Summary: Vicki and Henry deal with their feelings...not Vicki's strong suit.
Disclaimer:I don't own any of it...(cries)
Please enjoy and review with helpful tips or just general comments. Thank you. Serpentine-Moon
Vicki removed her glasses and rubbed her eyes for what seemed the millionth time in the last hour that she'd been listening to her messages. She'd come in to see the light blinking with 57 messages. Her mother, Coreen, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike...she had been listening to his pleading voice for most of the hour.
"Please pick up, I never meant for it to happen..." DELETE
"Please pick up, atleast Henry isn't dead..." DELETE
"Please pick up..." DELETE
"P..." she began to just delete everything with his voice and was shocked to find one of the messages from, not Mike, but the man he had tried to have killed.
"Vicki, come by today. We have matters to discuss. What happened with..." she could practically hear the scowl, "...your FRIEND, Mike. Feel free to show up anytime." the message went off. She looked at the clock. It was 3:26 in the afternoon. She didn't have a case at the moment.
"Anytime, sure. I can spy over some of your old comics while I'm there." she smiled, thinking how Henry always called them graphic novels. She grabbed her bag and pulled her hair back into it's usual business pony-tail before checking the mirror. It had become an unconsious habit to check herself before seeing Henry. Even if he would be asleep. She paused before she left and looked into her purse. The Illuminacion Del Sol was where she'd left it and the key was on a long chain around her neck. She went to Henry's and let herself in, heading for his room.
He was on his bed in a pair of black boxers with a pen held loosely in his hand and there was a sketchbook at his side. She looked at the drawing. A woman with wavy hair and glasses...wearing her coat. A closer inspection revealed it to be she herself. But it wasn't her, exactly. There was something about the Vicki in the drawing that she couldn't relate to herself. She shook her head and went back into the livingroom. She pulled out one of his comics slash graphic novels and plopped onto the couch to settle in for some reading.
Henry woke and looked at his bedside-table clock. 7:12 pm flashed at him in bold red colors. Something wasn't right. He looked at his sketch pad. His drawing of Vicki...someone had skewed it. He went into the livingroom, not bothering to change into anything more appropriate. He stopped just outside of the doorway when he saw Vicki asleep on the couch with one of his graphic novels clutched to her chest and five next to the couch on the floor. He went back into his room and went through his nightly rituals. Showering, brushing his hair, putting on clothes. He chose a simple white t-shirt and pair of pants. He wanted to be comfortable as this would be a particularly trying conversation he was about to have with the stubborn PI.
He put his sketch of her in his drawing area and began to gather his graphic novels from the floor. She had obviously gone through them already, he could tell from her scent on each page. He put them away and looked at her a moment more. Her glasses had moved down the bridge of her nose to where the bridge was just rested on the tip of her nose. He pushed them back up gently and her arm caught his wrist before her eyes opened. She released him and sat up.
"Hey, you were asleep, so..."
"So, you helped yourself to a warm couch and a bit of reading." he teased. She handed him the last of the 'graphic novels' she had read.
"Great comics." she commented, knowing it would drive him crazy. His jaw ticked. "Okay, okay. Graphic novels." she rolled her eyes. He put the comic on the shelf in its proper place. Although it hadn't looked too bad clutched to her chest either. He looked back at her. "So, you said we had to talk."
"Yes." he looked at her bag and moved to the table across the room. He knew what she had wanted to stay back for, knew what was in her bag. Had smelt it when he'd awoken. After a few moments, she started to tap her fingers.
"Have you heard from Mike?" his face stayed neutral, though he spat the name. His eyes never left the bag.
"He left me upwards of fifty messages on my machine." she noticed his gaze at the brown tote and frowned. Does he know I have it? she pondered. His eyes shifted to her and saw she'd noticed where his gaze was. She was looking at the same thing with a guilty expression etched across her visage.
"I don't know. I deleted them." she looked at him and saw he was watching her.
"Your pulse got faster when you saw what I was looking at. Care to explain?" he frowned. He couldn't blame her for keeping it really, but it hurt she didn't trust him.
"I...Henry, don't freak out, okay? I kept..."
"I know very well what's in the bag. You don't have to explain what it is." his voice was cold.
"Do you know why I kept it?" she went on the defensive instinctually. She saw his face fall. For the first time, she could almost tell what he was thinking from his expression. He thinks I... "Henry, it's not like that. It's not because of Mike. I kept it..."
"Incase I ever went crazy?" he bit.
"Then why do you have it with you? Here?"
"Henry, look. I don't know why I have it, okay? Instinct to survive, maybe if another vampire comes to town."
"Knowing what it does, you would unleash it on another?!" he stood angrily.
"Knowing it makes my kind weak and defenseless for men like monsignor to kill us?!"
"Knowing it's long term effects on us..."
