The Saga of Dorian Sullivan

BY : LuckyLola
Category: S through Z > The Saga of Darren Shan
Dragon prints: 660
Disclaimer: I do not own Cirque Du Freak: The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan and do not own any of the characters except my own. This is a work of fiction inspired by the series that I have written for fun. I do not profit from this.

Dorian Sullivan is a seemingly ordinary boy who is inadvertently thrust into a nightmare after his best friend takes him on a date to see a freak show. Mistakes are made; paths are followed and he is suddenly forced into a world he’d never suspected existed. A series of journals are revealed to him containing passages eerily similar to his own life and he discovers they lead to a grim ending. In an effort to prevent an unfortunate cycle of events from continuing and in a desperate attempt to change the course of the future and time itself; Dorian must make wise choices and bend the force of destiny to his own whims or risk the extinction of vampires and possibly becoming the very cause of the world’s destruction.

 

Those of you who haven't read Darren Shan's series Cirque Du Freak don't have to have read it to understand what's going on but seriously, you should just go ahead and read the series. It's really worth it even if it has a slow start. There are amazing plot twists, character development and storylines. It's worth it. 

Warnings: I'll try to update warnings as I go. I don't really plan for this to have a whole lot of sex scenes but I like to keep my readers happy. Dorian is gay and if you're not down with that you should probably go. Most of the warnings I've chosen are because there are slight hints throughout the story and not because of blatant situations. There's a lot of manipulation and twists and weird time travel stuff and other uncomfortable subjects. If you're easily offended just head on out.

Also: I don't own this story. I own some of the characters (Dylan Sullivan and Adrian Ocelot) but most of them are straight from the series. I tried to do them justice and I think you'll dig it. Darren Shan is a super awesome guy and has been a huge inspiration to me as an author and I'm thrilled to have gotten to do this. Check out his work for sure and hey, if you like this story then go ahead and check out my other stuff. 

Thanks for reading, rating and reviewing, as always. Lots of love for this site! Keep it up, AFF. ~Jo~

 

Prologue

“It’s all in good fun. No harm done,” he’d said.

No harm done, indeed!

I’d told myself the same thing the night we entered the hollowed out confines of the old theatre in my hometown. I’d brought myself around to believing that it was only a show. It was only one night of macabre fun that I would share with my beloved best friend. It was nothing more than a memory in the making. It was all in good fun. No harm done. It was only a show.

But it was never just a show, was it? Not in this or any other time line.

I know now that the Cirque du Freak was much more than just a traveling freak show making its way from place to place to enchant audiences from all over the world. It was a home to many secrets and wondrous sorts of people; both freaks and friends alike. It was a short respite on the path of destiny, a sanctuary for the heavily traversed, and the resting place of the forgotten and unknown legacy of the half vampire; Darren Shan.

Locked away in the depths of an unkempt drawer in the shadows of an old van; there was a story to be told. There was a story that would inevitably be unearthed and forever change the course of history and time itself; the story that would decide the fate of my life and the fate of the world.

“It’s all in good fun.”

 

 

Chapter 1

I was a good child. I never talked back to my mother. I always did my homework. I never stayed out past curfew and was always polite to my teachers and friends. I was a good child; punished for no real misdeed.

It was always beyond me; why he did it. Perhaps it was out of anger for not having the daughter he’d always wanted. Perhaps it was because of his alcoholism or a refusal to deal with the innate cause of my mother’s eventual death. Perhaps it was because of his delusions that I was not his biological son. (He did always mutter something about another man beneath his breath.) Whatever the reason for it; following my mother’s passing, my father became physically abusive.

I’d always been a good child. I’d led a good, comfortable life and then somehow everything just changed. It wasn’t instantaneous like it might have felt at the time. It took a while for the grief to set in for us both. It took a while for my grades to slip, for my chores to be left incomplete, and for me to sink into a state of despondence. It took time for my father to become totally reliant on alcohol to momentarily stave off his overwhelming misery and it took time for him to habitually target me as the cause for his despair.

However long it took it only seemed a short while before my life was irrevocably changed.

I was afraid then. I was terrified to return home from school but I refused to go anywhere else. He was always waiting; always muttering to himself behind foul smelling breath as he did so. I would picture it. As other students would walk in the sun, cherishing the daylight; I would stare at the sidewalk and imagine what damage would come to me upon my arrival home. I always wondered if I could run; if I could simply step onto a bus and leave the state forever but I never took that chance.

