Title: Living as Lenore
Author: Luna (aka Luna_del_Cielo on lj)
Fandom: Supernatural/Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Cast of Characters: Tara/Lenore McLeod, Fergus McLeod/Crowley, Loki/Gabriel, Anya, Castiel, Kali, Eli, Dean, Sam, Scoobies
Summary: Willow tried to bring Tara back…and she did. Unfortunately, she was brought back to life in 1672. Now 'Lenore' has to deal with witches, demons, pagan gods, and even angels, as she struggles to find the red-haired woman she sees in her dreams.
Pairings: Anya/Gabriel, Tara/Willow, and several others will pop up at the whim of the author ;)
Spoilers: BTVS S6E19 ‘Seeing Red’, SPN S2E3 ‘Bloodlust’. Spoilers for Crowley's past in S6 “Weekend at Bobby’s” and allusions to Loki's past in S5
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If I did then fewer people would have died in each of those shows :)
Read specific chapters here: Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Or all of the entire story here: Living as Lenore
Chapter 10: AbominationLiberton, Scotland
September 25, 1703
Twenty days. She had been on the run for twenty days from Aurelius and his Order. Lenore had used every trick in the book – breaking into a magic shop to steal ingredients for a spell that would mask her scent (her breed of vampires primarily hunted by scent), sleeping only an hour a night at most, and finally she led her tracks to Galway and bought a ticket to an American ship under the close eye of Sarah, one of Aurelius’ main lieutenants that had successfully tracked her that far. Heinrich, the Master had been sent onto that ship with Darla and several others; it was her hope that they believed she had decided to hide in America.
However, Lenore was no fool. No creature was craftier than the Alpha and he would still be searching for her with a fiery intensity that threatened to burn her to ashes. Carefully she had made her way by foot, horse, and the occasional carriage to a small village on the border of the Irish Sea. From there she swam – and ye gods it had been cold! – to the Isle of Man, near Port Erin. After a day of much-needed rest she trekked to the other side of the island, a city named Douglas, and then swam northeast fifty miles to Seascale, a small English village. From there she took a combination, again, of traveling by foot, horse, or carriage to reach her hometown.
It amazed her, really, at how much her vampiric body could take. Lenore had no idea that vampires were this powerful. She was unsure if half-breeds had the same amount of stamina – perhaps in the future she’d ask Spike – but she found it most interesting. Of course, about thirty miles into the sea she had tired but her buoyant body was able to float for an hour until she had regained her strength to finish.
Of course, this also scared Lenore…because if she was this powerful then she wondered just how powerful the older vampires were – especially Aurelius.
The worst part of her travels, however, was not her lack of sleeping accommodations or her intense cardio, but her Need to feed. It gnawed at her constantly and while thus far she was able to sate her thirst with animal blood, she found the taste positively disgusting. The first time she had drank from a stray dog outside Belfast she had thrown up. Following that episode she had been able to keep the blood down but it still disgusted her. Thoughts of human blood haunted her and the desire lay at the fringes of her mind – only her fear of being captured overrode the thoughts of blood and death.
Lenore honestly didn’t know what to do. Spike had never seemed that disgusted by pig’s blood. Perhaps she was doing it wrong? Oh God, what she would give to hear some advice on the subject.
Actually, Lenore was hoping to hear some advice on all of this…from Elspeth. She knew that after her escape Aurelius may desire to kill her remaining family members and Lenore had to return and warn them.
Well, alright…that was only a half-truth. In reality she longed to see her family more than anything. Her heart had been weighted with sorrow for the last two and a half years since she left them for Summerford. That was a long, long amount of time for a mother to be away from her children and the longing to embrace them almost made her feverish.
She wondered what they looked like now. Alexander would be eight, Elizabeth seven, and little Dawnie five. Good God…the last time she had seen her youngest child Dawn had been only thee – what if she didn’t remember Lenore anymore? That was a long time for a child to remember…
But the absolute worst thing that Lenore feared was that she wouldn’t be able to control her hunger around her children. Elizabeth was so klutzy – what if she accidentally cut himself? At this stage in her life Lenore wasn’t sure if she could control her hunger if the smell of fresh blood was in the air.
