Note: This story just doesn’t want to end XD This is the second “volume” of the trilogy. To understand what’s going on, we advise to read the first part too, “The Negative One”.
Note 2: The title comes from Slipknot’s “The Negative One” and “Left Behind”.
Disclaimer: This is a product of our imagination and was written only for entertainment and fun. We don’t profit from this fanfiction and we mean no harm or disrespect against any real person, culture or custom that might appear in the story.
Fandoms: Slipknot, Trivium, Tool, Gemini Syndrome, Gojira, The Prodigy, Machine Head
Characters: Corey Taylor/Jim Root, Shawn Crahan, Mick Thomson/Stacey Riley, Jay Weinberg, Craig Jones, Chris Fehn, Sid Wilson, Alessandro Venturella, Paul Gray, Robb Flynn, Matt Heafy/Corey Beaulieu, Paolo Gregoletto, Maynard James Keenan, Aaron Nordstrom, Joe Duplantier, Mario Duplantier, Stephanie Luby Taylor, Keith Flint, Liam Howlett, Maxim, original characters
Rating/category: R (explicit), supernatural AU, slash, M/M, alternate dimension, drama, romance, hurt/comfort, angst, teenage drama, dark, torture, violence, demons, witches, magic, betrayal, blood/gore, blood play, mating/bonding, rough sex, some (kinda manly) fluff.
Summary: It’s been ten years since the Grays had purged the witches from their territory with the help of other clans. They have managed to keep the peace ever since. But danger is never far from their doorstep and a new arising threat changes everything in the growing clan’s life.
Full-sized illustration by Useless-girl
The Negative One 2
- Left behind -
By S.M.A. and Useless-girl
The musty air heavily covered the gathered demon elders. The Bloodstone clan’s once powerful and feared noble ones were now squeezed into a small dungeon – again. But hard times required hard decisions…
The Earth Demons have been spying over the other clans in the last ten years, and they have been sewing the web of their own plans according to what they found out.
To say that the Elders were impressed and terrified by the Gray clan's new leading mates’ united powers and the kind of force and damage it could cause when it exploded from their bodies, was truly an understatement. And as such, of course for Demons who’d seen a lot from these worlds these were warning signs. They had to count with that power, and mostly try to react, or even more, prepare a first strike against it.
After all, the main purpose was to protect their own kind. Those beast demons have always been a threat. Especially how they somehow managed to keep the Bloodstones in their filthy claws.
The plans now will finally become actions. The main chancellor announced the summary of their decade-long plotting to the gathered nobles.
One of the things they all agreed on was that they were going to leave their leader, Cristina out of these actions. Mainly because she and her father had turned their backs to the clan many years ago. Robb Flynn was off the grid, even untraceable for the Shaman's senses. And his daughter, even if she namely took over leadership, was not much around either. Though she strictly ordered the Elders not to get into the ways of the Grays. They should even help them out with their 'mission' to free captive and abused 'animal' kids.
Of course it was an outrage! That already was a cut from all the many centuries old habits of where the place of the Earth Demons was and where the other races of lower class demons stood. And she also kicked up all the privileges that upper-class demons had over such creatures…
It was evident that after getting to know more of what it was that they were dealing with, they had to stop it. And finally everything was set into motion. It has been too many years already that they had to practically hide and agree to the overpowering of those low-cast animalistic creatures.
The low murmuring ebbed down when the chancellor knocked with his richly decorated crane against the table. The door opened and four upper-class white witches and two of the most powerful shamans from the far continent walked inside the secret gathering, hidden underground in the cellars. Really, it was all scandalous… But as the help arrived now it would all change back as it should be. Everyone right where they belong. Just in a few weeks time now....
Not so surprisingly Jim was sitting in the music room he and Corey had renovated ten years ago. It was essentially the same like back then, just more guitars and musical equipment had found their way there. They just got back from tour, during which they both kept writing new music. Jim was working on a solo, trying to figure out the right arrangement. Or rather how it would sound better. He already had a few versions, but he wasn’t satisfied yet. Because there was that urge, that nagging feeling that could be about the music or something more.
