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Lenore Bloodlust
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, Angel, Darla, the Immortal, Bilquis, Spike, Drusilla, Dean, Sam, Scoobies
Rating: T
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, Anya/Crowley, Lenore/Kali, Lenore/Immortal, Lenore/Gabriel, Lenore/Willow
Spoilers: BTVS S6E19 ‘Seeing Red’, SPN S2E3 ‘Bloodlust’. Spoilers for Crowley's past in S6 “Weekend at Bobby’s” and Trickster/Loki's past in S5 ‘Changing Channels’
Warnings: Character death, Femslash (nothing explicit)
Read specific chapters here: Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 |Chapter 9 |Chapter 10 |Chapter 11 |Chapter 12 |Chapter 13 |Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 |Chapter 16 |Chapter 17 |Chapter 18 |Chapter 19 |Chapter 20 |Chapter 21 |Chapter 22|Chapter 23|Chapter 24|Chapter 25|Chapter 26|Chapter 27|Chapter 28|Chapter 29|Chapter 30|Chapter 31|Chapter 32|Chapter 33|Chapter 34|Chapter 35|
Or all of the entire story: here

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Chapter 36: Knowledge is ___________

A/N:

I apologize for the long update – my Muse is having problems with this story because I went ahead and wrote the final two chapters and now I’m struggling to write just how I got there. It’s a common problem of mine, to lose focus on a story as it nears the end. So, since some of you dearest readers may have forgotten what’s the what, here’s a refresher:

Lenore and Loki have been living together for 10 years, after denying their love for centuries. Last December Odin came to call and invited them to dinner at Asgard. Since then Odin plus Loki’s 3 (Hel, Fenrir, and Sleipnir) children are regular visitors.

This chapter goes out to [info]kara_eskarne, one of my most faithful readers and one of the people I always think of when I take forever to update this story! :)


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Reine, Norway,
March 18, 1911


Since Loki’s children had come back into his (their) life, things had begun to change. Odin, Sleipnir, Fenrir, and Hel visited regularly and they even all went out on ‘family’ outings. Of course, unlike the family outings she remembered as Tara (movies or ice skating), their destinations tended to be a bit more exotic, like the middle of the Congo or uninhabited islands. Today they were heading to Austria to observe the second occurrence of International Women’s Day.

“And just why are we going to this human celebration?” grumbled Fenrir. In the beginning Lenore could only understand him when they made eye contact but since all of Loki’s children had begun spending more and more time here it was becoming easier to hear Fenrir, as if he were speaking out loud. Lenore was unsure if it was because she was growing more accustomed to the wolf, was bonding in some unknown way to Loki, or Fenrir was becoming stronger from the constant familial connection. One day she would have to ask her lover his opinion.

Because, you grumbly mutt. It’s a major feminist protest and I thought the ladies would enjoy it. Lenore loves girl power, after all.” Loki waggled his brows at her and she rolled her eyes; more than once he had asked if she would be interested in a ménage à trois with one of his girls that he invented. Loki would create girls for his tricks and then deliver her perfect puppy eyes while he asked if Lenore wanted to keep one. Thus far she had not taken him up on that offer.

…Although she did contemplate it upon occasion. After all, it had been a while since she had been with a woman and although sex with Loki was wonderful, there were certain things she missed.

“Besides,” boomed Odin. “There’ll be plenty of lovely ladies to look upon.” The Norse god looked at everyone with a knowing smile. “And perhaps I’ll get the chance to do more than just look.” He began laughing and Loki cackled along with him.

Hel caught Lenore’s eye. “Honestly,” she huffed. “I believe these two grow more impossible every time they’re together.” A smile played along her lips.

Lenore smirked at the truth of that statement, although she couldn’t help but feel uneasy about it. Sometimes Loki got so caught up with Odin and his friends that she felt he was falling more and more into the pagan ways – and pagan gods were not the nicest people around. Sure, Loki continued to play tricks on arrogant humans once Lenore returned to him ten years or so ago, but she felt like he was becoming crueler. Then again, maybe it was just her.

Sleipnir whinnied in anticipation and Odin patted his steed. “Seems your stallion feels the same way as me, Loki.”

“That’s why you two make the perfect set of partners in crime,” Loki laughed. “Alright, shall we?” He held out his hand to Lenore and she embraced him. Travel via pagan god teleportation was not the most relaxing but it was the quickest. She burrowed her head in Loki’s chest and clung to him tightly. A second later her world tilted and they were standing in Vienna, Austria.

