Please send all comments to Lady Serez
K:tE is the property of the honorable Mark Rein*Hagen and his horde of Gangrel lawyers (can Gangrels be lawyers, hmm...) whose idea of a good time is to party in a law library. I am borrowing these characters for a short, short time, and promise I will return them undamaged--cleaned and dried off. John Williams, the Preacher, the Kohanek family, Aria Wind, Hawk Mavinsky and Petunia are mine. If you get uptight and offended at the idea of same-sex romance, violence, mayhem, and some silliness, please do press the delete button. It's right there, see? *points* And if you're a squirt under the age of 18 or 21, depending on your respective state, please do get out. Do not read. I don't want to get sued because some mother read this story and got upset--this disclaimer protects my precious behind. Now, on with the show!
Dancing in the DarkBy Ladyserez (Ladyserez@aol.com) NC-17
Chapter OneThe events of a few weeks ago had left Frank Kohanek feeling a little off-balance. Who would have thought that the Preacher, with the help of John Williams, Frank's father and Brujah, would have managed to destroy half of the Wolf House and leave a mess all over San Francisco? The mess alone gave new meaning to the words, "Don't Litter." At least both were dead, killed in a Blood Hunt called by Julian Luna, Prince of the City. And...one more thing he didn't want to think about. *No. NO. Don't think about that. Don't think about how Julian kissed you..he didn't mean it.* He leaned so far back in his chair he could hear the chair object. Sonny walked up, with a pile of paperwork from the Preacher case, "Hey, Frank. Kwan wants us to do this paperwork before he comes out and beats us to death because we didn't do it. Frank? Earth to Frank?" "Oh. Sorry, give me half of that pile. Let's see if we can finish this in two hours." "Two hours? Who are you kidding? It's not like we're Supermen. Here's your half; might as well torture ourselves. Where's Hawk and Aria?" At the mention of the only other pair of detectives to get strange looks, Frank looked up. "Hawk and Aria? I think they're torturing the Brujah again. You know Kamala? *nod of Sonny's head* Well, I think she's perfect for Cameron. You see that look on his face when he realized he'd have to pay for the damage the Preacher did to her car? Priceless. Simply priceless." Frank leaned back in his chair and laughed. After a while, Sonny laughed too. "You know, I feel sorry for the Brujah. First, their warehouse gets blown up. Then they find out their leader is sleeping with an IRS agent. Whoever would have thought Kamala was a IRS agent? She didn't look the type. Then they get Hawk and Aria on their butt about the *interesting* bodies in the ceiling of the Haven, with Eddie Fiori's fingerprints all over them. Yes, I'd have to say the Brujah are having a throughly rotten week." With that, Sonny sat down and started working on the paperwork. Frank smiled and started on his pile. ********* Julian walked through what was left of the Wolf House and sighed. Lillie was picking through her records, trying to decide what could be saved and what couldn't. She looked up as Julian passed by. "When's the construction people coming? The weatherman said there would be rain, and I don't really want to have my art ruined more than they already are." Julian ignored her and walked on, hearing faintly the sounds of love coming from Cash and Sasha. They had almost lost each other during the recent brouhoua with the Preacher, and just now was coming to terms with what had happened. Below, Daedulus was packing up to move to a drier place. In the distance, Julian saw what he thought was a thunderstorm coming. The day had darkened considerably, and a light rain was beginning to fall. He thought about Frank, down at the precient working on his reports. What would Frank write? "A crazed Kindred in love with Julian Luna, suspected mafisco, obtained the aid of Frank Kohanek's father and then processed to go on a bombing rampage to lure Luna out. Said plan worked, resulting in the Wolf House, Julian Luna's car, and the Brujah warehouse being blown up..." Frank wouldn't do that, the entire sequence of events had been too bizarre even for Julian to believe. He sat down on the lip of the fountain, trailing his hand through the water, and thought. That first time with Frank had been beautiful...he had gotten drunk on the pleasure. He wondered what Frank had thought of it all. Did he think that it had been disgusting? Julian didn't think so, Alexandra had fed from Frank and he hadn't run out screaming. He looked up at the sky again. In a corner of his mind, he noted that the sky had turned a dull black/silver that heralded a huge thunderstorm. Julian knew he had to talk to Frank about this, if only to discuss how Frank felt.
