evening_bat: Bat in flight, silhouetted against the moon. (Default)
[personal profile] evening_bat
Title: Break Of Day
Author: [personal profile] evening_bat
Pairing: (inexplicit) Chuck/Bryce
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~ 1950
Warnings: Character Death! I broke my own heart with this one. (Highlight to read!)
Summary: Five times Chuck saw the sun rise.
Notes: Response to this prompt on [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic, “Chuck, vamp!Chuck/Bryce, Here Comes the Sun.”


Break Of Day

(Or, Five Times Chuck Saw the Sun Rise)


ONE:

It hadn’t been that long since Chuck had been just an ordinary guy; he remembered the sun. At university, he’d seen it rise far more often than he’d liked, hurrying off to exams after a night of cramming or stumbling bleary-eyed out into the dawn after sc-fi movie marathons with the other geeks. There’d always been something warming about watching the sun come up, even if the light felt like it was jabbing right into his brain. Of course, that had been before his dad’s shady past caught up with Chuck. After that disaster, greeting the dawn wasn’t an option anymore.


TWO:

The sun was what finally convinced him that it was all for real. He figured he’d had all the right in the world to be skeptical, what with being kidnapped and then finding out he’d been rescued but not before getting chewed on by some old “friends” of his dad’s. He’d had a hard few days and waking up to a list of the consequences wasn’t helping him deal with any of it. It wasn’t that he thought his estranged family would go through the extensive trouble of setting him up for that kind of prank but it was kind of unbelievable. Sure, he was colder than he should be and nothing seemed to help ease the raging thirst he’d woken up feeling but how gullible did they think he was?

“Fine, then,” his dad said, walking to the door and throwing it open. He gestured Chuck towards it. “If you’re so sure we’ve got this all wrong, go ahead and walk away.”

Chuck hesitated, sensing the trap in the offer but too desperate for escape to hang back. He edged forward, keeping an eye on his dad’s sad, frustrated face. The moment he crossed the edge of the sunshine streaming through the doorway, he knew he’d been very very wrong.

It wasn’t that the light burned, it was that it stabbed into his skin, searing him all the way through.

He came back to himself a safe distance away from the open door, sobbing for breath as he clung to his dad’s shoulder, frantic apologies being whispered into his ear.


THREE:

Glancing nervously up at the brightening sky, Chuck hunched his shoulders and put on a bit of extra speed. The idea of feeding from people still creeped him out but just this once, he sort of wished he’d indulged in a snack or two of human blood. Those super-speedy powers would be really convenient right about now. The approaching dawn was already stinging his skin. Desperation had him scanning the buildings he was running past for some safe place to hide when a car braked hard beside him and a familiar voice shouted his name.

“Chuck! Get in!”

Chuck gratefully flung himself through the back door, a heavy blanket already settling over him as he crouched on the floor of the back seat. He gratefully pressed back against the questing touch that prodded carefully at him.

“You okay there?”

“Yeah, Bryce. I’m fine. Thanks - you’re a lifesaver.” He generally listened when Bryce yelled orders at him, especially when that voice cut through the panic that had been dogging Chuck’s steps since he left the archives. The brief glimpse he’d caught of Bryce’s face as he tossed the blanket over him told him he wasn’t the only one relieved by the last minute reprieve.

“Good,” Bryce announced, slamming the door shut and climbing back into the driver’s seat.

“Now, care to tell me what the ever-loving fuck you’re doing out at dawn?” he asked conversationally as the car shifted back into motion.

“Ah, funny story,” Chuck said with a weak attempt at a casual laugh. “I may have made a teeny miscalculation when I thought I had enough time left to get home...”

Bryce snorted. “Just a bit.”

“So, uh, thanks for saving me from burning to a crisp?”

“No problem. Just don’t make a habit of it, okay? If I find out you got dead because you were dumb, I will find a way to kick your ass for it.” Only Bryce could pull off that odd mix of fondness and irritation.

Chuck didn’t get Bryce, hadn’t been able to make head nor tails of the spy from the first day he’d broken into Chuck’s highly secure apartment on some kind of assignment. Not only had he apparently failed to follow through on whatever he’d been tasked to do, he’d come back later in the week to check up on Chuck. With a copy of the newest Trek movie by way of apology for the “nearly shooting you in the face” thing. By the time Chuck had stopped half-expecting Bryce to stake him, he found they’d already become fast friends. Funny how the half-rogue spy turned out to be one of the best guys Chuck had ever known, as well as one of the biggest geeks.

Times like this, huddled under a blanket that was really too warm and feeling the soft pressure of a reassuring pat during a momentary halt in the drive, Chuck couldn’t be more grateful to have him.


FOUR:

When Bryce showed up that night, Chuck almost sent him away. The poor guy looked like he’d been awake for a week and Chuck could smell old blood on him. Bryce was hurt again. He needed time to recover more than Chuck needed the company, or so Chuck scolded himself. But when he tried to tell Bryce that he hadn’t really needed to come over, Bryce just brushed him off.

“Unless you had something else you needed to do?” he checked, honestly hesitant for the first time since Chuck had known him.

“No!” Chuck hastily replied, shaking his head vehemently. “I’m never too busy for - I mean, you’re always welcome - I - Okay, let me start that over. No, Bryce. I don’t have anything else to do. Come right on in.”

