Sorry to worry you

Magic Hollow 
After all the Fangfare threads once Asha gets home

She knew he'd been worried; she'd felt the spike of anxiety at her group text. She appreciated his forming up backup.

And now she was here, coming in from the garage door, a heavy sigh as she shrugged off her jacket, seeing he was off to the kitchen and heading over, cane and all, to hug him.

From behind would be nice but whatever was offered, she'd take.

Abraham was very relieved to see her.

He knew she wasn't hurt, not physically, because he would have felt it. But both he and the jaguar demanded to confirm it in person.

She came in for the hug, and he set aside the slice of bread he was holding to wrap his arms around her and kiss the top of her head.

His cat came in for a similar, if jaguar'd gesture, wanting to pull her off her paws to tumble with him and stay close.

That was very, very nice. How did they get here again.

Asha sighed into the hug, and sniffled a little.

"It's all a huge mess."

It was sniffling time. He held strong and hugged.

"Tell me what happened. Or. We can eat sandwiches and I can show you some houses I found in Belle Vista. Or some combination of all that."

Surely it couldn't have gone... that badly? Because she wasn't hurt.

But maybe Yana was. Or Levka.

"All of it," said the hedonist, but she didn't exactly let him go. He should have been there. She'd never have started the fucking fire or... anything. Maybe nothing would have happened.

She wanted to walk him to the couch, but she was too much a cripple still to manage that smoothly. So.

"Can we sit."


He tilted his head to kiss her on the cheek, whiskery because his beard needed a trim.

"Let's go to the couch and then I'll bring over sandwiches and drinks."

Asha didn't inherently need guidance to the couch, but, like. That was relationship life.

She wasn't entirely sure she had an appetite. But the cat did, so that was probably enough.

She moved to the couch with him and still didn't really want him to go but she'd let him as she gathered her words.

It was when he had brought everything over and sat down that she leaned heavily into him, bringing the plate over to their laps and staring at the sandwiches.

"I think it's my fault." She picked one up, but didn't bite into it yet. "I started a fire."

Abraham would gather four sandwiches and a cider for each of them, popping off the tops from the latter before heading over.

As Asha dove right into... a... fire, Abraham couldn't hide some concern.

"Did someone... get hurt?"

"No. Well. Not because of me."

That felt important. She hadn't done it to hurt anyone. Just to send a message. And maybe be a shit about it, if anyone gave a shit about a burned up building in a ghost town.

"It was stupid. We didn't... I didn't think anyone was around. But I started a little fire and I guess it... scared a vampire out of a building. Or. He got stuck trying to get out. And Yana went to him and... fucking Levka. He pulled some weird... part hybrid shit. I don't know. His nails went stupid. And his teeth."

She gave a shuddered sigh.

"Anyway we were like. Asking questions and shit. Yana kept saying we'd let him go if he answered. But then Levka just kept trying to attack him? Even when Yana said he could go, Levka fucking pinned him to a fucking wall for no reason and just."

Asha went into detail and...

It wasn't great. His jaguar wasn't wholly against starting a fire, and maybe neither was Abraham. The scars on his back hadn't healed away entirely.

Why the fuck would Levka attack after Yana said the vampire could go? Was it some kind of intentional mindgame?

"Did he... kill the vampire?"

Which was shitty to do after telling someone they were free. But...

Maybe not the end of the world, he admitted to himself.

It was then that she took her first bite, chewing it down and swallowing.

"Mm, well. So after she made Levka let him go, he took off. And then she yelled at him all pissed off about it. And then once she turned around back to me, he took off after the vampire. So. We're assuming he did, until she hears back from him."

All of it was a gigantic clusterfuck.


Levka killed a vampire. That was... bad. Definitely. A little.

Maybe? Was it? Abraham wasn't really getting it. Yes, Levka going and doing that was rude to his girlfriend or whatever. But this didn't seem world ending. Just... ill-advised.

"I guess I don't... know what's so bad. Other than their relationship, apparently."

He spoke carefully and with honest confusion rather than critique. Abraham favored his cider for now, staring at the sandwiches more than eating them.

That was true, Asha. Context was needed.

"Well. Okay. You remember how Robbie was wanted for murder?"

He inhaled a little cider and just nodded to express his answer as he coughed a few times.

Yes. Abraham definitely remembered the time this kid he wished he'd looked out for had turned into a fucking wanted murderer.


"The other girl on the poster. Amilia. She was seen with that vampire the night Mathis met them. They told him it was their territory. This vampire confirmed it was her. If he lives, he's gonna tell her, and if they have anyone else gathering there, they'll know. If he dies, even if it's before reaching them, they'll probably fucking smell bear ass and ashes whenever they go looking for him. Either way, it's a problem."

And this was before Asha even found out they fucking knew about silver.

"And how much you wanna fucking bet Robbie is probably still hanging around her too?"

