Warnings: Not that I can think of yet
Characters: Sam Emerson, Edgar Frog, Alan Frog
Spoilers: Reign of Frogs, The Tribe
Synopsis: Sequel to Aftertaste. Four years after Alan turned, Edgar returns to Santa Carla to enlist Sam's help in killing the one vampire that he can't.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Lost Boys
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
As Edgar watched, Sam froze completely still, then in an instant, bolted.
The table shook violently as his legs hit the edge and the clang of metal and breaking glass echoed over the boardwalk. Sam grabbed his bike and ran, mounting it as he moved.
“Sam!” Edgar called after him, but he was already most likely out of earshot, and not listening even if the shout did carry. “Shit,” he muttered to himself. The tabletop was swimming in a foul looking mixture of Diet Coke and coffee dregs. Sam's glass had shattered when it fell, scattering broken glass around the whole area. From the doorway, the waitress was watching in horror
Edgar fished in his pocket and retrieved his wallet. He took out enough to cover the cost of the drinks, plus a generous tip for the trouble they had caused. He left it on the table, in an island of dry among the sea of spillage, and looked at her. “Sorry,” he said, shrugging apologetically, and then took off at a sprint after Sam.
He was gone. By the time he left the cafe, there was no sign of Sam on the boardwalk. Edgar turned down the nearest street back into town, still running fast, and headed toward his car. His legs carried him instinctively down the familiar streets, avoiding bumps and cracks in the uneven pavement without even looking.
As he rounded the final corner, exhaustion was beginning to set in. Muscles began to protest at the intensity of the sudden, unexpected burst of energy. He opened the door to his truck, climbed inside and once he was off the street and out of sight of anyone who might be watching, gasped for air. He was in good enough shape, hunting vampires he had to be, but that had been a little much.
When he was recovered, he turned the key in the ignition. Technically, Sam could have gone anywhere in Santa Carla, but realistically, Edgar knew he had gone to one of two places; home, or back to the institution. Edgar flipped a mental coin and chose home. More likely, even if it was only to grab some things and leave.
He put the truck into drive and pushed down hard on the gas, driving as fast as he could get away with without drawing unwanted attention.
As he approached the Emerson house, he saw to his relief that Sam's bike had been discarded on the ground just outside. He pulled to a stop outside, jumped out of the truck and tried the door. It was locked.
He raised a fist and pounded on the wood. “Sam?”
There was no answer. No sound or signs of movement from inside.
“Come on, Sam, I know you're in there. Open up!”
Edgar backed away from the door, stepped down from the porch and looked up, to where Sam's bedroom window overlooked the drive. Sam's face appeared briefly, peering out to see what was happening, and then disappeared as soon as he realized he had been spotted.
Staring up at the closed window, Edgar tried again. “Sam, come on. Just let me in so we can talk.”
“I'm not going away 'til you let me in.”
The face didn't re-appear.
Fine, thought Edgar. If Sam wouldn't open the door, he would find another way in. He cast a critical, well trained eye over the exterior of the house. Hunting vampires meant he often had to gain entry to places and properties where he wasn't exactly welcome. A locked door wasn't necessarily a barrier.
Sam concentrated very hard on not hearing Edgar outside. He focused his attention instead on the task at hand. He quickly threw a few t-shirts and underpants into a bag, added a couple of pairs of socks, the first book he could grab from his shelves, a bottle of holy water, some garlic and a stake.
His heart was still pounding from the exertion of the frantic, terrified bike ride home, arms and legs trembling with exertion and adrenaline.
“Sam, open up! I just want to talk.”
Sam felt a shiver run down his spine. Alan had said the same words that first night when he had visited. 'I just want to talk.' But of course, he wanted much more than that. Edgar sounded closer now, almost as though he were right outside the window.
The feeling of being watched washed over Sam, and the shiver spread outward, traveling down his nerves to touch every part of his body. Slowly, dreading what he was about to see, he turned around to look over his shoulder.
Edgar was outside.
He was standing on the window ledge, holding on to something out of sight above the window. He balanced precariously, feet moving slightly from side to side, trying to get a better foothold on the thin ledge. Only his legs were visible, the rest of his body was out of sight above the top of the window.
Sam felt himself relax, just slightly. For one horrible, ridiculous moment, he had expected to see Edgar flying.
“Let me in, Sam!” Edgar shouted.
