by Beresfordlane & Elrond50

Tom Sawyer watched the eclectic group as they entered a shiny contraption that appeared to be a horseless carriage of some sort. It roared to noisy life and sped past him. Fascinating. The speed and efficiency appealed to him. Especially the speed. If he was successful in joining the hunt for the madman bent on provoking a World War, perhaps he could wrangle a ride in the sleek white vehicle.

Tom sprinted for his horse, pausing just long enough to memorize the distinctive pattern made by the carriage's wheels in the wet cobblestone street. Tom could follow anything over any terrain. Even as unfamiliar as he was with London, he figured he could track this behemoth. The noise alone made it an easy target, and the fumes from its fuel source would linger long after the carriage stopped.

A spy by trade, Tom Sawyer had arrived in London four days ago on orders from the President himself. Her Majesty's secret service had not welcomed their American counterpart with open arms, so Tom turned to one of the things he did best--ferreting out information. He'd learned that a team was being assembled for a secret mission. When he heard a rumor that the legendary Allan Quartermain was returning to England, he'd figured it couldn't be coincidence and had made it his business to greet every ship from Africa until the great man disembarked. He'd shadowed the legend, figuring that sooner or later something interesting would happen.

Tom had very good instincts.

The trail of the horseless carriage led him to the east London docks, where an Indian servant he'd heard introduce himself as Ishmael was guarding the carriage and casting frequent glances a townhouse. Keeping to the shadows, Tom scurried down an alleyway and, as expected, found a door that had been left open by the servants. He darted through the scullery and by instinct made his way toward the center of the home. The sound of voices drew him up two flights of stairs until he emerged onto a balcony that encircled a magnificent library.

"...a witch doctor did bless me once. He said that Africa would never allow me to die."

'Quartermain's voice, obviously,' Tom deduced as he looked for a suitable cubbyhole from which to observe the scene below.

"But you're not in Africa now." This from a well-dressed young man who was lounging casually in a chair in front of a roaring fireplace while his guests stood in various poses of unrest.

"Then I'd best be careful," Quartermain replied, but Tom discovered he was having a hard time taking his eyes off the elegant man in the chair. Dark hair, impeccably dressed, with a diffident manner and a touch of arrogance. Looking at him, Tom felt a rush of something he couldn't give a name to.

"So will you join us, Dorian?" the woman asked, coyly lifting the veil of her perky little hat. Tom made himself look at her and found her sashaying toward her host, swinging her hips as though she was being goosed by a wild horsehair in her bustle.

The man she called Dorian sighed heavily, as though he was almost too bored to bother with an answer. "Ah, Mina... There was a time when my love of experience would have drawn me to this adventure, but now I have other priorities. I seek to tame my own...demons. Therefore I must decline."

'What demons did he have?' Tom wondered, intrigued, as Dorian twirled a black cane nimbly between his fingers. The Indian gentleman drew the group's attention to ask why someone named M had chosen "Mr. Gray" for this mission. "We, all of us, have obvious traits useful in this endeavor. Quartermain is a hunter, and Mrs. Harker represents science. I myself am quite skilled with technology, and even Mr. Skinner has stealth." The Indian looked archly at their seated host. "What of you?"

"I have...experience," he answered wearily. "A vast amount of experience."

Tom found the exchange fascinating, particularly when Quartermain told an interesting story about where he and Gray had met before--when Quartermain was just a young boy.

How was that possible? Gray was so young. So handsome. His attitude was world-weary, but his visage was beautiful.

"He hasn't changed a bit in all those years," Quartermain pointed out.

"Must be a healthy diet and virtuous living," the man with starkly white face said sarcastically. He took a swig of a drink he'd poured for himself, and Tom gasped when he saw the amber liquid rushing down what should have been a throat. So "Skinner" had "stealth" because he was invisible.

What kind of a cockamamie mission had President McKinley sent him on anyway?

"What is it?" Mrs. Harker asked, and Tom realized that Quartermain was scanning the balcony, a hunter sensing danger.

'Did he hear me?' Tom wondered, but only for an instant, because he too sensed the danger that had Quartermain easing his Webley revolver out of his jacket. Tom backed slowly away from the railing, deep into the shadows, readying his rifle just as a flurry of marksmen appeared on the landing opposite his hiding place, and above, on the third level, too. They fanned out, taking positions at every nook along the landings. Three rushed past Tom's hiding place and he took the opportunity to clip the third one in the face with the butt of his rifle. The man went down, unnoticed in the clatter of boots and click of weapons being cocked. A moment later, Tom was wearing his victim's cloak and hat.

"Gray? What is this? Your own brand of home security?" Tom heard Quartermain growl.

"They're not mine." Gray no longer sounded bored, Tom noted.

"They are mine." A new voice, rough, booming, but slightly muffled.

“Introductions are normally called for on the first meeting. Do you have a name, or just a mask and a costume.”

Despite the circumstances, Tom grinned at that. Allan Quartermain was living up to his legend, and then some. Tom liked that. Making sure his scarf covered his face, Tom took his place as one of the cadre of sharpshooters with weapons pointed down on the room.

“I am the Fantom and you are the League of so-called Extraordinary Gentlemen. There introductions are over.”

Tom kept his rifle steady as the Fantom made Quartermain drop his revolver, then started spouting his drivel about inviting everyone to join him. Without being too obvious, Tom worked at drawing Quartermain's eye, and finally succeeded in capturing his attention. He gave the old man a wink. The Fantom went on about his plans for world domination and when everyone rejected his invitation to embrace evil, the Fantom raised his arm in what was clearly about to be an order for his marksmen to open fire.

