Mind Doesn't Matter

by Lynx



Obligatory disclaimer; The narrator is mine. This universe was Marvel's but Galactus sold it to me for a shiny penny and a copy Rolex watch. MUCH thanks to SillyMel for encouraging me the whole way through this (and liking it when it was finished,) and Duey for liking it (but no thanks for making me post, dearest.=) Feedback pounced upon and devoured, then coughed up because cats were not intended to eat email. *cough* Damn it, why'd I have to learn the hard way? No flames please, or I'll get Snugglepuff to piddle on them _and_ the flamer.

I'm a hunter. I run with wolves. Faster and faster through the trees, we run together, hunting down our prey.

I never get tired, I duck high branches and low branches that reach out to ensnare me, I leap over streams without so much as pausing for breath. I race with my pack, we reach the Moose. A weak one, we choose.

I know what the pack is thinking, I know what they're going to do before they do it. The alpha male--Blaze-face, my friend, my partner--swerves to the right, half the pack flanking him. I swerve to the left, half of the pack on my heels.

As I reach the prey, as he reaches the prey, I change. Sense of smell becomes sharper as I slip towards wolfen-shape. Colors become faded but it doesn't matter. My teeth grow sharper, bigger. I rip at the hind-leg, shred skin and muscle and bone, sink my teeth into the tendon, severing it without conscious thought as my grip slips slightly and I really notice the taste. Blood. Warm, copper-salty. Hair. It tastes like dirty hair.

I've done my part. Held the moose back from landing on my partner, from landing on my pack.

He ripped the moose's throat open. I pace over to him slowly, licking the blood away from my mouth, ignoring the few strands of hair that threaten to catch in my throat. I lower my head slightly, not enough to indicate submission but enough to let him know that I'm not claiming the kill. He nudges me gently, pushing me toward the throat of our prey.

I lap at the blood, my partner beside me. I close my eyes.

I'm a vampire. There's blood everywhere. Our life revolves around blood, a spinning dance where we flirt with danger, daring ourselves and each other to go without for as long as we can. Yes, we're easily amused. There's only so much you can do at night, especially in a town like this with costumed freaks...OTHER costumed freaks...out and about, stopping our fun.

But we found indecent prey this time. He came to us. Walked into the lion's den with his eyes wide open (and focused on me) like any other blind mortal. So easy to lure them in. Disgustingly easy, but I don't feel guilty. As we drink the blood, we can get a 'feeling' of the prey. Their most important thoughts and dreams.

This prey is...sick.

As we drink this blood in particular, we can taste the tang of barbiturates mixed with the energy-giving red nectar of the gods. It ruins the flavour slightly, at least in my opinion. Some of us acquire a taste for it, although I don't know why. Ruins good blood.

I'm sick of this. Hiding away in the shadows, not daring to come out at night for fear of some superhero who won't understand that we're this way by fate instead of choice, that just because some of us were born this way doesn't mean we're evil incarnate minions of Satan.

I don't even believe in Satan, I muse as I leave the others in their feeding. They act as if it's an orgasmic sensation, as if there's nothing better. Sex is better, at least so mama says. Not that they could know that.

I slip out onto the roof, silent as the dead...

Bad joke. I am technically living-impaired. Living-impaired mongrel love-child of a mutant werewolf and a vampire, focal-point of so many jokes in the older families on mother's side who like to laugh at their puppy.

That would be why I rounded up this pack of rogue, stray or confused vampires. We needed our own people, needed--a pack. I'm still the odd one out, naturally.

I'd claim it was genetic but it can't be proven. They tried once to untangle and map a sample of my DNA, all that happened was one RA had a nervous breakdown and another one decided to work at a place called Happy Time Children's PlayCentre. The geneticist went away for a nice holiday in Hawaii for a lifetime or so.

Lucky bastard. I can't stand more than a few hours weak sunlight before I start to feel bad. Autumn is a good time to go out. Not so bright as summer, not so cold that I freeze as in winter.

Sunrise soon, another hour or so away. Maybe I should go find breakfast. Proper food, not just blood. I have a bizarre craving for ice-cream and pancakes and syrup and fruit salad and coffee and...damn, I'm hungry..

Should be safe now. The spandex-clad spider-guy had given up night-time patrols for a few weeks now, because of--spawning? For some time he'd been wearing pregnant-woman-scent. The blonde woman I'd seen once or twice in my night-time roamings.

The other night-prowler, the one with the bad rip-off of a stereotypical demon suit didn't frequent this area often. Too nice a part of the city.

The mutant ones wouldn't be out without a reason.

And my favourite café would be opening...soon enough for me to get there and bash the door down five minutes before opening-time under the guise of a starving student in desperate need of something with sugar and caffeine and more sugar.

I'm a mutant. A mutant reveling in the warmth all around me, Blaze a comforting presence by my side in the guise of a seeing-eye dog, although thinking-brain wolf would be more apropos. I was sitting comfortably at my usual table, finishing off my meal and contemplating finding a better Bloody Mary than the café had been able to serve. Then again, it wasn't worth it. Too much like work, and I was enjoying the sun for the first time all week. Even after my mutation had kicked in I had been hypersensitive to certain types of light. It probably goes with the territory, I haven't explored the limits and I have no desire to. That...would hurt.

I have a life to lead...at least I do now. Provided that my esteemed father shows up some time in the immediate future, anyway. I'm not expecting mother to show up. She's probably bloodsucking in Vienna still, that's where my transfer records appear to have been sent from.

The friends I used to hang out with have vanished or moved on after we saved the world (without any sort of recognition. Damn it.) from a bunch of other vampires. Some got staked, one discovered religion and went to Nepal, one's at law-school and one's training to be a psychiatrist...night school, of course.

Typical relentless bloodsuckers. Not like me, I'm going to be a rocket scientist.

As soon as Dad shows up to take me to college. I could find my way there alone, but I haven't seen him for too long, and it would probably look more authentic, the whole switching-schools-because-my-father-changed-his-job-location-from-Vienna-to- New-York thing.

(Technically a lie, because although Dad's going to be working in New York for a while now, I've been wandering the world for the last three years. No school, bad Llyse, bad, bad mongrel puppy. But I got kicked out of our school when I was thirteen and never looked back.)

"Llyse, aren't you a little young to drink?"

I looked up. And up. And up. Then I pounced with a shriek of "Daddy!" that I 'm almost ashamed to admit. The idiot knows I drink occasionally. He gave me my first vodka and orange when I was ten. He's a bad influence on me.

Terrible influence. And I like it.

But all good things must come to an end, so after a day of mildly tortuous but necessary shopping, too much junk-food, making nasty comments to people who suspected that we were an item instead of a father and daughter shopping, and beating up on one or two neo-nazi fascist pigs, I got dropped off at NYU a half-semester late and no dollars short, and Dad left.

Oh, bugger it! I'm a uni student with an overactive imagination who's late for her thrice-bedamned exam on force and motion--

The brunette growled in annoyance and spat curses in several languages, jumping up from her chair and leaving it spinning, racing out of the room and only barely remembering to open the door first.

The door slammed, locking automatically. The computer screen-saver clicked on, displaying a little vampire that changed into a bat and flapped around a black background.

A cup of dark red liquid had the surface of its contents continue to ripple slightly, then still.

A pale-furred canine with a tawny streak over one eye and part of his muzzle sighed regretfully and rested his head on his paws, curling up more comfortably on the bed in flagrant disregard for the no-animals-on-beds rule enforced so stringently.

And a Mutant Werewolf Vampires Rule! t-shirt slipped off the side of a desk, falling into a messy pile of cloth on the floor.


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