"Or maybe I just kept it so that I could have hot sex with you one day and be in control!" she snapped. He was completely cut off and looked at her, shock written across his face from the arched eyebrows to the wide eyes to the slack jaw. "Or maybe just to shut you up." she rolled her eyes. He slowly began smirking.
"I didn't know you were so kinky." he said dryly. She reached into her bag and pulled out the chinese artifact. He looked at it.
"You want it?" she held it out to him. He shook his head, frowning.
"You may need it someday."
"Henry, I was joking about the hot..."
"No. Incase I do ever go crazy. Put it away, come on." he sighed. She put the object away and stood. It was awkwardly silent a moment.
"Well, if I'm ever hard up to pay Coreen, I could sell it." she joked. He looked at her and they both cracked a grin, shaking their heads. "I know, sucky sense of humor." she paced and looked into his room. The sketch pad had been moved. "Where's the..."
"You shouldn't have seen that. It wasn't finished."
"It wasn't me." she said before she could stop herself.
"Well, is that your way of insulting my work?" he tried to sound hurt.
"That's not what I meant, Henry, and you know it. It was me, but...she wasn't ME." she frowned, trying to explain. "It just didn't feel like me."
"It's you on a good day. One of the few days you aren't in a constant mood."
"Mood?" she looked at him. "Henry Fitzroy, prince or not, I swear..."
"There, that there. Mood." he teased. She frowned.
"There, that there, cocky old people."
"Old? Me? But look at this face." he smiled coyly.
"Okay, enough games. What is it you called me here to talk about?"
"Him." he resumed his earlier seat at the table across the room. "Sit." he instructed. She crossed her arms until he glared at her lethally. "Vicki, sit!"
She sat quickly. "Happy? Don't have a cow." she muttered. In seconds, he was standing in front of her, glaring down through onyx eyes devoid of emotion.
"You push your bounds." he hissed, teeth glinting. She just sat there silently, looking up at him. She'd seen this side of him so little, she always forgot about it and got too mouthy for her own good. She realized he was waiting for a response.
"Okay, I get it. Sorry." she held her hands up in a defensive position. She instantly realized it was a mistake when his eyes darted between her wrists. She moved to pull them back, but he grabbed them quickly, pulling her up as he held them closer. He could practically smell her blood rushing under the skin. "Henry...calm down." she said. She knew there was no struggling away, but if she had to, she could always go for the family jewels. Plans A-Y go out the window when your attacker is a vampire, so you went directly to Plan Z, even if it is an admittance to being weak. His eyes didn't move from her wrists. "Henry..."
There was an annoying ring and they both looked at the phone. He released her, eyes returning to their beautiful grey and fangs vanishing, and went to the phone. "Hello?" he asked, eyes still on Vicki. She saw his expression sour after a moment. "Celluci, what do you want?" he asked coldly. There was a pause. "Even if I had, why would I tell you?" Pause... "Yes, but I'm not going to let you..." he stopped and looked at Vicki. She was rubbing her wrists unconsiously, watching him. He frowned and she shook her head, going to his bookcase. "Bye." he hung up and followed her to the shelves.
"So, what about him did you want to discuss?" she kept her back turned to him.
"Well, for starters, how about the fact he can't stop calling to ask for you? Or the fact that for the three nights I've been here, alone, while you worried over his little bite."
"Okay, one, you have an answering maching to screen calls. You answering isn't my fault. Two, I actually spent the last three nights out of town because my little brother wanted his big sister to meet his fiancee. I don't give a damn how hard you bit him." she spun and glared at him. "Besides, you haven't been here the whole time, you had to go feed at some point." she pointed out. He stood there. "Henry! You haven't fed for THREE days?!" she demanded. A growl escaped his throat.
"I was a bit preoccupied!"
"HOW?! What could be SO important that you forgot to FEED?!"
He slammed his hands into the books on either side of her head and she froze. The eyes that glared into hers were not the grey she had been arguing with. "One more time, I dare you." his voice was gruff and dry.
"H-Henry, you need to go feed." she said. He kept staring down at her. "Henry?"
"I don't need to feed right now."
"Quiet." he ordered. She looked at his teeth and noticed how close he was. She fell silent and he moved one arm down, silently telling her to sit on the couch. She went back to her seat and he back to his own. He calmed. "What is going on between you and Celluci?"
"Nothing. After he was home safe, I didn't see him." she shrugged.
"I don't mean just a last few days thing. I mean in general."
"He and I just broke up about a month before I met you. He...couldn't keep his hands to himself." she sighed.
"He cheated on you?"
"Some woman at the precinct. He swore it was a one time thing, but..."
"No trust to the unloyal."
"Something like that." she nodded.
"And what's going on with us?"
"Same thing as always. You're a vampire, I'm a near-blind detective. All we're missing is a talking dog." she rolled her eyes. He smiled a moment. "Henry, you really do need to go feed. It's not healthy, especially after what you just went through."
"I'll go feed later." he stood and went into his little drawing space. She looked after him a moment before following. He was already drawing! The infuriating man!
