Family First

Author: Sheri Dargin

Rating: R for violent situations


Story type: AU, Some Angst but more FURY!!!! Brujah style! (Yeah baby) Crossover with Forever Knight

Disclaimer: Obviously I don't work for Spelling Entertainment or White Wolf, cause if I did the show would still be on! Heck I just found out that right before Mark died Showtime was interested in BUYING IT!! ARGHHH!! Somebody get Aaron on the phone stat--even if it's just to tell him I'm not making any money off of this, I'm just trying to keep the dream alive. And second put the damn thing in reruns!

Summary: A rogue vampire is killing other vampires in San Francisco. And Cameron's childe is one of his victim's.

Family First

An angry brood of vampires growled with frustration. They adjusted their grass stained tailored suits as they searched a lush hill overlooking San Francisco Bay. They bared their fangs and growled loudly in protest as they picked up tattered bits of clothing that lay in the bushes. Their leader, the Brujah Primogen, Cameron tensed as he stared at the dead body of his clansman for the last time. Cameron's neatly coiffed black hair and strong jaws exuded his no nonsense views toward life and the taking of it. To him, this constituted a waste of valuable life. He examined the lacerations on the dead vampire's throat carefully. He did not recognize the teeth marks but the wound was obviously the work of a vampire and not an animal.

Dorek's torn shirt and jacket loosely clung to his lifeless frame. His clothing waved with the grass in the night air. The young vampire's face and slim body was covered with cuts and bruises that carried the only traces of blood that remained in his system. Cameron's nostrils flared at the scent of Dorek's blood. A blood that he had embraced only one year ago. Dorek's face wore a peaceful expression that Cameron knew told nothing of the torment it went through before the young vampire died.

My childe is dead, Cameron thought. My oldest childe is gone.

"It is time to go." Aron remarked behind the Brujah Primogen. Cameron stood up and brushed off his suit and looked up at the night sky.

"Alright," He turned and frowned, "I want you to find out where he's been for the last four days and then we'll know who did this to him."

Aron nodded hearing the loaded phrase loud and clear. It was a death mark on Dorek's killer.

Cameron stepped out of the way as the younger members of the Brujah clan carried Dorek's body to one of the waiting limousine's by the road. He sighed as the engines started.

"He shouldn't have been alone..." The Primogen growled and walked toward the limo. His mind raced with possibilities. Why had two Brujah been found dead within the past week? First Wanda now Dorek, was someone attacking his blood, his family?! And where the hell is Dorek's attendant?

Cameron paused at the car door.
"Aron." Cameron stared at the glistening bay as the Golden Gate Bridge and the full moon reflected perfectly off the water.

"Yes my primogen." Aron's chestnut colored skin glistened with moisture. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a handkerchief.

"Alert the clan. We have a new enemy." Cameron glared at Aron and moved in closer, "and when he is found-- bring him to me."

"Of course." Aron nodded

"And find Brady."

Gaelbhan carefully closed the limo door, making certain it did not slam. His auburn curls bounced in the breeze.

"Cameron is hurt by this one." Aron whispered to Gaelbhan.

"Yea. Dorek was embraced only twelve months ago. And now he's gone."

"The hunt is on---first Wanda yesterday and now Dorek. If one of us is in danger than we all are." Aron warned looking at the flattened grass where Dorek's body had lain. "We need to find his attendant. He was too young to be left alone."

Gaelbhan nodded, "Then maybe we can find out who did this to him."

"Let's hope the killer gets to him before we do."

Cameron stared at the lights from passing cars as he sat immersed in thought. He reflected on the many Brujah deaths he'd seen in a short amount of time. He growled as his sire popped into his mind. The one, who taught him everything he knew, the one he loved the one that was gone.

And just like his sire, Dorek, his first Childe had been cruelly ripped from life like the clansmen Julian murdered years earlier. He knew his Prince, Julian, was under orders from Archon at the time and wasn't solely at fault but still someone had to pay.

Cameron smiled, "That old man got what he deserved and whoever is doing this will pay as well. The cost for Brujah blood is high." He said and sighed. "Gaelbhan, turn on the radio."

He hoped the music would ease his thoughts. Although the arts did not fill his being like the Toreador, he often used it to distract him from any present irritations. A melodious tune flowed through the speakers. The heavy synthesizers and slow moaning of a singer made Cameron frown.

Who's playing this crap? He wondered

"This is the voice of the night," The raspy male voice announced. "I will be with you until dawn bringing you music for the ages."

"San Francisco is an interesting place," He continued, "with its mix of characters and beings we loosely call people." He laughed surreptitiously.

