A/N: 'Maybe...or maybe I'm better than you think? If I'm never let lose I'll never find out' – Adam.
Adam seemed to be doing surprisingly well with his bloodlust, what would happen if he were to slip up? With George, Nina, Mitchell and Annie in Barry who would pick up the pieces?
Rated T: Again for obvious reasons, mostly swearing.
Disclaimer: I own nothing that bores any resemblance whatsoever to Becoming Human or Being Human for that matter.
Dare You To Bleed
"Go away Christa," Adam bit out tightly, curling into himself in the corner where he sat. "I don't have enough energy left to listen to your moral tirade. You can yell at me tomorrow."
"I didn't come here to give you a hard time; you're doing a pretty good job of that yourself."
She didn't say anything more, but Adam could hear her boots scuffing across the floor as she made her way around the work bench. He felt rather than saw her sink down next to him, close enough to let him know she was there but far enough away that he didn't feel like she was forcing her presence on him.
Neither spoke, comfortable to be with each other when they both knew they needed someone, though neither would admit to it. It felt warmly familiar and Adam couldn't help but be reminded of the last time he'd truly needed someone. He swallowed past the lump in his throat, wanting to tell her so much but completely lost as to how to do it. He owed her an explanation...something? He'd selfishly dragged her into this when she had more than enough of her own shit to deal with.
"Why are you here Christa?"
She didn't bother to look at him.
"You know why."
"I don't deserve it."
"I never said you did."
They lapsed into silence, listening to the mundane bustle of the world as it passed by outside his window, his thick curtains doing very little to drown out the noise. They took no comfort from it; found very little solace in actions and routines that had once made them feel normal. Christa found her studies to be meaningless and with each passing day found it more difficult to recall why her grades had mattered so much to her before all this. Adam found that his teenage pranks and out-dated 80's slang no longer made him feel as human as it had before...it was just a painful reminder of what he wasn't, what he hadn't been for a long time.
But normal was a fantasy; one that seemed to drift further away each time the creature that lurked under their skin reared its ugly head.
Adam couldn't bring himself to face her, he'd hidden himself away in his dingy little bedsit as soon as he'd come back to his senses. His clothes were ruined and the fact that somewhere in the darker part of his mind he actually cared about that made him feel like a monster. He was covered in blood that was not his own; and he absently wondered whether he should change, Christa's nose twitched ever so slightly and he knew that she had caught the scent.
"Aren't you going to say anything?"
Christa shrugged heavily.
"There's not really much point, is there?" she answered wearily. "Nothing I say is going to change anything."
It felt strained and he wasn't used to feeling edgy around her, one of the good things about Christa was that she always found a way to put you in your place. There was no bullshit with her, if she thought you were a knob she'd tell you to your face (and had done many times), seeing her silent and grave was unsettling.
She hadn't moved, barely shifted at all since she'd sat down but she had yet to face him. Part of him wished she'd just get it over with, face him with those dark eyes and crush whatever was left of him. But he'd fed the sinister creature in his blood and it whispered darkly in the back of his mind that she had no right to judge him. He shook his head, desperate to drown it out but the incriminating blood on his clothes coupled with the memories that flashed behind his eyes made it excruciatingly difficult.
"I didn't kill him."
It frustrated him that she didn't understand.
"I almost did...I wanted to," Adam hung his head, hands grasping at his hair; pulling at it savagely before slumping back against the wall. "I followed him Christa; it wasn't an impulsive thing or a spur of the moment thing. He stumbled past me with blood dripping down his fingers and...I could have walked away but I chose to follow him."
His eyes turned black as the words leaked from his mouth, images flickering wildly in his head. His senses were peaked from feeding and he could practically smell the blood, taste it on the base of his tongue; he drew his fangs at the recollection.
"He was homeless, just another tramp on the street...no one would miss him. He staggered into the alleyway himself...I didn't need to do anything; just wait for him."
Christa fought the urge to flinch at the pride in his voice.
"There was so much blood," his voice sounded odd and not at all like the Adam she'd come to know. A stray thought absently stuck her that she might be frightened; but underneath all this he was still dorky, uncool Adam...at least she hoped he was. "It seeped from him like water; gargled deep in his throat...I wanted to rip him open," he turned to face her, his dark eyes caging hers. "So tell me Christa, do you still want to be here? Because I won't fucking blame you if you run for the door."
"If I walk out now there's no turning back...for either of us," she answered grimly, staring relentlessly into his black soulless eyes. She could see the flicker of movement amongst the darkness and she almost shivered when leant towards her.
That wasn't good enough and he called her on it.
"Do you want to leave?"
Primal instincts were screaming at her to run from him, put some distance between them and never turn back towards the darkness...but there was something warm in the back of her mind that whispered soft words of encouragement.
She held onto that fiercely.
"You should," he said solemnly, squashing the darker part of himself long enough to warn her that she was making the wrong choice; after all he knew all about making the wrong choices. "I'm never going to be the good guy...and you have a soul you should be worrying about."
"Whilst that's very noble Adam I don't think you're in any position to try and save my soul."
Adam sneered and his eyes flickered violently.
"So this is my redemption? A werewolf that hasn't been to puppy training? You're wasting your time sweetheart."
Christa scowled sourly but remained firmly seated on the floor.
"You're such a knob."
She supposed she should have expected this; that Adam would lash out against her. He'd cornered himself trying to handle a situation that he wasn't ready to face...one he might never be ready to face. The harsh reality of it all was that Adam had never come so close to killing before, he'd always managed to shake away the demon before it had too greater chance to take hold.
