This is my first attempt at a Morganville fic, something I'd hoped to have happened in Black Dawn but it didn't. Don't know when in the series it falls into but there are no draug in this one.
This'll most likely be a twoshot, maybe a threeshot if my inspiration holds out that long :)
Anyway, hope you like it.
Jamie Scarlett xx
Disclaimer: I don't own Morganville Vampires; if I did, Myrnin and Claire would definitely be canon :)
To an outsider, Morganville, Texas seemed like any other town; to the oblivious students, it seemed that some form of organised chaos happened every day, but for the residents of this not-so-ordinary town, there was nothing organised about it whatsoever.
Morganville in a single word.
Though today, Claire Danvers thought as she made her way to the gates of Texas Prairie University, not much had happened. Not unless you counted an argument with your jealous boyfriend about your crazy boss as not much. Then again, to most of the townsfolk this was nothing – they were only worried about domestics that involved a human and a vampire.
Back to the point; once again, Shane had accused her of seeing Myrnin, her vampire boss, behind his back and had refused to believe her when she said that there was nothing going on between them. It didn't matter what she said – he always insisted that she was lying to him and wouldn't listen to her. Little did he know she'd been lying to herself. Though to be honest, she didn't really know that either.
Claire walked into Common Grounds and went over to the counter, where the other Glass House girl was in the process of making a cappuccino. Catching Eve's eye, Claire grinned as the other girl began to assemble Claire's usual mocha, not even needing Claire to ask for one.
"5 minutes and I'll join you, 'kay?" Eve said through magenta-coloured lips that barely seemed to move as she spoke. Claire didn't say anything in response, just simply nodded as she took her coffee from Eve and smiled at her.
Mocha in hand, Claire found an empty table and sat down, dumping her heavy rucksack at her feet. Blowing on her drink to cool, she took small sips as her mind drifted back to the events of earlier that morning.
Three of the four of them had woken up in similarly foul moods: Shane's was most likely caused by having to work the late shift and therefore getting no sleep. Claire realised her mood was also due to lack of sleep and too much work; she and Myrnin had spent several hours on their experiments, with the result being that she didn't get home until after midnight (not good, considering she was already suffering from sleep deprivation). Eve, who by definition was not a morning person anyway, was usually roused from her mood by several cups of coffee. This morning though, she was snarky even with the caffeine in her system, and that was before the reason for her particularly evil mood came slowly down the stairs.
Michael had yawned, stretching with the catlike grace that all vampires possessed. He'd smiled at the three of them, not noticing the look Shane and Eve gave his turned back once he was out of sight. It had not gone unnoticed by Claire, however.
"Any reason why you both practically staked Michael with your eyes?" she had asked, eyebrows raised.
"Because he locked me in my room. And messed with my head, even though he knows damn well I hate it. I'm not a kid, Michael! I can look after myself!" As she'd spoken, her voice had risen in pitch and volume until she was shouting the last part.
Claire had expected Michael to come in and defend himself, but he didn't; the slamming of a door somewhere in the house told her more than anything that he knew he was in the wrong.
For some reason, this made Eve a little happier; she took off upstairs to get dressed, yelling something about Oliver and being late as she went – everything was back to normal, it seemed. This had left Shane and Claire alone at the table; she had offered him a piece of her toast with a tentative grin, as he hadn't seemed in the best of moods with Michael. She had expected the usual banter about food and the zombie game he had been playing a few days earlier. Instead, he snapped at her, completely out of the blue.
"Feeling guilty 'bout something?" he almost snarled, a hard edge to his voice that made no sense at all. Claire had been confused; what did he think she'd done now? He'd seen she was puzzled and didn't hesitate to clarify, seeming even more convinced about his argument than usual. Claire had the feeling it was something to do with her late night.
"Don't deny it Claire, I've seen the way he looks at you." Something in his voice made her flinch backwards, but his face stayed blank; he wasn't bothered that he might be hurting her.