Cameron listened intently to the DJ.

There's something different about this voice, Cameron mused.

"You walk around living your lives or thinking you do--- When you are only visitors to this place. Day in and day out you walk about acting as markers for those of us who truly never leave. We on the other hand see it as a count down if you will…. To…. You're…. Expiration."

Cameron realized that the resonance and tone of the voice was definitely longer in distinction than humans.

"He is not human." Cameron growled. "But who is he?"

Music began seeping through the speakers.



"What station is this?"

"KTSF I think."

"Find out the identity of that Disc Jockey."

"Yes my Primogen."

Cameron smiled slightly pleased with Gaelbhan's response. He was authentic Brujah and showed the proper respect for authority without being weak.

I hate weakness. Cameron fumed.

The Prince of San Francisco, Julian Luna, relaxed in front of the fireplace in his mansion. The overstuffed leather chair groaned under his body. The raven-haired muscular vampire sighed as he felt the arrival of daylight. Despite his tired body, Julian was happy that another peaceful night had ended in his city with no conflict between the Kindred he ruled and the mortals they lived among. He didn't mind the crime and corruption that took place everyday because that was a human problem--he was glad that all was well with the Kindred.

I wonder how long this is going to last? He thought.

Julian shook the question from his mind. It was time to relax and he was going to take full advantage of it. Suddenly he sensed Cash's presence in front of him.

"What is it?" Julian asked through closed eyes.

"There is a visitor in town." Cash said looking as stiff as his spiked blond hair.

"So who is it?"

"I'm not sure yet. But the Brujah have been asking around about this person." He hissed.

Julian opened his eyes slowly.

"They are not known for being subtle nor for making unnecessary inquiries." Julian straightened himself in the chair. "I want you to find out this person's identity. And if he is Kindred, make it known that whomever he is, he has 24 hours to present himself before the conclave."

Cash nodded and left the room. Julian stared at the fire.

"I wonder why Cameron is so interested?"

LaCroix strolled on the narrow cobble stone streets of San Francisco's Underground Club District. His pale white skin and ice blue eyes studied the spectators around him. He passed throngs of people who glanced at him briefly-as if they were summing up an enemy. LaCroix found it quite amusing that there were so many vampires in such a small region. And he also found it strange that they were all of a different breed than he.

"We are multiplying." He quipped smiling at a passing female.

LaCroix inhaled the night air and found it thick with car fumes and liquor.

Quite distasteful, he thought. San Francisco is nothing like Toronto. But when in Rome…

LaCroix entered a smoky piano bar. Sultry music drifted through the dimly lit club. People sat huddled around small tables and smoked cigars while listening to the piano player in middle of the room. LaCroix took a seat at the bar and ordered himself a glass of white wine. He surveyed the club and sniffed the air.

Mortals, He mused and smiled.

"Excuse me," A woman said next to him. She wore her dark hair pinned back into bun. Her plump body accentuated her round face.

"Yes?" He smiled.

"Is anyone sitting here?"

"No by all means." He gestured toward the seat.

"Thanks." She sat down next to him and held out her hand, "My name is Madelyn."

"My name is LaCroix. It is a pleasure to meet you." LaCroix kissed her hand politely. He wasn't at all impressed with her looks but she did remind him of someone he once knew.

Gaelbhan and Aron stared at LaCroix from across the room. The two leaned against the wall ignoring the people passing in front of them. A waitress approached them carrying a tray.

"Would you gentlemen like something to drink?" She asked sweetly

"No." Gaelbhan snapped.

The waitress frowned. "Well this ain't a bus stop fellas. There's a two drink minimum."

Gaelbhan trapped her gaze and spoke quietly. "Go away and forget all about us."

Her eyes became glassy. She nodded and sauntered away from the two Brujah.

"So how long was he on the air?" Aron asked staring at LaCroix and Madelyn.

"About two hours or so." Gaelbhan answered while surveying the crowded room.

"You think he's going to take her?"

"Probably." Gaelbhan remarked off-handedly.

"Well at least we'll have more to tell Cameron aside from the fact that the Gangrel are butting in…" Aron cracked his knuckles as two young men in their late teens- early twenties wearing black leather jackets walked out the door. "Which means the Prince knows."

"Who cares," Gaelbhan stated, "the way this guys been acting we have more important things to worry about."

Cameron sat alone in his office listening to the muffled music from his club coming through the walls. He downed a glass of red sanguine fluid still feeling upset over the death of Dorek and the news that his attendant Brady was found decapitated nearby at the bottom of the cliff. Cameron drank the blood pure without the influence of wine because he needed it straight. He really wanted to hunt for his food but quelled the urge because he had more important things to take care of.

