|Bloodlust and Ice Cream
Author: footshooter PM
Hal's control is slipping. Annie gives him ice cream. Because that fixes everything.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Family - Anna S./Annie & Hal - Words: 1,180 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 2 - Published: 06-15-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8220605
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hal could feel it. More acutely than he'd felt it for a long time. The bloodlust was pulsing below the surface of his veins, under his skin, prickling, fighting to get out.
His self control hadn't belonged to him, he knew that now. It was Pearl's. Or, more truly, Leo's. It belonged to them, not him. And with them gone he could feel it fading, and fading fast.
His heart was pounding in his ears, his fangs were dropping more than usual, his eyes were flickering darker – green to black, not visible to him but to everyone else; he was slipping down a slope that he hadn't thought consciously about for a long, long time.
Hal was in the shower, standing directly under the spray. He never liked showers. Not, really. He tended to prefer baths. Baths were relaxing. Showers not so much.
But he was trying to convince himself that he could wash away everything he was by standing under the water, letting it plaster his hair to his head and hit the plastic floor beneath him. he didn't like the feeling of water on his face, he felt like he was drowning in it even though he didn't have to breathe.
He was focussed on every single thought, every move he made, everything he did. But the worst thought was the one that kept creeping up and to the surface. The simplest of them all.
He could be great. He had been great in the past. Covered in blood and satisfied and never hungry. It had been so easy. It could be again.
So very easy.
A rapping on the door caused Hal to jump.
"Hal? Y'still in there? C'mon, mate. How long's it take to have a shower? Annie reckons you're trying to drown yourself or something."
Hal blinked water out of his eyes and cleared his throat.
"I'll be out in a minute."
He switched off the water and climbed out of the shower, reaching for a towel.
Once dried, he walked downstairs. Tom was nowhere to be seen, but Annie was in the kitchen with the baby.
"Oh, there you are. I was getting worried. Are you okay?"
Her concern was touching, but it didn't quite reach deep enough.
"I'm fine, thank you Annie."
Annie clearly didn't believe him, but she didn't push the matter. Something which Hal was grateful for. He sat down at the table, trying to ignore the fact that the ghost was staring at him as she bounced the baby on her knee.
The baby that would end everything.
Something hit the table in front of him, and he glanced at it, puzzled, before looking up at Annie. Eve was on her hip, smiling in pure joy as it was bounced. Hal didn't feel anything towards it. No bloodlust, no desire to kill, no joy, no love.
It was just a baby.
Annie was looking at him expectantly.
"Well, eat it then! It'll melt."
"Ice cream, Hal. You must've had ice cream!"
"Of course I've eaten ice cream. I was just wondering why I was required to eat it now."
Annie rolled her eyes and dumped the baby into his lap. He looked down at it. It smiled up at him, gurling, and he placed an arm behind it to prevent it from falling off his lap and on to the floor. Annie caught the gesture and smiled to herself, unwrapping the ice cream. She held it out once she was done, and Hal took it with his free hand.
He tentatively licked it.
"Whenever I was upset, like after my gran died, or if I'd had an argument or been dumped or just when I was on my period, I always kinda ate ice cream. It always made things seem better."
She smiled sadly, and Hal nodded, eating more.
"I kinda miss it, actually."
His eyes met hers, and she looked away smiling still.
"I wouldn't say so," he looked at Eve, and then at Annie. "Pull up a chair and hold my arm."
"You know you can taste through me, right?"
"Well, yes but-"
"Annie, you've been kind enough to share your home with me knowing the danger I could possess and try to cheer me up. The least I can do is share an ice cream with you."
Annie smiled more broadly, and sat down next to him. She placed her hand on the arm holding Eve.
"Oh, wow. That's good."
Hal smiled, just a little.
"Yes. It is actually."
"Wow. Really, really good. Do you feel better?"
"I actually do, yes."
"See. I'm a genius!"
Annie caught Hal's eye, and smiled. He smiled back. Eve sat between them, garling.
"Oh, seriously. That is fantastic."
Tom burst through the door, "What the hell is going on in here?"
Annie and Hal caught each others eyes again and both would have blushed if they were capable of it at the look of utter horror on Tom's face. They then burst out laughing.
It took a couple of minutes of Tom standing in a bemused silence, blushing, before either of them could speak.
"Annie gave me ice cream-"
"To cheer him up!"
"And then she was upset that she couldn't eat ice cream-"
"So he's letting me taste it."
Tom's eyes flickered from one to the other, before widening.
"Oh. Oh! Right. Just. From outside it sounded… I'm gonna get back to building that pool."
Tom scurried out of the door, leaving Hal and Annie to laugh again.
"Bless him. He's so sweet."
"And innocent. You know he actually still says 'court'."
"It was McNair. He was a bit weird."
Annie's eyes narrowed for a second.
"Is he really building a pool?"
"I don't know."
She disappeared, leaving Hal and baby Eve sitting at the kitchen table. She looked up at him, pudgy arms reaching out.
"You can't have ice cream yet. Maybe in a few months."
The baby looked slightly upset.
"No, really. Annie would kill me."
The baby still looked upset, and so he sighed, relenting. He dipped his finger into the dregs at the bottom of the cone and let Eve suck it off.
"Not a word of this to anyone."
The baby cooed happily, and Hal smiled, feeling something other than emptiness, rage and bloodlust right where his heart should be. It felt warm and fuzzy and for a second, he realised he could probably be happy if things worked out here.
And then he heard Tom and Annie's raised voices from the garden and realised that to anyone else listening in it'd seem as though Tom was shouting to himself. So he crunched the rest of the ice cream cone and headed out of the back door, carrying Eve along with him.
"Let's go calm them down, huh?"