Fandom: Being Human
Word Count: 2,500+ words.
Notes: Mitchell/George. For lo0o0ony_lauren. Title from a quote by Henry David Thoreau.
It took a while for George to get used to sharing so much of himself. Even as a child he'd been reserved. He didn't trust people, usually. Often there were very good reasons. But Mitchell made keeping something back very difficult. He had no issues with personal space, seemingly ignoring its existence. He had no qualms with asking personal questions, and even worse, he expected answers. The months wore on and George let every fraction of his personality gleam in the light.
He only noticed he knew nothing about Mitchell when Annie started asking him for details.
He knew some things, of course. He knew the type of music Mitchell liked listening to (indie, but not too indie, not so obscure you could get a ticket to a live gig for £3.) He knew what Mitchell liked to eat (food, mostly. Sometimes blood.) He knew the types of things he probably shouldn't know, like breathing patterns and how he smelt early in the morning, and the inflection in his voice when he was turned on. The last one was surmised from conversations over porn films, but Mitchell had a habit of using that inflection in what George thought were extraordinary circumstances. Like the first time he changed from wolf back to human with Mitchell watching.
The only things George actually knew about vampires came from Bram Stoker and Joss Whedon, and Mitchell was already breaking a majority of the rules from those sources. George had to conclude he had no knowledge on the subject. Plenty of ideas, but no knowledge.
"So, do you have a Sire?" George asked, one day, arms crossed against his chest and eyes aimed at the television set.
"Why do you want to know?"
"I have an inquisitive mind."
Mitchell rolled his tongue over his teeth and peered at George for a while, eyes narrowed. "I'm going out. Do you want anything from the shop?"
"We're getting low on margarine."
"I'll see what I can do."
George figured he should probably view it as an example of learning about Mitchell through the things he didn't say, but mostly he was annoyed.
The thing was - George reflected, two weeks later - trust was a two way street. It was a double standard that he be expected to bare all - figuratively and literally, and Mitchell was kept infuriatingly hidden from view.
He said as much to Annie, in odd phrases and grumbles, but she said something vague about there being certain things people just shouldn't know, and he left it at that. She was smitten with Mitchell, anyway. She wouldn't agree with outright criticism.
Bela Lugosi was on the screen the next time George tried to ascertain something concrete about Mitchell's condition.
"Are you the opposite of what you were as a human?"
"Well, no, but I'm cursed, not a demon."
Mitchell's lips curved into a smile. "Sorry, did you just say 'demon'? I'm a demon now, am I?"
George became flustered, drawing out a breath and blinking. "I thought… I thought that's what --- You are, aren't you?"
Mitchell merely laughed. The bastard.
The steak was rare and had side dishes of salad and pasta. One of George's finer culinary delights. George and Mitchell ate in companionable silence, The Coral's latest CD playing softly in the background. Annie was haunting the Shakespeare. She got uneasy during mealtimes and normally went for a walk.
The steak was good. George swallowed a particularly large mouthful and looked up to see Mitchell staring at him.
"I have something on my face," George declared, deciding there was no point in asking Mitchell anything.
"No." Mitchell leaned back. "I just like watching you eat."
"You attack it with vigour, each morsel is yours to consume, and yours alone. The cut of your knife, the twist of your fork, it's all elegant and efficient."
George bit his bottom lip, frowning and concentrating very hard on what Mitchell was telling him. He thought there must be some kind of subtext, but he wasn't picking up on it. He cut off another piece of meat and raised his fork to his mouth, but paused and spoke before eating.
"You're next on the roster. And I don't want another night of takeout. I can't handle those curries you get - after I've eaten a quarter of a serving, I always feel like I'm going to spontaneously combust."
Mitchell quirked an eyebrow and the smile was now fully fledged; languid and warm. It made George swallow rather more quickly than he'd intended.
"Hey, it's possible. I wonder what you look like when you're burning up, George. Now, that would be a sight worth paying for."
It was excruciating pain and gasps torn from his throat, every single time. George would never get used to this. Transformation both ways was intense heat and the sensation of sinew and bone ripping. It involved shrieking and bellowing, yelling and screams. He didn't want to get used to it, he wanted it to go away, but it wouldn't.
