A/N Another idea for a Darren Shan fic I had: I'd like for you to review? Hint hint! Lol!

Debbie's side of Book three: Tunnels of Blood. One shot. Not A.U.

Disclaimer: Don't own Darren, don't own Debbie, and don't own the plot, story line, characters… nothing. It's all belonging to the great man Darren Shan himself…
Once again please Review!

Debbie Hemlock

Tuesday Afternoon

It is so boring being ill. I don't care what anyone says: Having days off school is NOT fun, especially when you are lying sick in bed for hours. I am so BORED. There is nothing do to here, just lying in bed, I feel like I will go mad! I've tided my already neat room about ten times today and it's only just 2:30! There's nothing to do except sit at the window and look out at the bare streets. All kids are at school so I have no-one to watch except for the odd shopper ad damn it I'm BORED. I cast my eye around the square and see a fat woman with a screaming toddle (poor lady) carrying armfuls of filled bags, no doubt Christmas shopping, the toddler looks fed up, don't know why – at least he isn't sick in bed on a snowy afternoon!
I'm still worried about my gloves – I still haven't found them. I've checked a hundred times and I think I must have lost them last time I went out. If only I could remember. Mum will kill me (will maybe that's a bit too drastic) – mum will be seriously angry if she finds out I've lost them already. I'm about to get off the window-sill when something strange catches my eye – two people are walking across the square. One is wearing a pirate suit, a scarf and a coat and the other looks – well there's no other word for it – weird! A false beard, sunglasses (in winter) and about fifty layers of coats, jumpers and scarves. What is even odder is that they look to be only about my age, well the boy in the pirate costume does, and I'm not sure about the guy in the sunglasses. They must be staying at that strange hotel with that man that walks around starkers in it every year. How odd; I must keep an eye out for them.
I hear my mother climbing up the stairs and hasten to get into bed: if she sees me out of bed I'll be stuck in here for another week. I hope she lets me out soon.


Another boring day, but mum says that tomorrow I can get a taxi and meet Anne if I like! That would be cool. I saw the pirate again today at the window as she was talking to me, I think however that I will ring Anne and ask her to cover for me while I actually go out and replace my missing gloves – can you believe I still haven't found them! Argh!


Staring in the shop window I hear footsteps approaching and see the pirate-boy. He is alone, without his friend and also stares into the shop window. I don't think he's noticed me; he seems pretty engrossed in the shop window. I'm going to walk over and greet him – it will be funny!

As I approach he notices me, I think he's about to say something but I go first and give him a salute "Ahoy, cap'n!"

He looks startled, I don't think he's realised that I'm talking about his costume. I explain it for him,
"Your costume" I reach over and pull open his coat and indicate it to him,
"I think it's cool, you look like a pirate"
Then: "you going in or just looking?" I hope he's going in, it will give me an excuse to talk to him a bit more – not that I'd need an excuse anyway, I have a habit of talking too much.

He explains to me that he is looking for a present for his brother, but he's not sure what to get. I suggest aftershave, but he shakes his head. He then talks about getting him a CD player! Wow, wish I had a brother. "Those are pretty expensive" I point out. He nods. What a brother! I wish he was mine! I shakes hands with him and tell him my name,
"My name's Debbie" He shakes my hand; Christ this boy is so pale!

"Darren" He says.
Cool I think: our name's go together! I tell him this and he looks at me oddly. I explain that we're not strangers that I've seen him walk across the street with the guy dressed in glasses and a beard.

"Evra" he says, "he's the one I'm buying a present for." Wow those guys are brothers? They look so different, but then, I suppose I've only seen them at a distance, they could be pretty alike when seen together close up.

It's so cold. My hands are like ice. I blow on them and rub them together – like that would help.

"You should be wearing gloves" he points out helpfully – not!

I sniff, "Look who's talking" he wasn't wearing gloves either, he must be freezing – but he's not shivering. Maybe he has tough skin, there are people like that – in our old neighbourhood there was this husband and wife who lived a few streets away and he always wore shorts and she always wore a thin cotton dress with flowers on it, come rain or shine, summer or Winter. Weird people. I tell him that I lost my gloves.

"What were they like?" Heasks me

"Red" I tell him, "With fake fur round the wrists."

"Have you tried this place yet?" He asks.

"Uh-uh" I say, "I was on my way in when I spotted you." Well actually I had been on my way out, but I wanted to speak to him for a little longer.

"What to come with me?" He asks. Oh yes!

"Sure." I jabber on for a bit, not really paying much attention to what I'm saying – I'm like that – can hardly ever remember a conversation. He opens the door for me and I find the chance to tease him a little.
"Why Darren," I say, "people will think you fancy me!" He sputters at me and I just carried on walking. I'm smiling. I made him blush!

