A/N: This is different from some of my other stuff, if you're familiar with it. It's pretty extra-special angsty. The intro isn't great, but I promise, it gets better.

All reviews are very welcome.


2010


"Oh my God, Pam."

"What?"

"Come here."

"I'm in the middle of steaming milk."

"Forget it. Come here."

A grin spread across Pam's face as she turned off the steamer, put the milk on the counter and scurried over to where Mary was looking out the one-way glass. They both suppressed wild giggles at the two guys walking through the night.

"They just came out of the gym."

"Obviously."

"I like the dark-haired one."

"Really? His buddy's hotter."

"Don't even say that."

"Why not? It's true."

"You have the weirdest taste."

"Whatever. Like yours is any better."

"Oh shit they're coming in."

"I'm so taking orders."

"Whatever. You were in the middle of steaming milk."

"And you've been on till forever."

"I don't think so." They scrambled to get to the till first only to find that Kate, who had been rolling her eyes throughout the entire conversation, was already there. The blokes in question walked in.

"Hi, welcome to Java Jive," Kate said with a smug look on her face.

"Yeah, what do you have in the way of specialty drinks?" the dark-haired one asked.

"All our coffees are right there on the menu," she said, pointing to the wall behind her.

The guys glanced at each other. The dark haired one muttered to the other one. Kate thought she heard, "are you still hungry?" but she assumed she was hallucinating since what followed didn't make sense in context. The lighter haired one considered this for a moment, and then smiled at Kate and nodded.

"I think we're looking for some…thing a little hotter," the dark-haired one said. "If you don't mind stepping aside, I think I'd like to talk to one of your co-workers." He looked behind Kate and smiled at Mary, who had busied herself with pretending to wash dishes. Kate raised her eyebrows and rose her hands defensively, stepping aside and letting a very smiley Mary at the till. She smiled in what she hoped was a seductive manner.

"Are you ready to order, or do you need a few more minutes?"

He smiled back in a similar manner. "I think I'd just like a skim mocha with whip."

"Was that… for here?" she asked.

He glanced at his buddy knowingly. "Yeah, I think so."

"Okay. If you want to just have a seat I can bring that out for you when it's ready."

He grinned. "Sounds great. Thanks." He wandered over to a table. His blonde buddy raised his eyebrows at Pam. Kate took the hint and took the completed latté to one of Pam's tables to let the older girl take the till.

"What can I get for you?"

"A date."

She smiled. "That could be arranged."

"Great. Busy tonight?"

"Not at all."

"What about your friend there?"

"Hey, Mary, got any plans tonight?" Pam asked the beaming blonde as she came back from delivering the mocha to the dark haired fellow.

"I've got a date with him, actually," she grinned, hitching a thumb over her shoulder.

"That works out nicely," said his buddy with a smile. "Why don't we make it double? What time do you lovely ladies get off work?"

Mary and Pam glanced at one another. "Hey Kate, when's Laura coming in?"

"Ten minutes. Why?"

"Do you mind if we take off early?"

"Whatever."

"Great." Pam grinned. "Does that work for you guys?"

"Absolutely," said the lighter haired bloke. He had a bit of an accent, she noticed. That only helped his perpetual hotness. Mary and Pam untied their aprons as another fairly attractive man with dark hair entered the café. A glance back at Kate showed that she was busy with making drinks for her tables. Pam sighed and returned to the till, telling her date she'd only be a moment.

The third guy's dark eyes were calming. He glanced at Mary's date interestedly once or twice. Pam figured he was thinking the same thing about him as she was, and raised her eyebrows judgmentally as she asked him for his order.

"Regular coffee to go," he said shortly, giving her two dollars and putting his change in the tips jar. He now glanced at the light haired guy and sat down to wait for his coffee. His coffee came and he thanked Pam, leaving the shop.

Pam shed her apron and grabbed her handbag. "We're off, Kate. See you tomorrow."

"Yep," came the voice from the back. Both girls ignored the obvious annoyance in her voice. They walked out with their respective dates into the night.

The guys claimed their trucks were parked in the back alley. The girls felt hands around their wrists as they were pinned against the wall, side by side.

"What do you look for in a man, Mary?" the dark haired one asked. She looked deep into his eyes and realized he was looking for a one-night stand. She had no problems with that. She smiled and shifted slightly under his weight.

"Dark hair, dark eyes, a good smile and good stamina."

"Then it would seem that I'm your man."

"It would seem so." She leant forward and kissed him hard, oblivious to the nervous tone Pam's voice had taken. Suddenly the weight against her was lifted and she fell to the ground. Pam was clutching her neck and looking horrified.

The second dark haired guy who had ordered the coffee to go had pulled both guys off them at once. He was now fighting them both skillfully; they'd all apparently had extensive training in the martial arts. He had a moment while the guys regrouped and he turned to the girls. "Run," he said simply.

"Screw that. You're beating up my date!" Mary complained.

"They're not your dates," he responded quietly as they both rushed him at the same time. He took a step back at let them attack each other instead. "Look at their faces. Look at your friend. Then run."

Mary glanced at Pam and saw the blood seeping through her fingers as she continued to clutch her neck. She looked at her "date" and saw that he was no longer the gorgeous guy she'd thought he was; he looked hideous now with an accentuated forehead and wild yellow eyes. Her eyes widened as she grabbed Pam's arm and the two of them ran away.

He watched them go. The vamps regrouped. Making sure no one was watching, he flipped a stake out of his sleeve and plunged it through their hearts easily, one by one. He wiped the ashes off his shirt and stepped out of the alley. He picked his coffee cup off the patio table outside and—

"Who… what were they?" came a timid voice from behind him. It was a significantly paler Pam. Her friend was nowhere in sight.

He sighed heavily and stared at the pavement for a second. He blinked hard a few times. He seemed tired. Finally—"Don't worry about them. They won't bother you again. Are you… okay? Do you need a ride to the hospital or—"

"No. No, I'll be okay. I just… I…"

"Don't worry. Just be more careful who you surround yourself with. Lots of creeps out there." He turned and walked away.

"I just want to know who you are," she called after him.

"No you don't," he said under his breath. He didn't turn back as he disappeared into the night.


He unlocked the many locks on his apartment door and walked lethargically in. He threw his keys in the key dish and locked up again methodically. He ran his hands over his face, marveling again at his existence. He blinked hard a bunch more and ignored the dull pain behind his left eye. Tired as he was, he knew he wouldn't be able to sleep until the sun came up anyway, so he turned on the television and flipped through infomercials until he found one he didn't remember seeing before. As usual, though, he couldn't concentrate.

America had gotten tiresome. He'd left for a while, but he had to come back eventually. They all had, eventually. And they'd all met up one last time. For some reason, they'd all felt that, yet again, the end was perilously near.

One by one, they'd all died eventually. It had been an epic battle. None of them had been immortal, after all. Not really. He relived it every night, and every night he marveled at how the hell he'd survived.

How the hell he'd survived. What a convenient way of wording things.

Hours passed. He remembered. The infomercial about knives dissolved into the early morning news, and he realized that the sun was up. Alexander Harris shut off his television, turned off his cell phone, and turned in for a good four or five hours of tossing and turning.