So... This is it... The final chapter... I feel like I'm losing a kid here...

Anyway, I wanted to thank everyone who's voted, and commented, and read this. It means so much to us that you've kept reading, even though there was a giant fucking lull in the middle where shit didn't get done. So just... Thank you so much.

So here it is, the final chapter of Sweet Surrender-

Getting to the farm felt like it took way too long to Varian, but that could have been attributed to his exhaustion. Venerra had fallen asleep on the way home, so after he and Nathan got there, Varian picked her up and cradled her to him as he went inside the house, Nathan tagging along behind until they reached the living room where he decided to wait for him.

Walking into Venerra's room, Varian gently laid her down on her bed, slipped off her shoes, and pulled the blankets up around her, tucking her in securely. She didn't make a sound besides her quiet breathing, and Varian smiled before backing out and shutting her door, turning to Nathan.

"Ready?" he asked.

Nathan raised his eyebrows. "...Yes?"

"I have to ask." Varian said before heading for his room. He knew he didn't. Nathan wouldn't need to be asked, but he did anyway. it was just his nature.

Walking in, he waited for Nathan to come in before quietly shutting his door and going for his bed. Shoes were off in an instant, and the next instant he and Nathan were comfortably situated, Varian lying on his back under the covers, Nathan on his side on top of the covers and tucked close, arm thrown casually over Varian's stomach.

Varian wasn't aware of much else before he was out.

It took Nathan a little longer to get to sleep than it apparently took Varian. It seemed like he was out right after they laid down.

Nathan looked him over, sighing quietly. Varian had had a long day- hell, they both had. Between Elle and Grant.

Grant. Just thinking about that particular incident had Nathan feeling upset all over again. He supposed it would for a while, even though it didn't mean anything.

As for Elle...he didn't even know how to go about confronting her. And he knew he had to. He wanted to know why she didn't just tell him about his father. He deserved to know, even if Daniel did do something terrible.

Then again...Nathan thought about it, putting Venerra in Vanessa's place instead. He'd be livid if anyone ever did anything like that to her, and she wasn't even his child. Or sister, for that matter.

He wondered what Vanessa would've been like if she was still alive. She'd be about...twenty-four. He'd have to go by her grave at some point, by himself.

He sighed again, deciding that he might as well try and get some sleep. He didn't want to run the risk of waking Varian up. Except he had one problem.

He was cold. That was what he got for laying down above the blanket... Sorry Varian.

Well...he could always just steal the blanket from Varian...wrap himself up like a cocoon or something...

Alright. He was beyond tired if he was thinking about making a cocoon.


Sliding his arm off Varian, he took the covers with him, wrapping himself up until he was warm. He leaned up, kissing Varian's temple before allowing himself to drift off to sleep. With his stolen blanket, of course.

The first thing Varian was aware of was that he couldn't feel his blanket. And he couldn't feel Nathan. That left two possible answers.

One: Nathan woke up before him and somehow manged to move his blanket.

Or two: Nathan was a blanket thief.

Opening his eyes, Varian stared up at his ceiling and noted the soft early morning light drifting in through his window, illuminating the room in a pastel yellow haze where the light was prominent.

Glancing to his left, it was indeed confirmed Nathan was a blanket thief. Wrapped up nicely in cloth cocoon.

That has to be remedied, Varian thought with a smirk. Two could play at that game.

Reaching over, he grabbed his blanket firmly in one hand, sitting up enough to get purchase. One...he thought silently. Two. ...Three. Yanking the blanket swiftly from Nathan, Varian watched amused as Nathan woke up quickly and sat straight up.

Judging by his bewildered expression, Varian felt it safe to assume he didn't know what was going on. This only lasted for a second before realization dawned on him and he snorted and laid back down.

Smiling at him, Varian felt a whole lot better. Not just because he'd retrieved his blanket.

"I don't have anything against sharing you know." he said, pausing to lay back down and look at Nathan. "But I'm not too particularly fond of blanket thieves."

Nathan was slightly disoriented for a second before looking over to Varian. "...Sharing requires me to get off the part that I'm laying on."

"Normally I'd let you have it. But I saw an opportunity, and temptation is ones of my vices." Varian replied.

"...An opportunity to wake me up? What time is it, anyway?"

Varian smirked. "You woke me up last time. I thought I'd return the favor." then he paused, consorting his mental clock. "Seven and twenty-three seconds."