Ten years have passed since he’d joined the Gray clan and became one of its leaders. By now he got used to that role – as well as his duties as the young ones’ tutor. Since the first saved demon kids they’d managed to add more to their clan’s members while eliminating other slave markets. One of their missions was to do so until there were no such places in their territory. Also, touring with their band Slipknot opened up the opportunity for them to continue that work first in the different states then even worldwide. It was an amazing feeling! Of course they didn’t take in all the kids. There were other demon clans who could accept them around those certain areas to raise and teach them.
But the Gray clan kept growing too. In the last ten years – besides the new small members – other demons had joined too. The most important change was the forming of the core Nine, a fighter “elite” including the four leading members too. The loose hierarchy looked like this: Corey, Jim, Shawn and Mick were the heads of the clan, then came the next five warriors and guardians of the clan: Jay, Alex, Craig, Chris and Sid. The latter five had a more important role when the leaders had to decide about more drastic moves, like attacks or defending the clan or their allies. They soon earned the name “The Nine” and were respected and feared by many.
Otherwise, next to the usual leading tasks, the aforementioned four were dealing with raising the kids and organizing stuff for both the clan and their band. Sometimes it wasn’t easy to juggle with all the tasks, but they really had strength in their number.
Jim remembered the time when there were only a handful of the Grays, mostly because of his old clan, the Bloodstones. It was funny how life could turn around for some. From a feared and huge clan the Bloodstones became smaller and more controlled (by the Grays), while Jim’s new clan only seemed to grow both in numbers and power.
They spent a lot of time and energy to keep the peace they’d achieved after cleaning out the witches from their area and signing a treaty with the neighboring demon clans. For ten years it seemed to work. Some alliances grew stronger, some stayed on the same level. The former happened with the Grays and the East River clan. The two groups kinda melted together, but were still independent in their decision-making and in the more important things in their clans’ lives.
But despite all the positive changes, there was something coming again. Jim could feel it in his bones and he noticed himself listening inside more, pausing with his playing. He was staring out the window, watching the passing people on the street who had no idea of the world he was living in. Something was going to happen… He could feel that same tension in his mate, Corey too, who was getting closer to Jim. The bond between them never lied about such things. And it was good that Corey was nearly there, because the tall guitarist somehow needed the silent comfort of his mate’s touch and presence.
That weird feeling was back again. It wasn’t only that Corey could feel it stronger again in his mate. The small shaman also always had it in the back of his mind.
But all these years already passed with that feeling and yet nothing really happened that would be so monumental. And the feeling stayed. Sometimes Corey thought that maybe it was just the trick of their connected mind after all the shit they’ve been through. But then again, from all that exact shit they were smarter than to ignore such warning feelings.
But right then the priority was his mate, and it made him smile how badly Jim was nagging him through their bond to get there.
"What's up, babe? Can't fight the evil instrument?" he asked playfully, sitting down next to the tall man, pressing a kiss to the bearded face.
Jim turned his head towards Corey still a bit lost in thoughts as if distracted by that annoying feeling. After a short sigh he pecked his mate’s lips then glimpsed down at the guitar on his lap. “Apparently. You can feel it too, right? It worries me. It’s been nagging me more often in the last couple of years,” Jim mumbled under his moustache.
They both remembered clearly how the last time they ignored such omens ended all those years ago. An attack and the death of their beloved previous shaman, Paul. Since then they paid extra attention to the omens and the protection of their home. They were still living in that former storage building by the peers, but unlike when Jim moved in there first, now it wasn’t nearly empty anymore. It was usually buzzing with life because of the current size of the Gray clan. Jim just felt glad sometimes that there were three other leaders beside him, because that way they could divide the different tasks. With the size of such a clan it would be difficult for one person to handle everything.
"Yeah I know. It's like slowly getting stronger... Or I can feel it more often. Something is up. Shawn and I sent out the rangers to spy around. They should be back and report tomorrow morning. But what about that mean guitar? Want me to break it for you?" the beast added with a naughty look on his face.
