Steeped in Blood

BY : Mercury in Retrograde
Category: 1 through F > American Horror Story
Dragon prints: 226
Disclaimer: I do not own American Horror Story, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

“Marlena, how many times must I correct you? Go change your hairstyle!” Ms. Venable stood watching and waiting while the gray went to her room and returned a few moments later with a phallic bun on her head. Purples and grays burst out into hysterical laughter. 
“SILENCE!” Ms. Venable roared, slamming the tip of her cane on the floor. “You all laugh like a pack of hyenas when there are seven billion corpses outside?! You people disgust me!” She stormed out of the room without so much as another word. Marlena shrugged and resumed waiting on the purples when Mr. Gallant motioned for her to come to him. 
“Allow me to adjust your testicles, they’re a bit crooked.” As Marlena crouched next to him, she saw Coco’s eyes become cold and glittering with hatred. Her eyes were beady and porcine as she hissed out venom. 
“Why the hell are you touching her hair?! She’s a fucking peasant!” She smacked his arm to draw his attention away from Marlena but he ignored her. “Oh, darling, your shaft was a bit awry and your glans—” His hand was suddenly jerked away from Marlena’s hair when Coco stood up and pulled on it forcibly. 
“Hey, what the hell is your problem?” Dinah interjected, her hopes of a quiet evening eating her nutritious cube dashed to pieces. “A minute ago, you were laughing with all of us now you’re being catty just because he’s touching another woman’s hair! If that isn’t needy and pathetic, then I don’t know what is!”  
Coco’s eyes became beadier by the second. “Did I ask for your opinion? And why are you sticking up for her anyways? She’s a servant!”
“Yes, a servant that you were laughing at only moments ago because somewhere deep down inside, you have a sense of humor, something that we all forgot we had. But you just had to ruin it and go into bitch mode as soon as Mr. Gallant touched her hair!” 
“He’s my fucking hairstylist! He shouldn’t touch any other bitch’s hair but mine!” Coco solidified her opinion and justified herself by hurling a plate at Dinah’s head. She ducked just in time then returned the favor of throwing her plate at the beady-eyed bitch. Chaos ensued within a matter of seconds— precious nutritious cubes were thrown helter-skelter, plates and drinking glasses crashed into walls. The purples engaged in the first ever Cube War, laughing whilst they wasted the very last of their food supply. 
This was the scene that Michael walked into: Ms. Venable just about tripping over her cane in a rush to get back to the dining room and screaming at the top of her lungs in a vain attempt to regain control of everyone; Dinah Stevens, her hands tangled in Coco’s hair, bashing her face on the table. Everyone was gathered around and cheering her on. The Fist was summoned and began to push her way through the crowd to apprehend Dinah when she suddenly threw Coco at the tall guard with enough force to make her stumble backwards. Not one to go down without a fight while also destroying the very last plate at the outpost, Dinah aimed a rather neglected looking dish, nutritious cube miraculously untouched amidst the pandemonium, at the Fist’s head just as she righted herself from Coco being pushed into her. “Come at me, bitch, come at me!” The Fist, big and brutish though she was, needed only to bend to the side slightly to avoid the plate. It missed its mark, gracefully projecting through the air in an arc, right into Michael’s hand. The cube had slid off somewhere in midair,  leaving a wet smear as a memento of its wasted nutrition. 
There was a collective gasp from the group when they saw Michael. He walked forward with slow, collected steps. 
“To what do I owe the pleasure of seeing the last remnant of humanity in such a state of disarray? Cabin fever?” He dropped the plate so that it shattered at Ms. Venable’s feet. “Or gross  incompetence?” 
Ms. Venable trembled with anger and embarrassment during the short pause afterwards and was eternally grateful when Mr. Gallant asked the one question that was on everyone’s mind. “Who are you?” 
“You will soon find out…” 
As Michael turned to leave the room, Ms. Venable slammed the tip of her cane on the floor twice to indicate the grays to clean the dining room. Marlena started to pick up some broken dishes when the Fist picked her up by the collar of her dress. “You’re coming with me,” was the terse response to the quizzical and horrified look on Marlena’s face. She was half-dragged to a soundproof room where she was promptly beaten by the Fist. A rage unlike any she had ever known bubbled up and spilled out of her in the form of a hellish shriek. The Fist was suddenly thrown back against the wall and held by an invisible force. Each bone in her hand was slowly broken then she walked backwards on all fours to the center of the room. Her ankles and wrists were broken then her hips were dislocated— all while being held up by the invisible force so that her body weight pressed excruciatingly on her broken bones. As a finishing touch, her skull imploded, the fragments of bone piercing the delicate tissues of her brain. The Fist convulsed during her last moments alive then finally went limp. 