"You just sent one out today, didn't you?"
"Yes." he didn't look up from his drawing. She pulled off her glasses and rubbed her eyes before replacing the eyewear. "By the way, how do you like my humble little designs?" his tone was teasing, but he was still focused on his art. She could tell him the earth had fallen off of it's axis and he wouldn't notice.
"They were oddly arousing." she smirked. He looked at her. "I'm only kidding, go back to work." she smiled.
"That's not the first sex joke you've attempted tonight. Tell me, are you dropping lonely hints or is Emmanuel visiting again?" he leaned against his desk, work forgotten. She frowned at him.
"Not amusing. I don't wanna go to hell anytime soon."
"I might miss you if you did."
"Now, Henry, what happened to getting over useless emotions?"
"How is missing you useless?" he smirked. She leaned against the desk and looked around at all of the artwork hanging on the walls.
"Because you're a vampire. I'm human. I don't exactly stick around as long as you."
"Yes, you mortals do have that terrible flaw of dying." he smiled.
"Missing things is a part of life." she rubbed her eyes again and he set her glasses aside. She looked up at the blur that was him. "You know I can't see you without those."
"You know that eyesight is only one of the many senses."
"Yeah, but it's pretty useful. Like when you're in a guys apartment and don't know if he's too close."
"Too close? I don't think that's possible." he smirked, breath tickling her lips. She set a hand on his chest and pushed him away gently.
"Henry..." she began tiredly. The phone rang once, twice, three times.
"Hello, if you're calling you know who you've reached, so leave a message." Henry voice echoed. She smiled a moment.
"Henry, it's Coreen. Have you seen Vicki? I can't find her, I think she's hiding from me. She was supposed to come to yoga class with me..."
"Yoga?" Henry smiled.
"...so tell her to suck it up and call me. We did that cool thing where we stand on one foot and bring the other back up to our heads. What a rush. Okay...bye." BEEP
"I am so glad I got your message." Vicki sighed.
"You used me to get out of yoga?" he pretended to be hurt.
"The used look only works if I can see it." she smirked. He put her glasses back on her.
"Well, then, I suppose I will call your assistant and tell her to come retrieve you." he started towards the phone. She grabbed his arm, stopping him.
"No." she said. He smiled and patted his cheek, silently requesting a kiss. She frowned at him and he started to walk again. "Fine, fine." she leaned up to kiss his cheek, but he turned and their lips met. She felt a jolt shoot through her and froze. He pulled back. "Nice vampire powers."
"I've told you. Mind games don't work on you."
"Then what the hell was that?!" she accused.
"Vicki, yelling at me..." he began.
"Yeah, I know, you're fucking hungry! Go, feed." she pointed at the door. He glared down at her and noticed her face was red with anger. His eyes trailed to her neck. Her pulse was racing, it would be such a..."Don't even think about it, Fitzroy." she went to the couch and gathered her bag. "I'm leaving. Call me when you've fed." she headed for the door and Henry clutched the table tightly, fighting not to go after her. She stopped at the door and looked back at him. She saw his strained stance. "H-Henry?"
"GO!" he yelled, fangs bared. She left quickly, nearly hitting a streetlight outside when she stopped to look up at his window. It was sealed shut, but she could still hope she'd see him. She got back to her apartment and saw there were another ten messages. She hit the delete button, not wanting to talk to Mike. She changed and got into the bed, tired.
"...so when you wake, call me." Coreen's voice stopped at a beep and Vicky went to her phone. There were only four messages. Coreen's, she was sick and couldn't make it to work, Mike, Mike, and Henry. She played his message.
"Listen, Vicki, about last night. I wasn't myself. Come over tonight and we can talk. I fed and everything, so I'll keep the primal caveman shit, as you call it, to a minimum." he stopped and she waited for the beep. "I'm sorry." BEEP
She looked at the time, 7:42. She went through her morning rituals and went to the phone again. Ten messages. Mike, Mike, Client, Mike, Mike, Mike...etcetera. Damn, does he not get the message? She took down the information about the client and called back.
"Hello?" a man asked.
"This is Vicki Nelson, responding to a..."
"Miss Nelson, thank you for responding so promptly. I saw your add for the paranormal unsolvables. I'm afraid I've got quite the doozy."
"Come on over to my office and we can deal with a meeting to see what's going on."
"Right, of course."
An hour and two walk-in clients later, Vicki was looking at the man across the desk from her. He was nearly a photo-copy of Henry, but his hair was a paler color, closer to blonde. "...and she told me my father was a vampire. Is it even possible for that to happen?"
"Did she give you a name?"
"Henry. No last name."
"Henry?" she felt her mouth go dry. He nodded.
"Yeah. Please, I know a vampire is a bit much, but I need to find him. My mother is dying and all she wants is to see him one more time."
"Right." she nodded. "Do you have a picture?"
"She said he looks just like me, just darker hair." he shrugged. She sat there.
