across the room, his eyes scanning everything in it. He stopped next to a table "So whatís going on?"
"Sit." The older man said turning to face him.
"Iíd rather stand." Elijah said as a chair was thrust against the backs of his knees causing him to fall back into the chair.
"Mac said sit." The younger man said rounding the table and taking another chair at the opposite end.
The older man whom the other man had called Mac took a few steps closer to the table "First off my name is Duncan Macloed. And this is Richie Ryan."
"Hi." Elijah said resting an arm on the table, "Can one of you explain why I woke up in the morgue? Keyword being woke up."
"You died." Duncan said.
Elijah stared at him a moment "I died?" he thought back to the alley. He remembered getting stabbed, he remembered Sean holding him, he remembered getting cold, then everything had gotten dark and silent up until he woke up in the morgue.
Duncan nodded "Yes."
"Ok. So if I died then how the hell am I sitting here talking to you?" Elijah asked.
"When you died you became what is called an Immortal." Duncan looked at Richie then back at him "Richie and I are also Immortals."
"Immortals can sense other Immortals." Richie said, "We can also sense when someone is going to be an Immortal. When you and your friend came into the bar we knew that you were gonna be an Immortal."
Elijah shook his head slightly "Immortal? As in canít die?" He laughed a high pitched nervous laughter "Of course! Of course something this outrageous would happen to me. After all who else would believe something like this? Who else but me? Right? No normal person would. And everyone knows Iím not normal." He knew he was rambling but the part of his brain for rational thought wasnít working well at the moment "If Immortals are real then vampires must be too? Right? And of course elves! Canít have Immortals without elves. And werewolves too." He ran a hand through his messy brown hair and took a deep shaky breath as his rational thought began to take over "How does this happen?"
Richie shrugged "No one knows."
Elijah looked up at Duncan "So now what? How do I tell my friends that Iím not really dead?"
"You donít." Duncan said, "They canít know. They have to believe that youíre dead."
Elijahís deep blue eyes widened in disbelief "What?" he stood up "Are you telling me I can never see my friends again? I can never see my mom, or Hannah, orÖ..Sean." his voice fell to practically a whisper as he said Seanís name.
"No one." Duncan said, "There is no easy way to explain to someone who saw you die that youíre not really dead. Believe me." A flicker of grief showed in Duncanís dark eyes.
Elijah sighed and pressed his palm to his forehead then moved both hands to his temples. How was he supposed to not see his friends? Especially Sean.
"There are a few more things you should know." Duncan said walking towards a glass case "There is one way that we can be killed." He pulled a sword out of the case "The only way an Immortal can be killed is if they are beheaded. When an Immortal takes another Immortals head they receive what is called a Quickening." He walked back to where Elijah was standing and turned the sword so that the handle was facing him.
Elijah looked from the sword then up at Duncan "Whatís this?"
"This is for you. Every Immortal needs to know how to use a sword to protect themselves." He told him.
"In other words to keep their heads." Richie said.
Elijah hesitated as he reached out and took the sword. Holding a sword was nothing new to him; after all he had used one in Lord of the Rings. Of course this sword was much longer then the one he used in the movie.
"Itís a Katana. Like mine." Duncan said "You have to keep it with you at all times. You never know when another Immortal will come after you."
"So if you guys are Immortals why arenít you trying to cut my head off?" Elijah asked examining the sword in his hand.
Duncan smiled "Not all Immortals live only for the Quickening. Richie and I only take anotherís head if weíre forced to."
Elijah laid the sword on the table "How do you keep from being seen by your friends and family?"
"I donít have any family." Duncan said, "Iím over 400 years old. And Richie was an orphan."
"400?" Elijah asked, he turned to Richie "How old are you?"
"Not quite as old as Mac here. Iíve only been an Immortal a few years." Richie said.
Elijah nodded "So now what? Am I supposed to go looking for other Immortals to kill?"
"Not necessarily." Duncan said, "For now just try to stay alive."
"So let me get this all straight. Iím an Immortal. I canít die unless another Immortal takes my head, I have to carry this sword around with me all the time, and I canít see my friends or family anymore. Did I forget anything?" Elijah asked crossing his arms over his chest.
"There are a few more things but we donít have to get into those now." Duncan said, "Tonight youíll rest and in the morning weíll start some sword training."
"Iíve actually had some swÖ" Elijah started.
"Real sword training." Richie said, "Not movie sword training."
Duncan glanced at the clock on the wall behind Elijah "Make yourself at home. Richie and I have some things we need to do this afternoon."
"Wait! I still have some questions Iíd like to ask you." Elijah said as Duncan moved to get his long black jacket from where he had left it when they entered the apartment.
"Iíll answer anymore questions you have when I get back." Duncan said. "We wonít be long." Without another word him and Richie got into the elevator and were gone.
Elijah sat at the table in Duncanís apartment; a few hours had passed since Duncan had left. Elijah had gone through the apartment twice and found nothing to entertain himself with. The sword Duncan had given him still lay on the table at the seat he had occupied earlier. Heíd been sitting at the table for a good twenty minutes when he noticed the newspaper lying on the counter.
He pushed back his chair and stood up. When he reached the counter he saw the paper was lying open to the obituaries. The first thing he noticed was his picture next to the headline ĎFatal stabbing leaves actor dead.í
Elijahís eyes scanned the black printed letters ĎLast night actor Elijah Wood, 23, and friends and Lord of the Rings co-stars Sean Astin, and Dominic Monaghan were leaving an LA Night club when according to Astin and Monaghan they heard a woman scream. "He ran off in the direction of the scream." A visibly shaken Astin said. Wood ran into a nearby alley and found an unidentified man harassing a woman. Astin says as he reached the alley the man fled and Astin found Wood leaning against the wall of the alley bleeding from a knife wound to the stomach. Monaghan called paramedics, but they were too late. Wood was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. The incident is being called a homicide and no suspects have been found.í
The article went on to list Elijahís family history and his filmography. What caught his eye was the last part of the article "Private funeral services will be held tomorrow."
The sound of the elevator reaching the apartment made him turn; the paper still in his hands. Duncan and Richie stood inside the elevator both a little shocked by the bewildered look on Elijahís face.
"I need to go to my funeral." As soon as the words left his lips he knew how strange his request sounded but he didnít care. This might be the last time to ever see any of the people he loved. Even if it was from afar. "Can you find out where it is?"
Duncan stepped out of the elevator and nodded "I can find out."
A cool March breeze blew through the leaves above their heads. Birds sang and squirrels ran along branches. Richie leaned against the tree trunk while Elijah stood a foot or so ahead. He inhaled deeply as unbeknownst to them he watched the service.
It was sometime past noon the next afternoon when Elijah and Richie arrived at the cemetery to watch Elijahís Ďfuneralí. The cemetery surrounded an old family crypt which, sat atop a hill in the center. Elijahís empty casket was being buried only mere feet away from the base of the hill allowing him to watch from a safe distance without being spotted.
It broke Elijahís heart to watch his friends and family mourn for him. He so badly wanted to run down the hill waving his arms and screaming that he wasnít dead. But he knew he couldnít. Duncan had allowed him to attend the service unseen if he promised not to interfere.
