Title: Of Vampires and Ghosts, Chapter One: Ariana
Summary: An unexpected visitor from George's past plays matchmaker with his two housemates.
Disclaimer: Being Human does not belong to me, but man I'm pissed I didn't come up with the concept first! lol!
Notes: This story replaces the end to episode five. So nothing happened to Annie and Mitchell, lol! It takes place the day after Mitchell leaves the others, so I hope you enjoy!

Chapter One: Ariana

The house was completely silent, except for the occasional drop from the kitchen sink and passerby on the sidewalk. The owners sat complacent with one another. George was enthralled with an article in the newspaper while Annie and Mitchell sat cross-legged on the floor facing each other.

"Who's winning?" George broke the silence as he turned a page from the newspaper.

"I am," both Annie and Mitchell said confidently as they continued to stare at each other intently.

"Honestly, you two are children," George muttered.

"I intend to win this eye-staring contest even if it kills me," Annie said and giggled softly after having used that expression.

The sound of her light laugh brought a smile to Mitchell's face and he was going to comment back when George spoke out instead.

"But haven't you two already established the fact that blinking for vampires and ghosts is not necessary…you can do this till the end of time and get nowhere," George said in frustration and slammed his newspaper against his lap.

"And we also told you that we don't like distractions, now shush," Mitchell replied with a light slap to George's leg.

"Did you just hit me? Annie, he hit me," George whined.

Annie opened her mouth to give him words of comfort when a loud knock sounded on the door.

"Get it," both Annie and Mitchell said simultaneously again.

"Wha-, I…ugh," George felt insulted as he stood up. He walked over to the door and quickly turned back to Annie and Mitchell, "Since when have you two talked at the same time? Because I will let you know now, it is quite annoying." The door knocked again.

"Get the door George," Mitchell reiterated and pointed his arm to the door.

"Fine, fine, fine," George muttered under his breath, "Coming!" George opened the door.

"Hello George!" a happy voice called out to which George responded with an "Oh my God."

"Who is it?" Annie asked, her eyes never leaving Mitchell's.

George stood motionless by the door and Mitchell suspected something was wrong. He put his hands up to signal a time-out and helped Annie up from the floor.

They walked over to George and looked out onto the doorway. A young woman around her late 20s stood there. She had dark brown hair tied up loosely in a pony-tail, wore a canary yellow sweater over a royal blue tank top, and a jean skirt with candy-cane striped stockings. Her black boots showed extensive wear and weren't properly tied.

"George, who's this?" Mitchell asked and pointed a green gloved hand over to the girl.

"I'm his sister," the girl answered for her brother, "Older sister to be exact, by three years. The name's Ariana. Are you George's housemates?" she asked and stepped into the house.

"Your sister!" Annie said happily and clapped her hands together, "But she's a—"

"Ghost," George finished Annie's sentence, "You're a ghost?" he questioned.

"Well I didn't know you were a werewolf until a couple of days ago," she replied as she crossed her arms about her chest.

Mitchell closed the door to keep the conversation away from random passersby.

"You didn't know your sister was a ghost?" Mitchell asked as he entered the living area. Mitchell sat on the coffee table and Annie sat by his legs, George and Annie on the couch.

"She died a couple of months before I became a werewolf and when I did become one I ran away and made it look like I died too," George answered.

"And I thought you did!" Ariana laughed, "I was hoping you'd become a ghost like me, but then I figured since you had your life sorted an' all, you wouldn't have stuck around."

"So you're a ghost?" George asked again incredulously, "You've been a ghost for the past few years?"

"Girlie over here knows, unfinished business an' all," Ariana pointed over to Annie.

"How did you find out George was a werewolf?" Mitchell asked intrigued at the sibling interaction.

"I saw his ex-girlfriend walkin' around one day and I followed her over to her flat. Snooped around for a while and started to read her diary…fascinating stuff that was. Anyway, I saw a recent entry with George's name in it," she said as she pulled out a piece of paper from her yellow sweater.

"She wrote down that you were a werewolf and your sudden disappearance years ago made perfect sense. So I, of course, wanted nothing more than to see my dear younger brother…so here I am!" she finished and passed the ripped page from the diary over to George.

George stared at her wide-eyed and Ariana simply smiled, "Are you going to introduce me to your housemates now?" she said and punched him on the arm.

