Chapter 11: Arguments And Afflictions
A/N: This chapter is DEDICATED TO: Elizabeth5 for all her support. She also has a wonderful Mitchell/Annie fic that I recommend you should definitely check out!
- Annie's POV -
The elevator doors shut and Mitchell and I continued our lapse of silence. He pushed the button down to the lobby as I hummed softly to myself, not entirely sure why I didn't feel like breaking the quietness between us.
"You can't hurry love," Mitchell said suddenly, making me jump and gape at him as if he'd lost whatever marbles he has.
"W-What?" I asked, my cheeks feeling as though they should be burning with some sort of embarrassment or a type of innuendo.
He turned and flashed me his familiar charming smile. "You can't hurry love, by The Supremes, that's what you're hummin', right?"
I nodded, grinning back, "yeah, but I'm more familiar with the Phil Collins version…"
He snorted, mumbling something like "well, Phil Collins may be a legend but you can never beat the original," under his breath, before stepping out as soon as the doors flew open. I rolled my eyes at his typical old-fashioned views and followed him, glancing around, admiring the nice lobby that I'd been too busy to notice when I first arrived.
"Hey Mitchell you - ow!" I hissed as I walked smack into his back as he suddenly halted, looking at something to the left.
"What-" I began to ask but was stunned into silence as suddenly he wrapped his arm around me, his hand gripping my waist as he pulled me close into his embrace.
"Follow my lead…" he whispered, his lips half an inch from my ear, his breath bouncing off my cheek, causing me to crinkle up my nose at the sensation. I angled my head up to look at him with confusion but saw that he was too busy focusing on something else. I turned my head to see what it was that caught his attention and I automatically stepped a little closer to him.
There, sauntering over to us with a slow, tantalising whirl of her hips, was a tall, leggy blonde, beaming flirtatiously at Mitchell, not even sparing me a glance. For some reason, my jaw started to subconsciously clench, my gaze hardening.
"Well, hello again…did you find your…friend?" she asked, her tone dripping with sickening sweetness and flirtation as she actually batted her eyelashes at him! I was so stunned, I thought that whole batting eyelashes thing was a myth and only happened in cartoons!
"Uh…yeah…" he murmured, his grip on me tightening. I jerked my head to look up at him and saw with a narrowing of my eyes that he was watching her every move as she curled her hair around her fingertips. I knew exactly why Mitchell didn't want to get involved with this girl (even if he was having a hard time fighting it - his shaky hand on my hip was a dead give-away, as was the over-all tightening of his stature) so, I just did what a friend would do and…distracted him…you know, following his lead…
Leaning up on my tip-toes, I brushed my lips lightly against his jaw, and slipped my arm around his back, pulling him closer to me. I saw his eyebrows raise as he glanced down at me but I just shrugged at him, a small smirk forming, my expression silently saying, "well, what are you waiting for? Play along!"
I really don't know what came over me but before I knew it, I was leaning my head on his shoulder and regarding the blonde, beaming falsely at her.
"Hi, I'm Annie…what's your name?" I asked, imitating her 'so-sweet-you'd-get-a-tooth-ache' tone of voice.
I couldn't help but grin that little bit wider as I saw her once ubiquitous, so confident (and borderline smug) face fall as she drank in mine and Mitchell's position. From my peripheral vision, I noticed that Mitchell was trying hard not to smile too, obviously catching on what I was up to.
"I-I'm Lisa," she mumbled, before taking once last look at us and starting to turn away. It was then that Mitchell surprised me as he decided to brush his lips against my forehead, but just for good measure, of course.
She tutted, muttering something that sounded like, "such a waste…" and stormed off - with a flick of her platinum, peroxide-filled blonde hair over her obviously fake-tanned shoulder.
Mitchell and I waited until she had turned the corner before looking at ourselves, the silence engulfing us once more. He had a little grin on his face - as his eyes danced, all traces of his troubles vanished. Even as I chuckled softly I couldn't help but grow nervous as reality started to catch up with me.
I quickly pulled myself out of his embrace, avoided his gaze and shook my head, "honestly, the things we do for friends eh?" I mumbled, biting my lip and walking ahead of him, without turning to see if he was following me.
My mind was starting to go into over-drive now…
I can't believe I just did that! What the hell is wrong with me? Have I gone completely, stark-raving mad?!
It seems sensible, controlled and demure Annie is now back from her temporary excursion from the building! And just in time too - to watch as she starts to grow ever more awkward over what just happened!
- George's POV -
I sat, utterly motionless, on Nina's couch as she continued to grip my hand and stare at me, her dark eyes shinning against the dim lights. Since my outburst, she'd clasped my hand and not let go, even after I'd quietened down and we both lapsed into a kind of cognisant stillness.
"…George…" she started off, almost inaudibly, "I-I don't know what to say…I-I won't lie and say that I'm not scared because believe me, I'm fucking terrified, but-but I was thinking that we…you and I could get through this together…" she trailed off then, one solitary tear rolling down her face as she lowered her head to look at our intertwined fingers.
