Love for the Corpse

She sat on the floor beside him for a while, the question still plaguing her mind. She shook it away as he began to stir, but it still hung in the back of her mind. Lazarus rolled over and yawned, getting up he swore under his breath, clutching his back. Melissa smiled slightly. "Good morning, Lazarus."

"Hi." He groaned, turning to look at Melissa. Her eyes were slightly cold as she gazed at him, but she remained friendly none the less. "Are you okay?"

"No," he growled, his head still throbbing from the alcohol and the change. "You?"

Melissa looked at him, unblinking. "What's wrong?" She asked, ignoring the second question.

"I ache all over." He paused and squinted at her, "what's got you all upset?" He asked as he noticed the chill in her eyes.

She simply shook her head then tilted it slightly, "is there anything I can get you?"

"Water, would be good. I don't know if the water pump works any more though," he muttered, closing his eyes.

She nodded. She got up, drifting up the stairs and out the door. She walked out the back, the water pump was old, rusted and she doubted it worked. So instead she sighed, running to the nearest town she bought a bottle from the store. "Thank you." She smiled softly at the cashier who only nodded at her, captivated by her beauty. She looked down, then ran again, back to the house. The water seemed cool and inviting in it's clear bottle but she didn't care. Suddenly she realised she should drink herself but shrugged it off, walking back down the stairs. "Here." She muttered crouching down again.

"Thank you," he mumbled gratefully, draining the bottle quickly.

"Better?" She asked, her voice falling to a monotone as the questioned creeped into the front of her mind.

"A bit." He crunched the bottle in his hand then gazed at the floor. "I'm sorry."

Melissa looked at him. "For?"

Everything. For acting weird last night, for needing alcohol to cope with what I am, for putting you through all this.'

"It's okay. Do you think if it bothered me I would have left by now?"

"I'm surprised you haven't, to be honest..."

"I wouldn't. Next to my mother this is the only..." She shook her head. "No."

"The only what?"

"The only love I have felt." Her eyes seemed somewhat glazed as memories swarmed her mind. "It's stupid. I have never even kissed someone before you." She laughed weakly. "Stupid..." She trailed.

"I s'pose it won't make much difference, but you are the only person I have ever felt anything for since... well you know." He stopped uncomfortably, still all too aware that the building they were sitting in were where Gabriel breathed his last.

"Yeah." She nodded, sighing again. She rose to her feet. "I know."

"He died here, in this house," Lazarus found himself saying, the words spilling out despite his desire to keep them inside, "In the front room. My second time transforming..." He blinked and stopped. "Sorry."

"It's fine. It must be hard. I know." She shrugged. "This place is starting to make me feel...horrible, too."

"It used to be full of life. I would play the piano for him and then we would have dinner, laughing. Happy. I wish I could give you that happiness now."

"Well. I would suppose we will have to wait. Won't we?" She thought, about love, about what it means. Right now, it felt like nothing.

"They say good things come to those who wait. We've been waiting for this long, what difference will a decade of running away make?"

"Not much I guess." She sighed. "Lazarus. How long can it last? Will we even have another decade?" The question just rolled off her tongue.

"Depends if any hunters get involved," he muttered, unable to look her in the eye. He buried his face in his hands and exhaled heavily. "I'm so stupid... I'm sorry, I really am. If I had seen this coming I would have done everything different. Imagine: just a few minutes earlier or later could have made all the difference." he growled, angry at himself.

"I told you so." She sighed, dropping to his side. "Lazarus. What happened, happened. Stop looking back on it."

"I know you told me so. what happened happened because I'm an alcoholic idiot who can't control his temper."

She looked at him. "But you're my alcoholic idiot. Right?"

"Yes, if you want me after all this..." He trailed.

"Lazarus. I don't think I need to answer that, do I?" He voice became soft, as did her eyes.

"Oh c'mon, it's not like you don't know how insecure I am!" He whined.

"Lazarus..." She trailed, falling into his lap she looked up at him, her head resting on his lap. "I love you."

He lowered his head, kissing her. "I love you too." Right then. Her question got answered. "Yes." But she still had doubts about 'love.' It seemed like nothing.

"I'm sorry, you're freezing. I must just be making you colder." She got up, looking at his bare chest.

"It's fine."

"But. You're normally extremely warm. You must be absolutely freezing!"

"I'm okay, stop worrying."

"I can't! I'm so cold, and you... we need to find you some clothes!"

"Well how are we going to do that, exactly? I can't be seen and you can't go out in the light. I'll be alright."

"Well..." She paused seeing he was right. "At the very least I shouldn't touch you. I'm colder than ice. I will just make you worse." She stood again, turning to walk away from him. But Lazarus caught her arm.