George winced, "You are such a pain, even after death!" he complained and then turned to Mitchell and Annie, "She tortured me when we were younger, possibly the worst sister a boy could ever have."

"Oh shove it, you know that's my way of showing affection," Ariana replied by ruffling his short hair.

Mitchell smiled and took the opportunity to introduce himself, "I'm Mitchell and this is Annie."

"A vampire and a ghost…are you two…" Ariana put her hands together to portray 'relationship,' but Annie clarified the situation.

"Oh no," she laughed lightly, "No, we're just friends," she pointed to herself and then Mitchell.

"Ahh," Ariana understood, but brought up the topic again, "Are you sure you two aren't because vampires and ghosts—"

"No," Mitchell was quick to answer, but then flashed a smile, "Please, tell us stories of George's childhood…I'm always up for a good laugh," he changed the subject.

Ariana let it go, for now, and recounted a couple of embarrassing stories that had Mitchell and Annie gasping for air, while George had his arms crossed about his chest in irritation.

"He literally peed on his pants, it was positively amazing," Ariana laughed out loud.

"Are we done yet? Have we all had a good and hearty laugh?" George said sarcastically and stood up to get his jacket.

"Oi, where are you going?" Ariana called out after him.

"I am going over to my girlfriend's because I am clearly not being appreciated here," George explained.

"I'll be here when you come back," Ariana sang and wiggled her fingers goodbye to him, "That is, if your friends want me to stay."

George saw Mitchell and Annie nod eagerly and he let his head drop, "Damn you…damn you all!" he said as he walked out of the house.

Mitchell took a last swig of his beer and looked at his watch, "I actually have to go and pick up a shift at the hospital for two hours or so. Can I leave you two girls alone?" he said as he too walked over to his jacket.

"Honestly, what do you take us for?" Annie replied with a hint of humor in her voice.

"Don't go throwin' any parties while I'm away," he joked and winked over at Annie, "I'll be back later."

"Be careful," Annie called out to him as he walked out of the house and closed the door behind him.

"I'm actually quite shocked," Ariana spoke up once Mitchell left.

Annie cocked her head to the side a bit, "Shocked about what?"

"You and Mitchell…I don't understand why you aren't together," Ariana answered as she sat forward and rested her arms on her knees.

"Why would we be together? We're completely different," Annie replied and shrugged her shoulders.

"You mean, he hasn't told you?" Ariana planted her head into her hand, her brow scrunched in confusion.

"Told me what?" Annie asked, intrigued at what Ariana had brought up.

"Vampires and ghosts are the ideal match. It actually didn't start off that way, mind you. Centuries ago, Vampires enslaved ghosts as sources of food," Ariana explained.

"Sources of food? Like blood? But we're dead, how can they feed on us?" Annie brought up a good question.

"You cry don't you? Fluid still runs down your cheeks, doesn't it? The same applies to blood. We're not alive in every sense of the word, but the 'ghost' anatomy allows for certain aspects to transcend over. That includes blood circulation and your ability to feel when others touch you. Here," she said as she took out a pocket knife from her yellow sweater, "Give yourself a tiny cut."

Annie took the knife hesitantly and flipped it open. She placed it over her finger and without a second thought she pushed the knife against her skin. She flinched slightly and marveled at the fact that blood started to flow out of her small wound.

"You see…one last trait of being human," Ariana commented and within seconds the cut healed completely, "Except for that part," she laughed, "That is why vampires used us long ago because we would just 'heal' back."

"But vampires don't uphold slavery anymore, do they?" Annie asked as she returned the knife to Ariana.

"No, actually, a couple of the vampires started to fall in love with their prey and a small war to abolish the slavery of ghosts took place sometime in the dark ages. In fact, I learned all of this from a vampire and ghost couple who still exist today."

"They survived all those centuries together?" Annie replied astonished.

Ariana nodded excitedly, "They actually introduced me to my late husband, who was a vampire himself," she said. It was then that Annie noticed the ring on Ariana's hand.

"What happened to him, if I may ask?" Annie lifted her knees up and wrapped her arms around them.

"He was killed by another vampire. I cried for days…weeks. I remember walking aimlessly for months on my own," Ariana answered and her eyes glazed over slightly.

"I'm sorry," Annie offered words of comfort.