"It's five hundred a day, is this how you want to spend your money? Maybe getting her..."
"NO!" he roared. She sat back. He had Henry's temper, too. "No. This is what she wants." he said calmly.
"Okay. I'll go find him tonight." she looked out the window. The man gave her the money and left. She looked at her clock. 9:12. Night was still far away and she had other cases, but she would be so distracted...she shook her head. Not the time for this. So not the time. Of course, finding out your sort-of-partner vampire had a son younger than you while he was 450 years old wasn't exactly something to accept lightly at any point in time.
She went out to do simple research on her easiest case, a missing teen, and found the girl in a bar's bathroom, hurling. "Okay, princess, you gonna drink again?" she'd sighed, driving the child back to her parents house. The girl had shaken her head and Vicki had gone back to her office, another check richer. She sat at the desk and checked the time. 2:31...2:32...2:33
She finally decided to go to his place early and arrived to find him asleep on the bed next to several sketches, all crumpled. Her and someone he kept scribbling out. He had written notes on some of the pieces of paper. Too thin, too round, too short. She went back into the livingroom and into his drawing studio. Similar images were crumpled in there.
She finally settled on the couch and was awoken at nightfall by Henry tapping her arm. She sat up and glared at him. He looked immaculate, as always. Damn him. "Your son looks exactly like you." she said angrily. He frowned.
"Yeah. Looks younger than me. Looks EXACTLY like you. Oh, except the hair. It's lighter." she began pacing, leaving him alone on the couch.
"I don't have children, much less a young child."
"Well, he's not all that young. Somewhere around twenty-ish. I thought vampires couldn't have kids." she avoided him.
"We can't. I can't. I don't."
"Well, then, how do you explain him? His name is Erik, his mother is dying. Her last wish is to see his father one last time. She identified you. Name, Henry, vampire, no last name. He asked her what you looked like and she said like him. YOU look like him. YOU are a vampire. YOUR name is Henry. Need I further compare the two?!"
"Erik? Vicki, this kid is mistaken and so are you. What's the woman's name?" he shrugged. She pulled a piece of paper from her bag.
"Elizabeth Blount? There has to be a mistake." he took the paper, running a hand over the side of his neck gently.
"Why? Because you didn't think you could knock her up?"
"No. Because Elizabeth Blount was my mother's name and she's been dead for 453 years." he looked around, confused.
"Are you serious. This kid, though. Erik Blount..."
"Erik was my twin brothers name."
"Twin brother? History didn't mention a twin brother. But he was out in daytime, he's still alive. What the hell?" she replaced the file.
"He dabbled in the darker spectrum of things. He was killed after I changed. I never came back to watch his funeral, I didn't hear any news after that. I assumed he was dead. As for the daytime thing, there are spells."
"So why don't you use them?" she flomped onto the couch.
"Too much work when I prefer the dark. Best for inspiration."
"Right. So, it's entirely possible he's lying and here...why would he be looking for you?"
"Revenge. How should I know?" he shrugged.
"So, you two got along well?"
"No. We were brothers."
"But you were twins."
"Right, all twins are best friends. Doesn't happen that way when one of you gets a title and the other doesn't get a sentence in the history books."
"Right. Jealousy and revenge. Good places to start. What if he just wants a teary reunion with his big brother?"
"Trust me, Vicki, it's better if you're not there for our little meeting."
"What? No way. I wanna come. You wouldn't even know if..." she was stopped when he moved quickly to lean over her.
"Stay here. I'll be back before dawn." he was gone quickly and she looked around indignantly.
"I can take care of myself." she got up and tripped over her own bag. "As long as I have a clear path." she grumbled, rolling over. Going blind sucked. She clapped her hands twice and the lights came on. "Much better." she looked in her bag and frowned. The sun-like chinese vampire-stopper was missing. She went into the bedroom and laid down, putting her glasses on the bedside table. He wouldn't be home anytime soon. She fell asleep.
Meanwhile, Henry found his little brother in the park. He moved to sneak up on him. "Your whore looks pretty tempting. Don't give me reason to hurt her." Erik smirked, spinning on his heels. He looked over Henry. "You look like hell."
"What are you doing alive, Erik?" Henry quelled the sense of anger that rose when Vicki's live was threatened. He just watched the boy.
"You aren't going to defend her? How rude of you. And here I figured she meant something to you."
"Erik, what are you doing alive?"
"Same thing as you. Surviving. I love your comics, by the way. Great artwork, if that's even what your doodles are called."
"They're graphic novels. Why did you want to find me?"
"So that I..." he suddenly hit Henry over the head. "...could do that." Henry fell to the ground and Erik quickly ran away to his brother's apartment. He looked down at Vicki. "Wake up." he said. She looked at him, squinting from darkness and her missing glasses.
"Yeah, come on. We've gotta go."
"What happened?" she got up and started towards the livingroom.
