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Here's a few things that failed to tip Fulcrum off to the fact that he was getting involved with actual goddamn vampires.

The teeth -- they were all poor, after all, living out of a too-small space with too many people. Dental work hadn't particularly been a priority. So Misfire’s teeth were a scraggly mess, yes, but Fulcrum wouldn't call them fangs, per se. Just sort of inconvenient during kissing. Somebody needed to teach him not to bite so much. And Krok, yeah, his teeth were pointed but there was a story to that. Something about a gang, about filing them down; Fulcrum thought it had to have been just awfully painful. Krok was just lucky he hadn't lost half his teeth to cavities.

The backwards sleep schedules -- well, staying up through the night isn't hugely suspicious. Some people work the graveyard shift, right? And there was that general insomniac shade of purple under all their eyes, something Fulcrum could relate to. He was no stranger to waking up during the night so often he just resigned himself to staying up. He got into the habit of making coffee at sundown.

The blackout curtains over every window -- if you were sleeping through the day, you wouldn't want light coming in and waking you up, either. After a while of staying with them Fulcrum starts to squint bitterly at sunlight, too, like it had leaked into the room just to piss him off. Misfire found this hilarious. He'd coo “aww, look how mad he is” every time. Jerk.

There's more. Really, in the shocked moment of utter clarity that came when Fulcrum figured it out, he realized there had been lots of hints. He just never managed to pick up on any of them.

Here's what it is that actually, finally makes it clear to him:

He's walking with Misfire to the nearest garbage dump, of all places, because his life has become a self parody made out of looting trash and searching his soul for explanations as to why he likes these people as much as he does. And of course it's 1 in the morning, pitch dark, the ground only lit by Fulcrum’s cell phone because the flashlight he brought ran out of batteries, of course. He can only make out vague shapes and the faintly lit pattern of gravel underfoot. Misfire is talking, which is no surprise at all; he's saying he saw somebody go this way with a truck full of stuff earlier, totally a break up situation, there's definitely gonna be something good in here tonight. Fulcrum deigns not to point out that Misfire’s ‘good stuff’ just gets packed into random boxes and sold to weirdos on ebay.

The gravel crunches loud no matter how softly Fulcrum tries to step. It cranks his nerves up high, and he's not usually all that relaxed to begin with. They are going to get themselves extremely arrested one of these days, and he won't be able to say I told you so because he'll be in jail.

“You gotta loosen up, pinhead,” Misfire tells him, smile glinting wide. “Maybe we'll find another furby in here, huh? Then our first one can have a friend.”

“The first one doesn't have eyes,” Fulcrum reminds him. “And it won't matter what we find if a cop finds us--”

He cuts himself off because his foot catches on something, a rock he didn't see or a piece of junk that somebody dropped early. He'd been walking over-carefully and it turns against him, his oversized step tripping him forward. Essentially --

Fulcrum drops face-first into a curb and it hurts like a bitch.

He’s pretty sure he doesn’t black out, but when he rolls over and opens his eyes Misfire’s already got his face in a crushing hold, hands squashing Fulcrum’s face. It makes his whole skull sting, and especially the bridge of his nose, and Fulcrum yelps a sound that’s in an honestly impressive pitch. He jolts back in Misfire’s hold and his head smacks back against the curb again and stars burst out in front of his eyes.

“Stop that!” Misfire shouts right in his face. One of his hands jumps to the back of Fulcrum’s head as if to pillow it if Fulcrum decides to reintroduce himself to the curb a third time. “Are you okay?! Are you hurt?! Are you dying?!”

“Agh,” Fulcrum answers, because Misfire is really yelling right in his ears. “Fuck, just -- let me go, you’re hurting me.” His voice sounds weird. In fact, it sounds the specific brand of weird that suggests that on the way down the first time, he busted up his nose some kind of way, bruised it or broke it or something else. He tries to sniffle and it aches sharply, makes something warm and liquid start trickling down over his mouth. Oh, god dammit. “Guh.”

“Guh? What guh? Fulcrum?” Misfire sounds somewhere between panicked and extremely amused. Figures. Even with his vision blurred from pain Fulcrum can read the mental conversation on Misfire’s face: is this actually bad, or can it be hilarious yet?

