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How to show off your fangs and be polite about it
By Kristina K
For the past hour, a pair of eyes bore relentless holes into Carmilla from across the room and she can't stand it anymore. Who would have thought she'd actually miss the days when her roommate went out of her way to ignore her and pretend she simply didn't exist. Laura's perched on her bed, a yellow pillow squeezed against her chest as if it's a protective shield, her nervous energy slowly but surely driving Carmilla mad.
"What?" Carmilla exhales in exasperation and puts down the book she was reading.
As if that was an invitation, Laura shoots up from her bed and lands at the foot of Carmilla's. She bites her lip contemplating for a second, until: "Can I see them?" She asks with those big eyes of hers sparkling like a child's in sight of a giant pile of cookies. With a prompt from a raised eyebrow, Laura elaborates: "Your fangs, can I see them?"
Carmilla shrinks back. "No!" She tosses the book aside and crosses her arms. Off of Laura's kicked puppy look, Carmilla huffs: "I understand you have this pervasive need to stick your nose into every single thing, but I'm not your test subject and my fangs aren't some nifty party trick for your amusement."
"Nonono." Laura waves her hand defensively. "I didn't mean it like that. I'm just curious. Like, one doesn't get to meet a vampire every day, does one?"
"One should really learn how to mind one's own business, shouldn't one?" Carmilla shoots right back mockingly.
"But it is kind of my business, isn't it? What with Betty being my roommate before she went missing and my new roommate revealing herself to be a supernatural creature "
Carmilla squints at her menacingly, "A monster, you mean."
"No! God." Laura exhales loudly. "Just Ah. Forget it."
"It takes incentive." Carmilla blurts out just as Laura is about to get up and dejectedly return to her side of the room again. The words make her sit right back down, however, a little bit closer this time. "I've seen the ridiculous movies and TV shows you watch. It's doesn't work like that. You don't justsnap!fangs out. It's irresponsible. It's like putting your finger on the trigger of a gun. You don't do it unless you're ready to shoot."
"There are rules for 'fangs out'?" Laura tries not to snicker, and ultimately succeeds, after the look she receives from Carmilla.
"They are not rules per se; it's just not " she tries to find the right word and finally settles with: "Polite." Laura blinks at her in disbelief and Carmilla just rolls her eyes. "Vampires let their fangs out either to intimidate or to feed. Not to show off."
"Right. 'Cause you're not the type to show off."
"It's a serious matter, lollypop"
Laura scrunches up her nose. "Lollypop? Really?"
"and not something a wee human girl should be fangirling over."
"So basically, what you're saying is that you don't trust yourself around me, what with the whole a finger on the trigger analogy." Carmilla's shifting of the eyes gives her all the answers she needs and with a little smirk she offers: "Should I try to annoy you a bit more ?"
"Trust me, there is no way you could annoy me any more than you already do."
"But still, no fangs."
Silence falls between them, one of somewhat uncomfortable variety, and just when Laura thinks that was it no fangs, no awkward bonding with the newly discovered vampire roommate of any kind Carmilla shifts and with a bite of her lip she says in a whisper: "There is one other way."
Laura's ears perk up, she tosses the pillow away it lands back on her bed and sits down, still a bit closer than before.
"The intimidation and " The languidness with which words leave Carmilla's mouth give away just how much she isn't sure she should be doing this, but Laura is, as they would say, quite literally, all ears, and Carmilla decides, to hell with it. "Especially the need for feeding," she says, "a vampire can control. Only the weak and truly douchey ones argue that they cannot. That's why there's that whole code attached to it. There is one instance where the lowering of the fangs cannot be completely controlled, just like humans cannot control some of the reactions their body has to certain things."
"Such as ?"
Carmilla scoots lower on her bed, now hip to hip with Laura, puts her hand on the back of her neck and purrs: "Such as This."
The kiss is Well. Laura has, of course, kissed people before, but this? This is Fuller? Or maybe she's just lightheaded from the actual realization her vampire roommate is kissing her and kissing her like that. And just as she starts to feel herself beginning to swoon, a prick of pain makes her jump back and she presses her fingers against her lips only to find a drop of blood on her fingertips.
"Wow." Laura exhales. "They are sharp."
Next to her, Carmilla smiles, but her smile is different somehow, not just because there are now two, not much, but noticeably longer and very dangerously looking canines protruding, but her eyes, they are darker than before. "Yeah." She says.