Ariana shook her head and took a deep breath, "It's all in the past now," she laughed it off.

Annie smiled back and Ariana returned to the topic beforehand, "So, do you think you and Mitchell should give it a go?" Ariana said as she wiggled her eyebrows.

Annie laughed skeptically, "I-uh, Mitchell and I—," she started and blushed at the thought.

"Well, do you find him attractive?" Ariana nudged her on the shoulder gently.

"Very," Annie answered too quickly and covered her mouth in surprise.

Ariana giggled at Annie's cute gesture, "Is he kind to you?"

Annie buried her head in her knees, "All the time," she mumbled and then laughed at the newfound feelings Ariana was helping to uncover.

"What does he do?" Ariana pushed herself off the couch and sat on the floor to be at eye level with her.

"He listens to me when I need it the most, he buys coffee and tea because he knows that making it helps me feel normal, he makes me laugh…I love a man who can make me laugh," Annie spoke dreamily.

She stopped and looked at Ariana. She burst out laughing and Annie followed suit, "God you are head over heels," she commented.

"Nah, it's just a crush, but it's finally nice to have another woman to talk to…being stuck around those two tends to dull the mind," Annie replied as she scratched the back of her head.

"It's nice to have someone to talk to as well…I've just been wandering around from city to city for the past couple of months," Ariana informed her.

"Why do you think you're still here?" Annie asked her the ghost-related question.

"Who knows? I've fallen in love, I've had a family, I've done most things people wouldn't even imagine….and I'm still here. What about you?"

"Well, I found out my ex-fiancé killed me and I managed to scare the shit out of him after a bit of hard work with Mitchell and George, but I'm still here," Annie shrugged her shoulders.

"Christ…well at least he got his just rewards," Ariana stood up from the floor and stretched, "Could I get some water?" she asked as she started to walk over to the kitchen.

"Yeah sure, the glasses are in—" and that's when it hit her, "You can drink?"

"And eat, but I'm not hungry at the moment," Ariana looked into the cupboard and pulled out a glass.

Annie followed her into the kitchen, "How?"

"A lot of concentration, patience, and practice," she said as she filled her cup from the faucet and drank in front of Annie.

Annie stared in wonder and Ariana continued, "Can people see you right now?"

"Yeah," Annie nodded and walked over to the counter.

"Good, that's the first step. You can't lose confidence in yourself or else you become transparent to others. The more confident, the more solid you become. Next is feeling a sense of importance, which often comes from having friends…and a significant other," Ariana eyed her, "And this is where Mitchell plays a role."

"Does he have to play one?" Annie asked honestly.

"Why are you afraid of acting on your feelings?" Ariana jumped on the counter and swung her legs out.

"Because we already have a good thing as friends and I'd hate to ruin that if he doesn't return what I feel," Annie gathered up the courage to say.

"Then you'll never drink or eat," Ariana stated matter-of-factly.

"There has to be another way," Annie grabbed her cup of water and looked at it.

"Nope…you see, the overwhelming feelings you get when you know you mean so much more to another person are key to full solidity. Without that, you're only half there. I learned that with Mark," she said and Annie looked at her in confusion, "My late husband, his name was Mark. He knew a lot about ghosts and their potential. We're not just wandering spirits; we are capable of so much more…"

"What I would give for a slice of pizza," Annie stared off into space.

"Ask Mitchell out on a date and see where it goes," Ariana persisted.

"I'm not his type…it'd be too awkward," Annie walked over to the table and without thinking sat in his seat.

"Stop giving yourself excuses…what you are now is your second chance at life, to make amends for what you didn't do while you were alive," Ariana jumped off the counter and went to kneel in front of her, "And maybe one day you can have that slice of pizza. Just give it a chance," she begged.

Annie gave her a skeptical look and Ariana grabbed her hands, "I like you Annie, you have to be one of the most sweetest beings I've met since my death and since you're a close friend of George, I just want you to have what I had with Mark…to know how to love and truly be loved in return. I've always been selfish and careless, but never have I wanted to help someone like you before."

Annie considered her options quickly in her mind and swallowed heavily before she looked back down at Ariana, "Okay."

Ariana clapped her hands together, "So you're going to do it? You're going to give yourself this chance and ask him out?"

Annie took a deep breath, "Yes!" she said confidently.