He was just done with his duties and wanted to get away a little from the serious things, if only for a little while with his mate in the privacy of their home. Where else could a domesticated beast relax if not on his soul mate's side? "Did you eat? I'm free for the rest of the day... You?"
“Good idea about the rangers. We don’t want to have any surprises and they are good at what they do,” Jim nodded, trying to focus more on the here and now. Living with a shaman beast for so long, especially because of their tight bond that grew stronger during the last 10 years, Jim picked up this and that from what Corey could do – or at least feel as a shaman. First it was a bit frightening to have occasional stronger connections to the spiritual dimension. Or one could say with the universe, but by then Jim got used to being a bit distracted by those feelings and sounds time after time.
“No! Leave my baby alone. She’s just having a stubborn day,” Jim’s eyes narrowed as he hugged the guitar to his chest, slightly turning away from Corey to keep it safe. “You already broke one of my poor babies on stage! It was horrible…” he pouted giving Corey the shifty eyes but even his moustache and beard couldn’t hide his playful smile. “And no, I didn’t eat yet, but could… You know my duties never end, but for now I don’t expect anyone to bother us…” he put the guitar back on its stand, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to figure out that arrangement today.
"Oh come on... I said sorry already and you got two custom made for that Fender..." Corey fake-pouted. "It was the heat of the performance..." he laughed then stood up taking the hand of his ragged male. "Come on. I'm starving too, so gonna make some quick dinner. Pauly is at Shawn for training and I bet he will be hungry too."
"I'll never live down that moment..." Jim teased back, but they both knew that he was faking it. "Although those Fenders are good," he murmured as he let Corey pull him up and lead him out of their little sanctuary. He kept holding his hand – enjoying their joined warm energies on his palm – until they reached the kitchen area. "Want me to help or should I just sit here and be pretty for you?" he flipped his wavy hair with a giggle.
Yes, being around his mate was definitely helping in improving his mood. "I bet that kid's gonna eat three servings. Teens... I'll never understand how he manages to stay so scrawny or where all that food goes," he grinned, thinking fondly of their son.
"Just be gorgeous, babe," Corey laughed letting his mate go and looked into the fridge to size up the possibilities. "Every teen is like that. They probably use it up for growing or something. And our boy probably to stay that calm," he packed out some chicken breasts and a few vegetables, fetching a wok to sudden fry all after seasoning.
Speaking of their teen son, all of a sudden some angry drum solo broke the silence of the apartment. A clear sign that Pauly needed some more energy to keep his cool.
"Okay, I'll try," Jim chuckled low sitting down to the reinforced kitchen table to watch his small mate move around with practiced ease by the counter. It was no secret how much he loved watching him. And no, it wasn't creepy. He was just still deep in love with his soul mate. Sue him...
"You're probably right..." Jim started to say when he heard the banging and he nearly felt sorry for the drum kit. "Uh-oh... It seems he got into a fight with Gabrielle again... We better make sure some ice-cream lands on the table too for dinner..."
"Oh… Yeah I feel sorry for the kit too," Corey answered Jim's thought and quickly peeked into the freezer. "We're out, as I remembered. The one box I smeared on you the other night was the last here... Can you go fetch some from the storage, please? And on your way back also the angry youth maybe?"
Jim wasn't even surprised that Corey answered his thought. He got used to it during the years. He often did the same. Smiling from the memories of that mentioned night he stood up, stretching out his back from sitting too long in the music room.
"Sure, no problem. Anything else you might need from the storage?" he asked as he tried to tune out the energetic banging on the drums. When whipped cream crossed Corey's mind, Jim chuckled. "I'll bring two cans just to be safe." And with that he walked out of their apartment.
Fetching the required food didn't take long then he entered the neighboring room where Pauly was completely focused on breaking another set of drum sticks. It took some time for the nearly 17 years old teen to notice Jim, because he was too lost in giving out some pent up tension in him. But when he did, he looked up with the usual nearly-pouting expression of teens.
"Dinner's nearly ready. I have ice cream too..." Jim lifted the box that was already freezing his fingers off, but he didn't care much. He saw Pauly's eyes soften and with a sigh he put down his drum sticks (still in one piece) and got up to walk out of the room. Jim didn't ask anything yet, they could talk over the newest debate during dinner. So with that the two males joined the third in a minute or two.
