Categories > Movies > Underworld > In Sheep's Clothing


by Ithilwen 0 reviews

What makes Taylor do what he does? It's not as complicated as it might seem.

Category: Underworld - Rating: R - Genres: Humor - Characters: Lucian, Michael, Other - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2006-02-11 - Updated: 2006-02-12 - 3148 words

I do not own Underworld or its characters or settings. For these, I would like to thank Len Wiseman, Danny McBride, Kevin Grivioux and Wendy Partridge, for making skintight black leather and corsets look arguably functional.

And now we continue our earth-shattering debate...

SELENE: (Using whips) This is for calling yourself a gypsy but not speaking, acting or thinking like a Roma!


SELENE: And this is for dressing like you're from the Republic of Eastern European Stereotypes!

ANNA: Aagh!

SELENE: And this is for not sticking your hand into the exploding display case!


SELENE: Oh wait. That last one was a smart thing. Never mind!

ANNA: (bleeding) oooooooo...


"What the fuck was that about, runt?" Pierce demanded. "When Lucian decides not to own your sorry ass, you leave before he changes his mind!"

"Hey," Taylor looked up from what he was doing, "you were the one telling me that he wasn't going to kill us and stuff," he shot back. Hours had passed and he didn't want to think about the exchange in the armory any more. He was back in his normal clothes, thinking what were probably the last normal thoughts he'd have before all hell went out the next night, and he didn't need Pierce reminding him. He didn't know exactly what he'd put together back in the armory, but it was like those damned cop clothes - too straight, too clean and sure to catch him tight around the throat. "And all that stuff about sheep. And for fuck's sake, maybe it is what I would do."

"Well you keep going on about how the new mark isn't the moron like the rest of us," the older lycan snarled back. "When I told you all that shit about sheep, I didn't mean for you to spit it back at him like a..." He frowned, stepping up behind Taylor's chair. "Are you sure Singe doesn't mind you using that thing?" he asked, watching intently over his shoulder.

"Singe isn't the only guy around here who can work a computer," answered Taylor, fingers grazing the makeshift mousepad as he carefully maneuvered the cursor into place. "I never owned one of these myself, but my old high school had a computer lab. Clunkers, mostly, but I got pretty good at 'em. Benefits of a modern education."

"You can put the red six on top of the seven of spades," said Pierce.


Red six... The black queen was still giving him trouble.

Taylor moved the card into place. Fuck but this thing was hypnotic.

There was a swishing sound as the hangings behind them parted way. Taylor pushed the chair back as swift footsteps moved toward him from behind. "That isn't a toy, gentlemen," said Singe. The footsteps paused as the older lycan scrutinized the grubby monitor, "And you can put the queen of diamonds on top of the black king."


"You're welcome," he graveled back. "Now what did you say to him?" a weathered voice demanded.

Taylor tore his eyes away from the computer and came face to face with the scowling Singe. At least he was pretty sure the that was scowling. With Singe it could get hard to tell. "Say to who?" he asked.

"To Lucian," the scientist shot back. "He's sending me out to watch the vampires," he answered, "me." Singe cast his eyes around the lab and finally yanked hard at a worn black jacket hanging over the back of Taylor's chair. "'Keep a closer eye on our cousins,' he tells me."

"Reminds me of this one time the boss at my old job sent me after the guy who wouldn't come into work." Taylor chuckled. "Man, that guy was an asshole. Never got us shot at, but still, he was an asshole."

Pierce shook his head. "Why do you do that to yourself, runt?"

"What?" Taylor pointed, "if I put the ten over here instead, then I-"

"I mean why do you keep going back to your human life? You talk about it all the fucking time, and that's not even counting what happened last night."

Taylor shrugged. "So?"

"So you can't go back."

"Who said anything about going back?" he asked, maneuvering another card into place. "When something reminds me, sometimes I talk about it. Big deal."

Pierce's voice dropped. "But why torture yourself about it?"

