After the Rain
by Julie Beamer

Please send all comments to Julie Beamer

Several people have wondered what happened between Sonny and Frank after 

"Cabin in the Woods".  This is my version :).



Disclaimer: The following story is based on the world of "Kindred: The 

Embraced" created and owned by Spelling Entertainment and White Wolf and 

their corporate parts.  The story is mine, but I'm borrowing their 

characters for our own private amusement.



Julie

 

Sonny watched the rain through the office window at the precinct, feeling increasingly nervous and -- helpless. He longed to ask Frank about the Brujah who had come and what he had said to him, but Frank already suspected enough. No need to hand him more rope to hang me with, Sonny thought. The phone rang. Sonny grabbed it and answered automatically, giving the precinct number and division just like he always did.

"Sonny?"

He barely recognized the voice. "Julian?" Relief flowed over Sonny, quickly followed by worry. Julian never called him at the police station. "Are you all right?"

"I...Archon is dead."

Sonny didn't hesitate. "I'll be right over."

* * *

Julian's guards looked nervous and badly shaken as Sonny sped up the drive way. He took the stairs two at a time. He found Julian in the study. Both Sasha and Daedalus were with him. Julian appeared dazed and in shock. "What happened?"

Sasha answered him in a voice choked with sobs. "His name is Cameron. He brought me back here and told me to stay in the house. I didn't know he was going to..." Sasha dissolved into tears and couldn't finish.

"Sonny," Julian began, his voice shaky but clear. "You have to find the others. Lillie, Cash..." 

"Of course, I'll do anything." He started back out the door.

"Take whoever you need," Julian called after him. "And watch your back.

" * * *

Lillie continued to sit at the small bar table, drinking champagne that had long since gone flat.

True to their orders, her two Brujah watchdogs didn't look at her and didn't speak to her. She didn't even try to engage them in conversation. She tried not to think of Julian being dead. She *wouldn't* cry in front of them. They had been there for hours. Lillie wondered if they'd be forced to spend the day there.

Suddenly the front door burst open. Down the steps came Sonny, armed with a phosphorus gun and accompanied by half a dozen armed Ventrue. Lillie felt like the cavalry had arrived. Sonny wasn't in the mood for niceties. He slammed one of the Brujah against the wall with a single movement.

"Julian...?" Lillie asked, trying to keep the fear out of her voice.

"Still alive," Sonny replied over his shoulder. He enjoyed letting the Brujah know this. "So," he turned his attention back to the one he had pinned to the wall. "Where are the others? Your little coup d'etat has fallen apart. Cooperate and maybe Julian won't stake you out like the dog you are."

* * *

Cash had been taken to a warehouse and was locked up in a small windowless storage room. He guessed there were guards outside as well. This Cameron wasn't taking any chances. The door and the walls showed the marks of his frustration and anger. He tensed as the door opened. "This is it," he thought to himself and mentally prepared himself for execution. But he was totally unprepared for the figure that appeared.

"Sonny!" Cash had never been so glad to see anyone in his life. "Is Julian...?"

"Back at the compound," Sonny answered him. "But Archon is dead."

* * *

While Sonny was rescuing Cash and Lillie, Daedalus had arranged to have Archon's body be taken away by a team of Ventrue morticians to be properly cremated. He also sent another group to prepare the grave site in Manzanita. Kindred funerals were rare, but when they occurred, they were held discretely. The morticians worked quickly. By the time Sonny returned with the others they had respectfully returned Archon's ashes to Julian to be placed in the grave Archon had chosen over a century ago. The small group of Julian's friends and family drove with him in the pouring rain back to Manzanita. No one noticed the small dark sedan that followed them.

* * *

The placing of Archon's ashes felt like a nightmare to Sonny. The old grave had already been opened when they arrived and the fine coffin raised, cleaned off, and prepared. Sonny and the others huddled under umbrellas and watched as Julian, oblivious to the downpour, gently placed the box with Archon's ashes in the casket. They all wanted to reach out to him, but no one knew exactly how. Julian was no longer with them at this point. A movement in the trees caught Sonny's attention.

Frank?!

"Great," Sonny thought to himself. "This is all I need." The cat was definitely out of the bag.

