With Blood In Their Mouths
By: Jondy Macmillan
A/N: It had to be written. This is…not as depressing as Hotblack, despite the title? Which is from the song Wolves by Phosphorescent, btw. Warnings for ummm…character death…but then they get reanimated? Oh, also there's a bunch of direct quotes from the show, so I'mma disclaim that shit right now- any direct quotes from Big Time Audition are obviously not mine. (How adorable were the boys in Audition? I'd forgotten how squeaky Logan could be, and how like- just great Kendall was.)
Vampires and werewolves didn't get along.
It wasn't like there was a war or anything, just…animosity. Rumor said it could get real nasty in some places, like the south, where the lines of demarcation were very clearly laid out.
No one could really pinpoint where or when the feud started. Some vampires said it was because weres were uneducated, hard-headed louts, while others just didn't like the reek of dog fur. Likewise, some werewolves claimed vampires were just namby pamby narcissists, more concerned with their own looks than holding up the reputations of real monsters, while others simply didn't appreciate conversing with something that didn't have a pulse. But no matter what the reason, it was a simple fact of life that ever since the world of monsters emerged from underneath the beds of America, it had become common knowledge that the two species loathed each other.
Which didn't make a hoot of difference to Kendall Knight. He'd never met a vampire in his life.
His mom told him stories about them when he was small and sick of listening to her list off why princesses were really silly twits who didn't understand that witches weren't evil; that title went to men, like the princes they waited up in their towers for, day after day. Really, the witches were just trying to do good by the little idiots. And okay, maybe there was that once incident where Maleficent had gone overboard with the whole cursing the entire kingdom bit, but anything Snow White's stepmother did was justified, because what sane person actually liked singing forest creatures constantly flocking to them? And Ursula? She'd just been a good business woman, damnit.
Kendall never really had the heart to explain to his mother that Disney and Hans Christian Anderson weren't exactly the best places to dig up info on her heritage, so he usually found redirection to be an effective tool.
The vampire stories were the best in her repertoire. He loved it when she talked about them; how they were cold, scary creatures who drank blood and befuddled minds and oozed danger. Kendall always swore that if he ever met one, he was going to find out if they really were empty, soulless shells.
His best friends were normals, and at first he couldn't share the stories with them.
Then the big reveal happened when they were all eight. The first thing Kendall did was 'fess up about his heritage. They had a million questions, like how had he become a wolf, and was he born that way?
He was. His dad had been a were. One who was hella charming (his mom was a tough customer), right up until he'd met a hunter with some silver bullets a few years prior.
Kendall's parents hadn't known the mister would pass on the curse to his kid. But man, the Knights had handled it like pros. Kendall's mom used her witchy powers to ease the pain of the transformation. Kendall's dad took him hunting and running. They'd been preparing to do the same for Katie, just in case, but then Mr. Knight died, and Katie turned out to be more magical than furry.
Kendall's friends thought it was awesome. A real live monster in Small Town, Minnesota, and he'd been their bestie since day one. Anyone else might have seen it as a betrayal, but Logan, James, and Carlos were pretty much the greatest guys Kendall had ever met in his life.
Which is what made it so devastating when the accident happened.
Logan had gotten his learner's permit way ahead of the curve. Usually, he flat out refused to break the rules and drive without an adult in the car. But Kendall and James bullied him into it over the phone. Logan picked Carlos up one snowy night on the way to the Diamond's house. They had to take a detour; the cops had blocked off Main Street because of a fallen traffic light.
All those long, winding, icy roads…Logan and Carlos probably never even realized they were driving straight into the guardrail until it was too late.
In a way, it was even worse than losing his dad. Kendall had known Logan and Carlos for twice as long. They were young and stupid and death was something reserved for the old and wise; the people who already learned all of life's secrets. Or at least, Kendall thought, it should have been him. He was the reckless one, the one who jumped head first into dangerous situations. The guy Mama Knight only allowed behind the wheel once and ended up having to use magic on because she thought he'd forgotten where the brakes were.
Throughout the school memorial service, James wouldn't say a word.
Kendall had always thought that if something really terrible happened, he'd be the one to keep shit together, but instead he felt totally helpless; unable to do anything but clench his fists and fight angry tears. He was barely fifteen years old. He didn't know what to do with so much guilt, or grief.