It was a perilous cycle of pain and fear that I endured and for a few years it remained unbroken. Even in the moments of upmost suspicion from the faculty who’d so desperately tried to care for me; our sordid lives remained a mystery and thus uninterrupted.

It wasn’t until I was a freshman in high school that things changed again. I’d started at a new school but was surrounded by the same old faces that simply blurred in the background of my life. I hadn’t expected anything to be different and for the most part it wasn’t. However; in order for a change to occur there needed to be a catalyst and unbeknownst to me; my own best friend had been perfect for the job.

Adrian Ocelot had been my best friend growing up. He had a fiery nature and had been my muse; instigating most instances of my own misbehavior. Despite his history of defiance; most people adored him. Even my puritanical mother had found him to be overwhelmingly charming.

My family had moved to the states when I’d been 5 years old. My father had been a member of the U.S military and had met my mother while deployed. She’d been a prim and proper young nurse and he’d been a hardened boisterous soldier who’d managed to hurt himself on a night out drinking with his comrades. Needless to say, they’d fallen madly in love. (They say opposites attract.) When my father was finally discharged after completing his service he’d married her and eventually convinced her to move back to the states and she did only a handful of years later.

 Upon our arrival in the neighborhood, just as we’d exited our vehicle; Adrian appeared and inserted himself into our lives. I’d been thrilled to have a friend and while my mother was hesitant to allow our budding friendship, she’d eventually embraced it.  

Adrian was good at getting into trouble and even better at talking his way out of it. We’d gone on plenty of adventures; saw movies we should have never seen, and my mother had been none the wiser. He’d been my best friend; even in school where he was obviously more popular than I was. We’d had dozens of sleepovers; shared our darkest secrets and grew up together.

I’d been nine years old when my mother died and my ability to cope with the loss was basically nonexistent. My father’s reaction to her passing didn’t help. In time, I’d pushed all of my friends away but Adrian had been a rock in the river of my emotions. Being the friend that he was; he allowed me my space but he never left my side.

He knew everything and was the only person to know the intricate details of my abuse. Despite the fact that he’d constantly urged me to seek help; he’d never pushed me. He’d waited patiently and met me after each instance; climbing through my window at odd hours of the night to stay and comfort me. Things went on like that for five years and then we started high school.

High school was a different animal entirely. Hormones raged, relationships were formed and broken and rekindled. It was a new world for us all, and from the swift unwavering winds of change; nothing and no one was safe, not even me.

Adrian knew this better than anyone and after five long years of silence he came forth; resounding. We’d been in bed together, staring at my ceiling in silence; avoiding the heavy topic that waited to be discussed. I didn’t want to say what happened. I didn’t want to admit where the bruises had come from, though Adrian already knew. He didn’t want to push me to go to the police, he didn’t want us to fight again but I could tell from the weight of the air that the conversation yearned to exist between us.

I opened my mouth to speak; on the verge of spilling another sorry excuse but Adrian cut me off with a loud sigh.

“Don’t,” he said.

“Don’t what?”

“I know what you’re going to do.”

“What am I going to do?” I asked, turning my head on my pillow to look at him.

I could make out his large brown eyes in the moonlight but their color seemed darker. He shuffled in the blankets, moving to rest on his side to see my face.

“You’re going to make more excuses.”

“Oh.”

“It’s been five years now, Dor. I know how this goes and I just… I can’t do it anymore. I can’t keep fighting you; so I won’t. I won’t accept your excuses and I won’t sit here and watch you suffer the same fate over and over again.”

He sat up suddenly and pulled himself from the bed, gathering the jeans that he’d shucked and tossed onto the floor.

“Are you leaving?” I asked, quietly, sitting up to watch him.

“Yeah, I guess so,” he said, staring out of the window in quiet contemplation.

“I don’t want you to…” I said, after a moment of silence.

“I know,” he said gently, “but I can’t… I can’t keep doing this. I can’t bear it. It’s been five years and it hasn’t gotten any better. If anything, it’s gotten worse. He… he really hurt you tonight. I’m afraid… I’m afraid I’m going to lose you.”

“He wouldn’t kill me,” I said.

“You don’t know that,” he croaked.

We both stared at one another through the darkness; standing our ground and refusing to cooperate with the other and while I was sure he’d go, he didn’t move.

“I can’t,” he whispered.

“You can’t what?” I snapped.

“I can’t lose you.”

“You’re not going to lose me.”