"I'm so excited you're going to do it!" Ariana exclaimed.

"Do what?" a voice drifted from the kitchen doorway. Ariana jumped to her feet and so did Annie as they saw Mitchell standing at the doorway.

"You're back early!" Annie said a bit too high and Ariana nudged her arm slightly.

"The person who originally left the shift came back, so I stopped by the market and bought you some tea," Mitchell said as he pulled out the contents from the grocery bag.

He went to put it in the cupboard and Ariana mouthed an 'awww' at Annie, "Well, now, I am going to go into George's room….and like any older sister, I'm going to rifle through his things," she said mischievously and disappeared from the kitchen.

"What did you and Ariana talk about after I left?" Mitchell asked as he turned back to lean against the counter.

Annie swallowed heavily again and cleared her throat before she finally answered, "We, uh, talked about ghost stuff. Like reasons why she's still around and why I'm still around."

"It must be nice to have another girl to talk to, I imagine," Mitchell smiled as he opened the fridge to retrieve a beer.

"Yeah, she's really sweet," Annie commented and her mouth grew dry in her anxiety.

"Reminds me of my younger sister," Mitchell stated as he leaned against the fridge door.

"You had a younger sister?" Annie asked curiously.

"Yeah, all the men sought after her," he smiled and reminisced, but then turned serious, "She died though a couple of years before I left for the war. Influenza."

"Oh…I'm sorry," Annie took a step forward, but held herself back.

He shrugged and took another sip from his beer, "No worries," he said and smiled at her.

She smiled back and then felt queasy at the idea of asking him out right after he talked about his sister's death, "Mitchell, I'll be right back," she said and disappeared before he could say anything.

Annie appeared in George's room where Ariana was looking through his drawer, "I can't do it," she said.

"What are you blabbering about?" Ariana asked without turning around.

"I can't ask him…we started talking about how sweet you were and how you reminded him of his dead sister. I couldn't do right after that! 'Yeah my sister died', 'Oh that's so sad, would you like to talk about it more during dinner Friday night?'" she imitated him and herself.

"He's probably forgotten the conversation by now…just go back down there and talk about kittens or something," she said as she switched George's clothes from one drawer to the other.

"Okay," Annie whispered to herself and took a deep breath before she disappeared to pop up in the kitchen.

"Everything okay?" Mitchell asked from the table behind her.

She turned around, a bit startled, but covered it up with a small laugh, "Grand! Everything's grand."

She took the seat opposite of him and bit her nails as she focused on a spot on the table.

"Annie?" Mitchell grabbed her hand and pulled it away from her mouth, "Why are you nervous?"

"I'm not nervous," she smiled at him.

"You bite your nails when you're nervous," he stated, his hand still wrapped around her wrist.

She slumped her head in defeat, 'The man knows me too well' she thought to herself, "Mitchell…" she started as she looked back up to him.

"Would you…I mean, would it be…" she stumbled over her words and felt her cheeks grow hot under his intense stare.

'Out with it already!' She told herself, "Would you like to have dinner with me sometime…in the evening, when dinner usually takes place…at night?" she let out awkwardly, but managed to get the point across.

"As in a date?" he clarified and she nodded slowly.

"It's alright if you don't want to, or if you're too busy, I mean…don't worry about it…"

"I'd love to."

"….It's nothing important, you can forget I asked if you don't want to—" and she stopped her rambling when she saw the giant smile on his face.

"Annie, I'd love to go out with you," he reiterated, a slight blush on his cheeks.

"Really? I mean, you don't have a bet going on with George or anything and that's why you said yes," Annie couldn't register his answer.

"No, no bet with George," he laughed, "I really want to go out with you."

"Is tonight okay?" she asked in a soft voice, "If you're not too busy," she quickly added.

"Tonight is fine," he nodded and continued to smile at her.

Annie licked her lips and nodded herself, "Eight?"

"Eight's fine," he said happily.

"Cool," she whispered and mentally hit herself for sounding like a teenager, "I'm gonna go find Ariana….Um, I'll see you later?" she cocked her head to the side and felt the extreme warmth emanating from his hand over hers.

"Yeah, I'll see you later," he said with a smirk and with that Annie disappeared, his hand fell on the table and he inwardly missed the warmth from her hand.


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