James was the one who held it together. He wouldn't speak, wouldn't cry, wouldn't do anything but stare unblinkingly across the auditorium; almost as if he was looking through the poster sized pictures of Logan and Carlos's smiling faces. Kendall wasn't sure if it was a sign of courage or if James had simply gone comatose. He was so preoccupied with his own sadness that he didn't think much of it.
The funerals were held in tandem on an afternoon in early January when the cloud banks rose so high they looked like a wall of water about to swallow the world; the apocalypse come to Earth. Even though hazy patches of bird-egg blue sky drifted in and out of existence, it was snowing. The cold froze Kendall's fingers until they curled into claws.
James shifted next to him, his palm warm against Kendall's through the cloth of his fingerless gloves as he laced their hands together. Kendall noticed that James's parents hadn't come to any of the services, unwilling to pay their final respects to the most important people in James's life. And James still wouldn't talk, wouldn't say anything at all.
But his hand was warm.
The ceremonies were packed, and yet it felt like they were the only two there; twin stone statues alone in their mourning.
James was solid, and he was alive. Kendall clung to that.
Afterwards, Kendall slammed the door to his house, James at his heels. He cringed away from his mother's touch, soft at his back. He didn't want her pity. What he wanted? Kendall whirled on her, finally allowing his pain to well to the surface, demanding the thing he wanted most. "Bring them back."
Mrs. Knight tilted her head, sorrow evident in her eyes. "Honey, I can't do that."
"You have magic. You can do anything," Kendall shouted, getting increasingly hysterical. He hadn't used this much volume since the night he heard the news, but he felt like this was his last chance; one final desperate plea for his friends not to be dead.
"What I would bring back, Kendall- it wouldn't be Logan or Carlos."
Kendall yelled at her. He could never remember the words, afterwards. Only the shame. The guilt. The misery he felt as he railed against his own mother for something that wasn't even her fault.
Katie hid at the top of the stairs, peering down at him with a tear-stained face.
It was James who stepped up, who caught his shoulders and held him tight and close, murmuring into his neck, "It's okay. It's okay. It will be okay."
They were the first words he'd spoken since they heard the news, since Kendall had seen his face painted in disbelief; shock stark across his face when he asked whenwhyhow. And Kendall took it, all of it; James's strength as he whispered against Kendall's skin, their shared loss.
James was all he had left.
The four of them had met on their first day of preschool, and had been attached at the hip ever since. Kendall was always closest to Logan, but in the year that followed his friends' burial he grew closer to James than he'd ever been with another living being. His mother said tragedy brought people together; showed them what was really important. Kendall knew it was more. James wasn't the type of guy who ever faded into the background. He'd always been independent, autonomous. He barely ever looked to Kendall for approval the way Logan and Carlos had. He'd never needed Kendall as much. But now he did.
They needed each other.
It was a year that Kendall later liked to pretend didn't exist, because it was the saddest of his life.
At the same time, it was one he couldn't forget, because it was the year he'd realized what James was to him. Kendall learned about the parts of his friend he'd known existed, but had forgotten beneath the façade of a normal teenage boy. He rediscovered James's kindness and the abrupt sweetness James had done his best to conceal under narcissism and vanity.
Kendall rediscovered James's strength.
Before, Kendall simply thought of James as one of his best friends; a teenager with terrible taste in pop music and a pervading ambition for fame. Now there was something more, in the way he laughed or smiled or held himself. Kendall somehow became more invested in looking at James, with his wild eyes and a smirk on his lips.
James, who knew how beautiful he was, and- it just wasn't fair.
Kendall hadn't meant to care this much.
Sometimes they'd be walking side by side at school, the press of the crowd of overly hormonal kids getting to be too much, and Kendall would turn and meet James's eyes. He'd think, it would be so easy.
To touch his face.
To hold him tight.
To kiss him.
Kendall had no idea if James felt the same way.
He had always vowed to protect his friends, and the accident made him more loyal and steadfast; more desperate to do anything that would ensure James's happiness.
Then Dr. Rocquenstein came.
It was winter, just past the anniversary of Carlos and Logan's deaths. When they saw the ad on TV, James was ecstatic. "We have to go. We have to. He's like, the best record producer in the world."
Kendall grinned, already planning on saying yes, but something about the way James's shoulders were creeping up near his ears made him pause. "Alright, so what's the catch? Why's he coming all the way out to Minnesota to find talent?"
James paused, biting his lip. "Well, they say he's possibly maybe a little- insane. He thinks he's a mad scientist, or something. Only his 'science' is maybe a little bit, um, magic?"