“Ugh,” Fulcrum groans, one part pain and one part irritated disbelief.

“Ok, yeah, trip’s cancelled, I’m taking you home.” Misfire scrambles up to his feet with a somehow elegant gracelessness and helps pull Fulcrum up after him, an arm going around Fulcrum’s shoulders to keep him supported. It was just a smack to the face, not a concussion or anything, but Fulcrum’s going to take it while he can. This way, Misfire can guide him while his face is halfway covered by one hand trying to keep blood from spilling all down his front.

The return trip is a lot quicker, even if Misfire keeps slowing to hesitantly check on Fulcrum, to mumble something unintelligible and then declare a ‘nevermind’ and speed back up. And Fulcrum himself isn’t thinking about his imminent arrest the whole way, so that’s a nice change of pace, at least. Misfire throws open the trailer’s door and flips on the light. “I’m gonna get you some ice. Stay put!”

Fulcrum doesn’t particularly have anywhere to go. He hazards pulling his hand away from his face and realizes his whole palm is stained a dark red, and worse, so is the entire front of his shirt. The orange is cut through with a trail of drying blood. “And some paper towels, too,” he suggests. “I think we’re gonna have to burn this shirt. Eugh.”

Misfire does not get him any paper towels. Misfire doesn’t get him ice, either, though that much he at least tries, in that he’s holding a ziplock bag of it when he turns around; it’s just that Misfire drops it, the ice clattering on the floor and spilling out haphazardly. Little pieces skitter out and melt across the floor. Fulcrum flinches back when a piece of ice jumps up against his leg and slides down his calf, slick and freezing. Misfire is staring, his eyes open wide, and Fulcrum swears he can see the pupils narrow and widen out like a cat that’s just spotted a bug crawling across the carpet.

“Wh -- what?” Fulcrum asks him, but because of his messed-up nose it comes out closer to a whad. “Am I bleeding somewhere else? You know what, let me go to the bathroom and --”

Misfire launches himself forward. Even though there’s ice on the floor and the freezer is still standing open. He pushes himself into Fulcrum’s personal space and Fulcrum’s back thwacks against the wall of the trailer and he swears the whole place shakes, but at least this time he doesn’t hit his head. He doesn’t have time to even catch a breath before Misfire grips him by the chin and tips his head up, and Fulcrum thinks at first that Misfire’s gonna kiss him. Which would be gross, what with him all covered in blood and all.

Instead Misfire licks all the way from under his jaw to up over his mouth, right up to where the blood is streaming out of his nose.

“Misfire,” Fulcrum says, trying to find a good place to push Misfire back. Tall and skinny, not a lot of good grabbing points. “What the fuck?” Whad da vug? Misfire just hums and licks him again, tongue darting over his face where blood’s starting to dry up, tilting Fulcrum’s face for better angles. Better angles to lick blood off Fulcrum’s skin. Again: what the fuck. Fulcrum makes a noise of disgusted objection and smacks at Misfire’s chest to little effect.

Misfire rewards him by almost shoving his tongue up his nose.

“MISfire!” Fulcrum yelps, and he grabs a handful of Misfire’s hair to tug him off the hard way, and frankly he probably should have predicted that Misfire would make a low noise and flutter his lashes. God almighty. “Seriously, what are you doing!”

“Don’t be such a loser, loser.” Misfire’s eyes really are blown dark, like he’s gotta take in as much of Fulcrum as he can. He wets his lips, and there’s red on his tongue. Oh, gross. “You look good. And I’m thirsty. C’moooon.”

“So have a glass of water or something! Oh my god!”

“Not when you’re, like, right here.” Misfire leans forward even though Fulcrum still has a grip on his hair so he can flick his tongue over the tip of Fulcrum’s nose. “You’re like one of those sexy sushi girls! Look at you!”

