giddygeek: tree silhouette with rainbows & hearts (wrecked)
[personal profile] giddygeek
Hi friendslist, hi.

I know that not a ton of you are watching Being Human, but. It is a lot of fun and I am MADLY in love with George, and if you have a source for BBC programs which I know you do because we're all watching Merlin, I recommend watching this one too. A werewolf and a vampire and their ghost roommate! What's not to love, and think about a lot, and have a million fic ideas floating around for, I ask you?

Which, speaking of. I come bearing a story!

Title: If Lost, Return To
Author: [ profile] giddygeek
Pairing: Mitchell/George, Being Human
Notes: 2700 words, adult. Many thanks to the LOTS of people who read this through for me, some without having seen the show because you don't really have to for this one -- [ profile] misspamela, [ profile] loveyouallwrong, [ profile] astolat and [ profile] kaneko. What, I've been anxious lately. *grins*

When Mitchell finds him, George is naked, covered in blood and scratches, and barely conscious. None of this is unusual. The problem is the chains wound around him, so many of them that Mitchell can't tell where they end or where they begin.

"Your little pet doesn't come when called," Herrick says, circling Mitchell like the shark he is.

"He's not my pet," Mitchell says. He drags his eyes away from George with effort. "And no werewolf comes when called, Herrick. They'd much rather bite off your hand than eat out of it."

"I just thought you'd have had him better trained by now." Herrick smiles, crossing the slick, muddy concrete to stand by George's side. He nudges George in the ribs with the toe of his shoe, and George groans. The vampires skulking through the shadows laugh like ice cracking. "You've had him for a long time, Mitchell. Years and years and years, it's been. But your little Georgie, he just. Doesn't. Obey. Tell me -- haven't you ever thought that perhaps a good, hard swat to his charming, fuzzy rump might encourage...better behavior?"

One day, Mitchell will rip Herrick's head off. He can feel the future building as much as he thinks Herrick does; this endless prodding is less about drawing Mitchell back to the fold, and more about tempting the end of immortality. But Mitchell can't risk George; not like this. He keeps his fangs back with an effort and says, "I've got better things I could be doing tonight, Herrick. Trivia, for example. Watching paint dry. Why don't you try spending a little less time exploring your kinky gay imagination, and a little more time getting to the fucking point?"

Herrick is in his face faster than a blink. "The fucking point is that your bad little puppy got loose, Mitchell. The fucking point is that I'm doing you a favor." He pokes Mitchell's chest, and his smirk becomes a snarl. "I'm reminding you to keep your dog on a leash before you find him in a gutter, all pathetic and mangled, right?" His finger digs against Mitchell's skin with enough pressure that if Mitchell were still fully human, he wouldn't be able to stand it; as it is, he pushes back against Herrick, eyes on his, daring him, tempting him.

Around them, the other vampires shift uneasily. Herrick hisses at them to keep them back, but doesn't look away from Mitchell. "He's such a cute little pup," he says, voice all sibilant hiss. "We wouldn't want you to have to...put him down."

"It won't happen," Mitchell says, slow and steady. "You might've caught him once but believe me, Herrick, believe me, you will not survive trying to catch him again."

Herrick is all glistening fangs as he takes one step back; another. Mitchell watches him through lowered eyelashes, waiting, waiting, as the rest of the vampires gather around him, sleek dark shapes gliding in the shadows, not meant to be stealthy, meant to be frightening as all fuck. Mitchell is a relatively young vampire and he's been intimidated before, but here and now, with George panting fitfully on the wet cement, cold and bound -- Herrick is the one who should be afraid, and for all his posturing, Mitchell thinks he is.

He is.

That's wise.

Then the other vampires are gone and Mitchell barely waits for the old blood and dirty cloth smell of them to fade before he's on his knees beside George, hands scrabbling to find the ends of the chain.

George fights him a little, weakly. "It's me, it's just me," Mitchell whispers, touching the side of George's face, feeling a trickle of blood there. Fuck, fuck, George's blood -- Mitchell doesn't think vampires can feed on werewolves, in their human form or not -- at least, he's never had any desire to get his fangs in George; other things, maybe, but not the fangs -- but what if the vampires had sacrificed edibility for the sheer charge of seeing Mitchell in despair? What if George's condition, his curse, is not only cyclical but eternal?

There, there's the end of the chain. Mitchell unravels it, a little frantic but still mindful of George's bruises; his limp, floppy limbs. A deep, jagged gash around George's pale, bony ankle -- what did they do, catch him with a fucking bear trap? -- scrapes across his ribs, a bruise pointed like the toe of a shoe on George's hipbone -- and oh, those twats, a collar under all that chain, pink nylon studded with plastic gems, fastened too tightly, bearing a tag. Mitchell's name, their address. If lost, return to.

Mitchell slips the collar into the pocket of his hoodie. He'll burn it, later; maybe in the incinerator at the hospital. Something, anything, to keep George from seeing it.