Gaelbhan entered his office without knocking.

"What?" Cameron growled.

"His name is LaCroix and he is one of us." Gaelbhan stood in front of Cameron's desk as if he were on report. "He is Kindred and has made six kills in the twenty-four hours that we've been telling him."

"So he's got a large appetite." Cameron poured more of the viscous fluid into his glass.

"Apparently it's mostly for couples."

Cameron perked up. "Really? Where has he been hunting?"

"Strictly in Brujah territory." Gaelbhan asserted.

So I was right, Cameron thought. We do have a newcomer in town. And he's hunting in my territory.

"Ah, hunting without a license. That's a hefty fine in these parts." Cameron stood up and buttoned his blazer; "It's time to pay the piper."

Later on that evening, a gaunt figure of six feet and pale white skin was pushed in front of the Conclave. All the city's primogen--Ventrue, Toreador, Brujah, Gangrel and Nosferatu were represented at the table. They sat silently looking at the stranger. He had short blanched hair and blue eyes that stared purposefully at their leader, Julian Luna, who sat at the head of the table. A smug grin crawled across the stranger's plump lips. Julian stared back at him, unamused.

Julian's black and brown eyes glared at the figure standing before him.

"What is your name?" The Prince asked.

"Who am I not?" The man scoffed, "Who have I not been? I've had so many years and so much time to create many characters which often out last my true self."

Julian did not respond.

Not another vague and mysterious one, The Prince mused. How tiring.

"My question remains unanswered. Your name." Julian repeated

The Nosferatu Primogen Daedalus, with his baldhead and long fingernails leaned forward in interest. The man chuckled and began to pace. Cash, the Gangrel Primogen nodded for his clansman to stop the stranger from coming too close to the table.

"In my years, I have heard of many of our kind come into existence but never have I heard---." He started.

Julian interrupted, "-Whoever you are, I will tell you now my patience is growing thin. I asked you your identity and if you do not answer you will suffer the consequences."

"LaCroix. I am called," he paused, "LaCroix."

Cameron frowned.

"Why are you here?" Julian asked

"I am passing through if you will." LaCroix gestured grandly

"I do not will it. You know Kindred law states that you are to report before the Conclave when you arrive in a city." Julian spouted evenly.

"In my world that is not necessary." LaCroix retorted, "as long as we keep to ourselves we can do as we please."

"Well you are in my world now. And your stay here will be very brief. My name is Julian and I am Prince of San Francisco. I rule by the law and if you step wrong once you will feel every force of it."

LaCroix stood stoically and did not respond. Julian tried sensing the vampire's feelings but got nothing.

"Understand?" Julian asked his voiced tinged with a warning.

"I understand completely." LaCroix nodded slowly.

The other Primogen relaxed a little.

"My visit will be brief." LaCroix stated looking at Cameron who had not yet loosened his gaze.

Julian continued, "And you are not to Embrace anyone during your stay here. Is that understood?"

LaCroix looked surprised.

"Embrace?" He grinned. "What a wonderful euphemism. Is that what you young ones call it now? Fine…" He held up his right hand mockingly, "No, I will not embrace anyone during my stay here."

Julian glanced at the other Primogen.

"Good. Then all is clear." He nodded for LaCroix's dismissal.

After LaCroix left the room, the Toreador Primogen Lily shook her head moving her long black hair back and forth.

"He's very old. You can tell." She said.

"He has an unsettling look that hides behind his eyes." Daedalus said thoughtfully, "He carries much with him."

"Cash where did you pick him up?" Julian asked

"At the Piano Bar in the Underground."

"Had he been behaving?" Julian questioned seriously.

"We got on him from the radio station. He poked around for awhile, went into a couple of clubs and talked to a couple of girls. That's when we grabbed him."

Julian nodded. "As long as he doesn't cause any trouble things will be fine."

"Yeah. Right." Cameron growled.

"Cameron is there something you want to add to this discussion?" Julian asked arching his eyebrow.

"No." Cameron snapped.

Later on that evening, Cameron held out the floor plans for the Brujah club in front of him. The markings at the exteriors showed where he planned to expand.

"This will do nicely," He turned to Gaelbhan. "The key to Brujah preeminence is survival. We need are our own haven, or own sanctuary. The Ventrue claim to have the interests of all at heart but they do not. They are nothing but greedy mortals with fangs. We Brujah are the true survivors. We have the ability to rule with ferocity and strength not with naive stupidity."

"Cameron?" Aron said behind him.

"What did you find out?" Cameron asked continuing to study the blue prints.