No, scratch that. Lenore knew she couldn’t control herself if she smelled blood. While it was true that she had not tested that theory yet, there was no way that she wanted to put it to the test. Human blood was still in her system after less than three weeks and she could easily recall its delicious, satisfying taste; like sweet and thick honey wine warmed under the hot rays of the sun…
Lenore halted her steps on the hidden path that took her to Elspeth’s house. Thinking of all these ‘what if’ scenarios were filling her with dread and only making her hungry. She was in no condition to see her children today. No, none at all.
But she didn’t want to be alone. Lenore was so lonely…she had been alone for years and all she wanted was to feel loved again, to feel like she mattered. Not force fed bled or beaten or raped. She was tired of pain and misery and craved loved right now. The need for that was almost as strong as the need for blood.
After contemplating a moment more, Lenore made the decision to see Fergus. He was the safest bet. She knew her brother would take her in – after all, if he wasn’t squeamish about selling his soul to a demon than her sure as hell could deal with the fact that his sister was a vampire.
After trudging another mile under the cover of darkness, she finally arrived at the tailor shop and old family home. There was only one candle burning in the kitchen and the rest of the house was blanketed in darkness. Lenore took a deep breath and faintly smelled the scent of her brother, as well as a strong whiff of alcohol, but Molly was nowhere to be found. Strange. Where would her sister-in-law be so late at night?
Lenore sniffed the autumn air again for clues and this time the scent of sulfur traveled to her nose. She winced in disgust and looked around, but she could see nothing. Far off she heard a dog howl but that was the only noise on this otherwise peaceful night.
No matter. Lenore would figure it out later. Right now she just wanted to see her brother.
Tentatively, she knocked at the back door that led out of the kitchen; the door that was often used to dump out old cooking water and other waste products. She heard the scrape of a chair across the floor and a glass filled with liquid being set onto the table with great care. However, her brother did not make a move to walk to the door. Impatient, she sighed heavily and stomped her foot – God, why did her brother always find ways to frustrate the living daylights out of her?
“Fergus! It’s Lenore. I’m back. Now open the door,” she called softly, just loud enough for him to hear but quiet enough so it wouldn’t attract any further attention.
She heard Fergus’ breath hitch and even heard his heart speed up just slightly. “L-len?” he stuttered in surprise.
“Yes, it’s me,” she rolled her eyes. “Now let me in. It’s been far too long, Ferg,” she smiled.
Fergus stood up and she heard him walk to the door and place his hand on the door handle. Slowly he opened up the door and gave her a pained look. “Are you here to usher me into the afterlife, Len?”
Brows furrowed in surprise, she walked in gave him a peculiar look as he firmly shut the door. “Huh?”
Fergus made his way back to the table and poured himself some more Craig, his favorite whiskey for as long as she could remember. “Just let me finish my bottle, baby sister, and I’ll be ready to leave wit’ you,” he slightly slurred. Had she not possessed superior hearing she probably would not have noticed; Fergus had decades of drinking under his belt.
Lenore sat down and gazed at him suspiciously. “What, no hug?” she asked in a light and amused voice. Her brother’s actions were worrying her, plus his reaction sure was an awful let down. She had been expecting joyous laughter and hugging and him twirling her in the air like he had when she was young!
Throwing the rest of the whiskey down his throat, Fergus glared at her. “Look here, demon,” stated in a low and threatening tone. “Just because you’ve taken her form doesn’t mean you are her, so sod off.”
Gasping in surprise at his words and tone, Lenore felt her eyes sting with brimming tears. She bit her lip and quickly wiped away the first traitorous, salty drop from her cheek. This reaction was most unexpected – how could Fergus said such hateful things to her? Yes, she was a vampire but she was still his sister…right?