Nathan raised his eyebrows. "That is creepy. Don't do that early in the morning."

Varian found himself smiling again. Turning so he could face Nathan better, he looked at him, content to be with him. Gripping the blanket he gestured to Nathan.

"Feel like sharing now?"

Nathan sighed dramatically. "...I suppose." he mumbled before standing to get off the blanket, and then getting under it.

Using that opportunity to get closer to Nathan, Varian gently grabbed him and pulled him so they were touching, holding him. One arm wrapped around him securely. Something so simple, but he knew Nathan had been deeply upset. If he couldn't fix it, he could at least offer support.

Nathan laid there quietly for a second before speaking. "...I never did apologize, for yesterday. To you or Venerra."

Varian took a moment to inhale Nathan's scent. Having slept in his bed, he could smell some of himself on him, but also a faint trace of coconut. It was an interesting combination, because beneath it was the minty-ness of a Mortal.

"Your mom came in under her own power. You have nothing to apologize for." Varian said reassuringly. He didn't want Nathan to feel responsible for something he couldn't control.

"I still feel bad about it. She shouldn't have said it."

Apparently he still did.

"I wasn't prepared for that, for sure." Varian relented. "It was hard to hear. Everything I've struggled to free myself of thrown at me in the face. But she wasn't completely wrong. Some Changed vampires are like that."

"But not all," Nathan added, leaning forward to quickly kiss Varian.

Varian relished the moment their lips touched, fleeting as it was. Nathan was not getting away with that.

"I protest the low quality of that kiss." Varian commented. "I know you can do better."

"Oh really?"

"Most definitely." Varian said with a small smile. "Shall I demonstrate?"

"Well, by all means." Nathan replied, smiling back.

Not letting the invitation sit, Varian moved closer and kissed Nathan, their mouths meeting effortlessly, lips molding to one another.

Almost instantly, Nathan jerked back, seemingly slightly surprised. "...Well that's new..."

Varian laughed lightly in amusement. "And there it finally is. Took it long enough."

"Holy shit. That's weird." Nathan mumbled.

"Not really." Varian said. "I told you about it before."

Nathan rolled his eyes. "Weird for me." then he paused and smiled slightly. "...Hey Varian..."

Varian immediately felt his suspicions rise. Nathan was thinking of something, and he wasn't sure he wanted to know what it was.

"I have a feeling I'm going to regret asking you what maniacal thought just crossed your mind..." Varian murmured. "But I'll bite. What?"

"Remember that one day, in Latin class..."

Oh great. Varian saw what was coming, and briefly pondered leaving his comfortable position in the bed.

"Which one?" he asked, deciding to be a man and take whatever it was Nathan was planning.

"The day before you were expelled."

He was right.

And he was in trouble. He should have made a run for it when he still had the chance.

"Maybe..." he said, deciding he might as well embrace it.

Nathan frowned slightly and poked Varian's stomach. "Yes you do."

Varian shied away from the poke, laughing. "Alright. Fine. I give in. What do you want?"

Nathan sat up slightly, leaning on his arm. "Well, the way I see it, some form of punishment is, in fact, in order." he said, looking down to Varian with his eyebrows raised.

Varian looked at Nathan for a moment. It certainly sounded appealing. Varian smirked up at Nathan. "I'm waiting."

"Sorry, I was expecting some sort of response." Nathan replied sarcastically before leaning down and lightly kissing Varian's neck several times.

Closing his eyes, Varian sighed softly. It wasn't usual that Nathan went right for his neck. "Did you want me to beg you not to? Sorry to disappoint."

"Not...quite what I was going for, actually..." Nathan said before pausing and starting to kiss lower.

Varian was content with the kisses. That is, until he got to the base of his neck, where he bit down hard.

A jolt of pleasure shot through him so quickly, Varian could only react. Biting his lip to stifle the cry that threatened to leave his throat, Varian arched his back, whimpering softly instead. As soon as he was able, his back fell to the mattress, and he glared up at Nathan, panting lightly.

He hadn't expected something so powerful so soon.

This was going to be sweet, blissful, torture.

Nathan looked at him and smiled. "I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this." he said with a nod, lightly kissing the area he'd just bitten.

Varian suddenly felt very exposed. Nathan had control.

"How very sadistic of you." Varian commented, his breathing going back mostly to normal.

