“I'm going to die one day and it'll be all your fault.”
Grif paused in his eating, looking over his shoulder to where Simmons was standing in the doorway, shirt pulled up and covering his nose.
“Why do you say that?” Grif asked, pasta sauce around his mouth and staining his shirt.
Simmons made a frantic gesture around the room, an inarticulate noise escaping his throat as he pointed at Grif's meal to himself and back a few times.
Grif raised an eyebrow, staring at Simmons. “I have no idea why you expect me to know what any of that was.”
“Grif! You're eating Italian!”
“So!” Simmons screeched, hiking his shirt even higher over his nose as if it would make the smell go away faster. “Do you have any idea what that shit will do to me?”
“Who cares? It's just pas – Oh.”
“Oh, that's all you can say when you almost murder me?”
Grif shrugs, taking another bite of his spaghetti. “Well, it's not like you're the one eating it.”
“Proximity, Grif! What if you touched something and contaminated it! I could be one touch away from going into anaphylactic shock.”
“Then I won't touch anything.”
Simmons looked at Grif, his face an unimpressed scowl. “You just wiped your hands on the couch.”
Grif stared at where his hand was unconsciously wiping against the fabric. “Uh, no I didn't.”
“I just saw you do it!”
“Jeez, Simmons. I don't think the blackout curtains are doing so well, the sun must be in your eyes. You're seeing things.”
“Yeah, seeing you be a jackass.”
Grif grinned wickedly, voice dripping with sarcasm. “Oh no, Simmons, you've hurt my feelings. I think I need a hug to feel better.”
Simmons stared at Grif, mouth agape behind his t-shirt. “You wouldn't.”
Grif just smiled.
Simmons darted away, lighter on his feet than Grif and speeding down the hall and up the stairs with Grif lumbering after him, arms spread open for a hug.
“Come on, Simmons. One hug won't kill ya!”
Once Simmons was out of sight, Grif stopped, turning back towards the living room so he could finish his meal.
Living with a vampire meant having to deal with a garlic-free home. He had to figure out how to get his pasta somehow.
This was not a good day to be Simmons.
Simmons sighed under the blankets, trying and failing to get himself pulled out from under their weight. What did he do to deserve this?
Simmons flexed, his newer, smaller body doing little to move the blankets from off of him. He shimmed, awkwardly trying to pull his wings in closer to himself so they'd stop getting caught in the fabric.
He was slowly making his way out from under the covers when he realized there was no more bed underneath him.
Simmons fell to the floor with a soft thud, his bat body not taking much damage since he fell into a pile of Grif's old clothes that somehow had made it into Simmons' room. Simmons has never been more thankful for Grif's laziness and general lack of cleanliness in his life.
Simmons rolled over, trying to get the hang of being a bat since this is only the second time since his turning that he has ever even been one before. The first time had been an accident, a really bad scare having happened that made him change on reflex, only to turn back into himself after about five minutes of calming down from the scare, and another fifteen minutes to stop panicking about being a bat what the hell.
That being said, Simmons has no idea why he's a bat now and, more importantly, no idea how to turn back.
Simmons was just escaping one of Grif's shirts when the owner of said shirt walked into the bedroom, calling out to him.
“Hey, Simmons, shower's all yours –”
Simmons had about point two seconds to remember that Grif was terrified of bats before the screaming started.
Simmons, unfortunately, didn't have any time to dodge the damp towel that was chucked at him, getting caught on his wing before he saw the naked ass of his best friend running out of the room, screaming about flying devils.
Well, Grif was going to be no help.
Simmons managed to figure out to work his wings well enough to be able to glide (that whole debacle involving a whole lot of jumping off the bed and onto the carpet to understand), so he climbs towards the window, shimming it open a little wider from where he had left it open to let the cool, summer's night air in the room the night before.
Simmons looks down, the drop from the second story looking a lot farther than when he was looking out it the night before, and jumps, gliding across the yard and to their neighbor's tree, repeating the process until he got to his destination: the Dakota residence.
Simmons landed outside the Dakota house, looking from the tree towards the windows in order to find Nicole's.
Nicole had been a blind date of his several years ago. Simmons had been lonely and wanting to break out of his shell more after high school, and one of his friends at the time had introduced him to Nicole. Simmons, looking back, was not sure why as they had literally nothing in common (besides a love for Sci-Fi movies that Nicole would deny to her grave), but she had been pretty and wasn't interested in a long-term relationship, which had suited Simmons at the time, so they went on a few dates, then eventually they got drunk and things happened and she left him with a souvenir hickie, and then they broke up, her saying that she didn't mind the sex, but she didn't care for the baggage ('listen, if you're going to be screaming any names, at least make sure it's mine and not some guy's. Seriously though, whoever this Grif guy is, you better go after him before someone else does. Hey, you never know, he could be into nerdy boys too').
They weren't exactly friends after that, never exactly were, but her advice had stuck with him, making it easier to think about asking Grif out a few months later (though he still hasn't done it).
