Who: Kyky and Bert
Turning over in the hard mattress, Kyky instinctively reached for the bottle of water she kept at her bedside in New York. Her hand encountered only a straw broom that toppled noisily as her back protested the sudden movement and Kyky realized what a great privilege it was to have memory foam back home. With an uncomfortable groan, Kyky sank back against the packed hay pretending to be a bed. "I want to go home," she whined, self indulgently, while she blinked her eyes clear and began thinking toward a plan.
Bert was waiting somewhat impatiently in the next room, his boot tapping a slow, constant rhythm on the wooden floor. It had been a few hours since they had finished off the local vampire and rescued the girl he’d held captive in the mansion, but they hadn’t heard a sound from her since they brought her back to the inn, which was worrying Bert quite a bit. They hadn’t had time to determine whether or not the vampire had turned her, so for now, they were hoping for the best.
Taking a sip from the water he had on the table, Bert left his seat and began a slow pace across the room, going over possible outcomes of their current situation. The worst possible situations were that she had been turned and they’d have to kill her too, or that she was currently dying and they had no idea. They wouldn’t know about her status until she woke up, and she had seemed to be in good health, besides passing out, so death seemed to be behind them as well. Best case scenario, she just needed some rest, and then she’ll wake up and they can nurse her back to health, or find a healer that could. For now though, it was a waiting game, one that he didn’t seem to be very good at.
Kyky forced herself to sit up - she felt… hungover, was the only way she had to describe the sensation. Dehydrated, depleted - sleeping sounded great, but first she needed water, and that need drove her to her unsteady feet. She followed the wall to the door, leaning all the way… and found it locked.
Fuck, she realized. Whoever saved her wasn't stupid. They didn't know that she wouldn't wake up dead. A vampire. Whatever that meant.
Weakly, her palm beat against the door a couple times. "Please," she called, her voice whinier than she intended. "Can I have some water?" That was all the communication she could muster, though, and the rest was barely coherent, as she sunk against the wall helplessly and spoke the most millennial sentence she ever uttered in her life: "I'm not like, you know… Can we just, please?"
Bert turned to look at the door to the girl’s room. He could have sworn he’d heard some light taps on the other side of it, but he couldn’t have been sure. With how high strung he was, it could have been his imagination. Just to be sure, he stepped closer to the door to listen more closely. And then he heard her. More than anything, she sounded weak, almost feeble. And based on her last sentence, almost delirious. Bert almost sprinted back to the table, but then stopped just as quickly as he started. This could just as easily be a ploy to get him to unlock the door. Better to be safe than sorry. Bert slowly poured a cup of water from the pitcher on the table before turning and unsheathing his sword. It wouldn’t do to be caught unprepared by a vampire. Walking slowly and quietly towards the door, he pointed the blade towards where he had heard the voice coming from. “I’m going to open the door now. I have water for you, but I need you to back away a little bit first.” He slowly lifted the latch, making sure to keep one boot firmly planted at the base in case she decided to try to force her way out. And with that, he opened the door, hoping he was ready for whatever lay in wait on the other side. Obediently, Kyky backed away from the door, following the wall back a few paces until she felt a little too dizzy and exhaled slowly as she sank to the floor. No tumbling, no bruises, just steadily releasing herself to the weakness. Her ass hit the ground and her feet sprawled out from under her instantly. Feeling more like a ragdoll than a creature, she hoped she was non-threatening enough when the guy shaping up to be her literal favorite person ever opened the door. He was on his guard, but that just meant he wasn't stupid. "Mooorning," Kyky drawled in greeting, although she had zero idea what time it actually was. She lifted a hand in what might have been a wave or maybe just a request for that water. "I'm Kyky." Bert was a little surprised at what lay behind the door. Or rather, what sat behind the door. The girl seemed to be very out of it, based on her current pose and manner of speech, but ever the skeptic, Bert reamined cautious. Carefully moving closer, making sure to keep his sword leveled, he set the water down next to her before backing away again. Without sunlight, it was very difficult to tell if she was a vampire. And then the thought struck him. He hadn’t had it for too long, but this was a situation where his staff may come in handy. “Hello Kyky, my name is Bert. Go ahead and drink some water, and I’ll be right back.” Backing away from Kyky, he moved out of the room and used his free hand to grab his staff. Staff and sword in hand, he moved with a little more confidence. Even if she was stronger than he was, he had taken the time to make himself dangerous as well. Approaching her once again, Bert explained his plan. “Kyky, once you’ve finished your water, I want you to hold this for me and answer a couple questions, if you don’t mind. This will only take a moment, and when we’re done, I’ll get you some more water, and some food if you like. Deal?” Kyky reached for the water, careful not to make any sudden movements