I don't own Being Human, the BBC do. This is written for non-profit and is free to be enjoyed on . Do not reproduce without express permission in writing.
Author's Note: Set around Series One. This is a oneshot. Mitchell's constant struggle is real inspiration for me... also don't worry I'll be continuing True Nature soon!
He had been tracking again. It was a vampire thing; George had seen him doing it. He was hungry, and struggling, and the werewolf hated to see his friend like that. Irritable; quick to anger, Mitchell had spent half his time hidden away in his room, only really leaving to go to work, and he had been throwing many sickies. Annie had tried to keep him fed but he wouldn't touch any food, he barely drank anything. Even when she gave him sugarless, milkless tea – it was too sweet, far too sweet and thin and – she wouldn't understand. Then he closed off again, hugging his knees.
It had taken days for George to talk him into this trip. A little drive down to the pub on its quietest day. Very few people, a few beers, relaxing. It would be good for him, he'd promised – but now George was beginning to think it might've been a foolish idea. As the car rumbled gently toward the homely pub a few streets away, he could see the vampire's eyes following people on the streets. It was something the vampire had explained to his friend years ago, a warning sign that he was going through a rough patch. The vampire inside wanted to hunt – in the same way a cat would track an insect through the sky – instinct would take control. It was harmless unless he let himself get dragged along with it. It was more powerful with the young, the healthy... their eyes would fix on the person, and they'd zone in on vital senses, hearing the thundering of heart and pulse; once locked, their eyes and body would follow that person, silent and hidden, until they could attack. It was a deadly issue that Mitchell had had to face time and time again.
He was tracking as the car slid to a stop. Silent and brooding, his eyes fixed onto a beautiful, slightly giggly girl who had just left the pub. She looked to be in her mid twenties, with brown hair hanging around, in jeans and a tee. Probably had lunch with a glass of wine; and now his greenybrown eyes followed her, head turning as she passed, hand moving to the door handle – George clicked his fingers rapidly in front of Mitchell's face and smiled awkwardly as the vampire jumped, head snapping round to look at him with a nervous smile. "Sorry." His voice was low, ashamed, but relieved that George had freed him from that. "This was stupid, George, I shouldn't've gone along with it-"
"No, no!" the faint squeaking tremor to George's voice showed that he wasn't quite believing what he said, "It's fine, Mitchell, you're fine. You just need to believe in yourself." He smiled and his vampiric friend sighed,
"You're not gonna let me get away from this, am I?"
"Not a chance. Come on." He grinned as the doors opened, locking the car with a soft beep as they walked together into the pub. It was almost empty, except for an old alchy sat in the corner, the barman stacking boxes, himself middle aged and rather portly. The only exception was a couple of fifty-somethings near the television, chattering and enjoying each other's company. The smell of humanity and alcohol lay heavy on this place, happiness and depression layered over each other. Both vampire and wolf could smell these and George relaxed a little with a contented smile.
Mitchell did no such thing until after they had their beers and had seated themselves. His fingers trailed over the condensed bottle, leaving thin trails where the ungloved tips touched it. He had been assaulted by the scent of blood, but most of it was cope-with-able. The most appealing strands came from the barman, but he had gone into a backroom, the others far enough away that their weaker old blood wasn't appealing, if he ignored it. He smiled at George and this was enough for his other friend's own grin to spread wide as they both took a drink. "So." The 'wolf smiled still, looking at his friend, "You've been hiding away. I know you're struggling, but trust Annie, Mitchell. She just wants to help."
Mitchell scowled into his bottle, turning it. "It's difficult, George." He murmured gently, shaking his head then running a hand through his hair, "I don't want to risk her. I don't want to... she's so human, so breakable-" he saw George opening his mouth and cut him off, "I know she's dead. But I don't want her involved in me like this, the... the monster." He tapped his chest as he spoke. George frowned at his friend but just took a swig of beer, as Mitchell seemed to struggle to speak for a moment. He sighed and leant back into his chair. "I'm just hungry, George. Like an alcoholic, a recovering addict, it's the same." His eyes flickered over the group in the corner, back to George. "Put stale beer in front of someone who's recovering, they can resist. But put the richest brandy, the most beautifully aged honey mead... how can they resist that? I'm in the same situation." George looked surprised by the length of this speech.
There came a loud bang as the door was shoved open; a gaggle of twenty-somethings, all female, about five of them, came charging in. They were all dressed up as if to party, despite it only being five o'clock. George saw it clearly – the change in posture, Mitchell sitting up straighter, stiffening, hand tightening around the glass as the air brushed over them. Werewolf senses could pick up sweat, alcohol, perfume, but he knew all his friend would be able to smell and hear would be the pulse and the blood. "Mitchell, we should go-" "No." The hoarse edge to his voice filled George with alarm as he watched the vampire. Nostrils were flaring, and there were ridges being dug into the wood of the table as fingernails sunk through them. "Mitchell!" George snapped lowly.
The vampire let out a low hiss and when his eyes met George's they were black, causing him to rapidly let go of the bloodsucker's arm with wide eyes. "Mitchell!" he gasped, and there was a scrape as the vampire got to his feet – George could see the shaking of his gloved hands. "Yeah, let's go." The words were harsh edged and George was nodding quickly, pushing the vampire in the small of the back as they got out of the pub. In the fresher air Mitchell shuddered, drawing a great lungful of sweet, cold air. He could hear George trembling behind him, scared, and turned for the car. "I told you it was a stupid idea." The monotone attempt at humour made George give a high pitched, scared giggle. The journey home was tense, and as soon as they were inside, he vanished back up into one of the empty rooms without a sound.