"Maybe a little..." Nathan murmured, using one of his hands to lightly scratch down Varian's arm. "Your shirt might have to come off...your pants might too, but I don't know about that part yet."

As soon as his nails hit Varian's skin, he inhaled sharply, smiling softly. "You're learning. And you're in charge. So you call the shots."

"Oh, well, in that case," Nathan responded, leaning back and sitting up. "Shirt, off, now."

Varian found this oddly stimulating, and wondered how long it could go before it got to be too much. Shoving that thought aside quickly, he sat up and obediently pulled his shirt off, tossing it over the edge of the bed. "You somehow always manage to get me shirtless." Now he waited for Nathan.

"I rather enjoy you being shirtless." Nathan replied thoughtfully, gesturing to the bed.

Varian knew what that meant. Lie back down.

So he did.

There wasn't much to remark with, so he chose to remain silent.

Nathan decided to climb on top of him and straddle him, his light weight oddly soothing and welcome. Before leaning down to kiss him quickly, running his hands over his chest and shoulders.

The sensation of skin to skin contact was pleasing, and Varian automatically tried to kiss Nathan back. He was curious to see how serious Nathan was. Nathan obviously didn't have any intentions of allowing it.

Instead, he pulled back slightly and smiled. "Oh no. I don't think so."

Pretty serious, Varian decided.

"Figured as much. Had to try." Varian said.

Nathan laughed quietly, going down until his lips met Varian's collar bone, kissing, his fingernails simultaneously scratching the skin of his chest.

Varian was not expecting that. Gasping, he felt goose bumps rise on his skin, trailing the tracks of Nathan's nails. A sure sign Nathan knew what he was doing. "That all you have?"

He knew he was pushing, but Varian couldn't stand the way Nathan was manipulating him so easily.

Bad mistake.

Raising an eyebrow and glancing up at him, Nathan returned the taunt by biting his collar bone several times in succession, nails raking up and down his stomach and chest harshly.

"Holy shit..." Varian managed to gasp before a moan cut him off, throwing his head back onto the pillow and squeezing his eyes closed, shivering.

"You have no idea how much fun I am having at your expense right now." Nathan said with a wide smile, continuing with the scratching before biting his way up to Varian's neck.

Varian squirmed beneath Nathan, panting heavier the higher he got. Nathan decided to stop near the middle to bite down harder than he ever had. Not enough to break the skin, but Varian felt it.

Clutching the sheets in his hands, Varian arched his back and cried out, eyes watering as he closed them. He felt the blood rise to his face, and he knew he was flushed at this point.

"Mother fucker!" he snapped, panting heavily and lying back, glaring at Nathan. "You're evil."

Why had he let himself get in this position? If Nathan kept doing that, he'd reach his limit very quickly.

Nathan snorted loudly and tilted his head away from Varian for a second to hide his laughing before looking back over. "Hardly evil." he commented, biting the area again, but lighter.

Varian groaned, relishing the more tamed wrath of Nathan's teeth against his neck. "I can't take much more." Varian panted, feeling rather embarrassed to having to admit it. Nathan had never pushed him this far. Without a form of release, the pleasure building in his system was suffocating him.

Nathan hummed quietly in response, scraping his fingernails down Varian's arm again. "I think you'll be fine for a few more minutes." he mumbled, moving away from his neck in favor of licking a line from his collar bone to his jaw.

Varian sighed, smiling into it. He liked this better. Nathan's breath was hot and it fanned his skin as his tongue slid across his flesh, warm and wet. "Keep doing that, and I'd never ask you to stop." Varian said softly.

"I figured it would be a better alternative to biting the shit out of you. Though I will say, biting does produce more interesting reactions." Nathan commented, smiling before doing one final, hard bite on Varian's shoulder.

Varian felt his fangs jab into his bottom lip, blood welling up, running down his lip towards his chin, and assaulting his taste buds as he threw his head back again, hands hitting the mattress, whimpering desperately as he tried to stifle the cries one more time. He refused to give Nathan the satisfaction of that again.

"Aw. I was expecting another expletive." Nathan sighed, leaning up to press his lips to Varian's.

Varian sighed into the kiss. Finally. Finally he was allowed to kiss Nathan. Letting his lips linger, Varian reluctantly pulled back. "You wouldn't have gotten that far if I was normal." he reminded Nathan.

"True, but you're not. So." Nathan replied, bringing his hand up to wipe the blood off Varian's face.