Lenore took a step back from Loki, nearly lost her balance, and was relieved when he grasped her arms and pulled her tight. “You really hate my style of travel, don’t you?” he asked with a wry smile.

She looked up at him with a suggestive smile. “Not all of it.” The part where he held her was always nice. Sometimes she wondered if she would ever tire of his touch.

Loki chuckled and kissed her gently. “I admit I love when your feminist-self needs me once in a while.”

Laughing lightly, she shook her head. “I’ll always need you,” she told him honestly, and with a bit of embarrassment. It was scary to realize that your life wasn’t complete without someone.

Harsh barking laughter sounded out behind them.

“I do believe Fenrir thinks you should get a room,” Odin jested as he pointed towards the great guffawing wolf.

Loki pivoted to grimace at his son and friend. “Quiet, muttonheads.”

Hel’s lips curved into a slight smile. “I think it’s sweet. It reminds me of how you used to be, Father.” Fenrir made a gagging sound.

Placing his arm around Lenore’s waist, he walked them towards the pagans. “Fenrir, don’t make me put you on a leash,” Loki warned, his lips curved into a knowing smirk.

Fenrir shut up after that.

***

Inside of Vienna lay the Ringstrasse, a circular road that now featured crowds of women parading with banners honoring the martyrs of the Paris Commune on its fortieth anniversary. Immortality could get boring at times so Lenore was quite well versed on current events and knew that the Paris Commune was the government that briefly ruled France after the Revolutionary War. Feminist activism was a strong aspect of the government but the Army of Versailles killed thousands of the commune supporters, simultaneously killing the feminist movement in France for a time. At the time Lenore fed on wicked humans and she killed many soldiers in the Army of Versailles during those dark years.

Lenore and Hel walked now amongst the woman; Lenore was thankful that the women were still celebrating during the night so she could enjoy the festivities; although the sun did not kill her it was not at all pleasant. The men (and wolf and horse) were elsewhere to be found but Lenore was fine with that. Hel was an interesting companion. As the Goddess of the Underworld she possessed a viewpoint on the world that Lenore found very similar to Kali, which was nice.

She still missed Kali sometimes. According to rumors Kali and her consort Shiva were still living together in north India; however, that was all she knew. Perhaps that was for the better, that Kali kept her life separate from Lenore. Although she still loved the goddess she was no longer in love with her after all these years.

“Here girls,” a buxom older woman said to them as she thrust two sticks carrying white banners into their hands. “Take a banner!” The woman, garbed in a simple dark brown dress, was carrying other banners and appeared to be one of the organizers of the day’s events.

Hel stared at the stick in her hands like it was a peculiar bug that landed on her. She turned her dark eyes upon the woman and frowned. “What do I do with this?”

The woman paled as she stared into Hel’s face for the first time, and quickly backed away. “D-do whatever you like, my lady!” she stuttered before running elsewhere into the crowd.

Frowning, Hel looked at Lenore. “Am I truly that frightening?” she asked plaintively. Hel was insecure about her appearance and it was clear that the human woman had hurt her.

Lenore fought to figure out a proper explanation. The goddess was beautiful (unless you saw her decaying legs but they were always covered by a long skirt) but Lenore could understand why a mortal would be frightened. Her skin was paler than a vampire’s and her eyes contained an otherworldly glow. “Of course not, Hel! It’s just, I think humans at some level understand when they’re near the supernatural. People have different reactions but the first one is typically fear.”

“Then why are they not frightened of you?” Hel queried, her voice soft and reasonable.

Lenore shrugged. “They should be,” she admitted. “But for some reason most people don’t get scared in our presence unless our teeth are already out. I assume it’s part of our predatory skills set. Otherwise, a vampire could not feed easily,” she mused.

Hel nodded; that sounded logical to her. “I must admit, I do not understand your reluctance to feed from humans. After all, humans are temporary creations. They will die some day.”

Wincing, Lenore swallowed the saliva that thickened in her mouth at Hel’s words. Here in this crowd of people the scent of blood overflowed her senses and only the strictest of her meditation techniques worked. “Perhaps that is true but God has not ordained me to be the judge, jury, and executioner of His people.”

Amused, a smile flitted across Hel’s thin lips before she went back to her typical emotionless expression. “After all this time and all the beings you have interacted with over your long life and you still believe in the Christian God?”

Religion was not a topic Lenore discussed anymore, which created a hollow spot in her heart. Without her clan of vampires – particularly Eli – she had no one to discuss her spirituality with anymore. Loki, for obvious reasons, shunned mention of it in his presence. This hole in her life bothered her deeply, but she tried to ignore it as best as possible. After all, no life was perfect. She may be without her clan but at least now she had Loki.

