Fandom: Interview with the Vampire - the movie's a failed attempt at conveying the book, but this fits it as well as the novel, I guess.
Length: 1,404 words
Rating: PG-13 for references
Summary: Always Lestat and Louis would come to the same arguments with the same vigor.
The street was a tumultuous stir of music, chatter, and above all else people. It swept Louis into his doorway all the way from Jackson Square, down Chartres and then to St. Phillippe. But before he even crossed the threshold he heard the tell-tale signs of company he did not want to endure. And even as he braced himself he noticed the loud, coarse laughter, and the lack of harpsichord music—oh, how Lestat loved to entertain the rich and cultured of New Orleans with his perfect harpsichord playing. Both of these warned him that their company was not of the wealthy class of whom they would associate with at the theatre or the plantation balls. The overpowering scent of stale perfume assured him they were French whores. His senses, so much more attune than when he was mortal, were more used to this scent than he would have liked. Lestat and his stubborn vie for French blood. Wealthy nobles or starving slaves, it made no difference.
“Louis? Louis?” And then, in an instant, Lestat was there, standing in the doorway with a smile so cordial and delighted. He wore a red brocade coat embellished in gold thread. It seemed theatrical next to Louis solemn ink blue. “Come, my friend, for we have guests.” He gestured grandly with an arm dripping white poet sleeve. All of his words, all of his gestures, were merely for show. Just through the doorway, beyond the velvet drapes, Louis saw two women consuming expensive red wine with reckless abandon. In the corner of his eyes Lestat held a threat.
“You brought them here on your own,” Louis said coldly, and made a move for his room. But Lestat, always faster, grabbed his arm.
“You’ll insult our guests.” Only Lestat could inflect such words with affability and malice.
“Putains bon marché.” Louis scoffed. Cheap whores. He moved for the door to his room again.
“Vous dites qu'ils sont bon marché ? Ils sont chers.” You say they’re cheap? They’re expensive. He brushed his sleeve crisply. “They drink all of my finest wine!” Lestat exclaimed.
“Venez-vous, monsieur?” One of them called from the parlor. Louis was stopped at the door, watching the scene like a play.
“Oui, oui, je viens.” He assured them he was coming with a hurried whisper past the drapes. He turned and caught Louis’ eye. “You reek of dust and incense. You’ve been to the church?” Louis did not need to answer. “Why, Louis? Always you sneak off to the church and mutter prayers and kiss crosses like it will save your soul. You act as if I don’t notice.”
“I don’t care if you notice—” But Lestat was listening.
“Just like you sneak down to the alleys in the middle of the night to drink the blood of those filthy rats while I play my harpsichord.” He gained a lofty expression. “Perhaps I should compose a piece for you—a wonderful serenade that you can hear from the window as you crawl on the ground and snap their little necks—”
“Enough!” Louis said.
“I should never have told you we could survive on animals. Had I not you would already be in the parlor with me, and those poor putains would—”
“That is enough!” He slapped his gloves and cane down to the ground. They cracked against the hardwood with a clatter. Silence for but a moment. The whores were laughing loudly in the next room. Glass after glass of wine, they were becoming ridiculously drunk.
“What is this?” Lestat asked. “What sort of sermons have you heard to make you come home all up in arms and angry?”
“Am I different than usual?”
“No, and that is just the problem. I don’t know what to do with you.” Lestat watched Louis as he knelt and picked up his cane and gloves. He watched him sit them on the table near the front door. “The whole city of New Orleans is at our feet every night, Louis, and yet you sit at the window and watch it pass you by. Grasp as you are meant to—enjoy this gift you have!”
“Gift? You call this a gift? This curse of darkness and death?”
“Yes. Yes, I do!” He clapped a hand to his eyes in frustration. “But we are at it again. Always the same argument.”
“Because we do not see eye to eye.” Louis concluded.
Lestat watched Louis carefully and then said, “Accept who you are. Accept what you are. Accept that your precious god cares not one whit for you anymore.”
“What do you know?” Louis said. “What do you know of gods? Of us? Of where we’ve come from or what we are here for? You know nothing, I say, and I have no reason to listen to you.”
“Accept it, for I am tired of these old arguments and these saintly games that you play. I’m tired of you walking in the room trailing incense and rats and damnation! Accept it, Louis. What else have you to cling to? Everything has forsaken you, but this—this existence you have now. The work of devils, you say it is, but I care not. Stop feasting on rats and uttering your Catholic prayers and take a human tonight! This is your existence! This is your survival!”
“I am tired, Lestat, let me go,” said Louis, but Lestat shook his head.
“What more has to happen before you realize there is nothing more for you now? Your family is gone, your home is gone. Your precious Babette—that woman who you loved in your mortality and immortality—she is gone.”
“Leave her out of this argument, Lestat.”
“Do you still pine for her, then? You used to watch her through her windows. She was such a strong woman running that plantation on her own. You might have made her yours did you not cross to this path. But in your hour of need—when your home was burning and all your slaves hunting you—she looked into your face and saw what you were and she ran her fingers over her beads and kissed her cross and said ‘Get thee hence, Satan’ and cursed you.
“And do you not see, Louis? The mortal world has forsaken you. The people you love have left you in this darkness, and your god will never answer you, no matter how many prayers you say to him.
"L'imbécile grand. Mon Louis.”
“You gave me no choice,” Louis whispered at length.
“I did give you a choice.”
“You drained me of my life and inches from death you offered a chance to survive. What choice do you think that is?”
“I thought you would embrace this, as I have.” Lestat said solemnly.
“Did you? Did you embrace it at first?”
A long moment passed and then Lestat moved towards the parlor. “They’re waiting,” he said. And Louis followed.
“Ma dame, ma vie!” Exclaimed Lestat, dropping to one knee before the whore closest to the door. The room reeked of wine and their terrible perfume. Louis’ head swam at the odor and thought bitterly of what was to come.
“L'OH, monsieur! Monsieur! Complètement des compliments ce soir!” Oh, sir! Sir! Full of compliments tonight! Her voice was hoarse and drunken. “Comment peux je vous rembourser?” How can I repay you?
“Drink with me tonight.” He poured more wine for them both. “To Louis! Tonight we drink to Louis! Tonight he has been to church. On a night like this, with New Orleans at his feet, he goes to church. My wonderful Louis.”
“Oh, yes! Such a wonderful man!” The women agreed. And they cheered him and poured another glass and cheered him again.
“Louis, mon petit saint merveilleux.” Lestat said. Louis, my wonderful little saint.
Louis watched the scene in numb distaste. Lestat would play with them for as long as possible, and all for Louis’ benefit. Easier to take them immediately, but Lestat wouldn’t let Louis escape the scene having watched a simple show. Louis had seen it many times before, and he would see it many times again. And tonight he would take part with grim compliance and acceptance.
Tonight Lestat would have his way, and Louis would not stalk St. Phillippe in search of rats. For Lestat was right; in everything he had been forsaken, and perhaps there was nothing left for him anymore.
*The French used needs to be checked. I'm not a fluent French-speaker and had to use a translation program.
**I might revise it eventually. I rarely revise one-shot fanfiction, but maybe I will someday since it was written in one sitting.