"Go away," Tommy's muffled voice reached her ears. "I'm too tired."
Mrs. Oliver cracked the door of his room open and looked inside the room. It was totally dark. The curtains were black along with the window. She sighed as she looked at her son who was huddled in his bed. Tommy groaned and hid his head under the pillow.
"Close the door mom… it's too bright," Tommy growled softly.
"Tommy it's been four days…" Mrs. Oliver sounded worried. "Your friends are worried about you. You never come out during the day, your friends have been here every day, and when you go out at night you don't come back till almost dawn. What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong mom," Tommy yawned as he pulled his head out from under the pillow and looked at her with bleary eyes. "I just don't like going out during the day anymore."
"Tommy," Mrs. Oliver sighed, "it's dangerous at night. There are rumors of a rabid animal or something. Girls have been found dead. Tommy I don't want you going out during the night anymore."
Tommy looked at his mortal mother in annoyance. Actually a lot of things have been annoying him lately. The way people got concerned over his change in behavior, the way they tried to get him to eat, and even the way his friends wore bright colors. He would gladly leave Angel Grove for someplace less colorful and with more people. Tommy made a mental note to spend the night in the woods with his true mother Sorsha. He sighed as Mrs. Oliver walked over to him and placed her hand on his forehead.
"You're not warm," She sighed, "actually you're very cold."
"I'm fine mom," Tommy said as he looked into her eyes and captured her heartbeat, "there is nothing wrong with me. I just need to sleep."
"Maybe you just need to sleep," Mrs. Oliver's voice grew hollow as she smiled and left the room. "Feel better baby."
Tommy sighed as she closed the door. He thought she would never leave. With a yawn he buried his head into his pillow and fell asleep. He really hated the day.
"He's been acting so strange lately," Justin noted. "Sleeping all day, up all night, never eating, staying away from us. It's a good thing Rita and Zedd haven't attacked."
"Think Rita and Zedd have anything to do with this?" Tanya asked. "We really haven't had any dealings with them."
"It's possible that Zedd and Rita have put a spell on Tommy," Billy interjected. "They have focused many spells on Tommy. Maybe we should have Zordon examine him."
"When?" Kat sighed. "We have school, he's never up during the day, and he avoids us during the night."
"We are just going to have to teleport him into the Command Center," Jason replied, "Weather he likes it or not. We'll do it right after classes are over."
The eight teens nodded as the bell rang and they all went to their respective classes. Billy looked around to make sure no one was watching then teleported to the Command Center to tell Zordon the plan.
"Are you sure you want to do this Billy?" Zordon's voice boomed. "Maybe you should ask Tommy about this. He is the leader after all."
"We know Zordon but he's been acting so peculiar lately and he has been avoiding us," Billy explained, "We tried to contact him over his communicator… he even ignores that."
"I see your point Billy," Zordon sighed. "I will Teleport him here as soon as the other Rangers are out of class."
"Tommy?!" Tommy lifted his head slightly at the voice. It was Kim. "Tommy what's wrong?"
"Kim?" Tommy asked. "What happened, where am I?"
"You're in the Command Center," Kim stepped towards him. She was about place her hand on him when he flinched away. "Can't you see?"
"No," Tommy muttered, "It's too bright."
Kim looked at Zordon with a worried expression. Tommy was crouching in one of the darker corners like a wounded animal. His black boxers kept him humble but he was shying away from everybody.
"Zordon what's wrong with him?" Kim asked.
"Nothing's wrong it's just too fucking bright!" Tommy snapped. "Turn the lights off!"
Zordon lowered the lights in the Command Center till it looked like it was lit with a few strategically placed candles. Only then did Tommy relax enough to stand up and look at the group. He glared at them like he was too important to be bothered with them.
"What do you want?" Tommy asked finally.
"We're worried about you Tommy," Kat sighed.
"There is nothing to be worried about," Tommy yawned. Since he knew he was out of danger the need to sleep was overtaking him again. "I'm just tired."
"Then why don't you talk to us when you are up?" Jason asked accusingly.
"I've been busy," Tommy replied sleepily. "Can you teleport me back to my bed now?"
"Alpha can you scan Tommy for spells?" Tanya asked the robot quietly.