As we wonder round the shops we make small talk. I notice that he seems reluctant to talk about himself, but some people are like that, and any I don't mind talking. Good lord he likes my surname? He's mad. Seriously mad! I finally learn from him that his Father is a travelling salesman, how cool – he must travel a lot! I feel somewhat sad – it means he'll probably be leaving soon. Sigh. He points out some gloves to me but they're not much lie the one's my Uncle got me. Damn. I need my gloves.

We leave the shop and wander around for a bit. It's early evening but already it's going dark. I love the evening. Everything gets so peaceful at night.
Darren is such a mystery-man I decide. We talk for a bit, about his hotel – meaningless stuff, then he tells me about the man who walks around naked.

"You're kidding!" I exclaim gleefully – I'd thought that that had always been some joke. But no? It's true? Cool!

"I'll have to come over some time" I say grinning – it'll give me an excuse to see Darren again – yay!

We reach my house and I stifle a sigh. He doesn't notice.

"What will you tell your parents about the gloves?" He asks me. I don't have a clue.

"The truth" I say, "I'll start coughing when I tell them. Hopefully they'll feel sorry for me and won't be too mad" He laughs,

"Devious" He tells me, I grin evilly, "With a name like Hemlock, are you surprised?" He shakes his head. "Do you want to come in for a while?" I ask, hoping he'll say yes. He looks like he wants to but then he looks at his watch. "Better not, it's late. I'm expected back" he says. I feel disappointed, "suit yourself."

I invite him over for whenever he feels free to pop in. I tell him that I'm off school, that mum won't let me go anywhere.

"But she let you out to look for the gloves?" He asked. I feel embarrassed to admit that I lied to my mother, "She doesn't know I've been out walking" I admit sheepishly, "I left in a taxi, telling her I was off to meet a friend. I was supposed to come back in a taxi too."

"Ah-ha!" He grins, "I see the chance for a spot of blackmail."

"Just try it," I threaten, "I'll cook up a witch's brew and turn you into a frog." I bring out my key to unlock the door, sad that he has to leave,
"You will come won't you?" I plead, "I haven't made many friends yet."

"How will you explain my presence to your mother?" He asks, "You can hardly say we met in a taxi."

I feel my eyebrows narrow – why does this have to be so complicate, "you're right," I mutter, "I didn't think of that." Suddenly an idea hits me, "How about I come over to the hotel? We can go on to the cinema from there, and I can tell mum that's where we met." How exciting!

He sets a time and I agree. We stand in silence for a while. He doesn't get the hint.

I speak first,

"Well, aren't you going to ask?"

"Ask what?" Lord what an idiot! Are all boys like this?

"Darren," I say, sighing for dramatic effect, "Girls never ask boys out."

He looks dumbfounded and I just want to laugh.

"You haven't a clue do you? Just ask me if I want to go to the cinema OK?"

He groans at me but complies.

"I'll think about it," I smile then go into the house and shut the door. I peer out through the window to see him staring at the door for a minute before he trudges away in the direction of the hotel. I'm feeling pleased with myself. I got a date!
I hang around until my mum comes in. I tell her that I'm gong to the cinema with Anne tomorrow. She seems pleased. I risk telling her about the gloves. She's not so angry about the fact that I've lost them but more about the fact that I went outside without wearing any. I risk a safe retreat to my room and it is freezing. I fish around behind the radiator to turn the heat up when my hand comes into contact with something soft. I squeal and recoil. Berating myself for being stupid and lean down and pull out whatever it is. I groan. It's the gloves.


I'm quite excited about going to the cinema with Darren. It'll be fun. Apart form Anne, I don't have many friends here, but I feel Darren as more than a friend. It'll be fun. I wander through the hotel corridors hoping for some sigh of that naked man but unfortunately he doesn't appear. I finally reach Darren's hotel door and brace myself to knock. Feeling slightly nervous I do knock and the door opens practically as soon as I finish knocking. He must be excited. I notice Darren is still wearing the pirate costume – big surprise!

He looks down at my hands and I groan. "They were in my room all along; they'd fallen behind the radiator. Are your father and brother here?"

"Mr… I mean Dad's out, Evra's in." Must be one of those people more used to calling their parents by their names. I'm about to ask if I can see his brother when: "There's something you should know about Evra, he's not like other people."
I laugh: like that would bother me. "Who is?" I ask pushing my way in. Darren starts to speak but I pay no attention as I see his brother.

"Wow! Is that a costume?" I regret saying that as Evra now looks extremely self-conscious, he has his arms crossed – not a good sign. Darren introduces us and I attempt to cover up my original outburst.