There were a lot of options here, and Abraham unfortunately preferred the one where the vampire died. Even if they went sniffing for bear, Levka could deal with that.

Or... Espy. Please not Espy. He felt an unexpected gut clench at the thought. Okay. So this wasn't great.

He had tried texting Robbie, and she'd never texted back. That definitely didn't mean she was gone. Just that she probably didn't want to hear from him.

Abraham sighed.

"What does Yana want to do about it? And Levka?"

"We hadn't heard from him by the time we got back. Hopefully by tomorrow there's gonna be... something."

She gave a big inhale and shoved half of the rest of her neglected sandwich in her mouth, her cat crankily swatting with hunger from the previous shift attempt.

"Sorry," she said after a swallow, reaching for the cider.

Something would be something.

Abraham felt a bit like a kid at the adults' table. What would Yana say? What would Levka say? Alina? Avery? And then here he was, eating a sandwich and clueless on what to do.

The apology was unexpected, but he didn't hate it. This was kind of a mess. He wished he'd been invited. But he didn't hold anything against her.

"It's okay," he said sincerely, turning to kiss the side of her forehead kind of area. "You're not responsible for Levka. And. I'm just glad you didn't go alone."

There was that.

Asha nodded and nestled against his shoulder, knowing she should eat more but just feeling kind of tired. Cider wasn't meat but it was calories and it was easier to sip for now.

"You said you found places?"

Abraham started on his sandwich now, kind of relieved to be past this talk. Just a little.

"Mmhmm," he said, mouth full of food. He shifted some on the couch to pull his phone from his pocket, thumbing it to life.

Chew chew, swallow sandwich.

"I was finding a lot better stuff for if... if we bought a place, instead of renting one."

Kind of a start to gauge her feelings.

They were already weremarried.

But. Buying a place felt like a really... human kind of commitment thing. A year ago she was still human? Also probably getting chased by shitty polar bears. Funny how that worked. Also she had been fucking angry at Abraham. Or maybe just making up with him. Something like that. Planning to attend the Masquerade.

Was there even a Masquerade this year? Had they missed it?

So much had happened since then. So much.

"Never really owned a place before," she said quietly, looking at him. "You want to?"

That was a start. He took a bite of his sandwich, thinking.

"I don't know much about it," he admitted. Hadn't they talked about buying before? Abraham couldn't remember now. "Money-wise and all that. But. It seems like... it'd be nice to have a place that's ours. Ours-ours. In a space that's ours-ours. I guess."

Abraham managed to avoid his usual self deprecation, likely in part to Asha's scolding him for it in the past. That was a good thing, though.

"Ours-ours." It was so dumb, all this couple stuff and how it made her feel, like. More than herself. Connected. In a good-feeling way.

Sometimes her thoughts weren't all that clear.

"Yeah," she nodded, feeling kind of wibbly in an emotional good way. Words.

"Okay. Then we should do that."

Oh how easy it was to be an Asha and leap right into decisions.


They were doing this.

"Okay," he said, feeling... a little smiley. Just a little. Delicate smiles. Pretty lame, Abraham.

He pulled up the links in two tabs, but didn't open either right away.

"Okay, so. The outside of these isn't perfect for either of these. But we could repaint or something. The first is closer to downtown. The second is further north, uh. By the Glenn."

And... Avondale. But whatever. He handed his phone over and shoved food in his mouth.

"I can look for more, too. I just... looked some."


Asha was glad he agreed the outsides needed work. The inside of the first one though, she liked a lot. Minus the basement. Also work.

The second one had few redeeming qualities. Maybe a bathroom caught her eye. Not enough.

Man, she'd miss their hot tub. :(

"I like the first one I think."

Hard no. Looking at this stuff was hard. Abraham had liked the second one because he wanted to just... not be all up next to people.

Not that the first one was out of the question, but she wasn't excited. And neither was he.

"I'll keep looking," he said, keeping discouragement out of his voice. He'd take his phone back, if she let him. "I wish we could just move this place over there. But. I'll find something we both really like."

Probably not, but this was Abraham trying to be optimistic.

Oh? Maybe he had second thoughts about the first one.

"Yeah. But the first wasn't bad. I'm sure you'll find one even nicer though," she said, putting her stuff down and cuddled up into him.

"Might fall asleep here."

That was a nice, at least. That she just let him agree to find new places.

The shit in Avondale sucked. But at least right here, things felt okay.

Her sleepiness was contagious, and he nodded.

"Let's... do that," he said, leaning to put his plate on the coffee table.

Abraham could get them to actual bed eventually.

Oh, this was the siren song. It was the end for Asha Rao. She was going to die for an undetermined number of hours right here on this couch all snuggled up with Abraham.

"Soooo niceness," she mumbled sleepily, forgetting where she'd first heard that from but associating it with him all the same.

If he wanted to snuggle up behind her, or... however, she'd let him and snuggle up into him before promptly snoozing for however long he'd let them over here.