Tom beat them to the draw and all Hell broke loose in the library. He took two of the Fantom's drones down with two shots, ducked for cover, and then clipped off two more. Bullets pelted into the well of the library like hail in a thundershower, and Tom mostly lost track of how the members of the so-called League of Extraordinary Gentlemen were faring. He was conscious of Quartermain's brilliant move to unseat many of the marksmen by running the library ladder around its rails. Books and assassins were equally unbalanced, and soon the air was a blizzard of ripped and torn. He clipped off another shot and below him saw Gray slide a sword from the black sheath of his cane. Brandishing it high, he coolly approached one of the assassins who had infiltrated the main floor. The assassin fired pointblank and a torrent of bullets pierced Gray's torso.

Tom's hoarsely shouted "NO!" was lost in the vicious din of gunfire, but astonishingly, Gray did not fall. He slashed his would-be killer and moved on to the next intruder and the next. Quartermain managed to get off a clear shot at the Fantom, and though the man's body armor deflected the shot, it appeared that the villain had no stomach for close-quarter fighting. He vanished through the portal from whence he had appeared, and Tom took that as he cue. The others were faring well against the marksmen--the Indian gentleman in particular was a blur of amazing agility--so Tom left them to pursue the real threat.

How he lost the Fantom he couldn't have said, but when he reached the street there was no one but the Indian, Ishmael, who was slumped unconscious over one of the silver ornaments of the horseless carriage. The villain had chosen his nickname well.

Frustrated, Tom returned to the townhouse, back up the stairs, and into the Library, which was a shambles. Paper from books and parchment from undoubtedly-precious portfolios crunched under his feet as he charged -- rifle drawn -- into the room.

The first sight his gaze fell upon was the darkly handsome master of the house. His shirt, still smoldering from the impact of bullets, was shredded, leaving his pale, muscled, unmarked torso completely exposed. No bullets, and no armor plating, either. Just beautiful, tempting flesh.

Calm down, Tom, you are here for a reason, and he is not it!

The iron-hatted intruder who was holding Mrs. Harker with a knife at her throat; well, Tom did consider that part of his job description. He listened as she claimed not to need the aid of any of the man, then proved it by viciously ripping out the man's throat and drinking his blood.

Appalled and horrified, Tom watched with the others as she cleaned up after her ‘meal;’ somehow he could not help but be awed. “Boy, they told me that European women had funny ways,” he quipped to cover his nervousness. He motioned at her. “You missed a spot.”

She looked at him blankly.

He pointed to a place on his own cheek. “You missed a spot.”

With the faintest hint of embarrassment, she dabbed the evidence of her gluttony away, then quickly found and donned her mantle of hauteur. “And you are?”

Tom turned away from the question to face the grizzled old man. “Special Agent Tom Sawyer, of the American Secret Service.”

"So, America's aware of the situation?" Quartermain asked.

Tom nodded, keenly aware that all eyes were on him. Especially Dorian Gray's. Dark eyes, looking him up and down as though Tom were the one whose clothes were in tatters and he liked what he saw exposed. He realized quite suddenly that he was also receiving similar assessing glance from Mrs. Harker, and his nervousness increased 100 fold. Was she sizing up a potential suitor, or lunch?

"Um, yes," he replied, focusing hard on Quartermain. "War starts in Europe, how long until is crosses the Atlantic?"

Gray stepped between Tom and Mrs. Harker's assessing gaze. He looked at Tom as though he might devour him as efficiently as Mrs. Harker had devoured her prey a moment ago, but his words belied the intent in his gaze when he said, "Accurate but pointless. This is a private party. You're not invited."

Tom squared his shoulders and met Gray's dark gaze evenly. "I intend to find the Fantom. So do you all. I can't get in your way if I'm right beside you."

Mina circled Dorian to approach the young spy. She smiled seductively as she delicately secured the red scarf that was moments ago a dinner napkin. "Actually, since Dorian has already declined to join our little effort, we are one shy of a full deck."

"On the contrary," Dorian said with uncharacteristic enthusiastically, "that unexpected battle was just the spur I needed. Very exciting, for a change, with the promise of more to come." He looked at Mina, but managed to include Tom in his seductively spoken, "And the thrill of an old friendship renewed."

"Winchester?" Quartermain stepped forward to inspect Tom's rifle, rescuing him from what felt like a very treacherous web.

"Modified, American style," Tom confirmed, purposefully ignoring Dorian Gray as he handed the weapon to Quartermain.

Allan looked down the sights. "American style shooting, too."

It didn't sound like a compliment, but Tom grinned at the old adventurer. "Like it? I brought two of 'em."

"He's in," Quartermain said to Dorian.

"Then we had best be about our business," the Indian said. "According to M's instructions, the League has one final member to recruit before we can be off to Venice."

Tom started to ask what was in Venice, but he stopped himself. If they were going to Paris to collect another league member, there would be plenty of time for questions. Listening with one ear as his compatriots debated the nature of their quarry in Paris, Tom glanced down and saw one of the scattered pieces of parchment at his feet. An artist's sketch, beautifully rendered. He craned his neck for a better look and coughed suddenly to cover his blush. The sexual act depicted was not anything he’d ever seen, or even let himself imagine.

