So, those demon books, huh? Pretty addictive, right? Yeah, so freaking addictive that I've taken time out of my No.6 fangirly obssession to write a quick little piece. Damn my life. Just damn it.
Well, this is supposed to be a sort of 'lost moment' between TDC and TDS (which I have yet to finish, so please don't spoiler me) between Nick and Jamie - there's no slash (unless you squint, tilt your head 38 degrees counter clockwise and put on your shiny, orange-tinted slash-goggles. Yeah.) just lovely not-quite friendship. I apologise for any OOC-ness, I'm still trying to get a feel for these characters. I did my best.
The setting is Mezentius house, in case anyone is confused.
The Demon's... series does not belong to me. I wish Nick did though...
The grass was damp, Jamie registered dimly, and it was soaking slowly through the dark denim of his jeans. Not that it really mattered. What mattered was that he was finally alone, away from prying, pitying eyes and people that thought they could offer him words to make him feel better. All of a sudden, Jamie could understand the certain disdain Nick held for words – for all of their power, they were really quite useless in situations such as these. In fact, he would be quite happy if he never had to hear another word again.
Well, it didn't technically count as a word, so Jamie supposed he could let it go just this once, as long as Nick (because that rough, deep and somewhat awkward tone couldn't belong to anyone else) didn't try to get him to talk. Right now he didn't want to do anything but sit and think, remember his mother and possibly curl up with a mug of hot chocolate, marshmallows and whipped cream. He couldn't stand the thought that even Nick might try to menace him into talking about it.
Because when a demon wanted you to talk about your feelings you knew that your life was really screwed up.
Jamie was careful not to show any signs that Nick's sudden appearance had surprised him at all (damn everything to Hell, that boy was a ninja when he wanted to be. A homicidal demon ninja) and turned his face away slightly so that Nick couldn't see his expression. Not that it would have mattered anyway. No doubt some of Jamie's feelings filtered through the mark the way Jamie always knew when Nick was angry. Not even that really mattered; Nick avoided emotions like they were the plague and chances were he had no inkling whatsoever of what Jamie was feeling right then.
"What do you want?" Jamie asked, and was proud that his voice caught only slightly; he doubted Nick would understand why. He had issues; very bad, very understandable issues, but issues nonetheless.
Nick didn't reply immediately, lowering himself to the ground without making a sound and staring thoughtfully at Jamie's mother's grave.
For a few short moments, he seemed completely captivated by the headstone and it gave Jamie a chance to really study Nick as he didn't often get to do – whether it was some demonic sixth sense or the fact that he had spent most of this life on the run, Nick always seemed to know when someone was watching him. Fortunately, he didn't really care – not that he cared about much, besides his swords, Alan, knives, Alan, other very sharp weapons and how to use them to their best potential, Alan and... Well, all Nick really seemed to care about was killing things and Alan; sometimes when Nick got that look whilst glaring at his not-brother, Jamie wondered if even that list should be cut.
"You know, usually when someone asks you a question you should at least, I don't know, grunt or something so that they know you heard them. Common decency and all that," Jamie pointed out, quite reasonably in his opinion. That didn't mean that he wasn't fully prepared to run away screaming 'rape' at the top of his lungs if Nick so much as twitched towards his knives. But Nick didn't move, didn't give any sign that he had even heard Jamie. His eyes remained fixed on the headstone, and as the crease between his brows got deeper and began to look more and more permanent, Jamie finally realised what he was doing.
Or rather, what he was trying to do.
"In loving memory of Annabel Jane Crawford, loving mother and good friend," Jamie read quietly; Nick tilted his head just enough that he could look at Jamie askance. Still he didn't say anything. Jamie managed to last a couple more minutes before his curiosity got the better of him and he allowed himself a split second to reflect upon the fact that he seemed to have been born lacking a basic survival instinct when it came to hot, sword-wielding demons.
"I know words aren't really your thing, but did you just come here to stare at a grave? Because that's kind of creepy, and I'm sure there are professionals that can help you with that." The corner of Nick's mouth quirked up and Jamie had a short-lived burst of pride that he'd managed to get a reaction.
"You were the one staring at the grave first," Nick pointed out, and Jamie had to concede that he had a point.
"Yes, but when I do it, it isn't creepy at all. Because I don't, you know, generally fantasize about putting people in them."
There was more silence for a while, but Jamie found that he didn't mind. He didn't have anything he wanted or needed to say, and Nick didn't like to speak unless necessary – besides, he doubted Nick knew the appropriate words for times like this. In actual fact, when Nick wasn't waving pointy and potentially lethal objects in Jamie's face or cutting him apart with a wit almost as sharp as his blades, he was a decent guy.
Which wasn't often, of course, but Nick was trying. They were friends now, after all.
