[identity profile] mollivanders.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] prefer_my_life
Title: to err, to be human, to restart
Fandom: Being Human
Rating: PG
Characters: Hal/Alex, Tom
Author's Note: Word Count – 1,231. Set Post-S5, so beware spoilers. For Anonymous on Tumblr, with the prompt “Hal and Alex re-do their first date night with much better results”
Disclaimer: The characters belong to the BBC, as always.

“This,” she tells Tom, punctuating every word sharply, “is a terrible idea.”

He crosses his arms and looks at her in the mirror. “No, I think you look real nice. Hal’ll like it.”

She tugs at the skirt of her dress – daisy yellow, white polka dots and as different from her green dress as she could get – and shakes her head. “Not the dress. This whole date re-do.” When Tom doesn’t respond except to arch one of his enormous eyebrows at her, she sighs and turns with purpose. “I’m changing.”

“Suit yourself,” Tom says, heading down the stairs. “But Hal’s already left and you can’t really stand up your own roommate.”

+

She’d had worse ideas, for sure. She’d dated Billy Van Russ; her best friend was a pyromaniac who’d nearly blown up their chemistry class; she’d called her mum’s mobile and left a dozen and a half messages before giving up; and she’d argued with Ryan so badly that when she died, her last thought was him slamming the door in her face.

But this – this had to be one of them. Top Ten, at least.

Tom ushered her through the door, decked out in black summer shorts and tights, her blue and yellow striped shirt her one attempt at cheerfulness.

“If I die again,” she told him before he shut the door, “I’m going to come back and haunt you.”

“Have a nice time, and don’t stay out too late,” he’d said.

(Really, he was impossible.)

Not as impossible as Hal, who’d let the two of them be bullied into this by Tom.

“It’ll be like wiping the slate clean!” Tom had insisted, made far too cheerful by Allison’s return to be any kind of useful to his friends. “And,” he’d added to Alex when Hal had gone to bed, “if you two drag your feet any more, it’ll be an Olympic sport.”

“If you don’t want to –” Hal had said, catching her in the hall the next morning. “Of course we don’t have to, and if you’re not comfortable I’m sure Tom will let it go –”

He’s rambling. He does tend to ramble these days, especially when he realizes he’s caught her between the shower and her room. She lets him catch his breath before holding his gaze and nodding once firmly. “I think it’s a good idea,” she says. “And it’s just a date, Hal,” she adds with a wink before backing into her room.

(If she says it enough –)

She should have kissed him, but then – she’s had her fair share of terrible ideas lately too.

She spots him sitting at the bar, his pressed suit and glass of bourbon screaming that she should turn around and walk away, walk right out of Barry. Fool me once, and all that nonsense.

There’s no such thing as vampires, she tells herself, and steels her shoulders as she marches in.

+

“Started without me?” she asks cheerfully, sitting on the stool next to him.

(Creepy and a day-drinker.)

“Of course not,” he says, focused on his glass before smiling at her. “We’re here to break a pattern, not repeat it.” He eyes her outfit, a smile tugging at his lips. “And I see you’re taking no risks this time.” She shrugs, waving the bartender over, and orders a house ale. “I’m not dying this time,” she says.

(Turns out that’s still a sore subject.)

“Of course,” he says, eyes wide, and goes back to staring at his drink. He’s not one for drinking – not this Hal, not that she knows – and Alex lets her guard down a bit. She knows Hal, knows him in a hundred ways she couldn’t have expected. At least he hasn’t got a matchbox this time.

“Come on,” she says, feeling impetuous, and takes his hand. His shoulders fall, relaxing, as she pulls him after her. “Let’s get out of here.”

“But Tom –” Hal says uncertainly and Alex scoffs. “So far, Tom has sent us to the museum and to my death. You really want to follow his dating advice?”

Catching up to walk in step with her, Hal smiles. He’s barely taller than her and she can see him stealing glances at her, no matter how hard he tries. “Why don’t we try the carnival? Or the shops? Or the beach?” She rattles off her list of suggestions but when Hal doesn’t respond she stops to look at him. “You okay there, mister?” The bustle of Barry’s curb traffic parts around them, indifferent, but where she once found his stare unnerving, now she just knows it’s Hal between thoughts.

Now that’s all it is.

(That’s all it is until he kisses her.)

It’s a gentle press of his lips against hers, gentle but determined, and as Alex’s eyes fall shut she remembers her original plans for her original date with Hal.

“The carnival sounds fine,” he says, breaking away from her with a close smile.

+

They must look horribly out of place together but for once, Hal doesn’t seem to care about appearances. He keeps looking at her and their clasped hands find each other time and again. It turns out that as a human, Hal is afraid of heights and so they skip the ferris wheel for the orbiter, which he manages to survive with dignity and Alex only teases him about for five minutes after. She makes him swing the hammer for her though and smugly accepts her prize of a large rabbit. By the time they’ve finished their caramel corn, content to wander the carnival and watch live acts, the sun has long set and it’s mostly adults on scene.

“Tom’s going to want this,” Hal observes mildly and Alex squeezes the rabbit possessively.

“He can suffer then,” she says and grins at Hal in the darkness.

+

“So then,” she asks as they exit with the rest of the carnival goers, “you going to walk me home, handsome?” She nips at some of Hal’s freshly bought cotton candy and it sticks, sugary sweet, in her mouth. As Hal watches her lick her lips clean, she suddenly feels the need to be away from here. Away, or at least not in the middle of a crowd.

“How do you mean?” he asks, still staring. She’d call him on it, just because she’s pretty sure Miss Manners wouldn’t approve, but it’s kind of nice, actually.

“I mean,” she intones, wishing for once that Hal, legendary history maker, was better at picking up on cues, or at least better at following them. “Are you walking me home or are you walking me home?”

His eyes settle on her darkly and she feels an old rush – familiar, pulsating – from her first life. “I’d like to walk you home,” he replies and she lets out a shaky breath as he pauses next to her on the boardwalk. “If, that is, you want –”

She cuts him off, a bit of cotton candy turning the kiss headily sweet as his mouth opens against hers.

(The memory of her death dims a little more.)

Alex Millar, girl twice living, pulls away, her hand still firm on his shirt collar, and stares at him seriously. See how he likes it.

“I do want,” she says, and grins as he shifts awkwardly under her touch.

(Perhaps not such a terrible idea, after all.)

Finis
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