Alpha walked over to the half conscious boy with his light scanner. Tommy looked at him momentarily confused. When the light hit Tommy's eyes the boy threw his hands in front of his face protectively and backed away. He had to bite back a snarl so he didn't rouse the groups curiosity. Alpha backed away from Tommy and looked at the screen for readings.
"There isn't a spell on him." Alpha announced.
"You guys dragged me out of bed to see if there was a spell on me?!" Tommy almost growled. "Why didn't you just ask?"
"We could never contact you," Kim replied. "And you ignored the communicator."
Alpha looked at the readings as Tommy glared at the group. The readings said that Tommy was sensitive to light, not under a spell, and in perfect health except that he hasn't had food in four days. Alpha checked the readings again and then noticed that Billy was looking the readings over and cross checking them. Alpha did his equivalent of a sigh as he let Billy take over. After checking them again Billy looked at Tommy.
"When was the last time you ate Tommy?" To Tommy, Billy's question seemed to come out of left field.
"Last night," Tommy replied. "Why?"
"Cause these readings say you haven't had real food in around four days," Billy replied, "Also your body temperature is below normal."
"It's cold in here," Tommy replied.
"Then why aren't you shivering?" Billy asked matter of factly. "I also detected abnormalities in your genetic structure. You may not be under a spell but something is wrong."
"Nothing is wrong!" Tommy growled, "I am fine! I just need sleep!"
"There's the door," Billy pointed to the door, "Have a nice hike in the sunlight."
"I can't got out there! I'll burn!" Tommy exclaimed.
"The sun never bugged you before," Jason noted.
Tommy looked at his 'friends' and sneered. They had no idea what they were dealing with. None whatsoever. The shocked reactions to his sneer jarred Tommy back to reality. They were his friends and loved ones. Tommy took a deep breath and looked at Billy.
"I… developed some kind of disease," Tommy lied, "I can't go out in the light, my eyes are very sensitive to it, and I have some sort of mono. It's a mutation of sorts. I'm really okay except for those three things."
"What about your body temperature?" Billy asked.
"The mono lowers my body temperature a lot," Tommy explained his mind working double time to come up with these lies that he really didn't want to tell his friends. "I'm really okay… I just need to sleep."
"I don't know Tommy," Jason looked at him.
"Jason, look at him!" Kim exclaimed. "He's fighting to stay awake! Isn't that proof enough?!"
"What if there is an attack during the day?" Kat asked. "We can't fight one man short."
"Maybe if we give him some time he'll get better." Kim said as she walked over to the control panel and teleported him back to his room. "Please get better Tommy… we need you."
"Hi Kim," Tommy smiled as he trotted down the stairs.
"Hi Tommy," Kim replied as she looked his clothes over. He was wearing a hunter green shirt with jeans. "I was wondering if you wanted to go for a walk with me."
"I'd like that." Tommy smiled as he opened the door. "After you milady."
Kim giggled at his show of chivalry as she passed Tommy and waited for him on the porch. Tommy spoke a few words to his mom then joined her side. She smiled as they linked hands and started towards the park.
"We've been very worried about you Tommy," Kim sighed after a while. "I've missed you at school."
"I've been sick," Tommy said as he looked away from her. "I didn't mean to scare you and the others."
"Timmy I know you're sick. I'm not even sure if you should even be out tonight," Kim sighed as she pressed his hand to her cheek. "You're so cold. Almost as if you were dead."
Tommy closed his eyes as he savored the warmth of her skin next to his. The warm living blood that coursed through her veins heated his cold skin. He smiled at the feeling as he felt a purr build up in his chest. The thoughts of her blood coursing down his throat snapped him out of his trance-like state. Kim was looking at him funny.
"What's wrong?" Tommy asked.
"I think you were purring," Kim whispered.
"Me?" Tommy feigned shock and surprise. "Why would I purr?"
"I don't know Tommy," Kim sighed as she dropped his hand and kept walking. "You've changed… Something is different about you."
Tommy jogged to catch up with her. It wasn't that hard with his new speed and stamina. When he caught up with her Kim turned towards him and balled her fists.
"What's wrong Kim?" Tommy said as he reached for her. "Tell me… please."
"Who are you?!" Kim yelled as she pulled away from him. "You're not the Tommy Oliver I fell in love with. He never lied to me before!"
