"So. Gonna tell me why you're so pissed off yet?"
I didn't answer right away, instead lifting my legs up onto the seat and wrapping my arms around them. I looked out the window, watching as the passengers trickled back onto the bus.
"You didn't mean it." I couldn't make make my voice anything more than a sad whisper.
"What I said before I fell asleep?" He asked me, but I could tell he was just delaying what needed to be said. I turned back to look at him.
"What else?" I asked, half sarcastically.
He shrugged, and I caught the hint of a blush in his cheeks. "I... I did mean it."
"No you didn't." I shook my head, turning away from him again. "How could you?"
"Just because it's easier to say those kinds of things when I'm not sober, it doesn't automatically make them meaningless."
"I know that, but it doesn't make them true, does it?" I don't know why I was trying to prove him wrong. I should be ecstatic that he finally admitted to liking me too, but my mind rebelled against the thought. God, I'm messed up.
"Oh, so now you think I'm a liar?" He retorted indignantly.
This caught me out. "I... I don't know." I didn't think he as a liar, exactly, but it was hard to believe someone who was ridiculously high.
"Gabby, I like you, but age gaps freak me out. I'm closer to thirty than you are to twenty! Not to mention the million and one issues I have that you shouldn't have to deal with. It's just not fair on you." I snorted.
"Do you think I care that it's not fair? Do you think my hearts going to pay any attention to that." I paused, sighing. "I know it sounds really cheesy, but it's true."
"No!" Alex voice sounded like a growl. "You should be... in school, getting ready for whatever exams it is you have at sixteen, living a human life, not being a half vampire looking after a depressive, vampiric idiot. It's stupid."
I tried to keep my voice away from the whiny tone. It was difficult. "But I am a half vampire, and I'm not human. Even if I was, do you think I would have any chance of passing those exams? I'm stupid."
"Does it matter if you would pass them or not? The point is, you should be there, not sat next to an even stupider older guy!" Oh, here we go again.
"Maybe I should be, but I'm not, am I?" I lowered my voice and leaned towards him. "I'm here, and that's because I want to be. I made my choices."
He sighed and muttered, "I wish I'd been able to make choices."
Here comes some deep and meaningful conversation that will probably last for hours and will send me to sleep. I mentally apologised to mind-readers who might just be listening in for some reason. "What makes you think you don't have any more choices?"
"I lost all my choices when I decided to be a vampire hunter, Gabby. And I'm here because I'm supposed to be on the trail of a vampire, not because I was choosing to run away from anything."
"That's not true," I insisted. "There are always more decisions to make, and more choices to pick from. Why am I giving you this lecture, anyway? Shouldn't it be the other way around?"
He shook his head. "No, I made a choice nearly ten years ago that I would hunt down the vampire that killed my family, and any vampire that got on my way until then. That decision will keep me on the road, running around after that vampire until I find him, I don't see what other choices you mean. And that's why you're giving me this lecture, not the other way around."
I sighed. "You're impossible."
"You're not going to tell me what choices I'm aparently missing out on, then?" I crossed my arms, sitting back in my seat, and scowled.
"You wouldn't listen to me anyway. You never do."
"Try me." He insisted.
I hadn't actually thought of anything, and the one thing that popped in my mind wasn't exactly good, so I just muttered, "There's always the choice to move on..."
I sat up straight and looked him in the eye. "Okay, you're totally going to freak out at this suggestion, but what's the point in revenge? Can't you you just stop and leave it alone?"
He looked away from me, and I sunk back into my seat. "Losing the people you love most in life all in one go to one person that's decided to make your life hell on earth is hard. And then to add insult to injury he killed my girlfriend not so long ago."
The sadness in his voice made my heart ache. His girlfriend? I'd never really thought about that before. A guilty flush coloured my cheeks, and I tried to think of something to say in return.
"I... I'm sorry."
"Don't be. There's hardly any point." He muttered. 'Hardly'?
"Point in what?" I asked him, cocking my head to the side in confusion.
That hardly helped. "I don't think I understand what you mean."
"Don't understand what about what now?" I almost laughed. Almost.
I frowned, trying to decide how to word it. "I meant... ugh, it doesn't matter."