He huddled in the corner and waited for Mitchell to appear at the door - hopefully with some clothes, since Annie had been thoughtful and tucked a chocolate bar into the pocket of his shirt, causing his wolfish tendencies to search it out by slashing into his backpack and hacking it to little pieces. He had awoken to full consciousness with a shirtsleeve in his mouth (which, George reflected, was better than waking to full consciousness with half a badger in his mouth, as he had on one memorable occasion.)
The concrete floor was playing havoc with his sense of self esteem and there was a draught. His muscles were still cording and spasming. When Mitchell appeared - without clothes, of course, since he thought George was provided for - George was at breaking point.
"I fucking hate this," he yelled, though it came out more as a scream.
"Here, have my jacket."
"It's too small, you're too small, you insignificant little ---" George stopped himself, balling his fists up and punching the wall.
Mitchell stared, sucked in his cheeks, and started walking out the door. George went to follow him, but Mitchell cast his hand back. "I'm getting you some scrubs, wait there."
When Mitchell returned, George dressed and felt like a dick. They went home in silence.
"Good night?" Annie asked with a smile. George shook his head, going straight for his bedroom to get some real clothes. When he came out he was offered a tea and took it gratefully, brushing a hand through his hair and assuming what he hoped was a conciliatory expression. Mitchell leaned against him, wrapping his arm behind his back. George needed that touch.
Mitchell was playing Resident Evil, an irony that was not lost on him.
"Undead massacring the undead," he mumbled, shooting another creature in the chest. His thumbs worked at such a continuous pace, George wondered that he didn't have RSI. He then wondered if vampires could even get RSI.
"Are there zombies?" George asked, forgetting that he'd vowed not to ask Mitchell anything ever again.
Mitchell swivelled on the sofa and raised his eyebrows. "Zombies? Don't be ridiculous."
George huffed out a breath, Mitchell paused the game and adopted a tone that could only be described as deeply condescending. "You can't handle gentle teasing? I knew you had your weak moments, but George."
"It's not that."
"What is it, then?"
"You never answer any of my questions."
"Is that all you can say? Ah?"
Mitchell shrugged, then smirked. He moved as if to commence his game, but turned fully in his seat instead. "Tell you what, this is a once only ever deal. You have one question, only one, but I promise I'll answer it honestly. No omissions, no lies."
George thought about it. There were hundreds of things he could ask, but the most prominent ones were the types of questions he wanted Mitchell to answer because he felt like it, not because he was forced to play some silly little mind game.
"Do you find me attractive?"
Mitchell grinned wide. "Yes. Devastatingly so. I think you're adorable."
George pushed off the sofa, standing to grab a beer. "You weren't allowed to lie, remember?"
He walked towards the fridge, but was halted when Mitchell caught him around the middle, hands clasped in front of his stomach and his breath playing against George's neck. "I wasn't lying."
Annie popped back from her walk down the street at that moment. "Are you two wrestling, or what?"
"What," Mitchell confirmed, but didn't elaborate. He let George go and returned to his game.
Annie settled next to him, looking up at George, who had suddenly found it impossible to move. "Do you ever feel like you're in a slightly alternative version of Spaced?"
"No, we haven't got enough homoerotic subtext," Mitchell stated, and smiled mischievously as George cleared his throat.
George attempted to keep some distance between them, but failed miserably. For all his fear, there was also curiosity, and it may have taken a while for him to accept it, but everything about Mitchell was comforting and terrifying all at once. Was he attracted to Mitchell and therefore wanted to know more about him? Or was he aware, on some level, that being with Mitchell would aid him in getting to know him better? A combination, perhaps.
Of course, his new found wariness only seemed to amuse Mitchell, who had taken to mild taunting. And by mild, George thought it was driving him insane.
"That colour suits you," Mitchell said, hand hovering over George's elbow.
"Oh, stop it."
Mitchell remained straight-faced. "What? I'm just stating a fact. It goes well with your eyes."
George sighed and drank from the carton. He glared. "I only asked what I did because you were being an arsehole. I thought I'd bring things down to your level."
"That's a shame. Does that mean you don't wanna have this ticket to go see your latest favourite band in Liverpool next week?" Mitchell brandished the ticket, holding it between this thumb and index finger with mock reverence.
George only just managed to stop himself from jumping up and down in glee. "Are you serious?"
"Well, I was, but you seem so eager to hold me at arm's length."