"No time to get anything, come on." he lifted her into his arms easily and was out the window. They were soon in a warehouse across town.
"We couldn't even spare five seconds to grab my glasses?" she complained. He set her down in a chair and she tried to stand. He moved swiftly, holding her to the chair by her neck. She looked at him, wide eyed, then squinted. Blonde hair. "Erik." she spat. He laughed.
"Very good, Vicki. And I thought you wouldn't get it for another twenty minutes atleast."
"Henry's bound to wake up soon." he shrugged.
"Where is he? What'd you do." she tried to stuggle out of the chair, but he pulled out some duct tape and bound her to the uncomfortable chair quickly.
"My brother will be here soon. Not soon enough, but soon." he went out of her sight and came back holding an ancient tome.
"What's that, recipes?" she asked sarcastically.
"You won't be so amusing when I take your precious sight." he began flipping through the book idly.
"You may be nearsighted, but stealing a mortal's sight can let me stay awake during the day."
"You're stealing my sight to cut down on the beauty sleep?" she scowled at the darkness that kept her from seeing him properly.
"Yes. And, at the same time, taking what my dear brother wants."
"Henry wants my sight?" she smirked. He backhanded her.
"Your body." he hissed. She glared at his general blur.
"Henry doesn't just want my body."
"He has decided to settle for it since you do not give your heart." he stopped. "Ah, here comes Henry now." he stopped flipping through the book.
As if on cue, Henry was beside Vicki, working at the tape. "Henry, he has a spellbook."
"He can't do anything without your blood." Henry had gotten her free, then looked up to see Erik over him with a knife. In a flash, he hit his brother, securing the Illuminacion Del Sol above his heart. Erik tried to yank at the gold, but fell onto his back in pain. Vicki pulled out the key.
"Counter clockwise explodes the heart." she moved blindly around the dark. Henry grabbed the key and she followed him to the body. Erik swiped at her and his nails scratched her ankle. Blood was under his nails. "OW! Fuck." she pulled back.
"Esto perpetua ante mortem!" he spat quickly. Henry inserted the key and turned it counter clockwise. Soon, only ash lay before them. He put the Illuminacion Del Sol and its key back into his pocket before turning to Vicki.
"What'd those words mean?" she asked. He picked up the tome, then her, and ran them in a few seconds to his apartment. He released her and looked in the book. "Henry, what'd it mean?"
"I'm looking." he said. He saw she didn't have her glasses and handed her her purse. She pulled on her spares and looked at the book with him. Latin gibberish. "He didn't get to finish. It was supposed to be a body swap. He didn't put his blood and yours in the opposite body, but..." he scanned a paragraph. "Immortality."
"He's not immortal. He just died."
"You're immortal. Not vampirically so, but immortal."
"Me? Forever alive?"
"Loosely translated, he said let it be forever before death."
"Fuck." she sat beside him on the couch and rubbed her eyes.
"Forever isn't so bad." he shook his head.
"No, there's only the constant name changing, the risk of being caught."
"It has its ups and downs, but so does every life."
"Normal lives end after about sixty years."
"And everyone always wants more time. You can live forever without the hunger I have to endure. You have a good life ahead of you."
"Yeah, except when someone dies."
"Mike..." he began.
"Mike. My mother. Coreen. My little brother! All of my friends! Everyone I care about!" she leaned against the wall.
"I'll be there beside you." he said after a moment. He went into his drawing area and she followed him to see him working diligently on the next installment for one of his series'.
"Henry, that's not what I meant. Come on, I do appreciate that you'll be there." she reached out to touch him, but he moved away to pin the page to the wall. "Henry...come on. Please, I just..." she mumbled something.
"You what? Even I couldn't hear that." his tone was playful, but he was still working.
"I said I'm scared!" she snapped, throwing her glasses against the wall. The lenses shattered. She saw his blurry figure get closer. "I'm stuck alive forever and I don't know what to expect! Atleast before, death was the worst that could happen to me! Now, I have no clue how to handle things! Will I burn in sunlight?! Will I go psycho and kill everyone after a few centuries?!" she yelled. She felt tears form in her eyes and turned away from him.
"You'll adjust. You'll survive. It's how you were made. And if you go psycho, I make a vow to you that I will kill you myself. You've already vowed the same for me." he set a hand on her shoulder and she turned into his embrace, crying freely. "You'll be fine. You'll be just fine." he whispered, running a hand up and down her back. You'll have me. he added silently.
Soon, he was leaning against the wall, holding her effortlessly while she slept. He sensed the earth beginning to warm and carried her into the bedroom. He pulled off her shoes, socks, jeans, and t-shirt and covered her on the bed before doing the same for himself. He laid beside her, arms around her, while he felt the sun rise and fell asleep.
