Maefyl had a few hours to kill while Shiroi dutifully attended to her paperwork and he ignored his own. He had settled on the couch in an old t-shirt and a simple black skirt that fell just below his knees and moved his bare toes to the music that poured into the room from the old stereo he loved so much. The light from the television casting eerie shadows in the room as he played his video games. Sanguine stood on his fingers as they moved swiftly across the buttons and cheered him on as he fought the monsters on the screen.
“Go get that one!” She yelled over the music as she jumped excitedly and watched as he smashed the deformed critter with a crowbar. She fluttered her wings as she cheered. “SQUISH!”
“Squish?” Maefyl laughed, amazed at her amusement in his hobbies. He gave a quick wave to the door when it opened and Gabriel stepped inside.
“Busy as ever I see,” Gabriel mused as he walked to the stereo and turned it down a bit. “How can you even hear yourself think?”
“Wasn’t really doing a lot of thinking,” Maefyl explained as Gabriel sat beside him shaking his head disapprovingly. “What?”
“I thought we were past this phase.” Gabriel sighed as he tugged the edge of Maefyl’s skirt.
“Eww,” Gory focused on the screen as she walked to Gabriel’s knee and watched the game with Sanguine. “What is that?”
“About to be very squished.” Maefyl laughed as he killed the monster before responding to Gabriel’s disapproval. “And maybe you are past it. I’m comfortable.”
“Watch Gory,” Sanguine shouted as she eagerly awaited the next kill on the screen, “The head will come off and go running around!”
“Neat!” Gory watched closely and clapped with glee at the strange head crawling around until Maefyl made that go ‘squish’ as well.
“The two of you shouldn’t encourage him,” Gabriel sighed and attempted to pull Maefyl’s attention from the screen. “Any chance you can change and join me for lunch?”
“Lunch?” Maefyl paused the game and the fairies booed at him. He turned to Gabriel to point out the ridiculous nature of the request. “Tell me, Gabriel. Why would I go to lunch?”
“A walk then,” Gabriel had only wanted the company. He knew the vampire would be terribly bored sitting in front of empty dishes at a cafe and suggested an alternative. “I just need to get out of my office, I thought maybe you would join me.”
“You are out of your office.” Maefyl returned to his game smiling.
“Should I take that as a ‘No’?” Gabriel asked.
“That depends,” Maefyl answered as he watched the screen intently. “Does the walk require me to change as well?”
“You are so impossible.” Gabriel sighed and grabbed Maefyl’s boots from the floor. He sat them by the vampires legs. “No, I will let you embarrass me.”
“Deal.” Maefyl sat the controller aside and pulled on his boots Sanguine tugged on the laces as he tied them. He wandered to the mirror to check his eyeliner before he headed for the door. “Ready?”
“To go out, yes.” Gabriel stood beside him for a moment shaking his head at his awkward friend while Gory reclaimed her place in his front pocket of Gabriel’s perfect grey suit. “For the embarrassment, no.”
“But he’s so cute,” Sanguine giggled as she took her place on Maefyl’s shoulder as they headed out the door.
“See,” Maefyl slid his arm playfully through Gabriel’s. “I’m cute.”
Gabriel laughed and gently tugged his arm away straightening the sleeve at his wrist as they wandered through the courtyard. He continued to cast glances at Maefyl as they walked. He had never minded the make up or the feminine way about the vampire. He even found it charming, but he still didn’t like the clothes. Maybe it was the sloppy way Maefyl went about coordinating his more feminine outfits. He was always so well put together until he decided to wear these things.
“Does it really bother you?” Maefyl asked as he noticed Gabriel trying to hide the frown. He sighed and let the skirt lengthen around his legs, the fabric wrapped around them forming black jeans as he walked. “For fuck sake, Gabriel. It’s just clothes.”
“It makes a mess of you,” Gabriel explained. He hadn’t wanted this to turn into an argument and he was well used to the stares of disapproval when Maefyl decided to dress this way. He just hoped the times of ill fitting attire had passed. “Why such a creature would wear things that hardly flatter him is beyond my comprehension.”
“You do look better this way,” Sanguine whispered.
“Okay, I get it.” Maefyl pouted. “You know I was just fine on the couch, I really don’t need this from you two.”
“Then go home, Maefyl.” Gabriel sighed. “It was not my intent to offend you. I wanted company, not a fight.”
“Just shut up and walk.” Maefyl stuck his hands in his pockets and walked quietly beside his friend a while. Gory and Sanguine chatted on about the people they passed by and eventually Maefyl relaxed as he thought things over. It was after all ‘just clothes.’
“Still upset with me?” Gabriel asked as he noticed Maefyl had stopped scowling at him.
“No,” Maefyl admitted. “Have I ever been able to stay upset with you? Just don’t give me shit about the make-up and I will stop with the clothes.”
“Agreed.” Gabriel smiled at the small victory. He was not about to admit to the vampire that the gloss and eyeliner did not bother him in the least. As feminine as Maefyl was it actually looked good on him.
“And I am starving.” Maefyl had realized that lately his thirst came faster and stronger. Any length of time he spent around humans made him ravenous very quickly and he had started to eye up a potential meal as they walked. “Mind waiting?”
“Just wait,” Gabriel took his arm and pulled him into a shop filled with the soft pleasant aroma of old books. Aside from the clerk at the desk who seemed unaffected by their arrival it was blessedly empty. He led Maefyl to the back to be out of sight as he pulled up his sleeve and made his quiet offer. “You have been getting worse.”
Maefyl took the offer and quenched the thirst on his friends blood. The rich taste of Gabriel a far better alternative to human blood, and held the benefit of not requiring a life be taken. When he had enough he leaned back against a bookcase and stared at the floor. So Gabriel had noticed as well.
“It’s not by choice,” Maefyl told him in a whisper. “Trust me, I’m not thrilled with the situation.”
“I know that.” Gabriel offered a solution. “I bleed well enough, and if it spares you the regret of taking more lives than necessary just come to me when you need to.”
“You sure about that?” Maefyl looked up and grinned at the generous offer.
“If it helps.” Gabriel smiled knowing it would.
“You had lunch after all!” Gory giggled from Gabriel’s pocket.
“So it seems,” Maefyl added as he laughed.