Kendall frowned, watching James wave his hand in the air in this whole no big deal gesture.
Kendall disagreed. He was not sure how he felt about crazy magical record producers.
"C'mon, Kendall. All I've ever wanted to do is sing," James pleaded.
Kendall sighed. "Did I say no? This isn't my no face. Do I even have a no face?"
Gratefully, James replied, "You wouldn't be half as awesome if you did."
So they bribed the nearest neighbor who could drive into giving them a ride and went to the audition.
Dr. Rocquenstein always said that most talent had precisely the higher brain function of a canine. Which, one would think, might make his standards considerably lower.
Instead, he was a choosey bastard.
"Well, it's definitely not this guy," he told Kelly, grimacing at the stage and relaxing against his seat. "I hate him."
His executive lab assistant groaned. She had not gotten her doctorate from MIT to deal with this. "You've been saying that all across the continental United States."
Her mother had been right. Giving up on thermodynamic physics for music and mad science had been idiotic.
"I want- okay, seriously, I do not want this guy," Gustavo's voice did that thing where it got all pitchy and whiney.
"You want," she used air quotes, "A canvas with great hair that you can paint your pop on. A singing block of wood. What about that guy back in St. Louis? He had a nice voice."
"He was shallow and self absorbed. He had no fire. I want fire."
"So basically, you want someone who's too scared to suck up to you." Kelly groaned, because no way did that person exist.
"Exactly." Gustavo nodded vigorously, sneering at the man in plaid up on the stage. He was enacting a rousing rendition of- Kelly actually wasn't so sure what it was that he was doing. She just wanted it to be over.
"I- have no idea how to explain to you that that isn't going to happen." She banged her head against the table spread in front of them.
"What do you mean?"
"You have this thing." She peered out at Dr. Rocquenstein with one eye. "Where you terrify people."
"You don't seem scared."
"Um, that's because I adjusted. Remember when you first hired me?"
"Oh yeah. You used to play hide and seek under the interns' desks," Dr. Rocquenstein recalled with a grin.
"Cower. I was not playing a game, I was cowering. Right up until I got that you were all bark and no bite." Kelly lifted her head and patted Dr. Rocquenstein's arm. "But nobody else is going to get that unless you give them a whole lot of time."
Gustavo glowered at her.
"Fine." Kelly held up her hands. "But this is the last stop. After this, I'm going back to California. Where's its warm."
Dr. Rocquenstein opened his mouth and then closed it. "I'm good with that."
"Right." Kelly winced as the man on stage hit a high note. "Remember what I said outside about trying not to make anybody cry. No! Put the grenade launcher away."
James auditioned first. It didn't go well. Kendall had to use all of his persuasive powers just to get him inside. Especially after two burly guards dragged Jenny Tinkler out, kicking and screaming about how the record producer was evil. After that, James tried to switch their nametags and force Kendall to go first, but no way was Kendall selling himself out for some fat cat dickwad. It wasn't his dream to be a popstar.
Besides, James was brave, once he got talked into it.
He'd be fine.
"Opportunities like this come once in a lifetime. Now grab onto that dream with both hands and go- big time!"
Okay. So Kendall really thought James would be fine. He hid behind one of the auditorium seats and watched, and James was good. Probably better than anyone they'd seen all night.
Dr. Rocquenstein was obviously out of his mind. Kendall may have overreacted.
"But I'm good," James protested, looking profoundly puzzled.
"I don't need good. I need the fire, 'kay?" Dr. Rocquenstein wiggled his fingers in front of his face. "I need someone to knock me outta m'seat. And as you can see, I'm still in it. 'Cause you have no talent."
Yeah. Kendall may have overreacted a lot.
"No talent? No talent? You're the one with no talent. You haven't had a hit in ten years!"
It all kind of spiraled from there. Next thing Kendall knew he was singing Girl To My Heart at the top of his lungs on the wooden fold out table and knocking Dr. Rocquenstein right out of his seat. Then there were security guards in yellow, and he vaguely recalled James flying off the stage in a vain attempt to free him.
Oh, and then he and James got dragged home by the cops. Yeah, that was fun. When Kendall's mom opened the door, Kendall thought she was going to grab her wand and spell him into a shark tank on the spot. Kendall pasted on his best mom-pleasing smile and hoped he wouldn't be grounded for the rest of the winter.
"Mom! Remember that time I saved you from choking? Wow, that was close. And I love you."