Exchanging a look with Corey after Jim walked over to the counter and pressed a kiss against the shaved side of his head, he put the food into the fridge while their son sat down to his usual spot. "Smells awesome, love," he praised his mate and grabbed plates and stuff to set the table for three.
"Thanks, babe! And hello, son of ours," he turned to the pouting teen. It was amazing how time flew by, really. Corey still recalled nearly daily when they found each other with that little introvert boy. It was truly love at first sense, due to the dark-haired and eyed child's powers and nature. And look at him now! A raging teenager with issues. Almost a grown shaman!
"How was practice?" the beast asked at the table, serving the meal for the others. Everyone knew about the difference between the two top shaman trainees. They were the most gifted with Gabrielle, but it was no surprise that her edgy nature fit well with the parent she chose. And for sure Shawn’s influence made that wild careless personality bloom in the fertile raising environment of the other main shaman's care. The two teens were total opposites, and yet their powers kept uniting during practices. Well... when they didn't get on each other's nerves, that is…
Jim agreed with Corey's thoughts, letting him know that through their bond. He remembered that first night too when they both sat down opposite the small child whom they just saved with a few others. That was the night Jim stepped into the role of their mentor. They quickly realized how Paul's nature and energies were close to Jim's and they grew close even if Corey was the shaman and the tall guitarist more like a warrior/teacher and protector of their clan.
Sitting by the table and thanking Corey for the food with a warm smile, Jim looked at their boy trying to find the right words to say not to sound mean or something. "Practice was fine until she started babbling about some nonsense..." Pauly grumbled, sticking his fork into a baby corn with more force than necessary. And of course she meant Gabrielle.
"What nonsense?" Jim asked and took a bite from the delicious chicken.
"About some spiritual journey that is coming. She keeps bringing that up, but it's bullsh... stupid, because I should sense it too if she does, but I don't," he grumbled staring into his plate then decided that he needed food so he started eating with much more enthusiasm.
Corey looked long and meaningful at his mate and shared some thoughts with him. With the passed years their skills as mates grew as well. And the mind-link worked between them as naturally as breathing.
"I'm glad you still like my cooking," he chuckled partly from Jim’s thought and mainly from the way and speed the teen made it disappear… well, really only the spirits knew where ‘cause he was lean and slim, sporting a fair share of muscles with nearly no fat at all on his bones. "You are as tall by now as I am," he ended his thought aloud and had to laugh. Being as tall as him was not much of a task.
"Remember son, females sense the future sooner. Especially if it's something threatening. What did she tell you about that journey?" He had to ask. What he and Jim have been sensing all along could be connected to what the shaman girl has.
What Pauly told them was concerning, to say the least, and the mates agreed on that through their bond and long look while their son was eating as if nothing else existed on the world but the food in front of him.
Jim snorted and had to cough as he nearly choked on his bite from Corey's comment on Paul's height. It was funny, really with Jim's height. He still stayed the tallest in their clan. "Corey's right about that..." Jim murmured and chewed on some veggies while looking over to their son.
"Nothing much. She just keeps repeating that some journey is ahead of us that can go in the right or bad direction depending on our decisions. Don't ask me who the 'we' are in this. She was so fu... very cryptic about it and acted so smug that she had something I couldn't sense. She's so annoying sometimes I could... Okay, whatever."
"Interesting..." Jim stroked along his beard, glimpsing at Corey as if agreeing on something again. "Maybe after you're finished, you could fetch Gabrielle for us? We have plenty of ice cream. At least loving that is one thing you have in common," he couldn't help a little chuckle, especially seeing the "oh hell no" grimace on their son's face.
The other dad had to bite his lip and turn away taking the empty dishes to hide his dirty grin. Poor kid. Life is so mean... Now it was his turn to cough and not choke on his laughter.
"Your dad is right. Please bring Gabrielle over and we all can talk about this. You know we have been talking to you all about the omens when we ignored them and almost lost all the clan. Be the more mature, Pauly," Corey turned from the sink and gave the kid a reassuring smile. He was a good kid. Corey loved him with pride.