Varian let Nathan wipe the blood from his lip and chin, but before he could pull his hand back, he grabbed his wrist and let his gaze drop to the red smear on his fingers. "You shouldn't make a habit of touching my blood. In case you have any open wounds." Varian said before leaning in and running his tongue over the blood on Nathan's hand.

Nathan's fingers twitched as he watched Varian. "...Well I could always just use hand sanitizer first. That would definitely tell me if I had a cut or something..."

Smiling, Varian gently kissed the palm of Nathan's hand before returning to remove the rest of the blood from his hand. He had an idea, and was curious to see Nathan's reaction.

Parting his lips, Varian took a couple of the blood covered fingers in his mouth and sucked, letting his tongue tease the sensitive pads on Nathan's fingers.

Nathan's fingers twitched in Varian's mouth, which had Varian glancing up. Nathan seemed to be frowning slightly. "I'm not sure if this is weird or oddly pleasant... "

Pulling off of Nathan's hand, Varian smiled at him. "Depends on the person." he said, before leaning in and capturing Nathan's mouth with his, biting his lower lip gently.

Nathan smiled a little before opening his mouth, inviting Varian to plunder it. Which he wasted no time in doing.

Sliding his tongue into Nathan's mouth, Varian pushed it against Nathan's, inviting a small wrestling match.

Varian wasn't surprised when Nathan pressed his tongue back against his, trying to keep it under his own.

Like he was going to let him win after what he'd just been put through.

Pulling Nathan closer to him, Varian tilted his head to get better access and forced Nathan's tongue back before breaking the kiss and smiling at him. "I win."

"You cheated. Maybe I wasn't finished." Nathan replied, raising an eyebrow.

"I don't cheat. But I do know ways to allow me to win." Varian said with a small laugh before ducking his head and nipping Nathan's neck.

Nathan's eyes slid shut. "...Same thing." He mumbled.

Maybe. But Varian was determined to get revenge. And he knew the perfect way how. Unfortunately for Nathan, he'd just provided the ticket.

"Or experience. Whichever you prefer." he mumbled against Nathan's neck before nipping again. Harder this time.

Nathan inhaled sharply, frowning. "...Why do I feel like this isn't going to end well for me?"

Varian chuckled. "Because it isn't." he said, before sinking his fangs into Nathan's neck slowly, sighing at the sensation of puncturing flesh. He was careful not to purposely draw blood. Only the little bit that welled up from the bite he swiped with his tongue after pulling his fangs out of Nathan's neck.

Nathan grabbed the bed sheet tightly and groaned, thankfully not making too loud of a noise. "You son of a bitch..."

Varian noted the clear evidence of the effect his bite had on Nathan and found himself unable to stop the smirk. "Think of it as payback." he said, sitting back and making no effort to approach Nathan.

Snorting in response, Nathan didn't seem too thrilled and rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well, I liked it better when you were the one being tortured. You want to give me a hand here? You know, since you caused it and all." He said, gesturing to his jeans.

Now that his plan had fallen into place, Varian decided that revenge was indeed sweet. "Nope. You have two hands. Choose one."

He wasn't serious. There was no way he was serious.


Nathan gave Varian a shocked look, sitting up completely and vocalizing his last thought.

He knew this wouldn't end well for him.

Varian nodded, grinning. "Absolutely." he replied, drawing his knees up to his chin and folding his arms on them, putting his chin on his forearm.

"B-b-but...that's not fair...I are an evil man." Nathan said with a glare. It was unfair. He hadn't been the only one to cause his sudden and irritating erection.

God damn vampires and their fangs. Damn them both to hell.

"So sue me. I've helped you out, what, three times now?" Varian asked rhetorically, looking at Nathan.

"Yes, and it's all been your fault. With your fucking biting."

Varian arched a brow at that. "I don't recall biting you the first time. If I'm correct, you were biting me. But you've never complained until now."

"Because you've never told me to do it myself until now."

"I fail to see how this is a problem. Shy?"

Nathan glared, not even bothering to dignify that with an answer. Sorry, but it's not every day he just masturbates in front of someone.

God, that's a weird word. He didn't like doing it.

He glanced away then, thinking. "Well...I could always just go to the bathroom..." he commented thoughtfully, more to himself than Varian. Of course he probably just ruined that plan by saying it out loud. Nice job, Nathan. Way to fucking go.

