I originally wrote this just to amuse myself, and with no intention of ever submitting it anywhere. But since it turned out as a proper story, and there's not too much of Peep Show fanfiction around, well, here it is.
The main premise is something that would never happen in the actual show, but I'll try to keep it Peep-showy in the treatment of the subject matter.
Also, for the timeline, this takes place somewhere around the early part of Season 5; the wedding is over and Mark has met Dobby, but Sophie isn't pregnant yet.
And thanks for RaaxtheIceWarrior for proofreading.
Jeremy could, usually, tell when there was something wrong with Mark. Eventually, anyway.
But lately he had been busy with important things. Music. That was the thing, His thing. Something that didn't involve Mark.
Except in a whining-capacity, bringing everyone down.
With his realism.
Which is why Jeremy only now noticed that he had been spending quite a lot of time with Super-Hans lately, and couldn't even remember the last time he had had a conversation with his flat-mate. Maybe that's why the music had been going so well for him. Or it would go well soon. That friend of a friend of Super-Hans' had practically promised to get them a proper gig.
Actually, now that he thought about it, he had seen Mark, but Mark had clearly been avoiding him, something that would have normally made Jeremy follow him, if just because Mark thought he would find better company somewhere.
Also, someone from the office had called several times, asking why Mark hadn't been coming to work. In hindsight, Jeremy guessed that sort of was a clue something was wrong.
That, and how no one had gone shopping for about a week now. The contents of the fridge were starting to look gone. You could live on beer only for so long. Eventually you needed crisps.
Jeremy supposed that was something he could ask his flat-mate.
At this rate he would have to go shopping, although wasn't it overcoming obstacles just like that that gave an artist their inspiration to do great work?
After noticing that the door to Mark's room was locked, (which was very odd indeed, since when had Mark had privacy?) he resulted to knocking.
This time he kicked the door.
"Mark? I know you are there."
"Fine, ignore me. It's not like I had anything to say to you, anyway!"
Fine, let him be.
He'd come out eventually. Right?
Jeremy woke to the darkness. He was vaguely aware that he had heard something.
He lay still, listening. Yes, someone was moving about the flat. Probably burglars. It couldn't be Mark, could it? He wouldn't go roaming about the night. Not alone, anyway, he'd ask him to go with him to stalk Sophie or do some weird midnight-history-thing or whatever reason would get him go out middle of the night. He must have been with someone else. Who had he been stalking with? Mark had refused his suggestions for wreaking havoc on Sophie's life.
He could see light coming from the hall and hear water running. Yeah, it was definitely Mark. Or some mental burglar who broke into people's houses to wash up. Maybe that's what Mark had been doing. Maybe all the stress from the marriage had finally got to him. Mark should have just gone with his plan. Let the steam out a bit.
Just in case, Jeremy pulled his pyjama bottoms on. In case it was a mental burglar. You could probably scare a normal burglar with some unwanted nudity (yeah, in his hands, nudity was a weapon. It was weaponized nudity), but if it was a maniac, that would probably just turn them on.
To his surprise, the hall was dark, and only the small light in the toilet was on. Few months ago the light in the toilet had gone out, and neither one of them had got around to changing it, so eventually they had just put a table-lamp in there.
However, it had been Mark who had eventually relented (Jeremy counted that as a win) and bought a new light bulb for the ceiling light. Why would he be using the smaller light now?
Quietly, Jeremy peeked in.
There was a certain amount of relief when he saw the figure hunched over the sink, and recognised it as familiar. But it was quickly replaced with puzzlement and alarm.
"Mark? Is that blood?"
This startled the other man, who turned quickly.
"Jez! Go away!"
Normally this kind of behaviour would have been a certain source of amusement for Jeremy.
But there was genuine panic in Mark's voice, and since Jeremy remembered the cutting-incident, he couldn't help feeling a certain amount of dread for his friend. Who had been sneaking about middle of the night. And now was washing blood out of his face. He didn't exactly remember what had caused the cutting-incident back then, but it had probably had something to do with Sophie, and if things with Sophie were even worse now...
