Title: Like Riding A Bike
Sequel to: When Past Meets Present
Universe: Chloe & The Brothers
Characters: Damon/Chloe/Stefan, Sam, Dean, Audrey, Vanna
Fandoms: Smallville/Vampire Diaires/Supernatural
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: When people start disappearing, Chloe finds herself investigating an apparently supernatural case for the first time since she was turned. Of course, she doesn't know two of her biggest fans are secretly filming everything.
Written for my Paranormal25 150 Prompt Table. Prompt #131
: Black Agnes.
Considering that there was no fixed record stating that people had been taken from the cemetery per se, Chloe counted the trip to the cemetery as more of a research expedition than as a hunting one. She was intrigued and might even kinda slightly sorta hope they were dealing with Black Agnes...but she wasn't going to put all her eggs in one basket. The blonde wanted to investigate more and get some facts before truly deciding on what was behind the mysterious vanishings. And even if it ended up being the real Black Agnes how would one fight that? Would destroying the statue be all that was needed to be done or would they accidentally free the spirit by destroying the vessel that contained it, making it more powerful?
Stefan and Damon stood on each of her side, Stefan alert and Damon unimpressed.
"That's her statue?" Damon made a face. "It doesn't seem very scary."
"It's not supposed to be." Stefan reminded his brother, going closer to said statue, staring into its eyes. "I don't-sense-anything about it though."
"What are you? Psychic now?" Damon scoffed, joining his brother by the statue, hands shucked into his pockets.
Stefan ignored him.
Chloe ignored them both, used to their squabbling, eyes narrowed around the cemetery.
There was a car parked right outside and yet she couldn't see anyone around. That made her wary, and as she left Stefan and Damon by the statue in question she went a little further into the cemetery, eyes narrowed further, trying to find some form of life. She sniffed deeply, trying to pick up any sort of scent other than death and soil. Her gaze fell upon a beam of light and her feet took her towards the object emitting the light. A flashlight.
Picking up the flashlight she looked around her.
She doubted whoever had owned this had left it on the ground like this, turned on.
"Hello?" She called out. "Is anyone out there?"
Audrey groaned, head hurting. She whimpered, feeling so very uncomfortable, wondering what exactly had happened. She couldn't remember falling asleep.
Finally her heavy eyes opened, and for a moment she wondered if they really weren't because it was so dark she couldn't see anything. And then her pupils slowly grew used to the darkness and she could see things hanging from the ceiling of...was this a cave? She rubbed her eyes, wincing at the pain in her temple, and then narrowed her gaze at those bags hanging from the ceiling. They...they almost looked like...
One of the bags groaned.
Audrey's eyes widened and suddenly she realized in horror that they weren't bags.
They were bodies!
She opened her mouth and screamed...
...and then something hit her from behind and everything was black again.
Chloe turned when she heard the scream. It was so faint a human ear would never pick it up, but her vampire hearing had, and as she saw Damon and Stefan turn as well she knew they would have heard it as well, most probably better than her given how older they were and thus stronger. She hurried towards them, looking around her, trying to get a bearing for the sound and yet unable to.
"Where did it come from?"
"I'm not...sure." Stefan frowned, seeming just as confused as she was.
"Beneath us." Damon responded, gaze at his feet, his senses the strongest of the three due to his daily intact of human blood and age combined. "That sound came from beneath our feet."
"Beneath..." Stefan frowned darkly, gaze lowering. "Is there a cave system that runs beneath the cemetery?"
"Or maybe one of these graves isn't exactly a resting place." Chloe frowned, gazing around her. "Could be an entrance."
"You watch too many movies." Damon scoffed, yet was already going towards the closest grave. He rested the sole of his boot against the stone covering and pushed it off...sending it flying away...and leaving them with a terribly cliched entrance into darkness beneath, stairs leading into the belly of the blackness. "This is so unoriginal." With that, Damon shook his head and headed down the steps into the darkness, Stefan quickly behind him.
Tightly grabbing the flashlight Chloe hurried down after them yet not as fast, careful as she descended into the dark abyss. The sounds of snarls and fighting could be heard below, also the sounds of screams. Hurrying her pace Chloe forewent the last steps and jumped to the ground, sprinting towards the sound of the chaos...only stopping once she found before her, hanging from the ceiling, a young man. He was upside, strung up by his feet, and either dead or unconscious. She spared him a second's glance before rushing into the inner chamber, finding four more people tied upside down, hanging from the ceiling, and two unconscious girls on the ground. They were probably the ones that the flashlight she was holding probably belonged to.
Had Chloe truly paid attention to them she would have realized that they were the same girls from the library, but she didn't pay them much mind, finding Damon and Stefan both in the middle of battle with two...human looking creatures that smelt like death. It wasn't even the subtle, slightly, almost unnoticeable sweet scent vampires had, but a strong decaying one that reeked of humidity and putrefaction and something else that Chloe couldn't identify yet found offensive.
"Get the people out!" Stefan yelled to Chloe as he dodged the attack of the one he fought.