Jim was smiling under his moustache too but mostly from how Corey tried to gently influence Pauly and make him see through his teen-ish defiance. Nonetheless, he was right.
Said teen returned Corey's look and sighed. "Whatever..." he grumbled under his breath after his last bite and stood to do as he was asked. He might have his contradicting feelings about Gabrielle and bringing her there, but he wasn't stupid. He'd learned his lessons from his dads. Clearly remembered all the stories they had told them during the years. And the importance of not ignoring what their kind can sense.
With that he walked out of the apartment to leave the soul mates alone for a few minutes until he managed to bribe the shaman girl into coming with him. Yes, ice cream worked for both of them, they'd learned that a long time ago.
"What you think?" Corey asked Jim once Pauly left. "I think we should do a séance maybe? With Pauly we are enough for it..."
"Sounds like a good idea. Things are lining up too much to ignore them," Jim nodded looking over at his mate as he rubbed his hand through his wavy hair on the right side of his head. "We have to get as much information about this as possible. I have a bad feeling."
As the kids got back, Pauly sat down back to his place without a word and looked expectantly at his dads. Jim understood that look and got up to get the bowls and the ice cream with one of the whipped cream cans and placed everything onto the table, waving with his hand for the kids to serve themselves.
"Hey Gabrielle, how are you? Get some ice cream. Ehm... Pauly said you had sensed some sort of omens?" Corey came closer too, paying close attention to the kids. Yeah their powers matched on many levels, even if they didn't...
"Hello, Corey! I'm fine, really," the girl pulled the box to herself to scoop some out with a naughty smug grin that was kinda always present on her pretty heart-shaped face. "Yes, it keeps coming back to me. In my dream even and often awake too. But only just the feeling and I can't remember the exact dream," she explained to the others clearly proud about her skills.
"I see… We’d like to know more if we can. You see, we have to be prepared for anything that might come," Corey smiled at the teens as Pauly rolled his eyes at the girl's wide grin for him. "After you're done with the ice cream we could have a séance, if you don't mind. With Pauly we are just enough. Pauly? What you say? You help?"
Jim smiled on Gabrielle's cheerful and confident behavior. Just like he expected from the energetic girl or rather young woman by then. She was still small like back in the days when she became Shawn's protégé. She was shorter than Pauly, but her presence certainly filled the wide open space of the leaders' apartment. Still, Jim could feel and see it too how the kids' energies reacted to each other. Similarly like it always happened when he was close to Corey.
"Whatever, dad..." the other teen shrugged and pulled the box from Gabrielle when she wasn't paying that much attention. He scooped out some ice cream for himself too then slid it to Jim. "It's better to look into that, as you suggested," he said, which translated in Pauly being intrigued and curious about what Gabrielle might sense better than he. Maybe he even wanted to figure out the why, because surely her being a female of their kind was not all. Or was it?
"Alright then. Thanks for all of you in the name of the clan. Eat up and I get things ready for it in the music room," Corey gave them all a smile and went back to said room. He couldn't help but feel a bit nervous. Somehow that feeling he shared with Jim got stronger all of a sudden. The bad omen seemed to get more intense as he drew chalk symbols onto the floor and placed the candles. As if the mystery got stronger from the threat that they are gonna peek on. Or maybe he was just slightly mad... Nah, no matter how crazy, he couldn't ignore it. But by then he was sure that something huge was about to happen.
Just as he got back from his darkening thoughts, the others came in looking over his work with the alchemist circle's runes and symbols shining up in a sun-like yellow glow after Jim thoughtfully turned off the light to help.
"Come on. You all know what to do, I suppose," he looked at the others, finishing his spell and sitting down by the edge of the circle. He made it just big enough for Gabrielle to sit back on her heels inside while the three males could form a circle with holding hands.
The other three finished eating their ice cream with mostly Gabrielle talking about whatever came into her mind, Jim and (no matter how hard Pauly tried to ignore her) the other male listening to her too. Although Jim's attention was shared between the teens and his mate preparing things in the music room.