Two men - doing that?’

He gave it a second, happy to see that no one was paying attention to him. He nudged the paper with his foot, unveiling a second, equally evocative drawing beneath it, and coughed again to cover his blush when he realized that Mr. Gray was regarding him with amusement.

Blessedly, the Indian swept out and the entourage followed. They were held up only briefly as Dorian changed into unshredded clothing and emerged on the street carrying a small carpetbag. Tom kept close to Quartermain as they made their way to the Docks, but his mind kept roaming back to the mysterious Dorian Gray. Tom never believed in magic but wounds that healed miraculously? What was he to think.  And Mrs. Harker -- Mina -- she frightened him. She was nothing that he had any experience in dealing with -- not that he had experience with Invisible Men or immortals of any kind. Or naked men in erotically compromising positions.

Out of nowhere a huge ship rose from the Thames River. Tom stood transfixed when he felt a hand on his shoulder. The whisper in his ear rustled his long hair and caused a shiver to run down his spine. “Never get to see much in backwards America do you? Denied civilization, mores the pity. Nemo’s ship appears to be a modern wonder.”

Tom turned slightly to look at Gray in the eye. “I’ve seen vessels similar to this before.”

“Mr. Sawyer, there is no vessel like the this one. Gentlemen and lady, welcome to NAUTILUS.” Capt. Nemo proudly exclaimed.

Gaping like an unschooled youth, Tom boarded the ship and could barely absorb its wonders. The vessel was vastly different from the steamship he crossed the Atlantic on; not could he compare it to the even the most elegant paddlewheel on the Mississippi. The same silky voice again wrapped its way around his thoughts. Tom could not hold back a sigh.

“So, Tom, how much of the world have you seen?”

He turned to look at Gray while trying to calm his rapidly beating heart. “The American Mid-west and the East Coast. I’ve been up to Montreal, rode with the Royal Canadian Mounties for a summer.”

Dorian circled around to walk next to Tom, lightly brushing his hand over Tom’s. “You seem to older than you appear, Mr. Sawyer.”

Laughing, Tom whispered in Dorian’s ear. “You would be the expert on that now, wouldn’t you?”

Dorian arched an eyebrow at Tom, impressed by the retort, but he moved to catch up with Mina as the group followed Nemo on his tour. Without being overt, Dorian followed the brash American’s movements closely. He was young, but experienced without being jaded. It called to Dorian, for whom life had long since lost all newness. The very air around the young man was ripe with energy. The fragrance was heady. Dorian had never been to America but if all men there were like Sawyer, he would have to find time to make the ocean crossing. All of this evoked memories of innocence that had been lost in time. It made Dorian’s head spin with desire. To touch, to taste, to remember and recall all that had faded like a tapestry exposed too many years to the sun. But there was an adventure afoot that the appealing Agent Sawyer was not supposed to have been a part of. Dorian forced his mind back to his priorities.

“It has been a long time, Mina,” Dorian said to his old friend.

“Indeed it has, Dorian. Why have you chosen to come on this mission?”

He noted that Mina's gaze fell not on him, but instead followed the young Mr. Sawyer hungrily as he looked upon the ornate Stateroom.

“It intrigues me," Dorian replied. Studying the vampiress with a calculated eye, he followed her thoughts. And shared her sentiments. His own gaze darted to Sawyer. “Adventure is a thrill I’ve not had in a long time.”

"If you will follow, you may watch our departure from the promenade," Nemo announced, and everyone made their way to the very uppermost deck of the ship.

A full moon cast glistening pearls on the silver ship as it silently set sail for the Channel crossing. Tom looked over the dark waters and the multitude of houses that marked and created the London skyline. The fragrance that he already recognized as Dorian wafted by and Tom inhaled deeply. Something was stirring in him that he’d ignored over the years, but was making its presence felt now with a vengeance. He swallowed repeatedly, trying to restore moisture to his mouth.

“From what Nemo says, we should be in Paris before midnight,” Gray stated in a smooth, even cadence. “How does one become a Secret Service agent, Mr. Sawyer.”

Dorian’s voice was making Tom sweat. The look in those deep, dark eyes made Tom long to grab the eternally-young man and kiss him. Tom couldn't recall a compulsion that strong, not even for a beautiful woman. He resisted the inappropriate impulse. “I happened to be an excellent marksman and skilled tracker. My skills have been put to great use several times.”

Dorian circled behind Tom, again caressing his ear with a whisper. “I’m sure your skills are many and formidable.” Dorian sauntered to the hatch and went back down to the main salon, leaving Tom panting in his wake. Tom took a moment to clear his head before following down to the salon, where only Dorian was standing.

“Where are the others?”

Dorian sniffed a decanter of amber liquid and decided to fill a glass. “On the bridge. Mina and Allan are talking with Nemo about the course and other such drivel. Why? Scared?” Dorian arched his eyebrows at Tom seductively.

Tom could feel a trickle of sweat roll down his spine. He was having problems swallowing or talking. “No, not scared.” He walked to the bar, poured his own glass, and downed it in a gulp. It burned his parched throat, but he was not going to show his discomfort in front of Gray.

“Abuse of a fine Scotch. Such is youth I suppose.” Dorian looked into Tom’s eyes as he took a long sip from his glass and slowly swirled it around his mouth, allowing the taste to permeate his senses.

