Thanks

by Saber ShadowKitten
My Childe 5






"You really should get a telly, mate."

When my Childe spoke to me for the first time in what seemed like forever, I, being the intelligent, well-educated, two-hundred-forty-plus year old that I am, replied to him quite succinctly and eloquently.

"Huh?"

"A telly," Spike said, hovering near the kitchen by the wall. "All you got is books. Boring."

"I like books."

And my IQ is in the triple digits, too.

"That's because you're boring, too," he said.

I set down the book I was pretending to read while in reality I was watching him skirt around the rooms in my apartment, feeding from my stash of pigs blood in the refrigerator. "We can go see that movie," I suggested. I'd rather just talk, but I doubted that's what he would be willing to do.

The wary look that I've come to hate returned on his face. I quickly change my tune. "Or I can go swipe Doyle's television..."

"When does it start?" Spike asked.

The wary look was still there, but an expression of resolve was added to it. I took that to be a good sign. Glancing at my watch, I answer, "About an hour."

He nodded, then skimmed silently along the edge of the room back towards the bedroom.

Looks like we're going to the movies.

After all my years going to the theater to see the talking pictures, as they were first called, there is one concept I've never understood. It's a more recent concept, when the whole idea of homosexuality took on a negative connotation. It is the "fag seat," the seat two males who attend a show together leave empty between them so others don't think they're "together."

Stupid, isn't it?

Granted, I'm a vampire, so homosexuality being bad is pretty much a moot point. We tend to have sex with anything that moves and a few things that don't. Before being turned, my family was devoutly Catholic. If they could see me now...

I've never been to the movies with Spike. Talkies were invented in the early twentieth century and I was wandering around America with my soul and my guilt. Spike was in Europe, I think, living the vampire high-life with Dru. I don't think we could have just called each other up and say "hey, let's go to a show."

The ride over to the theater had been made in silence. Spike clutched the doorhandle the entire time, his knuckles bone white because of his tense grip. His posture was stiff and he stared out the windshield, his teeth clenched together.

What had they done to my boy?

It wasn't my driving, that much I knew for a fact. I'd been driving for sixty years and have a tendency to obey the speed limit -- when I'm not in a hurry, that is, or chasing someone...or being chased, which was becoming more and more frequent. One of the perks of being an investigator.

I parked. I paid. I offered refreshments, but he shook his head no. Then I led the way into the theater.

It smelled. Like humans and sweets and popcorn. And the floor was sticky as I chose a row and picked a seat partway down. Why did I want to do this again?

Spike sat down in the seat next to me, pushed my arm off the armrest between us, and put his there.

Oh yeah.

My boy scrunched down and propped his feet on the seat in front of him. His scarred boots matched perfectly with the shoddy coverings on the fold down, poorly cushioned seats. He was still in the same black jeans and tee-shirt he'd appeared at my apartment wearing that fateful day. Somehow I was going to have to convince him to change out of them. Or at least wash them.

I guess as long as he doesn't smell...

I don't know what to do with the arm Spike shoved off the armrest. I'm anything but a small man. I'd make a pretty good linebacker in a pick-up football game.

My Childe on the other hand is just the right size. Not too small, not too large, maybe a little on the short side, but he fits perfectly with me. I suppose that's one of the reasons why I chose him. He could nuzzle my neck -- which I love, by the way -- without standing on his toes or stooping down.

He used to have brown hair. Soft, kind of curly, brown hair that brushed his shoulders.

My beautiful boy.

Now his hair is short and white-blond and it gives him a dangerous edge.

But he's still my beautiful boy.

I went put my right arm on the back of my Childe's seat. I had decided it was either that or scrunch uncomfortably for two hours. But when I lifted my arm to move it, Spike practically bolted from his seat.

"They don't make these seats big enough," I said, laying my arm across the back of his seat. He was standing in the aisle, facing me, that frightened, wary expression on his face again.

Damn it!

The lights started to dim and I wondered what Spike was going to do. I admit I held my breath, even though I have no real breath to hold. But all he did was sit back down, put his feet up and started to chew on the side of his thumbnail, his eyes on the screen.

The movie was boring, well, for me anyway. Lots of blood and violence. Like I didn't see that enough in my life. At first, I couldn't tell if Spike was enjoying it or not. He just stared at the screen, chewing on the edge of his nail, the flickering lights from the moving picture casting shadows over his features.

Then about mid-way through the movie, he shifted in his seat so that he was leaning heavily against the armrest that separated us, and he rested his head back against the crook of my shoulder.

Imagine my surprise.

After a moment, I dropped my right hand down onto his shoulder -- slowly, so he wouldn't jump -- and half-hugged him.

"Thanks."

My boy said the word quietly, but the meaning behind it was loud and clear.

"Anything, my Childe," I told him quietly in return.

And we sat like that for the remainder of the movie.



End