"Kim…" Tommy was shocked that she would ever say something like that, "I'm not lying…" he tried to reason with her.
"Another lie!" Kim cried as she pounded his chest. "Stop lying to me! I love you and I thought you loved me!"
"I do love you!" Tommy declared as he hugged Kim close. "I would never hurt you Kim. I'd die first."
"You're hurting me Tommy," Kim sobbed. "This secret you are keeping is breaking apart the Rangers… keeping us apart."
Tommy stroked her hair as she sobbed into his chest. She was right. The secret has kept them apart. But the truth could kill her. He kissed her on the top of her head as he held her close. She relaxed a bit in his embrace. Tommy soon became aware of her scent. She smelled like pink roses and bubble gum. Tommy groaned softly as his mouth began to water. He felt his eyes change as his canines started itching. Kim moaned in replied and kissed his neck. Tommy felt a shudder deep in his soul at the feel of her lips on his neck. He reached his face down to kiss her back but stopped himself when he found that he was going for her neck.
"No!" Tommy gasped as he staggered away from her, pushing her in the process, covering his mouth.
"Tommy?! What?" Kim gasped as she hit the ground. She stood and was about to yell at him when he saw that Tommy looked like her was going to vomit. "Tommy are you okay?"
"Yeah," Tommy choked out as he tried to fight back the beast. "I'm just hungry."
"I'll take you to Ernie's," Kim suggested as she grabbed his arm. "There is plenty of food there…"
"No! You don't understand!" Tommy yelled as he pulled away from her. He could feel his fangs descend the hunger was growing too great. "Kim I have to go…"
"Where?!" Kim asked. "Tommy don't leave… and don't lie!"
Tommy panted as he fought the beast inside him. He could smell Kim getting closer. He didn't want to scare her but he didn't want to kill her either. He had to make her leave, but how?
"Kim please leave, please!" Tommy begged.
"No!" Kim growled. "Whatever is wrong we will get through this together."
"Kim… I-" Tommy cut himself off as he looked up. He could feel his Sire approaching. If Kim didn't leave she would die. "Kim you have to leave now!"
"Tommy, who is this young beauty you have with you?" A soft voice asked.
Kim turned to find herself facing a beautiful pale woman with golden hair holding a bottle with some sort of red wine. She looked at Kim with her piercing blue eyes and then smirked as she walked over to Tommy. Kim felt a flash of jealousy as the woman handed Tommy the bottle. He looked at it for a moment then, took it and drank from it greedily. After he finished the bottle he seemed to relax and looked at Kim. The woman smiled as she looked the former Pink Ranger over.
"Kim this is Serena," Tommy introduced, "Serena this is Kimberly Hart, my girlfriend."
"A pleasure to meet you Kim," Sorsha smiled as she extended a white hand, "Tommy has told me much about you."
"Who are you to Tommy?" Kim asked suspiciously as she shook the extended hand noting how cold it was. "He's never mentioned you to me."
"I am a distant cousin," Sorsha replied. "He likes to keep me secret."
"I see," Kim replied as she turned to Tommy. "Tommy are you feeling better?"
"Yeah," Tommy sighed as he stared at the bottle appalled. "I'm okay, still a little hungry."
"Then eat," Sorsha smirked as she looked Kim over. "There seems to be plenty of food around here."
Kim looked at 'Serena' and backed away. The blond woman gave her the creeps and the way Tommy treated her, with so much respect spooked her. Tommy was never one to give that much respect to anyone except his mother, Zordon, and the other Rangers. Something was wrong with Tommy and this woman had something to do with it. Kim looked at her hand as she remembered how cold the woman's hand was. She had to talk to Zordon next time she saw him.
Tommy looked at Kim longingly. He wanted to hold her close and kiss her tenderly. He wanted to banish any fears she had. He wanted her body and soul. He wanted her life's blood. He blinked at the final thought and looked at Sorsha. His sire was still looking Kim over as if evaluating her. Sorsha then looked at Tommy and smiled.