Debbie and Warren Wood stood close together near the side of the casket. Elijah tried to wrack his brain to remember the last time he had seen his parents so close. He was sure it had been sometime before him and his mother had moved to Los Angeles when he was young. His mother buried her face in his fatherís shoulder as the priest spoke. Not only was she devastated over the death of her son but to add to that his body had disappeared from the morgue and they were forced to bury an empty casket.
Hannah stood with her head down; one arm wrapped around her waist the other holding a tissue to her nose. She had dyed her short blond hair black only that morning.
Dom stood next to Hannah; his arm around her shoulder. He wore black sunglasses and his normally cheeky grin has been replaced with a sullen grimace.
Billy stood a few feet away from them; it was bad enough that he had lost both of his parents but now he had also lost one of his closest friends.
As his eyes finally rested on Sean tears slid from them. Sean stood to the left of Dom and Hannah; he stood with Christine who had a hand on her ex-husbands back and was rubbing it soothingly. It made Elijah happy to see that despite everything that had happened between the three of them Christine was still there for Sean. Sean lifted his dark sunglasses and wiped his eyes then stopped and took them off completely.
Elijahís pulse sped up as Sean turned his head towards the hill. He quickly took a step back into the shadow created by the crypt and was sure Sean had seen him until Sean put the sunglasses back on and turned back to the service.
They stayed until the service was over and everyone began to leave the cemetery. Sean, Dom, and Billy stayed behind for a few moments though.
"Come on." Richie said putting a hand on Elijahís shoulder, "Mac wants to start training you."
Elijah turned and stared silently at the other man.
Richie didnít know how it felt to watch people you loved think that you were dead and there was nothing he could say to Elijah to make the situation any better.
Elijah looked over his shoulder at the three people who in only a few months had became his closest friends in the entire world and now could only watch from afar. How was he supposed to go on living without being able to talk to them everyday? How was he supposed to go on living without Sean? He took one last look at his friends then turned reluctantly and followed Richie out of the cemetery. As he stepped out of the cemetery it felt as if he were leaving his old life behind and entering a new one. One where for the rest of his life he would be alone.
The sound of metal against metal rang through the room as the swords met, beads of sweat rolled down Elijahís forehead as he held the sword above his head blocking Duncanís blow.
It had been four days since the funeral and in that time Duncan had been teaching Elijah the correct way to use a sword. Duncan was quite surprised by how quickly the young actor was learning. Sure he had used a sword in Lord of the Rings but the Katana was both longer and sleeker then the sword he had used in the movie.
"Where are you from?" Elijah ducked out from under the other Immortalís sword. Although Duncan was bigger; Elijah was more agile which gave him an advantage. It had occurred to Elijah that Duncan knew almost everything about him but he knew practically nothing about Duncan. He had been trying to place the older manís accent ever since they had met but had not succeeded.
Duncan swung his sword; the blade cut the air as Elijah jumped back a foot "Scotland."
"Really? You donít sound very Scottish." Elijah said.
Duncan smiled "Iíve had quite a few years to phase it out."
Elijah and Duncan moved around the empty dojo striking and blocking. "Ever been in love?"
"A few times." He said as their swords met once more.
"Did they know you were Immortal?" Elijah asked, his muscles straining to push the other Katana away.
Duncan pushed his sword forcefully into Elijahís sword "Some."
Elijahís knees began to give under Duncanís weight on his sword "Any guys?"
The older Immortal was taken slightly off guard giving Elijah a small advantage. He threw his arms up and pushed Duncanís sword away.
Duncan raised his eyebrows "Why?"
Elijah shrugged "Just curious."
"No." Duncan took a step back and swung his sword hitting the handle of the other sword knocking it from Elijahís grasp. He laid his sword against Elijahís throat "No guys." He withdrew the sword, slid the tip through the handle of Elijahís sword and held it out.
Elijah took his sword and wiped the sweat from his forehead.
"Youíre getting very good, Elijah." Duncan said setting the Katana down and reaching for a towel. He wiped his face and bare chest "Better then I would have expected."
Elijah shrugged "Guess Iím just good like that."
Duncan smirked and shook his head "Go get cleaned up. When Richie gets back weíll go get a drink."
Elijah nodded and sword in hand he headed for the elevator. In the past four days Elijah had been trying to settle into his new life as an Immortal. The night of the funeral Elijah and Richie had gone to the guest house where Elijah had lived and gathered a few of his things which Elijah was sure his mother would never even notice were missing when she got around to going through his things. He took some clothes and pictures and other things.
The past four days had been filled with martial arts and sword training. Elijah would spend hours each day practicing with Duncan. For the first day and half he hadnít said much to Duncan and had still been in a funk about his current situation. That had all ended once Duncan had knocked him on his ass and told him if he didnít start taking these things seriously he would kick him out on his own with nothing to protect him from other Immortals.
"See how long you keep your head in that situation." Duncan had said. After that Elijah started taking the things Duncan was teaching him seriously.
As Elijah stepped out of the elevator went straight to the couch where his things were. Duncan only had two bedrooms in the apartment so Elijah had been sleeping on the couch. He gathered some clothes and headed towards the bathroom.
He let the steaming water run over his body, soothing his soar muscles. Over the past few days he had also been thinking a lot about Sean. On more then one occasion since the funeral he had been tempted to call him just to hear his voice again. On one occasion he had gone so far as to dial the first four digits of his number before slamming the phone down into its cradle.
He stepped out of the shower and dried himself and got dressed quickly. Tonight would be the first time heíd left the apartment since the funeral. He couldnít just go out walking around like Duncan and Richie could. Not only did he know people in the city but also because he was famous; people knew him. He would have a harder time trying to not be seen by fans then by people he actually knew.
Elijah was just slipping on his tan corduroy jacket when Duncan and Richie stepped out of the elevator. Duncan had apparently showered in the dojoís bathroom.
Elijah noticed that Richie had something draped over his arm as he walked towards him.
"Thatís for you." Duncan said as Richie presented a long black jacket to him.
"Are you serious?" Elijah asked chuckling, "Do you know how ridiculous that would look on me?"
"Ridiculous or not you need to be able to carry your sword with you at all time." Duncan said, "And I doubt it would fit in that jacket."
Elijah looked down at the jacket he was wearing "Can I atleast wear it tonight? Itís my favorite jacket."
Duncan nodded "Sure. Now letís get going." Leaving the black jacket on the couch they headed out.
"So is there anything you guys havenít told me about this whole Immortal thing? Seeing as I am gonna be one for the rest of my life." Elijah said taking a swig from the bottle he held, "I might as well know everything."
Richie nodded and grinned at Duncan "He has a good point. Huh Mac." Duncan hadnít told Elijah much more about being an Immortal after the first day; he had been focused more on teaching Elijah to sword fight.
"So we canít die." Elijah said, "Except for the whole beheading thing."
The three of them were sitting in a booth in a corner of the bar and Duncan figured no one would pay any attention to their conversation. He nodded "We can die from anything that would kill a mortal but our bodies will regenerate and we recover."