Echoes of a half vampire Michael, hovering outside his window all those years ago. What was it about his bedroom window that made people want to climb through it? He might be flattered if the circumstances had been different.
“No way!” He said, shaking his head from side to side despite the face that from his position, Edgar couldn’t see into the room.” You're insane! You want me to turn into a vampire!”
He zipped up the bag and paused. Edgar might be hanging from his window now, but if he could get up there, he could get down again and ambush him as he tried to leave. His mom wouldn't be back for hours, and by then he wouldn't have time to escape before the sun went down.
“Sam, come on! I'm going to fall,” Edgar shouted. His foothold on the ledge was looking more precarious. If he opened the window to let Edgar inside, maybe he would be able to escape out of the door before he could climb through and catch him.
He walked apprehensively over to the window, and lifted the latch, allowing it to open. Edgar immediately swung himself inside and landed crouching on the floor, panting slightly with the exertion of hanging on outside. Before Sam could bolt, he stood. “I'm insane?” he said, crossing the room and blocking the door with his body as though he had anticipated Sam's escape plan. His eyes drifted to the bag slung over Sam's shoulder. “You're the one about to check back in to the funny farm.”
Sam's eyes narrowed, “Get out of my way, Edgar.”
“Look, I don't want you to become a vampire, I never said that. Will you just put the bag down and listen to me for a minute?”
“No.” Sam shook his head from side to side quickly, “I'm done listening to you. I never should have listened to you in the first place.”
“Sam...” Edgar took a cautious step back into the room, and then in a lightning fast move, reached out and snatched the bag from Sam's shoulder. He threw it over his own.
Sam tried unsuccessfully to take it back, but Edgar was prepared and simply stepped out of the way, blocking him. Defeated, Sam backed off and slumped into the chair by his desk. Even if he could re-claim the bag, Edgar wasn't going to let him leave.
“If you hadn't listened to me, you'd still be in that place, and if you go back now, you're never going to leave again. That's why you need to see this thing through, okay?”
Sam shook his head. He crossed his arms defensively and glared at Edgar. “No, not okay. I ran away in the first place because I didn't want to be turned. So your solution is it let him turn me? Then what? He won't expect another bloodsucker to stake him? So I kill him and then what, stand still so you can do the same to me? Is that the master plan? You're the one that should be checking into the institution, Edgar.”
“Jesus, calm down.” Edgar dropped the bag onto the floor and sat on it. “I don't want you to be a vampire, Sam, and I certainly don't want to kill you. I was just thinking out loud, that's all. We need Alan to trust you. If he wants to turn you, maybe you just need to demonstrate that you're open to the possibility.”
Sam turned and placed his elbows on his desk. He closed his eyes, rested his head in his hands and began to massage his brow. It make any difference to the headache that was beginning to simmer just below the surface. When he looked up, Edgar was staring at him intently, waiting for an answer. He was still sitting on the bag, squashing it under his weight.
“Will you get off that?” Sam said, “You're going to crush garlic into my clothes.”
Edgar glanced down at the bag and wordlessly complied with the request. He left it on the floor by his feet, where his quick reflexes would allow him to snatch it if Sam made a move.
“How?” Sam asked.
“How do I make Alan think I might want to be...” He hesitated, “you know, like him? He's not stupid, Edgar. Last night I was saying no way, if tonight I suddenly change my mind, he's going to figure something's up.”
Edgar's lips twitched into the smallest echo of a smile, and Sam's tightened. Edgar had him, and he knew it.
“I don't know. Just imply you're not completely against the idea. But do it slowly, it might take a while. For now, just talk to him. Ask questions. Seem like you're interested.”
The idea seemed so ridiculous that it almost made sense. “Like a job interview?” Sam sat up straight and spoke, announcement style. 'Wanted, vampire sidekick. Experience preferred, ex-slayers considered.”
“Well,” Edgar scratched his nose thoughtfully, “not exactly. You already know you've got the job if you wanted it. Try to make him think you're considering it. Pretend like you're interviewing him.”
Sam eyed the bag at Edgar's feet. He knew it would be pointless, but part of him still wanted to grab it and run away again. The same part of him that had been secretly pleased behind the terror when he thought Edgar would suggest something so crazy as turning into a half vampire. Because if Edgar really wanted him to do that, it made running again seem like an acceptable decision.
“I don't know about this,” he said. “I don't really want him thinking I want to be a vampire, he might just go ahead and bite me or something.”
“You know that's not how it works,” Edgar told him.