Laura looks at her, not just curious but dazed, too, and reaches over with her hand to gently touch Carmilla's lips. For some strange reason that leaves them both surprised, Carmilla lets her. With the pad of her thumb Laura carefully touches the tip of one tooth and it produces a tiny bead of blood as a result. Laura swallows, visibly, like she's not sure if she's supposed to be scared or amazed or in awe or something else entirely, but what she decides to do is to lean back in, hesitate for a moment and then inhale deeply as she tilts her head into another kiss.
And yes, this is different than before. More dangerous and daring and, it crosses Laura's mind in big bright marquee-type letters, insane, but so, so good. And it lasts forever.
And then there's a loud creek of the door, the one that no one ever knocks on as people usually do in civilized world, and it's LaFontaine's voice that makes them jump apart.
LaFontaine squeaks; thir voice as high pitched as it was never before, and then they shuffle backwards, possibly trying to redo their entrance, but in vain. Instead, with their back turned, as to give Carmilla and Laura the privacy they just dropped a bomb on, they exclaim: "Woah, you guys. Maybe tie a scarf to your doorknob next time, or something?"
"Or maybe try knocking?" Carmilla mutters in her usual not-so-friendly way.
Laura smiles has she ever smiled at Carmilla's grumpiness before? and recovers quite remarkably, as if LaFontaine just walked in on her roommate and herself playing Scrabble and not half way on each other's laps, fingers buried in hair and hands very compromisingly high up under shirts.
"Hey! Yo. Yes. So, you're here." Laura beams.
Carmilla not so much. She fixes her clothes in a huff and grabs for her bag. "And I'm outta here." In a flash of leather and messy hair, she is up and out of the room under five seconds. At Laura's hasty attempt to get her to stay, Carmilla calls out from the hallway, "Later, nerds."
LaFontaine's eyes are as big as saucers, "What. The. Hell?"
"What?" Laura shrugs. "I was just curious about her fangs. She was showing them to me."
LaFontaine twitches in disbelief, "Did you get a good look at them with her tongue all the way down your throat?!" And then it dawns on them and they gasp, reaching for Laura's shoulders so they could pull her in closer and inspect her eyes for signs of vampiric influence and brainwashing: "Did she do that vampire thing to you? Did she glamour you?"
"Then why would you even consider this to be a good idea?"
"I don't know. I just did. Why wouldn't I, anyway? Just because she's a vampire doesn't mean"
"It's exactly what it means! Weren't you the one who argued this exact point not so long ago?" LaFontaine puts one hand out, "Vampire." then the other. "Blood-sucking fiend from the pits of hell. Ring any bells?"
"Yes, but "
"No. No buts. None. And all the nope in the world." LaFontaine takes a deep cleansing breath. "Danny." They say. "Remember Danny? The actual ray of sunshine, Danny? TA, tall, red hair, ear-to-ear smile whenever she lays eyes on you?"
"Yes. I know Danny, thank you." Laura rolls her eyes.
"Well, consider kissing her, maybe? Attractiveness level on par with the vampire or higher, much less broody, much more likely not to make you into a midnight snack."
Laura makes an annoyed face and moves to take the seat at her desk. "I may have jumped to conclusions earlier because of not having all the facts, but seeing how she's been untied for almost a week now and I still haven't been on the menu, I'm inclined to believe her sentiment is genuine."
LaFontaine blinks at her. "I'm calling Danny." They pull out their phone and then maneuver around Laura's flailing hands as they attempt to dial. "You're acting crazy, Hollis. One dopey smile from her and you'll be right as rain."
"I am perfectly fine as I am." Laura manages to wrestle the phone out of LaFontaine's hands and drops it on the desk, "Me kissing Carmilla doesn't automatically mean I'm not interested in Danny anymore. It just means that I am interested in Carmilla, too. You should understand, of all people. Being a Bio major and all."
LaFontaine gives her a look, "So you're saying you were making out with your vampire roommate for science?"
"Professional curiosity." She shrugs. "I have this entire thing well under control." She smiles sweetly and turns her computer on.
Only she doesn't have it under control. How could she, really? One minute she is skipping through high grass of her small home town in her flowery sundress and on the next she is neck deep in century-long kidnapping conspiracy in the middle of her university campus. And there are girls, wonderful, distracting girls, being chivalrous and villainous, giving her attention and restless dreams, stealing her pillow, her chocolate and her heart, being brave and vulnerable and caring. Both of them, caring so much. Laura looks at LaFontaine, considers her friend for a minute, touches her tongue to the spot on her lip where she can feel a scab forming and decides, although hesitantly.
"Call her." She gives the phone back to LaFontaine and sighs softly. "Call Danny."
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