Author's note: Hello, again. I'm afraid you might call this chapter fluff, or filler, or whatever. Or you might call it one of my favorite chapters. (It's in the top five, at least.)
Either way, enjoy!
The dead owner had been a very rich man before his unfortunate loss of sanity. He had asked for a house of beautiful design, and its exterior greatly resembled a small English manor. The interior, in its prime, was not to be outdone by the outer walls. Both stories had dark, hardwood flooring and gracefully high ceilings. Sadly, a sea of dust now covered the floor, and cobwebs dominated the ceiling and the once beautiful chandeliers attached to them.
"Well, this isn't so bad," I remarked, standing just outside the door. I carefully removed my new velvet coat and placed it on the railing of the porch. The great outdoors was probably cleaner than the inside of that house. Walking back to the door, I carefully stepped into the inch of dust that was waiting for me. A chill ran along my spine as it squished between my toes. Ew...
D silently walked around me, the grace of a dancer visible in every step. "This place should probably be condemned. I'm not sure you should be in here." He slowly continued into what must have been the living room at some point. Its walls had all faded to the same ugly gray as the grime that covered the windows.
"Nonsense!" I waltzed over to him, slightly cringing at each disgusting step in the sea of dust. "This is a test of my abilities. I shall do what I was trained to do!" I declared with pride and spirited hand motions. Nothing like a bit of theatrics to get your point across.
"Live in filth?" D asked, his eyes on the rotting animal in the fireplace.
"Aren't you a bit old for an attitude?" I retorted. Hypocritical? Yes. But there's only room for one persnickety fellow in this dynamic duo. Even though he was kind of funny. So... He's clever. I guess I don't need to worry about him being slow. For now. "No..." I began, pausing to make sure he was listening, " I was trained to marry a prince. So! Not only am I a woman of many professions and talents, I'm also a model housewife." I then raised my chin and folded my hands neatly in front of myself to portray what a loving and well-behaved wife I was supposed to be.
"What are you going to do?" D asked, serious as ever. I felt myself deflate from my pose with the disappointment his answer caused. Honestly, I could turn into a phoenix and do a river dance and he'd still be as solemn as ever. Stupid dhampir.
"All work and no play makes D a dull boy," I muttered darkly at his severity. D showed his confusion with me by a twitch of his eyebrows. At least we communicate. "Never mind. What's important is that I need to clean. So go away." D continued to stand in the middle of the room, which, seeing as I had work to do, was also right in the middle of my way. I marched over to him and snatched his hand up. Dragging him to the door, I huffed, "Honestly, D! I swear, you'd just stand in the same spot your entire life if people didn't give you somewhere to go." I shoved him out the door, and D turned to face me, looking slightly flustered for once. "Go on!" I shooed at him with my hand. "Don't you have vampires to hunt? Go do that for a few hours." As he silently began to walk towards the gate, I noticed how dark the clouds blanketing the sky had gotten. I shouted after him, "And come home if it starts to rain! You shouldn't be out in that kind of weather!"
D merely lifted his left hand to acknowledge that he had heard me. Mockingly, Left Hand shouted back, "Yes, dear!"
The hours had passed quickly. In that time I had successfully returned the old house to its former glory. The dark floors gleamed under the sparkling light of the chandeliers, and the Persian rug that had been hidden under the sea of dust lay regally between the expensive furniture and fireplace. I had even gotten to clean the upstairs, making the bathrooms sparkle and washing some -ahem- suspicious stains from the sheets. Murder-suicides are so messy.
Rather satisfied with myself, I crouched down on the rug, building up the fire. Once it began to roar to an almost intimidating degree, I stuck my hand into the center of it. A sigh of content escaped my lips as I watched the power of the fire weaken and become mine. It wasn't much, and there wasn't a single chance that it would last, but I felt a million times better having it. It made the odds of my dropping dead from sheer power loss a great deal less likely, which was nice to know. However, despite the comfort of having my hand in the fireplace, I wasn't completely content. Sure, there was still a particularly unpleasant vampire chasing after me, and stealing my power as he did it, but that wasn't anywhere near as important as the current problem. It had been raining for an hour, and D still hadn't come back.
