“Ah, so you say…” Arthur’s eyes were bright, interested, and yet held almost a sort of.. cruelness about them. “So you have seen it then?” He asked, his words abrupt. “You have watched as they have burned innocents to the ground in which they were staked.” His tone almost felt.. casual, with an undertone of malice. Not towards the other, per say, rather towards the whole idea itself. His fingers rested lightly on the arm of the chair in which he sat, the nails tapping against the surface for a moment. The flames…
“As have I.” Arthur spoke, his tone unchanging, but his eyes piercing. “Long before the trials had begun, I saw a man being burned.” His mouth, unchanged, suddenly shifted slightly.. not frowning.. but looked as though it could turn into a scowl at any moment. “A man, ever living, torn and ripped by the flames that engulfed him.” His eyes were on fire now, burning a bright green, in the low light of the room. “I saw them lick up his body, what I thought to be indestructible, I saw it reduced to ash.” His hand twitched slightly, fingers curling in on themselves, and his voice took on a greater undertone of rage. “I could… I could do nothing…” He trailed off, his eyes flashing suddenly downwards.
After a moment, they returned to the other’s face. Although the vampire’s expression did not change, his aura seemed to fill the room, showing a hidden pain. “I could do nothing.. but scatter the ashes.” His voice was low.. morose. His eyes were dull now, and his fingers had relaxed once more. “In such early times.. times before the black death, these things happened. I saw people die too many times…” His lips twitched a bit, “I am not telling you this to spite you, nor to be disrespectful.. I am only letting you know that I wish to be treated.. well, certainly not as a mortal.” His eyes seemed old, in this moment, “…That is all…”
“I never enjoy the suffering of my people,” Arthur murmured sadly, tapping his fingertips together. There was nothing he could do but watch sometimes. He had taken an active role in his politics several times in the past, and even when he was, he never could change very much—mostly because he was the embodiment of his people. He did as his people desired, felt how they felt, he cried for their suffering, because it was his own suffering as well. It was something he could not escape. It was the role of his people to shape him, and never the other way around. He sometimes had tried to become a part of them, to live among them, and that was when he was at his happiest. He was, however, the picture of the typical Englishman, mostly because that was what he really was. A man of England. The person who was England, after all.
“I understand, but it seems that we are a bit of a misunderstanding,” Arthur said with a small gesture of his hand. “You see, I treat my mortals, my people, as ones very dear to me, because essentially, they are a part of me. They are…people I must reply on, if you must. I probably need them much more than they need me, or someone like me.” He let out a small, dark chuckle. “But, of course, I understand that you are old, and you have seen much…perhaps it may eve be a bit too far to say this, and I certainly hope that I am not out of line in doing so, but I think it is safe to say that perhaps you have loved and lost, or perhaps there were mortals you loved…people you cared for. A family? Your eyes…as terribly frightening and mysterious as they are…seem empty and lonely. One cannot feel lonely unless they once loved and were not alone.”
Arthur merely listened, his face relaxing into a passive look, as the other talked. However, his eyes were intense, as he processed what exactly the other was saying. …Part of him? So Arthur had been right… the other was composed of, not the land, but the people of his land. Arthur very nearly rolled his eyes at this, berating himself slightly, in a humoured manner. He had been feasting off of what made up this man for years! How strange, to think of.
The English vampire’s eyes widened a fraction at the other’s statement, but he quickly regained his composure, aside from a slight glow in the emerald orbs. Lonely… Arthur’s fingers twitched a bit, as the other spoke, ..Is it obvious? To walk the Earth, watching other’s die… watching…
His expression twitched into a bitter one, and his gaze shifted to watch the candle flickering in the corner. “..Lonely… perhaps.” His eyes flashing back to pierce into the other, he spoke in a quiet, but pointed manner. “You think so, my sire nation? Lonely…” Arthur seemed almost scolding.. and yet, attempting to remain polite, “I wonder, how could I possibly be such? That I’ve seen so many die… but you’re right.” He looked away once more, with a sigh, “..I have loved, as my kind has always loved.” His eyes seemed to mist over, “Vampires are creatures of great emotion.”
