Because the Night belongs to us

Chapter 6

NSFW warning! Contains blood, violence, undead creatures and explicit sex scenes, including those with dubious consent. Minors, turn back! Adults, proceed at your own risk!

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Luke and Strange split up. As agreed, Strange went to check Platform 3 and 4, so Luke went to look for Foggy at 1 and 2. But he quickly found that the lost lawyer was nowhere in sight. While Luke hoped Strange would have more luck, he doubted it. Lots of people were at the station, waiting for their connection. Matt surely would not try kidnapping Foggy with so many witnesses around, even though they probably could not stop him. No, there were better options.

Just as Luke decided to regroup with Strange, his phone hummed in his pocket. With furrowed brows he read the message Colleen had sent. It was full of typos and the syntax made no sense. But this probably spoke of the message’s urgency. It mentioned a maintenance room near the east exit so he should probably go there.

Suddenly, Luke experienced something familiar yet foreign. It reminded him of the feeling he sometimes got when fighting next to Danny - a specific warmth Danny emanated when he summoned the Iron Fist. But this… was different. What usually was a pleasant, comforting sensation like a cozy fire one sat by to have hot chocolate with marshmallows, was now a disagreeable, almost menacing, heat like the spark of a wildfire, threatening to jump over and swallow whole forests and small rural towns.

Only for a second, the feeling distracted Luke. But it was still too long. From behind, someone grabbed the chain of his pendant and pulled. At first, Luke thought it was the silly attempt to choke him, but then the small yet reassuring weight of the wolfsbane satchel was gone. Confused, he watched it fall to the ground, still connected to the ripped chain..

Luke startled at the screeching of metal on metal. The subway train came to a halt in front of him, people stepping out and in. Mesmerized, Luke watched the coming and going, for the blink of an eye forgetting why he was here.

Right! Foggy. Foggy was in danger and he had to find him. But he was not here. Of course not. Too many people.

The train left the station again. Watching it drive into the tunnel and disappear into the darkness, Luke’s eyes widened.
Of course! Matt could not kidnap Foggy in front of all these people. But he could lure Foggy into the tunnels and kidnap him there!

Proud of himself, Luke hoped from the platform. He ignored the gasps of the bystanders and their calls to him. They could not know what was at stake. He had to save Foggy and Foggy most likely was in the tunnels. Of course. What a good idea.

Shortly, Luke wondered why he had not checked the tunnels first. But then he pushed the thought aside and hurried into the darkness.


“Passengers in a New York subway station were given quite the fright as local ‘Hero for Hire’ Luke Cage jumped into the track bed and disappeared into the tunnels.” For a moment, the face of the news man vanished from the screen and was replaced by a shaky footage, showing a tall, muscular black man in the station, watching a train leave before leaping off the platform. “Not known for taking unnecessary risks, Harlem’s hero surprised us with this stunt. However, many have no doubt that Luke Cage must have had a very good reason for his actions. So far, he was not available for comment, but due to his unbreakable skin, it is unlikely that he suffered any injuries.”

Sighing, Colleen turned off her phone and the screen went black. Misty was pacing so hard that Foggy basically could see the carpet beneath her feet wear out. But this was less uncanny than Jess, who just pressed her nose against the window, her breath leaving white fog on the cool glass.

Guilt clawed at Foggy. The group had been at the station to look for him because he had walked right into Matt’s arms.

Colleen caught his eyes and apparently read his thoughts.

“This isn’t your fault,” she said. “You were hypnotized and that’s why you went into the subway station. And none of us knew that could happen so neither could you.”

“She’s right,” Jess said. “This is Luke’s fault. His pendant was ripped which means someone got very close to him. And why?” She threw her arms in the air. “Because that huge moron of a man thinks of everyone’s safety but his own because he is oh so invulnerable. Exceptions being vampire teeth and, apparently, vampire hypnosis.”

“Yeah, that’s Luke,” Misty said, smiling.