"Try not to lose any limbs though." Richie instructed pointing the mouth of his beer bottle at Elijah, "They wonít grow back. Oh and you canít have kids."
Elijahís eyebrows rose "What?"
"Immortals are sterile from birth." Duncan informed him.
"Youíll never age either." Richie said.
"Oh great. So Iím always gonna look eighteen?" Elijah asked, "Just wonderful."
Richie shrugged "Sorry we didnít make the rules."
"There are a few actual rules you should abide by." Duncan said sitting up straighter in his seat, "You can not fight on holy ground."
"Holy ground?" Elijah took a sip of his beer.
Duncan nodded "Cemeteries, churches, temples. Anyplace that any religion deems holy."
"Uh huh. And what happens if say an Immortal does fight on holy ground?" Elijah asked.
"If an Immortal beheads another Immortal on holy ground they will not receive a Quickening." Duncan told him placing his empty beer bottle on the table.
"You mentioned the Quickening before but you never actually told me what it is." Elijah said, "So what is it?"
"When you receive the Quickening you receive the essence, power, and knowledge of the Immortal youíve beheaded. Itís the equivalent of a major electrical storm." Duncan said, "It shatters glass and short circuits lights."
"So basically I should be safe on holy ground." Elijah said, "Ok got that. What else?"
"You canít bring mortals into a fight and a group of Immortals canít ambush another. Itís just not the way the game is played." Duncan said.
Elijah nodded "Alright. I think I got it." He raised his beer bottle to his lips then back to the table "You said you could sense me the other day. Whatís up with that? Is it like a Spidey sense?"
"If another Immortal were to walk into this bar right now the three of us would know it. Thereís not much to explain about it." Duncan said.
Elijah emptied his beer bottle "Spidey sense." He grinned.
Richie laughed and clapped Elijah on the back "I like this kid."
Elijah stretched his arms out across the length of the back seat and laid his head back. He stared up at the stars as they passed by overhead.
For the first time since he had become an Immortal he thought it would be ok. Heíd be able to live without seeing his friends. Of course it would be hard for a while but eventually he would be at ease knowing they were ok.
This ride in the car was different then the first one he had taken. He hadnít known what his future held then; he still didnít but at least now he knew who he was. He closed his eyes and the sounds of the LA night drifted to his ears.
After a few minutes he felt the car glide to a stop, surely they werenít back at the apartment already. As he opened his eyes a red light washed over him. Duncan had stopped at a red light.
Elijah sat up straight and took in his surroundings. On his left was a liquor store, people coming out had their arms loaded with alcohol; either on their way to a party or stocking up. As he began to turn his head away from the store the next customer to exit captured his attention.
His heart skipped a beat then started to speed up as he watched the man hold the door open for the next customer entering the store. He couldnít take his eyes off of him. He hadnít expected to see him so soon, He hadnít expected to see him at all. Especially not around here.
As he sat at the red light watching the man head towards his car his fingers felt the pockets of his jacket, he wished that he had a cigarette. For the second time since heíd become immortal he wished he had a cigarette.
The car started to roll as the man looked up from the brown paper bag he was carrying. Their eyes seemed to meet. The man stopped walking and stared at Elijah. He couldnít be sure if it was the bright lights or not but it looked to Elijah like the manís face drained of color as stared. He couldnít pull his gaze away as the car sped up away from the liquor store. Elijah finally turned his head leaving Sean standing on the sidewalk staring after the black T Bird.
Elijah lay on the couch staring up at the patterns the street lights made on the ceiling. Heíd seen Sean. Sean had seen him. Hadnít he? Who else would Sean have been staring at? Especially looking like heíd seen a ghost.
He glanced up at the wall clock for the billionth time that night. Heíd been trying to sleep for over four hours but the moment he closed his eyes an image of Sean would flash onto the inside of his eyelids and his eyes would snap open.
"I need to get out of here." He thought as he threw his blanket aside and put his feet to the hardwood floor. He got dressed quickly and quietly as not to wake up Duncan down the hall. He didnít want him to know he was going out.
As he passed the couch the leather duster Richie had given him earlier caught his eyes. He ran his fingers over the smooth leather before slipping it on. It swayed around his knees as he walked around the couch and reached for his Katana, which lay upon his bag. Better to be safe then sorry.
He slipped the sword into an opening in the duster made especially to conceal the weapon.
Without another sound he slowly got into the elevator and pulled the gate closed.
As he stepped out of the dojo he pulled the jacket closer to his body as the cool winter air hit him. Heíd never been out on the streets of LA by himself at this hour before. Heíd always been with someone. Usually it was him, Dom and Hannah leaving a club; Sean rarely went out clubbing with them. The night Elijah had been "killed" was one of those rare evenings when Sean would go out with them to feel young again.
They werenít even supposed to go out that night. Him and Sean had originally planned on staying in and watching movies but Dom had called and begged them to come out with him. So they had reluctantly agreed, if they had just said no he would be with Sean right now instead of walking alone on a dark LA street.
As he walked many thoughts and images flew through his head. He remembered his and Seanís first meeting during a costume fitting. He remembered the looks Sean used to give him that would confuse him and cause him to think about Sean for the rest of the day. He remember their first kiss, all the sneaking around theyíd done at first, the day Christine had found out and the eventual aftermath. But in the end everything had worked out for both sides.
Sean and Christine were still close. It was evident by her presence at the funeral that she still cared deeply for Sean and of that Elijah was thankful. He would have hated it if what happened to most divorced couples had happened to them. Sean needed someone especially now.
After a little while he stopped walking and lifted his eyes from the pavement, he stared at the familiar surroundings. He reluctantly looked up for he knew exactly where he was. He stood directly in front of Seanís house. He looked behind him at the way he had come; he couldnít believe he had walked all the way from the dojo to Seanís house without noticing.
He stared up at the house searching for any sign that Sean was home. As he was about to turn and leave he saw a faint light in one of the windows. The light didnít belong to that room but to the room adjoining it. The light was coming from the kitchen, which was in the back of the house.
Without thinking Elijah walked along the gate till he was far enough away from view of the house then pulled himself up and over. He landed on his feet with a soft thud. Elijah walked cautiously through the yard to the back of the house making sure to stay in the shadows cast by the trees. As he reached the back of the house he saw Sean sitting at the kitchen table, a bottle of beer sat open next to him. He had his head in his hands and looked to be staring intently at a spot on the table.
Elijah swallowed past the lump forming in his throat as he watched him. His heart ached for the man who had been his friend and lover. This was worse then when heíd seen him at the funeral. At least then heíd had someone there; but now he was alone. Alone in the house, alone in the world. If only he knew that he was alive, that he was standing right outside the window.
He blinked back the tears in his eyes as he foolishly stepped out of the shadows and closer to the house. He walked quietly up to the window and got a closer look at Sean. His eyes flicked past Sean to the empty rooms around him. The only light in the kitchen were the two lights above the island in the middle of the room, other then that the rest of the house was dark.
Elijah hesitantly lifted his hand and pressed his fingers against the window. The coolness of the glass sent a shiver through his arm and up his spine. He bit his lip as Sean ran his fingers through his light brown hair. Suddenly his pulse quickened as Sean lowered his hands to the table and lifted his head slightly as if listening carefully.