“Okay then,” she said in a small voice. “I’ll leave.”
Fergus glanced up at her in surprise. “Really?” he asked suspiciously. “After ten years of our deal you’re going to let me keep my soul that easily?”
Now it was her turn to turn a suspicious gaze onto him. “Wh-what? Fergus what on earth are you talking about? I don’t want your soul.”
She could hear his heart beat at a furious rate as he sat back into his chair to stare at her. His dark brown eyes narrowed at her in confusion but then widened as comprehension grew in his mind. Thin lips twitched nervously, as if he wasn’t sure if he should smile or not, and he clutched his drink tightly in his hand. “Wait. Lenore…that’s really you? Not a demon possessing your dead body?”
A relieved smile broke out on her face as she rushed to his side and knelt in front of him. She grabbed his right hand and touched it to her cheek. “Yes, you doofus it is me.” Well, maybe not quite. As far as she knew, her breed of vampires kept their soul but she wasn’t sure how much of a ‘demon’ was in her.
Fergus took in a deep breath and then broke out into laughter as he leaned down and hugged her tightly, even going so far as to pull her into his lap to hold her even closer. Lenore snuggled into her older brother’s embrace – she remembered how he had done this for her many times when she had been younger. He seemed much as she remembered but his face was gaunt and when she held him she could feel his bones protruding. It made her wonder why he hadn’t been eating – stress about his demon deal she supposed.
He broke away from her and held her face in his hands as he examined her, his eyes running across her features. With a soft smile he said, “You haven’t changed since I last saw you.”
Lenore laughed nervously – it was amazing the anti-aging efforts of vampirism.
“I’ve missed you,” she said quietly as she held his hand, once again reverting to her girlish days of when Fergus was the only person in her family that really seemed to enjoy taking care of her. Back then she would cry on his shoulder about Stephanie Scotts who always made fun of Lenore for walking around with a dreamy look on her face or tell him about her exciting dreams of people walking on the moon. Fergus had always been there for her – no matter what she would always love him.
Fergus frowned and averted his eyes a moment before returning to her. “I’ve missed you too, Len.” Then he grinned and corrected himself. “Lenore; I suppose you aren’t a little girl anymore.”
She giggled. “You can call me Len,” she allowed. Yeah, she hated it in a way but it sounded so wrong for him to call her by ‘Lenore’.
He rolled his eyes at her comment. Then his expression sobered as he gave her a curious look. “Len, what happened? Summerford was attacked by demons, or so said the few remaining servants. Elspeth and I thought you died – especially when we never heard from you again. Hell, Elspeth even tried to find a spell that would summon an angel so she could talk to that Castiel being, but she couldn’t find anything.”
Lenore’s teeth bit into her bottom look as she debated what to tell him. After his initial reaction she was suddenly nervous. Casually she got off his lap and went to pace on the other side of the room as she fiddled with the sleeve of the dress she had stolen off a closing line in Seascale. “W-we w-were attacked by d-demons,” she stuttered.
“Len, what happened?” he asked cautiously as his eyes gave her a closer examination.
“Do you remember how the vampires were after me?” she asked with lowered eyes.
“They came for me, led by the Alpha of their kind – the most supreme vampire,” she answered as she looked up to watch his expression. “I used magic to kill some and Castiel killed some as well, but the Alpha did his own spell that, I don’t know,” she shrugged. “It made Castiel disappear; some sort of symbol with my blood drawn on the wall. And then…And then he bit me.” Lenore held her hands to her eyes as her body began trembling. “I-I changed. He f-forced me t-to drink h-human blood a-and then…and then he f-forced m-me to do other things as well.”
As the words left her lips she was reminded again that her life was different now – she may have taken refuge in her big brother’s arms for a moment but Real Life had come back and slapped her in the face. She began crying as she spoke, breathing hysterically as sobs racked her frame and she crumpled to the floor. Twenty-six months. Twenty-six months of pure hell and now she had nothing to experience but hell – at least until it was time to see Willow again.