"It's not human!" Mark protested, "It was a dog! And I didn't mean to! Go away!"
Decidedly ignoring this, Jeremy decided this had gone on long enough, and turned on the light.
What he wasn't expecting was the scream of pain from his mate, who recoiled back and fell in a heap on the floor, shielding his eyes.
Jeremy startled, but stood his ground, watching Mark unsteadily pulling himself up and sitting on the toilet.
Jeremy tried to think of a way to start unravelling this weirdness. The blood. That was a good place to start.
"Why do you have dog's blood on you?"
Now that he could see Mark, he could see his shirt was soaked in blood, as was a part of his chin, which he had apparently tried to wash up.
Jeremy took a step closer reaching towards him, possibly to poke the blood, but with a surprisingly swift movement, Mark slapped his hand away.
"Did you have to turn that light on? Put it out!"
Jeremy didn't oblige.
"What is going on? Did you kill a dog? Where were you?"
With a slightly softer voice, he added:
"You don't want to know."
Mark stood up slowly, holding his head. Now that Jeremy got a good look of him, he could see he looked like shit. More shit than usual, anyway, with his hair tussled, tie missing, and looking sickly pale.
"Come on, you can't say that. Once you say that, I just have to know. That's like, the worst thing you can say to stop someone asking questions. And now that I know something is wrong."
he moved between Mark and the door, blocking the exit:
"I'm not letting you go before you tell me what it is."
"Jez, you really should have let it go."
The look he gave his mate was filled with regret, and other emotions that Jeremy wasn't expecting, and more importantly, didn't know how to deal with. But he was talking, this was good.
"Well, maybe, but we both know you are going to tell me what I want to know. Eventually."
Mark averted his gaze:
"You wouldn't believe me."
"Come on, that's just more of the kind of stuff that's making me really curious. Now, tell me why you are covered in dog-blood. Don't spare me any gory details of your crime-spree."
Mark flinched. Maybe he was onto something here. Oh, God, what if Mark was trying to become a serial killer? Didn't they usually start with animals? He had kicked a dog to death that one time, and found out he liked it. And then there had been the time he had helped Jeremy hide the corpse of a dog. So there actually had been a certain pattern of dog-killing. And now the whole thing with the divorce had gotten to him because he had kept it all bottled up, and not gone and burned a part of Sophie's house down like a normal person would have done. Or at least posted some dog-shit to her.
This probably was how Hannibal Lecter started.
His thought-processes were interrupted by Mark's resignated sigh.
"I ate it."
"I ate the dog."
"Was it some Korean thing?"
"Jez, that's racist. And no. It wasn't. And I didn't eat the whole dog. I just drank its blood. Jez, this is going to sound a bit weird, but I think, sort of, that I am a vampire."
Jeremy stared at him. So, not a serial killer, but maybe close. Weren't they usually mental anyway, and killed people because they thought they were monsters or something?
In any case, he didn't want to annoy the potential murderer. And maybe it wasn't that kind of vampirism. Yeah, he would give him the benefit of the doubt, that was what you did when your mate went on mad killing-sprees.
"What, like a goth? Have you become a goth?"
Mark shook his head:
"No, I'm talking proper vampire. Undead of the night, bloodsucking creatures that sleep in their coffins during the day and roam the streets during the night to seek prey."
"Pfft, you are not a vampire."
"I so am! Okay, I'm not too sure of what I am, exactly, and since no-one bothered to come looking for me to discover my dead body lying in the back alley, thanks, by the way, I wasn't actually buried, so I don't actually have a coffin either."
"Although, I suppose it was good I wasn't buried alive or anything, or half-alive or undead, I don't know, this is all very confusing for me."
Jeremy tried to collect his thoughts.