Vicki looked around and was greeted by the fuzzy outline of a room. She grabbed her glasses and pulled them on to see she was in Henry's bedroom. More specifically, his bed. In just her undergarments with an unmoving arm draped over her waist. She looked to the side and saw Henry's sleeping figure. She smiled before getting up and pulling on her clothes, which had been folded and neatly stacked against the wall.
She went into the livingroom and stuck her hand out the window, into the sunlight. She felt the heat against her skin, but it didn't spontaniously combust. HA! She smiled and grabbed a notepad and a pen.
Went home for a little bit. Be back tonight.
Sunlight isn't evil for me, so hey. I know, not funny.
I just have to go do a bit of office stuff, get in some
time with Coreen. Eating doesn't sound too bad. I
ramble in letters, sorry. It's 3:26 now, so that only
gives me a few hours. Bye.
She left the note on the pillow and went to her office/apartment. Coreen was at the desk, using the internet to google odd stuff. "Hey, Vicki. Where've you been?"
"I just woke up, get off my case."
"Yes, but where'd you sleep?" Coreen smirked, knowing the answer.
"Henry and I were working on a case. It's closed."
"Psycho named Erik Blount..."
"Henry's twin?" Coreen interrupted. Vicki glared at her.
"How the hell do you know everything?"
"Research. I looked up every FitzRoy in history and, even though Erik isn't mentioned directly, it mentions Elizabeth Blount having a double birth."
"Oh. Okay, that clears that up. Well ,the younger twin didn't like big brother. He took me to a warehouse, Henry found us, Erik tried to soul-body swap, but Henry killed him. Erik didn't get to finish the spell. He said enough, though."
"What'dya mean? Are you okay?" Coreen moved towards her.
"I'm fine, just immortal."
"Immortal?! Like Henry?!" Coreen was near-green with envy.
"Don't summon a jealousy demon yet. Not like Henry. I don't have to feed. I don't burn in the sun."
"Wait, you have a forever of normalcy? That's the good of being like him without the bad. He must've been so jealous."
"Henry doesn't do jealousy. He comforted me, actually."
"Y'know. It's the whole..." Vicki shrugged.
"Losing people. Right." Coreen nodded.
"So I came to get in time with you since you were sick yesterday."
"No. Research and bad chinese."
"Aw, come on. Yoga's good for sex." Coreen elbowed her gently. Vicki frowned at her, then smiled.
"How? You and Henry are now two immortals that can't keep away from each other. You're bound to get together sometime."
"You really are impossible."
"I'm serious. You'll both be alive for a while and he doesn't usually have a companion for more than fifty or sixty years. Now he's going to have someone for eternity that he won't get territorial with. He could never have that with anyone else." Coreen frowned. Vicki looked down.
"And I was such a cow."
"What'd you do?"
"I told him I was going to lose everyone I cared about and he kinda took it the wrong way."
"Vicki, do you have a gene that makes you screw everything up when it gets good."
"I apologized, we talked it out. I'm going back tonight."
"Okay, if you say so." Coreen shrugged. Vicki sat on the couch.
"So, what would you do if you were in my position?"
"Me?" Coreen seemed shocked, then smiled. Vicki wants to girl talk about boys with me. So cute. She thought a moment. "Well, I would wear something nice, at least. I mean, he sees normal Vicki all the time, so you know he won't expect the girlier you constantly. But I think you owe him a nice dress and the right hair and make-up."
"Y'think?" Vicki bit her lip.
"Well, that's just my opinion. I would dress up nice for a guy I just told didn't matter to me. I mean, you know that he hides his emotions well."
"I know. Okay. What should I wear?" Vicki gave in and surrendered to the now squeeling and clapping Coreen.
Vicki knocked on Henry's door and straightened the dress. "Come in, Vicki." he called. She walked in and saw the light on over at his drawing station. She went over and looked at him. He was in a pair of blue jeans with his hair in a pony-tail. Out of the back of it were four pens with another behind his ear and he was drawing with yet another. She just watched him a moment, smiling.
"Is this you in the zone?" she asked. He turned and she laughed. He had a pen in his mouth. He sret the pens from his hand and mouth down, looking at her. She was in a pair of black heels and a tight green dress with thin shoulder straps. Her hair was loose with a couple of ringlets over the rest of her wavy hair. She had on cherry lipstick and green eyeshadow that made her brown eyes shine. He smiled.
"I feel woefully underdressed." he teased. She blushed.
"Do you like it?" she spun for him. He nodded.
"You look beautiful. To what do I owe this pleasant surprise?"
"I felt like looking nice for you. But, if you prefer, I could go pull on some jeans." she started to leave and he grabbed her hand, pulling her to himself.
"No, I like this. I just...I don't think I've ever seen you in a dress." he held her close to himself with a hand on her lower back. She touched an ink spot on his cheek and he laughed. "Yes, you caught me amidst the birthing of a project." he nodded, pulling her into the livingroom.
"I don't think I've ever seen YOU like THIS before. I didn't mess you up, did I?" she bit the inside of her cheek.