* * *

The next day, Sonny called in sick. He knew Frank wouldn't be surprised by the news. They had to face each other sometime, but Sonny didn't feel like putting on an act at work until they could talk privately. Besides, he hadn't wanted to leave Julian who had a Conclave meeting to get through that night. And Sonny knew what was waiting to happen there. Daedalus had told Sonny of Archon's shocking confession. But Julian had been so devastated by his Sire's death, there had been no opportunity to inform him. Daedalus could restrain Julian, Sonny knew. He was about the only Kindred left who could. So Sonny decided to stay at the mansion. Just in case. Julian returned from the Conclave and went straight to his study without speaking to anyone. Sonny learned from Cash that Julian had taken the revelation of Archon's betrayal a bit better than most had expected. But Sonny knew his Sire, and knew that was outwardly only. Inside, he was bleeding. Sonny and Cash stood in the hallway, trying to decide what to do. Daedalus had advised them both to leave Julian alone. Neither was completely comfortable with this advice. Then suddenly Caitlin arrived. Sonny was relieved and grateful. If the human woman could offer Julian comfort, everyone in the house welcomed her presence. Julian's ordeal was over. But Sonny still had to face Frank.

* * *

At dawn Sonny drove to the precinct to wait for Frank. At least this way they'd have privacy, he mused. He didn't want to think about what he'd have to do if it ended badly. Frank noticed Sonny's car as he left the building and made a bee- line for it. Sonny regarded Frank seriously when he got into the car.

"We need to talk," he said.

"We sure do," Frank agreed. His tone was grim.

Sonny drove to a look-out point with a view to the Golden Gate Bridge. They didn't say a word to each other until the car was parked.

"I suppose," Sonny began, "you'll want to know why I didn't tell you."

"That would be a start," Frank replied angrily. "I'm your partner. What's wrong, Sonny, you didn't trust me?"

Sonny sighed. "Trust, for something like this, is very hard to come by, Frank." He took a deep breath and tried to explain. "If you've ever had to run, ever had someone hunt you down just for being what you are, you'd understand. People you never thought would turn on you, doing just that. It makes you -- careful." Sonny stared at the bay, lost in thought.

Frank regarded his partner with a glimmer of comprehension. "Okay," Frank said finally. "I can understand that. I think. But did you really think I'd betray you? I didn't turn Luna in when he beheaded that serial killer, and I don't even like him..."

Sonny smiled.

"Well, maybe that's not true," Frank admitted. "But why'd you laugh at me, treat me like I was nuts? When you knew what was going on all the time?"

"I was trying to protect you. Keep you from getting too close. But you wouldn't let go. You never let go, Frank, and that scared me to death."

They continued to stare out at the sea gulls and the bay.

"By the way," Sonny added.

"Why'd you follow me to Manzanita? What tipped you off?"

"The way Cameron looked at you at the station," Frank acknowledged. "The way you looked at him. Like you were going to rip his throat out."

"I swear I would have if that little weasel *had* killed Julian," Sonny replied vemonously. "What did he say to you anyway?"

"That he was the new Primogen and I had better watch my step because Luna was dead and couldn't protect me anymore."

Sonny felt like pounding his head against the steering wheel. "If only I had asked you. We might have been able to save Archon."

"Well if I had known everything, I'd have told you," Frank said pointedly.

"Touche."

"Is that the guy that was being buried?" Frank asked. "What did you call him -- Archon? Luna looked pretty broken up about it."

"Yes, Archon is -- was -- Julian's Sire. My grand-Sire, if you want to think of it that way."

"Then Luna's...?"

"The one that Embraced me," Sonny finished for him. "Yes, Julian is my Sire." "And this -- Cameron -- killed Archon?" Sonny nodded.

"So I take it Julian tore the guy to pieces?"

"No," Sonny sighed. "He couldn't. Even we have laws, Frank. Archon's death was, strictly speaking, justified. Julian couldn't do anything about it, unless he wants war with the Brujah. And that's what we were trying to avoid all along. But if Cameron crosses the line once, there won't be a piece of him left. I can guarantee you that."

"So now what are you guys going to do?"

"Pick up the pieces. Right now the Ventrue Clan is getting ready to name their new Primogen. It may be me."

Frank was horrified.

"Why you?"

"Thank you for that vote of confidence, Frank," Sonny replied drily.

"That wasn't what I meant," Frank amended. "I know you'd be damn good at -- whatever a Primogen does. But why would you want the job? It seems like, well, you wind up in somebody's sights eventually."

Sonny shrugged. "Prestige, power, it's just like getting a promotion in the Department, Frank. Besides, I know I could do the job and represent the Clan's needs in the Conclave."

"And if you don't get it?"

"I'll support whoever is chosen. The Ventrue aren't like the Brujah; no one's going to go blasting the competition. It's all old fashioned politicking. One favor traded for another. We'll have somebody picked by tomorrow." He turned the key in the ignition and eased the car back into traffic.

"So now where do we go?" asked Frank.

"I suppose where we were going all along," Sonny replied. "Forward."

The End