"It's not torture," Taylor answered. He went quiet then, fingers shifting on the oily mouse. His mind drifted through a series of docks and alleyways, of dank parking lots and dusty garages, through shadows that his eyes couldn't penetrate that gave the illusion of boundary where none existed. "My human life sucked," he said. "I didn't lose much of anything when Raze and you guys brought me in. Maybe that's why it doesn't bother me to talk about it."

Singe chuckled. "I'm afraid our friend is right this time." He aimed one crooked finger at Pierce. "You only think that way because you were a young man when you were turned. All of my youth and education took place while I was mortal." Singe paused, "Well, perhaps not all of it..."

"Yeah," Taylor tacked on. "I was human longer than I've been lycan. I talk about things that happened after I joined up, too. I just don't got as much to say yet."

Pierce snorted back. "It was because of that damned mouth of yours that we almost got made the other night."

"My mouth?" Taylor demanded. "If you know what's good for you," he said, "then you won't bring that up."

"Oh..." Singe took a step back. "And could this be the reason for your mysterious duel?"

Taylor swallowed the anger in his throat.

"You bet your ass it is," Pierce answered. "The runt here was telling one of his usual sob stories-"

"I don't have any sob stories, asshole."

"-and I correct one little factual error."

"An /error/?" Taylor twisted again, rising from the chair to smack Pierce on both shoulders. "You can bet your mom's little black book it was an error!"


Taylor sighed in relief as he pulled the boot from his foot. Fuck but the blisters were going to be hell. Since when did Budapest cops have girl feet?

"You sure you can hold up this gig, runt?" Pierce was asking.

Taylor nodded. "I can handle it," he said. "I used to work the docks in crappier gear than this." He shook his head. "That was the worst job I ever took, just loading boxes, sometimes fish. All off the books, and that was when the boss didn't stiff us." The other men were milling around outside the armory. Some turned to listen; others didn't. With no cable, a guy could get away with yapping about any damned thing.

"The man was a jerk," Taylor went on, a smile cracking his skin. "But there was this cat, just some scabby little thing that used to come. I think it was all those stinking fish guts, but sometimes she'd come and watch us work." He laughed. "My boss fucking hated that cat. Terrified of 'em. Used to yell, throw things. His aim sucked balls, though; little thing always dodged." Pierce was lacing up his shoes, smiling a bit himself. Pierce never smiled at Taylor's stories. He usually said they sucked.

Taylor chuckled. "My old boss never figured out why she never up and left. Truth was, I used to sneak out back after work and feed her."

"Yeah..." murmured Pierce. "But couldn't you have fed her a bit more? She was all gamy."

Taylor's hand froze on the boot lace.


"You overreacted."

"You ate my fucking cat, asshole!"

"It wasn't your cat!" Pierce protested.

"The hell she wasn't!"

Singe shook his head, "Never mind," he said. "I think I understand what happened." He swung the scuffed coat over his thin shoulders. "And that's quite enough of that," he said, leaning forward to lay one stiff finger on the power strip.

Taylor stifled a grumble as the perfect game on the monitor shrank to a pale dot and winked out. "I know Raze is busy," he asked, "but why's the boss sending you out?" Taylor asked. "No offense, man, but I didn't think recon was your thing."

Singe's eyebrows tweaked behind his glasses. "He did say something about not being able to afford any more foul-ups," he answered succinctly. "That probably had something to do with it."

Pierce elbowed Taylor hard in the ribs as Singe left the room. Taylor swatted him away.


Taylor's fingers drummed on the dashboard.

"Stop that," growled Pierce.

"Let me turn my music back on."

"No. You lost."

"No I didn't."

"Yes you did," insisted Pierce. "The mark showed up at the hospital like I said he would."

"And we left empty-handed like I said we would." Taylor glummed back.


"Whatever," Taylor muttered, staring out through the windshield. It had been threatening to rain all night and as much as he wanted to, he couldn't call the bluff. "You should at least stop calling me 'runt,'" he complained.

"Guard duty," Pierce grumbled. "I have to admit, I'm surprised he's sending us back out at all after that stunt you pulled."