“I wonder if Danny chose to get him because he couldn’t get Colleen alone,” Jess pondered. “Or…”

“...if he never wanted me but Luke,” Colleen finished. “I suspect the latter. He knew Luke and you guys would come to my apartment to check on me. That’s why he was there. As close as Danny and I were, we grew apart, and Luke is still his best friend, his brother in arms. And a way stronger addition to whatever vampire army they are building.”

As twisted as the pain in her voice was, Foggy understood. A dark part of him was flattered that Matt wanted him . To think he would be after Elektra, Kirsten or Karen (which he was not, Karen was regularly sending proof of life), was a painful idea.

“Hey,” he jested. “You’d be a great addition to a vampire team. You’d be my first choice, well second. I’d bite Brett first - it would annoy him so much to spend eternity with me.”

Colleen laughed lightly. “Thanks, Foggy. I’d be honored to be in your vampire team.” More seriously, she said, “I still want to slap myself. I was so convinced that it would be me Danny wanted that I didn’t even think Luke might be in danger.”

“None of us really considered that.” Sighing, Misty sank into a seat. “How are you feeling, Foggy?”

“Oh, I’m fine. Bit dizzy,” Foggy answered. “But I think it’s just the blood loss.”

Jessica cleared her throat. The others turned to look at her and Foggy had never seen her expression so vulnerable.

“Speaking of bloss loss… Do you think…,” she said. “That Danny… If Matt… But Danny would never hurt Luke, right? He wouldn’t.”

“No, but he and Matt don’t think of turning someone into a vampire as hurting them,” Foggy said carefully. “They think it’s a good thing, a sort of blessing if you will. If you’re asking if he would kill Luke - no, never.”

Thoughtfully, Jessica hummed before staring out of the window again.

“Just…” she murmured. “So much unsaid, you know?”

“Yeah,” Foggy said. “I know.”


A pounding headache awoke him. Nausea and dizziness were the next things he felt aside from complete disorientation. The smell of his own sweat reached his nose and a coppery taste filled his mouth, the combination having him gag for a moment.

Distinct voices permeated through the thick fog that clouded his mind. Two male and familiar, one female and foreign. The men sounded concerned, the woman calm.

“Of course I remember being unwell,” said one man. Matt? “But I was conscious.”

“It’s different for everyone,” answered the woman. “Plus, you tried this new… method to speed up the process. Maybe this tired him out.”

“I just wanted to help.” Danny? “I never meant to hurt him.”

“He’ll be fine,” assured the woman. “I’m certain by midnight everything will be okay.”

Matt? Danny? Wait, there was something about Matt and Danny.

“Shit!” Luke sat up quickly and immediately found it was a mistake. The throbbing in his head got worse and the world around him seemed to be rotating much faster than it should. Around his wrists, shackles of a heavy sort of metal rattled. A door opened noisily and warm orange light streamed over the cot he lay on.

In the frame, Luke saw two figures he knew well. Or used to. With wrong sharp smiles on their faces, Matt and Danny stepped in.

“You’re awake!” Danny’s voice was so painfully familiar in its boyish tone and infectious enthusiasm.

Forcefully, Luke had to remind himself that this was a different version of Danny, like from a distorting mirror. The same was true for Matt of course. But he wore the darkness much better than Danny, like a sinister armor, made just for him.

“Hey, big guy,” he said. “I’m sorry. You must be feeling sick and it appears your body takes a bit longer than ours did. Danny tried to speed it up with his chi, but it only worked to a degree - and knocked you out.”

“And sorry about the chains,” Danny added. “Just a precaution until… well… sorry.”

“What did you do to me?” Luke demanded.

For you,” Matt corrected. “We shared the gift we received with you. I know it doesn’t feel like it at the moment, but it’s a blessing, Luke!”

“How can you say that, Matt?” Luke asked. “This… this is everything we fight. Those, preying on the vulnerable, are our enemies. And now you want to prey on the vulnerable?”

“No, Luke! Of course not!” Matt snapped. “We’ll prey on those who prey on the vulnerable.” He smiled, showing off his fangs. “Imagine, Luke. All the Fisks, Cottonmouths and Diamondbacks will have nothing on us. They’ll be fleeting inconveniences in an eternity that is shaped by us. The night and the shadows will no longer belong to the likes of the Hand but to us.”