Tom watched as Dorian savored his drink. The trickle of sweat became a torrent. As he saw Dorian swallow, watching the bob of his Adam’s Apple, he whimpered. When Dorian took that second sip, smelling the glass, and again keeping it in his mouth - Tom almost dropped his glass. His hands were sweaty and he wanted to taste Dorian’s mouth, to see how the liquid tasted there.

Dorian swallowed again, keeping eye contact on Tom. “Not the best Scotch I’ve ever had the pleasure of, but very good.” He lifted a hand as he circled closer to the young American. “It starts as a fire on the tongue, slowly spreading towards the back, but the fire moves to a silky feel the longer it stays. The key is to savor it. To allow your mouth to acclimate the drink and then to slowly move down your throat. It opens up and blossoms with patience, Tom.”

Tom tried to keep his breathing normal, to regain control of his voice. “Savor it, got it.” His own previous abuse of the Scotch was working against him now. Dorian’s voice was making him want - but he had a job to do, and unlike some of his compatriots, he was not invincible. “I need some air.” Tom left as quickly as possible and headed back to the deck. No matter how far or how fast he walked, though, the sound of Dorian’s voice and those dark mysterious eyes would not leave him in peace.

Tom lost track of time until he heard Allan calling for him.

“Sawyer, you’re with me. The trackers must find the quarry.”

Tom nodded and headed to get his rifles. He saw a shadow lurking as he turned the corner to his stateroom. He stopped when he saw that it as Dorian.

“Be careful out there. More roams the night in Paris than fierce creatures. The West Bank is full of mischief.” Dorian moved closer and whispered in his ear, “Too bad we don’t have any time to sample it together.’

Tom nodded, careful not to speak. Dorian’s voice drove all other thoughts from his mind. He followed the man with his eyes as he walked away. Shaking his head, he moved to get his rifles.

Tom walked away from the freezer, where the frightening Mr. Hyde had returned to his natural human form. The chase through the streets of Paris had been fun. Allan had been both teacher and tormenter, but Tom didn't mind. The man was a legend and Tom would be happy to absorb whatever the legend wanted to try to teach him. But their quarry... That was another matter entirely. A dozen chains on him and still the hideous giant had made the mighty Nautilus quake, and nearly killed a half-dozen of Nemo's men. Dr. Jekyll was far easier to deal with than Hyde. But he’d never been as frightened as he had then, despite his claim to the contrary. ‘I’m just a marksman, I can’t do what these people can.’ Tom tried to shake the effect of his confrontation with Hyde but there was no denying he was rattled.

“Mr. Sawyer, a word please?”

Tom turned to see Dorian right behind him, twirling his cane. “Mr. Gray, umm, sure.” He followed Dorian into his private cabin, curious and excited at the same time. The hand on his shoulder that brushed the locks of his hair made him visibly shudder.

“Take nothing Hyde says at value. He is a brute, nothing more or less.” Dorian circled to the front of Tom and smiled. “So, Tom, if you could have anything on Earth, what would it be?”

Tom listened to words as they wove around him. He watched as Dorian removed his jacket and crossed the luxurious stateroom to pour two drinks. “Anything?”

Dorian raised an eyebrow as he looked back at Tom over his shoulder. “Yes… anything.”

Tom clinched his right hand into a fist, wishing he had fingernails to dig into his skin. Part of him wanted to tell the truth but he did not want to be taken for a fool or worse. He was staring at the floor when a finger lifted his chin. He accepted the glass that Dorian offered.

“To the hunt, May we achieve all we set out to accomplish.”

Tom drank as Dorian. He could not look the man in the eye.

“Tom, you have yet to answer my question. What would you want if you could have anything?” Dorian ran a hand along Tom’s arm, upward, across one shoulder, allowing the back of a finger to graze Tom’s unshaved cheek. The hitch in the young man’s breathing told Dorian that his advances were welcome, but he wanted it in the open, so that later there could be no denials or recriminations. "Anything at all?"

Stepping forward, Tom leaned towards Dorian. “You,” he whispered, and placed a kiss on his lips. Pulling back abruptly, he looked to see the gentleman’s reaction.

“So, Americans can be aggressive after all.” Dorian pulled Tom by his shirt and pushed him onto the bed. “Let’s see how educated you are.”  He removed Tom’s boots and heavy socks before joining him on the bed. He detected small tremors from Tom, but he was not worried, Sawyer wanted this. Leaning over Tom’s face, he kissed him, slowly, deeply, lingering to allow Tom to enjoy the moment. To urge patience. To dictate that Dorian was going to take his time.

Tom kissed Dorian again, allowing the overwhelming feelings of the past few hours to come rushing forward. His hands reached up to grip the man’s neck and to feel the strength in his shoulders. The scent of Dorian was intoxicating and Dorian’s mouth on his neck was making him whimper. Tom tried to take control and roll on top but he found that he was weaker than the older man. Dorian smiled down at him but said nothing.

Dorian pulled away and removed his vest and shirt, letting Sawyer see his chest exposed. He moved down and pulled Tom’s shirt out of his slacks and resumed tasting his neck. With his tongue, he roamed the point where he'd learned vampires prefer their kiss, then traced downwards past the Adam’s apple. The taste of sweat, mixed with fear and excitement was driving him insane. He let his hands grip the firm shoulders while his tongue moved to the smooth chest.

“You are very handsome, Tom.”

Tom was writhing and Dorian's mouth was making the room spin. No one had ever done anything like this to him. His toes were curling and no amount of will could contain his moans. He wanted to taste Dorian but could not marshal the will to tell him to stop.

