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This is going to be a series of related oneshots, so enjoy!
Jon forced himself to take a deep breath in an attempt to calm down. In light of the occasion he had been dressed in a rather traditional manner, right down to the high-collared cape. The fledgling rubbed at his eyes, the lack of customary contact lenses producing a slight amount of irritation; with his transformation, the young man's eyesight had improved to superhuman levels. Jon sighed, slumping against the wall – it was these small changes, the sudden increase in strength and vision, and the overwhelming thirst – which had tormented his mind in the five hours since his transformation. Mavis had appeared every hour with another bottle of supplement, and thrust it into Jonathan's hands silently before flitting out of sight in a flash of violet.
He had never before seen her quite this angry.
Rubbing at his temples, the young man groaned and slipped down the wall to sit on the floor. I'm an idiot. He had broached the topic only once before, but Mavis had simply brushed it off with a flippant remark. They were young and in love, and there was all the time in the world to think about such morbid matters.
Perhaps he should have consulted her before making such a hefty decision. Tugging at the collar of his black button-up shirt, Jonathan sighed and leaned his head back against the rough stone wall, closing his eyes. The abnormally slow heartbeat resonating from his chest resounded in the fledgling's ears, and he allowed still-shaking hands to drop loosely to his lap. Gosh, I'm so tired…
Footsteps roused the young man from his thoughts, but Jon didn't move. He wasn't in anybody's way, so they should have no cause to bother him.
The fledgling mentally groaned as the footsteps paused when they reached him, and with the quiet rustle of clothing a heavy hand was placed on his shoulder. Jonathan flinched at the contact, opening his eyes to glare half-heartedly at his 'cousin'.
Frankenstein was not a monster to judge others. With a quiet "Oh," he moved to sit beside Jon, content with the simple task of keeping the boy company. Perhaps they would joke about this in a decade or two, but right now Frank sensed that the figure sitting on the floor beside him was in little mood for quips or witticisms. The heavy silence weighed upon the newcomer's ears, so Frank began to talk in a low voice, telling stories of his past adventures. It didn't matter that Jonathan sat in silence, without any form of acknowledgement, or that the stories had been told countless times before – all that mattered was the camaraderie, the fact that Frankenstein abandoned his preparations for the party in order to keep the fledgling company.
As the large monster launched into his extravagant – and highly exaggerated – narrative about his trip to Spain back in '85, Jon silenced him with a sidelong glance. "Did I do the wrong thing?" the fledgling whispered, his tongue thick with thirst.
Frankenstein's gaze softened, and he placed an arm around the young man's shoulders, giving him a tight squeeze. "Of course not. It was never anyone's choice but yours. Mavis'll come around, just give her a couple of days."
Jon's eyes widened. "You've seen Mavis?" he breathed, twisting to face his companion.
Frank rubbed the back of his neck, chuckling. "Well, yeah. She's kinda hard to miss, stomping around the kitchen and swearing up a storm whenever she's getting more supplement for you."
Jon pressed the palms of his hands against stinging eyes. "Damn it," he hissed before swallowing several times in an attempt to soothe his parched throat.
"Don't be so hard on yourself," the older monster advised. "It was bound to happen."
"But I shouldn't have done it this way," the young man groaned, letting his hands drop back into his lap as he shut his eyes and leaned his head against the wall.
"The point is, it's over and done with. Stop beating yourself up about the past," Frank admonished.
"I know, I know," Jon sighed, running his tongue over unfamiliar fangs.
"Besides, you've gotta look on the bright side," Frank continued, deciding to risk a bit of a joke. "Quasimodo can't try to cook you anymore."
Jonathan chuckled, sitting straighter and grinning at his companion. "Oh, he'll probably still try – there's too much bad blood between us for him to just stop."
Frankenstein waved a dismissive hand through the air. "Nah, you're right – but this time, it'll be you threatening to eat him!"
Their laugher was interrupted by the sound of a woman clearing her throat. Both men jumped, and Jon glanced somewhat sheepishly up at his fiancé. Mavis simply quirked an eyebrow before thrusting the bottle into his hands, turning to disappear back down the corridor.
"Mavis, wait!" Jon called, leaping to his feet and reaching towards her. The vampiress didn't so much as pause, and the fledgling was left to grasp at tendrils of violet light that dissipated like fog in the morning sun.
Slumping his shoulders, Jon sank back into his previous position on the floor. "Crap," he hissed, feeling his eyes fill with frustrated tears. He held them back, keeping his gaze on the smooth stones beneath him as Frank performed the laborious task of getting to his feet.
"I'll go and talk to her," the monster rumbled. "Drink your blood stuff, and stop moping."
Jon kept his eyes on the floor as Frank ambled down the hallway, waiting until the man's footsteps died away before glaring at the glass bottle in his hand. The sight of its sanguine contents sent his mind into overdrive, and Jon abandoned all restraint, tearing off the lid and sculling the liquid. It soothed his irritated throat and immediately calmed his frenzied thoughts, and the fledgling held the now-empty bottle up to the light, tilting it slightly as he pondered this dependence on the ruby fluid. He had never been one to smoke or take drugs, but Jon supposed that this was what addiction was like.
Shakily standing, Jonathan trudged down to the kitchen, washing the bottle and placing it upside-down on the rack to dry. His thirst slaked for the time being, the fledgling made his way to the entrance hall's doors, peeking around the corner at the assembled guests. A steady stream of newcomers entered the spacious room, and Dracula was there to oversee the entire operation, greeting each guest personally.
Turning to head back upstairs, Jon froze as Murray piped up from the crowd. "Hey, shouldn't Jonny be out here by now?" His query was met by assorted cries of assent, and the fledgling found himself praying that nobody thought to check the kitchen corridor.
"Maybe Quasimodo's trying to cook him again!" Griffin cried, and several guests immediately started in the direction of the kitchen.
"That is impossible, as Quasimodo is not here yet!" Dracula announced at the top of his lungs. All heads turned towards the vampire, startled by his uncharacteristically ruffled demeanour. "Jon is currently indisposed, but should be downstairs later in the evening in order to join the festivities."
Jon's fingers strayed to the ridged scars that had formed across one side of his throat. "Indisposed, huh?" he chuckled, continuing in his journey up the steps. Upon reaching the door to his own private room, Jon paused, leaning his head against the polished wood with a groan. For once, the shrunken head attached to his door handle remained mercifully quiet, and Jonathan began to laugh.
What was the point of moping upstairs when it wouldn't change anything?
Squaring his shoulders, the fledgling turned to head back downstairs and talk to the regular guests whom had become his surrogate family. As Jon walked past the door adjacent to his, it flew open, and he paused at the sight of his angel.
Mavis leaned against the doorframe, dry blood still crusting her hands and clothing. She was breathing heavily, and tears streamed down her cheeks. Before the man could so much as open his mouth, the woman had thrown her arms around him, burying her face in his chest with a sob. Jon gently returned the hug, guilt washing over him as she continued to cry. After several tense moments, Mavis spoke, gripping the fabric of her fiancé's crisp black shirt in her tiny fists. "You should have told me," she choked.
"I know, and I'm sorry," Jon breathed, stroking her ebony locks. "I was stupid, and didn't think."
"You're such an idiot," she grumbled, "but I forgive you."
Jonathan smiled as Mavis tilted her head back, and he stroked away the strands of dark hair that clung to her wet cheeks. Despite her puffy eyes and the red that flushed her face thanks to her tears, Mavis was still the most exquisite creature that Jon had ever laid eyes on. Grinning, he told her so, only to earn a light smack upside the head.
But at least his darling was smiling again.
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