First of all, Fulcrum thinks, that’s terrifying on even a conceptual level. Second of all -- “I’m covered in blood, not cherry cola! I thought I was the one who hit my head!” Misfire does that pout that makes him look like a cross between a dog begging for food and a cartoon child and bats his eyelashes and it does not make the situation any bit less weird. Fulcrum tries to slide out to one side but Misfire steps with him. Oh, hell. He always knew that Misfire was kind of a freak, that was part of the whole Misfire package, but he never knew that Misfire was quite this freaky. He needs to move and change his name or something, start a new life in a new state. Find out if someone has a weird blood fetish before he starts getting serious with them.

The freezer door shuts with a thud and then the weird suctioning vacuum of the seal and Fulcrum jumps so hard he accidentally rips a few hairs out of Misfire’s head. Under Misfire’s screech, Krok says, “relax, it’s just me. You were going to let all the cold out.” His hair’s a mess; clearly he just woke up, came out here because he sensed with his powers of responsibility that they were wasting electricity. Fulcrum stares at him with surprise, which melts into horror and humiliation because hello, covered in blood and Misfire and they didn’t even close the freezer. Krok is going to kick him out for this, seriously.

Krok in truth leans over to one side to peer around Misfire’s body, and then he just shakes his head and rolls his eyes. Misfire looks back at him with those awful puppy eyes of his, brows tipped up and knitted together. All in all, it’s a very confusing silent conversation for Fulcrum.

“Krooooook,” Misfire whines, drawing the name out into three perfect notes of childlike brattiness, “Fulcrum won’t let me lick him. Tell him he can’t go looking like this and not let me lick him, it’s mean.”

Mean? Mean? He smacked his face on a curb and he’s bled all over one of his favorite shirts and that’s mean? Fulcrum’ll show Misfire what mean really is --

“You know you never actually told him, right.” Krok’s got an eyebrow raised. He yawns and his teeth glint before he covers his mouth with the back of his hand. “He just thinks you’re seriously nasty right now. And probably a fetishist.”

Well, uh, true and true. Not that Fulcrum knows what he hasn’t been told, but he does know Misfire to be both weird and kinky. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s had to say yeah, no, seriously, that’s just gross. Misfire’s stare slides back over to Fulcrum and he blinks doe-eyed and innocent. No one’s buying it.

“Oh right,” Misfire says mildly. “Well, to be fair to me, I thought you’d figure it out by now.”

“Most people don’t consider it an option, Misfire.”

“Fulcrum is a very smart and special boy, Krok! You don’t know!”

“Fulcrum probably actively avoids considering it an option.”

“Could you guys please be less vague,” Fulcrum interjects. “Or at least let me go take a shower or something, because Misfire’s spit is uncomfortably sticky and I have dried blood all over me and it’s weirding me out --”

“We’re vampires,” Krok says bluntly, and he plucks a can of soda out of the fridge and walks out of the kitchen.

Fulcrum stares after him. (Misfire starts licking down his neck after stray drops of blood.)

“That was weird,” Fulcrum murmurs, distracted enough that he tips his head to the side to give Misfire more room. “He could have just said he wanted you to say whatever it is. Vampires, sure.”

Misfire hums against Fulcrum’s throat, enough that it makes him shiver. “What did he want you to tell me, anyway?”

“Hmn hr hmpher,” Misfire says, all mashed up against Fulcrum’s skin. He drags his tongue over a tendon and Fulcrum jumps a little. Misfire pulls back by inches, just enough to grin up at Fulcrum from under his lashes, tank top sliding off one shoulder. He's not really appealing at all. His hair was dyed fuchsia half a year ago and now it's a mess of faded pink bleach and obvious dark roots; he's got holes through his shirt and his skirt’s frayed from all the times he's slept in it; he's taller so he's hunched down to get to Fulcrum's neck. There's dirt on his nose from when he got on the ground to help Fulcrum up.

“What?” Fulcrum asks breathlessly, because he's evidently the specific brand of idiot who thinks all of those qualities make for a good partner.

“That we're vampires,” Misfire says, cheerful as anything, cheerful as a springtime bird.

He tries to duck back to Fulcrum's throat and gets a hand against his forehead, Fulcrum shoving him back. “Misfire.”

“Pinhead.”

“Misfire! Whatever it is, fess up!”

“I just did!”

Fulcrum's sigh is loud and exasperated. He finally pushes off the wall to cross the tile/carpet threshold into the living room and sits heavily on the couch. At least he's stopped bleeding by now; he's not at risk of staining the sofa. Misfire scrambles after, a dog whose owner is ignoring him.