Dorian did stop eventually, and sat up slowly, stretching his arms above his head, affording Tom a full view of his exposed torso. “Have you ever done this before? The decadent dance with another male? So very un-Victorian.” Dorian ran hand just above Tom’s trousers and curled in the light hairs below his navel. He allowed his fingers to snake lower and undo the buttons carefully, one by one, smiling at Tom. With grace and skill he moved Tom and pulled his trousers and underpants off of him, leaving the young man’s hard member fully exposed. “Very nice, Mr. Sawyer.”

Tom tried to stop his blush but couldn’t. He was naked, panting with desire, needing Dorian to touch him again. He watched as Dorian joined him in his nudity. Tom moved and began to kiss and lick Dorian as if he were the first meal he'd had in ages.

Dorian allowed Tom to touch and taste him in every way possible for a few moments. He loved the feel of the young man’s hair running through his fingers. The touch of stubble on Tom’s chin was a delicious tickle on his stomach. Dorian sighed as he pushed Tom back on his back. He leaned over to kiss him again.

Tom watched as Dorian slid lower and took his member into his mouth. The moan escaped before he could stop it and then he felt a hand spread his legs apart. A finger was playing with a spot just beneath his sack, driving him wild. “GRAY!” Tom bit down on his lip to keep from bringing the League to Dorian’s room. He bucked into the warm mouth when the finger tickled his ass.

Dorian wanted to laugh at the immense  pleasure Tom was clearly having. He reveled in the moans, twists, thrusts, and whimpers Tom was displaying. It had been so long since sex was so - uninhibited. Dorian wanted more. Releasing Tom from his mouth, he rose quickly to find a small vial. As he sauntered back, the beauty of the frustrated and debauched young man brought Dorian to the moment. His own youth was calling, no longer just an attempt to relive something but this; it was new. It was here. It was now. Calming his own raging fires, Dorian settled between the outstretched legs of the agent. Coating two fingers with oil, he moved them to Tom’s perfect ass and prepared him.

“OH!” Tom had not expected this. Fear coursed through him, but he was keyed and strung tight already. Lifting his hips as Dorian instructed, he felt a pillow placed under him. Soon he was looking into those dark eyes and saw raw lust. His scream was swallowed as he experienced another man inside him for the first time. A slick hand was gripping his member and all thought fled as pure fire ran through his body. He could feel Dorian bite his neck bit he did not fear it. Moans echoed in the room, but he’d no clue whose they were.

Dorian could not believe the openness of Tom. The pure emotions that painted his face. The wild need as he bucked back. Dorian could not control the tempo any longer. He was lost in his desire. Lost because of Tom. He felt the young man buck one last time before screaming and covering their stomachs and chests in his essence. Dorian shuddered as he did the same inside him. Struggling to regain his composure, he rolled off and grabbed a handkerchief.

The roaring in Tom’s ears subsided. He looked over and saw Dorian at the bar, pouring a drink. Just one. Tom had no idea what to expect, but that was not it. Rolling off the bed and onto unsteady feet, he reached for his clothes.

“Well, Tom, was it everything you wanted?”

Tom ducked his head as he got dressed, ignoring the pull of unused muscles, and the stickiness on his ass. “I have no frame of reference, Dorian. But I have no complaints.” ‘Well, almost none.’ Feeling confused, Tom left quickly and without another word.

Dorian sagged against a wall the moment the door closed. “God help me.”

Over a sumptuous breakfast, Allan finished briefing Tom on the details of their assignment in Venice. They shared the sparse information collected by their governments on the Fantom, and took a constitutional on the upper deck. Mrs. Harker was at the rail, and Tom's throat convulsed when he saw Dorian join her, leaning in to whisper in her ear, one hand caressing the small of her back in a gesture of intimacy that sent a jolt of jealousy tearing through Tom.

"She's out of your league, boy," Allan told him, obviously reading the sentiment but not the object.

His jealousy turned to elation as Mrs. Harker turned to walk away. "Fortune rewards the bold, Mr. Quartermain." He grinned at Allan and quick-stepped toward the lovely widow. Two could play Dorian's game.

“I’m available if you need any help on this voyage, Mrs. Harker,” Tom said as she passed by him.

“I'm curious as to how you think you could assist me, Agent Sawyer,” Mina stated with a smirk and arched eyebrow.

“Heavy lifting, light banter. Whatever you need. I’m a useful guy," Tom quipped as he turned the wheel on the hatch and opened the portal for her.  He knew full well Dorian was watching.

“You are sweet and young, Mr. Sawyer. Neither of which are traits I hold in high regard.” Mina smiled as she departed.

Dorian walked over and inhaled deeply next to Tom. “I think that was a no.” Allowing one of his hands to gently brush along Tom’s inner thigh, he gave the American a quick wink.

Tom tried to get his emotions under control. He could still feel Dorian in him and despite some of the soreness, he liked it. But Dorian’s actions confused him. He saw Nemo approaching.

“Please come inside, we will be diving soon.”

Tom nodded and went below, thoughts in a whirlwind. Dorian’s touch made him long for another visit, but it was clear that Dorian was looking Mina’s way as well. ‘I was warned Europe was different, just didn’t know it was this much so.