“You don’t know that! Dorian, you’re basically in pieces. I don’t know all of the gory details and I don’t want to know but you look… you look terrible. It’s gotten worse. He’s not holding back anymore! Do you know what that’s like for me? I’ve spent five years trying to understand you and how you must feel but have you ever wondered about me? If I did lose you, I don’t know what I’d do. You’re so… you’re just so irreplaceable. If something happened to you I’d be lost. You’re my best friend. I owe everything that I am to you and no one could ever come close to understanding me like you do. If he did… if he did kill you there would be nothing left of me.”

We were both silent following the outburst. Adrian fought off tears and I tried desperately to think of something to say in response but words failed me.

“Dorian, there’s something I’ve never told you before.”

“What is it?” I asked, gently.

“I…I don’t just see you as a friend. You… you’ve always been so much more to me than that. You’re…  I love you, Dorian. I’m in love with you. That’s why this is so hard for me. That’s why I’ve stayed for so long. That’s why I just can’t do this anymore. It’s because I love you. You’re the most important part of my life. You always have been. I want to be with you but everything in my heart tells me to run because I don’t want to see you hurt.”

“You love me?” I murmured.

“I do. Endlessly. It’s why I don’t want to see you hurt. It would break me if he killed you. I would never be the same. I would never overcome that loss.”

“I love you too,” I whispered.

“I know you do,” he said, smiling.

I could see the small smile on his face in the small amount of light we shared and returned it; giving him a large grin when our eyes connected. He ran his long fingers through his shaggy blond hair and stared at the floor biting his lip in embarrassment.

“I don’t,” he sighed “I don’t know what to do.”

“Don’t leave,” I whispered, tears springing to my eyes at the thought.

He covered the space between us with a few strides of his long legs and leaned over me. My eyes widened when his lips first pressed against my own and closed when the shock had passed. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and pulled him effortlessly toward me. He collapsed on the bed and allowed me to hold him as he nuzzled his face against my own.

“I’ll tell them,” I whispered. “I promise you, I’ll get help.”

I’d given in to Adrian out of love and desperation but weeks went by without action. I never pursued help and my father continued to abuse me. Adrian knew better but he never said a word about it. He’d continued to show up at my house late at night to stay with me and met up with me in between classes at school like nothing had happened. My best guess had been that he was still clouded by the high of being accepted and starting a relationship with the person he loved. I had to admit that the honeymoon period, as they called it, was making me feel a little out of sorts myself.

Even though things didn’t seem any different on the outside, they felt different. Each moment with Adrian was highlighted by an emotion I could never accurately pinpoint. The closest I could come to describing it would be to say that it was admiration but that still didn’t describe the affection I felt for him. We did nothing differently but everything about our relationship had changed that night.

Things continued on as they had until I began walking home one day. I was watching the sidewalk, muttering to myself in my inner narrative and preparing myself for the worst when I’d arrive home when he walked up beside me.

“Hey, so did the sidewalk kill your grandma in cold blood or do you have something else against it?” Adrian asked.

 “I’m not in the mood,” I grumbled.

“Oh, so you’re just grumpy,” he laughed.

“You never walk with me. Did your swimming thing get cancelled or something?”

“No, but I figured the team could do without me for an afternoon. It’s just practice.”

“Don’t you need to practice?”

“Me? Heavens no. I’m the best there is at my stroke, Dor. You’d know that if you ever did anything besides go to school and do homework,” he said, casually leaving out any uncomfortable details in regards to my private life.

“I guess so. Are you going to give me another lecture?” I asked, half-jokingly.

“Nope. You said you’d take care of it. I trust you to do so.”

I frowned, ashamed that I’d yet to do anything about my circumstances at home.

“Besides,” he said, interrupting my invasive and unsettling thoughts, “I have something more interesting to talk to you about.”

“Yeah?” I asked, looking up.

“Yeah. There’s this thing… see I was talking to Ben during English today and he said that while he was downtown last night he ran into some weird guy who gave him this weird flier.”

Adrian shoved his hand in his pocket and produced a small piece of paper and waved it around.

“I know we’ve been talking about going on a real date for a while but it’s tough finding something cool to do at night since we’re underage. Well, this flier, it’s for a show; a different kind of show.”

I snatched the flier from his hand and glanced over it, eyes widening as I took in the contents. There were several images combined to complete the full picture. A strange looking wolf’s face was placed in the middle and was surrounded by images of odd people; two women in strange and uncomfortable looking poses, a man pouring a jar of nails into his mouth, a woman taking a bite out of a metal pole, and a boy covered in scales holding a large colorful snake.