Swallowing, Luke regarded Matt. It was eerie to listen to Matt’s strong morality being twisted like that. But maybe it meant that Matt was still there. In a way?

“You really mean that?” Luke asked.

“Of course,” Matt said as he nodded grimly. “We’ll take the night and comb evil out of it, until it is nothing but a protective cloak for us as we control this city and nip all rising danger in the bud.”

Biting his tongue, Luke remained silent. It would not do him any good to remark that a burning desire to rule rarely came with the aptitude for it.

“I’m not feeling so good,” he said instead and let himself fall back to the cot, making the metal chains rattle.

“Rest,” Danny said with a soft smile. “Everything is going to be great! You’ll see.”

Noncommittally, Luke hummed. When the door closed behind his vampiric friends, he let out a sigh. He could feel the curse inside him, running through his veins, trying to take over. Maybe he could fight it. Hold off a while longer. Danny and Matt were good men and yet the disease had changed them. So Luke would probably lose himself as well.

Pressing his lips together, he fought the panic, the feeling of lost opportunity. All the things undone, all the things unsaid.

“Jess,” he whispered into the darkness.


After losing Luke, the mood in the sanctum was naturally gloomy. After about an hour, Strange reappeared from… somewhere and held a more or less motivational speech about not giving up because they had gained a valuable ally in Ervenar. Foggy had no idea what Strange was talking about, but as he learnt from Misty, Ervenar was some sort of sorcerer, too. As a former member of the Ordo Draconis he was very well versed in battling evil creatures and healing supernatural diseases.

Hopefully, this was true. Because Foggy had a question, a very burning one. While Foggy usually did not mind elaborate research, in this case it made sense to just ask an expert. So he requested to talk to Ervenar and Strange sent him to the Sanctum’s laboratory.

After wandering around for a while, Foggy found it. It was around a corner he was sure he’d checked before without finding anything. Maybe his sense of direction was even worse than he thought. Or the house had just now decided that he was trustworthy.

Either way, he could enter. A peculiar but not exactly unpleasant smell filled the air. Steam rose from a large cauldron, hanging above the lively crackling hearth fire. In front of the fogged window stood a long table full of phials, crucibles and bowls with dried herbs.

Foggy felt himself reminded of the workplace of the kind but slightly insane wizard in a kids movie. The old man who must be Ervenar fitted right in. Mumbling to himself, he moved constantly from cauldron to table and back. With sure hands and confident mien, he added ingredients and stirred the potion.

“Hello?” Foggy greeted as he entered

“Hello. Nelson, right?” Ervenar asked.

“Foggy is fine.”

“Huh? Strange nickname. You don’t appear to be dumb.”

“Thanks,” Foggy said drily. “Just something about me being loud, my mom calling me a human foghorn and my little sister being unable to say that.”

Something akin to a smile played along Ervenar’s lips. “Ah, I see. What can I do for you, Mr. Foghorn?”

Snorting, Foggy leant against the wall, in safe distance to the cauldron and shared his concern.

“The others told me you helped them,” he said. “That you are quite firm in vampire knowledge.”

“Well, I’m an expert in many supernatural creatures,” Ervenar said. “What do you need?”

“Before the others saved me, my friend Matt… bit me and drank from me,” Foggy explained. “Jess, that is Jessica Jones, came just in time to stop Matt from feeding me some of his blood,” Foggy said.

“He tried to turn you.”

“Yes, and now I’m wondering how long until the… um… magic fades.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, being bitten is the first part of the turning, right? Part two is drinking the vampire’s blood,” Foggy said. “Matt bit me, but my friends showed up before he could finish the second part. Does that mean that I’m forever marked as semi-turned or do I have to drink vampire blood within a specific time frame?”

“It’s not an exact science, of course,” Ervenar said. “But I think you should be fine by the next sunrise.”

“Ah, okay, thanks.”

“No problem,” Ervenar said.

He busied himself again. But Foggy found it rude to just leave as soon as he had the information he needed.

“That’s one big cauldron,” he said unnecessarily. But Ervenar appeared amused.

