Fandom: Being Human (UK)
Word Count: 479
Rating: PG-13 for graphic description, angst.
Spoilers for episode 4.08
Summary: Hal, Tom and Alex wait for the cycle to break. Oneshot.
Disclaimer: Not mine. BBCs.
"There was a woman." Hal says. "War widow. Used to sell flowers outside the army barracks." His lips are tattered where he's bitten at them; the words they form are laced with his own blood. "Then the winter came. There were no more flowers, so she sold herself. We took it in turns, two drinks each, and then we left her for the snow to cover. Away before the spring."
Tom hunches further over the unfinished stake, adjusting his grip on the knife. The wood has been allowed to dry on its own too long. A split is almost inevitable- he'll have to make the best of a bad job.
"Can't we change the channel?" Alex mutters, by his elbow. "Try, I don't know, I Spy, or the weather, or Radio Bloody Four?"
"Ignore him. Bound to be tired soon." He hopes the words carry firmness enough to convince. Ten hours of such intensity might tell on any human frame, but Tom has known vampires who could go for weeks at a time, without pause. He and McNair had once laid siege to eight of them, by a forest cabin west of Glyncorrwg; in the end they'd had to let the full moon cycle round again, before they could finish the job. The memory tugs at the hollow part of Tom's chest, and he shrugs it off. Grief must wait until the next battle is done.
By the far wall Hal shudders, retches, spits out a curse in some bitter, long-dead language. His restraints click. The evening light casts scored shadows through the window-blinds. They rake across one eye and turn it black. Then there is silence, for the longest moment, and somehow that is worse.
Alex is the one to break it. "Christ, it's late. We should...you should eat something." She wavers, fingers on the door-handle. "Nothing in the fridge I need worry about, is there?"
Tom shakes his head. "Cheese on toast'll do us. Better have it in here." He tucks the knife beneath his chair and stands. "Oh- ignore the chicken. That's for a full moon. Should've been."
"You still believe it, don't you?" The voice is lower now than it has been all day, scarcely above a whisper. Every instinct urges silence, but once again the voice wins out. It still bears too much relation to Tom's memory of the owner.
"Believe what, Hal?"
"You really think you can halt this. Some half-wit mongrel and the remnants of a girl?" He laughs. The sound is like a death-rattle. "I've seen whole cities fall and turn to dust before it would even flinch. And you think you stand a chance?"
"Would you rather I didn't?"
Hal straightens. The joints crack against his shoulder-blades. "Yes."
They hold each other's gaze in the semi-darkness, so close that one of them could touch.
For now, Tom blinks first.