Categories > TV > Ultraviolet2 Reviews
Sequel to "Hostia Immaculata." Mike's broken. Vaughan's trying to pick up the pieces.
"Looks like you were lucky," Angie told him primly, inspecting his throat under UV. "This isn't a terribly severe bite -- it shouldn't be as painful to treat as the last one."
Mike swallowed hard, not looking over at Vaughan, glowering from the corner. He didn't want to have to say this, especially in front of his partner.... "There's another bite."
Angie raised an eyebrow. "Another one? In a less-obvious location, then."
"Yes. In a...look, does he have to be here for this?"
Vaughan crossed his arms, glaring at Mike. "I'm not going anywhere until you're clean."
"Infection presents a threat to all of us. Until it's taken care of, I'm afraid you're not to be trusted." She said it so calmly, so quietly, as though it were a matter of routine.
"Shit." Mike rolled his eyes. "Fine." He reached for the buttons on his jeans. "Excuse me, I'm going to have to get up for this." Angie stepped back, and Mike stood up, kicking his trainers off and tugging down his jeans. He would have to take them all the way off, he realized uncomfortably. There was no way Angie would be able to scan the area otherwise.
He took a deep breath, and stepped out of them. He heard Vaughan exhale sharply, almost hissing, as he sat back down in the examining chair. "The -- the other one is somewhere in here."
Angie pursed her lips, but didn't comment as she flicked the scanner on again, running it over the exposed skin of his inner thigh. "Well, I'm afraid this will be rather unpleasant. Deeper than the other one, bigger bite radius -- was this the first one?"
"Yeah." Mike risked a quick glance at Vaughan, who was glaring at him contemptuously. "Yeah, I -- I was mostly asleep. I don't know how he got in."
Vaughan snorted again, and Mike rolled his eyes. "Look, if you've got something to say to me, I want to hear it."
"No, nothing at all." The look on his face said plenty -- more dumb luck that they didn't kill you, Mike? and your friend was a bit of a pervert, wasn't he? and what else did you let him do?
Mike clenched his fists and looked away. "Let's get this over with, then."
"Fine." Angie's tone was even crisper, even more clipped than usual, though Mike couldn't tell if her irritation was directed at him or at Vaughan. He closed his eyes as she picked up the laser.
Fucking Christ/, that hurt. The laser hummed, and Angie's gloved hand pressed down on Mike's thigh as she treated the bite, and he would have sworn -- fuck -- that he could smell his skin burning. He clenched his fists and gritted his teeth, eyes shut tight. Bad enough that he couldn't control the way his leg twitched when the laser hit a nerve, hot needles of pain lancing straight up through his thigh to lodge low in his gut. He would /not compound that display of weakness by making noise, not with Vaughan there, waiting for any excuse to condemn him.
After what felt like the longest ten minutes of his life, Angie shut off the laser. "You keep this up," she said as she reached for the gauze, "and you'll have quite the scar collection."
"Believe me," Mike ground out, relieved that his voice was at least steady, "I'm not planning on it."
"And a good thing, too," Vaughan said, "because the cleanup crew should be back with your partner's ashes before too long, and he won't be chewing on anyone after that."
Mike bit his tongue, unsure what his retort would be if he let it escape -- if he'd be responding to the loaded tone in which Vaughan said partner/, or pointing out that he /knew Jack wouldn't get another chance and that was just fine with him.
Except that it wasn't. Mike lay back in the chair and tried to relax the tense screaming muscles of his shoulders as Angie picked up the laser again. It wasn't fine, hadn't been fine for months, hadn't been fine since Jack's stag night, before Pollard's panicky phone call and the catastrophic tumble into nightmare that followed.
And it wouldn't, he was finally starting to realize, ever be fine again. There wasn't anyone he could go to -- Frances could probably handle herself in the mess his life had become, but he had pretty thoroughly bollocksed things up with her in the process of making the mistakes that got Kirsty killed.
Come to think of it, sex with Jack had been the first human contact -- all right, almost-human contact -- formerly-human contact, whatever -- that he'd had since all this mess started. And look how well that'd turned out.
"All done," Angie told him.
"That really wasn't so bad."
"Glad to hear it." She smoothed the gauze over his throat with a little smile. "Let's just hope this is the last time I have to do this for you, hmm?"
Mike did his best to smile. "Right."
They'd stuck him in a little room on the top floor of the building when they were done with him. Pearse pointed out quite reasonably that since the leeches obviously knew where he lived now, he couldn't go back there, but that did little to make him comfortable. This might be nicer than most, but Mike knew a cell when he saw one.
The door opened with a faint click as Vaughan let himself in. Mike tried to sound less hostile than he felt when he asked, "What do you want?"
Vaughan shrugged. "Suicide watch," he said calmly, as though he didn't particularly care. "Pearse's idea."
Mike snorted. "Right. As if I'm going to hang myself with the bedsheets now, when I could have just put a bullet in my head right after it happened." He paced over to the window, tugging at the catch just to be difficult. No give at all; it had been sealed shut. The sun was slowly sinking over London, still perhaps three hours until it set. Mike wished it had never become second nature to estimate things like that.
Vaughan let him brood in silence for a surprisingly long time before asking, "So, was it what it looked like?"
"Yes," Mike snapped, turning to face him. "It was exactly what it looked like."
"Funny," Vaughan said mildly, "I thought it was her you were after."
Heat rushed to Mike's face. "It was," he said, but he looked down all the same. Jack had all but admitted to killing Kirsty, and still it was killing him, not fucking him, that Mike regretted most.
And Vaughan wouldn't just let it go. "Sounds like you'd take anything you could get."
"At this point, maybe I would!" He was crossing the room as he ranted, until he found himself nearly shouting in Vaughan's face. "Maybe you're made of stone and you don't care, but it's not easy doing without people!" Vaughan's eyes narrowed at the accusation, but Mike couldn't seem to stop himself. "Didn't you ever miss it, when you gave up humanity?"
Vaughan had him by the shoulders almost before he was done speaking, slamming him against the wall. This is the point where he hits me/, Mike found himself thinking. /This is going to go very badly.
And then it registered that Vaughan was speaking to him, not hitting him: "Every day," he said softly, his voice fiercely controlled. "Every bloody day, you self-righteous bastard."
Mike opened his mouth to say something, to apologize, perhaps, but the sheer intensity of Vaughan's dark eyes made him pause, frozen, staring. And then Vaughan moved, leaning closer, breath hot on his lips --
And kissing him was like like falling, like dying, every bit as devastating as the first time Jack had bitten him. There would be no recovery from this, from the helpless, clinging hunger that had Mike's fists clenched tight in Vaughan's oxford shirt, from the desperate willingness that had his mouth opening to welcome Vaughan's tongue.
He felt dizzy, by the time Vaughan pulled back, unprepared for the next gruff question: "Is that what you need?"
Vaughan didn't need to hit him if he could do that much damage just with words. "I don't need a pity-fuck from you," Mike snapped.
"Well, that's good. Because I don't pity you." Vaughan let go of his shoulders, and stepped back. "But I want you on our side, not second-guessing things all the time." He straightened his tie, watching Mike with wary eyes. "If I can give you what you need to keep you stable, I'll do it." His hand was on the handle of the door. "Think about it."
The door closed with a click behind him.
Mike leaned against the wall, stunned. He could taste the bitter coffee of Vaughan's kiss in his mouth, feel the warm grip of Vaughan's hands on his shoulders. And he had just driven the man away.
Nothing would ever be right again.