Varian snorted. "Try. See how quickly I'd have you pinned." he said, then paused and sighed. "I'm not trying to embarrass you. I just want to know what you like. I'd do the same for you if I could."

Oh, this was just getting more awkward by the minute. Nathan rolled his eyes slightly.

"...If you ever bring this up after today I swear to God I will do the most horrible thing I can think of to you." he mumbled.

Varian nodded. "There are certain things I won't tell people other than the ones it involves. This would be one of those things."

"It damn well better be." Nathan sighed, hesitating. He really didn't want to do this. But his little 'problem' wasn't going to go away on it's own. Like it ever does. He slowly brought both hands down to the front of his jeans, starting to undo the button, and then stopping. "...We've been over that I strongly dislike you at the moment, right?" he asked. Yes, he was intentionally stalling. No, he didn't really care.

Varian sat back, rolling his eyes. "Yes we have. The sooner you get to it, the sooner it'll be over."

Easy for him to say.

Mentally preparing himself, Nathan fully undid his button and zipper. He was well aware that Varian was watching, and had no intention to look up at him. None whatsoever.

It took him a minute to get both his jeans and boxers out of the way, which was a little bit of a feat considering his odd sitting position. Except he wasn't sure how to continue after that. This wasn't something he normally did.

Frowning slightly, he just settled for grabbing his erection, scrunching up his nose at the initial contact.

No, he decided, he did not like this.

He paused, starting to slowly work his hand up and down. It created a slightly more pleasant feeling, but not much more than when his hand was stationary.

A sudden memory of accidentally walking in on Justin jerking off came to mind. Most awkward sleepover in the history of sleepovers. Nathan snorted quietly, smiling a little despite himself. He and Andrea had picked on Justin for years after that...

Nathan noticed that Varian's face had vaguely changed in his peripheral vision, and he glanced up to see Varian had one eyebrow raised. Most likely due to his previous snorting.

…Eh. He'd tell Varian later.

Nathan vaguely noticed the speed of his hand was starting to pick up, looking back down to see what he was doing.

…Penises weren't very attractive. Sort of weird-looking. Fuck, he was getting distracted...

Out of curiosity, he squeezed harder, and his eyes fluttered shut for a second before opening again. Okay, that definitely felt better.

He tried to concentrate on what he was doing, frowning slightly. The pressure was building up slowly, and he was thankful for that.

He flicked one of his fingers over the tip, gasping silently. The pressure was building faster, to the point that he completely forgot Varian was even in the room, let alone two feet away. His hand picked up an almost violent pace, occasionally swiping his thumb or middle finger over the head while his breathing picked up. He was getting close now.

He accidentally let out a quiet moan, leaning forward and holding his body up with his other, unoccupied, hand on the bed. His orgasm hit him almost unexpectedly, and he tensed up for a second, both breathing and hand stopping as he waited it out for a minute or so. When it was over, he glanced up at Varian, only to find him watching with interest. God damn him.

Nathan sat back up, sighing quietly while blinking a few times. Great. He was tired again. And he hadn't even been up that long to begin with. Looking down at the bed, he noted that Varian would have to wash his sheet...yet somehow, nothing got on his boxers or jeans. Small miracles.

Varian didn't say anything, but he did smile softly. Well. That was something, Nathan supposed. Staying quiet for a second, Nathan clicked his tongue. "...I'm going to go wash my hand." he said, slowly standing off the bed and stumbling his way to the bathroom, somehow managing to fix himself along the way.

He already had his revenge planned out. At some point, Varian would be getting drunk.

Very. Very. Very. Fucking. Drunk.

Late into the morning, early afternoon, Varian decided he wasn't going to do anything. He just wanted to relax for once. Was that too much to ask?

So he walked out into the living room, snatched a random book from a small collection on the side table connecting the couch and the loveseat, and plopped on the far end of the couch glancing at the book he'd grabbed.


Figures. He would unconsciously grab a book about vampires. Smirking at the irony, Varian settled back and cracked it open.

It'd been part of a reading assignment from when he was still in school, but since he had the book, he might as well finish it. It wasn't even a moment after he'd found a comfortable position on the couch and opened his book that Venerra came running around the couch and hopped into his lap.

Automatically adjusting for her, Varian wrapped his free arm around her before going back to his book.

Nathan had seated himself nearby, close to the other end of the couch and was currently fiddling with his phone in hand. Apparently he was playing a game of some sort, for there were gaming sounds coming from it.