He hastily decided it was time for him to leave before he was seen. He turned quickly and headed towards the safety of the shadows.
Unbeknownst to him at the same moment he had turned away from the window Sean had chose that moment to gaze out at the yard. He caught a glimpse of Elijahís retreating form in the soft light in the yard. Sean quickly got to his feet and half ran, half walked to the sliding glass doors, which led to the patio.
He was almost positive it was Elijah. He didnít know how it could possibly be him since he was dead but he needed to be sure.
The sound of the door on its track filled the still night air. Elijah froze just on the edge of the yard as the sound reached his ears. Sean had seen him. He didnít turn around, he didnít do anything. He just stood there stuck to his spot.
Sean stared at the back of the figure at the edge of his yard. He was the same height as Elijah and even under the knee length leather duster he could tell he was the same build.
"EÖElijah?" Seanís voice broke as he spoke his name.
He closed his eyes to fight back tears as his name was spoken. What was he to do? Did he run away into the night and leave Sean standing in the yard? He couldnít do that, especially now. Not after he had seen him.
Elijah slowly turned around, his head down. He stared at the drops of dew on the grass momentarily before lifting his gaze and meeting Seanís eyes.
Seanís heart practically stopped when he saw him. The soft light of the porch lamps illuminated his pale skin, which looked as if it were glowing. How could this be possible? Heíd been there when Elijah died. Heíd held him as the life slipped out of him.
They both took a few hesitant steps towards the middle of the yard. They were now standing less then five feet away from each other. Neither of them said a word out of fear that if the silence was broken then one of them was going to wake up and find the whole thing had been a dream and they would both still be alone.
How was this possible? Elijah was dead. There was no logical explanation for how he could be standing in his yard. What he wanted though was not a logical explanation. What he wanted was to be closer, to touch him, to hold him, to kiss him. Without realizing it he had closed the gap between himself and Elijah.
Elijah however didnít move a muscle. It were as if his entire body had become stone. He wanted to throw his arms around his neck but the signals from his brain to his arms were getting interrupted somewhere on the way.
Seanís hands flew to the lapels of the leather duster. His fingers caressed the cool material as they slid up to Elijahís neck.
The moment his warm fingers touched the sensitive flesh there fresh tears sprang to Elijahís eyes, this time he couldnít blink them back no matter how many times he tried. His arms, which now seemed to be getting the signals from his brain wrapped tightly around Seanís neck. He pressed his face to his shoulder and Seanís fingers moved into the soft hair at the back of Elijahís head.
"Oh Sean." He choked out between low sobs. They stood there for only a few moments but to the two of them it seemed like an eternity.
Elijah untangled his arms from around Seanís neck and took a small step back. Seanís hands were now on his face. He brushed away the tears with his thumb as they stood staring into each otherís eyes.
Finally he couldnít stand it any longer; he couldnít have him this close after so long and not kiss him. As their lips met a single tear slipped through Elijahís closed eyes. He hadnít realized exactly how much he had missed Sean until this moment.
His hands moved back to Elijahís neck as they kissed.
Elijah could taste the alcohol in Seanís mouth as his tongue slipped inside. Sean could feel Elijahís heart beat through his chest as he held him tightly. He never wanted to let him go for fear that he would lose him again if he did.
If it wasnít for the need for oxygen neither of them would have parted their lips, but since the need to breathe was essential the kiss ended.
"HÖhow is this pÖpossible?" Sean asked through gasps for air. Before Elijah could answer Sean took a step back and shook his head "No. Not now. Donít tell me now."
Elijah watched as Seanís hand trailed down his arm to his hand where he entwined their fingers. He was then slowly being led back to the house. They made their way through the patio door, past the kitchen and through the dark interior. As they reached the bottom of the dark stairs Sean pushed Elijah against the banister and pressed his lips to his. Elijah made no sign of protest as he wrapped his arms around Seanís neck once more. They navigated up the dark steps, stumbling twice. As they reached the bedroom door Sean pushed the leather duster off Elijahís shoulders, it hit the floor with a soft thud but Sean thought nothing of it. All of his concentration was on Elijah.
Their bodies, slick with sweat glistened in the moonlight streaming in through the window.
Elijah threw his head back against the pillow and moaned low in his throat. His fingers clutched at the short hairs at the back of Seanís neck. He pressed his feet down into the mattress to try and stop his legs from shaking.
Sean could feel the slight quivering of his legs against his sides. He looked down into Elijahís deep blue eyes, eyes he never thought he would ever look into again "You ok?" He whispered.
He nodded as a wave of pleasure ripped through his body. Sean laid his head against Elijahís shoulder and took in a few ragged breaths. Their heartbeats echoed in their ears.
Elijah swallowed as he tried to catch his breath "IÖI never thoughtÖ"
"I know." Sean said smiling, lifting his head to look at Elijah once more.
He almost cried when he saw the smile across Seanís face. It had been so long since heís seen it. It almost didnít look as if it belonged there after all the sullen looks Elijah had seen there.
He glanced out the window as Sean rolled off of him and pulled the blankets up around them. Over the tops of the trees a few early rays of light could be seen. How long had he been here? He didnít think heíd been at Seanís house that long. But then he remembered he had been out late and then he had walked all the way there. He would have to get back soon or Duncan would start wondering where he was. Unless he somehow already knew. But he couldnít leave without giving Sean some kind of explanation.
"SoÖ." He began resting his head against Seanís shoulder, "Youíre probably wonderingÖ"
"How any of this is possible?" Sean finished his sentence, "Yeah kinda. I mean I definitely donít want to look a gift horse in the mouth butÖ" he turned his gaze to Elijah, "How is this possible?"
Elijah sat up quickly, pulling the blanket around his waste "I..itís kinda hard to explain. I mean I freaked out." A nervous giggle escaped his lips, "I died. You were there."
The image of Elijah lying lifeless in his arms flashed before Seanís eyes "I know."
"But then I woke up. In the morgue of all places. There was this guy there. He was waiting for me. He knew." He said looking at Sean to see if he believed him so far.
Seanís eyebrows furrowed "Waiting for you? He knew youíd wake up?"
He nodded "He did. See him and his friend knew I would wake up. Do you remember the two guys in the bar?"
Sean thought back to the bar him and Elijah had gone into the day theyíd gotten lost. It seemed like years ago that theyíd been there but it had only been a few weeks "Yeah. Is that who you were with last night?"
So Sean had indeed seen him. He nodded "Yeah." He chewed on his bottom lip for a moment "Theyíre Immortals. And so am I."
The room was silent. Sean stared at him trying to absorb what he had just told him.
"So that means you canít die?" Sean said finally. Elijah nodded "Yeah pretty much."
"What about those two guys you were with? How old are they?" Sean asked.
"Duncanís over four hundred and Richie has only been an Immortal for a few years." He told him.
Sean nodded, he was slowly trying to absorb all Elijah was telling him "So technically youíll be twenty two for the rest of you life?"
"Thatís the way it works." He said sighing, "Iím gonna look eighteen forever."
