CAMROSE: ... Is it common for parents to navigate the campus? LUDO: Only when their sons have trouble answering mail. LEVI: I’ll reply to the next one, okay? LUDO: Thank you, that would be lovely! I just wanted you to remember who pays your tuition. LUDO: That’s a joke, of course!
(Levi rolls a natural 20 perception check)
Levi’s vampiric senses trigger and he instinctually turns his body the second that someone’s foot crunches a stick behind him. Standing before him is Ludo.
Ghost had previously led Levi to talk outside of the building. Ludo immediately closes the gap of space between them, trapping Levi against the brick wall behind him. Levi reacts quickly, snatching Ludo’s wrist in his hand before Ludo has a second to think. Ludo’s eyebrows lift in mild surprise, and the second Levi’s hand touches his wrist, Levi can feel Ludo jolt and shiver unexpectedly.
LUDO: You are— LEVI: WHY ARE YOU HERE. LUDO: ... Well, you’re rather difficult to track down.
Ludo is struggling to stay composed.
LEVI: Good! That’s the point!
Ludo sucks in a deep breath.
LUDO: I ... just want to remind you that I let you get away with doing almost nothing in exchange for your power - to help keep you alive when you were weak.
Levi looks irritated.
LEVI: Okay, so WHAT? What do you want, then??
Levi notices he’s still holding Ludo’s wrist and wrenches it away in disgust, but the moment he pulls away, Ludo snatches the hand back and pushes it against the wall.
Leaning over him.
LUDO: We’re intertwined. You can’t escape this. You see, you’ve given my life new meaning.
Levi looks around quickly, scanning for anyone else outside. He doesn’t want to be seen like this.
Ludo’s eyes get wilder as he leans in closer.
LUDO: Surely you felt it before, too? You felt our connection. The sooner you accept it the stronger you’ll be, why can’t you just realize this—
As Ludo is talking, his fangs start to lower.
LEVI: We are in PUBLIC, can you— can you STEP BACK before someone SEES US—
Ludo suddenly jerks, as if he caught a smell of Levi, and compulsively leans in to attempt to bite Levi.
Levi slaps at him, grazing past his hair, and Ludo stops – but he’s still looking at Levi hungrily, like he can’t control himself.
LEVI: Is this what you want?? What do you want?? Why are you here?? Is this what you want??
Ludo realizes what he’s doing, almost like he’s waking from a spell. He recomposes himself, his tone growing darker.
LUDO: I just need you to understand our connection. And remind you ... that all of this can go away in an instant. LEVI: Okay, what will it take to get you to just leave me alone. LUDO: That’s not how this works. I just want to spend time together, why don’t you understand?
Ludo suddenly lets go of Levi, composes himself, and looks towards the entrance of the building. Camrose and Delta round the corner, looking for their friend.
LUDO: Oh! It’s so good to see all of you again, friends of Levi’s! DELTA: Wow, I really wish that were mutual!
Camrose and Delta can see that Levi is leaned up against the wall and Ludo is very close to him. Levi also looks very irritated.
Ludo claps his hands together.
LUDO: Well, Levi ... son. I’m going to head off now, it was so good to have a little chat again. LEVI: A little warning next time you stop by. Would be nice.
LUDO: Oh, you know me - I just can’t resist!
Levi laughs without humor.
Delta is trying to understand the vibes here.
Camrose approaches Ludo.
CAMROSE: It was nice to see you again, Mr. Cadmius.
Camrose offers a handshake, and Ludo extends a gloved hand and gives Camrose a strong shake, putting his other hand on top.
LUDO: So good to meet you again - Camrose, is it?
(Brian wishes he had any reason to smite this man.)
Camrose firmly shakes his hand. Ludo gives a toothy grin, lets Camrose’s hand go, and gives a polite nod to the rest of them.
Delta notices Ludo has abnormally-sharp canines. It gives her pause. She also notices Ludo is making Levi extremely uncomfortable, unsure if it’s because of Levi’s comment or there’s something else that he’s upset about. Ludo’s presence is definitely unwelcome right now.