“Well, vampires usually don’t drink their ‘medicine’ happily,” he said. “I expect some loss while trying to give it to them.”

“So this is the anti-vampirism potion?”

“Yes, it’s almost done.”

“Shit!” Foggy exclaimed. “I… I forgot the bags!”


“With the DNA samples of Matt and Danny - and I suppose we’ll need one for Luke as well now! They’re still in the maintenance room!” Foggy slapped his hand against his forehead, but Ervenar just frowned.

“Were you out there playing vampire catnip to gather DNA samples of your turned friends?” he asked in disbelief.

“Yes, of course, we need it for the healing potion, right?”

“Oh, dammit, Strange!” Ervenar said, exasperated and after a calming breath, explained, “We do need human DNA, yes. But it doesn’t have to be from the infected human. I usually just spit in the cauldron.”

“Okay, first of all, gross,” Foggy said. “Second, of all, we lost Luke and I got bitten for nothing?”

“Looks like it,” Ervenar sighed. “Alright, look, I know it all seems a bit grim right now, but… we can do this. We have some time left to save your friends and I can make a lot of this potion. Just… let me work.”

Glumly, Foggy nodded. He left Ervenar to his work and went to look for his friends who were still human.


The group let their eyes wander over the table. Many phials, filled with an unappetizing gray liquid were lined up. Ervenar took one and turned it in his hands.

“Scentless and tasteless and somehow still gross,” he said. “Now, a few drops should be enough. But as I already told Nelson, they won’t be too keen on drinking it. Grab them, do somehow immobilize them - magic, pure force or whatever tricks you got - get the stuff into them and make them keep as much of it as possible in.”

“Well done,” Strange said. “Thank you, Ervenar.” To the others, he said, “Alright, I could verify that Matt and Danny are in the abandoned house where you first encountered the vampires.”

“Not exactly hiding, hm?” Colleen said.

“No, they want us to come. But that does not change that during the day they are weaker,” Strange said. “We are safe here. So we all get a good night’s sleep and go there after sunrise. We separate them so we…”

“I say we go now,” Jess said.

Everybody looked at her with wide eyes. But she stood straight and wore a serious expression.

“It’s only a few hours until dusk, Miss Jones,” Strange said. “With preparations and traveling there, we’d have one hour of daylight left, maximum.”

“Yes,” Jess said. “An hour we can put to good use.”

“Jess,” Foggy said. “I know you want Luke and the others back as soon as possible. But getting impatient and reckless now…”

“I’m not!” she snapped. Then she swayed her head in thought and admitted, “Yes, okay, I’m impatient. But not reckless.”

“Really?” Misty asked. “Your idea goes against pretty much everything we learned about vampires.”

“Think about it,” Jess said. “They know we went to Strange to inform ourselves. They expect us by morning, after sunrise. If we want to profit in the slightest of the element of surprise, going now is a way better option.”

Furrowing his brows in concentration, Foggy considered her arguments. Admittedly, she had a point.

“She might be right,” Foggy said. “In addition, there is still a chance, Luke is not fully turned yet. Or maybe in the process and thus weakened. Tomorrow morning, his transformation is guaranteed to be complete. Then you’ll have to face three vampirised superheroes.”

“Still…,” Misty visibly did not like this at all. “We need more time to come up with a plan.”

“We have a plan,” Jess said. “Go in, grab them, force the gray stuff down their throats.”

“Well, I had hoped to get a more complex plan,” Misty said.

“The complexer the plan, the worse its chances after enemy contact,” Jess said with a shrug. “The plan is as good as it gets.”

Strange hummed and nodded. “Thinking about it, I’m with Miss Jones,” he said. “Going now, might be our best shot.”

Scoffing, Misty threw her arms up in defeat. “Alright. I’m in. But if we die, my last words will be ‘this wasn’t my idea’.”

“Okay,” Colleen said. “But now or later, we have one huge problem: Matt’s senses. I doubt vampirism has made them less keen. How do we surprise someone with super hearing?”

A smug smile formed on Strange’s face. “I think I can help with that.”

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