and startle the young man with the very sharp object that he looked like he had every intention of using. She wet her lips first, then swished the first gulp around in her mouth… a little bit worried she would taste copper. Could she have accidentally consumed some of the vampire's blood? Was it possible to be a ticking-time-bomb of vampirism? She didn't know, but, luckily, she just tasted water. Sweet, sweet water. The cup was empty before she knew it. He - Bert, he'd said, and she thought of Ernie's grumpy roomie from Sesame Street - returned and asked her to… hold his stick? It was such a weird request that she could only suppose it was one of two things: a sexual proposition or witchcraft. But she wasn't exactly in a situation to say no, locked in a room choosing between holding said stick or staying hungry, dehydrated, or possibly staked through the heart. So, with a resigned shrug, she set the cup down and reached out her hand for the… stick. Bert breathed a small sigh of relief. Besides the odd look she gave him, not that he could blame her, she was not showing any signs of resistance. He handed the staff to her and carefully took one step back. “Thank you Kyky. Now, why don’t you tell me your full name? And where are you from?” Bert figured some simple questions to start with would open her up to bigger ones later. Keeping his sword pointed at Kyky, Bert poured himself a glass of water and refilled Kyky’s glass as well. He hoped this wouldn’t be too difficult and over quickly. Kyky already seemed like a nice girl, and he really hoped she wasn’t a vampire. That would put too many people in danger to keep her alive. “I hope you like mutton. The innkeeper’s wife prepared a wonderful meal after we got back. I believe she still has some left, and it wouldn’t take long to heat up again.” Bert pulled up a chair and sat a few feet away from Kyky. “I have one last question for you. Are you a vampire?”
"Kyrylis Margaret Atwood," Kyky answered. Yeah, her mother had been a huge fan of the novelist by the same name. Kyky felt a little bit like she was at the DMV or going through customs at the airport. Name, birthdate, address, they always asked. "I am from Parkland." After the national tragedy that claimed seventeen lives and sparked a political movement, she'd stopped needing to add Florida, and so she left that off. Gratefully, Kyky drank down the water when her cup was refilled let out a ghost of a laugh as he tried to comfort her with talk of food while he was obviously still ready to kill her at the slightest indication she was lying or, you know, undead. She paused a moment before answering his most important question to press two fingers to her throat. There was a weak, rapid pulse there. "I've never been a vampire before, so I don't know for sure. But my heart is beating, and it's water I want to drink, so… I think probably not." And although the thought frightened her, Kyky found herself compelled to add it when it crossed her mind, and she cast a glance at the door. It was probably the early hours of the morning still and yet dark out, but it wouldn't be, soon. "I'll go into the sunlight to check." Bert nodded as Kyky answered his questions. She showed no surprise at her answers, which boded well for her. She seemed honest by nature, and didn’t have any qualms about cooperating with him. He couldn’t say he’d heard of Parkland before, but it was a big kingdom, and there were a lot of villages he’d never been to. He reached out once again to refill her glass. Her thirst made sense. She’d been unconscious for quite some time. He almost chuckled at her responses to his last question. Checking her pulse, commenting on her want for water instead of blood, it all pointed towards how genuine she truly was. “Well Miss Atwood, I’m inclined to believe you, but I think I’ll take you up on that check. Can’t be too careful. For now, I believe that you have no ill intent towards me, or any of my companions, so why don’t you give me my staff back, and I’ll get some of that food for you. You’ve been more than cooperative, and after all you’ve been through, I think you’ve earned it. Is there anything else I can get you for now?” With that, Bert reached out both for his staff and to help her off the floor. He hoped he was right, but she definitely seemed like the kind of person who could use a helping hand. "Call me Kyky," the girl responded with a weak smile, reaching up to take the offered hand and passed the staff back as she did. Given how heavily she relied on Bert's strength to get back to her feet and how much she leaned on him when she did, it was clear she had none of a vampire's rumored super-strength. Showing, though, that her promise was in good faith, she took the first step toward the door and the blossoming dawn outside it. This close, though, and with such kind and supportive words from the gentleman, it was impossible for her not to notice how cute he was…. It hurt her eyes, just a little and although she doubted she was a vampire, she actually wasn't sure when had been the last time she had seen daylight. "Yeah so, about 'what I've been through,'" Kyky said, latching onto his words as she tried to dig through her fuzzy-at-best memories and finding not much besides that pale face, she went on to ask, "Like - what did I go through?" As Bert helped Kyky up, he made note of how frail and light she seemed. She was not healthy at this point, to say the least, so vampire or not, she wouldn’t be much of a threat. He set his staff aside for a moment to sheathe his sword. No reason to have it out at this point. Grabbing his staff again, he followed her towards the door, watching the start of a sunrise