Tom got out of Dorian’s bed and quickly dressed. This had been a mistake, but he couldn't regret it. He'd ruined his shooting lesson earlier by making Quartermain angry at the mention of his son, but the real problem had been Dorian. Even through the lesson, his mind kept drifting back to Dorian. To this fierce ecstasy. In the end, he hadn't been able to stay away.

Glancing down, he could still see some of the bite marks Dorian had given him on his chest. The burn from Dorian screwing him again was still there as well. He winced as he sat to place his boots back on.

“Going somewhere, Tom? We aren’t due to Venice for several more hours.” Dorian slipped from the bed and curled a hand into Tom’s blond locks. 

“I need to get ready, oil my guns, study the maps. We have a mission.”

"Yes, we do." Dorian pulled back, suddenly cold and cavalier. “Well, I do hope we can do this again. Makes all the adventure worth it.”

Face flaming with shame and the lingering heat of passion, Tom nodded and left Dorian naked on his bed. His intent was to see if Allan needed assistance with the final preparations, but he made it only a few steps down he corridor when he had to stop. He reached for the wall to steady himself against a swell of emotion that threatened to knock him to his knees. It was everything he could do to keep from flying back to Dorian's bed.

"Agent Sawyer? Are you all right?"

Mrs. Harker's soft tones were not music to Tom's ears. He forced himself to steadiness and turned. "A touch of the seasickness, I think. It's passing already."

She nodded sympathetically, but one eyebrow was raised in question. “Have you seen Dorian? He must be warned.”

Panic slammed into to Tom. “About what?”

Allan rounded the corner. “There you are. Skinner is missing, and so is a vial of Hyde's formula. He is a spy. We are coming on Venice sooner than expected. We must hurry.”

“Never trust a thief, especially an invisible one,” Tom muttered to himself, then almost jumped out of his skin when he realized Mina was right at his shoulder. “Did you need something, Mrs. Harker?”

“No, Mr. Sawyer, I think I can find my way to Dorian's quarters without your assistance. But thank you.” The look in her eye made Tom wonder if she knew or suspected anything.

They turned toward Dorian's stateroom, which was only a few yards away and found him standing in the doorway, observing them with apparent boredom.

Mina hurried to him. "Dorian, Skinner is--"

"I heard. Perhaps you should return to your stateroom my dear, and prepare, as Mr. Quartermain suggested."

"Very well," she acquiesced, glancing from Dorian to Tom and back again.

She knows,’ Tom thought

“Loitering for a second go around?” Dorian smiled as he saw Tom blush. “Yes, perhaps it is not a good time after all.” Dorian sauntered over and ran a hand along Tom’s ass. “Though I must say that you standing here does give me wicked ideas.”

Tom's thoughts rushed back to the illustration he'd seen in Dorian’s Library, and he dropped his head to cover his blush. Dorian’s hand had not moved and Tom pushed back to increase the contact. He could not get enough. The sound of Quartermain shouting his name echoed through the corridors.

“I have to go.” Tom took off at a full run, did a quick pivot and returned to Dorian. “Later, maybe?” Tom placed a quick kiss on Dorian’s lips and ran for Allan’s cabin.

Dorian rubbed his temples and leaned back on the doorframe. “This is not what I signed up for.”

Allan was scowling deeply as Tom skidded to a stop at his open stateroom door. Something was amiss. “Keep your eyes on the game, boy. We need to search the ship for Skinner and that missing vial.”

Nemo walked up to them. “We are coming upon Venice now. We will be in the canals shortly. I will have Ishmael conduct a search once we go looking for the explosives."

Tom walked down the gangplank onto the wooden dock with others from the League. He could hear the sound of revelers in the distance. Nemo had mention Carnival. Tom wondered if it was anything like Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

“Quite a festival going on. Too bad we can’t join the fun here either,” Dorian whispered in Tom’s ear.

Tom inhaled the scent of Dorian and watched as he walked towards Mina. With effort, he dragged his attention to the orders Nemo was giving his crew.

“The city is vast, we don’t have enough time to search the whole area,” Tom heard Mina exclaim to Allan.

A sudden boom startled all of them, but looking skyward, it was clear they were fireworks. Relief was evident among the League until another loud explosion was heard and felt. There was no mistaking it for fireworks.

“We are too late!”

Tom shared Mina’s sentiment but kept silent as Allan and Nemo began to debate courses of action. He heard them say they needed to get ahead of the collapsing building to stop the domino effect, and Dorian quipped, “I‘m an immortal, not a gazelle. How are we supposed to outrun this devastation?”

Tom seemed to be the only one with an obvious answer. He disappeared into the cargo bay and moments later came roaring down the ramp in Nemo’s automobile. Playing with the wheel and the dampening mechanism at his feet, he spun the vehicle in a complete circle. “Damn I like this! Get IN!”

Quartermain, Gray, and Harker were onboard in an instant, but Jekyll refused to come, swearing he would never give in to Hyde again. Off they went to save Venice and the world.

Dorian watched as Tom piloted this modern contraption in an effort to save Venice. Gunfire from the rooftops began raining down on them, and though it could not harm him or Mina, Tom could easily be killed. Dorian was having none of it. “Damn Skinner! He must have told them we were coming.” Pulling his sword-cane out, he leapt from the vehicle and counterattacked the Fantom’s minions.

Mina’s cry of despair fed Tom's horror. He wiped at his own eyes to clear his hair. He had a job to do, just as Dorian did.

“Where is Sawyer?” Quartermain bellowed to the group.