"So, you are saying, that you are a proper, supernatural, vampire?"
"No you're not. If you are, prove it."
"What do you mean, prove it?"
"Show me your teeth or something. Turn into a bat."
"I can't show you my teeth, they sort of only come out when- and I can't turn into a bat! Can I?"
Jeremy took a step closer, towering over Mark, who sank into the corner:
"I don't know. You're the bloodsucker, you tell me!"
Now they were quite close, and Jeremy could see even better how sickly Mark was looking. Maybe he was really ill, did he have a fever or something? Maybe he had been taking drugs, that would explain this. He'd probably be just the kind of person that was featured in after-school specials, the kind who lost his mind and did horrible things to dogs because of a bad trip and peer-pressure.
"Jez, you really shouldn't come closer"
There was a certain edge to Marks voice that sounded so unlike him it made Jeremy stop in his tracks. He looked to his eyes.
All he could think of was how there was something wrong with Marks eyes, and before Jeremy knew what was going on, he was pinned against the wall.
He tried to wriggle free, but found himself pushed against the wall with surprising strength. By Mark. He couldn't do that! He couldn't beat Jeremy up!
Jeremy was vaguely aware of the piercing pain on his neck, but it was all over-shadowed by the panic of being so helpless and paralyzed with fear, pinned against the toilet wall.
He tried to yell, but only managed a slight gurgle. He tried to kick Mark in the balls, but apparently his legs weren't listening to his brain anymore, and the best he could do was a slight twitch.
And then he lost consciousness.
Jeremy awoke to a darkened room.
He was laying on his bed, in a room illuminated only by the light coming from the hall. He had been dreaming, hadn't he? About what? It had been about Mark, hadn't it? Why was he feeling so weak? And was there something strangling him?
He lifted, with great difficulty, as it felt like all power had fled from his limbs, his hand to his neck.
And found duct tape.
"Jez? Are you all right? You are all right, aren't you? I swear, if you didn't come around in an hour, I would have called an ambulance."
"Mark?" Jeremy managed to croak out. "Did you put duct tape around my neck?"
He managed to turn his head enough to see his flat-mate sitting on the other side of the room, partly in the shadows. His room. Why was he in his room? He didn't think he had fainted in his room.
And hadn't there been something wrong with Mark? Jeremy squinted, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the limited light. Apparently while he had been out Mark had taken the time to change his clothes. Why had he had to change his clothes in the first place? There was something he should remember…
Mark shuffled nervously:
"I had to do something to stop the flow of blood. There was blood everywhere. Your blood, it was" he licked his lips "Horrible".
"Wot? How did I hurt my neck?"
"You don't remember?" Mark looked hopeful, and for a moment Jeremy wanted to feign ignorance. But this was all way too weird to ignore.
"You pushed me against a wall."
"And you were claiming to be a vampire."
"Did you BIT me?"
"Bite you. Did I bite, yes, I did. I'm sorry, listen I told you not to come any closer, and you smelt so good and I was so hungry, and I was afraid I killed you, but it turns out I didn't. Yay?"
"Not yay! Why did you bite me? And what you mean 'smelt good'?"
Another sigh. Mark was acting like Jeremy was being slow and unreasonable, and this whole thing was just a normal part of their daily routine.
"I thought I explained the whole 'I'm a vampire" bit already. I hadn't eaten for, like a week, except for the dog, that was sort of small and not very tasty, and you were standing right there, and for a moment you looked a whole lot like food."
They sat in a silence for a while. Or Mark sat, staring at the floor. Jeremy made a half-hearted effort to get up, but found the whole sitting-thing a bit out of his reach for the moment, and resolved to lie on his back. Eventually Jeremy broke the silence.
"So... Am I a vampire now too?"
"I don't think so. I don't think I drank enough, and I wouldn't even know if just biting someone was enough. But you never stopped breathing. I think you're okay."
"So, let's say you are a vampire. How did you become one?"