“Would I lie to you about this kinda thing?” Misfire pleads, crawling over the arm of the couch. “Don't answer that. I'm not lying now, ok, I'm totally serious, a hundred percent. Here, promise, I can prove it.”

It's already weird enough that Misfire was lapping up blood off Fulcrum's face. Fulcrum is a little nervous to see what constitutes ‘proof’ that Misfire is a ‘vampire.’ Misfire sits sideways on the couch cushion, kneeling back on his heels, and he pries up his lip with a thumb to show off his teeth. “Shee?”

“No,” Fulcrum tells him mildly. Misfire's teeth might point in several different directions, but none of them seem particularly sharp. Misfire frowns with his fingers still in his mouth.

“Oh! Hold on,” he says then, and he licks his teeth, pressing his tongue hard to one canine. A dot of blood wells up, and --

Fulcrum really did think he had a handle on the way the world worked, at least in general, like, the stuff it permitted and disallowed. Apparently not, which is a fun revelation to have at 2 in the morning because your boyfriend's teeth lengthen out into deadly points. Hm. Huh.

Fulcrum screeches and throws himself backwards away from Misfire, squashing himself into the corner of the couch. He points in horror, even though no one is there to look except Misfire himself, who certainly already knows.

What,” he squeaks, voice cracking. Misfire grins, feeling at a canine tooth, hissing and frowning when it punctures the pad of his thumb.

“Toldja,” he says. Which… is fair. He did do that. Still, Fulcrum gapes and stammers, sitting at the midpoint of bafflement and fear.

“Vampires aren't even real,” he finally squeaks out.

“Seem pretty real to me. Crocodile vampires are totally not real, though, no matter what Krok tells you.”

“I -- I've been with you for months! I should have noticed!”

“Yeah, seriously,” Misfire agrees. He's smiling toothily, which is now slightly intimidating. “I really had faith in you, loser. What's up with that?”

“Can I just -- can I have a minute.” Fulcrum folds himself up on the couch, knees up under his chin, palms pressed to his eyes. So vampires are real, he thinks. That's an obstacle. That's a 20 foot tall hurdle. Vampires are real, and apparently they aren't so bad? No one here's ever hurt him, except Misfire that first time and to be fair he'd thought Fulcrum was dead. Even Spinister had never actually hit him, on accident or otherwise. Just… vampires. Vampires.

Into his hands, he mumbles, “if you guys are vampires, why did Krok take a soda?”

“He was thirsty, probably.” Misfire reaches to try and peel Fulcrum's hands off his face. “Anyway, soda is allowed. It's not like it's good for humans either. It's like the free space on a bingo card.”

“That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard,” Fulcrum whispers. Misfire laughs loud, and since he already has his hands there he pulls Fulcrum's face close and kisses him. And maybe it’s, well, predictable, cliche, but Fulcrum lets himself get kissed because it’s sort of nice when he’s having a minor breakdown about the state of reality as he knows it, and because Misfire, despite all the odds being firmly against him, is a pretty good kisser. A little bit more of a labyrinth to navigate with his teeth now pointed and long, yeah, but Misfire’s familiar with it, at least, and leads Fulcrum through it. Tilts his head a little bit more, holds his mouth a little different. Misfire’s mouth is hot, and Fulcrum can’t help but think about how vampires are supposed to be dead, so shouldn’t it be cold, shouldn’t all of him be cold? He’s always run hot, tossed blankets off himself in the winter.

Fulcrum supposes he must have a lot of things wrong about vampires. And he’s not about to learn it now, not with Misfire crawling closer, insinuating himself into Fulcrum's lap, fingers in Fulcrum's hair. Misfire only darts away for a moment to lick some missed smear of blood from Fulcrum's jaw.

“You still wanna take that shower?” Misfire asks him, nipping a little at Fulcrum's mouth. It stings a little more than usual.

“Yeah, that'd be -- that sounds like a good idea,” Fulcrum mumbles, since he knows that when Misfire takes a shower with him it usually ends up with Misfire on his knees between Fulcrum's thighs. “Just no biting.”