Realisation dawned then, and hurt flashed across her face. Myrnin. He was accusing her of seeing Myrnin. The hurt expression faded from her face as anger took its place – this wasn't the first time he had accused her of this, but it was going to be the last.
"For the last time, Shane, there is nothing going on between us. He. Is. My. Boss. I don't get why I have to keep explaining this to you when I've already told you hundreds of times!" She seethed, snatching her empty plate from the table and stalking into the kitchen.
She was so busy concentrating on getting the plate into the sink without smashing it to pieces that she hadn't realised Shane had followed her until his big hand closed around her much smaller wrist.
"Tell me the truth, Claire. You owe me that much."
Claire had finally had enough. "Truth about what? There's nothing happening between us, we're just… friends." She sighed, not entirely convinced about that. But she didn't think that at the time; looking back now she realised that she hadn't exactly put on a stellar performance in proving her innocence.
Shane snorted and rolled his eyes. "Friends. Right. Pull the other one, Claire."
"You're such an ass, Shane!" she snapped, pulling her wrist from his vice-like grip with all her strength and glaring at him, remembering how effective Amelie's periods of icy silence could be. She'd certainly been subjected to enough of them; it was time for Shane to get the power of the glare.
"If I'm such an ass, why are you still here?" The words 'with me' hung off the end of that sentence, unspoken.
"Maybe I don't want to be." She'd said, hoping he'd think that the tremors in her voice were due to anger and nothing else. She swallowed. "I want out."
It's funny how three little words can change your life instantly, Claire mused, be they the 'I love you' most girls dream of or the 'I want you' of many a teenage fantasy.
Shane returned her glare, as though he really couldn't be bothered with this anymore. "Fine, if that's what you want."
He turned away from her and walked out of the kitchen without another word, leaving Claire a little shocked about how quickly this had all happened. Five minutes earlier, she had had a boyfriend and been discussing the best way to kill a zombie; now she had dumped Shane, he hadn't protested, and she felt like destroying every breakable thing in the house.
Brought back to her current location by a particularly obnoxious group of students, Claire sighed. She had expected Shane to at least argue with her about it, not to walk away like nothing had happened. But he had, and there was nothing she could do to change that.
The chair opposite her was pulled back with a small scrape and Eve flopped into it.
"What's up, CB?" she said with a grin. Claire arched an eyebrow, wondering if she needed to explain.
"Shane being a jerk again?" Eve guessed, hitting the nail right on the head.
Claire took a sip from her now almost empty cup and didn't answer.
Eve sighed, lips parted. She was wearing pink today, or as Eve liked to call it, Ironic Pink: pink shirt with poison skull and bones logo. Matching pink pedal-pushers with skulls embossed at the hems. Little pink skull hair ties on her pigtails, which stood out from her head almost daring someone to mock them.
"What'd he do this time?"
"The same as always. Accused me of sneaking around with Myrnin. Like I said, the usual."
Eve's pigtails bounced as she shook her head. "Ass."
Claire laughed. "That's what I said."
Eve paused. "To his face?"
"He had it coming." Eve said, shrugging and holding her hand up for a high five. Claire gave her a funny look but met her hand all the same, slapping it with enough force for Eve to be impressed.
"So what happened?"
Claire sighed, and mumbled the truth.
"Didn't catch that, CB."
"I broke up with him."
"You…" Eve was interrupted.
"I'm not paying you to socialise, Eve." Oliver. Who else? Eve flipped him off, but got up and walked back towards the counter, realising she couldn't push him too far today.
"Sorry, Claire Bear. We'll talk later, 'kay?" Eve said as she walked away, winking at her as she did so.
Oliver looked over at Claire from the other side of the counter, his face completely expressionless at seeing her. Neutrality. Something she wished she had everywhere.
"Myrnin wants you to bring coffee for him." He held out a cup to her, and she noticed how his face contorted at the mention of Myrnin's name.
Claire rolled her eyes and took it from him without a word, knowing she could get away with a lack of manners with Oliver. Honestly, Myrnin and his caffeine addiction.