"Okay. Sorry." He said simply, and I sighed.
"Why are you sorry?"
"For confusing you."
"I'm constantly confused." I said, which is true. Probably too true.
"Then I shouldn't have made it worse." Like it mattered anyway. I tried to think of something to say to change the topic, but I had a total mind blank. Boredom does that to me sometimes - I either go totally hyper, or practically dead. I started to try to think about something interesting we could do on the bus.
"I think... that we should have a sing-a-long." I nodded, a plan forming in my head. It probably wouldn't turn out nearly half as perfect as the scenes in movies, but it was worth a shot. "Will you sing with me?"
"I can't sing." He mumbled. I think he was still upset. I shouldn't have made him think about his family.
"So? Neither can I." He didn't answer, so I put on a bright, cheerful voice. "C'mon, it'll be fun! We can sing 'The Wheels on the Bus'."
He shut his eyes and rested his head back on the seat. "I have a headache." Sure...
"Liar." I said, frowning.
"Me?" He was shocked out of his acting.
"Yeah, you. You just don't want to sing with me." Irrational teenage annoyance is really annoying. Yes, that's exactly what I meant.
"I just don't want to sing at all, if I'm honest. I sound terrible."
"Meanie." I muttered, slumping in my seat, arms crossed. I scowled at the seat in front of me, suddenly becoming aware that Nell was no longer clinging to the top. I wonder where she went...
"You love me really." His tone had turned joking, and I knew he was just trying to lighten the mood. It was the wrong thing to say, though.
"But evidently you don't love me." I looked away, embarrassed.
"Where's this evidence, then?" I could tell he was trying to keep his voice light, but it was forced.
"You won't sing with me." I pointed out.
"No, but nevermind."
"I'll sing - or attempt to - if you tell me what other evidence there is to suggest that I don't love you." he was still joking. Or trying to.
I huffed. "No. I don't care about singing anymore - I'm not in the mood." I had been in the mood, and then he went and said he wouldn't sing and... ugh! Stupid moods are ridiculously annoying.
Alex sighed. "What are you in the mood for then?"
"Being in a mood."
He suddenly grinned, almost scaring me. He had a devillish glint in his eyes as he spoke. "Don't make me tickle you out of it. You are ticklish, right?"
I squealed, leaning as far away from Alex as possible and putting my hands up for protection. "Do. NOT. Tickle me." I warned him, giving him an icy glare. I screamed again, louder, as he lurched forward, pretending to tickle me. "Get off me!"
He laughed, and continued attacking me. "ahaha. No."
I started thrashing out at him, kicking and punching, yet laughing so hard it hurt. My blood boiled beneath my skin at his casual touch, but I kept hitting him. "STOP IT!"
When he finished, he was leaning closer to me than usual, our faces inches apart. I stared into his eyes as he stared into mine, and I was lost. But it was like I was home, at the same time.
"My contacts itch." Alex muttered, and pulled away awkwardly, taking out his lenses and breaking our connection. I shook my head to get rid of the fuzzy thoughts swirling around in there.
"Why were you wearing your contacts anyway?" I asked him, curiousity getting the better of me.
"Oh, when I went to the shops. In case my eyes went red." He slipped the case back into his bag and sat up.
I muttered a quick "Oh." and we sat there in embarrassed silence for a little while, each remembering exactly why he'd gone to the shop. But I had been lifted out of my bad mood, and looked back at Alex sheepishly. "Please sing with me?" I fully expected a no.
"When you tell me about this evidence." Well, that was as good as.
I groaned loudly. "You are so manipulative."
"I know." He said simply, and I glared at him. He just smiled back.
"Why do I have to tell you anyway? Isn't it kind of obvious?"
"You don't have to tell me. But telling me would make me sing with you." I considered this, and decided it wasn't worth the embarrassment. Although... No. I would much prefer the singing.
"Okay, doesn't matter then." I grinned at him. "I'll sing by myself."
He chuckled. "Okay, then."
I stood up, taking a deep breath in preparation, and glanced down at Alex. He was watching intently, the hint of a smile around his lips. I half hoped he would stand up and stop me from making a fool of myself. No such luck.
"The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round..."