Chapter TwoCameron hit the table for the third time in a hour. "For the last time, I have absolutely no idea how these bodies ended up stuffed in the ceiling of the Haven! And it is insulting for you even to ask!" "Well, you're the leader of the Brujah aren't you? Surely Fiori wrote it down somewhere. You know, like "May 2-whacked two drug dealers and stuffed them where no one'll ever find them." Something like that. How about it, buddy?" Hawk Mavinsky leaned back in a stiff chair in the Interrogation Room at the precicent. He lit a cigarette, then looked at it. "I swear, one of those days I'm going to quit." Aria Wind glared at her easy-going partner. "You'll never quit. You've tried 4 times that I know of, and the last time Sonny Toussiant stuffed a cigarette in your mouth just so you'ld stop annoying him. Of all the things you picked up from Stevie Ray, why did you have to pick *that* up? Ah, Mr. Cameron. Please excuse my partner. He has absolutely no manners." Hawk looked up at that, and ran a hand through his long black hair. "Aria's right. I was born in a barn. But she was born in a public bathroom, so she tops me in the birthsite sweepstakes. Ok. I'll try one more time. Who are the stiffs in the ceiling? How did they get there without the owner knowing? And finally, what do you know about these poor bastards?" Both Aria and Cameron glared at him, until Hawk sighed and gave up. "Ok, Aria. He's yours to torture. I'm going to get Chinese takeout--I'm hungry. Want some?" Aria shook her short curly red hair,"No. But get some for Frank, or else he's going to wrestle you for the lo mein like he did last time." "Will do." He walked out of the interrogation room and called to Frank, "Hey, you want some Chinese? I'm hungry, and Aria's working on Cameron. How about it?" Almost inmmediately, people started calling out orders, including O'Neill. Sonny glanced at O'Neill in surprise, then remembered that during O'Neill's mortal days, he had adored Chinese, and even now that he was Kindred, he couldn't give it up. Frank had perked his head up at the mention of Chinese, and now he was demanding that Hawk buy lo mein for him. Kwan came out of his office to see what the uproar was about, but when he realized what was going on, he went back inside to look at his wife's latest decorating idea for the living room. After about 20 orders had been placed to The Chinese Palace, a nearby Chinese takeout place that was popular with cops, Hawk walked out to the police parking lot. As he walked to his motorcycle, he juggled the money Homicide had given him to pay for the food. Finally settling everything, he got on his motorcycle and roared off toward The Chinese Palace. When Hawk left, Aria started in on Cameron again. "Are you absolutely sure that you don't know what happened to these bodies in the ceiling?" "NO, and like I've been saying for the last three hours, I know nothing about how these bodies got in the ceiling of the Haven. What do I have to do to get you to believe me? Do somersaults?" "Well, somersaults would be nice, but that won't be necessary. Ah, here's your bloodsucking lawyer here to rescue you." At that, both the lawyer and Cameron blanched, but recovered as Aria stood up and stretched her arms. The lawyer walked further into Interrgation, "Detective Wind, I really must ask you to leave while I confer with my client. But before you do that, I want to know if there will be any charges pressed against him?" Aria stopped and thought. *we've got nothing on Cameron, but the bodies did have Eddie Fiori all over them. better keep him on a string while we do some more digging. let's hope that digging doesn't kill us..* "No, not at the present time. But your client is being uncooperative concerning our efforts to identify the bodies..", The lawyer stepped into the gap,"And then you won't mind if my client goes home and picks up what's left of his home, do you?" "Picks up what's left? Oh, that's right. You used to live in Wolf House, didn't you? With Julian Luna?" Aria slyly asked. "In Wolf House yes, but not with Luna! Now, if you'll excuse me..." Cameron brushed by Aria, only to face a horde of hungry Homicide detectives. He smiled weakly and pasted himself to the wall, the lawyer looking on. "Why are they looking at me like that?" Cameron whispered to the lawyer. The lawyer looked at the ceiling, and thought, *damn Brujah- -they don't listen enough.* "Mavinsky went out for Chinese, remember? They're waiting for him. *looking at crowd* Hey, they do look like Gangrels having a bad day...with no food. How interesting." Cameron smirked, pushed himself off the wall, and walked through the sea of detectives. The lawyer followed, silently laughing to himself. *now I remember why I'm Ventrue..and not Brujah. They do tend to have various humilating events happen to them, don't they?* With that thought still in his head, he skipped down the steps, whistling "Yankee Doodle Dandy".