“He’ll live to fight another day,” Tom answered as he walked up. He saw Mina approaching and moved back. She was moving to touch the cut above his left eye.

“Don’t worry,” Mina said. “I’ve had my fill of throats for one evening.”

There was a gasp of shock and everyone whirled and a mortally wounded Ishmael stumbled onto the gangplank. “It was Gray, not Skinner. Gray," he rasped out as he collapsed in Nemo's arms.

Tom was next to Mina as the words carried over the crowd. Looking over at her, he saw the look of confusion that mirrored his own. He didn’t want to think. Did not want to believe. ‘Not true, can’t be true!’ A strange sound came from the Nautilus. “What is that?”

Nemo looked up and fury was written all over his face. “That is the sound of treachery!”

They dashed down the boardwalk alongside the Nautilus until they spotted it -- a small vessel disengaging from the mighty ship. Tom saw Dorian sitting at the controls and his throat convulsed. Dorian’s wondrous caresses from earlier now burned. He wanted a bath, to wash all memory of it away. Still, part of him denied that Dorian had betrayed them - him.

Mina looked over and saw the horrified expression on Tom’s face. ‘Dorian you bastard!’ There was no mistaking the look on Tom’s face. It was heartbreak. Her senses had picked up Dorian’s scent on Tom earlier but she’d dismissed it. Now it was confirmed, Dorian had taken the boy to his bed.

Nemo ordered the Nautilus to pursue, and Mina ran inside with the others. She walked to the stateroom and saw Tom out of the corner of her eye.

“Are you alright ma’am?” Tom asked because he did not want to think about how he felt. He could not focus on the feelings surging through him without losing it.

Mina looked at Tom and saw compassion and confusion. She figured in that moment that Tom would deal with his feelings when he had time. “I’m fine…just shaken.”

A porter carried a recording disc to Nemo and he placed it on a phonograph.

Tom listened to “M” as he explained his plan and also to the fact that Dorian was compelled to help him. It did not help in the least. His thoughts went in a circle, coming back to how wrong he'd been about Dorian. As he listened to “M” drone on, Tom went to fill a glass, he needed something to steady his nerves. He didn’t think any amount of alcohol would ease his pain. ‘I was used! He seduced me so I would not suspect him. I was able to keep Quartermain from suspecting.’ He looked at Mina and wanted to be able to show his hurt as she did. Something from the recording caught his ear.

“So I set a wolf among the sheep," M declared, to which Dorian responded,


Mina heard a sharp hiss and her senses detected blood. Looking over she watched as Tom placed a broken glass on the table. She detected a slight tremble to his hands. She went back to listening to M's tale of power and deceit.

Tom picked a shard out of his hand. A quick glance told him that no one noticed his reaction to Dorian’s voice. Shame began to crawl over him, anger tried to join it, but Tom had allowed Dorian to seduce him. And Tom had wanted to be seduced. The sudden outburst by Nemo and explosion on board stopped his misery in its tracks. He had other things to worry about.

The journey north to the Amur River had been hard. With the Nautilus in need of additional crew and constant attention after her near disaster, Tom's experience on river steamers had come in handy. He'd managed to avoid most of his compatriots and work himself into a stupor so that he could avoid thinking about Dorian. But now, in this frozen wasteland with nothing to occupy his thoughts they turned there often. He tried to focus on his duty instead of his betrayal, but it was harder than he'd thought possible.

Taking his turn at the watch, Tom sat at the mouth of their sheltering cave and Tom looked hard at the snow, wondering how you were supposed to see an invisible man in all that white.

He tried not to jump when the beautiful vampiress crouched beside him, the fur of her coat drawn up around her scarred throat. She studied him for a long moment and Tom didn't have a clue how to escape her piercing gaze. Where was he going to go out there in that wall of white, even if he could leave his post. When she finally spoke, it wasn't anything he'd expected. "He seduced you."

Tom swallowed hard and tried not to feel ashamed. "You, too."

Her smile was only faintly ironic. "More of a recurrence of a past affair, but it was a shadow of the first time. I -- wanted it to happen, Dorian has a way…well, you know. I was perhaps more prepared for the ‘seduction’ than you. But that doesn't make the sting of betrayal any easier for either of us."

"Guess not." Tom scanned the whiteness and they sat in silence for a moment before Tom, told her, "He has to pay." He wasn't talking about the blood or the vial or any of the physical items he'd stolen.

Neither was Mina when she answered, "He will."

Tom frowned at her. "Not you. Me. He's mine."

Mina laughed sharply. "Mr. Sawyer, Dorian Gray was never yours nor mine. He is, in his own words, ‘complicated’.”

"You know what I mean."

"Yes, and I assure you that you have neither the skills nor the heart to do what must be done.”

"And you do?"

Mina grabbed Tom's hand and before he could react had ripped off his glove. He tried to jerk away, but she refused to allow it. Her eyes held his as she bared her throat and then her breast, and brought his palm to her chest. "What do you feel."


"Precisely. As cold as stone. Thanks to Count Dracula, I no longer have a heart."

"Then why is it broken?"

Mina released his hand and rose. A mantle of hair and fur closed over her exposed flesh. "When we make entry to the fortress, Dorian is mine, Mr. Sawyer. Don't get in my way."

Tom looked down to avoid Mina’s gaze. His eyes roamed the snowy landscape, looking for solace. “I think I loved him.”

Mina’s expression softened at the words, what compassion she could muster was given to the boy next to her. “I know you did. All the more reason that I shall deal with him. I am now a woman twice scorned. He will not survive.”

