Summary: [Polly/Mal] It snows. Mal cares not. Polly instigates a snowball fight. (Together they fight crime! No, not really). Snow-jinks occur. [Rating: Reference is made to them occupying the same bed but not much else]
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Sir PTerry. Snow belongs to no-one - and is for all to play in. But in all seriousness, author fully understands the non-ownership of said characters and is not profiting in anyway from this work.
Polly woke suddenly, aware that something was different. Opening her eyes excitement coursed through her veins as she realised that the room was filled with that special kind of light that means either snow in the night or someone's installed floodlights in the street for nefarious purposes.
"Wake up!" Reaching over with her free arm she poked Mal excitedly.
Mal's only response was a muffled "mrrrmm?" and a tightening of the arm currently holding Polly down. Polly accepted that it was a nice response, but indicated with further pokes that it was not really the one she had been looking for.
Vampires are very good at ignoring pain. It takes a number of attempts to actually find the heart and you don't want to be standing around saying 'Ow' while someone's working up their practical anatomy. Mal gave voice to an explanatory "mMMmm" and, snuggling further in to steal the last iota of warmth, set herself to recapturing sleep.
"Mal it's snowing!" The Patented Perks Poke had never failed her before.
Mal, groaning, managed to open one eye. Rapidly assessing the situation and finding no good reason for being awake she despaired at the world in general and mornings in particular and closed it again.
"It snows every year around this time. You humans are weird." She reached out without looking and captured the poking hand in order to prevent any further attacks on her person.
Polly sat up, as best she could and tugged at the captured hand, wordlessly requesting freedom. But Mal was insistent that hands were for holding, not poking, and would not be moved. She tucked the hand away.
Giving up on that hand for the moment Polly instead brought the other to bear, moving it cautiously into forbidden territory. It was a dangerous move but she was determined to go all the way to get a positive response to her exciting news.
Taking a deep breath - she ruffled the hair.
"It's the 'First Snow' Mal!" The capital letters waved their permission slip and slid into place. "It's probably pitched and everything!"
Her companion merely grunted, still rejecting the morning as a whole and withdrew her restraining arm. Curling up against the chill air invading their cosy nest she drew the blankets in around her and grumbled extensively about excitable short-lives. Polly, persistent to the last, resorted to nudging the mound of blankets. The mound of blankets, though not officially sentient, spoke.
"Why don't you go somewhere that isn't here and check whether it's laying?"
It wasn't the best distracting tactic a mound of blankets had ever come up with, but it worked. Polly bounced out of bed and racing to the window, squealed with glee shot through with shock at the chilly air.
"Yay! It's pitching! C'mon Mal!"
She turned to see Mal had drawn the blanket over her head and retreated down the bed to escape all the cheerfulness.
The cold struck up through the floor and jumping from foot to foot as she struggled into her breeches Polly put aside a second to bless all the circumstances that had given her practice at dressing quickly. Hurriedly she donned undershirt, shirt, jacket, and scrabbled around for socks all the time babbling to Mal about how she and Paul used to run out into the first snowfall at home and how there had been snowmen and snow forts and the huge battle between the Duchess and the inferior pub at the other end of the village.
Finally dressed, she bounced on the bed, astride the heap that was vampire.
"C'mon Mal! Up you get! You're awake now, you might as well."
Though she wished her roommate miles away Mal had to acknowledge there was truth in her statement. Even the most dogged seeker of sleep had to admit defeat in the face of a poinging Polly. Her sleep (and Polly) ruffled head emerged reluctantly from the depths of the covers.
"You go play with your frozen precipitation. I shall go and get coffee, a civilised drink for civilised people. I may then come and watch your folly."
The pleading expression Polly had been deploying broke into a wide grin. Bounding forward excitedly she pressed a quick kiss on that sleepy face before bouncing off again and rushing out of the room like a whirlwind, the door slamming behind her.
Half an hour later Polly turned from the pitched battle going on in the yard behind the kitchens to see Mal lounging against the back door, tiny refined coffee cup in hand. She was watching the kerfuffle with a raised eyebrow of interest. Holding up a hand to halt the barrage Polly sidled over to get her opinion on the jollities. It wasn't complimentary.
"Do tell me Polly, the purpose of this behaviour? You are acting like ill-bred, undisciplined children. All of you."
She swayed a millimetre to the left as a snowball splattered into the door beside her head and added coolly, nose in the air "children with very bad aim."
The steam from her coffee wreathed up and around her perfect hair. Polly was suddenly conscious of being hot, breathless and flushed. Combing a hand through her hair she unconsciously straightened her jacket.
"You want to give us the benefit of your tactical experience?"
Despite Mal's supercilious air she was sure she had caught a momentary flicker in her eye. She'd seen that flicker before – though previously only in the privacy of their own room. Mal wanted to play.
It didn't go that easily. Mal wasn't easily persuaded to put aside 200 years of looking down on short-lives and their silly pursuits. But by the time Polly had implied to the opposition that Mal had insulted their parentage and their ability to hold their drink she didn't really have much of a choice. Mal protested at length but to no avail. Swearing at length to get detailed vampiric revenge on Polly at a later date, she finally acquiesced, putting her coffee cup carefully away.