"Wow. Everyone around you is gonna get older and youíll stay young. Youíre gonna watch people you love get older and die." As Sean spoke Elijahís eyes widened, he hadnít given any of that a single thought. Heíd been so depressed about never being able to see his friends again that he had never thought about the fact that someday they would all die and heíd still be alive. Still young. His heart began to beat violently against his ribcage. Sean was still talking but he sounded very far away.
Someday Sean was going to die. They had just gotten back together and someday they would be apart forever. Elijahís eyes darted frantically around the room his breathing started coming in shallow gasps. Was he having a panic attack?
It was only when he didnít answer him did Sean stop talking and finally notice the panicked look on Elijahís face.
"Lij whatís wrong?" His hazel eyes were filled with concern, "Talk to me."
Elijah turned his attention to him "SÖsomeday youíre gonna dÖdie. And I wonít."
Sean bit his lower lip and nodded "You never thought of that?"
He swallowed past the lump in his throat, as his heartbeat slowed to a normal pace "No."
"Thereís nothing to worry about right now. That wonít be for many years." Sean said soothingly.
Elijah took in a deep breath and nodded "Youíre right. I shouldnít worry about that now." His lips turned up in a slight smile "Right now we should just worry about now."
The corners of Seanís eyes crinkled as he returned Elijahís smile "And what is there to worry about now?"
"Me getting back to the dojo." Elijah began searching for his clothes, "I donít know if Iíll be in trouble or not but Duncan definitely wonít be happy that I went out in the middle of the night alone."
"So is there anything else you need to tell me?" Sean asked, he was getting dressed himself.
He didnít want to tell him that there was a way that he could die. Not yet anyway. He shook his head "Nope nothing I can think of."
"Nice jacket." Sean said as Elijah picked up his duster from where it laid in the doorway. His Katana was still concealed in the inside.
"Yeah Duncan gave it to me." He said slipping it over his shoulders.
"How are you getting back?" Sean asked as they reached the living room.
He thought for a moment "I was gonna walk." Now that he thought about it there was no way he was going to be able to walk all the way back to the dojo without being recognized. It had been different the night before, it had been dark and there werenít as many people out as there was in the middle of the morning.
Sean refused to let him walk back for the exact same reasons. He demanded that Elijah let him drive him back. Lucky for him the windows of Seanís car were tinted so no one would be able to spot him in the passenger seat. They drove in almost complete silence most of the way but it wasnít an awkward silence it was a peaceful silence. Just being in each otherís presence was enough for them.
"When will I hear from you again?" Sean asked as he pulled the car up in front of Duncanís dojo.
Elijah chewed his bottom lip "I donít know. Iíll call you." He slowly leaned over the armrest separating their seats and pressed his lips against Seanís. When he pulled back he smiled "I love you."
A grin spread across Seanís face "I love you too." It was silly but he had missed hearing those three little words.
Elijah made checked to make sure no one was around then got out of the car and ran to the door. He took one last look at Sean then entered the dojo.
Duncan and Richie were waiting for him in the apartment. Duncan didnít look very pleased.
"Good morning." He said tensely as Elijah stepped off the elevator.
"íMorning." Elijah said trying not to make eye contact with him or Richie. Heíd never had to explain his whereabouts with his own parents and he didnít think he needed to explain himself to Duncan. He headed straight for the couch and threw his duster across it then headed towards the fridge.
Ducan grabbed his arm as he passed him but he didnít look at him "I know where you were."
Elijah ripped his arm out of the older Immortals hand "What business is it of yours?"
"Elijah, itís dangerous to go out by yourself at this stage unprepared." He said as the young man continued towards the fridge, "Who knows if there were any other Immortals out last night."
"I had my sword." Elijah said pouring himself a glass of juice.
"Thatís not the point." Duncan placed his hands on the counter and for the first time that morning made eye contact with Elijah, "Youíre not capable yet of taking on another Immortal. You have to be careful."
Richie nodded "If another Immortal sensed you last night they could have followed you. You could have put yourself and Sean in danger and not even realized it."
The glass was inches from Elijahís lips, he hadnít thought that his recklessness could have possibly put Sean in any danger. He placed the glass back down on the counter "If there were any other Immortals I would have sensed them. Wouldnít I?"
Duncan ran a hand through his long dark hair and decided to drop the whole inquisition "Eat something then change. You have more training to do." He turned and headed towards his room.
Sweat poured down Elijahís face as he dodged another blow from the other sword. Duncan wasnít going easy on him tonight, he figured he was still upset about Elijahís night out and was trying to show him what it would be like to fight another Immortal.
His arms ached as he raised his sword again to block the next blow. Before he knew it he was on his butt, the other Katana at his throat.
Duncan looked down at him "If this had happened last night youíd be dead."
Elijah swallowed slowly and felt the cold blade against his flesh. After a moment Duncan lifted the sword away from his throat.
He got slowly to his feet, picked up his own sword and took on another fighting stance.
"Relax." Duncan said taking a drink from his water bottle "Thatís it for tonight."
Elijah wiped his forehead and turned to go back upstairs when Duncan called him back.
"Where are you going?" He asked pulling a long sleeved black shirt over his head, "Weíre going out."
The younger Immortal stared at him in disbelief "What? Shouldnít I change?"
"No. Just get your jacket. And donít forget your sword." Duncan said disappearing into his office.
Elijah stood staring at the office door. What was Duncan up to? Why did he want to go out? Theyíd been training all day long and the last thing Elijah wanted to do was go out. Especially without being able to shower first.
But he did as Duncan said and went upstairs to grab his duster. He slid the Katana into the inside pocket and returned downstairs to find Duncan in an almost identical jacket. Duncanís of course looked much more expensive. It seemed to match the other antiques, which were scattered along the walls of the dojo.
"Letís go." He turned and walked out of the dojo expecting Elijah to follow him.
Theyíd walked for over an hour in complete silence before either of them finally spoke.
"Richie was just like you when he first became an Immortal. No respect for authority. Of course he had no respect before he became an Immortal either. When I took him in he disobeyed me on one or more occasion as well. But he finally learned that I set rules for a reason. Heís still pretty rebellious but heís not as stupid as he once was." Duncan told him as they walked.
Elijah sighed, "Iím sorry Mac. I didnít expect to go over there. Last night while we were driving back to the dojo I saw him."
"I know. I saw him too." Duncan said.
Heíd seen him? Elijah couldnít think of how Duncan would have known what Sean looked like but then he remembered that theyíd both been in the bar that day. That day which had only been a few short weeks ago but felt like years ago.
"I couldnít sleep. I figured Iíd go for a walk. AndÖand I just found myself in front of his house. Then it was like a magnet. Pulling me in. Then he saw me." He closed his eyes and pictured Sean; he opened his eyes as he stumbled on the sidewalk "I couldnít just leave him. Not again." This last part was almost a whisper.
"I understand." Duncan said, "I really do. ButÖ" He let his sentence hang and stopped short.
Elijah didnít understand at first until he felt it. A strong wave of paranoia washed over him. The hairs on the back of his neck and arms stood up. Then he noticed him. A man stood about ten feet away from them. He was leaning against light pole. It was then that Elijah realized theyíd walked straight into an empty lot.