"No, no. Not at all. I had just finished the sketch for the cover." he waved a hand towards the couch, indicating her to take a seat. "Kept losign my pens, though. I'd really get going and, all the sudden, my hand would be empty."
She laughed and pulled the pens from his hair and the one behind his ear. He nodded, laughing. "This must've been some stroke of genius."
"Very much so." he stared at her for a moment, blank faced. She began to fidget under his gaze.
"Um-ah...what's this one about?" she sat on the couch, still looking at him while he watched her.
"It's a secret." he sat beside her.
"Stop staring at me!" she snapped finally. He smiled. "You've had 450 years of voyeurism. Surely this isn't the best you've seen after you get sex atleast three times a week."
"That's feeding, Vicki." he shook his head. "You don't look at a chicken as more than a chicken, no matter how nice their feathers are."
"Vicki, this...if it's not the best view I've ever seen, it's in the top three."
"What are the other two?" she asked, trying to change the subject.
"Number two was last night, before I fell asleep at dawn." he smiled. She blushed again. "Number one was something I designed made real for the world to see."
"And what was that?"
"Wait here." he went into the bedroom and came back with old papers. He laid them out and she looked them over before her jaw fell.
"You designed the Statue of Liberty?" she asked in awe. He nodded.
"You remind me a lot of the woman I designed it after."
"Damn. Talk about a grand gesture in a relationship."
"There are a scarce few women I've done this sort of thing for. Laura Sagara is one. I wrote her a novel, with her as the main character."
"Wow." she smiled faintly. He nodded. "And you...you do this for women you..." she thought a moment.
"I immortalize the women that mean the world to me. Like the book and painting Christina's picture every year and...the statue for Elaina. That's all three. They were all strong, beautiful, willful. A little stupid in their boldness." he looked off into space, grinning.
"Is that how you deal with losing the ones you love? You immortalize them to keep them with you forever?"
"Yes. Christina's painting because she loved to pose. Laura's book because she loves to read. Elaina a statue because she loved to build things."
"You've only fallen in love three times in your whole life? Wow, high standards." she joked feebly. He nodded.
"It just kind of sneaks up on you when you do." he sighed whimsically. He didn't notice her lost and confused expression.
Vicki Nelson, queen of stupidity. He doesn't...no, of course not. He would've told you. she mentally scolded herself, putting on a vacant mask. "Well, I should probably go check on a case and you need to get back to work, Picasso." she smiled. He nodded, lost in his memories, and she went back to her apartment.
Coreen, whom had still been there when she'd left, was closing the door when she got there. "Vicki? You're back early. Was he not home?"
"No, he must've been out feeding. Oh well, I should probably catch up on my sleep anyways." Vicki shrugged.
"Okay. See you tomorrow for work." Coreen smiled at her, leaving. Vicki went inside and changed into a pair of sweatpants and a tank top, putting her hair up, before pulling out some chocolate ice-cream and a spoon.
Henry frowned. 8:52. The sun had been gone for nearly an hour and Vicki hadn't come to see him or called. He went to the office and saw Coreen leaving. "Hi." she greeted warmly.
"Hello. Is Vicki busy?"
"She went out to study a new missing persons at about six and never came back. She\s probably out sleuthing."
"Is it a mystical mumbo-jumbo missing persons or just a boring case?"
"Just a normal case, I guess. Teenagers ran away together. A group of them. Five. The only odd part is that everyone says these kids were strangers."
"So, who was it last night? I keep trying to find you in the clubs." she teased. He frowned.
"What are you talking about?"
"Vicki let me doll her up for you and then she came back not long after. Weren't you out?"
"No. She left because she said we both had work to do."
"Oh. She said you weren't home, so she was gonne catch up on her sleep."
"I was there. We talked a bit and..." he stopped, thinking back to the previous night.
"You've only fallen in love three times in your whole life? Wow, high standards." she attempted a joke and he nodded.
"I'm such..." he hit his head on the brick building. "...a total..." THUNK! "...IDIOT!" THWACK! THUNK! CRACK! The brick cracked and he grabbed his forehead.
"You...okay?" she frowned.
"No. I'm a complete LOSER!"
"What'd you do?"
"I...well, I told her she was beautiful and she said I had to have seen better." he stopped.
"You didn't tell her yes, did you?"
"I told her she was third. Second being her in her undergarments. First when a statue I designed for an old flame was built."
"Statue of Liberty."
"Damn." she whistled.
"She asked if I did that for many women. I said only the ones that meant the world to me. She asked how many. Three. I told her who and what I'd done for them. She asked me if I'd only fallen in love those three times and I said yes." he covered his face with his hands, groaning. Coreen sorted the story out mentally, then...
"You're a total moron! That explains why all of the chocolate ice-cream was gone."
"How does me being an idiot make ice-cream vanish?"
"Don't you get it? Wow, I honestly thought she only had a little crush on you. I had no idea."
"Coreen, what are you talking about?"