Mrs. Knight didn't punish them.
She didn't really have a chance.
Katie shook James out of his really sad face, only for their rendition of Kendall's giant turd song to get interrupted by Dr. Rocquenstein himself. When he said he wanted to give Kendall a chance, man, James looked crushed. There was just no way Kendall could do that to his best friend.
Plus the stupid mad scientist said he had anger management issues. Kendall did not have anger management issues. Not when the moon wasn't full, anyway.
So Kendall said no. Dr. Rocquenstein went Incredible Hulk on his front yard. And James refused to talk to him for the rest of the night. And most of the day.
He finally opened his mouth while they were hanging out in the parking lot of the Sherwood Market. To tell Kendall that he hated him.
And then James assaulted some guy with a shopping cart.
Kendall decided he might have to take the offer seriously.
He called the doctor. Then he bargained.
Dr. Rocquenstein didn't like that very much, "I'm sorry, are you trying to make a deal with me? I make the deals!"
Kendall shrugged, smirking a little. Maybe he did enjoy arguing more than the next guy. That did not mean he had anger management issues.
"If you want me, you have to take James."
James's head swiveled sharply in his direction, mouth gaping open.
"Uh. No. It's never going to happen." Gustavo looked James up and down. He obviously didn't see what Kendall did, because the expression on his face wasn't exactly satisfaction. "Not ever."
"I'm not going anywhere without James."
"And that's not homoerotic in the least," Dr. Rocquenstein muttered under his breath.
Kelly elbowed the mad record producer in the stomach. Then she turned an apologetic smile on Kendall and James. "He's right though. Two hot boys singing into a microphone together? Girls aren't going to hold out much hope that you aren't taken."
"I'm not following."
"I think she's saying that would be gay." James knocked their shoulders together, managing something that half resembled a grin. Kendall shifted, kind of wondering if that would be so bad.
He banished the thought before it had fully formed.
"No way am I leaving without you."
"But-" James squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath. He exhaled. Then he parroted Kendall's words back to him. "It's the opportunity of a lifetime. You have to accept."
"I will." Kendall met Gustavo's eyes, but when he spoke, it was to James. "With you."
Dr. Rocquenstein huffed, "Fine. I don't know how this is going to- wait. You don't have any more friends, do you?"
So yeah, Dr. Roquenstein always said the talent were dogs. And he'd finally gotten a chance to prove it.
Of course he didn't know that until he was standing over Logan and Carlos's headstones, gaping. "These are your friends?"
"Yup." Kendall nodded, toeing Logan's gravestone fondly. "Got any other ideas?"
"Actually-" Gustavo held a finger up in the air, like he was testing the wind shear. "I think I can work with this."
"Seriously?" Kelly wiggled one of her boots over the snow covered gravesite. All she wanted to do was leave. Cemeteries were creepy.
"Boy bands are so not hot." Gustavo turned to face Kelly. "But what if we made a monster band?"
"A monster band?" James asked in a monotone.
"That won't work. What about Kendall and James? They're normals," Kelly replied sensibly.
"Oh, uh…" Kendall sounded sheepish, "I didn't mention that I'm a werewolf?"
And that's how it went down.
The evening before they left for LA, James and Kendall tramped out to their school's football field. It seemed fitting. Back before high school started, they'd walk by this field every day, daydreaming about what it would be like when they were old enough, smart enough, good enough to sit on these bleachers.
Freshmen year was going to be a whole new adventure.
It just hadn't really worked out.
So now they had a different adventure in front of them. One that might makes things right again.
"Do you think he can really do it?" James asked. He was lying on the highest metal surface, one leg dangling listlessly over the side. Kendall sprawled across the floor, his knees tucked over the second to last bench, his head lolling against James's.
"No. My mom's pretty powerful, and she flat out refused to bring them back."
James directed his next question towards the clouds. "So why are you letting him try?"
"Because. What does it say about me if I don't? That I'm the kind of guy who doesn't want to give his friends a chance? Just one?"
"Nah. It would say that you're the kind of guy who knows how to- let go."
Kendall frowned. "But I don't. I'm not good at giving up."
"I know. It's one of my favorite things about you," James conceded. His hair was tickling Kendall's cheek, but Kendall didn't really feel like moving.
"You like that I'm pig headed?"
"I like that you hold onto hope when no one else would." James turned his head so that he could meet Kendall's gaze. "Not even me."
Kendall couldn't say anything to that.