“How can I not?” Lenore asked, her brow raised and a smile playing along her lips. “This world is so chaotic at the same time it is glorious. The sun, the earth, the stars, the moon; I doubt these are random creations.” Furthermore – although Lenore was forbidden to say it – she knew that God existed because she happened to be living with one of his archangels.

Although, sometimes knowledge can make matters confusing. There was certainly a degree of dissonance between the concept of the God that Lenore had grown up knowing and whose work she had done as she led her animal drinkers clan, and the God that Gabriel spoke of leaving.

“Hmm.”

Hel’s thin black hair hung over the side of her face that was facing Lenore, and she brushed it motherly out of the way. “Hel, what’s your opinion on creation?”

Breaking out into a sudden smile, Hel looked at her like she was mad. “Lenore, I am Hel of the Norse pantheon – clearly Odin and his brothers were the creators of this world.”

Interesting. Lenore did not think that a pagan god or goddess would automatically adhere to their own beliefs. But then again, as the years passed by, if they did not believe in themselves – and neither did the humans – then would they just fade away?

“I have to say, I have not asked much about your stories,” Lenore admitted. “How did Odin create the world?” She frowned. “And I was not aware that he had any brothers.”

Hel laughed, her alto voice producing a low chuckle. “I am surprised that Father has not spoken to you of this. You two have known each other for centuries.”

“Your father is not an easy man to get to know,” Lenore reminded her with a harsh laugh. She was over the pain of betrayal that Loki had once dealt her when she was exposed to his angelic past but that did not mean she did not regret taking so long to be informed.

Hel’s dark eyes glanced to her, studying her; Lenore wondered what the goddess saw. Although Lenore likened Hel to a child – because she was a child; Loki’s child – she knew that the goddess was far older than her. This being had witnessed over a thousand years on this earth and in comparison Lenore was barely a babe.

This was a fact that Lenore was reminded of at this moment, with Hel’s intense interest currently focused on her.

Finally Hel looked ahead and then began leading Lenore aware from the crowded streets. “The Eddas say that Odin was the eldest of two brothers, Vili and Vé, born from Bestla and Borr. The brothers were refuges—”

“—From who?” Lenore inquired. She could not imagine Odin, who was not only powerful but fierce and good-natured, running away from anything.

Pursing her lips, Hel shook her head. “Truthfully, I do not know. That was never in the stories I heard.”

Lenore nodded and mentally added that to a list of questions she planned on asking Loki at some point.

“After the brothers left, they created Asgard and, stories say, created the world.” Hel smirked, an almost terrifying look on the goddess of the underworld’s face. “Of course, that fact lies in dispute since everyone’s god kings say they’re responsible for the creation of the world.”

Lenore let out a small laugh. “Indeed they do.” The two women walked in silence for a while, ambling through the cobbled paths of Vienna. After a while Lenore’s curiosity broke free of her restraints. “And your father? Who do they say created him?”

Hel looked at her sharply, the concaves of her oval, thin face shadowed in the darkness of the night. “No one knows,” she replied, her voice lowering an octave. “They say that he appeared to Odin, a refugee himself, and stated that Odin owed him a great favor. Thus Odin gave him a place at his table in Asgard. Although,” she mused, “while they are great friends there has always been a tension to their relationship that I have yet to understand.”

“And you have never asked your father?”

The goddess’ eyes widened almost imperceptibly, but Lenore’s keen vampire eyes noticed the movement. “Yes, but each time he tells a different story. He does not like to talk about it.”

Lenore made a humming noise of acknowledgement as her thoughts turned to Hel’s story. She knew that Loki had been a refugee when he left Heaven but she wondered what favor Odin would have owed an angel…and did that mean that Odin knew Loki’s secret?

Hel and Lenore meandered on throughout the streets, the air becoming stiller as they departed farther from the celebrations in the Ringstrasse. After a while they heard muffled shrieks coming from a dilapidated apartment building. Lenore, ever the righteous one, went to inspect the scene while Hel obliged her whim and followed. Crossing over the building’s threshold the scent of human blood struck the air, and Lenore gagged. Immediately her mouth filled with saliva and her fangs jutted through her gums. She stood, motionless, as her desire to feed combated with her desire to do good.

“Lenore?” Hel’s cool hand grabbed her elbow. “Are you alright?”

Eyes clenched closed, Lenore shook her head. If she spoke she would have to breathe in more air. If she breathed in more air the desire to feed would become uncontrollable.