Sadly, her advice hadn't been the only thing to stick with him.
Simmons' bat eyes (as poor as they were), were able to find Nicole's window, his feet being able to latch onto the ledge after he glided himself from the tree to her windowsill.
Simmons started tapping on the window, his tapping growing louder and more insistent as time went on.
“Okay, okay! Who the hell –” Nicole looked down at her windowsill, a glare overcoming her face. “You better be a regular bat, otherwise I'm going to bite your head off for trespassing.”
If Simmons had hands, and not tiny ones attached to wings, he'd be waving them in surrender. As it stands, he just squeaked, stuttering out. “N-Nicole, it's me. Simmons!”
Nicole's glare melted off her face, replaced with an annoyed expression. “What do you want, Simmons. I getting ready to go to the bar.”
As Nicole walked away from the window, going back to putting on her eyeliner, Simmons tumbled into the room, landing on her bed with a soft omf.
“I wouldn't be here if I didn't have a good reason to be!”
Nicole looked in the mirror, obviously not seeing herself but looking towards the bat on her bed, her voice a faux-hurt. “Oh, Simmons, and here I thought this was a social call.”
Simmons scoffed, “Yeah, like that would happen.”
Instead of being annoyed, Nicole just smirked. “Yeah, you'd much rather have Nickoli's company over mine.”
If Simmons could blush, he would. “N-no! Of course not.”
Nicole hummed, obviously not buying it. “Sure. Hey, you ask that Grif guy out yet?”
Simmons didn't answer, which was all the reply Nicole needed.
Simmons flapped over to Nicole's vanity, “I'm not here on supposed relationship advice, I'm in need of some more obvious help.”
“I thought you being complete chicken shit when asking out people you actually like was obvious.”
“Nicole!” Simmons would be a flustering mess any other time, but having sex with, then being turned into a vampire by, someone does have the effect boosting one's confidence a bit.
Nicole sighed, “If I help, will you leave so I can get ready?”
So Nicole explained, saying that in a born vampire's life, as children they often spent a day every once in a while in their bat form in order to get used to that side of them, but Simmons, as a turned vampire, never had the experience as a kid, so it was catching up to him now in order to give him time, and also force him, to practice despite any trepidation he might feel. It was a way that vampires evolved so that everyone in their species would have a way to escape should they ever be up against something they couldn't beat.
Simmons nodded, taking it all in. It did make sense, but it was a nasty way to wake up.
After they were done talking, Simmons bid his thanks, and Nicole waved her hand, saying 'yeah, yeah, just beat it so I can change.'
Simmons was just about to leave when he turned back, questioning, “But when will I change?”
Nicole shrugged, looking for something in her closet. “Beats me, everyone's different.”
“Wow.” Simmons said, sarcasm probably going to be the death of him one day. “Thanks for the help.”
Nicole flashed her fangs, delighted in the way Simmons squeaked and darted out the window. “No problem.”
Simmons flew back to his apartment, happy that the day was cloudy. He wasn't sure if his bat form would start to burn like his normal body, but didn't want to take the chance. He knew his bat eyes wouldn't like it at least, the minimal light already starting to bother him.
It was a relief to get back to the apartment, his window still open showing that Grif hasn't been back to the room since his encountering 'the flying devil.'
Simmons waddled around the room, not wanting to fly indoors in case he knocked over something, and went searching for Grif. He didn't know how long he was going to be in this form, so he might as well inform Grif that he was himself and not some random bat.
Simmons searched the place, trying to find Grif, and was about to give up when he got to the kitchen, only to look at the cabinets to see a wire leading from the outlet into the cabinet.
Simmons wasn't sure if bats could sigh, but he tried. “Grif.”
“Simmons? Ow!” Simmons heard a clatter, likely Grif's head hitting one of the shelves in there. “Simmons, you're alive!”
Simmons tilted his head, “Uh, yeah? Why wouldn't I be?”
“Because of the bat people! They ate you alive and left one of their devil spawn to take your place!”
“Is that why you're hiding in the cabinet?”
“I wasn't going to be next, Simmons. I have something to live for.”
“I thought that wire was familiar. You get to the next level yet?”
“No, but I'm almost there. Had to crawl my way to the living room to get the charger when my game was about to die.”
“Wait, where'd you even get the game from?”
“Grabbed it off the sofa.”
“Why didn't you just hide in the coat closet, it was closer to my room.”
“The closet doesn't have snacks in it, duh.”
Simmons was getting hungry talking about snacks, and wouldn't you know it, wings were not conducive to making sandwiches. Time for the big reveal.
“It's time to come out now.”
“Fuck that. I know what bats are capable of, you should know that too, having been bit by one.”
“How many times do I have to tell you. I wasn't bit by a bat, I was bit by a vampire, so does that tell you anything about your bat people theory?”
“That it makes perfect sense?”
“No, think harder. What do vampires do?”
“Not that, what else?”
“Get pissy when I make garlic bread?”