He curls his fingers around the back of George's neck and lifts his head out of the thin, dirty puddle underneath it, feeling for more cuts or bumps, but there's nothing. There are no puncture marks anywhere Mitchell can see, and Herrick would want him to see them. Herrick would want them where Mitchell couldn't miss them, so that he would know what Herrick had won.

"George," Mitchell says, tapping his fingers gently against George's cheek. "Can you wake up for me? Just a little? I want to get you home, but I think that even in this neighborhood, a man night get arrested if he's carrying another man's naked, abused body in his arms. George?"

George shifts, then blinks his eyes open. Mitchell watches the progression from blank and unknowing to terrified, and is braced for it when George lashes out. Vampire strength keeps him planted firmly on his knees in the mud, cradling George's head; it's relief and, fuck it all, affection, that leave him feeling a little wobbly when George focuses on him, sees him, and relaxes all at once into his hands.

"Hurts," George says, and fuck, what they must've done to him to have him hoarse like that. Even the change has never made him sound so ragged.

"I know." Mitchell chivvies him up, gets him sitting, holds him there when George seems inclined to fall right back down onto the floor. "Come on, George, get up. We're going to pretend we're drunk, all right? Drunk Mitchell and even drunker George, wobbling their way home from the pub."

George clears his throat and his head lolls against Mitchell's chest. "Don't think I can," he says to Mitchell's hoodie. "Don't..."

Christ, if only Annie could drive. If only there was someone corporeal that Mitchell could trust with George. If --


Mitchell cradles George's head against his chest and digs his cell out of his pocket. Betty -- Carol -- Lee. There he is, Lee from #10.

"Lee!" he slurs, full of false, loud cheer. George winces and Mitchell rubs the back of his neck apologetically. "Lee! I don't suppole -- suppose -- that a fine gemtl -- gentleman like yourself would fancy giving a lift to two drunkards like me -- myself and good ole' George? You would? Excellent! Pick us up -- where are we, Gee -- George -- oh, dock 12, Lee. Ten minutes? Bless you, sir, and we'll see you then." He hangs up and slides the phone back in his pocket, shifts to get a better grip on George, and says, "Ready? On three. One."

George groans. "Wasn't three," he protests, weakly. Mitchell smiles at him, drags him to the stairs and plops him down on them, leaning against the wall.

"Don't fall down," he warns, and steps back to strip. Lee from #10 is used to seeing George stumble home at odd hours, even more oddly dressed. Everyone thinks that Mitchell is the most understanding boyfriend. Mitchell's boxers and hoodie, no shoes -- George will pass for drunk, and even fairly decent. Nothing will mask the sweat, blood and grime smell of him, but hopefully human senses, less sharp than Mitchell's own, will gratefully accept being fooled, if it means not having to face the truth.

Mitchell dresses George carefully and George helps where he can, pushing his cold arms through the hoodie's sleeves, raising his rump when Mitchell pulls the boxers up around his hips. The clothes are too snug for comfort, and not warm enough, but they'll get him home at least.

"Up we go," Mitchell says, guiding George up the stairs. They step into the moonlight and Mitchell starts to sing a stupid song as he half-walks, half-carries George down the dark, quiet street. He does his best to look drunk and still keep his focus; he doesn't sense any other vampires, but that doesn't mean no one's watching.

They meet Lee from #10 at the end of the alley, and Mitchell carefully guides George into the backseat. "Watch your head, watch your head, love," he says, for Lee's listening ears, and then he hops around front to the passenger side. "Thanks," he says, genuinely grateful, and Lee waves him off, starts talking about Vin Diesel, not caring when Mitchell doesn't bother to fake attentiveness, or when George makes a sound like a snuffling snore as he sprawls out on the seat.

Mitchell half-closes his eyes, watching the streets flash by. He checks as many pools of shadow as he can for unfriendly faces, unnatural shapes, and he thinks that it's unbelievably good to be going home.


George sleeps a day and a night. Mitchell finds him in the kitchen the morning after that, drinking glass after glass of water and eating what must be a dozen eggs on toast. He touches George's shoulder, lightly, and George shifts against his hand.

"All right, George?" he asks, concerned.

"I'd be better, were it not for your friends," George says, sullen. He pushes more toast into his mouth, breathes heavily around the crumbs.

"They're not my friends," Mitchell says, and takes a step away. He busies himself making tea; Annie hasn't come out since George came home, though Mitchell saw a curtain twitch upstairs and knew it was her, making sure they were all right. Maybe something warm and sweet will bring her out of hiding. It's absurd, with George right there, but Mitchell feels -- lonely. Alone.

"Right. Like I'm not your pet," George says, and there's the clatter of a plate on the table, the soft pad of George's bare feet out of the kitchen and into the hall.

"Annie," Mitchell says quietly to the empty kitchen. "Annie, I could use a Casper moment, if you've got one to spare." But she must not, because the kitchen is quiet, and the steam rising from Mitchell's cup is undisturbed.