I dragged my eyes up to meet hers as I heard those words. I can't believe that she still wants to be with me after everything I had done to her. I had ruined her life, turned her into a monster…
I do not deserve her.
When I told her these things, she scoffed at me, squeezing my hand even tighter than before. With every reassuring murmur that slipped from her mouth, I became more and more guilty, feeling as if I had someone caused a shift of duplicity between us. I don't think she truly understood what it is that I'd done to her.
Of course, when I said this, she already had a response waiting.
"George, I've been researching it, as far as I know because you weren't fully formed when you scratched me so there's a chance that I won't be…that I won't be…"
"-A monster?" I finished, trying to sound light-hearted, as I wrenched my hand from hers and stood up, beginning to pace.
"And what do you mean by 'research' exactly? It-it's not like this kind of thing is documented, most of them are myths and legends, hardly any are based on hard evidence. I mean for God's sake Mitchell loves garlic and doesn't burst into flames every time the sun's out , you can't be assured by anything that's online or in books…this isn't fiction Nina!"
This, apparently was the wrong thing to say. She jumped up suddenly, storming over to me, her glare so severe that I'm surprised I wasn't struck by lightening.
"WELL THANK YOU MR. FLAMMING OBVIOUS! THANKS FOR THE REALITY CHECK! I AM QUITE AWARE THIS ISN'T FICTION GEORGE, I'VE SEEN WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU EVERY FULL MOON REMEMBER? AND NOW…NOW SOMETHING LIKE THAT MIGHT HAPPEN TO ME! OF COURSE I KNOW ALL THIS IS REAL, I'M NOT DELUSIONAL! I'M FUCKING TERRIFIED THAT'S WHAT I AM!
"I'VE BEEN GOING DOWNRIGHT MENTAL ABOUT IT ALL, CONSTANTLY WORRYING ABOUT WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN. MITCHELL HAS HELPED ME RESEARCH BUT I KNOW I PROBABLY WON'T HAVE A CLUE WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ME UNTIL FULL MOON!
"AND YOU DARE STAND HERE AND TELL ME I NEED TO REALISE THIS ISN'T SOME WEIRD, FANTASY NIGHTMARE? WELL, IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED, UNTIL I MET YOU I WAS BLISSFULLY IGNORANT TO ALL THINGS SUPERNATURAL BUT NOW, I HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES DON'T I?" she roared, complete and utter fury blazing in her dark gaze, her jaw set.
I physically recoiled from her throughout her rant, my heart jerking painfully as she confirmed just exactly how it was I who introduced her to the supernatural and in turn doomed her… but it was only as her words began to sink in did I realise something.
"Wait…what-what do you mean Mitchell helped you?"
She paused, mouth open, gaping at me.
It was now my jaw that was clenched.
"You're telling me he knew about this?"
- Mitchell's POV -
Annie had been actin' a little jumpy and quiet since we got into the car and journeyed home and I had an idea why, but decided that it was just best to put it behind us and get us back to our old selves…where we were our safest.
My imagination however, didn't seem to wanna play ball and the entire drive home I couldn't help but let the image of her leanin' up on her tip-toes and kissin' along my jaw line jump around in my head.
I turned the radio on to drown out the silence as I tried and failed desperately to stop rememberin' how her ice-cold touch sent shivers up and down my body, sendin' my mind into over-drive. As we pulled up outside the house I wasn't surprised to see my fingers grippin' the steerin' wheel tightly.
"Home, sweet home," I mumbled, turnin' to grin at her. She smiled back, but I noticed she looked at little, withdrawn, more composed than usual.
I frowned a little as she hopped out of the car and waited for me at the doorstep. I know she didn't have to - she could just walk right through it after all, but I appreciated her hanging back for me, you know, it's nice, little things like that.
I fished the keys out of my pocket and opened the door, steppin' back and lettin' her in first…ladies first and all that. She rolled her eyes at my chivalry but I merely raised my eyebrows at her and stepped in, rubbin' my gloves had together. It really was a cold night.
"Burr…it's freezing, I'm gonna put the kettle on," Annie murmured, her usual cheer somewhat returned as she skipped into the kitchen.
I smiled, watchin' her go, before removin' my jacket and saunterin' into the livin' room, plonkin' down on the couch and reachin' for the remote, only to see it no where in sight. I glanced around me, my brow furrowed, there was no sign of it. It wasn't on the table, on top of the TV, or on the mantel-piece so I stood up and began to rifle through the couch when I heard a familiar chuckle chime from behind me.
I turned slowly and saw Annie grinnin' and wavin' the remote around in her right hand, a blue cup in the other, "looking for this?" she asked, shaking her head, walkin' over and handin' it to me, mutterin' softly, "you left in on top of the fridge this morning, great place for it too…" she finished, before handin' me the cup of steamin' tea.