Stupid dhampir. Just comes and goes as he pleases. With a huff, I moved away from the fire and reached for my velvet jacket. The place was certainly clean enough for me to wear it, and it did a splendid job of covering the unsightly gash-and-blood combination I had on my nightdress. I really needed my old clothes back. Finally running out of things to do, I sat down and waited for D to come home. It felt unnatural to wait on someone, even to have someone to wait for. I wasn't sure how I felt about it, so I just stuck the feeling away with all the other emotions I couldn't comprehend. Sensitive people thought they had it bad. Puh-lease, I didn't even know what half the emotions I felt even were.
Eventually, I sensed someone on the porch. Seeing as I hadn't even heard a creek on the decrepit steps, I knew it had to be D. Flying up from my seat on the couch, I dashed towards the door and flung it open. There he was, that delinquent, unpunctual vampire hunter, standing right outside the threshold with his hand still poised to open the door. "You're late," I declared. Letting his hand drop, he merely stepped onto the threshold and waited for me to move out of the way. I gasped, finding his actions even more outrageous than his tardiness. "D! What's wrong with you? You can't just walk in here like that after I cleaned this entire house! You're soaking wet, and those," I pointed accusingly at his mud-caked boots, "those are not coming inside this house."
Neither of us moved for a moment, D looking down at me with less than an inch of space between us. I glared back and held my ground. "Oh, don't try to use your super-sexy gaze to get your way with me, Dorian," I snapped. The only response was a twitch of D's lips and a snicker from Left Hand. I refused to back down until, slowly, D stepped away from the threshold. "Good!" I agilely stepped with him and snatched his hat from his head and shook it off. Placing the best hat ever created on my head, I reached up and moved close to him so I could begin removing his cloak. As my hands deftly worked at the clasps on his shoulders, I heard the beating of his heart fall into an irregular rhythm for a moment, before returning to normal as I moved away from him. Huh. The rain must be affecting him poorly. After removing his boots (he doesn't wear socks, in case you were wondering), I hung up his hat and cloak and led him into the living room. While it's true his hat and cloak had taken most of the rain, he still looked rather wet, and his hair had miraculously managed to become tangled and soaked. My model housewife instincts kicking in, I left him by the fireplace and went off to make some tea. It wasn't until I had brought it to him that I considered the thought that perhaps he didn't drink tea. D being polite as he was, however, accepted it with a quiet, "Thank you."
His hair completely dry now, he sat down on the couch to silently drink his tea. My instincts still weren't satisfied, though, and I dashed off to grab something from the upstairs bathroom. Upon my return, D placed his empty cup on the coffee table, and I sat beside him on the couch. Refusing to be embarrassed by what I was about to do, I took the comb I had taken from the bathroom and ran it through D's tangled hair. He visibly became rigid at the touch of the comb and said, "What are you doing?"
"Combing your hair," I replied, nonchalantly. Oh my goodness. Silky didn't even begin to describe it.
"Because it's tangled."
"Hm..." came his thoughtful reply. There was silence for a few moments, the only sounds the crackling of the fire and the swish of the comb. God, I wanted to braid his hair sooo bad. As I struggled to maintain my self-control, D broke the silence by asking, "Do you always take care of people like this?"
Now it was my turn to become uncomfortable. Actually, most of the time I kill people. "Well..." I struggled to think of the best thing to say, "I thought you might need to be taken care of for once." D seemed to ponder that for a while before finally relaxing and leaning back slightly into my hands. Another victory in the fight for friendship. I silently beamed, ecstatic to make my new companion content in any way. After a few more moments, the comb was completely forgotten and I simply used by fingers to comb through his lustrous hair, the crackling of the fire and the swishing of his hair the only sounds.
I hope you liked it, and thank you so much for the reviews!