The sky looked like a painting, like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; flat and two dimensional, but somehow still beautiful with its tempera brush strokes. The clouds were outlined in blush pink, dusky purple, and a pale gold; the colors of daylight's last gasp of a struggle against the oncoming night.
James asked, "Are you seriously okay with this? I mean, I know I kind of talked you into it, but you know you're going to be giving up- this? All of it? Hockey and our town and everything we've ever known?"
"Not everything. Not mom, or Katie, or- you."
"Yeah, well," James's voice was gruff, but he chuckled a little. "After this you're never going to be able to get rid of me. You're my ticket to superstardom."
"Oh, is that all?"
"No. That's not all."
But James didn't elaborate. Kendall suddenly, desperately wanted to know what he meant. He watched James's hands reach out towards the darkening sky to frame the first emerging star, like he might actually capture it. Kendall studied the pale skin stretched over his knuckles; the calluses hidden beneath his fingerless gloves and the clean crescents of his nails. The sleeve of James's jacket fell back, revealing a scar on the skin of his forearm; a pale white thread from a hockey game that got too rough. No one would even notice it was there if they hadn't already known where to look.
Kendall realized, abruptly, that with the way James was looking at them their faces were inches apart. The cold steel of the bleachers penetrating his shoulder blades, Kendall shifted closer. And now he could feel James's breath on his lips, hot, visible puffs in the freezing night air.
For a second, he really thought they might close the distance; that he would feel the warmth of his best friend's mouth and be reassured about why all of this was a good idea.
Except James drew back at the last minute, his ear brushing cold against Kendall's even through the cloth of his beanie.
"Imagine if he really does bring Carlos and Logan back. Wouldn't that be amazing?"
Dr. Rocquenstein reanimated Carlos first, using complex theorems and formulas and magic. When they realized the only thing he could do was sing and wasn't so much with the speaking, they decided on a different route for Logan. One that was wholly magical.
For a while they stood outside the doctor's lab in Los Angeles, watching Logan drag his feet around the sanitized room. Carlos had been out for a week after the first time that Kelly and Dr. Rocquenstein tried to wake him. That hadn't gone so well. He was knocked out again; a bare body beneath a white sheet that Logan shuffled past repeatedly.
Neither Kendall nor James had actually gotten to speak to their friends yet.
It was only when Logan stopped moaning for brains and began regaining whatever it was that made his synapses fire, bringing back the friendly intelligence in his eyes, that they were allowed into the white walled lab.
Kelly brought a machete.
"We might be starting the zombie apocalypse," she hissed, but Gustavo shushed her, ushering them inside.
"Logan?" Kendall asked carefully, ready to fend him off if he made a break for it.
The zombie thing that was supposedly his friend swiveled, eyes alighting on them.
"Kendall?" It croaked, lips working over the words. "What happened?"
"You, uh…died," Kendall explained, feeling his heart expand, like it was going to burst from his chest. He could feel James behind him. He could feel how much they both wanted this to be real. "And we brought you back. As a zombie, but still."
For a long minute, there was nothing but silence.
"So- you guys made me into a flesh eating monster?" Even all purple and blue, Logan's mouth still did that thing where it twitched down in disapproval. It made him look like a petulant fourth grader. "I gotta get new friends."
"You know you love us." James said tentatively, his breath ghosting over the back of Kendall's neck. Logan grinned, all yellow teeth and little boy charm.
"I do!" He launched himself at Kendall and James. Kelly hefted her machete, but when she realized it was just a bear hug, she backed off.
They woke up Carlos next. He had a little trouble coming to the second time around, but once they explained what had happened, he calmed. They realized that despite Carlos's new challenges with diction, he could actually understand them. Kendall got a laugh when Carlos bounded up to Dr. Rocquenstein to engulf him in a thank you embrace, chattering something that sounded mostly like gibberish.
Gustavo frowned, choking out from under Carlos's tight hug. "You made me bring back the Rescue Rangers?"
"Hey, I resent that," Logan exclaimed, trying to cross his arms without one of them falling off.
"Then, maybe, Dale, you should get Chip- off- me. Can't- breathe!"
Later, Kendall turned to his mother, feeling weirdly vindictive. "It must really piss you off that Dr. Rocquenstein could do what you couldn't, doesn't it?"
Mrs. Knight shook her head, looking remorseful. "I'm happy for you, sweetheart. I just hope this doesn't all backfire."
There was only one problem left.