Once Jim got the green light from Corey and the kids were done, they put the plates into the sink. Jim tried to shake the bad feeling that was starting to overshadow his own thoughts and feelings too. But he knew there was no use and he shared what Corey was feeling about it too.
Once in the room – after turning off the light – he sat down with the other two while Gabrielle took her place in the middle. Jim took his mate and Pauly's hand too and closed his eyes to focus on their energies and the spell.
Saying the chanting out loud and holding hands with the other males, Corey was leading the ceremony. Soon Pauly joined in and also murmured the spell then Jim started too. The girl in the middle of the circle fell into a trance and the light-like glow that was coming through the carvings on the floor turned orange. The channels were open.
"I wake up in a strange place. Everything is black and white. No, more like faded colors. It's like a swamp or jungle. Many plants and a thick fog. I can sense all kinds of strange creatures but cannot see any of them. They seem to follow me as I go. I feel lost and cut off,” the girl told her vision on a calm, dreamy voice.
While keeping up the chanting, everyone's attention was on what Gabrielle was saying. She was painting a picture Jim didn't remember seeing, but the feeling that she was channeling to them seemed familiar to him from the mostly forgotten hazy dreams. She certainly had a stronger feeling and memories of it.
The mates tried to drink in as many details as they could, because they both knew that what she was saying was connected to the bad feeling they were both having stronger for a while. Jim just hoped she could tell them more about it to make sure they were prepared.
"I can feel new forces in me. More focused ones. But cannot find a way or know where I'm going," she said then moaned holding her head between her hands like in pain. "It’s all so fast. Fights and beasts. Many of them. Teaching and healing. And a fever… Sickness. Dark…" she panted then the lights went out. The connection and the visions ended there.
Corey opened his eyes and tried to focus back after all the flashing images Gabrielle channeled to them. Kneeling up he crawled closer and started calling to the girl to wake her.
They could all feel and see what she did and it was a bit harder for Jim to come back from the trance once it ended, because he was the only non-shaman in the room. By the time he came to his senses, Paul was already moving without a word to pour a glass of water for Gabrielle then he gave it to her. Maybe it was his way of apologizing for doubting her vision, but he wouldn't say anything about that, of course.
"What now?" he looked at his dads questioningly.
"Well... this was definitely in connection with what we've been feeling..." he looked at Corey as if giving the word to him to continue while he collected himself, watching Gabrielle drink from the water and brushing her blond hair out of her face.
"Yeah it is. We wait and pay attention. And carry our weapons and packs everywhere. We cannot be sure, but I somehow feel like it's all magic-related. So if any of us end up in that strange place it can be anytime. And if the attacker is cleaver, and must be to pull off a dimensional transport, then they’ll try to act while we are not prepared. So we will be as much as we can. So far we can't know the targets for sure either," Corey ended his talk with a sigh, already thinking about the small backpacks with a somewhat survival kit in them and that it has to be handed out to everyone. Especially the leading members and the young ones.
"I'll inform the others so everyone will get such packs handed out to them from the storage room. Pauly, you and a few of the other kids could help me pack and drop down the bags by the rooms while I send the word out," Jim stepped into his more practical leader role. "Corey, stay with Gabrielle and maybe inform Shawn too," he glimpsed at the girl, feeling that this séance took quite some energy out of her even if she tried not to show it.
"Okay," Pauly said, not saying or protesting for a change since he knew this was important. And when he thought the others weren't watching, he looked back a bit worried at Gabrielle before leaving with Jim's hand on his shoulder.
Meanwhile not so far from the building a witch and two shamans were drawing similar symbols onto the ground.
"The others are done?" an older grey woman asked from the powerful witch.
"They will connect with me when they are and we can make the line," the female replied with a nod.
The tasks were easy. Make holes to channel energy. Make lines. Cross them. Choose.
Her thoughts were interrupted by her twin connecting to her senses. The witch waved to the two shamans and they lit the candles and stepped back. The witches walked into the magic circle and started chanting as a grey fog-like force began sweeping through the runes. It won't take long now...