"Are those scales?" I gasp, maybe I'm being insensitive but it's not every day you see something like this! I touch his scales, they are scales. Whoa – freaky but cool.

"He's a snake boy." Said Darren. I can't believe what I'm hearing! Darren just called his brother a snake-boy! How horrible!

"That's a horrible thing to say!" I snap. I know I'm shouting but honestly what a nasty, spiteful thing to say, "You shouldn't call him names just because he looks different."

He stars to speak but I just ignore him, ploughing on: "How would you like it if someone made fun of that stupid costume you wear!" Okay – maybe I shouldn't be bringing the costume in, "I could have said plenty about that crazy get-up, but didn't. If you wanted to look like something out of pirates of Penzance that's your choice." I could go on for ages. Dad often jokes that I've inherited my mum's hot-temper. Maybe it's true, but I just can't stand people calling other people harsh names just because they look different; but Evra interrupts me.

"I am a snake boy," At first I feel disgusted that he's been reduced to think this way but he doesn't let me speak. By the time he's finished I'm feeling pretty dreadful of myself for shouting. He doesn't consider it an insult. I want to groan out loud: I feel so embarrassed, especially after I said all those horrible things about Darren. "Sorry," I mutter sheepishly.

"It's Okay." He says – and I think he's telling the truth. I must apologise properly to him later. At the moment though Era fascinates me. His odes all sorts of cool things – he can put his tongue up his nose, how gross – but also disgustingly cool. Imagine if I could do that – it would freak everyone out. I also feel a little sorry for Evra; he must have learned to live with a lot of prejudice. Eventually Darren persuades me that we should leave, and we say farewell to Evra who says something and winks at Darren who is blushing again. He blushes a lot. I think he fancies me.

The film is good, but I'm concentrating more on talking to Darren. I want to know more about his brother. Is anyone else in his family like that? I ask about his parents. He goes quiet again: I don't think he likes talking about them.

It's late evening and walking back to the square. I love the night, it always makes me feel… feel weird – I can't express it. It makes me say things I wouldn't normally say, and I normally end up embarrassing myself. And I succeed – I tell him about my fears of vampires and werewolves – good going Debbie! – Not! And then I have to go saying about how there is 'something' inside Darren. I think I embarrassed him. I really must learn to hold my tongue.

We come to my house and Daren seems awkward. I take pity on him and invite him in. I'd like for mum and dad to meet him.

"Mum, Dad, this is Darren." I say as we enter, "he's a friend of Anne's. I ran into him at the cinema and invited him back. Is that OK?" See – only a slight lie!

Darren seems relieved that my parents are so nice – honestly I must have made a bad impression on him if he was worried about meeting my parents for God's sake! He stays for supper and we have scrambled egg. Darren complains about the hotel food. His father is a teacher – he didn't tell me that. We go up to my room. He looks round it as we enter; I think he is surprised at how neat it is. I don't like clutter; I like things simple, tidy, and neat and tell him so. He asks about the trees and seems so sad when I tell him that we decorate them on Christmas Eve that I decide to invite him over to help out. This pleases him, and I feel sad that he can't have a proper Christmas with his family. I invite his Father and brother over too. His Father sounds a real killjoy. Then he says that they may not be here for Christmas. Surely not? I hope, hope, and hope, that he'll still be here for Christmas. Surely his dad wouldn't mind staying an extra few days for his son's happiness?

As he gets up to go I decided to tease him a little, hope to make his blush again.

"Don't I get a good night kiss?"

My ploy works and he's stumbling and blushing again. I also feel a little disappointed though: I would like him to kiss me. I fake uncaringness and take him to the door. He apologises and I feel a little better. He leaves. I sigh slightly. Could he not be a little braver? Honestly. I go up to my room and sit on the bed for a while thinking about him. If I was a few years older I would probably all this love, but I'm not, so it isn't. I hear a noise at the window and go to investigate. He's there. Darren. Good Lord – what does he think he is doing? Is he mad? He's not even wearing shoes!

"Is the offer still on?" He asks. I'm confused. "What offer?"

"The offer of a kiss," He said. I feel my self staring. Why go to all that trouble for this? But well, why not?

"I suppose you deserve one," I said and lean down and he kisses me on the lips. It as definitely worth it! I have a strange thought – Romeo and Juliet on the balcony. Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art though Romeo? Sigh. I kiss him again, thoughts of Romeo and Juliet floating through my mind.
A Rose by any other name would still smell as sweet

"Good night Romeo." I joke and shut the window. I sit on the bed for a long time thinking about the day's events. What a great day!

It was definitely worth being ill and losing my gloves!