"No, I'm interested. I'm beyond interested. I'd love to go, really. You just say the words, I'll be there, with bells on."
"I'm not that kinky, George. Though, if you're interested…"
George ceased bopping from side to side. "Wait. Is this a date?"
"So you're coming onto me?"
Mitchell nodded emphatically. "I have been for quite a while. I thought you'd caught up to that a month ago, but it appears your skills of self delusion are really rather strong."
"Indeed. So. Do you want to go with me? If not, I'll understand. I'll even give you both of the tickets, in an amicable gesture of amicability."
George opened his mouth and closed it again. Alarms were ringing in his head, telling him this was a very bad idea. "I'd love to. Would you like me to get you a bunch of flowers?"
"No, that's… if anyone gets flowers, it's you. But if you're inclined to buy me a box of chocolates, I won't say no."
"That last song was just wild," George said joyfully, tugging on Mitchell's arm as they stumbled into the motel room. "I love it when they get all frantic and there's all this energy --- you can smell it, the world pulsing to a completely different rhythm, and it's like you're at one with everyone else there."
"Yeah," Mitchell said, sitting on the bed and staring at George with a glow in his eyes. He gestured to the spot next to him and George bounded onto it, a grin spread across his face. "You know, you really are very cute when you're excited."
George rolled his eyes, but continued smiling. "Thank you," he said sincerely. "You're a legend."
"True," Mitchell replied with a quirk of his eyebrow.
George found it very hard to swallow, realising that he was sprawled across the bed with Mitchell leaning over him. Mitchell's hand came to rest on his abdomen.
"I want to get to know you, George," Mitchell murmured, skating his fingers up and down.
"You already know me," George replied, breath catching in his throat. He sat up, divorcing himself from Mitchell's contact. "But I feel like a lot of the time, I don't know you."
"You do. You may not know everything, but you know me."
"Why do you feel the need to have so many secrets?"
"It's a protective mechanism."
George eased forward, placing a hand on Mitchell's thigh. "What is there to protect?"
"You." Mitchell cupped his hand against George's cheek, thumb rubbing circles. "That sounds incredibly trite, but I promise the sentiment is much deeper."
George bit his lip, concealing a smile. "Right." He tangled a hand into Mitchell's hair and drew him into a kiss, the fingertips of his other hand brushing over his collarbone and the chains there. "I want to..." he said, pulling back and looking at Mitchell with shy determination.
Mitchell took his t-shirt off with little ceremony, eyes intent as George undid his shirt buttons. He dipped his head down and George rose up to meet him halfway, tracing Mitchell's lower lip with his tongue. As he kissed, he spread his hands over every inch of the pale expanse of skin within reach.
It didn't take long for them to get completely naked, pressed up against each other, frantically shifting. George straddled Mitchell's thighs, positioning himself until their cocks were aligned and Mitchell curved long fingers around them both. He stroked upwards, nipping gently over George's jawline as he worked them into a frenzy.
"So good," George murmured, capturing Mitchell's mouth again. Mitchell slowed his hand down until he was gliding at an infuriatingly slow pace, with just the right amount of friction that George thought he could come, but only after what would feel like the next half hour --- and that wasn't nearly quick enough. He bucked and grasped hold of Mitchell's wrist, forcing him into going faster. In turn, Mitchell increased his grip and George couldn't contain himself. He thrust upwards and came, panting heavily, tipping Mitchell over the edge with him.
George fell forward, mentally berating himself for lack of staying power. Mitchell chuckled and pressed soft lips to his chest, cupping his hands against his arse.
"That took the edge off, we should be able to go for hours, now."
George suppressed a whimper, scraping his nails carefully down Mitchell's back as he settled onto the sheets. Of all the potential mistakes he had made in his life, this was definitely the most exciting.
"What do you think Annie's going to say?" George asked, slinging his backpack over his shoulder and walking alongside Mitchell.
"Finally, I don't have to stay in the box room," Mitchell returned dryly. "We better watch out, actually, she might like to watch."
"You're absolutely depraved, aren't you?"
"I like that."
Mitchell brushed his hand through George's hair affectionately. "I like that you like that."
"Well, I like that you like that I like that you like that."
"Well, I like that you like that-"
George stopped, staring pointedly. "Mitchell? Shut up."
"Make me," Mitchell replied, poking out his tongue.
And he did.