Om Krīm Kālyai namaḥ ,
Om Kapālinaye Namah,
Om Hrim Shrim Krim Parameshvari Kalike Svaha


She mentally chanted to herself her long-practiced mantra and fought for control of her body. Eventually her teeth receded and Lenore backed out of the home and into the fresh air.

A shiver ran through her at the realization of how difficult that task had been. A second shiver rant through her as she contemplated what was happening in that building.

“I have heard of your strength of will before but had yet to witness it. That was quite impressive, Lenore,” Hel told her, her voice in awe.

Lenore looked away. Impressive? She was ashamed that she was so weak in the first place to even react like that at the smell of blood.

“We should leave her and go find the others. I think I would like to go home,” Lenore whispered urgently, all the while praying silently for the strength to adhere to her convictions.

Hel glanced from Lenore to the building. “They are not far from us, in there to be exact,” she informed Lenore with a slight gesture of her hand. “I can feel their presence.”

Something bitter clung to the back of Lenore’s throat. “In…there?” Maiming, killing?

Hel whistled, a clear and high note, and several moments later an upstairs window opened – bringing with it the fresh scent of death. Loki’s face peered out and smiled in surprise at seeing them; with her gifted eyesight Lenore noticed a light splattering of blood on his cheek.

“Oh, hey there ladies!” Loki grinned.

“Lenore is ready to leave, and I am as well.”

Odin’s face joined Loki’s in the open window. “Good timing, girls. Fenrir just had his fun punishing a banker.”

Loki waggled his eyebrows. “Get it? A banker getting eaten by a wolf? Perfect justice,” he smirked.

Lenore’s lips straightened into a thin line before deepening into a scowl. “That sounds positively biblical,” she remarked casually, feeling a cold fury within her soul.

Loki blanched at her inference to his past. “We’ll be out soon.” Both he and Odin ducked back into the room and shut the window.

“Do you not approve of my father’s tricks?” Hel inquired casually, her gaze barely brushing Lenore’s distraught expression.

Lenore paused. “I know what your father does, Hel.” Which was true. She knew what and who Loki was – an archangel who spent thousands of years punishing the wicked and now a pagan trickster god who did the same.

The dark goddess moved closer, the hem of her black empire-waist dress swishing across the stone road. “I see. But you have never witnessed it before, have you?”

Hel’s gaze was heavy and Lenore could not bear it; she looked away. “No,” she answered.

A friendly hand caressed her bare arm. “It is who he is, Lenore. Do not love him any less for it – he loves you a great deal.”

Lenore shut her eyes briefly and took a deep breath. “I know, Hel. I know.”

But knowing and knowing were two very different things.

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A/N:
Thank you for reading! :)

References:

*“The following year, on 18 March, 1911, IWD was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations[3] In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honoring the martyrs of the Paris Commune.[3] Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination.- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women%27s_Day
*The Ringstraße (or Ringstrasse) is a circular road surrounding the Innere Stadt district of Vienna, Austria and is one of its main sights. It is typical of the historical style called Ringstraßenstil (Ringstraße Style) of the 1860s to 1890s. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringstrasse
*The Paris Commune was a government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18 (more formally, from March 28) to May 28, 1871. It existed before the split between anarchists and Marxists had taken place, and it is hailed by both groups as the first assumption of power by the working class during the Industrial Revolution. Debates over the policies and outcome of the Commune contributed to the break between those two political groups.- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Commune
*Lóðurr: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%B3%C3%B0urr
*Hœnir: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C5%93nir
*Vili and Vé: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vili_and_V%C3%A9 (Odin’s brothers)
*Bestla: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestla (Mother of the Gods)
*Borr: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borr (Father of the gods)
*Æsir: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86sir (Principal pantheon of the Norse gods)
*Lenore’s chanting was developed on the day she met Kali, who taught her the mantra.

Comments

( Those Who Hollered — Holler! )
(Deleted comment)
luna_del_cielo
Sep. 18th, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC)
Aw, one of the best? Yay! You've made me blush and started my Sunday morning off on a happy note :D

Thanks!
kitmarlowescot2
Sep. 20th, 2011 07:49 am (UTC)
Good story, I am surprised Lenore didn't hear the tale about how Loki is Sleipnir's mother, and not his father. Acourse knowing this Loki he did it on purpose just to see what it was like to be female. I take it that aspect of his shapeshipping won't come up.
luna_del_cielo
Oct. 17th, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
ha I'm debating if it should or not...I don't think it's the sort of thing Loki would *want* to bring up, but you never know... :)
Thanks for reading!
( Those Who Hollered — Holler! )

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