“Some people think the biting is super hot, you know.” Misfire hops up, offering a hand to pull Fulcrum up after him. There's an attractive little rise in his skirt where he's halfway to hard; Fulcrum tries not to stare too long. It kind of makes his head hurt. This has been a roller coaster of a day. “Course, you cried last time I tried to give you a hickey.”

“It hurt.” But Misfire ignores him and pulls the tank top he's wearing off over his head, dropping it on the arm of the couch. Fulcrum stumbles after him to the cramped bathroom, examining his own ruined tee after he gets it off. Maybe if he puts it in cold water… “And I don't really want to, um, convert, anyway.”

“Psh, that's not even how it works, crumbcake.”

“It's not like I would know!”

They make a heap of laundry on the floor, no underwear on Misfire's part, Fulcrum's binder thankfully blood-free. Misfire fiddles with the water temperature, bent over the side of the shower, scrawny ass sticking out. (One of the ways that Fulcrum knows he’s lost his mind is that like this Misfire’s legs are apart just enough that Fulcrum can see the curve of his balls from behind and there’s no reason in the world that he should think that’s charming, especially because as a general rule he finds balls kind of weird, but it’s cute, it’s attractive. Oof.) And then Misfire wheels around and pulls Fulcrum into his arms and into the water and Fulcrum sputters under the spray for a moment, right up until Misfire kisses him and it’s all a little somehow easier. The dirt and dried blood comes off him with the water and Misfire licks into his mouth and sucks on his tongue. They turn semi-awkwardly until Fulcrum’s got his back to the water, the heat of it soothing down the prickling goosebumps that had come up after standing naked in the open air for a few minutes. Misfire hums happily, and he nibbles with an almost exaggerated gentleness on Fulcrum’s lips.

Fulcrum only pulls back to catch his breath. “So the, the running water thing,” he says, blinking droplets out of his eyelashes. “That’s not real either, I guess, or else we wouldn’t…”

“Literally don’t have any idea what you’re talking about, baby,” Misfire coos. And he slides down, grinning all the while, so that he’s kneeling on the shower floor, knees between Fulcrum’s feet. His fingers dance over Fulcrum's hips and thighs, back and around to squeeze his ass. There's a wet kiss planted against Fulcrum's thigh before Misfire pushes him back a little, pulling his legs apart. He leans in so his face is pressed to a thigh, breathing in. “You smell good.”

“Please don't tell me that you can always smell me because of vampire senses or something,” Fulcrum mumbles. He cards fingers through Misfire's hair, which is less vaguely objectionable when it's wet like this. “That'd just be too -- ah!”

Misfire goes into eating people out like it's his passion and, god, he has a talent for it. He tips his head back and loops his arms around Fulcrum's hips and slides his tongue over him in broad hot strokes. Fulcrum can get sensitive, too much so when he's first starting out, so Misfire keeps things lazy and wandering for now. Fulcrum still hitches a gasp. He twitches so hard he nearly pulls hair out of Misfire's head when there's the first lick over his clit.

Misfire sort of laughs against Fulcrum's cunt, which doesn't actually help. “You good up there, pinhead?”

“Please shut up,” Fulcrum groans, and Misfire laughs again and licks up into him.

It's familiar. But it's differently charged, somehow, knowing that… well, evidently Misfire would have a field day if Fulcrum opened a vein. But Misfire doesn't bite him any more than usual, and there's no scrape or slice of fangs -- just a hot tongue that circles around his clit. Fulcrum's thighs twitch with the effort of not closing tight around Misfire's head. His knees shake like they'll give out when Misfire reaches up and slides two fingers into Fulcrum alongside his tongue. Fulcrum leans heavily against the wall of the shower and groans a wavering noise, his hips rocking into the pressure.

Misfire's got his eyes closed and everything at this point. It's like he's devoted himself to just this, mouthing hungrily at Fulcrum for slick searing heat, water streaming down his face. Oh, Fulcrum thinks distantly, that's why it seems like he doesn't have to breathe during this, the vampire thing. It might be funny later. Right now he climbs and climbs, dropping his head back on the wall, whimpering with Misfire's rhythm. Misfire's fingers curl forward and he presses the point of his tongue down on Fulcrum's clit.