“Len, don’t cry,” her brother softly commanded as he sat beside her and let her lean her head on his shoulder. He patted her head awkwardly – while Fergus was always the one to comfort her in her family, he was very uneasy around crying. Like Castiel, he never seemed to know what to say.
Of course, no one was as bad at comforting a crying girl as her former Guardian Angel.
For what seemed like an hour, Lenore cried and released all of her emotional baggage from her past two years. Finally, she sniffed and accepted the handkerchief that Fergus offered her. “I’m sorry,” she muttered, her voice muffled against Fergus’ chest. “I shouldn’t burden you with all of this.”
“Oh sod off, he muttered, and she could practically hear his eyes rolling. “Ever since you were a babe I promised that I’d take care of you, luv. Cousin Elspeth said that you were special, even all the way back then, and I believed her.”
“Yeah,” she snorted. “And now I’m just a demon.”
Fergus twitched at the word ‘demon’ and shook his head. “Well, you don’t bloody want to kill folks, now do ya?”
Well then, bugger it all! No one says you have to. Think about it, at least this way you’re immortal. That’s pretty neat.”
A weak laugh passed her lips. “Yeah,” she acknowledged softly.
Then her mind processed his earlier words. “Brother, why did you think I was demon possessed earlier?” she asked as she drew back to carefully inspect him.
“Ah, that,” he shrugged. “Time’s up, luv. Ten years ago to the day, today is.”
Lenore wet her lips. “T-today?”
Fergus gave an unaffected shrug. “Yup. Deal’s a deal.”
“No!” she uttered with force as she stood to her feet. “I won’t let them take you!”
Her brother gave her a wry smile. “Come now, baby sister. Aren’t I the one that should be protecting you?”
Lenore folded her arms against her chest and shook her head. “Listen Fergus. I know we’ve never talked about this deal of yours but you know that I know and I know that you know that I know. Bottom line is, I don’t care why you did it or anything – I’m not letting Hell take your soul.”
Fergus ran a hand through his thinning hair. After a moment of silence he said, “I was drunk.”
“Huh?” she asked in surprise.
“Yeah,” he snorted. “Me and Jimmy the blacksmith, remember him?” She nodded. “He got the crazy idea in his head and I agreed. I tried to get the spell out of Elspeth but when she denied me I went looking for it myself. By the time I found it a couple of years had passed but Jimmy was still interested. ‘Course, we were nervous though so we drank quite a bit beforehand,” he smirked with a shake of his head. “Let’s just say by the time we summoned the demon we didn’t have our goals very well outlined by then.”
Lenore sighed and closed her eyes for a moment. “Listen Fergus, I’m not about to tell you that you were a complete and utter sodding moron—”
“—Thanks,” he stated sarcastically.
“But that doesn’t matter. Somehow we’ll—”
A howl cut through the air and Lenore gave a frightened look towards the door. “What was that?” she gasped as another howl, closer this time, sounded.
In response Fergus just got up, picked up the half-empty bottle of Craig, and then proceeded to chug the entire bottle. When he was finished he burped and then gave her a shrug. “Hellhounds, darling,” he answered. “They’ll be my eshcorts,” he slurred.
Lenore let out a disbelieving laugh at his casual reaction and gave him an incredulous look. “Seriously? Seriously? You’re just going to let them take you?” she shouted.
Fergus shrugged again and gave her a serious look. “My darling Len, my beautiful baby shishter, I love you. I’m very happy that I got to see you once more. But honestly? There’s no way to get out of this. Believe me, I’ve looked. So the way I see it, I’ve got to go. However, maybe once I’m down there I’ll figure out a better deal.” He shrugged. “Who knows? I am a rather cunning bastard,” he smirked.
A large figure smashed into the back door and the wood bowed beneath the creature’s weight. Past the door she heard a terrifying and unearthly howl that had shivers running down her back.