*"She is a sweet looking one my son."* Sorsha said to Tommy in their link. *"I think her blood would taste very sweet. Don't you?"*
*"Don't make me kill her Sorsha."* Tommy replied his eyes conveying the pain he was in. *"I love her. I can't kill her."*
*"I can embrace her."* Sorsha offered. *"Her beauty and passion as eternal as yours."*
*"I can't bring her into this hell."* Tommy's eyes showed unveiled anger. *"And I will not let you force this life upon her."*
*"If that is what you wish my son."* Sorsha smiled as she looked at Kim. *"But don't you want a taste? To feel her blood run through your veins? To know her every secret?"*
*"Yes…"* Tommy looked down defeated. *"But I won't."*
Kim looked at them and then away. She didn't like how it seemed that they were conversing without talking. It was all too strange to her. Tommy looked at Kim with eyes that were not his own. His eyes were those of a hunter's. The eyes of a killer. Not Tommy's eyes. Kim didn't like this turn of events.
"Maybe I should go," Kim whispered. "You and your cousin look like you want to be alone. I'll see you later Tommy. When you are less… busy." She turned on her heel and ran from them as fast as she could before Tommy could answer. It was too creepy. Almost like a horror movie. She had to talk to some friends, and she had to talk to them now.
"May I take your order?" Skull asked as he reached the man.
Bulk pushed him out of the way and smiled to the man. "May *I* take your order?"
"I'm not really hungry." The man replied in a soft voice. "I'm actually looking for someone. An old friend."
"Maybe we can help you find this friend." Skull piped up. "We used to be detectives." The man looked at the two of them and chuckled softly. It was hard to believe that these two were detectives. The smaller of the two was about to say something when he looked over the man's shoulder and frowned.
"Hey Kim… you okay?" Skull asked.
"No Skull I'm not," A slightly familiar voice sighed.
The man turned around to look at the Pink Ranger. His eyes widened in astonishment at the young woman in front of him. "Kimmy?"
Kim looked at the man and covered her mouth with a hand gasping. "Nathan?!"
The man smiled as he took two giant steps over towards Kim and swept her up in his arms laughing. Kim hugged him tightly and kissed him on the cheek. He smiled as he looked her in the eyes and put her down. "You look… incredible."
"I look incredible?!" Kim asked flabbergasted. "You look like you haven't aged a day!"
"Um…" Skull broke in, relieving the man from having to answer that question, "Kim's your old friend?"
"Oh! I'm sorry I haven't introduced you." Kim smacked her forehead, "I'm sorry. Bulk Skull this is a dear old friend of mine Nathan Morgan." The two boys nodded to Nathan. "Nate these are my friends Bulk and Skull." Nate nodded back, as Kim looked at him. "What bring you to Angel Grove?"
"I felt it was time for a change." Nate smiled sadly to her. "A lot of bad things happened and Vancouver had too many sad memories."
"Michelle…?" Kim whispered, her eyes widened when her friend nodded slowly. "Oh Nate I am so sorry…"
"It was her time." Nate whispered as he looked at Kim. "Why are you so sad?"
"I'm having trouble with a friend of mine." Kim sighed. "He's changed… and I don't know what to do."
"Want to talk about it?" Nate asked.
"Not at the moment." Kim replied. "I still need to deal with it I guess… How about tomorrow night?"
"That sounds fine," Nate smiled as he lightly kissed her forehead. "I need to get going, I'll see you around?"
"Yeah I'm always around." Kim smiled as Nathan walked out.
*"Tommy run!"* Sorsha sent to her son.
Tommy obeyed his Sire's command and bolted. The man growled as he gave the younger vampire chase. When he was mortal Tommy excelled in most of the regular sports in school, as a vampire those attributes were enhanced, if he wasn't a fledgling he might have lost the other vampire. His sire never told him that the older a vampire gets the more powerful they are. Tommy didn't know that the other vampire was over two hundred years old. Tommy didn't know that vampires could feel pain, until he met a tree and an angry vampire that knew a very good unbreakable hold. The other's grip was like a vice. Tommy struggled until he heard a hiss in his ear.
"The more you struggle…" The other one growled, "the tighter I will hold."
"Let me go!" Tommy hissed. "You have no right to hold me."
"You have no right to kill all those people." The black man snarled as he pushed Tommy's arm up. "They had lives, families."
"I know that!" Tommy winced. "Do you think I chose to be this monster for all eternity? Do think I want this hell? Then you are wrong! My life is ruined, I can't love, I can't be with my friends, I can't live like this!" For the first time since those nightmares came Tommy's shoulder shook with sobs. He looked at the man, blood tears streaming down his face. "I can't exist this way… I'm not a murderer."