"I'm guessing he wants me there now." Claire got up as she spoke, juggling both her bag and Myrnin's coffee, trying not to drop either of them. Dropping the crazy vampire's coffee wouldn't be the best idea after all, as he might decide to snack on her instead of the wasted coffee.
Eve smiled at her on the way out, and Claire set off for Myrnin's lab, thankful for the sunlight overhead.
Granma Day was sitting on the porch swing, lemonade in hand as Claire went by.
"Visiting the trapdoor spider's lair?" She asked. Trapdoor spider was her name for Myrnin. Claire had to admit it fitted him perfectly.
"Yes ma'am." The ma'am was almost automatic.
"You be careful now."
"I will, ma'am. You know I always am."
Granma Day didn't reply; she merely took another sip of her drink and watched Claire until she reached the corner of her house, and disappeared down the alleyway. Even then, Claire thought that her eyes were still on her.
Claire headed down the funnel-like alley that led to Myrnin's lab. The sun was hiding behind a few wispy clouds today, but it was still attempting to shine brightly. The sun was a problem for most of the vampires, given their… condition, but for the older ones like Amelie and Myrnin, it was merely irritating. Apparently, Myrnin was willing to risk said irritation as he darted out from his position by the door to the shack for his caffeine, snatching the coffee from Claire's hand and returning to his previous position before she could blink.
"Come, child, we don't have all day." Claire rolled her eyes and pushed past him, descending the stairs into the lab. If she wanted to irritate him more she could have made some comment about his rudeness, but there was a time and place for that; it wasn't today in his lab.
She paused at the bottom of the steps as she saw that the lab was in pretty much the same state they had left it yesterday.
As if he could see what she was thinking, Myrnin told her that as she helped to make the mess, she can help clear it up.
"Isn't there anything more… useful I could be doing?" She asked, somewhat hopeful. Cleaning bored her to tears and she wasn't afraid to admit it.
"You could always feed Bob." Feed Bob the spider, or clean the lab? Claire went with the lesser of those two evils.
"Where d'you want me to start?"
"If you could put the books back on the shelves, that would be most helpful." He gestured to two piles of what Claire assumed now to be books, covered by white sheets to her right.
"Okay." Claire dropped her bag by the door and tugged one of the sheets off, whistling quietly as she saw underneath. "That's a lot of books."
Under the sheet there were two stacks of books with at least one hundred in each stack. Not many books at all, then. Claire could hear Myrnin doing something else across the room, and she found she wasn't in the mood to inquire exactly what, so she picked up the first book on the pile and placed it on the shelf, preparing herself for the monotony of the task.
She was about halfway through the first stack when Myrnin cleared his throat. Book in hand, Claire turned to look at him, frowning slightly.
"Am I supposed to be arranging these?" She asked as he stared past her at the shelf.
"No, no. Just randomly will do." He didn't seem very sure when he replied, but he didn't continue, so she shrugged.
"Okay…" Her eye caught on the title of the book in her hand. "Pride and Prejudice… huh. I didn't know you liked Jane Austen, Myrnin." Something about Myrnin owning a romance novel amused Claire greatly, particularly as it promoted feminism.
He nodded feverishly. "Wonderful young lady. So… passionate about her craft."
It took a second for his words to sink in. "You knew Jane Austen?"
"Of course I did." He spoke as though it was normal to have known someone from the 19th century, and Claire couldn't help but marvel at the blasé nature he had. Then she became curious.
"Did you know any other 19th century authors?"
"No, just Miss Austen." Claire was a bit disappointed. She had half hoped he'd say he knew Charles Dickens, but she supposed she couldn't have everything.
"Oh." Claire placed Pride and Prejudice up onto the bookshelf with the rest. Randomly, as he had requested – after all, who cared if Pride and Prejudice was next to a book about how to kill leech infested dogs?