Delta walks up and takes Levi’s hand. Ludo grins even wider, his eyes also growing wide, stares at their hands touching.
LUDO: Wow! Levi, you didn’t tell me that you already had— DELTA: Friends?
DELTA: He has plenty of friends! LUDO: ... Friends, yes. Of course. That you had such good friends already. DELTA: He made quite a lot of friends, very quickly. Thank you. We should go! LUDO: Right, you have all those club fairs to get back to and what-not. CAMROSE: ... Is it common for parents to navigate the campus? LUDO: Only when their sons have trouble answering mail. CAMROSE: That seems a little ... forward, but of course I understand you’re just concerned about your son. LEVI: I’ll reply to the next one, okay? LUDO: Thank you, that would be lovely! I just wanted you to remember who pays your tuition.
Delta makes a disgusted noise. Levi’s hand in Delta’s tightens hard. She squeezes back.
LUDO: That’s a joke, of course!
Levi almost says something in response, but holds back. Ludo is waiting for everyone to leave, smiling, holding a briefcase that he thumbs his hand along.
Camrose has picked up on the fact that Levi is irritated, and Levi is always irritated … but Delta is also put-off by this person, to a level that Camrose did not expect. They feel like they’re missing something here. Also, Ludo’s tuition joke rubbed them the wrong way. A good father would not say that.
Camrose stares at this man, his long, cascading black hair; his bizarre fashion taste. They look between Ludo and Levi, and recognizes that the two of them do not look related. What if he’s a step-father, and this is an awkward step-father situation? Camrose thinks this is slimy enough to warrant using their Divine Sense.
Using Divine Sense, Camrose can sense a very strong undead aura emanating right in front of them, as well as to the left of them where Levi is standing.
Levi is glaring daggers at Ludo, but spares a glance at Camrose – and there is a small moment where Levi notices a movement just at the top of Camrose’s cheekbones.
Ludo takes a step back, as if saw exactly what Levi did. Camrose immediately takes a step forward.
LUDO: Where did you say you were from again...? CAMROSE: I didn’t say. LUDO: Right ... I should be going. CAMROSE: Yes, you should.
Ludo turns and swiftly exits the area with a flap of his bright pink coat. Levi holds strong eye contact with Ludo until he leaves. Delta waves, and then he is gone.
DELTA: That guy’s fucking creepy! I’m sorry he’s your dad, but he is really creepy. Are you okay? LEVI: You guys— You guys really don’t have to do that— I mean, thank you, but—
Levi realizes that they’re still holding hands and awkwardly lets go.
LEVI: Yeah, um. Gah! God. GRRGH! I’m fine.
Levi is not fine.
DELTA: Is he like your step-dad? Or like your adopt— I’m sorry, this is inappropriate, I shouldn’t be asking these questions, we should go back inside! LEVI: I’m gonna join a club! Lets— I’m gonna join a club.
Delta grabs Levi’s hand again and walks with him inside.
Camrose is still staring after where Ludo had exited, but then turns to follow their friends.
Levi’s grip is very tight in Delta’s hand.
Camrose, Levi, and Delta return to their dorms. Levi is still antsy. He sits down on the couch.
LEVI: ... Can I talk to you guys for a second? DELTA: Yes, of course! LEVI: Okay. So. What you did was very ... nice. And I really appreciate it. Um. If— If— If something like that happens again. Can I— I am asking you ... to— Can you refrain from— Don’t— Just don’t engage with him. Please? For me?
Delta and Camrose look conflicted.
CAMROSE: ... May I be direct with you? LEVI: ... Depends on what you’re about to ask me.
Camrose crosses their arms and thinks very hard.
CAMROSE: Do you ... CAMROSE: Are you ... hmm. CAMROSE: You ... Your ... LEVI: WHAT!! CAMROSE: Are you aware that your ... father? Is undead. DELTA: ... Oh ...!!
Delta leans in. Camrose is staring directly at Levi. Levi is surprised, and then tries to act more surprised than he actually is, and then feeling stupid about acting.
LEVI: UMM. WHAT MAKES YOU SAY THAT.
