Disclaimer: I do not own HINABN, the lovely Tessa Stone does
Ya Look Good
Note: this can be read as a stand alone story or as a sequel to 'Ain't Gonna Ask Twice', which can be found in the stories section of my profile
When he remembered that the alternative had been death, Conrad supposed that being a vampire wasn't as bad as it seemed. Sure it was annoying as hell, and he'd still bitch to anyone that would bother listening and give Hanna shit for it (because, hey, it was the kid's fault really), but all in all, it could've been worse. If his mother had taught him anything as a child, she'd surely beaten the phrase 'it could be worse' into his mind every time little Conrad had decided to complain (it was something he was good at after all). At least he wasn't going to start decomposing slowly like the zombie. And if he tried, he could still pull off a level of 'normal' that allowed him to keep his job and not totally freak out his family and random strangers in the street. It's not like he was green or anything; he just had two small, and admittedly strange looking, bite marks on his neck and a snaggletooth that wasn't too obvious…was it? And the whole nocturnal/blood drinking thing, well, he could just keep that under wraps.
There was one frustrating aspect of being a vampire though that he'd probably never get used to and it was the one he was confronted with now, standing in front of his bathroom mirror, trying to get ready for the day. Or night. Whatever. The point was that he was 'trying' because how was he meant to get ready when he couldn't even fucking see himself. His reflection showed a well-matched collared shirt and vest combination, sleeves rolled up in their customary fashion, and a pair of thick, black-rimmed glasses, all of which looked like it was hanging on some invisible mannequin. He had no fucking clue what his hair looked like or whether he had bags under his eyes from lack of sleep or whether his teeth were clean and white. Muttering curses under his breath, he drew a hand across his hair once more, trying to imagine from the feel of the contours what it might look like.
"What the fuck's yer problem, Connie?" In his peripheral vision, Conrad caught a glimpse of Worth, in his black t-shirt and jeans, slouching against the doorframe with a particularly irritating smirk plastered on his face.
Ignoring the question outright and returning his attention back to his, admittedly, non-existent reflection, he stated accusingly, "I thought you were still asleep."
"Nah, gotta get back t'the clinic," he drawled with a shrug, shoving his hands in his pockets as he sauntered over to Conrad.
"Why?" the vampire asked incredulously, unable to comprehend why the heck anyone would need to be at that scungy place he called a clinic. After all, it wasn't like anyone except Hanna, his zombie companion and maybe desperate, injured drug addicts went there…did they?
"I do actually run a business, yanno," Worth said, his voice slightly resentful at Conrad's implication.
"Oh, so that's what you call that dodgy establishment of yours?" he retorted sarcastically, flinging his comb back into the drawer and closing it with a slam. Worth grinned maliciously. This was, sadly, everyday banter for them and something that the hack actually seemed to enjoy.
"I suppose you classify that faggy artstuff you do as business then?" he asked with a sly grin. Well, at least the man remembered what he did for a living. Conrad knew that was probably as good as it would ever get. Still, it pissed him off to have Worth – Worth, of all people, who wouldn't know class if it hit him in the fucking face – insult his, what he thought was fairly good, artwork.
"At least I make a decent living," he growled and Worth shrugged. Because, then again, what was money to someone who only ever bought cigarettes (never food apparently), probably never paid the rent let alone Lamont, and had been wearing the same damn coat for a million years?
Worth chuckled at the scowl on the vampire's face as he slung his long, thin arms around the other's waist. "Besides, I gotta be at the clinic 'cause you bloody pansies usually drop in a couple'a times a week fer being banged up by ghosts'n other weird ghoulies." This produced a small smirk as Conrad silently agreed that, yeah, he, Hanna and the dead guy did tend to spend a fair bit of their time in Worth's office, mainly because of Hanna's lack of any foresight whatsoever, which tended to lead them into stupid situations. Like last week, when he been dragged by the redhead to help them save a fair damsel in distress only to find that the damsel was actually a hideous siren who sucked in Hanna pretty easily and then tried to add them to her growing collection of dead men under the floorboards. Yeah, that had gone well.
Meanwhile, Worth had rested his head on Conrad's shoulder and was casually eyeing their reflection in the mirror. "That's kind'a weird," he said eventually.
"Kind of a pain in the ass, is what you mean," Conrad muttered with a scowl, faced with his original problem once more. There was absolutely no point in asking Worth how he looked because it was Worth and he'd just make some call about Conrad looking artfaggy, but he could at least bitch to him, "How the fuck am I meant to know what my hair looks like if I can't even see it?"
"I bet ya can't see the lovely set'a teeth marks here either, can ya?" Worth asked nonchalantly, indicating Conrad's exposed neck. The vampire's face fell.