"No..." he pleaded.

Her brow furrowed. "What..." her voice was soft as his hand wrapped around hers.

He pulled her close, hugging her tightly. He tried not to shiver as his arms wrapped around her. "Lazarus. Don't. You'll make yourself worse." She cried, whilst she sat rigid in his arms.

He rested his chin on her shoulder. "No. I'll be fine." He smiled softly, although she couldn't see.

"Lazarus..." She trailed. "You do realise, I am nothing but a walking corpse. I can't really give you anything." She sighed, she could feel how cold he was by the lack of warmth running through her.

"A corpse capable of love, of course you have something to give." He muttered into her shoulder.

She shook her head, unconvinced. "But love can't warm you up when you're cold. Love can't ensure life. What is love?"

"You're wrong." He simply replied.

Melissa paused, "I'm...wrong...?"

"Very wrong." He nodded, taking his head from her shoulder. Looking into her eyes.

She gazed away, rather stubborn. "But I have lived 400 years without love. How can I be wrong?"

"Because you've never loved before." He pulled his arms from her waist. "If you have never experienced love before, how can you judge something like that? If I were to leave you, or die, you would understand, I think. But neither of those is going to happen, because your love will keep me alive, and I'm hardly going to leave you." His voice was sure and confident.

"I..." She started but stopped. "But how can I be sure? How do I know I love you? How do I know you love me? How..?"

"You don't need to know, you need to trust in yourself, in me, in us."

"I don't know." She shook her head, it seemed more to herself than to anyone else. Just a thought.

"Sorry, I'm probably not making much sense... it's hard to put something like this into words."

"Then how can I understand?" She pleaded.

He contemplated this for a moment before finally speaking. "When you knew what I had done, when you heard I was in jail... how was it? You felt something, certainly, or you wouldn't have come and played your violin for me."

"I felt sick. Mortified that I would lose you, but surely. That was only because you have been good to me. You've showed me compassion. I thought I would repay you."

"You can believe what you like, but I would call that love."

A tear ran down her cheek. "I can't love. I'm a corpse. Corpse's can't love."

"Corpse's aren't supposed to talk or cry either." He reached up a finger and stroked her porcelain cheek, wiping away her tear.

She moved away slightly. "Anything else doesn't stalk around in the night feeding on the blood of anything that has a heartbeat."

"I have heartbeat. You haven't stalked or fed on me."

Melissa froze. "I tried to." She shivered, remembering that night not so long ago.

"Ah, but you didn't, did you? And what was it that stopped you, because I've heard things about a vampire's thirst and how they can't stop themselves."

"I don't know! It's not right! And whatever it is scares the hell outta me!" She growled.

"Huh. Too afraid to feel. Well," he sighed, looking at the floor, slumping against the wall. "I can hardly force you."

"I used to know everything about Vampires, about this... curse. Then you came along and upturned everything and now... I don't know anything and I'm scared." She cried, turning her head, looking at the floor.

"Sorry."

"I..I.." She paused, the tears streaming down her face which she hid in her hands. "What. Do. I. Do?"

"I don't know, that's a choice that only you can make." His voice was cool and somewhat, reassuring.

"I can't." She paused, looking up for a moment, trying her best to wipe away her tears. "Are you an option?"

"What do you mean, am I an 'option'?" His voice turned bitter.

"Well. I choose you. I know, that it won't help my vampiric...life. But I just want you. I love you and... and... I know what it is."

He paused for a moment, not knowing what to say. Before he continued, "I think you are the most indecisive person I have ever met." He smiled slightly.

"I'm sorry. I'm just so confused. I'm tore between instincts and you. My heart is tearing itself in two and I have no idea which side I want to be on. I'm so sorry!"

"I understand, it's fine."

"You keep asking me if I will have you. I want you. But, I can't help feeling I'm making everything worse."

"How many times...? You're making things better, not worse. I'd be dead if it weren't for you.

"Lazarus..." She cried in a pleading tone. He looked at her questioningly.

"I'm sorry. If I make you cold but..." She walked towards him, slowly wrapping her arms around him, before placing her head on his chest. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer to him. "I'm sorry." She mumbled into his chest.

"What for?"

"For being so confusing!" She mumbled again, refusing to break the embrace to look into his eyes.

"S'ok." He replied, shivering. Melissa broke the embrace, pushing herself away from him. "Why can't anything go right?" She cried, running up the stairs. "I'm so cold, why can't I just be human?" She muttered to herself as she emerged from the basement. She ran across the main room, scorching her arms and legs slightly as she slammed the door to the study.

There she collapsed onto the floor, pure tears streaming down her face. She hugged her legs to her chest and buried her face in her folded arms upon them.

The End

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