What caught my attention most, however, was the orange haired man holding an incredibly large multi colored spider in the corner of the image. I’d always been fascinated by spiders, though equally terrified by them. I’d studied them in depth as a kid, collecting pictures of the ones I’d found in a journal under my bed and capturing them in jars only to release them later. I’d loved getting to know them, figuring out what they liked to eat, when they preferred to sleep, what plants and insects they’d interact with and how. The thing was that I couldn’t bear the thought of them crawling on me or biting me; so my fascination was a mystery.

“What do you think?” Adrian asked.

“I think… I think that this might be interesting but it says tomorrow night is the last night. We’d have to go tonight or tomorrow.”

“Exactly, I think we should go tonight,” he said, rubbing his palms together.

“I don’t know…”

“Dor, I know you’re scared because of your Dad but I promise it’ll be okay. The show is late. It doesn’t start until 11. I’ll pick you up at 10 and we’ll sneak over there. The guy won’t even know. It’ll be fine.”

“How do we get tickets?”

“I already got them… see Ben knew they were going to sell out fast so he went ahead and got them.”

“Ben’s coming?”

“No, you can only get two tickets per flier. Dor, he gave me both tickets so I could take you.”

“Ben did that? He gave up his ticket? For me?”

“Yeah, he did. Think of it like a congrats-on-finally-accepting-we’re-both-in-love-even-though-everyone-else-already-knew-present.”

“That’s… I don’t know what to say,” I said, blushing.

“Say you’ll go with me.”

“Okay,” I agreed, I’ll go.

It didn’t take much to convince me to go at first but I’d reconsidered thoroughly when I finally made it home.

Adrian had left before I’d gone in and I was glad for it. I opened the door and a bottle smashed to pieces beside my head, spraying me with alcohol.

“Where’ve you been?” my father growled, menacingly.

“I’ve been at school,” I explained, going straight to think sink to grab a washcloth.

I began to clean up the mess and the man growled at me again.

“Saw you with that boy.”

“Adrian, my friend? Yeah, we go to school together. He lives down the road. He walked me home.”

“Sure he did.”

“He did,” I replied, standing up with a washcloth full of glass.

“Looks a lot like you,” he said.

“He’s blond with blue eyes. I have dark brown hair and green eyes. We look completely different, Dad.”

“Looks a lot like that man who fucked your Mom.”

“Don’t say things like that,” I snapped, “You know she didn’t cheat on you! You just want a reason to be angry with her so it doesn’t hurt so much that she died! She didn’t have sexual relations with anyone but you!”

“Don’t talk to me like that!” he roared, crossing the room in a blink of an eye, “You don’t know anything about anything!”

I didn’t feel his fist connect with my face. I didn’t feel the pain pulsating from my cheekbone; not until I’d hit the floor and regained my composure. It took a moment for me to understand what had happened. My father had never hit me in the face before. In fact; he’d never hit me anywhere where people could see; not since one of my teachers in middle school had called him in about the bruises on my wrists. He’d told them I’d been playing cops and robbers or something and that the other kid had been too rough arresting me. The truth was he’d squeezed them too hard one night while screaming in my face about the same man.

The bruises and cuts were on my back, chest, stomach, upper arms and thighs. They were always well hidden but then again; it’d been rare for him to completely lose composure. He usually had enough sense to know better but when mention of the man came about; he’d always gone overboard despite who’d mentioned it.

 The punch had shocked me and had taken my breath out of me so I didn’t fight him as he picked me up and set me back on my feet. He didn’t say anything once I was standing but snarled and skulked away toward the back of the house.

I took deep breaths and tried not cry as I walked toward the bathroom. Sure enough, there’d be a bruise; I decided while looking in the mirror. My cheek was already swollen and red and changing color. It wasn’t something I’d be able to hide from Adrian and I cursed under my breath.

I was terrified for Adrian to arrive and so time went by more quickly than I’d wanted it to. Soon it was closing in on 10. I was staring at my face in the mirror and poking at the deep purple bruise that had formed so quickly on my pale cheek.

“Hey,” he said from behind me.

I spun on my heel to face him, shocked at his sudden presence.

“You’re early!” I cried.

“Yeah, I couldn’t wait and thought maybe we should get something to eat first. I figured I could treat you to dinner AND a show. What happened to your face?”

“Nothing…” I said, quietly.