Chapter 3Aria stared after Cameron for a long time. In a dim corner of her brain, she noted that Hawk was more late than would be expected. She thought about Cameron's odd comments. *now what set that off? in Wolf House, but not with Luna? something's going on there. something's always going on with these Brujah. I swear, Kohanek's going to get brain damage if he hangs out with these peabrains long enough..* Aria was startled out of her thoughts by Sonny. "Hey, Aria. A penny for your thoughts?" Sonny joked. As he looked at Aria, he had that feeling again--that Aria would be perfect for Daedulus. *Daedulus? When did I start matchmaking? Frank would say I'm more Jewish than his mother.* Still--Aria and Daedulus did have a jaundiced outlook, but both had a romantic soul. *But they can't meet. What a pity.* "A penny? I would have thought maybe four pennies, to allow for inflation," Aria laughed. "Have you seen Hawk lately? Wasn't he supposed to come back here ten minutes ago?" Sonny looked at the crooked clock above Kwan's office door, and noticed that Aria was right. Hawk should have been back by now. However, Sonny didn't know it, but Hawk had a very good excuse--Sasha was holding a gun on him. ***************** Hawk knelt on the carpeted floor of The Chinese Palace, hoping that the girl with the Noh mask could keep her two male counterports from shooting everyone in the place. The old lady cashier was sobbing in her granddaughter's arms, while the young girl stared daggers at the three robbers. One of the men cackled as he held aloft the bag of money he had gotten from the cash register. Sasha snarled at him to stop gloating and get his butt in gear. The man gave her a nasty look, but acknowledged that this young Kindred was right. He processed to tie all the hostages up. When he reached Hawk, he noticed the badge clasped to Hawk's jeans. "Hey...looky this. A cop! What's your name, pig?" "Pig? Pig!??" The second man came over to look at Hawk. "Take him with us. We can always use a cop as a hostage." Sasha strode over and slapped both men. "Take a cop as a hostage? What are you, stupid? They'll hunt us down. We have the money, now let's go before someone comes in. I knew this was a bad idea..." While the arguments raged, the young girl carefully crept over to the silent alarm hidden in the side of the podium despite the fact her hands and feet were tied. She pressed it, then crept back to her grandmother. Hawk noticed this, and fought to keep the smile off his face. If the robbers didn't go, they'd be arrested in the next 10 minutes. Finally, Sasha grabbed the money and headed out the door. The two men had no choice except to follow her. Hawk relaxed, and waited for the police to arrive. His nose wrinkled up when he smelled smoke from the kitchen. He had no way of knowing that when the robbery started, all the cooks had fled the kitchen through the back door, leaving the food to burn. The first cop to come through the door quickly cut the ropes and helped all three outside. The cop's partner called the fire department and took statements from Hawk, the girl and her grandmother. He blinked when Hawk said he was in Homicide, but didn't say anything. They finally let Hawk go. Hawk mounted his motorcycle and headed back to the station. No one in Homicide was going to be happy to know that not only was their money stolen, but the food the money paid for had also been burned. Hawk's eyes narrowed as he thought about the girl. She had seemed uncomfortable with the men, but had enjoyed the robbery. Something about her rang a bell in a distant part of his brain. Hawk dug at it, but it wouldn't yield. He finally dropped it, knowing that when he wasn't expecting it, it would come.