Chloe hesitated a second, wanting to help the boys, but finally nodded and rushed to the girls, bending down by their bodies, one of them bleeding profusely from a gash on her forehead. The blonde reached out and searched for a pulse, letting out a breath of relief as she found it strong. "Hey." She shook them. "Wake up. Hurry!"
The chubby half asian groaned as her eyes fluttered opened. "What...happened?"
The other one only groaned, still somewhat unconscious.
"Listen to me." Chloe drew the hazy attention of the chubby girl to her. "You're in danger. Can you walk?"
The girl looked up at her finally and her eyes widened in shock.
"Can you walk?" Chloe tried again.
The girl finally nodded, bringing a hand to her forehead, and accepted the blonde's help to stand. She then finally noticed the four men fighting, snarling, and her eyes widened in shock.
After making sure that the swaying girl managed to stay on her feet, Chloe tried to awaken the other, yet she'd received a really bad blow to the head and seemed to be wavering between reality and dream.
"Audrey?" The other girl cried. "Audrey wake up!"
Bending down, Chloe reached around the girl's waist and picked her up bridal style, vaguely amused by how much stronger she truly was, the girl seeming so light in her arms.
"Wow." The chubby girl whispered, impressed.
"What's your name?" Chloe asked her.
"Vanna." She replied, pulling a dirty strand of hair out of her face.
"Listen to me." Chloe eyed her. "I need you to pick up that flashlight and lead the way outside for me, and then when we're outside I need you to call the sheriff. Can you do that for me?"
She nodded frantically, gaze going to where the human-looking creature Damon had been fighting, slashed at him with long claws. "M-my dad's the sheriff."
"Good, okay, lead the way Vanna." Chloe shifted the position of the skinny girl in her arms and followed after the shaky Vanna. She was impressed that other than gasp softly, the girl didn't react to the bodies hanging from the ceiling, finally finding the staircase and leading them up out of the earth. "Vanna, call your father, and keep an eye on your friend." Chloe ordered before racing back down into the darkness, eyes shifting and changing to give her a better appreciation of the dimness.
The sounds of howls and loud thuds proved that whatever those things were they were strong, because the boys had yet to defeat them.
Chloe went to the first body, the male one, and searched for a pulse, a heartbeat. For a moment she thought there wasn't one, but then she found it, weak. Reaching down into her boot she pulled out a hunting knife and used it to slice the rope frantically, dropping the knife and grabbing the man awkwardly as he fell. He didn't react to anything, and she grunted under his weight, but managed to drag him towards the stairs and slowly get him back up, to where Vera was trying to wake up her friend.
"I got through to my father." Vanna looked up, seeming close to tears, as Chloe laid the guy next to Audrey. "He and his men are coming."
Chloe nodded, turning and racing back down, throwing herself into the darkness with more ease as she hurried to the next victim, finding a steadier pulse.
"Why do you fight us?" The large male Damon fought snarled, as they circled each other. "We're both children of the darkness!"
"Honestly?" Damon sent the human-looking creature a look. "I couldn't care less if you destroyed this whole town citizen by citizen."
Chloe looked up from where she'd been slicing at the rope around the unconscious girl's ankles, eyes wide.
"Then why are you doing this?" The male wanted to know. "Join us, drink of their blood while we feast on their flesh!"
Damon seemed to consider it.
Chloe froze in horror.
"Tempting." Damon replied, before moving quickly and grabbing his opponent, slamming his head into the wall over and over again viciously until the skull cracked...and the body slowly slid to the ground, dead. "But my girl would bitch at me for centuries." He turned to face her, his blue eyes meeting her green ones, and he gave her a look that said so many things she couldn't interpret. "Well? Get her down while I help my weak little brother."
Chloe smiled at him before giving the last little slice of blade to rope before it broke, and she caught the girl, putting her over her shoulder as she hurried towards the stairs while Damon reached the humanoid creature pinning Stefan to the cave wall. As she surfaced, she could hear the sound of sirens in the night sky, but she didn't stay with Vanna, instead lowering the nameless victim to the ground and hurrying back down, finding the human-looking creature that'd had Stefan now dead, head bashed in brutally.
"Ghouls!" Damon declared with a shake of his head, smirking crookedly as he reached for the victim next to him and yanked the rope right out of the wall, showing off his superior strength. "And he had the gall to compare us." He then passed the unconscious girl to Stefan like he would a bag of groceries, his eyes still on Chloe. "Do you know just how low ghouls are in the supernatural food chain?"
Stefan raced passed Chloe and disappeared above with the girl.
Damon yanked out another rope from its bindings, freeing a burly male, whom he let fall to the ground with a bored sigh. "We could be having really great sex right now."
Chloe tilted her head to the side, unable to keep her lips from twitching. "The night's still young."
"How are we going to explain this to the badges?" Damon wanted to know, stepping over the unconscious guy, eyeing her with a raised eyebrow.
"Leave it to me." She replied softly as Stefan returned and appeared next to them. "All I care about right now is if you guys are okay."
