watch your life slide out of viewFandom: Being HumanRating:
800 words or thereabouts.Notes:
Sort of gen with subtext? Oh, I don't know. Can't take me anywhere. Title from Pulp's "Common People".
“Why is it Mitchell and not John?” Annie asks, holding out the Bovril with both hands and an expectant smile.
“I like the mystique,” Mitchell says back. He takes the mug, takes a sip, takes a step back and leans against the counter.
George adjusts his glasses, concentrating once again on his sudoku. “Because, somehow, being a vampire isn’t mysterious enough as it is.”
The room goes cold and quiet. Somewhere outside a horn blares. George frowns and looks up.
Mitchell is staring at him, dark eyes looking faintly… disappointed, like a teacher who’s repeated an action seven times and is praying for his students to grasp its meaning. And that’s when George remembers; he can tease and prod and mock almost everything, from Mitchell’s hairstyle, to random assortment of necklaces, to sexuality, but talking so lightly of Vampirism is bound to garner him a sigh of frustration that only Mitchell has turned into an art form.
“I didn’t… really… sorry,” George mutters, and it’s enough. At least, he thinks it’s enough. Mitchell cocks his hip, refrains from glaring and sighing, licks the corner of his lips. George wonders what he’s thinking, whether there’s a rhythm going through him reminding him of the freshness of blood. He gets that, sometimes, George. It’s always there, buried below the surface, but a word or a phrase can make it rear up – the feeling of a pulse beneath the pads of his fingers, the tannic smell and salty taste.
Mitchell snaps him out of his reverie. “I was thinking we might go dancing.”
George snorts. “I don’t dance.”
“I like to sway.” Annie demonstrates the point before handing George his own mug of beverage – hot chocolate this time, by request.
“Anyway, you’re not the type who likes to dance either,” George continues.
“What makes you say that?”
“You wear black.”
“You’re all bohemian and indie and… thin.”
Mitchell quirks an eyebrow, obviously amused now, though George thinks it’s most likely at his expense. “Your point?”
The club is dark, which pleases George as far as he’s going to allow himself to be pleased on this particular evening. They settle into a booth and order drinks. Annie spends a long time deliberating on hers, considering its intended fate.
“So what’s this about?” George asks over the din of Goldfrapp, clutching onto his beer like a man set upon by rabid badgers. Ambitious wildlife. He could snap them in two.
“I thought it would be nice for Annie to get to know us better,” Mitchell answers. “Hell, for us to get to know each other better.”
“We’ve known each other over a year.”
“We haven’t lived together before.”
“It’s not going too badly. Was there anything specific you wanted to know, Annie?”
Annie shakes her head. “I can always just listen in to your conversations back home.”
George rolls his eyes, staring at the ceiling.
“Come on, let’s get groovy,” Mitchell says with a self-mocking purr. He stands, grabs hold of George’s shirtsleeve, gestures at Annie, and starts walking to the dancefloor.
George really can’t dance. He has no co-ordination, very little timing. He feels awkward and foolish and undeniably disenfranchised from the wider clubbing scene. And judging from the way he’s shuffling from foot to foot, Mitchell’s much the same. George follows the taut line of his usually relaxed posture, the rigidity with which he ‘grooves’. Annie, on the other hand, doesn’t just show an impressive skill with swaying. She can also do some fancy footwork and something vaguely Dadaist with her hands.
“No, really, Mitchell, why are we here?” George calls above the thumping of the music.
“If I told you, I’d have to be as annoying as possible for as long as possible.”
“Not a strange new way of being for you, that, is it?”
Mitchell leans closer, mouth by the shell of George’s ear, breath brushing cool and steady against his neck.
“Some people have been following me,” he says quietly; so quietly George can barely hear him.
George tilts his head. “When you say people…?”
“Alright.” George jumps up and down once or twice, twisting his hips from side-to-side. “Might as well make the most of the night, then.”
They don’t get home until early morning. George finds himself watching the shadows as they arrive. He thinks he sees the glimmer of a pair of open eyes, but after a blink, dismisses it. He’s seen those eyes before, following him around. They’re always phantoms of his curse.
“Do you really think we could ever be normal?” he asks, settling onto the sofa, unsurprised when Mitchell props his legs up over his lap.
“No, but it’s fun to try.”
“Is it, though?”
Annie brings the tea, so no further conversation in that vein occurs. And a new day dawns.