"That I pulled?" Taylor protested halfheartedly. He just wasn't in the mood for fighting, tonight of all nights. "Do you ever think..." Taylor hesitated. Dammit, this was why he liked to play music. His mind got stupid when it got bored and kept wanting to talk about things that would make Pierce hit him. "Do you ever think it's wrong?"

"What is?"

"Like with the other candidate," Taylor nodded his head to the side.

"It wasn't as if we could've let him leave. The vampires would've found him and then us." Pierce shrugged. "And once he was dead, there was no sense letting food go to waste."

"That's one way to look at it," Taylor commented.

"Thanks to Viktor, it's been the only way to look at it."

Taylor sighed. "I guess you're right." He studied the creases in the steering wheel, "But sometimes I wonder. We do go after humans a lot more than they do."

"That we know of," Pierce corrected. "It's a war. Discretion is a luxury that we cannot always afford."

Taylor turned toward him, frowning, "Did the boss say that?"

"Him or a Steven Segal movie," answered Pierce. I'm not sure where I got it."

"Eh, Under Siege was his only good one." Taylor griped. His eyes trailed out over the alleyway. Singe had said to just drive around in circles until he gave contact. Taylor shook his head. Any moron could see that nothing was going on around here. "I almost feel sorry for her," he said quietly.

"For who?" asked Pierce.

"The death dealer who stole the new guy," he answered. "I'm pretty sure she's the one that Dorkula's been carrying on about." He shook his head. "She must secrete loser pheromones or something. I'd have terminal PMS too if I had him trying to hump my leg every time I turned around."

Pierce grunted. "She deserves that and worse. Fuck knows why she let new mark live," he wondered out loud. "She's spent the past couple centuries training to do exactly one thing."

"Yeah," Taylor scraped his thumb across the steering wheel. Pierce gave his hand a swat.. "And it i'n' makin' tiramisu. Gotta admit, though. She's kind of-"

"What is with you calling the death dealer hot?" Pierce asked.

Taylor raised one eyebrow. "Come on. If you saw her and you did not know that she was a death dealer-"

"I'd have a fucking wad of silver in my gut."

"-but she's all right, otherwise," Taylor's voice dropped. The truth be told, he could see where Pierce was coming from. After all, smart money - not to mention Raze - said that she was the one to send Trix on his way, and the thought of a brother lycan - even one with Trix's celebrated opinions on bathing - lying there helpless didn't do anything to fluff up the old ...male ego. Fortunately, Taylor had a bit of a knack for separating a mental image from its context. He suspected it had something to do with the time that had elapsed since his last womanly encounter. While he might not be a fan of the death dealer's Ag rounds, all her other rounds were a separate issue. Anyone with that body should be called hot.

...or maybe the death dealer's body but the face of that Sarah Gellar girl...

"That skinny bitch? Of course not." Pierce interrupted Taylor's visualization session. "No meat on her bones."

Taylor shook his head, "Dammit, man! Not every situation requires you to eat someone."

"It's a figure of speech, dickhead. You're just too young to remember."

"Remember what?"

Pierce laughed, a real laugh this time, with no mockery and sarcasm levels well below the legal limit. "Lycan women!" he breathed out, one hand palming the air behind the windshield.

"What was so special about them?" Taylor asked. He turned, frowning. "And why don't we have any anymore?"

"Death dealers picked them off, didn't they?" Pierce answered, resting his head back against the seat. "Didn't want us to breed."

"It worked," Taylor answered sullenly.

"They weren't like the humans you see walking around. Didn't wear makeup or fancy clothes," the older lycan went on. " a matter of fact that was part of the appeal. And do you know those 'bra' things that women started wearing a few years ago?"

"Uh... I think it was like ninety years ago."

"It can't have been that long."

"No, no, no..." Taylor tore his eyes from the road, turning to face the other man. "While there are some American patents dating back to the 1850's, it wasn't until World War I, when a combination of women taking up factory work and the need to conserve metal caused the corset to give way to other garments allowing a freer range of movement. However, it was arguably with the founding of Maidenform in 1928 that we began to see the standardized cup sizes and styles that now embody the..." Taylor faltered. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

Rain spattered against the hood of the car.