through a nearby window. Looking back toward Kyky, he couldn’t help but notice her studying his face a little closer than before. As they stepped outside, Bert gave her a once over. “Well Kyky, it would seem you’re not a vampire! I suppose congratulations are in order, but how about after you’ve had something to eat?” He moved to one side and held the door open for her. “As for what you’ve been through, I can go into details over breakfast, but it would seem you’ve been held captive by a vampire for quite some time. He had you firmly under his spell until just recently. Thank you, by the way, for distracting him. That could have been a nasty fight otherwise.” Bert walked towards the inn’s kitchen and stoked some coals before grabbing some leftover mutton and a small loaf of bread to heat up for Kyky. That finished, he walked back towards the table near the center of the room and pulled a chair out for her, gesturing for her to sit. “What all can you remember from your time with him?” In mock celebration at the very sobering realization she wasn't going to burst into flame, Kyky smiled ruefully and quipped, "Woo! Turn down for what." The fact that her joke was lost on her handsome partner was a disappointment and the slight flare of energy quickly fizzled, but she was grateful to head in the direction of food. His words brought focus to her hazy memories. Captive to a vampire for quite some time? How much time? It would be half as much on earth but if it had been a year, that would definitely have made her a missing person. "I should go home, then," Kyky said, softly, "My parents will be worried sick." They had already almost lost her once… Distracting him? Oh - she did remember that. It had felt like such an epic betrayal since she'd felt so very in love with the dark, handsome man, but deep down, she had known it was the right thing to do. She pondered this quietly while she watched Bert prepare her some food, with a grateful smile, and ate when he brought it to her. Her stomach suddenly felt so empty, and so she went to the bread first, knowing it would be the most filling. "I remember…" her hand drifted up toward her neck, and the still-sore wounds there, deep enough that they would likely scar. She didn't speak about the biting or the blood letting - not only would Bert already deduce that, but she was ashamed of how much she had enjoyed it, and she was sure he would think her disgusting for it. "That I slept a lot." The blood loss made her tired. "He would talk to me." That might have been significant, actually… Bert grinned at Kyky’s excitement, though her choice of words confused him somewhat. He made a mental note to ask what she meant later on. His grin faded though at her next words. She was right, any family she might have would have been missing her for quite awhile. Assuming they didn’t already think she was dead. “We will get you home soon. It wouldn’t do to worry your family any longer than necessary.” Bert watched her eat, and it quickly became obvious how little she had likely had while in the vampire’s possession. He could see the bite marks on her neck, and winced a little when she rubbed her hand over them. They had to have hurt quite a bit to begin with, and were likely still hurting, based on how fresh they looked. Knowing the legends surrounding vampires, she had likely been talked into submitting herself to him, and probably almost felt sexual about it. But those kinds of memories could be harmful to her, so it was probably best to ignore them for now. “Sleeping a lot would make sense, especially if he was drinking from you often. Your body would have been trying its best to recover. And remembering him talking is a feat in and of itself. He would have been doing his best to keep you in a trance, which would have been hard to remember. For now, though, you’re safe, you have food and water, and you’re not a vampire. Let’s count our blessings and move on.” "Count our blessings," Kyky repeated in affirmation, smiling. She reached out to touch Bert's hand in a warm gesture of gratitude, and did exactly that. "Blessing number one." She took another bite, then almost surprised herself when she spoke up again. "I want to help. Help rescue people stuck, like I was." It would take her time to remember specifics - the information was there. At the time, she had thought she was learning about her soon-to-be family, and she had been so eager for every tidbit her lover offered. But for now, she was tired, dehydrated, and still weak from blood loss. "When I'm better - and I've told my parents not to worry… can I come with you?" Bert smiled back, taking a hold of her hand and giving it a squeeze. At her question though, his expression turned to a slight frown as he went into a little bit of thought. “Well, you’ve shown that you can think well in a pinch. Definitely brave enough for it. Can you fight at all?” Bert waved off the question almost as soon as he asked it. “Doesn’t matter. I’d have time to teach you. It could be a long time before we stop again. Are you ok with staying away that long?” Bert hefted his staff to Kyky. “If you feel up to it, give that a couple swings and see how it feels. If you like it, we’ll get you one and get started on your training once you’re better.” Kyky stood up, took the staff, and gave it a few swings as he instructed. It was big - she had twirled batons as a girl, but this was like that one steroids - but she smiled as she set it back on the ground. "I'm a quick learner. And - I'll need to go home and see my parents so they'll know I'm not dead - but yes…" A smile spread slowly across her face. Weary as she was, she was excited. "I am up for an adventure."