“Not the point,” Sam countered.
“Look, unpack this.” Edgar picked up the bag of clothes and dropped it onto the end of Sam's bed. “Then just carry on as you have been for now. But when you're talking, just drop in a question. Ask him... I don't know. Ask him what flying's like, or something like that. Something not too gruesome. Stay away from blood, killing people, all that stuff. At least for now.”
Sam closed his eyes, and as he did, felt a wave of exhaustion wash over him. He forced them open again quickly before he succumbed to the need for sleep, and looked at Edgar. “Fine,” he said. “I'll try it. But if he turns me...” he allowed the words to tail off, he had no ending for that particular thought. Any that he might come up with didn't bear thinking about.
“He won't,” Edgar said, and he sounded so sure that Sam could almost bring himself to believe him.
Edgar climbed, relieved, into the familiar cocoon of his truck and pulled the door closed behind him, shutting out the rest of the world. The sooner this was over with, the better. The sooner he could get back to his life, and out of this crazy town filled with reflections of the past, the sooner he could move on. Sam too, if he decided to.
Seeing what had happened to his friend hurt, but it was so frustrating trying to get through to him without knowing how far it was safe to push before he would turn and run. Once, Sam would have pushed back, and every now and then, Edgar caught a glimpse of that version of him trying to come out from beneath the terrified surface.
Truth be told, he was beginning to doubt whether Sam had the guts to pull this off. Not that he could exactly hold it against him if he didn't. After all, the reason he had come to Sam in the first place was that he knew he couldn't do it himself.
He tugged on the side of his bandanna, repositioning it slightly on his head, then pushed the key into the ignition. He couldn't believe he had been stupid enough to say that to Sam. Knowing the fragile state he was in, knowing what it was that scared him more then anything – and how could he fail to know that? It was the same thing that kept him up at night too. The damage had been just about repaired, Sam still appeared to trust him, but that was because Sam didn't know the truth.
He honestly hadn't been thinking it before his mouth opened and spewed out random, stupid thoughts into the conversation, but once it did, a seed had been planted. A weed, rather than anything of any real use, and it had grown quickly. Despite his efforts to kill it, it was still growing. Part of him, and not a small part either, wondered whether if Sam was turned, it might not be an entirely bad thing. After all, what better incentive could there be to kill a vampire than to save yourself from becoming one of them?
Edgar growled, low in his throat, as though he could scare away the poisonous thought, then he turned the key and listened to the engine roar into life. The tape in his stereo began to play, and he turned up the volume until he could think of nothing but the sound, and then he shifted into drive and headed for home.
Sam watched out of his bedroom window as Edgar got into his truck and drove away. He waited until the vampire hunter was a reasonable distance from the house, and then turned his attention to the bag that Edgar had left on the bottom of his bed with the instruction to unpack.
He sat down on the bed next to it and slowly unfastened the zipper. To his relief, though the papery skin of the garlic had flaked slightly under Edgar's weight, it had remained whole and uncrushed, sparing his clothes from becoming infused with the smell. He reached inside, retrieved the two bulbs and sniffed. The smell was still quite pungent. If he left it in there with his clothes for too long, crushed or not, he would be smelling like the kitchen of an Italian restaurant for days. Though, in certain circumstances, that might not be an entirely bad idea.
He did a quick inventory of the bag's contents. It contained everything he would need if he had to leave at short notice. Not everything he might want, but enough to keep him going for a short while. He reached into the pocket of his jeans and retrieved his wallet, took out a $20, wrapped it around his emergency credit card and ID, and inserted it into the small zip compartment at the side of the bag. From his bedroom floor, he picked up a discarded but clean t-shirt, wrapped it around the garlic to absorb the worst of the smell, and placed it once again on the top of the bag.
That done, he closed the bag again, placed it on the floor and kicked it underneath the bed and out of sight with his heel. He might not need it yet, but knowing it was there if he did made him feel about ten times better.
It also made him feel a little rebellious, deliberately not following Edgar's orders. Edgar, who had said the worst possible thing to him.
The sun had come out from behind the clouds now, and the position of the shadows told him that t was mid-afternoon. The hours of daylight were growing scarce.
Sam lay down on his bed, on top of the covers and closed his eyes. Two sleepless nights were finally catching up with him, and the idea of sleeping after dark was incredibly unappealing. Sleep came quickly, as though it had been laying in wait for an opportunity to pounce. He fell hard and fast into a deep, dreamless sleep.