"The hell...?" asked Pierce.

Taylor felt his face get hot. "It was on the fucking History Channel!"

"Figures," Pierce scoffed. "You focus too much on modern frippery. The real woman's what's underneath."

Taylor clicked back into his window. "It's been too long since I had any kind of woman underneath. I know the boss doesn't want to-"

"And you'd better not bring it up," Pierce said seriously. "It's a sore spot for him. You know how he is about things like that."

"But it doesn't have to be like that." The light turned red and Taylor's pulled the car to a stop. "It's not the medieval ages anymore. He'll let us chow down on human flesh, but he won't let us date?"

"You're missing the point again, runt," Pierce sat up, eyes fixed on the road. "It's about staying alive. Everything's about staying alive. You turn left here."

"I know," Taylor grumbled.

"You visit a human woman in her world, the death dealers catch you and kill you," Pierce recited. "You bring a human woman to the den and then let her come and go, the death dealers catch her and make her tell where we are. You bring a human woman and don't let her go, well..." Pierce's teeth clicked.

"I know..." the words left Taylor slowly. "I know. You're right." His shoulders rose and fell. "Nobody asked me if I wanted to get turned, but then, nobody asked me to be Raze's girlfriend either."

"No, we just toss you new guys to the death dealers instead." Pierce's voice was oddly quiet.

"Not that that was fun either." The light changed and Taylor stepped on the gas, "So if I take the death dealers out of the equation, I get to talk to girls?"

Pierce laughed, his same half-grunting laugh again. "You going to win this war yourself, runt?"

"Or spend eternity with you? Hell yes." Taylor let the wheel spin back. "I'll call it my motivation." His thoughts soured. "I guess it's just as well you guys don't turn women the way you said. Modern chicks wouldn't go for that."

"What do you mean?" asked Pierce.

"I mean I had enough trouble when one of my girlfriends from back in the day got pissed off at me, and they only had regular teeth."

Taylor was able to hold the smile back just a bit, until he could spare a sideways glance at Pierce. To his surprise, the older lycan actually looked confused.

"Oh hell," Taylor swore, "and I thought it'd been too long since I got any play!"

Pierce's eyes went wide and he rose up in his seat. "If that's where you spend all your thoughts, no wonder we couldn't catch one new-bitten bastard."

Taylor held in a growl. "Right. We didn't catch him." He reached for the radio.

The older lycan swatted his hand away. "You lost."

"I did not."

"Fine." Pierce graveled back. "We'll make a new bet, then. I'll let you lose all over again. Then will you quit whining?"

"Whatever," Taylor shot back.

"If we don't catch the new mark, then you can-"

"No," Taylor shook his head, "no, I want to bet on us this time."

"Why?" Pierce asked suspiciously. "The odd are better if you bet against."

"Yeah, but if I bet against and we don't catch the mark, then the boss can't do the plan," he answered. "You can't trick me. I want the one where I win if we're still alive."

"Fine," Pierce growled. "If the new mark drops out of the sky in front of us, then you can turn your fucking crap music back on."

"Hey, no messing with it," Taylor answered, turning another corner. "If it's a real bet, then it has to actually be possible for me to-"

There was a muffled buzz of gunfire and the glittering cackle of breaking glass. Half a block away, something dark flailed and righted itself in the five stories between the window and the ground.

The world went very quiet. The shadow on the pavement stared at its hands.

"No way," breathed Taylor.

"What the fuck?" demanded Pierce.

"I think I'm going to like working with this guy," Taylor said quickly.

"Shut up and stop the car, runt!" Pierce snarled, slipping out of his seat belt.

"No more calling me runt!"


(meanwhile, in the stands)

MICHAEL: So you used to date Selene?

KAHN: (shrugs) For maybe two seconds. We're better as friends.

KRAVEN: I dated Selene too!

KAHN: For the last time, Kraven, barging into her room and begging for pity sex is not a date!

VAN HELSING: It's not?!
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