Saw the news today. People found dead and sucked of blood. It sounds horrible – like some new age vampire horror story, only it isn't a horror – it's real. Luckily there have been no deaths nearby the square so mum and dad still let me out after dark – all the victims have been adults anyway, so I should be safe. Saw Darren today, we went to the cinema. He's not allowed out after dark. But he says it's because his dad wants him at home. Maybe he doesn't know about the deaths – I would be surprised if he didn't though.


Darren seems nervous. I was playing with some kids in the square, building a snowman when he walks up to me and says he want to talk. He doesn't appear his usual self. He looks like he's been crying but he claims to have been peeling onions. I'm not sure I believe him – why would he be peeling onions anyway? But I decide to let it drop. I invite him over for Christmas Eve,

"Evra won't be able to come," he says shortly,

he thinks for a while, "He's got the flu. He's in bed and can't move." Strange… he looked fine when I saw him yesterday. He then tells me off for spying. The cheek! I turn away angrily but he stops me. I relent. He does look ill.

"I'm not sure we'll be here," he says in his response to my question about Christmas Eve, "we might be moving on."

"But Christmas Eve is tomorrow." I exclaim how they could be leaving before tomorrow? They couldn't!

"You won't leave without telling me will you?" I plead. I don't think I could bear it if he left without telling me. I feel tears starting to fall, "I'd hate it if you disappeared into thin air without a word." I gave him a hug feeling slightly upset. He's going to be leaving and I may never see him again. We walk back to the square and then I leave him to walk home.


Dad says Darren rang! He can come over after all. My joy is short lived however when he tells me they're leaving tonight. I suppose I should feel happy that his mum and dad are meeting up but I can't. I don't want him to leave me. I don't. Dad cheered me up though by embarrassing me – it's the only thing he's good at.

At least the dinner was fun. We talked about random things, did party peaces. I sang silent night, dad told jokes and mum balanced a roll on her nose. I was glad that we were able to give Darren a good time. He then completely shocks us by eating the spoon! Good God! Dad goes mad and starts fishing around for more cutleries for Darren to chew up but mum stops him. Darren offers to get the wine.

"You've been serving all afternoon. It's time someone waited on you for a change."

"I think I'll exchange Debbie for Darren. He'd be more useful to have around," The cheek! I scowl at dad, as Darren leaves the room. "Why would you say that" I say, pretending to be insulted. He laughs at me. "Why, he's nice, friendly, helps your Mother and can eat cutlery! We could make a lot of money with him!" He teases.

"What about me!" I say affronted.

He shrugs and laughs.

"What's taking so long?" mum asks, "Do you think he's drowned himself in wine?"

Darren enters with four glasses of wine, and after a toast, we drink.

Sunday – Christmas Day

I wake. I feel so tired and groggy. For a moment it feels like I have a cold. My eyes are still shut and I wonder for a moment where I am. Shouldn't I be at the table? Isn't it Christmas Eve? I open my eyes and the first sight I see is the tree. It's decorated. Funny – I don't remember decorating it. Wasn't Darren supposed to help? I sit up and stretch. I ache all over. Sudden a little jolt of fear runs down my spine and I leap up to check on my parents – they are Okay aren't they? They aren't in their room. I run downstairs almost tripping over and into the Living Room. I breathe a sigh of relief, they're there. Both of them. Staring at the tree on the window-sill.

"What happened?" I ask.

"Don't know," dad tells me. All I can remember is sitting at the table waiting for Darren to come back with the wine, and then suddenly I was in bed." I look at mum.

"Same here." She says, "We decided to let you sleep – you wouldn't wake anyway – it was like you'd been drugged."

I freeze. "Where's Darren?" I yell. They have no answer for me. I rush upstairs to get dressed. Sprinting outside I ran to his hotel. I knock on the door of his hotel room. There is no answer. I call his name. A man from the room next door yells at me to shut up. He left. I can't believe it. He left without telling me. Without saying goodbye. I feel tears falling down my cheeks but make no attempt to stop them. I go to the receptionist and she stares at me in shock.

"Please." I say, "Could you tell me if the Shan's are still here?"

"I'm sorry who?" She asks.

"Darren Shan – about my age, wears a pirate suit? Here with his dad and brother."

"Oh yes. Sorry love, they signed out."
I feel dizzy and lean against the counter. How…?

"Are you okay?" The receptionist asks me. I nod, but I don't mean it.

"Thankyou." I whisper and walk steadily outside. Once outside I lean against the hotel wall and slide down into the snow, putting my head in my hands. How could he do this to me? How could he just leave? It's not fair. It's not fair. It's not…

I stand, wiping my eyes with my hand but it doesn't stop the floe of tears, I may never see him again… Never…

Sigh: poor Debbie! lol! Don't forget to review now will you? Nudge Nudge Wink Wink! I'll love you forever: ♥♥♥

Louise X