"Don't you love Vicki?" Coreen spiraled the conversation away.
"I feel very strongly for Vicki, yes."
"You basically told her you didn't."
"That much, I get. Why does she mind? It's not as if she...she doesn't, does she?"
"DUH! You really are an idiot. See you later." she walked off. He thunked his head against the wall once more for good measure, then went back to his place. Vicki was on his couch, reading one of his older graphic novels.
"Vicki...hey." he opened his mouth to continue, but she cut him off.
"I need your help on a case. Five missing teens. Been gone for two days. Not drinkers. Not friends. Same high school, never spoke. All virgins from what the friends say." she put the book back on the shelf and handed him a piece of paper. "This is all I could get on the youngest. She's fifteen and her room is full of your work." she handed him pictures of the kids. "Recognize them?"
"My day was fine, yours? The little one, yeah. Comes to every signing. Fanatic."
"Her? No. She likes the art. Said it was gory, yet romantic. She's a fan of all things vampire. A young Coreen."
"Any idea where Coreen jr hangs out?"
"No. But if I had to guess, I'd say somewhere secluded. Not many friends."
"Okay. Thanks." she started to leave.
"Vicki, wait." he grabbed her hand. She looked at him. "I'll go with." he offered.
"Secluded, but large enough to hide five. I think I can find it." she tried to pull away.
"I'm just trying to help."
"I'm trying to work."
"Those kids will be fine for five minutes."
"How do you know? They could be dead already."
"Then you'll need someone with you."
"No arguments. I want to come, so I will." he led her out and they got into his car and drove off.
"You have any idea where to go?"
"I know this girl. I'm trying to sense her." he said, stopping at a red light. She turned the radio on and country filled the car. She looked at him, shocked, as some woman started singing about her ex. "What?" he asked, smiling.
"You're a country music fan?"
"I can like country if I want." he smiled. She laughed hollowly, rubbing her eyes. "What'd you expect?"
"Honestly? Yelling men that could make drums sound like heartbeats."
"No. Why would I want a reminder? I deal just fine by living. Country is calming."
"You're such a dork." she shook her head. They drove in silence a few minutes, then he stopped at a warehouse. "Hmmm. Haven't we been here before?"
"Yes." he got out quickly and walked to her side. "Someone's dead here."
"Great." she sighed. They went to one of the buildings and he opened the door. Inside was a livingroom scene. Four teens were on the couch and another was on the ground a few feet away. The one on the ground was dead. A boy, sixteen, definately emo.
"You kids okay?" Vicki asked. The four on the couch didn't respond and she moved towards them. The girl was shaking.
"Jessica?" Henry set a hand on her shoulder. She looked up at him. "What happened?"
"We...it's not what it looks like. He killed himself."
"Why are you all here?" Vicki frowned.
"It was a football prank." one of the guys said.
"Care to elaborate?"
"Gather four other kids you'd never really met and all of you sneak off. We didn't know he was really crazy. We were kinda teasing him."
"WE?! I wasn't!" Jessica glared at the jock.
"You don't say much of anything, I wasn't counting you."
"I don't get the prank part. You might want me to before I call the cops."
"Fuck. Cops? Listen, it was supposed to be part prank, part psychology project. See if anyone could be friends. The prank part was just going missing."
"Right. Amusing. Henry, I'll go call the cops. You watch them."
"Okay, you're both free to go." Kate said. Henry and Vicki got into his car and went back to his apartment. They were silent on the drive and Henry checked the time. 12:34. "Vicki..." he began, sitting on the couch.
"You have messages." she interrupted.
"They can wait. We need to talk."
"I wanted to show you something." he went into his drawing studio and came back with a make-shift comic. "It's still in the developmental stage, but..." he handed it to her.
and the Sacrifice
"What's this?" she frowned. On the cover was an image of her.
"Vicki Nelson, you've been immortalized." he smiled. She looked at him, shocked.
"But...I thought you only did this for..."
"Women I love." he nodded. She looked at him, jaw slack, and he laughed. "You're going to catch flies." he gently closed her mouth.
"Henry...I...I don't know what to say." she looked down at the comic and put it aside, feeling tears well up. Damn that man! He just has to be perfect. She started crying.
"You don't like it?" he asked. She threw her arms around his shoulders and cried into the crook of his neck.
"I love it." she whispered.
"Then why are you crying? I still don't get women." he chuckled. She wiped her eyes and pulled back.
"You...are so clueless." she shook her head. "I love you, Henry." she sighed. He smiled and kissed her, a chaste brush of lips, and she felt the same jolt go down her spine as before.
"I love you, too, Vicki."
She curled into his lap and he wrapped his arms around her. The phone rang once, twice, three times before the machine got it. "Victoria Nelson, this is the last straw! If you don't call me, I'm telling your mother!" Mike's voice rang through the apartment. Vicki paled and Henry groaned.
"Can I kill him?" they questioned together.