Characters: Alan Frog
Spoilers: The Thirst
Synopsis: There are worse things that can happen to a person than becoming a half vampire. Alan's musings and memories, pre The Thirst.
Disclaimer: I don't own it!
A/N: I never intended this to be a story itself. It's not, really. I'm working on a couple of things at the moment set in the time-line of the Thirst, before and after the movie. I've been jotting down a few notes that I hoped would help me get a better understanding of Alan's character, and it slowly turned into something resembling fic. So I guess this is just my take on the character of half vampire Alan. I may or may not finish the other stories, but I'd be interested in what people think of this take on Alan.
There are worst things that can happen to a person than becoming a half vampire. Even when the person in question happens to be – or to have been – a vampire hunter.
Alan thinks that his previous life might actually have helped him to cope, rather than making it worse. As a human, he hated vampires with a passion surpassed only by his brother. He still does, actually. It means that he has to deal with a lot of self loathing, but it also gives him an understanding of his... condition, that helps him to manage it.
The unsuspecting civilians turned without knowing what is happening to them are the ones Alan pities. People like Sam's brother. He now knows that they are not responsible for what has happened to them. His overt and instinctual hatred of the half vampires he had met in the past had been misplaced. If he could apologize to Michael, Star and Laddie now, he would. But he can't, because part of managing his condition means avoiding people.
People are food to him now. People smell like food.
That realization had been the worst of all the things he had learned as he adjusted to his new life, because accepting that fact meant accepting that he was no longer one of them.
No longer human.
Now he is one of the monsters, eking out an existence in the shadows, removed from the sea of humanity around him, for their safety and for his own. If he kills, he turns all the way. He has finally accepted that his humanity is lost to him, but he refuses to take that final step into the abyss, he refuses to damn himself by the taking of a human life.
His history as a hunter meant that from the moment he saw the vampire slit its own wrist with its hideous fingernails, he knew what was coming. He fought as hard as he could, but injured and exhausted, he had been helpless to resist the monster's superior strength. The vampire had laughed mockingly as he choked on the poison that ran through its veins.
Knowing about vampires also meant that he understood what was happening when his changed body instructed him to kill. It was a luxury that most newly turned vampires weren't given, and although it did allow him to appreciate the full horror of his situation, it also meant that he was ready for the bloodlust when it came. It meant that he was prepared to resist as though his life depended on it. Which, of course, it did.
He had soon come to realize that resistance alone was not enough. He had tried so hard, but the time came when he knew that he was going to lose control and the evil inside him was going to take over. He was faced with a choice, stake himself, or try to get sustenance from another source. He still had the stake he had been using when he was attacked, stained by then with the blood of three vampires whose deaths he had hoped would lift his curse. He had tried to do it; kneeling with the tip of the stake touching his chest, he had tried time and again to force the wood to pierce his flesh. He had tried to fall forwards onto it. He had failed.
The animal blood is revolting. It makes him gag every time he chokes it down. It is not what his body wants, but it does just about take the edge off of the need. It is always there though, in the back of his mind, whispering, scratching, begging. Learning how to survive as a half vampire is an exercise in self denial. The hunger can never be truly satisfied, and Alan's willpower is the only thing that holds it at bay.
Sometimes, in his weakest moments, he wonders what it would be like to surrender to it. He wonders whether it would mean a release from the torturous need and the death of the person he is now, or whether he would remain Alan Frog, fully conscious of the monster that he had become. These kinds of thoughts are dangerous. They ambush him when he allows his mind to wander, so another way he manages the condition is to keep himself occupied.
When he was a kid, reading comic books by flashlight under the covers, he had dreamed of flight. He had wondered what it would be like to soar high above the lights of the city under his own power like Superman. He has now experienced that. The feeling is tainted, however. The power comes from the evil inside of him, and it requires energy. To fly weakens his ability to resist, it makes him hungry.
The same is true of the sunlight. When he was human, he used to love the sun. The feel of it caressing his tanned skin, relaxing his muscles with its life-giving light and warmth had been pure bliss. His favorite moments from his previous life had all taken place under the bright Santa Carla sunlight. Now, he can barely remember what the world looks like in the daytime.
The light on his skin drains him of energy. Even indoors, underground, locked away from the light, he can feel the beginning and the end of the nighttime. Day brings exhaustion. The light is painful to his oversensitive eyes; it makes his head throb and his skin itch. Exposure to it means hunger as his body seeks to replace whatever the light drains from it.
He misses the sunlight. He misses his life.
He misses his brother.
But these are the things that he doesn't dwell on. Managing his condition means not slipping into self pity. There is little point wasting time thinking about things that he can no longer have. That way lies madness. Not only madness, but so much worse. Like so many other things, regret weakens his resolve, it makes it more difficult to resist. The instant he felt himself swallow the vampire blood, he forced himself to accept that unless he could find a cure, he would have to turn his back on his old life.
Occasionally, a thought does slip through, and when it does, it is always of Edgar.
The worst thing about his condition is the wedge it has driven between the two of them. When Edgar saw what had happened to him, Alan had watched his expression morph into horror, and he hadn't waited. He hadn't wanted to know what Edgar would say, or do. He hadn't wanted to know whether his brother would kill him as they had sworn to do for one another all those years ago. But more than that, he hadn't wanted to see fear and pity in his brothers eyes.
He had finally been tainted by the evil they hunted, and to prevent his brother being dragged down with him, he had run. He had sworn to himself that he would return once he was human again, and he had begun to hunt, searching for the vampire above the one that turned him, and the one above him, and the one above her. With every monster he killed, he had been forced to experience that same disappointment as he realized that he felt exactly the same; the bloodlust was still within him.
Finally, when he could no longer take it, he stopped. He accepted that his human life was over. He accepted that he would never enjoy the sunlight on his skin, or a good meal, or the company of his brother again. He accepted these things, and he tried to forge a life for himself in the shadows.
It was difficult. He had survived for three years on cold animal blood and the hope that he would one day get his old life back. When the hope was gone and all that was left was the blood, he had done what he swore he would never do again. He had searched for Edgar.
He knew that things would never be the way they had used to be, but he needed to see him, he needed to know that he was okay. The Edgar he found that night was different from the one he remembered. He was older. So much older than he was supposed to be. So much more world weary, and jaded.
On the few occasions when they meet, Edgar looks at him with the same distrust and fear that had originally caused him to flee. Alan doesn't blame him, he is right to be afraid. Like all humans, Edgar smells of food.
Despite every precaution that his takes, every method of managing the condition that has taken over his life, he wakes from a dreamless sleep each night with his first thought ready formed in his mind, 'will tonight be the night I surrender?'
He hasn't dreamed since it happened. It must be a quirk of half vampire neurology. It is a good thing. His waking thoughts are bad enough, dealing with the nightmares he knows he is due would be infinitely worse. In a way, he is glad to no longer be human; the life of a monster hunter is one filled with sleepless nights and bad dreams. Now, he is spared that.
It is a difficult, lonely life. One filled with blood and death and a hunger that can never be fully satisfied. It means being unable to get close to the people you love for fear of what you will do to them. It means accepting that not only must you leave your past behind you, but that any plans and hopes you had for the future must be forgotten. It means that in order to survive, you must allow part of the person that you were to disappear.
There are worse things that can happen to a person than becoming a half vampire. Sometimes, Alan tries to think of what they might be.