[identity profile] mollivanders.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] prefer_my_life
Title: the history books forgot about us
Fandom: Being Human
Rating: PG
Characters: Hal/Alex, Tom
Author's Note: Word Count – 1,121. Set Post-S5, AU where they actually are human. Yuletide 2013.
Disclaimer: The characters belong to the BBC, as always

Their first stop is Paris.

“The city of love,” Tom informs them and Alex rolls her eyes while Hal crosses his arms and pointedly does not bring up centuries up bloodshed and war.

That he had a hand in.

(No, he definitely does not bring that up.)

But he can’t deny the brie is delicious and the cabernet sauvignon gets better every year and he promises to take them both on a tour of France someday – all the vineyards, all the landmarks they’d read about in school.

(Well, that Alex read about in school, anyway.)

It’s still tentative and hesitant between them, as if they’re still not sure how to be human again. Her hand brushes against his and he starts back; he stares at her too long and she asks him in a hushed voice if that’s a little too vampire for his new human self.

Tom manages to ignore their painful courtship with all his usual grace, thankfully.

“You should just ask her out on a date,” Tom tells him. “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir, and all that.”

He manages not to wince at Tom’s pronunciation.

Vulay vu cushay avek muah say suar.

“I think it would be best,” Hal says, “if we took things one step at a time.”

Tom stares at him seriously and goes back to reading the paper once Alex shows up in the lobby.

“French restaurant,” she chimes. “French waiter. Let’s go.”

“Just, please,” Hal stammers, “don’t call him garçon.”

“Garssssson,” she echoes, grinning at him.

They stay out after dark and don’t fear for the humans.

(They don’t even fear for the shadows.)

Alex had heard from Lady Mary, and Tom had written to Allison and they seem to have done more damage to the undead than they had at first realized.

“Well, it couldn’t have just been us,” Tom reasons. “That would be pretty arrogant, even for you Hal.”

“I would think the effect would be limited due to scale, if nothing else,” Hal insists.

“And magic,” Alex says over a mouthful of bouillabaisse. “Don’t forget the magic. Blood, incantations, and all.”

“Exactly,” Hal says, stealing another glance at her and trying not to think about her mouth in general. “Magic.”

Tom shrugs and scans the restaurant, old habits dying hard.

“I’m not complaining, of course,” Hal adds and Tom nods thoughtfully. “Do you think it’ll last?”

There’s a brief silence at the table, the background noise of the accordionist and nearby conversation seeming to rise in comparison.

“I do,” Alex says, and takes a sip of her wine, staining her lips. She glances at Hal, who has fallen silent again.

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir.

“Hal?” she asks, confusion in her voice, and he starts.

“Yes,” he answers. “I think so too.”

+

He keeps his promises these days, and they know better than anyone how fleeting life can be, so the next morning Hal goes out and buys them three train tickets to Marseilles. When he gets back to the scrubby motel they’ve staying at, more suited to the revolution of 1848 than Zagat standards (and he would know, on both counts), Alex turns the tickets over in her hand.

“What about Alex’s family?” Tom asks and Hal suddenly feels like a selfish ass for not thinking of this himself. Alex’s fingers press tighter against the tickets and she locks eyes with Hal.

“I want to go,” she says firmly and something very old in him – something not quite human – whispers into life. “No time like the present, after all.” There’s something hurt and broken under the determination in her voice that both Tom and Hal hear and – well. That settles it.

(They don’t speak of her family again.)

When the train stops, they take a cab down to the beachfront and book a hotel room that’s way out of their budget. They don’t have jobs waiting for them back in Wales and no plans to return anytime soon, but really – even for just himself – Hal wouldn’t trade this view for the world.

(For other things, perhaps. He and the world are still not on great terms.)

Alex drags them outside as soon as they’re checked in, a hotel towel tucked under one arm; sunblock under the other.

“You’ll need more of this than Tom and me,” she says to Hal, teasing. Her hand brushes against his and this time, he catches it.

“I would caution you against underestimating my survival skills,” he answers and he was never good with women, not before, but Alex grins at him all the same. It’s that same cheeky smile she wore the first day she came into the diner and his breath catches in his throat.

Tom steadfastly ignores all this, eyes trained on the shoreline.

“Race you!” he challenges the others and takes off, his flip-flops spraying sand in their general direction.

Their joined shrieks disappear in the general laughter on the beach and for the first time since they left Wales, he forgets.

(Just for a moment.)

He wakes in the middle of the night to Alex shaking him gently and whispering his name.

“What – what’s the matter?” he asks, voice groggy from sleep and she presses a finger to her lips. “Don’t wake Tom,” she says in a hushed tone and his brain finally catches up. “Follow me.”

She takes his hand and leads him out of the hotel and down the steps to the beach.

“Have you ever done this?” she asks as he falls in step with her, shivering from the slight cold. He rubs his arms and she does a little skip next to him to warm up.

“Not in a long, long time,” he says without thinking and he catches her rolling her eyes at him.

Probably best not to bring up his relative age, he thinks.

“You?” he asks, striving on and catches at her hand. This time when she smiles at him, the moonlight makes her soft and his heart speeds up in his chest.

“Not in a long, long time,” she echoes, mischief coming back into her eyes, and the water laps at their toes.

“Race you!” she challenges and he fumbles with his sandals – chases after her into the water – catches her.

Her breath is smoke in the night air and she dunks underwater just for a moment, shaking her hair like a dog when she resurfaces. He can feel her feet beating against his in the water and he swims just a little closer – a little closer –

She kisses him, sweet and fierce, and breaks away before he’s ready.

“Feel human yet?” she asks, eyes dancing, and he grins. “You have no idea,” he says.

(They stay out until sunrise.)

Finis
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