Chapter 4The fury of the Homicide detectives upon learning the money and the food were gone was terrible to behold. Sonny ducked as O'Neill threw a paperweight and railed about the robbers. A hand pulled Sonny under the desk, where he came face to face with Hawk. "They're really pissed. This is worse than the time a guy held up the Dunkin' Donuts on Pine--with about 20 cops in it." Hawk laughed. "Well, at least they're not trying to kill me. Thank God Cameron left--when the cashier's granddaughter confirmed the thieves were Brujah, I thought O'Neill was going to lose it. Tar and feathers were in a lot of minds, Sonny." Sonny, against his will, smiled. He remembered the sight of Frank, trying to calm Drake down, but getting swatted for his trouble. He was now at the emergency room, gettng stitched up. "You know something? I think I've seen one of the robbers before. I just can't pin it down." Hawk sighed, and peered out at the warzone. Kwan was busily dialing a Chinese take-out, ordering food with his own money in a desperate attempt to calm everyone down. "Hope he ordered lo-mein--Frank is going to be really unhappy if he doesn't." Sonny observed. The subject of Sonny's comment slid under the desk, grinned at Hawk and Sonny. "Hey. Care for some poker? Did Kwan order lo- mein?" Sonny and Hawk looked at each other, then laughed. Only Frank would ask if they wanted to play poker with black stitches sticking out of his mouth. Frank looked insulted. "Whatsa matter? Can't a man ask to play a nice hand of poker without getting laughed at?" "It's not you, Frank. It's just, that, oh hell. Everything, I suppose. Did you ever wonder if the Brujah have a curse on them?" Frank cocked his head at Hawk. He smiled, showing the stitches in his lower lip. "A curse? Could explain a lot. Did Kwan order lo-mein?" "You and lo-mein. One of those days you've got to explain the attraction for me, Frank." Sonny slumped against the back of the desk. "I've got it! I'VE GOT IT!" Hawk shrieked. Sonny jumped, hitting his head against the lip of the desk. He moaned. Frank jerked his head so hard, Sonny heard something crack. Kwan looked at them, scowled and went back to yelling at the phone. Frank patted his neck to make sure the vertebrates were in all the right places, then asked, "What is it you figured out? Or should I even ask?" Hawk grinned. "I think I can kill two birds with one stone. Cameron, the bodies, and the robbery. What's the name of that niece of Luna's? Sasha, right? I think she's the female robber. She's also a Brujah. Even if she doesn't know anything about the murders, I still can whittle down the list of suspects." Hawk got up, yelling for Aria. Aria popped up behind the R & I door, frowning at him. He smirked, waving at her. Sonny and Frank stared at each other, trying to figure out what Julian Luna would say to this latest violation of the Masquerade.
Chapter 5"Sasha, answer me! Did you or did you not commit that robbery at the Chinese Palace? Sasha?" The person the question was directed at sat in a chair, glowering. She looked up at her uncle, tossing her curly hair as she did so. Julian sighed in exasperation. "Sasha, I thought you'd finished with that, especially after Zane. Sasha, please." He turned away from her, running a hand through once-immaculate hair. "Ok! Ok, so I did the robbery. So what?" Julian whirled and looked at her. "So what? Sasha, this Hawk Mavinsky figured out it was you and he wants to talk to you. This could blow the Masquerade wide open." Sasha glared at him. Sometimes, thought Julian, being Prince wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Sasha stood up and started to pace. "So, Uncle Julian, how could Mavinsky break the Masquerade? Other than being an obnoxious cop, that is?" "Just...just, when you talk to him, don't let anything slip about the Kindred. He used to be in the lower levels of the Gangrel structure, and Stevie Ray was considering embracing him..." "Really? What happened?" "Stevie Ray found out he was a cop." ***flashback--3 years ago****** Stevie Ray shoved Hawk Mavinsky down the stairs of the Haven. Hawk stumbled and fell, glaring at Stevie Ray as he did so. Cash stood up, along with the other Gangrels, puzzled. Only yesterday had Stevie Ray made his decision to Embrace Hawk, and they had celebrated. "You little shit! YOU LITTLE SHIT! PRICK!" "Stevie--do me a favor.Get on with it, and would you come up with something with more variety than "prick"? Like, "You should grow like a turnip?"" Stevie Ray roared and picked Hawk up. For a moment, two pairs of eyes