Camrose is very stiff. They attempt to relax their posture.
CAMROSE: I shook his hand, and— his demeanor, in a sense. LEVI: Just the way that he acts gave it away?? DELTA: ... When you say “gave it away” ...
Levi puts his head in his hands.
DELTA: Does— Um— Should— Are you ... Is that congenital? LEVI: Okay— Okay, this is becoming— ALL I WANTED to tell you guys is that you shouldn’t— you should not interact with him. DELTA: Is that because you’re worried about our safety, or is it because you wanted to ignore him so maybe he’ll go away, or— LEVI: Both? DELTA: Okay then. LEVI: I don’t— I don’t know— distressed noise I don’t know what he can do, and I don’t want any of you involved. CAMROSE: This is a situation in which you did not wish for this individual, who is your father ...? To be around you? Interacting with you? In your general vicinity. LEVI: I— HRGH. I— Okay. That is my ... preference, but, if ... the situation arises ... that does not necessarily mean that intervention is needed. If that makes sense. CAMROSE: This country does have laws against ... if you want, you can ... LEVI: I know. CAMROSE: Yeah ... LEVI: I know. CAMROSE: Okay ... okay. DELTA: Okay, so you are saying that ... if this instance happens again, to just ... leave you there?
Levi looks very distressed at this question.
LEVI: Um ... maybe? CAMROSE: Why? LEVI: voice cracks I don’t know— Okay, just— don’t— be as hostile?? DELTA: Would an acceptable compromise be to remove you from the situation and ignore him entirely. LEVI: Yes ...? Unless— I don’t know—
Levi puts his head in his hands again.
CAMROSE: Do you owe your father something ...? LEVI: I’d really rather not talk about this. LEVI: I’m— But I’m— sigh I’m working on it. DELTA: That’s your business! LEVI: I’m working— I am working on it. DELTA: Mhm! Right, Camrose? It is Levi’s business.
Camrose frowns. Delta nods very seriously.
CAMROSE: You’re right, it is ... not my place to step in. LEVI: How did you ... you did something to him. CAMROSE: I have an ... intimidating presence. To some. LEVI: Did you do some magic with your eyes? CAMROSE: My eyes? LEVI: I thought I ... saw something. CAMROSE: What did you see. LEVI: I don’t know??
Levi is looking skeptically at Camrose’s sunglasses. Camrose looks away.
LEVI: Like a flicker?? I don’t know?? DELTA: Do you have line of sight -based magic? CAMROSE: I mean, some magic is sight-based— DELTA: What spell was it?
Camrose is awkwardly quiet, and then they very seriously look back.
CAMROSE: I have divine powers. And I was able to see into your father’s true nature.
Levi makes a pained noise.
DELTA: And that’s how he found out he was undead? CAMROSE: Yes.
Delta scoots closer.
DELTA: Can you teach me how to do that? CAMROSE: I can, however ... I don’t know how much you want to devote yourself to religion. DELTA: OH! None. Okay, okay, okay. CAMROSE: Yes, it’s a very ... specialized form of magic that I practice. And part of it was ... Levi, I ... you, yourself, it ... picked up some things.
Delta’s eyes lock onto Levi.
Levi notices Delta honing in on him. He looks up at her.
LEVI: I’m— I’m working on it. DELTA: You’re working on ... what?
The room is silent.
CAMROSE: I ... can I just say it? Can I just say it. Levi? LEVI: I’d really you RATHER NOT. DELTA: ... Am I missing something? CAMROSE: Levi is undead. DELTA: ... Okay. That’s what I was assuming. Does that mean ... that you’ve died and come back? Does that mean that you’re a zombie? Does that mean you’re a vampire? I don’t really know the specifics—
Levi gets up and starts pacing. Delta folds her hands and looks really bashful.
DELTA: Oh, I’m so sorry! I have a hard time ... not asking. LEVI: I KNOW. I CAN TELL.
Levi is getting very angry and paces faster.