"Hello MacLeod." The man had a thick British accent, in the light from the lamppost Elijah saw his dark hair was cut short and he had a cigarette dangling from his lips. He wore a dark knee length trench coat.
Duncan put one hand inside his jacket, ready to grab his Katana if need be "Hello Damien. I heard you were dead."
The man heíd called Damien took a drag on his cigarette the flicked it away. He stood up "Well you heard wrong." Smoke wafted from his mouth as he spoke.
"Why are you here?" Duncan asked although he was sure he knew what Damienís answer was going to be.
Damien smirked "Why do you think?" in a quick fluid motion he pulled a long sword from the inside of his own jacket, "To finish what we started centuries ago."
Duncan pulled the Katana from his jacket and looked at Elijah quickly over his shoulder then back at Damien "Elijah leave. Go tell Richie where IÖ."
"Whoís this?" Damien asked cutting him off, "Taken in another one have you?" He looked Elijah up and down "Doesnít seem like much. Bet I could kill him rather quickly." An evil grin spread against his face.
Elijah knew it was a bad idea the moment his fingers wrapped around the handle of his sword but he did it regardless. He pulled the Katana out of his jacket and held it up in front of him. "Try it."
Damien chuckled, "Not very bright this one."
"Elijah go!" Duncan yelled at him, "I can handle this!"
"No Duncan let the lad have a go." Damien said, "I need a little warm up." Without warning he rushed at Elijah.
Elijah raised his sword quickly to block what would have been a rather nasty blow. He quickly realized that he hadnít thought out his actions ahead of time, which was also what had led to his death in the first place. He always made hasty decisions without thinking first.
Damien was surprised at Elijah skills with a blade; he had expected the young Immortal to be a quick and easy kill.
Duncan knew he had to intervene otherwise Damien was going to kill Elijah. He waited until Damien had knocked Elijah to the ground then quickly jumped in between them. "Your fight is with me Damien not him." He made a slight arm motion behind him to Elijah who was getting to his knees.
"My fight is with all Immortals Duncan." He said raising his sword, "It doesnít matter how long you protect him. I will eventually kill him." A sly smile spread across his face "But not tonight. When you least expect it you will find a sword at your throat." With that Damien slipped his sword back into his jacket, turned around and disappeared into the shadows.
"Shouldnít we go after him?" Elijah asked brushing off his duster.
Duncan spun around on him "That was very foolish! He could have easily kill you."
He looked down at his shoes then back at Duncan "I know. Thatís my problem. Thatís what got me in this mess in the first place. I donít think first. I didnít think and thatís what got me killed."
Duncan could see the regret in his large expressive eyes "Lets go. We need to tell Richie." He walked past him and started back to the dojo.
"Who was that?" Elijah asked concealing his swords once more inside his duster.
"Damien Monroe." Duncan informed him, "Heís younger then me but very cocky. I first ran into him Spain in the 1800s."
It didnít take them long to get back to the dojo. Duncan informed Richie of their encounter with Damien.
"Got it. British accent, short dark hair, carries a sword." Richie said, "How many of those could there be in LA?"
Duncanís face was stern "Richie, Iím not kidding."
"I know Mac. Donít worry. Iíll watch out for him." Richie said patting Duncan on the shoulder, "Plus heíll probably come after Elijah before he comes after me."
Elijahís eyes widened "You think heíll really come back and try to kill me?"
Duncan nodded "Most likely. Just be careful. Now why donít you get some sleep."
Elijah sighed, The last thing he wanted to do right now was go to sleep but he gave in without a fight "Fine."
"Are you sure itís ok?" Came Seanís voice over the phone.
Elijah nodded even though Sean couldnít see him "Yeah. Itís fine. Iíll come by around five." A few days had passed and there had been no sign of Damien. Elijah had assumed that heíd moved on and forgotten about him but Duncan assured him that wasnít the case. He told him that he was most likely waiting for the most opportune moment.
During the last few days Elijah had persuaded Duncan into letting him invite Sean over to meet him and Richie. Duncan had been very reluctant at first but he couldnít deny the fact that since the night Elijah had gone to see Sean he had stopped mopping around the apartment. So he had given in and told him he could bring him by.
"Wouldnít it be easier if I just drove myself over?" Sean asked, "Less chance of you being seen."
"Duncanís gonna let me use his car. Of course he doesnít know this yet." Elijahís lips curled up into a smile.
Sean chuckled on the other end "How nice of him. Alright Iíll see you later then."
"Ok. Bye." He glanced around the apartment to make sure no one was in hearing distance and found that he was alone "I love you."
"I love you too. Bye." Sean said and the line went silent.
Elijah leaned on the counter still clutching the phone, the smile still on his face. He was acting like a teenage girl with a crush and he knew it. He finally hung up the phone and went to get dressed.
By four thirty he was down in the dojo looking for Duncan. Instead of the leather duster he was wearing his tan corduroy jacket. He figured he wouldnít need his sword since he would be in the car.
He found Duncan sitting in his office "Hey Mac."
Duncan looked up "Are you going somewhere?" he asked looking up from the papers on the desk.
"Seanís coming over tonight." He said chewing on his lower lip, "And I was wondering if I could borrow your carÖ"
Duncanís dark eyebrows furrowed "You want to borrow my car?"
"Well yeah. I didnít think you would mind." He said, "I canít really call a cab ya know."
Duncan thought for a minute then picked his keys up off the desk "If there is one scratch."
Elijah shook his head "Iíll be real careful."
"Youíd better be." He threw the keys to him, which Elijah caught easily.
"Thanks." Elijah said as he turned to leave the office.
"Wait!" Elijah turned back to Duncan again, "Bring your sword. Leave it in the car. And Keep the top up."
He nodded "Right." He went upstairs quickly and got his sword then headed out.
A little while later he was standing outside Seanís front door. He pushed the bell and waited.
When the door opened A smiling Sean greeted him "Hey. About time."
Elijah glared playfully "Iím right on time."
Seanís smile widened as he leaned his head closer to Elijahís "Good thing too." He pressed his lips against Elijahís quickly then pulled away and closed the door behind him.
"Thatís all I get?" Elijah asked as they walked out to the sidewalk, "I pick you up in a T Bird convertible and all I get is a quick kiss?"
Sean nodded "Pretty much."
Elijah glared at him again then unlocked his door and headed around to his own.
"Whatís this?" Sean asked as he buckled his seat belt and spotted the sheathed Katana in between the seats.
He seemed to freeze, his fingers wrapped around the steering wheel. How was he going to explain having a sword in the car? "Uh. Itís Duncanís." he lied "He collects them."
Sean accepted his answer and didnít push the subject further.
After the introductions were over the four men had sat down around the table and had dinner. Richie kept asking Sean questions about various things from the weather to politics. Once they had gotten onto politics there was no shutting Sean up.
Once the table had been cleared and each of them had a drink Duncan cleared his throat "So Sean, I have no doubts that Elijah told you about us?"
Sean nodded "Yeah he mentioned it."