"Right then," he says. "This is fairly pathetic, isn't it." He hesitates, then pours two more cups of tea. He leaves one for Annie and takes the others with him, careful not to spill, as he turns to follow George up the stairs.

Behind him, George's plate rattles into the plastic tub in the sink, and there's the clink of metal against glass as Annie stirs her tea.


He walks into George's room without knocking. "I brought you this," he says, and puts the tea down on George's bedside table, carefully avoids looking at him too closely; George is naked before the mirror, examining the bruises curled yellow and dark around his ribs.

"You should go," George says. His voice is chilly, without inflection, unlike him. Mitchell ignores him, choosing to curl up in his bed instead, in the corner up against the headboard. He sips his tea, careful not to spill. He can still detect the warmth of George's body in the crumpled blankets and rucked up sheets. The idea of curling around George in a nest of bedding has a surprising amount of appeal. If only George weren't mad enough to put a stake through his heart.

"You should know I'm sorry," Mitchell says, instead of saying, Come here.

George stands quiet in front of the mirror. Mitchell could look up, has seen it all before, but it feels wrong to take advantage of George's surprising lack of body shyness with this between them. He keeps his eyes on the cup in his hands instead.

"I found the collar." George moves, reaches for something on the wardrobe; tags jangle. "Did you think I wouldn't?"

Mitchell winces. "It's more like I forgot, George. I didn't want you to see it. I was going to burn it before you ever saw it."

"You were -- that might've been worse, Mitchell! What is it, now -- am I such a puppy that I can't be told the truth? So weak. You must think I'm so weak. Caught by your friends at the end of the change, helpless, dragged down -- fuck!"

Mitchell spills tea on the sheets when he scrambles out of George's bed, spills more on the table when he drops his cup down, heedless of the mess. He's on George fast, has him by the shoulders and pushed up against the wall and gets right into his face.

All the calm he'd held onto when Lauren came with Herrick's message, the calm he'd held onto in the basement of that warehouse with George wrapped in chains and vampires all around, all the fucking calm he'd clung to by nail and fang and love and desperation not to show a fucking thing when Herrick dug into him -- it pours out of him like smoke.

What's left is unnameable, but not intangible. Whatever charisma it is that a vampire uses to enthrall their prey has never worked on George, but this does; George's eyes go wide and dark, and Mitchell can suddenly smell him. He's familiar and complicated; he smells like clean linen, and underneath that he smells like shaded gardens where plants grow wild, like an animal's den in the fall, like a man. He's never smelled tempting, like racing hearts and hot, pumping blood, and that hasn't changed, but fuck -- fuck -- suddenly and inevitably, Mitchell wants him.

"You're stronger than them," he snarls in George's ear. "You're stronger than them; you're stronger than me, George. You've fought so hard, and stayed so human. They don't hate you because you're a werewolf, and they didn't hunt you just to hurt me -- they want what you've got, too. Don't you see that? They want to be what you are, and since they never will, they want to hurt you."

He digs his fingers into George's shoulders, feels them solid and strong and giving in his hands, feels dizzy at the warmth of George's skin and the way it smells. He rests his cheek against George's, feels George panting, George's hands fisting against Mitchell's shirt to keep him away -- to pull him closer -- Mitchell doesn't even know anymore.

All he knows is that George's heart is pounding, but Mitchell likes it that way. He'll do whatever it takes to keep that heart pounding for a very long time.

"They'll pay for hurting you," Mitchell whispers, and George shudders against him. "I'll make them pay, I swear to you."

"We'll make them pay," George says. The hands fisted in Mitchell's shirt clutch tighter, holding him closer; yes, definitely, closer. "Together. You and me. Because that's what they want, Mitchell; they don't want me. They want us."

"Us," Mitchell says, slowly. He strokes the side of George's neck, considering; fuck if George hasn't put his finger on it better than Mitchell had. Herrick, Lauren, the others -- they want what George has, the humanity and warmth of him, and they want what Mitchell has with him. They're spoiled children trying to damage a toy they can't have; rotten souls seeing a master and a pet where there is friendship, trust, understanding.

A vampire's bloodlust has much to do with jealous hatred of beating hearts.

Under Mitchell's fingers, George's pulse races. Mitchell pulls back, looks into George's eyes. There's none of that hatred here; maybe love, and not the wolf, is what keeps George safe.

"Yeah," Mitchell says, watching George smile at him, flushed, vulnerable, eager. "Me and you. Yes, George," and there's a clumsy moment when noses bump and hands tangle, when two sets of teeth that are always a second away from drawing blood crush together, when close is not close enough --

Then it's nothing but heat, and George's panting, whining breaths, strong fingers tight on narrow hips, and no one dies, no one dies, and coming makes Mitchell feel alive for the first time in almost a hundred years.


That's Mitchell, George, and Annie, from left to right. ♥ ♥ ♥
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