"WHAT?" he exploded, spinning round to glare at the blond and pressing a hand against the area to confirm how bad the damage was. Because he didn't doubt Worth's ability to leave serious marks on him but perhaps he should have doubted his ability to be sincere a little more as the doc was laughing that gravelly laugh he had and pulling Conrad back into his arms.
"Calm down, princess. I was just jokin'. Jeez. Though I could give ya some, if ya like," he added with a devious grin, running his teeth lightly across Conrad's pale skin in a way that made the vampire shiver.
"Not fucking funny, Worth," he grumbled, pushing the blond away and hating how his body reacted of its own accord to the touch of the other man. "I'm meeting a client tonight."
"Runnin' a little night business on the side, are we?" Worth asked, with slyly raised eyebrows in insinuation of what Conrad's clients might actually be.
"God, I really hate you sometimes," he said, glaring at Worth's reflection in the mirror which was kind of useless since it didn't appear there and the hack just kept grinning at him.
"Aww but I thought yer hated me all the time, Connie," he replied with feigned disappointment. Conrad pinched the bridge of his nose, willing himself not to punch the other man square in the jaw. He had to leave soon to meet his client anyway and needed to collect together his folio first. He didn't have time to stand here arguing aimlessly with a total asshole.
"Look, if you're going to be a pain, can you kindly fuck off and annoy someone else?" he said wearily, pushing his glasses back up his nose.
"But yer much more fun t'annoy," the other teased, running his lips along the curve of Conrad's ear. And it was true that pissing off Conrad was still one of Worth's main amusements in life along with actually screwing Conrad. The vampire's eye twitched as he wondered why he put up with it. Worth's arms were snaking their way around his waist again and fuck it, he didn't have time for this!
"That's it, out, out!" he yelled, pushing the surprised blond back out the doorway and into the bedroom.
"Jeez, what the fuck's yer problem?" Worth asked testily, sauntering over to his coat to pull out a cigarette and lighter.
"There's no way you're smoking that in here," Conrad said, pointing at the cigarette dangling from Worth's lips with a vengeance.
"Whadda you care? Yer can't even fuckin' die from second hand smoke anymore ya pansy!" Worth protested.
"Out!" Conrad said, giving the blond a shove from behind towards the door that led to the small balcony outside as the other surrendered with an annoyed 'I'm going, I'm going. Jeez, ya fricken' nazi'. Worth went out to light up his cigarette, muttering something about vampires with poles up their asses, while Conrad went to collect his scattered drawings together for the potential job he was going to be offered, muttering something about hack doctors with no sense of decency. How the two of them started, let alone maintained, a relationship (if it could really be called that but he didn't know what else to call it) was beyond him.
Finally ready to go, satchel over his shoulder and folio slung under his arm, Conrad knocked on the glass sliding door of the balcony. "You coming?" he asked, indicating that he was ready to leave with a jerk of his thumb towards the door since Worth probably couldn't hear him. Dark, blank eyes met his and the blond stubbed out his cigarette violently against the wall. Great, now the hack was in a one of his black moods where he lost the spark in his eye and refused to even acknowledge Conrad's presence let alone insult him. Worth followed him out, shrugging on his coat as Conrad locked up. Down on the street, he lit another cigarette. He usually calmed down and forgot how pissed off he was at Conrad after a few, so the vampire said nothing and they walked in silence along the streets for as far as their paths coincided.
Pausing at a small, dingy street that began the maze that led to Worth's place, Conrad glanced at the other man who stood with his hands shoved in his coat pockets. "If you do see Hanna tonight, can you tell him that I've got some groceries for him?"
Worth nodded, stamping out his cigarette underfoot and refusing to meet Conrad's eye. Adjusting the strap of his satchel more comfortably on his shoulder, Conrad wondered what the fuck was up with Worth. Knowing that these moods usually petered out after a couple of hours and everything would be back to normal when he saw him next, he gave a light shrug and set out on his path again but was stopped in his tracks by a gruff voice.
"By the way, ya look good," the blond said, still not looking at him and trying to be casual but the low, gravelly tone of his voice (that only ever seemed to come out when he was being honest, for once) betrayed him. "Yer always look good," he muttered, so low Conrad could hardly hear him and probably wouldn't have if the street hadn't been so deserted. Turning, Worth disappeared down the alleyway, leaving Conrad rooted to the pavement, mouth slightly agape in disbelief. Had Worth just complimented him? Today was looking up, he decided with a small, smug smile. But a quick glance at his watch sent him into a panic as he sprinted towards the bar where he was to meet his client.
This tends to work best as a sequel to 'Ain't Gonna Ask Twice', even though I technically wrote this one first, because I'm thinking of writing a three-piece series involving these two (I just love their dysfunctional relationship too much XD)
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