met. Then Hawk went flying onto the tables. They splintered under his weight. A woman yelled and kicked out at Hawk. "You bitch. Go kick someone else, why don't you?" Hawk spat. He got a shot to his face for his trouble. Cash ran up to Stevie Ray, stopping him from advancing on the bleeding Hawk. "Stevie Ray, why are you doing this? I thought you were going to Embrace him..." "I was. Until that phone call this morning. Hawk's a cop, Cash. For Vice. He was supposed to infilirate us, find out what he could." "Goddamn. GODDAMN!" Cash turned on Hawk. Hawk smiled a gentle half smile, then Stevie Ray advanced on him. ********************* "Whoa. WHOA, man. So how'd it end?" Julian smiled, "With a lot of blood. Lillie complained for weeks after that about the bloodstains. Impossible to get out, she said. Typical Toreador. Stevie Ray took his payment out of Hawk's skin, and then later regretted it. But by that time, it was too late. Hawk'd already moved out of the apartment Stevie Ray knew about, and also moved to another division--" "Homicide." "Yes. Sasha, he was Stevie Ray's last love, and last grief." "You mean they..you know?" "Yes, from what Cash told me later. I think Stevie would have gone begging on his knees to Hawk..if it hadn't been for his Gangrel pride. Hawk also had pride of his own. Sometimes, I wonder if Stevie Ray didn't just give up on that roof, because he knew Hawk wouldn't be his." Sasha sat down on Archon's former chair and sighed. "Cash hates him, doesn't he?" "No. He did at first, but now..looks at Hawk with resignation. It's a pity, really, that Stevie Ray let his anger take over. If he hadn't, this wouldn't be happening!" Sasha blushed, then said, "I promise to behave myself in the interview, Uncle Julian." "You won't. But try your best." Sasha smiled, walked over to Julian and hugged him tightly. "Ok, Uncle Julian. Where's he?" "In the living room with Frank and Sonny. If he starts wandering onto sensitive matters, Sonny or Cash will distract him." Cash stood at the door, shaking his head. "When I knew Hawk, not much could distract him if he really wanted to know something. Only way was.." "I take your meaning. Try." Julian stood up, patted Sasha's hair, and nodded toward the door. Sasha looked slowly from Julian to Cash, then drew up her spine and walked toward the door. *********** "Hey, Sasha. How'd you doing?" Sasha stared at the vision that greeted her as soon as she walked into the room. Six feet tall, long black hair tied back, black pants and vest, purple shirt and a friendly, open face. He looks like a Gangrel, thought Sasha. The woman next to Hawk smiled a tight smile, "I'm Detective Aria Wind and this is Detective Hawk Mavinsky. I gather you already know Frank and Sonny." Sasha took an accounting of the woman as well--small, short red hair, looked like she had stolen clothes out of Lillie's closet.The total opposite of Hawk. She also looked like she didn't miss much. "Det. Wind. Do all Homicide detectives look like you?" Hawk blanched and grabbed Aria as she moved forward. "Uh, why don't you sit down, Sasha? Relax. We're just here to discuss some things," Hawk physically herded Aria to a chair, "Aria, damnit, BEHAVE!" Frank and Sonny had turned white when Aria moved forward, but now that Aria was safely ensourced in a chair, they felt it was safe enough to eat their dinners. Hawk grabbed a dumpling from Sonny's plate and ate it, Sonny glowering at him. "Come on, Sonny! Kwan forget to order MY food, so I have to steal yours." Sasha giggled a little, attracting Hawk's attention. "Oh, I'm really sorry. Want one?" And with that, he snatched another dumpling from Sonny's plate. Sonny growled deep in his throat, and Frank was so hysterical with laughter he was literally spitting out rice. Sasha took the dumpling and ate it, aware of Julian's puzzled glances at the two laughing cops and two glaring cops. "You'll have to excuse Sonny, Sasha. You'd think he'd get used to having the food stolen off his plate by now. Drake did it to him last week, and all Sonny could do was gape at him. 