"Dorek and Wanda were together recently. Wanda had gone missing when Dorek went searching for her."

Cameron remembered the heated words he and Dorek exchanged before he went searching for Wanda. It had been a constant battle trying to hold on to Dorek's Brujah self. He tended to let his dying human ways govern his thoughts and feelings.

"They were suppose to meet but she hadn't shown up." Cameron stared off into the distance, "I tried telling him that Wanda often liked to disappear for a few days and then show up with a guy-usually." He placed the blueprints on his desk. "But Dorek said she changed." Cameron remarked only now acknowledging the feelings the two young Brujah had for each other.

"Apparently he went looking for her and when he didn't show up for a couple days that's when Brady went out for him." Aron explained

"Why? I entrusted him, this attendant, with the life of my childe?" Cameron demanded trying to erase the guilt he was feeling.

Aron shrugged. "I talked to a couple of the guys and they said Brady was use to Dorek wandering off for a couple days. He would go exploring and then come back."

"But he was gone for three." Cameron accused knowing that he should have taken a more active interest in Dorek's safety.

"Well…after the second day Brady went after him." Aron's voice trailed off.

"Right." Cameron's jaw muscles tensed. "And that's when I came in asking for my Son and no one knew where in the hell he was. And two days later I find him dead on a hill!" Cameron yelled, "Not to mention two more of my clansman, my blood spilt in San Francisco!"

Aron said nothing. He was visibly shaken by Cameron's anger.

"And ironically enough," Cameron finished calming himself, "we got a stranger in town who's got a quirk for couples."

"The police have found another couple in our territory." Aron added.

"Brujah?" Cameron's eyes flashed red.

"No, we weren't blind-sided again. They were humans." Aron hissed. "The police are unclear on how and why they died."

"Cluelessness of the cops does not surprise me." Cameron adjusted his tie and blazer. "LaCroix killing only couples and the death of Dorek and Wanda does."

He approached Aron. "I don't like surprises unless I create them. It all seems pretty clear to me-- Brady stumbled upon that bastard's blood bath and was killed in the process. Therefore I want him dead."

LaCroix retracted his fangs as he dropped the woman's body on the ground. Her lover lay slumped beside her.

"Enjoy eternity together." LaCroix hissed.

Lover's and their passionate pain, he ruminated as he stepped away from them. May they never inflict their feelings on others again.

The night air whipped around him filling his nostrils with the scent of spilled blood. He studied the area trying to find a place to hide the corpses. Suddenly he heard a whispering in his ear.

"Please. Please do this for me. I can not live this way anymore." LaCroix looked around him. He saw only trees waving in the breeze.

"I can not." LaCroix replied to the familiar voice.

"She's gone. And I can't live without her. If you are my friend, you will do this for me."

"Friendship." He hissed and flew away leaving the dead lovers behind him.

LaCroix strolled into a club called the IB. He had passed it several times on his way to the radio station and decided it was time to go inside. The ancient vampire enjoyed the loud music pounding his bones. The sensory overload made him feel alive. He eyed the sharply dressed patrons chatting coolly to themselves. He noticed fondly that there were no isolated couples, everyone was interacting with one another.

"I'll have wine--white whine." He told the bartender.

She stared at him and then chuckled. LaCroix ignored her and glanced around the room.

Life is to be enjoyed, he thought.

The bartender set the glass in front of LaCroix and left the bar. He sipped the wine carefully savoring every drop. He felt good, he felt alive and he wanted to enjoy it.

It feels like a haven…. A place to relax and retreat. Lacroix thought fondly.

"I can not relax if I do not have her." The voice said…

LaCroix closed his eyes… "Nickolai do not ask this of me."

"If you ever cared for me…you would do this for me." The voice of his dead friend pleaded.

LaCroix opened his eyes and strolled across the room. He grinned as he approached two beautiful women who spoke in hushed tones.

"You are beautiful today." He said to the brunette ignoring her blonde friend.

"Yes I know."

"Then you must know, such beauty is obliged to give itself to an admirer."

"LaCroix what a surprise." A male voice growled behind him.

He rolled his eyes.

"Pleasant surprises are the best ones to have." LaCroix turned around and faced the Brujah Primogen.

Cameron peered at the old vampire. "Averil, Diane you may leave now."

The two Brujah females walked away grinning slyly.

"I never said the surprise was pleasant." Cameron continued

"We were never formally introduced." He peered directly into Cameron's eyes. He sensed no fear or intimidation only hate and aggression.

"I am Cameron. Brujah Primogen."

"I'm not familiar with you."

"That's not my concern. You are however familiar with my Kine."