“I have legitimate concerns!”
“And I have a need for Italian food, we all have to make sacrifices some time.”
“Jesus, this is getting us no where.” Simmons really wished he had a hand to drag down his face. “Bats! They turn into bats!”
It was silent, nothing but the crinkling sound of chip bags filling the kitchen. “That was you?”
“Yes! Now will you come out from the cabinet now!”
The cabinet creaked open barely, only to shut again. “Are you sure you're not going to give into the bat and decide you want to eat my face?”
“What? No! That's not how this works!” He really wanted to mention how bats don't eat faces and that, with him being a vampire, he should be more concerned about him drinking his blood, but he really wanted Grif to come out of the cabinet.
“Why should I leave the cabinet anyway? I have snacks in here, I can survive.”
Simmons really wanted to cross his arms. “You'll run out of snacks eventually. And that cabinet doesn't even have much in it anyway, unless you're going to start eating sponges.”
“Don't tempt me.”
“Just come out of the fucking cabinet already!”
Eventually Grif did, opening the door and taking his game and bag of chips with him.
“Jesus, Grif! You couldn't have put some clothes on!”
“What, I was panicking!” Grif defended, bringing the chip bag down to cover his crotch.
Simmons let his wing cover his face. “And yet you had time to get a game.”
“Priorities, man, you've got to have 'em.”
Simmons didn't bring his face out from under his wing, but he didn't hear Grif screaming in terror, so he figured his person-ness was outweighing his bat-ness at least.
Simmons heard Grif's feet shuffle before he spoke, “So, is this permanent or...?”
“No, it's just a vampire thing I have to go through.”
“What, like puberty?”
“I don't know. I guess?”
They didn't talk after that, just standing there in different states of change.
Simmons still wasn't sure if he could sigh, but he would try. “Go put some clothes on, Grif.”
“Oh, yeah, right.”
Simmons heard Grif walk away, only to stop for a minute to say, “I guess I can get used to this. Just don't come flying at my face or something, I'd probably punch you or something.”
“Or run screaming.”
“I can crush you now, if I wanted.”
“Just go put on some clothes.”
Grif was down the hall before Simmons remembered to shout, “Hey, leave those chips out, I'm starving!”
“No chance, bat boy! Get your own.”
Simmons later flew at Grif's face, making the other drop the bag in fright while Simmons flew away with his prize, Grif yelling at him while Simmons nibbled at the chips on the roof.
Maybe being able to turn into a bat wasn't such a bad thing.
“It's not even that bright out –”
“Not that bright! Have you looked outside! It's like the surface of the sun out there!”
“It's not that hot out.”
“That's not what I meant!”
“Relax, will ya? I have an idea.”
And that's how Simmons ended up folded up against Grif's back, his entire body molded against Grif and hiding under his hoodie, his head in the hood and his arms wrapping around as far as they would go around Grif's middle.
“We look ridiculous.”
“Nah, you're just self conscious..”
“We have four legs, Grif. Four.”
“Don't worry about it, besides, it's not my fault you didn't bring your hoodie.”
“It wasn't that cold out before! Where the hell did all the clouds go anyway?”
“Who cares. Once we get to the theater, it'll be dark and warm and you won't have to hide anymore.”
“Why did we have to go now, again?”
“Because Tucker's working this shift and he said he could get us in for free.”
“I'd rather pay full price than do this ever again.”
“Just walk, and stop stepping on my heels!”
This became a thing for them whenever they were out and the sun decided to make an appearance, Simmons having forgotten an umbrella or something else to keep the sun off of him. Simmons would complain, say how he was embarrassed, but Grif would just unzip his hoodie, rolling his eyes and telling him to just fucking get in already. When it wasn't too cold, Grif would just drape his hoodie over Simmons' head.
It became easier once Simmons was able to control his bat form, being able to dart into the pocket of Grif's hoodie making things easier.
Simmons would never tell that he started forgetting his hoodie on purpose, a small, guilty part of him enjoying the excuse for the closeness.
Simmons knew that Grif hated bats, and, so Simmons thought, vampires as well. He had no idea why Grif would willingly spend time with him, but he wasn't going to complain about it. He'd get the courage to ask Grif out on a date one day, but until then he wasn't going to ruin it.
It was on one of the days that Simmons was hanging out in Grif's pocket that Simmons got that bit of courage.
“You know, it's not so bad once I get used to it.”
“The bat thing.”
Simmons didn't want to get his hopes up, but he had to ask. “And the vampire thing?”
“Thought I was already used to that.”
If Simmons had a heartbeat, it would have spiked.
Simmons cleared his throat, as much as a bat can. “Um, uh, so there's this new movie coming out tomorrow. Want to go?”
“I thought we were already going?”
“No, I mean do you want to go with me?”
“Who else was I – oh, okay, uh, yeah, sure we can go together.”
Grif put his hand in his hoodie pocket, petting the top of Simmons' head.
Yeah, they could both get used to this.