"Can we trust that you wonít tell anyone?" Duncan asked, he looked across the table at Elijah "You canít tell anyone that Elijah is in fact alive."
"You can count on me." He said, he put up his index and middle fingers "Scouts honor."
Elijah smiled "Were you ever a scout?"
He shook his head "Never had the time." He smiled back.
Duncan chuckled "Good. Thank you." He stood up "I have some things to finish downstairs. It was nice to meet you Sean. Hope to see you around more."
"You too." Sean replied as Duncan headed towards the elevator.
Elijah shot a look across the table at Richie as if telling him to get lost as well.
He seemed to get the message "Iím gonna go do some training." He got up quickly and left the room leaving Elijah and Sean alone.
"Was it something I said?" Sean asked.
Elijah smiled at him "Not this time." His lips brushed Seanís.
He sat back slightly and raised an eyebrow "Whatís that supposed to mean?"
His answer was Elijahís lips against his. After a few minutes Sean ended the kiss.
"Whatís the matter?" Elijah asked. Heíd been taken by surprise by how quickly Sean had moved away from him.
"Can we go for a walk?" He asked.
Elijah smirked "Youíre not gonna break up with me are you?"
Sean smiled "Not on your life. I feel weird doing this here."
"So youíd rather go outside and make out?" Elijah asked grinning, "I donít know if thatís a good idea."
The older man shook his head as a smile appeared on his face "No. I just want to walk with you."
There was no way they were going to get out of the dojo without Duncan and Richie seeing them and once they saw them there was no way Duncan was going to let him leave. Heíd become very watchful of Elijah ever since their run in with Damien. The only way theyíd get out unseen was if they used the back door.
Elijah stood up "Alright. Lets go down the back way though." He knew that he should take his sword with him, which would be easy since when theyíd gotten back to the apartment the first thing Elijah had done while Sean was meeting Duncan and Richie was put the sword inside his duster.
He retrieved the jacket from the couch and slipped it on.
"Ok lets go." He said. They went quietly down the stairs in the back of the apartment. When they got outside a cool breeze ruffled their hair. "Where do you wanna walk?"
Sean thought for a minute "How Ďbout the park."
They walked around the dojo and headed towards the park. While they walked Sean told Elijah about how heíd talked to both Dom and Hannah the night before.
"How is Hannah?" He asked as he thought about his sister. Theyíd always been so close. They had even moved to New York together for a few months until they missed LA and their friends and family so much that theyíd moved back only a few months prier.
"Sheís ok. Sheís coping. She thinks youíre an idiot for doing what you do did but sheís coping and she misses you." Sean told him as they entered the park.
"This sucks." Elijah stuffed his hands into his jacket pockets "You know Iím alive but everyone else I love has to believe Iím dead."
Sean put a hand on his back "I know. I wanted to tell Hannah that you were alive. I wanted to tell her what you had told me. But I knew that wasnít a good idea."
"Itís better that she doesnít know." He said wiping a tear away.
Sean could hear the quiver in his voice as he spoke. It had almost killed him when heíd thought that Elijah was dead. It must be ten times worse for Elijah though. He would never be able to see his family or any of his other friends again. If it hadnít been for his thoughtlessness then he wouldnít even he here with Elijah right now. He entwined his fingers with Elijahís as they walked.
They walked together in silence for a few minutes when their blissful peace was shattered. Elijah stopped dead in his tracks as a now familiar wave of paranoia washed over him. He looked frantically around as the hair on his neck and arms stood up.
Sean could tell right away that something was wrong with him "Lij, whatís wrong?"
"Lets get out of here." He tightened his grip on Seanís hand and they began to run towards the park exit. They were less then fifteen feet away from the gate when a man clutching a sword stepped out of the shadows.
"How sweet. Does Duncan know his newest pupil is a queer?" He asked smirking at them.
Seanís eyebrows met as his eyes flickered from the hand then down to the sword he held in his hand. "Lij?"
Elijahís pulse quickened, as he stared at Damien "We donít want any trouble."
Damien laughed "Itís much too late for that dear boy."
He looked around frantically, his heart beated quicker as his eyes rested on a spot behind Damien. "Youíll have to catch us first." Elijah pulled at Seanís arm and they ran as fast as their legs would carry them around Damien.
"Where are we gÖgoing?" Sean asked breathing hard, "Who was that?"
Elijah shook his head as they ran "Thereís no time to explain now."
Sean looked up as Elijah pulled him up a small flight of stairs. He was leading him into a church.
He hoped and prayed that the church would be unlocked. It was the only place where theyíd be safe from Damien. He wrapped his fingers around the ornate door handle and pulled. To his relief the door swung open easily. He pushed Sean in ahead of him looked to see Damien leering at him from the foot of the steps then went in behind Sean and pulled the door closed.
"Elijah!" Sean exclaimed trying to catch his breath, "Whatís going on? Why are we here?"
He took in a deep breath as he tried to calm his own breathing "IÖI didnít tell you the whole truth."
Sean was lost "The whole truth about what?"
"About Immortals. I told you that we canít die." He turned and stared into the empty chapel, which was lit only by a couple candles. He didnít want to meet Seanís eyes "I didnít want to worry you."
"I donít understand. Lij, what are you saying?" Sean asked coming up behind him.
He closed his eyes then turned to face Sean and looked him directly in the eyes "Thereís one way an Immortal can be killed." He took a step back and reached his hand into his jacket.
Seanís eyes widened as Elijah unsheathed the Katana "I thought you said that wasÖ"
"Itís not Duncanís. Itís mine." He said looking away from Sean once more, "The only way and Immortal can die and stay dead is if another ImmortalÖ" he wished that he didnít have to tell him.
"If another Immortal what?" Sean prodded.
"If another Immortal cuts off their head." Elijah looked up into Seanís eyes again, "That guy out there heís an Immortal. Me and Duncan ran into him the other night. Heís now determined to kill me."
Sean didnít know what to do; he didnít know what to say. "ButÖbut why are we in a church?"
"Thereís rules. Immortals canít fight on Holy ground. Thatís why I brought us here. Also Immortals arenít supposed to involve mortals in their battles." Elijah walked past Sean to the door; he tightened his grip on the handle of the sword "If you stay here youíll be safe."
Sean stared at him "What are you talking about? Youíre not gonna go out there!"
"I have to!" Elijah yelled, his voice echoed in the empty church "If I donít heíll just wait out there for us. I told you heís determined to kill me."
In the candle light Sean could see the tears glittering in his eyes. He rushed over and wrapped his arms around Elijah "Youíre not going out there. Iím not losing you a second time."
Elijah wrapped his free arm around Seanís neck. After a few minutes he stepped away from him and wiped his tears on the back of his hand. He turned back to the door; his hand hovered above the door handle "I just have to check if heís still out there."
Sean just stood watching him as he pulled the door open a crack and peered out. "So?"
He didnít answer right away. A few minutes passed before he looked back at Sean "Come on. I donít sense him anywhere."
"Sense him?" Sean stood beside Elijah, "Weíre gonna have to sit down and you have to tell me everything."
Elijah nodded "Deal. When we get back. Come on. This our chance." He slid the sword back inside his jacket then pulled the door open.