LaCroix snickered, "Am I?"

"Yes you are. You were told to leave town and yet you're still here."

LaCroix placed his wineglass on a passing tray.

"Ahh Brujah, do not fret. I'll be leaving soon." He grinned.

"Not soon enough. Julian has a soft side I have not yet discovered. I don't believe in leniency nor warnings to enemies of my clan."

"You are young and impetuous." LaCroix stepped closer to Cameron.

Cameron held his ground unafraid. His blood boiled savoring every bit of this confrontation. "It's part of my charm."


"For you perhaps, not me." The Brujah Primogen smirked.

LaCroix glared at Cameron ignoring the clan members gathering behind him.

"Well," LaCroix chuckled, "an interesting establishment you have here. Perhaps I'll visit it again sometime." He acknowledged the fierce looking vampires standing boldly behind Cameron.

"Taa-taaa." He turned and strolled away.

"Get the stash out of my office." Cameron ordered as he watched the old vampire walk out the door.

LaCroix stepped out into the night air. He knew the favor Nick constantly asked of him required privacy. Nick Knight's voice filled LaCroix's mind begging him to stop his agony. LaCroix recalled the night Nick and Natalie died. Nick's guilt and pain about the way he treated Natalie and her ultimate choice of death was too much for him to handle.

Nick wanted to end his life and he asked LaCroix to do it for him. Eventhough he was reluctant to take Nick's life, in the end he did it out of friendship. The pain and hurt of being intensely alone bounced around in his head.

I cannot do it again, LaCroix pleaded.

I can't be without her! Nick's voice roared.

LaCroix sniffed the air. He smelled the scent of others. Soon his ears perked up as he heard giggling. His feet led him toward a couple embracing and whispering in each other's ears.

"How wonderful." LaCroix began

The couple stopped and smiled.

"Romance. The ultimate sacrifice. You are--?" LaCroix motioned towards the female.

"Claire." She said in a tiny voice and swallowed.

"And your handsome suitor?"

"Federico." The man answered and pulled the young lady behind him. LaCroix giggled and approached them. "How noble Federico. I'm sure the taste of victory is sweet now, but wait until what you have to offer is no longer good enough. She'll want more and you won't be able to give it." He said in a smoky voice elongating each word.

"And then she'll take that torturous gaze and shine it upon someone else, leaving you alone in the dark."

Claire clung to Federico. They began backing away from LaCroix.

"What do you want from us?" Federico demanded.

"From her nothing. You---understanding and realization that abandoning your friends is not the answer." LaCroix's eyes reddened with fury and his brow hardened. "You need to realize that only I can be the one who truly cares, not she."

The wind whipped around him. "But I know you won't listen and you won't understand because she has wrapped you in her melodious trance. And then you will not be able to live without her." LaCroix blinked his eyes and smiled, "So be it."

Claire shrieked as LaCroix lunged forward. He stopped as he felt a surge of heat go through his body. A tingling sensation flowed from his chest outward towards his extremities. LaCroix felt momentarily invigorated. As he moved again, he noticed smoke wafting from his shirt.

It reeked of gunpowder and phosphorus. He suddenly felt weak. Cameron stood in the midst of his clan members holding phosphorus rifles.

"You didn't honestly think I was going to let you live?" He remarked.

"I have been around longer than time itself. Do you think you've made an impact on me?" LaCroix sank to the ground. The grimace on his face turned to a grin.

Cameron and Gaelbhan approached the fallen vampire.

"Aren't you dead yet?" Gaelbhan asserted.

"No." LaCroix growled.

"You were wrong to threaten the masquerade." Cameron said while taking a sword from Gaelbhan, "And plain stupid for killing my clansmen."

"I am never stupid. You all are too dense to see my way of thinking." LaCroix clenched his stomach in pain.

"You know, you talk too much." Cameron said and chopped off the vampire's head.

LaCroix's limp body fell to the ground.

For you Dorek, Cameron thought.

The Brujah Primogen looked at his clansmen and then at the couple.

"Federico, Claire get inside and start cleaning up. Daylight will be upon us."

Claire stepped from behind Federico.

"You were really scared." She quipped

"No I wasn't. You were the one who screamed."

"That was a shriek and I was acting…." Claire protested as they walked towards the club.

Cameron handed the sword to Gaelbhan.

"Someone clean up this mess." Cameron ordered while walking to his limousine which pulled up in front of the club, "I'm going home to get some sleep."

Aron and Gaelbhan watched their Primogen drive away.

"He did Dorek proud." Aron remarked.

"He sure did." Gaelbhan nodded.