Dorian Gray scowled at “M”. He wanted very much to walk over and rip the man’s throat out. He did what he had to in order to secure his painting, the price was higher than he ever could have imagined.

“You could join me you know.”

Dorian waved off “M” as he would a servant. “I’ve had my fill of violence, it is now time for vice.” Dorian, though, did not want vice. He’d played his part, but his thoughts continued to return to the young American who’s passion had made Dorian feel alive again. He could still see him, standing on the docks in Venice as Dorian piloted the nautiloid away. Blowing his lovers a kiss had been an impulsive gesture; one he regretted whenever he thought of the pain on Tom's face. Dorian wanted to kill “M” for that one look. Dorian held no loyalties, but Sawyer would have been an excellent companion. For a few months. Perhaps, years.

“Enough,” he muttered under his breath and headed for his rooms. He wanted out of this miserable wasteland. London was calling, or possibly America, to find another like Sawyer.

He glanced around his room. Packing would be no trouble; he had little more than a change of clothes and a few amenities "M" had provided for him. And his most prized possession, of course.

Leaning against the foot of his bed, bound in ratty burlap, secured by twine. Dorian stepped to the bed and looked down at the wrapping. It was the closest he could ever come to gazing on his portrait, but the price was worth it. He would take it and leave and forget that this misadventure had ever occurred.


That voice. Still alive! Or what passed or alive among vampires. It gave him hope that at least one other had survived, the one he wanted. “Mina. You’re alive.”

“It is quite possible I can’t die. Same could be said of you.” She lunged at him. “Let’s put it to the test.” Her long dagger gleamed as it moved to attack Gray.

Dorian drew his sword cane and met her attack, parrying her dagger thrust. They traded blows, steel against steel. Wounds were inflicted but quickly healed. “We could be at this all day.”

Mina pulled back, looking for another avenue of attack. “That is why I came for you instead of Sawyer. He could not have killed you, even after your treachery.”

The boy was alive! The Nautilus had survived "M's" attack. Dorian hesitated for a second and moved just before Mina's dagger would have done serious damage to his neck. “Well, Tom is very special. I would not mind his company upon returning to London.”

Mina feinted left, moved right and nailed Dorian in the groin. She whirled to look down at him with disgust written on her face.

“If that had been permanent, I would be very upset!” Dorian rose quickly, impaling her on his sword. He looked down at her fallen body on his bed. “I wanted to nail you again, though not this way." He smiled as he turned away. "But I have long learned to live with regret, and there is always the hope that the exceptional Mr. Sawyer might survive yet another encounter with “M”.”

Dorian moved through the room quickly, throwing his meager belongings into a carpetbag. If the League was here, an attack was imminent. Probably underway at this very moment. It was imperative he make his escape while there was still time. There was only one ship capable of escaping the iceflow, and “M” would move heaven and earth to get to it if he could not successfully defend his fortress.

Dorian threw his heavy cloak over the carpet bag and moved back to the bed to fetch the portrait. And his sword. He yanked the steel from Mina’s body and wiped off the blood. “I do wish that Tom had come up here instead of you, Mina. This impaling could have been so much more pleasurable. I have no desire to hurt him at all.”

Mina came to life. She pulled his sword from its sheath and skewered Dorian on it, pinning him to the wall. “You spoke of wanting to atone for your past, to face your demons. Here is your chance.” She ripped the cover off his painting and forced him to gaze on his true appearance. She looked away as Dorian crumbled to dust and bones. To her astonishment, the painting looked as Dorian had a few moments ago. “We shall save part of you Dorian, for the one you cared for in the end.”

Tom carried Allan down the stairs and found the others assembling outside the flaming fortress.  Some of Nemo’s men took the body from him and carried it respectfully away, joining a long, silent procession of the dead and wounded.

Tom joined the search for other survivors, then fell in into the procession to the ship. He ached in his soul. Too much loss in too short a time. He’d found a lover and a mentor; both were now gone. The long walk back to the Nautilus numbed his body, but could not sooth his pain.

Mina was already there. The sorrow etched on her face mirrored his own. “Tom, it is good to see you survived. My sincerest condolences for Allan. He was a true tiger. He went down fighting. Jekyll tells me that Skinner will survive.”

Tom looked up, feeling guilty. Skinner had received his wounds saving Tom's life, but the invisible man was not the one Tom ached for word of. “Dorian?” his voice broke as he asked.

Mina held a hand out to him and led him to his quarters. “He has atoned for his sins. Come. I have placed something in your room.” They walked the corridors in silence until they reached Tom's cabin. Mina opened the door to reveal Dorian's painting.

Mesmerized, aching, Tom approached the portrait. It was vibrant as life, so real that Tom was sure that if he reached out he would touch flesh and bone. Dorian. Young and beautiful, dark and mysterious. Tom took a deep breath, pride would not allow him to shed tears in front of anyone. “You were right. I don’t think I could have done it.”

Mina placed a hand on his shoulder. “I'm certain of it. In his own way, Dorian was fond of you. I was the seduction he needed for “M”. You were the seduction he needed to be human.” She turned and walked out of the cabin, closing the door as she departed.

Tom stood staring at Dorian. He did not know if he would ever forgive him, but he did know that he would always remember him.

 - fin-

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Notes: Heavy Spoilers for the movie. Thanks to B'Lane for all her help and the Cover art.