The other seemed to take all this in and actually…react quite a bit more positively than Arthur had expected. This was reason for a small smirk. Perhaps the two would be capable of sharing a mutual respect? Arthur hoped so. He had a hope that they would be capable of learning from one another, sharing their different experiences, as they saw the same world over the course of years and years, through very different eyes, possibly even from very different places.
“I…see…so, you are not devoid of emotion,” Arthur remarked with a small chuckle. “That is always pleasant to hear. It makes it easier to speak with you than I would an angel or a demon, then, because they are completely alien to such things as feelings. Ah, forgive me for that, but I know little of your kind.”
He was reminded of the other’s words, of seeing men kill one another over silly little misconceptions, and for what? Was the world truly a better place for it? What of the people who, on their own, made a difference? What of the mystery killer who targeted lone women and whores, what of the barber who had given up on life, who gave his clients far more than a close shave? In their eyes, had they made the world better in their own eyes? What of the plague, that killed indiscriminately, regardless of class or wealth or purity. Had that made the world a better place? But all of those things, they had shaped him, hadn’t they? He would not be the man he was today if not for the darkest hours he had suffered through.
“I understand that you have seen people die, but you were human once, I mean…loved ones? I know it must be a sensitive subject but ah…what else can I do for you, or ah, tell you, my dear Arthur?—that is, if that is what you wish me to call you.”
Devoid of emotion? The English vampire rose a brow, his lips parting slightly.. is that what mortals thought? That vampires couldn’t feel? Arthur nearly laughed at the thought! Vampires… Vampires felt more than many humans combined! In a body which was the enhancement of man, generally.. the feelings also, were far more extreme than those of the everyday mortal. He also knew little of angels … and were vampires not demons themselves? He wasn’t sure, really, if the other knew of these things.. truly.
Arthur’s eyes became guarded once more as the other mentioned loved ones.. his human life… so far in the past, and yet certain details of it as bright as the daylight which he was fated not to see for the rest of eternity.
With the candlelight flickering in his emerald eyes.. and in watching the other, he spoke gently. “…You’re right… I was human once…” His eyes were piercing.. not malicious, but deep. “Part of you, my sire nation… I had a family.” His eyes shifted away, a very light frown on his lips. “..A family that I watched die, just the same.” Unlike you, I believe. A bitter part of him thought, but he brushed it away.. there was no need to upset himself. He would be civil.
Arthur broke the gaze he had been holding with the other, gazing back into the flickering flames of the candlelight. He thought for a moment, reflecting on humans, on time and how it passed so slowly, a clock ever ticking, but seemingly never ending. Eventually clocks wore themselves out and stopped working. Arthur, however, never did. He persevered there, throughout the years and years, always there, always watching everything else. He felt as though he was letting the world go by, and it simply dragged him along with it sometimes.
Suddenly, he stood. He hadn’t said a word, even as he crossed the room to greet the other face to face, gently putting his thumb and forefinger to the other’s chin, looking into his eyes. “You were born here, yes? Then you are a part of me. They were a part of me, and everyone…who has come and gone in this country, I feel them. I feel their patriotism, I feel their sorrow. I feel the pain and suffering of war. I bear the scars on my body of their suffering.” He released him, dropping his hand, and his gaze.
"I too, have felt the pain of love and loss of a mortal…I was never mortal, I never thought I could live out my life as they did…and yet, I still fell victim to love. There was a woman…she became a monarch, my monarch. She chose to be alone, so I chose to be there for her. She devoted her life to her work as a queen, ensuring my happiness. I did everything I could for her, but I felt that none of the gifts I brought from across the seas, nor any of the spoils of war would ever be enough for her. It was not that she would not approve, either, it was her smile that I wished to see, but she was like a goddess to me. She took care of me and kissed my forehead, and all I could do was adore her…she once said she was married to her country, and felt no need to marry a mortal man…" he broke off, not even realizing his voice had hitched for a moment. "…she was the most wonderful woman in the world. Even upon her deathbed, she was a beauty to which none could compare, and I truly loved her."