"I think," Nick began slowly, and Jamie had to swallow down his surprise before it could escape his throat as a gasp or sarcastic comment. Nick hesitated for a second; staring intently ahead as though he might find the words he was looking for there amongst the headstones. When he did eventually speak, his voice was even deeper than usual, and slow like each word weighed heavily on his tongue before he could spit it out. "That Alan would have liked for Mum to be buried in a place like this."
Well. How was one supposed to respond to something like that? Jamie swallowed heavily, cursing himself to every level of Hell imaginable before he opened his stupid big mouth and asked, "You wouldn't have?"
"Why would I?" Nick asked, though the question sounded rhetorical and for once Jamie kept his mouth shut against all of the stupid remarks that wanted to break through. Because Nick was a demon damn it, and there was no way that Jamie could explain something like love to him. "She was this body's mother, but she wasn't mine."
That shocked Jamie into responding.
"Do demons have...?" He trailed off, unable to finish the bizarre thought. Nick snorted and gave him a look that simultaneously said you're more of an idiot that I thought you were and are you trying to be funny, because it isn't working.
"Of course not," Nick said, as though such a thing was the most ridiculous idea he'd ever heard.
"But if we did," he continued, considering each words carefully before he spoke it. "I think I would've liked one like yours. She was cool."
That broke the dam Jamie hadn't even realised had built up inside of him, because even Nick – Nick the scary all-powerful demon, Nick who could command storms like they were tame puppies, Nick who wielded swords the way an artist wields a paintbrush (with the utmost care and ease) just complimented his mother. He ignored quite easily the first tear that spilled but as more followed, Jamie realised that yes, he was crying uncontrollably in front of the one person who would not only fail to understand why, but also wouldn't have a clue what to do or say. Before he knew it, his shoulders were shaking as he alternated between deep, shuddering breaths and short, hiccupping pants. He hated to think what sort of a picture he must be presenting (all red-eyed and snot-nosed, unable to get enough of a grip on himself to even think about covering his face) in front of Nick, the unflappable demon.
"Uh," Nick said, sounding as close to alarmed as a demon with no emotions besides 'utter homicidal rage' could. Jamie laughed through his tears, rubbing a hand across his eyes.
Jamie couldn't help it – he shuffled a little closer to Nick, because even though Nick was terrible at offering anything remotely close to comfort, even though he was a demon that hated being touched, even though he stayed with Jamie out of some misguided sense of loyalty or whatever, Jamie needed some of his strength. And Nick was strong.
At first, all Jamie noticed was that his left hand was feeling slightly warmer than his right, which was weird because it was his right hand that was curled up against his chest and should therefore have been warmer. The second thing he noticed was that Nick was leaning ever so slightly away from him – Jamie would have been marginally offended by that (it wasn't Nick's fault that he was a demon with a phobia of being close to people) if it weren't for his third realisation.
His hand was warm because Nick was holding it.
Now, this was a potentially life-threatening situation; Jamie had to think things through very carefully before he decided on his next move. As it was, he stayed as still as he could, because like this, Nick was like a baby deer – easily startled and liable to bolt at any moment. A baby deer with a sword that was probably twice as sharp as any butcher's knife and about a thousand times more dangerous. Jamie thought that the comparison was still valid.
But his skin was warm; warmer than Jamie's, and calloused from years of training with weapons. His hands were also quite large Jamie noticed absently; they almost smothered Jamie's poor, delicate fingers.
Nick didn't twine his fingers with Jamie's like Mae would have done (because she was the bestest, most awesomest, most caring sister in the whole wide world – her words, not his) and he didn't offer his shoulder as a pillow that Jamie could cry into as Gerald might have. He didn't have the right words to say like Alan did, nor did he make any soothing, comforting noises as Mum would have.
Oh dear, now Jamie was crying even harder at the thought of Mum.
But for all of that, Nick sat patiently beside him, holding his hand and offering Jamie what little comfort he could. Maybe he just felt that it was the least he could do after marking him, but Jamie found that he didn't much care. This was just what he needed right now, and he knew what they said about gift demons.
So even though every line of Nick's body was as taut as a drawn bow (and what a horribly relevant simile that was – Jamie made a note to stop comparing Nick to lethal weapons, as it couldn't be good for his sanity) and even though this was probably a product of the 'human lessons' that Mae had mentioned the other day, Jamie didn't let go of his hand, nor did he reject the offer of comfort, because everyone knew that if even a demon offered you comfort then odds were you seriously needed it. He sat next to Nick and they both waited for the torrential downpour on Jamie's face to end.
A light, misting rain had started, washing Jamie's face clean of all trace of tears. His gaze slid sideways to Nick without him even really noticing, and he could tell by the furrow between Nick's brows that he was trying his damndest to control this rain and stop it from developing into an all-out storm.
When he caught Jamie's eye, though, the corners of his mouth turned up into something that wasn't quite a smirk but wasn't exactly a smile either, and even though Jamie didn't dare to squeeze Nick's hand for confirmation, he thought that maybe things would be alright.