Genere: Introspettivo.
Pairing: Louis/Lestat (kind of).
Rating: PG-13.
AVVISI: Gen, Angst.
- Louis keeps visiting Lestat in his old ramshackle house, night after night. Soon enough, Lestat starts anticipating those visits, as they become something more than that for both of them.
Note: Another reaction!fic, I suppose? XD Interview with the Vampire really touched me more than I can say, in way I can't properly explain, which is why I'm going to let my writing to the talking. I needed to write this after the way Louis and Lestat's story ended in the book -- and of course I needed to write it before I started to read The Vampire Lestat, so I did it. I hope you like it :)
PS: La storia partecipa anche alla seconda missione della seconda settimana del COW-T3, su prompt stivali.
All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Original characters and plots are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended.

He's getting used to the sound of Louis' boots up the stairs, when it's late at night and he already feels drawn towards his coffin, tired beyond limits even though he didn't move all night, even though dawn may be still at least a couple of hours ahead of him.

The first few times, that sound scared him out of his mind. Unable to sense who was coming, he used to rise up from the chair and hide in a dark corner, holding his bathrobe closed as if to protect himself from strangers eyes. He used to look with huge, terrified eyes towards the only door of the room, that creaking sound creeping and lingering in his ears, making him mad, until he saw it open, and whenever he saw Louis' face he used to burst into tears, hiding his face behind his hands, his shoulders shaking, his legs refusing to move until it was Louis who came and pick him up from the floor, gently escorting him back to the chair.

Now, he doesn't react like that anymore. Since he got used to Louis' visits, that sound ceased to be something to live in fear of, and started to be something he anticipated through the whole night. His soul feels lighter every time he hears it, as if waiting had a weight that is constantly lifted off his fragile body - this ridiculous, agonizing bag of fragile bones - every time he manages to lay eyes on Louis' face again.

He grabs the poker from the floor and uses it to revive the flames crackling in the fireplace, and then turns alightly around, casting an impatient look towards the door, expecting it to open any second now.

When Louis appears in the doorframe, a boy resting limp between his arms, unconscious but undeniably still alive, Lestat can't help but feel his own heart warm up in a wave of desperate affection. "My favorite," he whispers, standing up from the chair but not daring to move a step away from it, his hand clutched around the armrest to keep himself steady, "You remembered."

Louis offers him a small smile, moving towards him. Unable to stand on his legs any longer, Lestat falls back on the chair, resting his back and throwing his head backwards as he inhales the scent of the boy, filling the room, making him hungry.

"How are you, Lestat?" Louis asks. Lestat opens his eyes and spots him already sitting on the other chair in front of his own, the boy sitting on his lap, his head resting on the curve of Louis' neck. Lestat can see his chest move up and down to the rhythm of his slow, even breaths, faraway echo of his beating heart thumping slowly but powerfully in his ears.

"You came to see me again, Louis," Lestat says, ignoring Louis' question. After all, he doesn't have a proper answer to that. He doesn't know how he is. His days are nothing but an endless parade of pointless instants during which nothing happens, ever. And he doesn't think, doesn't dream. He sleeps only because his body commands him. He eats only because it's Louis feeding him.

He lives for the few moments he manages to spend with Louis. How is he, then? Dead, most of the time.

"I did, Lestat," Louis nods, studying his still face to the warm, dancing light of the fire. "You're too pale. You need to eat."

Lestat's eyes linger on the sleeping boy's body again. "Is he drugged?" he asks, "Drunk?"

Louis shakes his head, his eyes fixed on Lestat. "I drew blood from him," he answers. And then, as if to apologize, he adds, "Just enough to make him sleep."

Lestat smiles sweetly, leaning in to pat his hand on Louis' knee. "It's alright, Louis," he says, "I don't mind sharing with you."

Louis answers with half a smile, the corners of his lips barely curling upwards. Lestat looks at him and stares in awe at how beautifully he's grown, how perfect and smooth his pale face looks, how deep and dark his eyes are now. He can't help to admit Louis managed to achieve what he failed to do. He's grown up. Lestat has merely grown old.

"Here," Louis whispers, standing up and stepping forward, to place the sleeping boy on Lestat's lap. The boy's head, heavy with his wild and black curly mane, falls against Lestat's shoulder, and he moans under his breath, frowning lightly, his lips curling in complaint, as if he was plunged in a beautiful dream and unwilling to wake up. "Drink," Louis says.

Lestat looks down at the boy once more. He studies his features, now relaxed again, and holds his chin in his fingers, tilting his head enough to expose his neck. The marks of Louis' teeth are easy to spot on that perfect, peach pink baby skin. They're still open, but they're not spilling blood. Louis certainly got better at this, in the last few decades.

He bends over the sleeping kid, sucking blood from the same wounds. He closes his eyes and lets the taste become all that matters, slowly feeling the familiar wave of energy travel through his whole body, making it warm again.

Blood always works, it's like a spell. Like Louis' eyes.

When he's done drinking, he looks up at Louis with liquid eyes, breathing heavily. The boy's still alive. It's always hard to drain them, when they're so young. That's why Louis keeps choosing them. Because at least there's a chance they will survive, and forget.

"Are you full?" Louis asks, his eyes, ever so kind, caressing Lestat's features from a distance.

Lestat nods, and Louis stands up again, to retrieve the boy's body. He quickly checks on him, to make sure he's still alive, and then settles him again on his lap, looking back at Lestat.

"Do you have to go already?" Lestat asks, his voice vibrating with the echo of an untold prayer. Please, don't go, he's asking, Not yet.

"In a little while, Lestat," he answers.

They talk no more. They sit, listening to the crackling fire and to the slow but regular beat of the boy's heart, staring long in each other's eyes. That's the only way for them - they came to understand through the years - to share time. As they sit still, that room ceases to be only a room. It's a box. A box where memories resurface easily, even through cloudy minds. A box where time stands still, and yet it moves. Backwards first, bringing them back to the New Orleans that was, where they used to walk those streets together, sharing each other's company, back when none of them knew how lucky they were to just have that connection between them; and onwards then, to the New Orleans that never was, and what they could have been if only they had stuck together as they probably should have done.

A box where memories become dreams, and come alive. Like the vivid, lucid dreams they both have when they sleep.

A box like a coffin. Their shared coffin.

The sky's getting clearer, when Louis finally moves again, standing up, the boy fast asleep in his arms. It'll be morning soon, and Lestat feels the longing call of his coffin already, as he's sure Louis does too.

"I'm going, now, Lestat," he says.

Lestat looks at him with eyes heavy with sleep. "Will you come back to see me again, Louis?" he asks.

He always asks this question when he sees Louis walk away, but Louis never answers. He doesn't this time either. He just smiles warmly, holding the boy close to his chest as he reaches out to stroke Lestat's hair lightly, before turning away, walking out of the room.

Lestat closes his eyes, listening to the sound of Louis boots down the stairs, dreaming for a little while about the day when Louis will hear that same question and ask him back: "Will you come with me, instead, Lestat?"

Now's not the time, but that day will come. Lestat knows it, and he's waiting eagerly for it.

For now, he'll settle for the box, waiting for the world to come and knock at his door once again.
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