"B-blood?" The boy looked at him, "I have blood tears?"
"Yeah," Nate sighed as he shoved his hands in his pockets, "we cry blood, it takes a little getting used to. I'm Nathaniel Flint, but everyone knows me as Nathan Morgan."
"I'm Tommy, Tommy Oliver." Tommy muttered. "Only name I've ever gone by."
"You're new," Nate stated, "A fledgling."
"I need to go," Tommy turned from Nate and started walking back to his house. What he didn't count on was the flight from this Nate person and the struggle was taking so long. His house was east of where they were and the sun was just starting to peak over the horizon. Tommy snarled at the bright light and dropped to the ground. His skin was burning and he couldn't see. "The sun!" Tommy gasped, "It hurts!"
Nate was beside the boy in an instant, Tommy felt his strong arms grab him, and the sensation of flight. His skin still burned so Tommy curled into a fetal position as best he could. The pain was almost unbearable as a door slam signaled that he was inside a house.
"Nathaniel have you decided to take home your dinner?" A feminine voice Tommy didn't recognize sounded to his right.
"This is our guest for the day, Diane," Nate sighed from the behind Tommy as he placed the boy on a couch. "He's a fledgling, and I think our renegade vampire. He got caught in the sun."
"If he's the renegade then why not let the sun deal with him?" The first voice, most likely Diane asked. "If he was causing so much trouble than he should not have been saved.
"He's a fledgling Dee!" Tommy felt a cool long bottle pressed into his hands. "Drink this Tommy it will help the pain."
Tommy didn't argue as he opened the bottle and downed it's contents. After blinking a few times his eyes came into focus. He looked around the room and saw a tall beautiful black woman with dark brown eyes that showed annoyance. Nathan, was leaning against the wall trying to figure something out. Tommy sighed as he placed the bottle on the coffee table and stood. Diane watched him like he was a insect that had to be killed. Nathan turned to Tommy with a look on his dark face that told Tommy that he was not going anywhere. Tommy knew how strong Nate was and didn't want another fight with him so he sat back down.
"You don't want to be a vampire, but you are the one that has been doing the killing here?" Nate asked trying to make sense of this.
"No wonder you brought this one home Nathan," Diane smirked. "you always were soft hearted."
"I have been killing," Tommy explained trying to ignore the other vampire, "but that is what my sire has been telling me to do."
"Your mother…?" Nate asked.
"The one who made him Nathaniel," Diane sighed.
"I know that," Nate snapped before he looked back to Tommy. "Who is the one who made you Tommy?"
"I…" Tommy looked away, he wasn't sure if he should tell them. Nick grabbed him and slammed him against the wall. Tommy looked at him and saw the anger and concern in Nate's eyes, it was if he was worried about someone. "Her name is Sorsha," he grunted out.
"Sorsha?" Diane asked walked over to them. "Golden hair, fair skinned, crystal blue eyes?"
"Yes." Tommy nodded. "You know her?"
"Shit." Diane swore, "I had thought she was dead."
"You know her Dee?" Nate looked at the woman dropping Tommy. "Who is she?"
"She is…" Diane sighed rubbing the bridge of her nose, "My older sister."
"What?!" Nick hissed. "Jade made one before you?"
"Yeah," Diane replied. "Sorsha is a strong woman… a deadly enemy, it seems that this child is your cousin Nathaniel."
Tommy looked at Nate and shrugged as he straightened his shirt out and ran a hand through his hair. He didn't like being stuck here with the two strangers. Also the need for sleep was starting to overtake him. He covered a yawn with his hand and looked at Nate. The other vampire walked over to him and placed a supporting arm around him.
"Come on I'll show you to a room." Nate sighed.
"Thanks." Tommy yawned.
"You know what I regret most about being a vampire?" Tommy murmured.
"What?" Nate asked as he walked to the door.
"That we can't love without killing them." Tommy sighed as he fell asleep.
Nate looked at the sleeping teen for a moment before he left the
agreed whole heartedly with Tommy. There were only two ways to love a
One was to never get close, the other was to bring them across. Nathan
seen and tried both ways and failed. He did not want the same fate
on Tommy. Nate walked to his room making a silent vow that he would fix
mess even if it killed him.