Michael had transmuted to the source of the eerie scream and watched while the Fist was killed in a unique and grotesque way. By the time it was done, he had an erection. Whoever this petite gray was with her oddly misshapen bun had unknowingly aroused him with her method of killing. He approached her cautiously, concentrating all of his powers to the front of his mind to become soft. Marlena was huddled in a corner with her face pressed to her knees, her eyes tightly shut. When she finally opened them, Michael stood with his hand extended toward her. “I’m not going to hurt you.” There was so much sincerity in his voice, it was scary. They had never met before. Who was she for him to take notice of and offer a helping hand? 
Marlena reached out cautiously, expecting him to laugh or scorn her. Michael noticed the way that she flinched when her hand slipped into his. She muttered a hasty ‘thank you’ when he lifted her up, her eyes darting briefly to the Fist’s corpse. “I-I’m sorry for killing the guard…” Her clumsy apology was dismissed with a shrug of his shoulders and the slightest tilt of his head. “Not to worry. She’s one less person I have to worry about taking to the Sanctuary. Come with me.” Marlena followed Michael to his room, where she was motioned to sit on a plush leather couch. He sat next to her then gently placed his hands on her shoulders. “Can you keep a secret?” he whispered next to her ear. 
Marlena nodded her head. “Um, sure…” She figured that he just planned to break her neck, hence the sarcastic response, why else would he not say a word about the Fist or Ms. Venable— 
Her chaotic thoughts came to a screeching halt when she realized what he was doing— he was healing her. The sound of his voice speaking Latin softly reminded her of something, a memory that was always beyond her reach. After he was finished, he stood up while she was thanking him timidly. “Do you mind staying here for a while? I have some things that need to be taken care of.” After a moment’s pause, he introduced himself. “I’m Michael Langdon.” 
“Marlena Rose.” 
Her name struck him as a bit of an oddity. Marlena was Hebrew in origin, with multiple meanings: star of the sea, sea of bitterness, rebelliousness. None of those meanings were lost on him. 
Marlena thought it odd that Michael was talking to her like he had to ask her permission to do things. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Langdon.” 
“Please, call me Michael,” he insisted, his hand clasped over hers. His touch lingered after he left and she wrapped her hand in the rough cloth of her dress. She noticed a table with an assortment of fruits that looked like they had just been picked. Her stomach growled loudly— she had eaten her cube much earlier in the day than the purples. That was done so that the grays could wait on them without interruption. As much as she wanted to sit just for the sake of sitting, she stood up and walked around the room, her eye drawn to a neat stack of books. She picked one up in particular about the ancient Thracian race and was so engrossed in it that she hardly noticed when he returned. 
“You hunger for knowledge instead of food… what is it about the Thracians that whets your appetite?”
“Well, for one, the dichotomy of their culture. The Greeks and Romans called them barbarians yet they were advanced in horsemanship, metalworking, poetry, and music. The one thing that prevented them from being powerful was their lack of unity.” 
“And so it goes. History is written by the victors, their interpretation of the facts. Therefore, if these supposed victors deem a race or group of people as nothing more than savages, then that is what’s recorded for posterity.” 
“Even if the victors favored those savages as mercenaries.” Marlena put the book down then smoothed the front of her dress. “So, what’s the verdict? Are you going to kill me for what I did?” 
Michael shook his head slowly. “No… she deserved to die…” 
“Who are you to have the final say so?” 
“Would you have preferred to die at the hands of that mindless brute?” 
Marlena bit her tongue. “No… I, um, I need to get back to what I was doing before…” She wobbled on her feet, her vision suddenly going black around the edges. Michael stepped forward to catch her in his arms as she fainted and had the pleasure of splaying out her hair over his pillows. The color of her hair was unusual, a dual-toned violet red. There were shimmery highlights of ruby and amethyst that caught the light with the slightest movement of her head. He sat next to her on the bed for several moments, listening to the even sound of her breathing while she slept. Very carefully, he placed his hand on the side of her face, sliding his finger over her sharp cheekbone. Who was she? What was she? He had barely arrived at the outpost and had to cover up for her by using a memory spell on the other survivors. She was definitely testing his powers. After several more moments, he reluctantly left, extinguishing all but a few of the candles. 


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