"Which way?" Sean asked as they ran down the steps.
"Back through the park." Elijah said.
"But shouldnít we go somewhere more densely populated?" Sean asked as they ran in the direction of the park. But Elijah didnít seem to be listening; he was intent on getting back to the dojo as quickly as possible.
As they reached the middle of the park a feeling of dread lowered on Elijah "Fuck!"
"What?" Sean asked, he could barely say the word he was so out of breath.
"Keep running!" He shouted! They had just gotten through the middle of the park when Elijah sensed him. He couldnít have been more then five feet ahead of them.
"Tsk tsk. Hasnít Duncan taught you anything?" Came Damienís voice from somewhere in front of them. "You shouldnít have come back through here." Damien stepped into a spot of light from the lamp posts, his sword shone brightly.
Elijah and Sean stopped running. There was nowhere to go. Unlike the last time this time Damien stood directly in front of them, blocking a direct path out.
"Sean go out the other way." Elijah said as he pulled his sword from his jacket.
"Iím not leaving you." Sean said standing his ground, "Plus you said Iíd be safe."
Damien chuckled, "Are you referring to the rules? I should have guessed. You ran straight for the church."
"Are you gonna talk all night or are we gonna fight?" Elijah asked assuming a fighting stance.
"I never was one for small talk." Damien charged at Elijah once again.
Sean jumped away quickly as Elijah and the other Immortal engaged in a sword fight. He stepped behind a large statue and watched as Elijah swung at the other man, the other name raised his sword and pushed Elijahís away with little effort.
As he continued to watch the fight he felt as if he were on the set of a movie, after all things like this only happened in movies. Two men only fought with swords in the middle of a park in movies. Not in real life.
Elijah ducked out of what had nearly been a fatal blow. Damien might be much stronger then him but he had one advantage, he was smaller and more agile which allowed him to dodge attacks easily.
He spotted Sean behind the statue and they made eye contact. He pleaded with his eyes for Sean to get out of there. But Sean didnít budge. He wasnít going to leave Elijah. And he loved him for it.
Damien used Elijahís focus on Sean to his advantage and rammed the younger Immortal in the ribs with an elbow. Elijah fell to the ground; his head made a loud thunk as it hit the pavement.
His vision was blurry. He lifted his head off the ground and saw a dark fuzzy figure, Damien, walking towards him. He squeezed his eyes shut, when he opened them his vision was a little less blurry. Damien however was no longer walking towards him. He was instead walking towards Sean. Elijahís heart began to beat at a rapid pace as Damien got closer to Sean.
Sean moved away from the side of the statue and tried to run past Damien. But Damien was too fast.
His eyes widened as Damien grabbed the collar of Seanís jacket "No!!" Elijah bellowed. He tried to stand but his legs felt like rubber. Both adrenaline and fear were rushing through his body. "You canít involve him. The rulesÖ"
"Screw the rules." Damien spat as Elijah managed to get to his knees, "Do you think Iíd be alive this long if I followed all the sodding rules."
Elijah could see the fear in Seanís eyes. He wasnít going to let anything happen to him. He couldnít. He pressed the tip of the Katana against the ground as leverage and pushed himself to his feet.
"Leave him alone!" Elijah exclaimed as he staggered closer to them.
Damien shook his head slowly "Canít have any witnesses. Heíd just go and run to Duncan."
He could feel the tears, hot against his cheeks, already streaming down his face. Before he could react Damien drew his arm back and with a sadistic grin he plunged his sword up to the hilt in Seanís gut.
Seanís eyes widened in shock as the sword tore through skin and muscle.
"NO!" Elijah screamed. His vision was blurry again, not from the fall but from the tears clouding them.
Damien withdrew the sword from Seanís stomach and let go of his collar and tossed him to the ground.
Elijahís eyes flicked from Seanís bleeding form to Damien, the sadistic smile still plastered on his face. The more he looked at Damien the more his anger rose. His shoulders rose and fell quickly "Fucking bastard!" he screamed as the adrenaline rushing through his body propelled him at Damien.
He was taken off guard by the sudden burst of strength the younger man suddenly had. This time the battle lasted a mere few minutes. Elijah knocked Damien off his feet with little effort. Damien got to his knees and met Elijahís eyes. His normally happy features were twisted into a look of pure hatred.
Elijah stared down at him, anger flashing in his eyes. He raised his sword and in one fluid motion he separated his head from his shoulders.
As Damienís body dropped to the ground Elijah turned to Sean who was lying on the ground clutching his stomach. As he took a step towards him the sky lit up brightly. Slivers of purple and silver electricity shot out of Damienís corpse and struck Elijah. They ran up his legs and spine, when they hit his brain he received the most excruciating pain that heíd ever felt. It felt worse then being stabbed. The lights on top of each lamp post through the length of the park shattered. The park was plunged into darkness.
The pain subsided as quickly as it had come. Elijah took in a deep breath and steadied himself. Heíd received his first quickening.
As his eyes adjusted to the sudden darkness he searched for where Sean had been lying. His eyes fell upon his outline. He shoved the sword back into his jacket and rushed to him.
"Sean?" He put his hands on his shoulders and rolled him onto his back "Sean, answer me." His fingers went straight to his throat, he search for a pulse. His own pulse quickened as he found Seanís. It was weak but it was there. "Sean, can you hear me?"
Sean moaned "Lij?"
"Sean, stay with me." He searched his pockets then remembered that he didnít have his cell phone anymore.
"Lij, Iím sorry. IÖI should have listened." Sean said. His breathing was slowing.
Tears returned to Elijahís eyes as Sean spoke, "Sean no." blood soaked the front of Seanís shirt and his pants. Elijah pressed his hand against Seanís causing him to wince.
"Sean you canít die." He said through sobs, "We just found our way back." Was this how Sean had felt as heíd watched Elijah dying?
Sean took in a ragged breath, "IÖI love you."
Tears streamed down his face "Donít leave me."
He looked up at Elijah. Their eyes met.
"I love you too." Elijah bet over Sean and pressed his lips against his. They were already losing warmth.
As he sat back up Sean closed his eyes and his chest fell. He stared at Seanís body. He was suddenly aware of the sirens approaching. Someone must have seen the quickening and called the police. He couldnít stay, as much as he didnít want to leave he had to.
He stood up slowly took one last look at Sean then turned and left the park only moments before the police showed up.
I stared at the stone. His name shouldnít be engraved on it. My fist tightened around the single rose I held. I could feel the thorns piercing my skin. I felt the blood seeking through my fingers. I loosened my grip and opened my hand. It was the same hand I had pressed against Seanís bloodstained fingers. I watched as the puncture wounds from the thorns faded and eventually disappeared. The blood started to dry.
I stood up slowly and placed the rose on the top of the stone. One more tear fell slid down my cheek.
No matter how many years or centuries I live there will never be another I will love the way I loved Sean. Sean was supposed to be my soul mate. My other half. But the Powers that Be decided to play a cruel joke on us. And now weíll never be together.
My eyes roamed over the tomb stone to the fresh earth at the base.
"I love you, Sean." I then turned and walked away.