“Oh,” Fulcrum whines, gasps, “oh, oh oh oh fuck --”

He comes harder than he expects to, one of those orgasms that locks his knees up and makes his vision flash white. He grinds so hard against Misfire's face that he worries he might break Misfire's nose. It washes out of him with the shower spray, the tension draining down, fingers loosening from Misfire's hair. Fulcrum slumps back against the wall, and when Misfire lets him go he slides down until he's sitting too, legs sprawled. “Oh, fuck me,” he mumbles.

“Mmn, tempting,” Misfire says, “but no condoms and like hell I'm moving save to maybe, nn, fuck.”

Fulcrum cracks his eyes open to watch Misfire curled over himself, fisting his cock, biting his lips like he's making any attempt to keep sound in. He's, well, he's really attractive like this. Close to desperate. Eyes flicking up to meet Fulcrum's. Fulcrum finds the energy to sit up straighter, scooting closer until he can close his own hand around Misfire. There's water and precum dripping over their fingers.

“Fuck, yeah,” Misfire breathes. He manages a messy, crooked grin. His teeth still flash, long and dangerous, not slotting together right. “God, you're good, Fulcrum.”

Fulcrum has a -- a probably stupid idea.

“Open your mouth,” he says, and Misfire obeys so unquestioningly that it sends a power rush through Fulcrum's nerves. He slides fingers over Misfire's tongue and Misfire closes his mouth around them with a happy hum, sucking on them gently. Fulcrum follows the curve of his teeth, searching, until he finds a pointed canine. Steels himself. He turns his hand so he can press a fingertip against the point until the skin gives.

He knows when it happens because of the sting but more because Misfire's eyes go open wide and then squeeze tightly shut, this visible shiver coursing down his spine. Fulcrum paints the little pinprick of blood over his tongue and Misfire moans through it, bucks his hips hard. His fingers tighten around Fulcrum's around his cock and he sucks hard at the little wound and shakes, and when he leans forward so much that Fulcrum's fingers slide knuckle deep into his mouth it makes even Fulcrum gasp. The overall effect is incredible.

So Fulcrum, who has always been pretty easily swayed, crooks his other finger and cuts that on Misfire's teeth, too. Just to see.

What he gets is Misfire choking on his own voice and grabbing Fulcrum by the wrist to keep him close and twisting his hips forward into their joined grasp until he comes with a sharp and broken noise muddled by the fingers in his mouth. His come slides thickly over their hands, making more a mess of Misfire himself than Fulcrum. He finally forces his eyes open again just to look at Fulcrum's face and Fulcrum is the one who shivers now.

He keeps sucking on Fulcrum's fingers even after he's stopped jerking himself off, hand just loose around his cock. They’re both breathing heavy. Eventually Fulcrum has to pull his hand free, Misfire chasing after it.

Vampires are pretty real, seems like. Fulcrum wets his lips. “So, uh, should we…” He gestures upward at the shower, at the hanging rack with the soap and shampoo.

“You can have an existential freakout about vampires while I wash your hair,” Misfire offers. He gets up to his feet carefully and reaches down to pull Fulcrum up too. The water is still nicely warm. “And then we can pester Spinister to tell us the story of when she got turned, it's super funny. Sound good?”

“Actually, yeah,” Fulcrum says. “Did Krok not bite her?”

“Oh, he did, but it was still like suuuuper hilarious, promise.” Misfire takes a bottle of shampoo and tips a glob into his hand. “You'll hear, don't worry, we'll tell you everything.”

“Like you told me about being a vampire in the first place?”

“Shush, I was letting you figure it out for yourself. Now tilt your head back.” Misfire's surprisingly good with his hands, all things considered. He scrubs soothing circles into Fulcrum's scalp. Instead of worrying about what it means that vampires are really real, Fulcrum thinks about how even when he's reckless, Misfire is somehow caring. It's pretty preferable to a panic attack, honestly, even when Misfire gets shampoo in his eyes.

“Sorry, pinhead,” Misfire coos, “love you,” and yeah, Fulcrum can't disagree with that.