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elynross and astolat organized yuletide 2010. I was assigned teaotter, who requested a fic based on Mary Borsellino's The Wolf House series, with a focus on a vampire and a vampire hunter.

Title: Foretell Entire Towns
Author: voleuse
Fandom: The Wolf House [Mary Borsellino]
Characters: Will Cooper & Bette
Rating: PG-13
Summary: And who can say the water doesn’t sing to our bodies like something lost?
Notes: Based on the first two books. Possibly AU.



Bette is perched on the corner of the bar when Will walks in. The club is almost empty, in that pre-crowd hush right between opening and the first set being played. He hasn't played--not in front of a crowd, that is--for months, but it's hard to break his pre-show habits. Will likes to get a feel for the crowd, look at their clothes and guess at their rowdiness. He likes to listen to the space and turn himself into a just-a-musician again, instead of--

Well. Everything else.

He wants to slink to the other side of the bar, to get as far away from Bette and her flower-bright dress and her gleaming teeth as he possibly can, but if he does that, somebody's going to die tonight when he could have stopped it. Could have saved one more.

Will sidles up to the bar, and Bette kicks her heel and waves at him, as if she's still the impossibly charming teenager she used to be, instead of the thing that led him to the slaughter. "Hello, Will," she says, and her voice is everything wrong.

He nods at her politely and flicks his coat lapel, just enough to flash the length of a knife at her. "Behaving?" he says, sounding every inch like an older brother, chiding.

Bette makes a show of rolling her eyes, and some punk next to her snickers, his eyes on the hem of her skirt.

Will turns his shoulder and looks at the kid, and though Bette's red eyes hadn't done the job--or maybe the kid hasn't noticed--Will's bloody glare does.

"How's your mom?" Will asks, because questions are weapons just like everything else. "Send her any postcards lately?"

It doesn't work, because Bette just laughs. "She thinks I must be a goddamn genius by now," Bette muses. "It's a science camp for freaks too smart to be ignored."

"That's the problem, isn't it?" Will considers. "The attention. Being as terrifying as you always wanted."

Bette arches back and grabs a beer from behind the bar. "Spare me the Dr. Phil." She flicks the cap off like it's nothing, takes a long pull from the bottle, her nose wrinkling even as she swallows. She notices Will's disapproval and laughs again. "What're you going to do?"

Will watches her gulp the beer down and shakes his head. "You're so young," he tells her.

Bette slams the bottle down and hops off the bar. "Cliche and boring," she pronounces. "Are you going to try and kill me already?"

"No," Will replies.

She puts her hand on her hip like she's been practicing. "Scared the food will get bruised?"

"No," he repeats, then inclines his chin toward the stage. "You like this band. I remember."

Bette blinks, turns her head to look. "Yeah." A smile flits across her face--a real one, and she almost looks alive for a moment.

*


The show runs long, when the last band does a second set, and somewhere along the way, Will loses track of Bette in the crowd. She's there one minute, throwing her arms up for a truly spectacular guitar riff, and the next minute, there's a swirl of chattering proto-sorority girls around him, tender and oblivious and distracting.

Will wrangles away from them, craning to find Bette's coal-dark hair and petal-blue dress. Instead, he catches the scent of blood, and he follows that, because it's as good an indication as any where Bette might be.

The storeroom is cold even to Will's skin. It takes a fraction of a second for him to adjust his senses to the silence and the dark, but the blood scent blooms hot and sudden. There's a whimper, and the wet, slurping sound of skin and blood and tearing teeth.

"Bette," Will calls into the darkness. "Let her go."

A pause in the struggle, and then an exaggerated sigh. "I'll share," Bette offers.

"Thanks, but no." Will waits, and soon one of the proto-sorority girls stumbles against him as she escapes, smearing blood on his jacket. He twitches, but otherwise contains himself.

Bette giggles. "Vodka and E," she confides. "She tasted like Froot Loops."

"I'll make a note." Will sighs. "What next, Bette?"

She lunges forward, stopping just short of him. "There are a dozen vampires out there right now," she snaps. "Why are you stalking me?"

"Because I know you," he replies. "And because--" He touches the tattoo on her arm, traces the jagged scar that breaks it.

Bette jerks back. "Please," she says, all scorn.

And then she's gone again.

*


The back door to the club is swinging open, and he must be only a minute behind Bette. He hears a scuffle, a body slamming against a wall. He wonders if Bette's found her cereal-sweet victim again, but then Bette shouts, and it sounds like pain.

Will draws his knife and turns the corner like a shot, just in time to shoulder into a vampire he doesn't recognize. He attacks almost without thinking, incapacitating the other vampire in three strokes.

Bette is cursing in jagged streaks, struggling with another vampire. It's not a familiar one, and definitely not one of Blake's sleek minions. It's a scrabbler, just like the two convening a block away. He's stumbled into another gang fight, but Bette's the only one warding them off.

"What the hell?" Will says, and tosses his knife to Bette, drawing the one he's hidden in his boots. "Why are they here? Why aren't they on Blake's turf?"

"Because I'm here. Because you're here," Bette says. She buries the knife in her opponent's belly, then yanks upward. "Dumbass."

"I'm not one of your gang," Will protests. The two scrabblers are running now, and he tosses one of his grenades, pushing Bette back before as it flashes.

One of the scrabblers is blown to bits, but the second was too far back, and it's pissed off now, or maybe just more. Will takes his knife back from Bette and hurls himself forward, lets something inside him crack, and when he closes it back up again, the last scrabbler is in pieces, too.

"Not yet," Bette says, and Will stares at her, puzzled. Bette sighs theatrically. "You're not one of the gang yet," she clarifies.

"Not ever," Will says.

Bette shrugs. She turns on her heel and dashes off, and this time, he lets her get away.

###

A/N: Title and summary adapted from Kristy Bowen's Predictions. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

Originally posted here.

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