DELTA: I’m sorry, I won’t ask anymore. LEVI: I’ll— I— I— I just don’t know how to tell people, yet, and wasn’t really planning on doing it. CAMROSE: You’re ... working on it? LEVI: ... Yes. CAMROSE: Which means you’re ... trying to relieve yourself of this— LEVI: Yes. CAMROSE: —affliction? LEVI: Yes. CAMROSE: Very well. Do you want help with that?
Levi looks conflicted, then irritated.
LEVI: ... Can you help??? CAMROSE: Possibly. LEVI: ... Don’t tell anybody. DELTA: I promise, I won’t! CAMROSE: ... Not even our roommates?
Levi lets out a pathetic sob.
LEVI: Can you let me like— fuckin— think about this for a second. I guess— CAMROSE: I do feel like they should at least know a little bit, because you have not come to breakfast for the past few days that we’ve been here, and— DELTA: Oh, Camrose ... 🥺 CAMROSE: And it’s a very concerning thing considering breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And we haven’t exactly seen you eat around us. DELTA: There could have been any number of reasons for that! LEVI: Okay, okay, um—
Levi is very worked up.
LEVI: We can— I’ll— We’ll— We can— I’ll tell them— I’ll tell them ... tomorrow? Later? This weekend. Next week! DELTA: Whenever you are comfortable!
Levi laughs weakly.
DELTA: Even if that’s never! CAMROSE: You don’t have to come to breakfast. LEVI: Could one of you— Camrose, could you ... escort me somewhere tonight. CAMROSE: Of course. Yes, of course. LEVI: Thanks. I’m gonna go lie down. Glad we had this talk.
DELTA: Is there anything we can get you? Is there anything I can get you? Can you drink coffee?
Levi starts crying. Delta hugs him.
Io walks in as Levi is having a breakdown. Delta is embarrassing Levi, Levi is … crying? Io sidesteps the room and goes into his bedroom. Delta is patting Levi’s back. Levi is angry-crying. The dam has burst. Camrose feels terrible.
Amadeus also comes home and scoots around this situation.
DELTA: You can use our room if you need to! I’m gonna head to the library. Go lay down. I’m sorry if my bed is damp. CAMROSE: My bed is not damp.
Levi lies down in Camrose’s bed.
Meanwhile, in the Levi + Amadeus + Io bedroom.
IO: Do you think he’s okay..? AMADEUS: I mean, I don’t know ... he didn’t look great? Maybe something happened with Ghost? IO: Yeah, maybe ... AMADEUS: I don’t know ... but Delta and Camrose didn’t come back either. Something happened and I guarantee you we can get Camrose to tell us. IO: ... You do whatever you want. AMADEUS: Well, you and Levi are close, you can probably just ask Levi yourself! IO: I don’t know if you would consider us close. AMADEUS: If I didn’t consider you close, I wouldn’t have said you were close. IO: Yeah, I mean I might ask him later, but if he doesn’t want to say it I’m not gonna go to somebody else to try and figure it out. AMADEUS: That’s fair ... man, I hate not knowing things! This is hard. IO: I think you’re gonna survive. AMADEUS: Yeah ... I hope he’s okay. Maybe I can bring him some coffee back from dinner.
Camrose escorts Levi to the DEAD frat. Levi is let inside and goes up to Ghost’s room.
GHOST: Come in— Oh! Uh, what’s— Levi, umm, what’s up? LEVI: takes a deep breath I ... need to ask you something. GHOST: Yeah?
Levi takes another deep breath.
LEVI: AUGH this is so stupid. GHOST: It’s okay, like, whatever you gotta say is like, super cool, man. LEVI: UHHH. I need— LEVI: LEVI: ... Do you have any weed? GHOST: UMMM. Yeah, bro, I— Yeah, I got some weed? Do you smoke? LEVI: No, but, I might as well start now? GHOST: Okay, yeah, whatever you need dude, I can help you out! Like, for sure! I can be— Like, I’ll be your hookup, whatever!
Ghost gets up, rifles through his dresser, and pulls out a bag of weed.