"I have an idea," Dr. Rocquenstein said.
By the time Kendall figured out what it was, it was already too late.
James was a vampire.
Dr. Rocquenstein got some sleazy nightclub leech to- to bite him, and now?
Kendall's hands curled into fists every time he thought about it. He wasn't sure what bothered him most. The fact that he hadn't even been around when James died, when some stranger killed him and brought him back to life or the abrupt, painful burn inside his chest that made him want to lunge forward and rip his best friend into pieces.
"How could you?" He seethed, his voice low and dangerous.
"I don't mind becoming a monster if that's what it takes to achieve my dreams, dude."
"But I mind, you have no idea at all what you've given up. Humanity is important."
James did that thing where he looked all sad and wise and sheepish at the same time, but it didn't stop the growl building in Kendall's chest.
James said, "You're the most human person I know."
James had no idea what he was talking about. It was never the same after that.
Kendall's mom was right. The plan backfired.
James didn't understand, at first. Why Kendall avoided him whenever they weren't in the sound booth. He thought the blond was spending all his time getting reacquainted with zombified Logan and FrankenCarlos, but as the days stretched into months, he began to get suspicious.
Every time they got near each other, the only thing Kendall could think about was tearing his best friend's throat out. This animalistic part of him wanted to find out if James's blood would be as cold as his body was now; if lacking a pulse meant James's heart would taste icy and necrotic. The wolf inside him needed to kill, to tear; to destroy its primal, mortal enemy.
But there was more. A desire that had always been there, ever since James held Kendall after Carlos and Logan's funerals; something that had laced Kendall's dreams at night and left him sweaty and aching. It was stronger now; sex tied up with blood and magic.
Kendall could see it when everything clicked. When James's vampiric side got powerful enough that he couldn't deny his new instincts. His new, innate hatred of werewolves. It happened one day after their album finally dropped, right before their first big concert. Kendall saw a glint in James's eye and realized he was finally, devastatingly going through the same exact thing.
Well, Kendall figured he was going through the thing with the bite-maul-kill bit.
Kendall didn't comprehend that the lust part wasn't unique to him alone until James pinned him against the wall of the Palmwoodsylvania elevator and crushed their mouths together, trying to devour him in the absolute best way.
"I want this," James murmured against his skin. "Wanted this for so long."
Their hips fit like puzzle pieces, friction building; longing overflowing in them. It tore down all the social constructions that had made Kendall think it was a Bad Idea to kiss his best friend all the million times he'd considered it back when. When he'd thought maybe it was nothing more than survivor's guilt and deep abiding friendship.
It was so, so good.
Right up until the wolf reared its ugly head. Kendall clawed bloody scratches through the cloth of James's lucky white v-neck until James's inner leech had tried to chomp down on Kendall's neck in retaliation.
Kendall owed Gustavo everything. The man brought back what he thought he'd lost forever. Even if Logan did kind of smell like road kill, and Carlos, well, Kendall didn't even want to know what that funk was. Kendall could never repay Dr. Rocquenstein for bring his two best friends back into his life.
But at the same time, Gustavo had taken away the one thing that had mattered anymore.
See, vampires and werewolves didn't get along.
Once upon a time, Halloween was Kendall's favorite holiday. But the day of the Big Night of Fright concert, all he really wanted was for it to be over.
It wasn't just about Jo, who was funny and beautiful and totally clueless about what exactly he was.
The thing was, every month when the moon was full and the change was pulling at him hard? Like clockwork, Kendall caved. Right before his transformation, he'd attack James like the wild beast he was becoming, trying to own his mouth, his body, his everything. He'd get to the point where his dick was hard and straining in his jeans and he could feel his eyes beginning to glow yellow, James's fingers frigid where they dug into his hips and- Kendall would turn tail and run. Every. Single. Time.
He knew what it meant to go all the way with a vampire. It would end in bloodshed. The wolf insisted upon it.
Halloween Eve, the moon was full.
Kendall was screwed.
He tried dicking around Palmwoodsylvania, sticking close to his mom and Katie; people that made him the opposite of horny, the opposite of ravenous.
It helped that James was wearing the corniest vampire costume, like, ever.
But not much.
And then Kendall found out about the machine that would make them into hot singing normal boys. His golden ticket.
Only, the stupid thing hadn't worked for very long.