'Course, good thing--Drake came down with salmenolla the next day." Hawk turned serious. "Sasha, you committed that robbery at the Chinese Palace, didn't you? Don't try to lie. You did, didn't you? Of course, the evidence to prove it probably has been disposed of by now. A witness is always good, and I'm sure that girl has figured out who you are by now. Let's make a deal, Sasha. I ask you questions, and you answer them." "That's not a deal!" "It is--and I think it may just save you, Sasha. First, the bodies in the Haven. You know how they got there?" Sasha shifted in her chair. Everyone, even Cash, was looking at her with interest. "Uh, someone put them there?" Hawk smiled. "Who did, Sasha?" "Fiori, I think." "Do you know who they were?" "Two drug dealers named Scatti and Towers. They double crossed Eddie with a shipment of cocaine, and, uh, they paid for it." "And how. Now, here's the 69 million dollars question. How'd you figure that out?" Sasha looked sharply at Hawk. An answer grew in her mind--he had known, or suspected he knew, who the bodies had been, and what had happened. Why was he asking her? Cash was wondering too. "Well, Sasha?" "I heard some rumors, and I asked people about them." "Right. People talk whenever bodies pop up where they shouldn't be." "Why are you asking me? For that matter, why the hell are you here? You have nothing on me, and if you do, something will happen to it." "I know. I came here to give you something." Aria pricked her head up at that. Frank and Sonny stopped eating. Hawk handed Sasha a white package, and smiled at her. Sasha looked puzzled, but opened the package anyway. She stared as information on the police academy spilled out on her hands. "Well, Sasha. What do you think?" Sasha looked up at Hawk and asked just one question-- "Why?" "Because you're a lot like me when I was younger. I was raised in a Orthodox Jewish family, and when I say Orthodox, I mean Hasidic. I ran around a lot, 'cause I was too different from my family. They accept me now, but back then--" Hawk shook his head. "Back then.I was wild--a lot like you, I think. Cops accept it if you're just a teensy witsy off, as long as you're good at what you do. You really think Kwan *likes* it when Frank talks about vampires? Nah, but because Frank's good at what he does, Kwan ignores it. Got me, Sasha?" Frank scowled at Hawk, but he ignored it. "I think so. I'll think about it. No promises, through." As Hawk and the others stood to leave, Aria starting to scold Hawk, Sasha stopped Hawk. "Why me?" she asked. Hawk smiled, "Because when you robbed that resturant, you knew what to do and how much time to do it in. These two goons were jerking off, but you weren't. We need that in cops, Sasha. Good cops do what you did in the Chinese Palace, only it's not against the law. Think about it, Sasha."
Chapter 6****The next night**** Sasha walked into the police station, noting the chaos that resigned. Kwan was screaming at the top of his lungs at a hapless rookie. Sonny and Frank were doing hunt 'n peck paperwork, Aria was banging the phone on her desk, and Hawk was trying to get information out of a uncooperative Brujah. Her eyes ranged further. She saw Drake doing something with a paper sack, while his partner appeared to be calming him down, and O'Neill was arguing with his partner over who to try to break first in Interrogation. And Sasha felt something she hadn't felt before in her life. She felt like she was home. She walked over to the desk sergeant and handed him the papers for the police academy. He looked and signed them, smiled at her and stuffed them in a large manila envelope, ready for mailing. She turned away, but then turned back. This time, she had chosen. Fiori hadn't chosen for her, and neither had Cameron. No one but her had decided this was what she would do. And she liked the feeling. She drew herself up and walked out of the station. Julian looked at the expression on Sasha's face and knew Hawk had done the exactly right thing. After Fiori, after Zane, and after the trauma with the Assamite, Sasha had emerged stronger than ever. The question was, what could she do with that strength? Cameron tried, but it was hard to get the Brujah to treat her as anything other than the Prince's niece and therefore fair game. The Gangrel looked at her with hatred, and the Toreador ignored her. The Ventrue, with the exception of Julian and Sonny, took the view that Sasha was too dangerous to let run free. This oppournity could be a chance for Sasha to finally belong. He smiled, knowing Hawk, Sonny, and Frank would look after Sasha. Even Aria, with her foul temper, would encourage Sasha. "What're you smiling about, Uncle Julian," asked Sasha as she slipped into the seat opposite him. "Oh, nothing. Just the future." He snuggled back into his seat. He hadn't had that talk with Frank yet, but this was just as good. "Well, Sasha. Ready to face the cops?" Sasha smiled. "Anytime, Uncle Julian. Anytime." The End This will be continued in "In the Pale Moonlight", a.k.a "What the &^&* are you doing in the LaRoche Motel?!?"