Polly had claimed command and was busy ordering people around with a lot of shouting and extreme gestures. The battle was soon underway again, Polly's mixed group of ragamuffins attempting to storm the ground held with great determination by the remnants of the night patrollers. Mal would never understand humans, it was a mystery why Polly should want to lay claim to a heap of empty boxes and some broken crockery. But apparently the enemy consisted of similarly insane people who found the little corner of the yard with the bins of rotting cabbages most desirable and worthy of repeated attacks.
Tactically they were being outclassed by the boys of the Night Watch what with their sneaky use of superior numbers and uncanny ability to throw straight. After a particularly vicious attack, Mal was forced to take Polly to one side as they were cowering beneath the delivery cart and express her doubts.
"I hate to bring this to your attention at this busy time Pol, but we're losing."
"Well, if you won't attack them properly…"
Mal sighed as the snowballs thumped into the cart above and around them.
"I am not going to leap on them screaming 'DEATH FALLS FROM ABOVE !!' It would not be seemly."
"Oh go on. Just once. Wouldn't it be fantastic?"
"No!" Polly may have employed her best begging expression, but Mal was too busy monitoring the actions of the enemy to have noticed.
"You are a cruel and ungrateful vampire." Polly wiggled out backward, scooping up more ammunition as she went. "It wouldn't surprise me if someone charged you with conduct unbecoming!"
"Later Polly, later. They're attacking again" and Mal whistled the alarm as the snow covered figures began to charge.
One vicious bout of close hand-to-hand fighting later Polly, plastered in snow from head to foot, turned to her vampiric comrade-in-arms in confusion. Mal had definitely been fighting beside her, had borne the forefront of some intensive volleys. And yet she was unmarked.
"Tell me Mal, why are you not even slightly snowy?"
Mal smiled disdainfully, brushing some light specks of snow from her shoulders.
"I am skilled at avoiding things."
She was about to go on and explain the concept of moving away from flying snow rather than inserting ones face into it as Polly seemed apt to do when she was tackled by the object of her discourse and flung into a snowdrift. Polly, taking advantage of her stunned surprise, quickly grabbed two handfuls of snow and introduced them enthusiastically to Mal's collar and neck. In the ensuing wrestling match Polly never quite knew how, despite inferior strength and quickness, she managed to rub the vampires face in the snow. She was perched on the now snow covered chest, laughing triumphantly when she noticed the look on Mal's face.
It was not pleased.
Desperately scrambling up, feet slipping and sliding in the snow, she began to run.
Mal flipped up onto her feet and leapt into the air from a standing start, kicking off the cart before rebounding off the wall for extra height. Polly, stumbling across the yard looked back at the sound of rushing air to see a monster of clawed hands and flying cape dropping on her at speed. She gave a squeal of dismay, tripped over her own feet and fell flat on her back, the breath completely knocked out of her.
The vampire landed lightly, trapping the girl beneath her. Looking up she cringed, Mal was arched over her, cloak billowing, teeth very much present. Prompted by adrenaline fuelled instinct Polly's shoulder blades attempted to dig their way into the cobblestones of the yard.
Mal leant in closer, hovering over Polly's exposed neck. Tilting her head to get a better angle of attack she lunged in for the kill, stopping at the very last minute to whisper "Death… from above" and plant the lightest kiss on the pulse point beating frantically beneath the skin.
Rolling away she climbed gracefully to her feet and ever magnanimous in victory she held out a hand to the quivering wreck at her feet.
Much later, long after the spoils had been discussed and divided over hot cocoa (or coffee) and everyone had dispersed to their allotted duty stations Polly sighed and put down her pen. Wandering over to the window as a welcome distraction from the minutiae of military reports she watched a private clearing paths through the chaos of their fighting arena.
It had been a good morning. Despite bawling them out for behaviour unbecoming elite troops the Captain had let them off with a warning. There were after all few enough opportunities for the battalion to let off steam and no matter what the Captain said it couldn't be that bad for moral and troop cohesion to invest in an occasional snowball fight. Besides, the he'd had that glint in his eye that said underneath it all he'd been regretting not getting up early enough to join in.
Shifting uncomfortably as she felt the bruise now developing on her hip she withdrew her attention from the world outside and concentrated it instead on her sergeant sitting huddled on the hearth stone as close to the fire as physically possibly. Aware of her gaze Mal glanced up.
"I'm not sorry Pol." She drew her knees up closer. "A vampire's person is sacred. Snow is not to be introduced to our nether garments."
The silence stretched on a little more than was necessary. Polly made her way back to the desk, exaggerating a slight limp, and eased herself carefully into her seat. Picking up her pen she began a fresh page of her report.
"C'mon Pol. You said yourself it would be fantastic, and it was!"
The figure at the desk dipped her pen into the inkwell afresh and frowning in a way she knew from past experience affected the vampire most strongly, continued her scribbling.
"Alright, alright." Mal sighed grudgingly.
Rising with accustomed grace, she crossed to perch on the edge of the desk, placing a hand firmly in the centre of the page to prevent any further writing. Polly, forced at last to look up, was surprised by the gentleness in her eyes.
"I am sorry you got hurt."
The quiet was broken by the spitting of a log breaking fireplace behind her. Polly moved a hand to cover the slim fingers preventing her from working and gave a small nod.
Forgiven, Mal leant further in, her face breaking into its more customary wicked smile, the seriousness wiped away as though it had never existed.
"I'll kiss it better later, ok?"