"So how is dear Sean?" Myrnin asked as she started on the second stack and the third bookcase. He was just standing there now, watching her and making no attempts to help her with her task; after all, as he constantly reminded her, she was the assistant, not him.
Claire rolled her eyes. "Shane." Not that that really matters anymore.
"That's what I said."
"He's fine, I guess."
"So you didn't break up this morning?" He asked, feigning innocence.
Claire stared at him, eyes wide as she processed what he had said. "I – what? How did you…"
"I heard you through the portal." He shrugged as if this was nothing to be concerned about, and to him it wasn't. Claire thought that he had a lot of experience of eavesdropping by now, especially as he had somehow managed to tap into both the police and fire radio lines.
"You heard that?" She couldn't help but be shocked. Surely they hadn't been arguing that loudly.
He looked over at her from the table he was working at, slightly sympathetic. "No doubt even Morley over in Blacke would have been able to hear that. But you are okay, I hope? I need my assistant on top form, after all."
Typical Myrnin, Claire thought. He lulls you into thinking he's being nice and then ends like that, concerned only about the job.
She smiled in what she hoped was a reassuring kind of way. "I'm fine, Myrnin. And… done."
Claire stepped away from the now full bookcases and walked towards the table where Myrnin was working.
He was fiddling with the zoom dial on the microscope in front of him and was apparently having little as he kept pushing his hands through his dark hair. He growled in frustration and slapped his palms down on either side of the microscope. The resulting vibration was enough to send a couple of vials of liquid (thankfully sealed) toppling off the side of the table.
Claire and Myrnin both moved to catch them before they could make contact with the hardwood floor. Neither had noticed the other had moved – something odd considering one of them was a vampire – so it was a surprise to them both when they looked up and found their faces only inches apart.
Claire froze, one of the vials clutched safely in her right hand. Myrnin's gaze flickered over her face, before looking her right in the eyes, brown on brown. He smiled at her, and she suddenly found herself with an overwhelming urge to kiss him. "Whoa!" Claire thought, "What? Where did that come from?"
Shocked at the direction her thoughts seemed to be taking, Claire jerked upright and placed the vial back onto the table, acting as though nothing had even happened. But it had, a voice in her head whispered. Oh, how it had.
"Claire? What's wrong?" He sounded frantic as he tried to understand what was wrong with her.
"Nothing. I-I need to go home now, Myrnin. I told Eve I'd be back by this afternoon." She lied, hoping Myrnin wouldn't hear the shaky edge to her voice. She grabbed her bag from its spot by the door. "Can you open a portal to the Glass House?"
"Of course." He walked over to the padlocked door and threw it open. Through it, Claire could see the back of the sofa and a head of blonde hair: Michael.
Just as she was about to leave, Myrnin spoke. "Same time tomorrow, little Claire," he smiled as he finished talking and bowed slightly to her as she walked through the portal. Myrnin the jester was back, it seemed.
The portal closed behind her and Claire, wanting to avoid a confrontation or any questions from Michael, went straight up to her room after a brief hello.
She kicked off her shoes and perched on the edge of her bed, her mind whirling as she attempted to make sense of her jumbled thoughts: thoughts of Myrnin, of Shane and of her friends and parents. Everyone who meant something to her was there.
Okay, so Shane was being an obnoxious jerk, and as her subconscious reminded her that was nothing new. She had loved him for it once. He had been her first everything – first boyfriend, first love, first kiss…
He'd fought for her when she needed him to, and even when she didn't. She loved him, she knew that, but it was changing. From 'love' love to… she didn't know what. That was the complicated thing.
And then there was Myrnin. Crazy, brilliant Myrnin. She'd saved him from the disease; he'd brought her back from the dead, destroying the Glass House's spirit to do so. He'd weakened the entire town to do it. And she'd seen the look on his face the first time he came to the Glass House after finding out she had died – that had been real, genuine grief in his expression. Claire knew he cared about her and there was that little voice in the back of her head yelling that she cared about him too, much more than she should.
What was she going to do?
Edited 9th August 2013