Lenore raced to her brother and cupped his cheek. “No,” she stated vehemently. “I will not allow it! I’ve seen enough death, Ferg, and I’m not going to see yours!”
He gave her a sad look and then bent down to gently brush his lips against her forehead. “I’m a survivor, Len. I’ll figure something out. Don’t worry ‘bout me.”
She drew in a shaky breath as tears began rolling down her cheeks in earnest. God! She had gone years without barely allowing herself to cry – she hadn’t wanted to give Aurelius the satisfaction – and now it seemed that she couldn’t stop! “Fergus, but what am I going to do without my big brother?” she asked in a small voice.
Fergus gave her a lopsided smile as the door finally burst open. “Live.”
Then something plowed into him – a hound with matted black fur and a snout covered with dried blood – and he fell to the floor. “No!” she shouted as she used her vampiric strength to toss the hound against the wall, causing it to emit a high-pitched whine. A second hound ran through the door – and this one was large, standing at four feet – and dug its teeth into her shoulder as it spun her into the air and she was whipped against the wall.
“Lenore! Just leave!” Fergus grunted. As the hound clawed his chest and bit his hand clean off, her brother let out the most ungodly sound that she had ever heard.
Lenore, heavily bleeding, shouted a fire spell at the two hounds that were now on top of her brother, but the flames did nothing to them – she should have known that hellhounds were impervious to fire. Moron! Instead she hastily jumped on top of the larger hound and threw it off of her brother and kicked the second hound. Peering into her brothers pained eyes, she saw his light dimming as he twitched in pain. Sinking down slowly she placed her hands onto his bleeding chest without thinking. “Fergus—”
Then her brain finally recognized the sweet smell of his blood and she looked upon her hands in horror as her fangs extracted painfully. Oh God. The Need was back. It called to her like a siren; deadly and duplicitous it desired nothing more than to turn her into a beast that would feed upon her very brother. The blood was thick on her hands and the scent of fear mingled in with the blood created a sweetness that reminded her of a plump grape. Yes, her brother was like a plump grape, fully ripened on the vine, pumping full of red delicious liquid. Liquid that would truly satisfy her, unlike the swill that she had been drinking for the past twenty days – the twenty longest days of her life.
So wrapped up in her thoughts that she didn’t even notice when one of the hounds pounced again onto Fergus and sank its gruesome jaws into her brother’s neck, finally releasing his spirit. With haste the two hounds departed, and she was alone.
Alone with her brother’s body and his blood on her hands.
The hands that she couldn’t stop looking at. They were soaked with his blood and its redness perfectly highlighted each faint line on her palms. Her mouth was watering and his scent perfumed the air. Suddenly Lenore was feeling claustrophobic and she wanted to leave, no she needed to leave, but it wouldn’t let her. The Need was calling upon her to just lick her fingers, just to lick them clean, mind you, because it would be so inappropriate to walk around town a bloody mess. Besides, it’s not like she would be drinking from Fergus – he was dead now and that blood was no good. But the blood on her hands was from before and thus was allowable. And, he was already dead. It’s not like he would mind her having a little taste.
Her strength was floundering against the Need and Lenore succumbed weakly to it. Her tongue began licking every inch and crevice of her hands like a frenzied cat and she shuddered and moaned in happiness. Oh yes, human blood was so good. So, so good. Animal blood was far from its equivalent.
A sharp intake of breath startled her and Lenore looked up through the open doorway; the door was lying in front of the frame and was scattered to the side. There, her features barely lit up in the dark of night and the single candle flame, was her cousin Elspeth.
Lenore smiled licked her lips. She was so happy to see Elspeth again! Her cousin had her graying hair tied back into a braid and she wore a simple blue dress that contrasted prettily under her pale complexion. “Elspeth!” she cried out joyfully as she stood to her feet.
Elspeth gave her a horrified expression and summoned magic to provide her with a mystical shield. “Back, you demon!” she shrieked. “Get away from the lad and get out of my cousin!”