I stuck out my tongue, (yeah, she tends to bring out the inner child in me) took the remote and tea wit' a nice, yet slightly sarcastic, "thanks" before sittin' back down again, wigglin' and shufflin' around a bit to get comfortable.
Finally, once I was cosy, I flicked on the TV, stretched my legs out on the table and brought the cup to my lips.
"Ahem," Annie fake-coughed to get my attention, her hands on her hips as she stared down at me.
I slowly raised my eyes to her, takin' a sip of the nice, perfectly-made tea with an expression that silently asked, "yes?"
She rolled her eyes, slapped my legs down off the table, before edgin' around me and plonkin' down on the couch too, anglin' her body in my direction - a determined look on her beautiful face.
"Aren't we…you know… going to discuss what just happened?" she asked lightly, her gaze suddenly fallin' as she fumbled with the end of her grey cardigan, her eyes adverted from me.
My eyes widened and I took too large a sip of my tea, causin' it to burn my throat. Hissin' curse-words under my breath, I set the cup down on the table, massaged my lip with my fingers and turned to regard her, hopefully with a look of nonchalance.
"W-What about it?" I croaked, my throat tightening and I think it had nothin' to do with the tea, this time.
My throat started to clench as I waited for her to continue. I didn't know what to expect really, maybe she felt awkward about me askin' her to 'follow-my-lead' when talkin' to that blonde, maybe she wanted to talk about the weird…thing in the closet…(although I thought that was just me), the truth really is, I can't figure out what this remarkable woman thinks about most of the time, but, I've always liked a hint of mystery in life.
"About Violet and James. I mean, what was with him looking all heart-broken and staring at a picture of them? If he's that messed up about it then why did he turn her away? Surely, vampire or not, he should continue to love her even if she is a ghost… " she was ramblin' now and I only caught certain words like 'love' and 'vampire' and 'ghost' but nodded nonetheless.
"Yeah, I had the same thought. When you…change, your human memories can fade but they never truly disappear, no matter how old you get. So, maybe, he was…reminiscing about his life with her, but, no longer feels that they can be in a relationship because of what they are. Maybe, his human self loved her but his vampire self doesn't…" now it was I who was ramblin', but I felt Annie's gaze on me, hangin' on my every word.
Somewhere around the middle of my little idiom she had leaned closer to me, so that we were shoulder to shoulder and suddenly reached out to squeeze my hand. My eyes widened by I remained quiet.
"It's just so awful Mitchell…Violet is really torn up about it. I really don't think she'll be able to move on without closure from him and I just don't see how she's going to get it, that's why she took his journal from his apartment, she wants to see if he still writes in it and if he does still write - is it about her. I just…the man we saw tonight, he-he looked more human then I ever thought a vampire - other than you, could look, he looked like his whole world had -"
"-Crashed down around his ears? Yeah, I got that impression too," I interjected, bringin' my other hand to rest on hers, squeezin' it tightly. It didn't surprise me that Violet would take his journal, it was perfectly natural to want answers, but unfortunately they're not always the ones you want…
"But, don't worry Annie, we're goin' to help in any way we can, as soon as she gets back we can discuss our next move…" I trailed off, liftin' my gaze to her and noticed that she was now even closer to me then before, but had her head angled towards the TV.
"Good…thanks Mitchell," she murmured, bumpin' my shoulder with hers, seemingly havin' forgotten that our hands were still entwined.
I merely nodded, knowin' that she couldn't really see me, and took a rare moment to observe her profile before glancin' back down at our hands. A peaceful silence had engulfed us and I began to get a little too relaxed, a little dozy and my body subconsciously snuggled closer to her. It felt…refreshing.
She inclined her head a little as she chuckled at a joke from The Big Bang Theory and it rubbed off my shoulder.
I couldn't suppress a little grin at how normal this was, how ordinary I felt. It was so natural…
My eyes began to close slowly and I felt my head droopin', hopefully, finally I'd be able to get some proper sleep now…with the quietness of the room, the contentment just sittin' with Annie, perfectly calm and soothin'…maybe now I could sleep…
My eyes flew open and I bolted up off the couch, every nerve alert, as Annie let out a loud, shocked gasp.
I turned my head towards the door to see George standin' there, chest heavin' as if he'd just ran all the way home. I frowned, takin' in his appearance. He looked like he'd been to hell and back.
"George what-" I began to ask but stopped at the mere death glare he was sendin' me. He gritted his teeth and took only one step forward. I immediately took one back. I could feel Annie's eyes dartin' back and forth between us but I kept silent as George continued to glare. You could just cut the tension with a knife.
Uh oh…what have I done now?
A/N: Well, there you go, loads of Annie/Mitchell love in that chapter! Hopefully it was all in character - don't' worry, you'll get some Annie freaking out in the next chapter and more Mitchell reactions and over-active imaginations! Ooh and loads of George too!
Hope you enjoyed!