"They were ghouls." Damon folded his arms over his chest and snorted. "It offends me you even feel the need to ask."
Stefan sighed at his brother before turning to Chloe and nodding, smiling softly. "We're fine."
"No thanks to me." Damon reminded everyone as he sent a raised eyebrow to his younger brother. "You almost had your ass handed to you by one of those things. That's what happens when you feed on fucking Thumper."
Stefan opened his mouth, eyes narrowed.
Chloe reached out and grabbed their ears, pulling them down towards her, causing both vampires to complain loudly, leaning down to lessen the pain in their ears. When they were within reach she let go of their ears and wrapped her arms around their necks, hugging them both tightly to her as she closed her eyes.
There was a moment's hesitation before Stefan pressed a kiss to her forehead. "You did good."
Damon sighed loudly, although his arm went around her possessively. "This is going to be a Dear Diary moment, isn't it?"
"Shut up." Chloe laughed.
One of the victims groaned, reminding the vampires they still had things to do, and as one they pulled apart.
"Are you saying, Miss Sullivan, that we've been the victims of ghouls?" Sheriff Barclay frowned as he toured the secret, underground caverns with her, his deputies taking pictures and such while aboveground ambulances carried the still living victims to the local hospital. There'd been a lot of chaos and confusion, and no one had noticed Vanna sneaking back down to grab a small camcorder from the cave below and slip it into her jacket's pocket for later before hurrying back aboveground.
"Yes sir." Chloe nodded, knowing that this wasn't going to be easy to explain to him. The law usually sneered at her whenever she tried. "I don't know how exactly this happened or why they were here...but this cave, the wear and such...I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't move in here soon after the cemetery was constructed. They've been living off of the bodies of those who were buried here, the flesh of the dead are their meal of choice. For some reason every ten years these ghouls would go above ground and seek out fresh meat, one for every year they were down below munching on the already dead. From what I can tell looking around, they left the bodies tied up and left them to die on their own, since while ghouls themselves prefer to eat the meat of the dead, the recently dead is apparently preferred."
It was probably the ghoul's comment about offering the vampires the blood while they gorged on the flesh that had tipped Damon as to what it was and how to kill it...severe trauma to the head.
The sheriff sighed. "They-they look like Marcus White and Nigel Ham."
"Did they go missing during the last bunch?" Chloe asked, all the different pictures from the missing people throughout the ages a blur to her.
He shook his head. "We buried them last month. They were firemen and there was a fire at the church..."
"It would make sense." She replied.
"How could that make sense?" The sheriff glowered at her.
"Ghouls take on the forms of the last people they eat." She replied.
"Of course they do." He grumbled to himself.
The blonde looked at him curiously. "Sir, if I may say...you seem to believe me a lot more than other authorities have."
"Miss Sullivan, my daughter, Vanna, is your biggest fan." He told her tiredly. "She never missed one Chloe & The Dead People article, followed you on Twitter, downloaded through itunes that one episode you appeared in on Paranormal, and informed me that if I didn't buy her Supernatural Diaries Season One the second it came out on Amazon that she would inform her mother about the fact that the godawful sweater she made for me didn't get destroyed in the wash like I claimed it did nine years ago. So let's just say I've been forced to be open-minded to the supernatural or my teenaged daughter would refuse to speak to me."
Chloe blinked, shocked.
"On top of that we're a small town with a very interesting past, Miss Sullivan, there have always been those who have attributed the disappearances to the supernatural." He shook his head. "We just never expected ghouls."
"Sir." One of the deputies hurried towards him. "You're gonna wanna see this."
"Okay." The sheriff nodded before taking in a deep breath and turning to her. "Don't leave town."
He then hesitated, taking in anther deeper breath as his eyes rose to hers. "You and your friends saved my baby tonight."
She looked up and then smiled softly, seeing the thanks for what it was.
Sheriff Barclay shook his head "ghouls" and then went to where his deputy was waiting on him.
Pulling a strand of hair behind her ear, Chloe smiled as she made her way out of the cavern and up to the surface, feeling better than she had in a long time. She'd forgotten how it felt, researching, hunting monsters, saving lives. Of course she was now one of those monsters, but she realized for the first time that this might just be an advantage. If she'd been human she wouldn't have been able to move Audrey much less the males...and yet she had. She wasn't half as strong as Stefan or Damon but she was much stronger than most people she knew, faster...and something felt different, better, somehow.
Movement in front of her caused Chloe to look up, and she smiled as she noticed Stefan and Damon leaning against their car, waiting for her. Damon leaned with his arms over his chest, eyebrow raised, seeming absolutely bored. Stefan leaned his hands hands palms back against the car, a knowing and proud smile on his face as he watched her approach.
Stefan's lips moved, and anyone else wouldn't have been able to hear it, but she could.
He was proud of her.
Damon rolled his eyes at Stefan before mumbling that she wasn't so bad, but for her to not allow it to go to her head.
Bursting into a large smile, Chloe hurried to them and hugged them once more.