Abraham would manage to doze there, both of them cuddled up on the couch for three heavy hours.

Eventually, and with barely any awareness that he was doing so, he'd wake for stiff muscles and eventually carry her and... like, himself, in his head, off to proper bed.

They could be gross people who didn't brush their teeth for a night. Abraham slept almost insistently, unwilling to be awoken by the stress of vampires and stupid bears and shitty supernatural drama.

Asha did not so much as sleepily mumble when he carried them both to bed. Sleepy child. Out like the dead. Vampire were. Good night.

It was in the morning, tucked into him still, when she felt her phone go off in her pocket. 5% battery warning, fuck. Except there was a text from Yana, and she peeked an eye further open as she swiped her screen open.

"Fuck," she exhaled, as she imaginatively sent off the same exact response.

He woke to bad feelings. Not his, but Asha's creeping into his. Abraham sought some kind of squeeze of his arms around her, reaching out blindly but with sincere intent to comfort.

"It's okay," he said with little evidence of that. But he meant it.

It was easier to stay cozy and asleep and pretend whatever she was poking at on her phone was, like. A failed sudoku attempt or something.

The squeezing was nice, and not enough.

It was absolutely not okay, and the more her consciousness caught up to all the words Yana was saying the more she felt that. Dread, absolute and intense.

The next set of messages didn't help all that much either. "The vampire knows about silver," she said through croaky just waking up kind of voice, but there was a sense of "what the fuck do we do now" in it.

Shit. Now she was going back over their interaction, wondering if she'd been played a fucking fool to think Levka was wrong to go after him. To think he could have been useful and not dangerous if they'd been nicer.

A few blinks.

That was bad. This was bad. He felt his stomach twist up a little and swore he could almost feel the silver burn on his palm writhing a little.

"Do you think... one of them burned Frank?"

It was a question that left his mouth before he could really think on it. But who else would be in Belle Vista fucking searing shifted weres with silver?

"Fuck," she right about hissed, her cat snarling at intangible memories. And as Yana answered her question, it was almost indeniable.

"He threw a fucking silver chain at Levka." She said, then paused, looking back at Abraham as she considered the question of Frank. The scar had looked... ropelike, as far as she could remember.

"Maybe it was him," she started, and then brought a free hand to her forehead to hold it. "Fuck, I was so fucking stupid."

This was...

Bad. Were they just supposed to kill every vampire now, to be safe? All of this felt gross and shitty and Abraham fucking hated it. He wanted to go back to sleep now.

"We don't know if it was him. It could have been one of his friends," he said, knowing it wasn't exactly a comfort. "You're not stupid. We didn't know about this going in. Plus."

Abraham sighed, rolling over onto his back and staring at the ceiling.

"Why would anyone just go after a shifted were unprovoked? Maybe Frank attacked first. We don't know that they're on some... anti-were rampage or they would have attacked Mathis."

It wouldn't be any better if it was one of his friends. The latent idea she'd once had of Amy being part of Margaux's group, the kind of vampire that caused pain and suffering for the fun of it, welled up again.

There was the fact that they hadn't gone after Mathis. It was some measure of restraint they'd shown.

"Maybe just to have him send a message."

She tapped away at reassuring Yana of her own shared protection offered and gave a heavy sigh.

"Yana's saying probably not to go after them immediately. Which. I guess. Is probably the better move."

She'd agreed to it, but fuck, she felt powerless.

"I mean. If they were going to send a message... that would be a really vague one," he said.

Frank had attacked Sol. Not that Frank was a bad guy, but it was clear his cat had every capacity to be an aggressor.

Yana was right, hopefully, in not just diving head first into potential vampire territory. He sighed.

"No one's going to be doing full moons alone anymore. I think... I think we hold off. And just be smart. Maybe the bears should be worried, but we weren't the ones who chased him. I dunno."

Fucking Levka. Fucking... vampires. Abraham missed the days of just being responsible for himself.

To Asha, the message wasn't vague. All put together, the message was: this was our turf, stay out of it or we'll burn you with silver jewelry or... worse, maybe.

"You wanna let Cliff know?" she murmured, feeling all sorts of emotionally exhausted. She assumed Levka would at least be the kind of leader to let Espy and whoever else he still had under him be aware.

Asha turned and did a slow smash of her head against his chest and was right about done with today even though her mouth was in need of teeth refreshment.

He nodded.

What now, even. Was there anything to do? Go pee on the edges of Belle Vista?

Uncertain of what to do with himself, he stared at the ceiling with a frown.

"Love you," he said. Kind of a start on something.

"Mm... lobyoo too," she mumbled into his chest (remember that slow smash), eyes closed. Done. Done. Done with today. They had to go costume shopping and like. Maybe soon. But not right now.

Asha flopped an arm over him and squeezed him rudely tightly.

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