Lenore frowned…and closed her eyes in revulsion as guilt knotted her stomach. Oh God, Lenore was covered, face and hands, with Fergus’ blood. With his dead body right behind her Elspeth must think that she killed him. Even worse, Elspeth didn’t know that the other breed of vampires did get to keep their souls – she thought that Lenore was possessed by a demon as well.
“Elspeth,” she said nervously in a quiet voice. “It wasn’t me, it was the hellhounds. And I’m still Lenore!”
“Lies!” Elspeth shouted angrily and before Lenore even realized it was happening her cousin summoned a ball of fire at Lenore. The flames tentatively licked her skin and then clung to her body as Lenore let out a scream of pain and used her own magic to extinguish them.
Elspeth stared at her in a mix of shock, dismay, and fear, but her next words were stated strongly. “Listen to me demon – you stay away from me and the children or next time you won’t be able to put out the flames.” Then she threw a glass vial at the floor that exploded and threw Lenore back several feet into the stove. She heard Elspeth climbing onto a horse and racing away, but Lenore wouldn’t follow. Why should she? Elspeth was a powerful witch and she knew the true nature of vampires – they couldn’t be trusted.
And after feeding off of her own brother, Lenore had to agree.
Eager to leave this house that stank of death behind, Lenore ran outside and just kept running until she reached the forest one mile away from the village. Then she slowed her pace and leaned against a tree. Her eyes were stony and her face was drawn – Lenore had no more tears left in her.
She was finally, utterly, truly alone in this world.
She wasn’t sure how long she was there –many hours at least – but she could feel dawn approaching. No longer black, the sky in the east was now a dark blue and she began wondering what she should do about shelter for the coming day.
“I wondered how long it would take you to come back home,” a cool voice stated softly.
Looking up towards the west Lenore saw Castiel standing there in his typical outfit of a green plaid kilt and light wool sweater. “Castiel!” she said happily. “I thought you had died! What happened?”
Castiel frowned and shuffled uncomfortably. “That spell expelled me back to heaven and the process to get back takes a while,” he answered gruffly
Lenore bit her lip and took a step forward, then stopped herself. “Well, I’m glad you’re okay,” she said.
“Yes.” His eyes faced downward as he averted her gaze. “I am sorry that you are not.”
“Yeah,” she sighed. “I really am not,” she acknowledge sadly.
“I apologize that I could not protect you.”
She gave the angel a soft smile. “It’s okay. You did your best. The trouble with fate is you can’t outrun it or outwit it. I guess this was meant to happen – at least I’ll be able to see Willow now.” Lenore’s voice was soft but to be honest, after losing her brother to hell and having her mother-like cousin cut her off, she didn’t even have much hope in seeing Willow anymore.
“I’m sorry, but you will not be able to do that.”
Lenore glanced at the angel sharply and noticed that he actually looked sad, yet resigned, about his words. “Why? Why can’t I see Willow?” she hurriedly asked with a voice that was pitched higher than normal.
“You are an abomination now, Eleanor Amelia McLeod. Someone of your talents must not be available for the side of evil.” A sleek silver sword appeared in his hand and Lenore shrank back fearfully.
“B-but I don’t want to kill anyone – I won’t!” she protested as Castiel began to advance.
He looked at her sadly. “But you already have – Magdalene – and you will again. Tonight you displayed your weakness by feeding upon your dying brother. I am sorry Lenore, but you are an abomination. I must end you.”
“No!” she screeched. No matter what happened or how she felt about things, Lenore knew that she didn’t want to die.
A popping noise sounded behind her, she heard a surprised yelp, felt arms grabbing her around the waist, and suddenly Lenore felt herself yanked out of the village and into somewhere strange and new.
Thanks everyone for reading and reviewing!
The love you’re showing this story is really helpful in keeping my muse flowing…plus, it’s always more fun to write when you know someone else is enjoying it. So gracias! :D