(A/N)- A little one-shot I wrote spur-of-the-moment one day, and I figured I should type it up and post it. Reviews are wonderful, flames are welcome. Oh, and I don't own "Lemon Tree" by Fool's Garden, which inspired this one-shot.

Lemon Tree

It was just another rainy day Sunday afternoon at the Cirque du Freak. I was writing in my journal while sitting under a yellow lemon tree- we had a show later that night, and I should've been working to help set up the tent, but right then, I felt awful to do much of anything, let alone run a freak show.

You see, that day was my third anniversary of me becoming a vampire. My first year had been rough, but by the time the second year anniversary rolled around, I had learned to deal with it. But this year was especially hard for no real reason, and I could barely go ten minutes without breaking down into tears or have the urge to punch something. I ignored Evra's requests to talk and went to sit by myself under a lemon tree I found about five minutes away from camp. I needed to be alone, and hopefully, everyone could accept that.

And everyone did accept that- the people at the Cirque were used to my occasional mood swings. Everyone except a certain red-headed vampire, of course.

"Darren! The show is starting soon! Come here!" I heard Mr. Crepsley call from camp. I sighed, wiped my eyes free of tears, and ignored him. If he wanted to talk to me, he could come find me. And it should've taken him a while to do so.

Then again, Mr. Crepsley was a vampire, and vampires have a tendency to find things quicker than anybody else in the world. Within two minutes, Mr. Crepsley had found me. He looked upset with me, which wasn't too out of the ordinary.

"Darren! Did you not hear me calling?" Mr. Crepsley asked me.

"No, I heard you." I said bluntly.

Mr. Crepsley breathed in deeply, trying to control his anger. "Then why did you not come when I called you?"

"Because I hate you." I tossed him a nasty look.

"Oh, because I have never heard that one from you before…" Mr. Crepsley answered back sarcastically. He looked like he was going to say something else, thought better of it, and sat down a few feet away from me. "So are you going to tell me what is on your mind?"

I looked at Mr. Crepsley in disbelief and anger. "Why should I tell you? Why do you want to know, anyway?"

Mr. Crepsley shrugged as if it was obvious. "I am curious."

I was still doubtful. "You really want to know? Honest to God want to know?"

"Yes, I do," Mr. Crepsley said in a serious tone, then leaned in closer. "Enlighten me." He finished with biting sarcasm.

I rolled my eyes; the one time I think he was actually being genuine with me, Mr. Crepsley ruins it by being sarcastic again. "Fine. I'm upset because it's been three years since I've became a vampire, and I'm still unbelievably mad at you for it." My tone became hard and bitter."What I still don't understand is…why did you do it? Why'd you turn me into a vampire? I mean, I know you're sorry for it, but you never told me why you did it." I pulled my knees up to my chest. "Happy now?"

Mr. Crepsley, for once, looked taken aback. He quickly recovered and slowly said, "Darren, you have to understand…"

"No!" I screamed. "Don't try to reason with me!" I stood up so I was looking down at Mr. Crepsley. "I just want the truth! I want to know why you did what you did and I want to know now!"

Mr. Crepsley stood up and said sharply, "Darren, I am trying to tell you! Would you listen to me?" I unwillingly nodded, and Mr. Crepsley continued. "When I was thinking about what to do with you after you stole Madame Octa, I thought about killing you, but never seriously." When I looked doubtful, Mr. Crepsley added, "I may be a vampire, but I am not evil."

"Could've fooled me…" I mumbled just loudly enough for Mr. Crepsley to hear me. Rather than call me out on it, Mr. Crepsley simply scowled and continued on.

"Although I would not kill a child, that does not mean I could just let you walk off scot-free. I am not stupid." I scoffed, reading to chew him out for it, but then the most amazing thing of all happening…Mr. Crepsley actually opened up.

"Darren, you need to understand, it was an extreme lapse of judgment on my part." Mr. Crepsley had his head in his hand. "I do not know why I did it. It was on a whim, and I should not have done it. I am sorry."

I was in shock. Although I thought we had gotten over these issues when Sam died, there was still a lot of bitterness between us. It was probably to lay it all out on the table and let go of all the bottled-up emotions I was feeling.

"You're sorry! That's the best you do? Actually pretending like you care?" I felt myself getting angrier and angrier. "I know you don't give a damn about me, so why are you even trying? My voice was breaking, so I turned around and leaned my head against the tree. "Just leave me alone, okay?" I had changed my mind. I didn't want to talk to Mr. Crepsley about anything, especially not this. I didn't care if I ever saw him again.

Behind me, I heard Mr. Crepsley sigh. "Darren…" This time, I didn't respond- I merely bit my lip to try to calm myself down. No more than ten seconds later, I felt a hand on my shoulder.

"Darren, why do you think I would keep you as my assistant after all you put me through?" I closed my eyes, not wanting to hear anymore. But Mr. Crepsley either didn't notice or didn't care, and kept talking. "Do you think I tried to force you to drink blood for so long because I do not 'give a damn' about you?"

"Leave me alone."I repeated, louder this time, hoping he would go away.

He didn't. Mr. Crepsley grabbed both my shoulders and whirled me around so I was facing him. "Do you honestly think I do not care about you?"

I pushed him away, but he held tight. "Leave me alone, dammit! Just leave me alone! Why do you constantly insist on ruining my life?"

"Darren, are you hearing me? I care enough to not let you die, to keep you with me!" Mr. Crepsley yelled in my face, his voice nearly breaking with the emotional strain. "I refuse to lose you Darren. Not like I lost…" He let go of me and coughed into his fist. "I care, Darren, never think I do not."

"Wait…"I stopped him, everything suddenly snapping into place. "Did you just say you cared about me?" When Mr. Crepsley didn't respond, I added teasingly, "You do care about me!"

"Darren, you are taking it out of context. What I meant was… " Mr. Crepsley was expected to be a big, strong, tough vampire, and was absolutely mortified.

I kept going, though. "You love me, Mr. Crepsley! You love me! Come here, give me a hug!" I stood up and spread my arms, laughing at my mentor, who was turning more and more red by the second.

"I am leaving." Mr. Crepsley said grouchily. He got off the ground, dusted himself off and started walking back to camp.

I laughed and followed him, my arms still outstretched. "Come on, Mr. Crepsley! It's okay to admit it-talk about your feelings!"

"No." He called, not looking at me as he hurriedly walked away.

"You love me! Admit it!" I couldn't stop laughing at my red-faced, red-eared mentor.

"Get ready for the show, Darren!" He called right before he disappeared into the bushes.

I smiled and shook my head to myself, watching Mr. Crepsley walk off. As I followed him back to the Cirque du Freak, I couldn't help but think that maybe, just maybe, I had made a new friend under that yellow tree.