Bryce laughed, brightening with something Chuck thought might be relief as he sauntered into the apartment. “If you insist,” he quipped.

Chuck shut the door behind him and trailed him into the living room, already plotting ways into talking Bryce out of the game marathon they’d been planning for tonight. Happy to see Bryce or not, Chuck figured that something a bit less active would be more their speed tonight. Bryce accepted his clumsily concealed concern with some annoyance but gave in with relatively good grace, eventually accepting Chuck’s suggestion of watching whatever gem of cinema the sci-fi movie channel was offering for the night.

Just Chuck’s luck that it turned out to be some fantasy romance. On the upside, he did manage to avoid the worst of Bryce’s mockery over the movie after pointing out that Bryce recognized the subject matter well enough that he had to have seen it too.

“I can neither confirm or deny that statement,” Bryce said primly in the face of Chuck’s accusation but he did slack off on the teasing.

Bryce didn’t even make it halfway through the movie, drifting off against Chuck’s shoulder long before the afflicted lovers’ story was told. Chuck held still under Bryce’s welcome weight, guiltily enjoying the way he slept trustingly at his side. On screen, dawn triggered the lovers’ curse but Chuck preferred to watch the spill of broadcast sunlight across Bryce’s face, wondering somewhat wistfully about the way things could have been.


FIVE:

Something was wrong. Chuck hadn’t ever fed from Bryce so there was no blood bond between them but Chuck was sure there was something wrong. He hadn’t seen Bryce in a while, no surprise with the hectic spy schedule that Bryce typically kept, and he had no idea what he was up to tonight but whatever it was, it wasn’t going well for him. Chuck paced the length of his apartment for the five hundredth time that night, nearly twitching out of his skin with nerves. He quickly loosened his grip on his phone when the plastic cracked a loud warning.

He’d been fiddling with his phone on and off for hours. He knew better than to call Bryce over some irrational fit of worry. He did. Bryce was almost certainly in the middle of doing his superspy thing - he probably wouldn’t pick up anyway! And if he did, well, Chuck would make a complete idiot out of himself.

Hi, Bryce! It’s great to hear your voice! Yeah, I was just having a panic attack over a ‘bad feeling’ so I thought I’d give you a call...

Yeah, right.

Chuck deliberately plunked the phone down on the table and walked across the room to sit in front of his computer. He had work to do. Five minutes later, he was sitting on the couch turning the phone over and over in his hands. One little phone call couldn’t hurt. Bryce already knew he was a complete goof, anyhow.

It took forever for the call to connect, Chuck chanting “pick up, pick up!” after every ring. When Bryce actually answered the phone, Chuck almost laughed at the overwhelming rush of relief that swamped him.

“Bryce!” he nearly shouted. “Man, I’m glad you picked up.”

But Bryce didn’t answer. Chuck’s sharp hearing caught a horrible wet rasp.

“Bryce?” he whispered, relief draining into icy fear.

“Chuck,” Bryce managed. “M’sorry.”

“Sorry?” Chuck’s voice was spiraling high with panic. “Don’t be sorry! Just be okay!”

Bryce’s laugh was barely a gurgle.

“I’m sorry,” he repeated, voice clearer but still thick with blood and regret. “I am, Chuck. I don’t think I-”

“Bryce?” Chuck called as Bryce’s breath hitched and his words faded into silence. “Bryce!

No amount of begging produced any response.

Chuck was teetering on the edge of a freak out of epic proportions but he forced himself to calm the hell down and think. He didn’t have any kind of mystical thread to follow but he did have an open cell phone connection and that was more than he needed. A few minutes of consultation with his computer and Chuck went tearing out the door of his apartment. Bryce was right here in the city - halfway across town but here - and Chuck was not accepting any last minute apologies as final. Not until he saw Bryce.

But from the moment he saw him, Chuck knew it was too late.

Bryce was slumped against a dirty alley wall, head hanging against his chest, hands open and empty at his sides. He was a ragged mess, shirt stiff with drying blood and the smell turned Chuck’s stomach as he dropped to his knees beside him.

“You always smelled so good,” he murmured inanely, reaching out with a trembling hand to touch Bryce’s cheek. “It was so hard not to just lick you sometimes. What the hell happened, Bryce?”

Bryce couldn’t be dead. He couldn’t be. But his skin was cool to the touch and he was ragdoll limp when Chuck tugged him into his lap. He wrapped his arms tightly around him, disbelief and grief clogging his throat.

“No. No no no no. Oh God, no,” he pleaded in an agonized whisper.

The sun would be coming up soon, Chuck knew from the faint sizzle on his skin. He should be worried about that, about the sounds of people moving nearby. Bryce would kick his ass for taking chances like this. But Bryce didn’t have any say in Chuck’s stupid risks any more, did he? He sure wouldn’t be swooping in with a last minute rescue this time.

But that was okay. Chuck, sitting with his face pressed into Bryce’s hair and his arms wrapped around all that was left of his best friend, really wasn’t sure he wanted to be saved.

Fin


End Notes: I do not know where this came from, it’s absolutely not what I usually write. Especially given my near-allergy to deathfic and/or unhappy endings. Writing this pretty much broke my heart so I hope I won at least a sniffle or two from someone else! D: I think there are a few stories yet to be told in this verse. And I make no promises about not writing some form of fix-it for my own damn story.

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