Warnings: Not really
Characters: Edgar Frog
Spoilers: The Tribe a little, I guess
Synopsis: Ever wondered what happened to Edgar's tattoo in the years between the Tribe and the Thirst? One possible explanation.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Lost Boys
A/N: Blame Redeyedcat for this. She theorized (jokingly) that the reason Edgar's tattoo disappears between the Tribe and the Thirst is because it's henna. Well, fic had to be written.
Not sure about this one. It was supposed to be funny, but it turned all angsty, then I tried to make it less angsty... Been messing with it for days now, and it was only supposed to be a bit of fun! Not my best, but let me know what you think.
The smell of the ocean drifted in on the sea breeze. It mingled with the scent of cotton candy, popcorn and the subtle odor of decay. This wasn't Santa Carla, but if he closed his eyes and imagined, he could almost see himself back there, standing on the boardwalk with his brother, watching the sea of humanity around them through disdainful eyes, checking each one for signs that they were something other than they appeared.
Luna Bay was different, but in so many ways it was the same. He had left Santa Carla to escape bad memories, but if this place could send him back there so easily, he wondered what the point had been in leaving at all.
So that he couldn't find you.
His mind supplied the answer to his unspoken question, and with it came the memory of Alan, blood around his mouth, eyes already showing the first signs of the vampire infection that would quickly begin to chew on his soul until it was damaged beyond all recognition.
He forced open his eyes, banishing the unwelcome vision and replacing it with the Luna Bay coast. He drew in another lungful of sea air. Around him, surfers and holidaymakers enjoyed the warm evening, oblivious to the danger lurking around them. The sun was a red ball hovering on the horizon, swollen to twice its usual size and bathing the world in pink and orange. Edgar eyed it with suspicion. It was still light enough that the vampires were probably still hiding away, but they could come out now, if they wanted to.
Behind him, on the other side of the road that ran adjacent to the beach, a young man was setting up his stall for the evening. The fading light reflected from his blond hair, and for an instant, Edgar could have sworn he was looking at Sam Emerson.
The man noticed him watching and smiled, waving a hand in greeting. Edgar turned away. The last thing he needed was a henna tattoo.
The kid was there again the following night, painting tribal designs and Japanese characters onto the skin of stupid, giggling kids. Edgar passed him on his side of the road this time, glancing with disguised interest at the example pictures painted on the board behind him.
“What can I interest you in tonight?” asked the man.
Edgar turned to look at him. Close up, he looked nothing like Sam. His skin was darker, his features different, and his hair was obviously bleached, either by the sun and the sea, or from a bottle, Edgar didn't know.
He shook his head. “I don't think so. Those things are for kids.”
“You're not exactly an old man yet,” the artist told him.
Edgar nodded. Sometimes he forgot that. He had seen so much it felt like a lifetime of experiences.
“So, what'll it be?” the man asked. “I've seen you here two nights running, you must at least be interested.”
Edgar's eye drifted over the designs again, and he thought, just for a moment, should he do it? He shook his head.
“Shame,” the man told him. “It'd suit you.”
“How's business?” Edgar asked.
The street was quiet, the night was dying down. The early evening crowd had already returned to their hotels and guesthouses, giving way to the late night kids looking for drink and drugs and sex.
Alex, the tattooist, shrugged. “Slow,” he said.
Edgar had been back a few times now. Enough to learn that his new acquaintance was an artist, trying to make a few quick bucks and enjoy a working vacation by the coast before he started a design job in the city in a few weeks time.
“What do these things mean, anyway?” Edgar asked, indicating the board with a wave of his hand. “All the Japanese, the Chinese, the...” he squinted, “what is that, Hebrew or something?”
“Hardly. It's Klingon,” Alex supplied with a grin.
Edgar rolled his eyes as he allowed a small smile to creep onto his lips, and he laughed. “Of course it is. Well, you've got to wonder about someone who'd have something they didn't understand written on them. You could be lying to them, branding them all assholes or something for all they know.”
“For all I know too,” Alex told him. “I don't even know what they mean, I only have the word of the guy that sold me the original designs. He could have been making it up. They might not even be real words.”
Edgar shook his head. People were idiots.
“Well, I think I'll call it a night. Do you want to get a drink?” Alex asked him suddenly.