“You’re a terrible liar,” he said, approaching. “Let me see.”

Adrian touched my jaw gently, and maneuvered my head from side to side as he carefully inspected the bruise and let go when he was satisfied.

“Well, I’m not happy, to say the least,” he said with a frown.

“I know,” I whispered. “Can we not talk about it?”

“We won’t talk about it tonight, but we’ll talk about it soon. All I’m going to say for now is that I’d really prefer it if he didn’t leave marks on my beautiful boyfriend’s face and that despite any marks… I still think you’re the best looking guy in town.”

I blushed in response unable to speak well enough to say anything.

“Let’s go, gorgeous,” he said, grinning.

We ate while we walked and talked about school and the swim team and some comics Adrian had picked up online. Before I knew it, we’d made it to the theatre.

“Are you sure this is it? It looks deserted.”

“I’m sure,” he said, looking down at the flier as if he didn’t believe it himself.

“Well, should we just go in?” I asked, tilting my head.

Adrian seemed as nervous as I felt and I chuckled, rolling my eyes at the both of us. The theatre had been abandoned a long time ago. We’d been there before as kids when we’d gone ghost hunting and had gotten spooked by an animal or something and never returned. Even now as fourteen year olds we were scared of the old place and it made me laugh.

“What are you laughing at?” Adrian snapped.

“I’m terrified!” I giggled.

“I am too,” he said, smiling.

“Let’s go,” I said, leading the way through the two large doors into the theatre’s lobby.

We made our way down a dark corridor on our right, choosing to enter the theatre through the side and sit somewhere unnoticed. The flier had had some warnings and we’d been somewhat concerned that our ages would get us kicked out.

The building was quiet and dark and I had really started to believe it’d all been an elaborate hoax when a hand touched my shoulder and spun me around.

“Hello boys.”

The man was tall, seriously tall and had spun us around so quickly that we’d been completely disoriented. The only sound I could emit in response was a shrill scream that caused Adrian to flinch beside me.

The man above us smiled a wide, toothy grin.

“I didn’t mean to frighten you. My name is Mr. Tall. I am the owner and host of this show. I only mean to help you to your seats,” he said.

“It’s okay,” Adrian croaked.

“You ARE here for the show, I presume?”

“We are, yeah.”

“Then may I please have your tickets?”

Adrian nodded and handed him his ticket.

“Dorian?” Mr. Tall asked, staring down at me.

With a trembling hand I held out the ticket and a shiver ran up my spine and from what I could tell; Adrian had suffered a similar fate. The man had known my name without asking!

“Good. Very good. I assume you are both brave and mature young men and will behave yourselves during the show?”

We both nodded and the man stuffed the two tickets in his mouth, chewed them up and swallowed them, leaving us both even more wide eyed than we’d been.

“I’ll show you to your seats then, follow me.”

We entered through the main, center doors and walked down the aisle. Despite the quiet of the place; it had been packed with people, who spoke quietly and shifted in their seats. Mr. Tall had disappeared after opening the doors for us to enter but we found two empty seats toward the front.

Adrian let me sit in the seat closest to the aisle and reached out to grab a hold of my hand.

“Freaky, huh?”

“I wonder how he knew my name!”

“A magician never tells his secrets! We’ll never know!” he laughed.

I looked around the large room admiring what the troupe had done with the place. The theatre had been refilled with seats and the stage had been rebuilt and adorned with large velvet curtains. Even glamorous chandeliers now hung from places where the roof was still intact. Though, there were still places where you could see through and view the night sky.

The curtain began to rise and Adrian squeezed my hand. I chewed on my lip in anticipation and the crowd around us went quiet.

Mr. Tall walked out onto the stage and addressed the audience with expressive mannerisms and a booming voice despite his lack of a microphone.

“Dear friends, welcome to the Cirque Du Freak! We have a spectacular show lined up for you tonight that will amaze and confound you! I will advise that you pay very close attention because while we have been in business for many years and while it is uncommon for accidents to happen; it is entirely possible. Mistakes can always be made. This show, indeed has some rather dangerous acts and you will be advised to be quiet during certain performances. Photography and cellphones are not permitted in the building; as some of you have noticed. We have used state of the art technology to block all cellphones and cameras alike so if you must make a call you will have to leave and may not be permitted to reenter. If you are easily frightened or are afraid of being injured during this show I would strongly advise you to leave now.”

No one exited the theatre.

“Wonderful! Well, we’ll get on with it then! Enjoy the show!” 

 



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