◢ La Sonate de Mort [Closed]
Lestats outburst surprised him. Nicki had expected the same childish tantrums Lestat normally brought out when he was feeling defensive, not a sudden outpouring of acknowledgement of his faults. He frowned, studying the blond carefully for even the minutest sign of trickery, that Lestat was putting on a show to try and win back his trust, playing on the weaknesses he knew Nicki had back when they last saw each other.
"What I want?" Nicolas repeated, the words catching in his throat as though he’d never been asked the question before. For the briefest moment, he felt himself falter, that flicker of hesitation borne from a sliver of hope that one day things would be different, but it was quickly extinguished as the weight of memory crashed down upon it, Nicki being unable to get past everything that had happened, particularly when he’d been held captive by Armand and the Children of Darkness. Instead, the hesitation morphed into Nicki second guessing himself, that horridly familiar feeling that he couldn’t even trust his own judgement, much less a word that came out of Lestats mouth.
Before Nicki could stop himself, words fell from his trembling lips. “I don’t know.” he murmured, the truth escaping him before he could catch it. Sighing, he steeled himself, trying to hold himself together. “I don’t know what I want, Lestat. The truth would be a good start, but you said it yourself, you have no concept of it. Maybe for you to understand just exactly what you put me through? What that did to me? How I still clung to hope like a fool time and time again?”
The brunette was getting more and more upset as he spoke, tears starting to stream down his face at a steady rate. “Do you know any of that? In over two hundred years, has it ever crossed your mind with any seriousness at all, or even in only barely more than passing thought? Lets say, hypothetically, I spared you a small measure of my time once more, simply just to tell you these things; would you listen? Would you understand and accept responsibility for them? Would you care that even now, I struggle with it? What your being here now could potentially undo if I did give you a moment?”
Nicki chewed his lip and wiped his face. “Do you know what the worst thing is? That I still mourn the man I fell in love with back in that village, and I have to face eternity knowing that man doesn’t exist anymore.”
Lestat did not interrupt him, or reach out to him to provide some sort of comfort. He knew better. No matter how much this conversation hurt him, Lestat was glad they were having it. So he continued to listen. Every word cutting him like a knife. All of them reaffirmed just how much he deserved this exile and solidified what he knew he had become. What he was desperately trying to change. Was there even the slightest of chances that he could prove that to anyone at all? Lestat knew the odds, and he knew better than to get his hopes up for any such miracle. No level of apologies would dig him out of this hole he had dug himself.
"I’ve learned a great deal about the truth in recent years, Nicolas. I knew what it was then, but I didn’t care for how important it was. What it meant to be truthful." He paused, eyes downcast. "I now know the importance of it, and whatever it is you decide to ask of me, I will not lie. I know it is going to hurt me a great deal to do this, and you will feel pain from this as well…" He swallowed dryly, hands finding their way into his pockets. Opening up all these old wounds was going to hurt."So if you want the truth, ask it of me."
"Nicolas, I was an idiot in every sense of the word back then, and in many ways, I still am. Do I understand what my actions did to you? I am beginning to get an idea." He looked at him sadly, his bright eyes filled with regret as he spoke. "I cannot change the past; I cannot change what I did…no matter how much I wish I could. I was a fool for not telling you about what happened to me…for not coming to you. I was selfish in my actions. I should have returned to you, or I should have ceased in sending my gifts. One or the other….But I didn’t want to lose you…I was so very scared of that." He gave him a very sad smile.
"Of course you have crossed my mind, In all these years, you’ve wandered into my mind more times than I can measure." He had to look away in that moment, unable to bear the sight of Nicki’s tears. "I missed you so terribly when I arrived in New Orleans that I made a fledgling simply because he reminded me of you in so many ways, and that was the only thing I could do to ease the pain I felt. I never once thought that you could have survived the funeral pyre. That you would part with your violin..that meant only one thing to me." Lestat was leaning against the wall again, one hand reaching up to his forehead to massage his temple. He had not written about this in his books for a reason. "And when I went through Heaven and Hell. I looked for you. I asked for you, but you were not there. In that moment, I had a terrible thought about what it means to die as a Vampire. If not Heaven or Hell, where do we go? What happens to us? Were you somewhere alone in endless darkness? Or had you faded into nothing, as if you never were? It pained me to think that. You did not deserve that."
"I do care, Nicolas. If I did not want to listen, to care, I would already be gone from this place." He would listen to whatever Nicolas had to say to him. He was done making excuses for himself. Of course, it was his former lover’s final statement that almost made Lestat crumble. It was then that he could no longer hold himself back. He reached out , grabbing his hand gently his eyes glistening. "The fame of the theatre might have morphed that young man and magnified his terrible traits: his selfishness, his narcissism, his little knowledge of what it actually meant to love. When he became a Vampire, the strength, the power….it only made it worse. What little remained of him, I saw as weakness."
He squeezed Nicki’s hand then, his voice filled with emotion. “So I buried him deep and forgot him. Oh, but he never left…Never. He’s always been there in the back of my mind, being my conscience and filling me with regret and disappointment for all that I do.” He almost smiled. “Now I desperately want to be him again; I don’t want to continue being Lestat, Brat Prince. I want to be Lestat, the Wolf Killer……..Lestat, the Dreamer. But with every step I take forward, I often take another two back…but I keep trying..”
"Do you want to take this conversation to somewhere more private? I do not want your reputation here soiled in any way on my account." His hotel room was just up the way.