Edgar looked at him sharply. “I don't drink anything I haven't opened myself. Too risky.”
Alex frowned, but nodded in agreement. “I've got some beers back at my place.”
“You're a weird guy, Edgar. You know that, right?”
Alex's apartment wasn't too far from the center of Luna Bay, not too far from the beach. They always went there, never back to Edgar's. The walls there were covered in art rather than weaponry. Alex had given him the tour on his first visit, pointing out the ones that were his. He was good. Even Edgar, with no eye for art whatsoever had to admit that.
Alex sat on an old wicker chair, with a sketch pad on the table in front of him. His right hand worked furiously, adding the finishing touches to his picture, while in his left a joint smouldered, half forgotten, filling the room with another smell that took Edgar right back home to Santa Carla.
“You have no idea,” Edgar told him.
Alex glanced up and looked at him, frowning in concern. He took a drag of his joint, and offered it across the table.
Edgar shook his head. In his minds eye, he watched two semi conscious parents sitting glassy eyed in the corner while their children took on the role of protector. “That stuff'll mess you up,” he muttered.
“I just use a little bit,” Alex told him. “It helps you relax. You look like you could use some relaxation.”
He offered it again. Edgar reached out and took the cigarette, raised it to his lips and inhaled just a little, experimentally. He allowed the smoke linger in his lungs for a while as he had seen his parents do, until they spasmed, trying to expel the foreign substance. He coughed smoke, and handed it back. Just this once, to try it. Never again. You couldn't protect anyone when you were high.
“There. Done.” Alex slid the sketch pad across the table to Edgar, turning it around as he did. Edgar looked down at his own face, staring back at him in charcoal from the thick, textured paper. His favorite bandanna covered his forehead, above eyes that looked unbelievably sad.
For a moment, he couldn't speak.
“You can keep it, if you want,” Alex told him.
Edgar shook his head. “It'd only get ruined at my place.” Anyway, what use did he have for a picture of himself?
“I'll keep it then. Something to remember you by when I leave,” Alex said. “I need to give you something though.”
Edgar watched his eyes drift to the collapsed portable table where he sold his tattoos. He shook his head. “No. It's just not who I am.”
Alex tilted his head as he looked at him, as though a slightly different angle would reveal something new. “And who are you, Edgar Frog? That's what I'd love to know.”
His head was buzzing pleasantly from the unfamiliar drug in his system. He felt disconnected, like he was watching the world through a window. “You know, I'm not even sure of that myself any more,” he admitted.
Sunsets in Luna Bay could be spectacular. The sun ended the day by sinking slowly into the horizon over the ocean. The last of the light reflected across the calm ocean in a straight line from the sun itself, almost to the beach, as around it the sky exploded in red, pink and gold.
Edgar had never enjoyed a sunset. The end of the day meant the beginning of the night. It meant the emergence of the creatures of the night and the beginning of the struggle against them. He stood on the sidewalk, leaning on the metal railing that divided the road from the beach, staring out into the darkening sky.
He became aware of a presence behind him, and turned, reaching for his weapon. It was Alex. He relaxed.
“You know, I'm leaving tomorrow,” the younger man told him.
Edgar nodded. Leaving for a real job, beginning a real life away from the bloodstained streets and beaches of California.
“I was thinking. I've got a picture to remember you by, but I want to give you something so you'll remember me.”
“I'll remember you,” Edgar promised him.
“Okay then, let me give you a tattoo,” Alex told him.
Edgar shook his head. “You know those things only last a couple of weeks, don't you? It's not going to remind me of anything when it's gone.”
Alex shrugged. “You just said you'll remember me anyway,” he told him. “This is for me. When it fades, it'll give me a reason to come back.”
The last of the sun sank below the horizon, still providing dim lighting from beneath. Edgar inhaled the smell of saltwater and cotton candy. Alex stared pleadingly into his eyes, and for the first time since that first glimpse of him setting up shop on the other side of the road, Edgar was reminded of Sam Emerson. They were both persistent bastards, and they both always got their way in the end.
“Fine,” he grunted. “But no Klingon, okay?”
“Of course not,” Alex promised him. “I'm going to give you an original design.” His eye drifted appraising over Edgar's chest and arms and he smiled. “And I've got the perfect idea.”