GHOST: I only have this on-hand right now. Like, it’s good, but if you want other kinds of flavors and stuff, I’d have to go talk to some people off-campus. LEVI: No, this is fine, umm— can— when can ... can I do it now? GHOST: The weed? LEVI: Yeah. GHOST: Y-Yeah, I got like— if you want me to get like, a bowl set up for you and whatever man, like— LEVI: Yeah.
Ghost starts preparing the weed.
GHOST: Are you okay, dude? Like, no offense, but this feels a little bit out of character for you, man ... LEVI: I ... I just need to ... calm down a bit. GHOST: Fair enough, school’s really stressful and all that, I get it.
Levi and Ghost smoke together for a little bit. An hour later, Levi turns to Ghost mid-conversation and drops:
LEVI: Can I ... bite you? GHOST: Whuh?
Ghost drops the bowl and the ashes scatter.
LEVI: Like, just a— Just a little bit, just a tiny bit— GHOST: Is this like uhh, like a vampire thing or like a gay thing— LEVI: It’s a— GHOST: IT’S COOL IF IT’S A GAY THING, MAN— LEVI: It’s a BLOOD THING— GHOST: BLOOD THING— It’s a vampire thing, okay, yeah. UMMM. Why...? Why do you need to do that— LEVI: I don’t HAVE to— I don’t HAVE to, I just— GHOST: But I mean it sounds like you kinda gotta, like you need this ...? I don’t really know how this stuff works, man ... LEVI: ... A lot happened today. And ... if you ... WHAT AM I DOING, GOD. You don’t have to say yes, because I can, because I have other stuff ... but ... GHOST: Do I turn into a vampire if you bite me ..? I don’t know how this stuff works ...
Levi starts thinking about past experiences.
LEVI: No! No ... no ... no. GHOST: So have you bitten other people before and they were, like, fine? LEVI: ... Technically? Yes? GHOST: Like I for sure trust you, I’m just asking because I don’t know shit about vampires. Like I know I’m supposed to be necromancy and professional but I’m really ... not that good at it. LEVI: Yeah, um, I have, and it doesn’t. I can’t— do that. GHOST: It doesn’t hurt super bad, does it? Is it like ... just like a poke? Like getting a shot at the doctor or somethin? LEVI: ... Okay, so, it kinda hurts? It’s fucking biting someone, it hurts!! GHOST: Okay, like, I’ve like, done that before, like it’s cool ... I’ve bit people before, like, in a not-vampire way, like it’s probably fine, I’m ,like, tough, I play ... silkball ... Yeah, like, go for it man, like, I wanna help a bro out, and like, you’re my bro, and like, we’re f— ... yeah, just like, don’t take too much, cuz I don’t wanna get all like, woo, and like, pass out, you know. Okay? LEVI: Okay ... so it’s cool? GHOST: Yeah! Yeah, it’s cool, just like, don’t tell anyone ... that’s kind of weird ... I don’t think you will because I don’t think you want people to know you’re a vampire? Half-vampire
LEVI: Yeah, no, I won’t— no one, no one has to know about this! GHOST: Cool. I’m just ... I’m just gonna sit here.
Ghost closes his eyes.
Levi takes Ghost’s arm and bites it. Levi sinks his fangs in, and the moment of excitement of fresh blood gets the better of him and he goes IN. Ghost yelps and then covers his mouth.
GHOST: I’m fine—!! It’s fine, it’s fine—
Levi is fully checked out. All he can focus on is the blood. Ghost is stiff as a board, but lets it happen. When Levi stops, Ghost is sweaty and pale.
GHOST: That was ... kinda weird ... umm ... we don’t have to talk about it, like, that’s ... like ... up to you, like ...
His words are slurring a bit.
GHOST: Are you ... better now? LEVI: Yeah, uhh, yeah, we don’t have to tell anybody. I won’t tell anybody.
Ghost leans into Levi, resting his head on Levi’s shoulder.
Levi dabs at the blood marks on Ghost’s wrist.
GHOST: Don’t worry, I got like ... bandages and stuff, like, over there ...
Levi asks Ghost about a poster on his wall, immediately veering into small-talk. Ghost slowly regains his composure. They talk for a bit.
Levi feels GREAT.