Only this time he hadn't quite managed it and these were the repercussions that would haunt his mistake. She found some solace in the knowledge that he'd been strong enough to stop himself before his actions had become hopelessly irreversible; but she didn't think she'd ever truly be able to understand the constant battle Adam was fighting.
She didn't particularly want to understand...with understanding came compliance and she refused to offer salvation to someone who deliberately chose to prowl on the wrong side of the shadows.
"Why are you doing this?"
"Because you're better than this," she sighed heavily, pushing her hair back from her face agitatedly. "I don't know if it's some werewolf bullshit or something else but...you don't feel like the bad guy."
"I could have killed him."
"Not this time."
Adam's voice was grave, his face deathly pale and Christa shivered at the implications.
He slumped forward and grasped his head in his hands.
"I'm scared of what's going to happen next," he admitted quietly, too exhausted to feel the embarrassment or fragility of his words.
Christa kept her gaze on the battered kettle that sat on his work bench...if he could admit to that then why was she trying to hide behind illusions of strength?
"So am I," she replied, a little unsteadily and for the first time since she'd arrived at his flat Adam noticed how tired she looked. "I don't know what to tell you Adam...I don't have any answers for this one."
"I never asked you for any."
They were going round in circles and it irritated Adam. All he'd wanted was to shut himself away from the world and wallow in his failure. He'd wanted to vent his anger at the unfairness of it all without having to hold back for Christa's sake (though he supposed she was tough enough to take it) and he'd wanted to mourn the loss of whatever humanity he'd managed to scrape together.
But nothing was ever simple and if he was brutally honest he didn't really want to be alone; Christa might not understand but she was willing to try and help him salvage his humanity.
Mitchell's parting words echoed through his head; the only advice the older vampire had condescended to give him...and he was right. Find someone better than you; someone whose approval and good opinion you crave almost as much as the blood and they're disappointment will make your failure burn that much more. He didn't want Christa to see this, the monster that wore his skin and attacked innocent people in the darkness.
As much as he hated to admit it, Christa and Matt were all he had; if he frightened them off he'd have no one...maybe he deserved to be alone?
But if she was willing to try then why shouldn't he?
"I should probably do the right thing," he said eventually and Christa noted that his voice sounded more like the Adam she'd come to know than it had all night. "Pick myself up and try again...besides if I go off on a blood bender who's going to look after you?"
Whatever relief Christa may have felt in that moment vanished and she frowned.
"I'm not a dog Adam."
"I've always wanted a dog."
She stood up, her back scraping up the wall as she got to her feet.
"You're a sod and I'm going home."
Adam raised his eyebrows suggestively.
"You could spend the night."
She looked at him flatly.
He smirked primitively as he gathered himself off the floor; stepping towards her, amused as she took a calculated step back. His apartment was dark, his curtains drowning out most of the street light, plunging the room into a dull blackness. If they'd been human they would have struggled to find their way in the darkness, but both had heightened senses that made escaping from the other almost impossible. He'd cornered her, backed her up against the workbench, the kettle cluttering noisily to the floor.
Christa wanted to clamber over it and put some distance between them, brush him off and throw some playful jibes his way. That was familiar and so much simpler than where they were heading now.
"Baby, you don't know what you're missing."
"Not much I'd imagine."
"I think you'd enjoy finding out."
"I think you should get some sleep! You're delusional."
"Oh come on Christa," Adam drawled lazily. "I'm your best option...all those boys at school, they don't know what they're doing...what do they have that I don't have?"
"Overrated," he hissed thickly, his recent feeding making him that much bolder. "You've kissed me before."
"Not out of choice...and you kissed me."
Her voice was curt and Adam knew he was getting to her, grating on nerves that always seem to fray when he tried it on. He found it difficult to believe that she didn't enjoy the attention, she might be a werewolf but that didn't mean she wasn't also a teenage girl.
"You didn't seem to mind...you enjoyed it, can't say I blame you."
"You really think a lot of yourself."
"I think you like a bit of fang."
She tilted her head a little, pressing her back firmly up against the counter to ensure she wasn't touching him. His eyes were pitch black, his fangs drawn ominously and Christa couldn't help but feel she'd seen enough of them tonight. He smelt different now though, not quite as dangerous as he had been before and his black eyes gleamed with heat. She could smell his hunger, his need and it actually unsettled her that it wasn't her blood he was after. She didn't let it show, she refused to give him the satisfaction.
"In that case you're an idiot."
Adam growled; a guttural sound that Christa hadn't heard from him before and it startled her enough that she didn't notice when he leant towards her, his hands caging her against the counter top. His low hiss brought her back to her senses and she instantly tried to shuffle away; they both knew full well she had nowhere to go.
A shrill ringing pierced through the air and Adam lurched away from her, his pupils shrinking. It took a brief moment for Christa to realise that her phone was ringing. She whipped it out and glanced down at the screen; shutting it off with an impatient sigh and stuffing it roughly back in her pocket.
"I should go."
Adam chuckled bitterly.
"Your mum not like you being out after dark or something?"
She glared at him.
"Considering the last time I went gallivanting off at night I was mauled half to death by a werewolf I don't think her concerns are that unreasonable."
A fresh wave of guilt clutched at his stomach as he watched her make her way to the door, and it reminded him that although they were different things weren't ever going to be easy for either of them. He didn't have the strength to thank her; he couldn't find the resolve he needed to force the words out. But he was tired of being weak...
Snatching up his coat he quickly pulled it on, messily doing up the buttons to cover his blood stained clothes; he made it to the door before she did, his hand gripping the handle and wrenching it open.
"Come on...I'll walk you home."
'I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Maybe redemption had stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here!'
Lyrics courteous of Switchfoot.