Kendall stuck around the after party as long as he could stand it. He talked to Logan and James about the possibilities of Dr. Rocquenstein's machine while FrankenCarlos danced up a storm with Jo. Kendall was pretty sure they were doing the electric slide. "Do you think we could make it work again?"
"I hope so. I'd like to see that pretty lady again," Logan murmured, licking his lips and staring straight at their line-dancing friend.
Kendall blinked. "Wait. Excuse me?"
"What? Carlos made a hot girl. I'm just saying that I wouldn't mind an hour alone in a room with him in pageant form."
"Are you sure your dick wouldn't fall off?" Wow, that was not supposed to be the first question out of his lips. Kendall quickly backtracked, "No wait, please. Don't explain the schematics of that one."
James bit his lip. "But I kind of want to hear. Can you even get a- you know?"
Logan cast him a dark look. "Speak for yourself, fangy, you're dead too."
"Vampires can have sex." James met Kendall's eyes for a split second before darting away. "Dead does not mean decaying."
"Rude," Logan huffed.
Before Kendall could say anything more, a pretty girl with a big wooden stick came lunging out of the crowd, and James vanished. He thought about following, but then he decided that maybe it was time to make use of Logan's genius.
Kendall finally went in search of James after he'd gotten everything he needed from Logan. He found his friend on the roof after about an hour. "What- are you doing?"
"I'm hiding from Muffy. Cute dimples, scary stake," James paused to grin up at him, feral and possessive. "I really like dimples."
Kendall couldn't help but return the grin, his cheeks dimpling with the tug of his lips. "I don't, uh, supposed you're thinking what I'm thinking?"
Lucky him. James was.
Logan had explained how to get the machine up and running again, just for an hour. He'd promised to help Dr. Rocquenstein figure out how to make the change permanent later in the week, but the moon was high and pregnant in the sky, and no way could Kendall wait that long. He'd been waiting for years now, and he knew he was uncomfortably close to his breaking point.
A few more days might actually have killed him.
They fiddled with Dr. Rocquenstein's marvel of mad science, stepping into the chamber once they'd gotten everything set up.
And it worked. It worked perfectly.
Kendall stared straight at James, taking him in with no fangs, no cold skin, and a strong heartbeat beneath his chest. Logan had said they'd have just enough juice for an hour, theoretically.
No time to waste, then.
"I can-" James patted himself like he was checking if all his parts were still there, never taking his eyes from Kendall. "I can breathe."
Kendall yanked James forward by his collar, complaining, "Yeah. You talk too much."
He kissed James, hard. The last time their lips touched was nearly a month ago, and they'd both sworn it would be the last time, knowing that was what they'd said the month before, and the month before that.
"You still smell like wet dog," James hissed, drawing a breath. He was already nipping a line across Kendall's neck, because even without the fangs he still was out for bruises and blood. Every time they'd hooked up before, they'd been loathing themselves all the while; instincts fighting with sixteen years of good memories, of love. Being human was like a godsend. Kendall wondered if James had wanted to rush together right after the first song, the way he had.
(James grinned into his neck, because Kendall didn't actually smell like wet dog. He smelled delicious, always. James had always wondered if part of the reason vampires hated weres so damn much was because their blood called to them like an all you can eat buffet. He'd never met another were, so he'd never been able to test the theory. Maybe the deliciousness that made him want to tear Kendall's jugular out was purely Kendall. Not that James would ever admit that out loud.)
James pressed Kendall back up against the wall of the chamber, Kendall's hips canting up to meet his. When they kissed again, it was hard and fast and messy; clicking teeth and saliva and a wet noise when they parted, but James's mouth was warm for the first time in almost a year, and Kendall wanted him so bad.
"You know," James said casually, trying to break away but panting with the effort, "I heard Griffin wants this to be permanent. He wants us to be human again. Maybe this doesn't have to be the last time."
Except they both knew it was a lie. Even if Logan helped Dr. Rocquenstein fix the machine for a lasting change, Griffin was fickle, and scared them a little bit. There might be a next time, but it could just as well end up one of their full moon fumbles, hate-filled and bloody.
"Shut up and kiss me. We only have an hour," Kendall ordered, tugging James in close by the back of his neck. He twined his fingers in James's hair and kissed him like he was trying to keep breathing life into his lungs; like he could keep him from being undead again by sheer willpower.
What he didn't say, what James already knew, was that Kendall was the guy who held on to hope.
And maybe, he hoped, one day soon, they really might have the rest of their lives.
Because vampires and werewolves didn't get along, but James and Kendall always had.