Letting him be, Varian turned his attention back to Venerra who leaned back against his stomach, tilting her head back until her wide violet eyes were gazing up at him adoringly. A broad smile showed him the gap in her teeth, now starting to fill in with permanent incisors.

At least she wasn't upset. But he still felt unsettled about how upset she'd gotten so quickly at the store. Her unique gift of sensing what people were feeling must have been overloaded. No wonder she'd burst into tears so quickly.

Smiling back her, Varian reached up and pulled a couple stray curls out of her face, brushing them back and stroking her head affectionately. If his parents had stayed, would she be the same little girl she was now? Would he be so protective of her? Or would he brush her off as a nuisance?

Venerra needed so much attention, sometimes it was hard to keep up with her when all he wanted to do most nights was relax and read or rest. Most of the time he couldn't do that. Not with her.

As it was, this was one of those rare times where he could just sit and be somewhat normal.

Running his fingers through Venerra's hair, Varian gently untangled any knots or clumps. She relaxed against him, closing her eyes and breathing evenly.

A somewhat loud noise from Nathan's phone momentarily startled Varian, and Venerra's eyes opened, alert and curious as she glanced over towards Nathan. He looked up for a moment, taking in his surroundings before going back to fiddling with his phone.

How could one thing provide so much entertainment? Shrugging it off, Varian decided he'd actually read something fromDracula.

He'd left off when a disoriented Renfield was babbling to Van Helsing about an occurance one evening.

" 'He came up to the window in the mist...' " Varian read, taking in the next several words of the sentence. " '...He was laughing with his red mouth, the sharp white teeth glinted in the moonlight...' ".

Red mouth? What a messy feeder.

Varian had to stop himself from snorting. He was comparing the vampire in the book to his own kind. But there wasn't only one type of vampire. There were two. The kind that drank blood- himself. And the kind that didn't- Nathan and Venerra.

It hit Varian then that it was odd for him to be dating Nathan. Changed vampires and Mortals getting together wasn't unheard of, but it wasn't very common either. It was more likely a Changed vampire would fall for a human, Mortals too.

Which brought Evan and Klay to mind. Klay was human, but Evan was Changed.

Pushing the straying thoughts aside, Varian directed his attention back to the book, not even realizing he'd turned the page. He couldn't even remember what he'd read besides the bit that stuck out to him.

Turning the page back, he reread the section before continuing. Renfield went on about how the vampire wanted to come in and started promising him things. Somehow it got to rats and their beady red eyes.

" 'He moved the mist to the right and left...' " turn the page. " '...and I could see that there were thousands of rats with their eyes blazing red, like His only smaller.' "

Varian took a moment to ponder that. Changed vampires had ruddy brown, red tinted eyes. When caught in the light, the red bathed the irises until they were almost saturated with the crimson shade. But it was only an illusion. However, anybody that knew how to tell the difference between humans and vampires could pick out a Changed one easily.

Like Elle. She'd known what he was from the instant she'd seen him.

Varian frowned into the book. He could keep his mind wrapped around it. Another loud noise from Nathan's phone had him looking over. Venerra didn't appear phased in the least this time. She was just content to stay snugly pressed against him.

Nathan glanced up after his phone beeped and raised an eyebrow at Varian. "Shouldn't you be reading?"

"I'm reading because I want to, not because I have to." Varian began, lowering the book. "But I can't seem to concentrate today."

Nathan snorted quietly, looking back down to his phone. "What are you reading, anyway?"

"It's kind of funny actually. I just picked it up at random. Dracula."

"Vampire books..." Nathan mumbled, shaking his head.

"Most of them are so far off it's pitiful." Varian agreed. "Why don't you like them?"

"I just think its sort of dumb. Especially when you get some authors that portray vampires as some sort of amazing, romantic...thing."

Varian pondered what book that might be for a moment. "Are you referencing the Twilight Saga by any chance?"


Laughing, Varian closed his book and set it down. He was done reading for today most likely. "I'm not too fond of that series myself."

"Its stupid. What the fu-...what was the author on that made her think any of that was a good idea?"

"Couldn't tell you." Varian replied, resting back. Venerra pulled away from his stomach to lie across his lap, closing her eyes.

Reaching over and plucking a pillow, he slid it under her head gently and pulled a blanket from the back of the couch to drape over her. She was out almost instantly.

"Its ridiculous. I can shi-...nevermind. But still. Its the dumbest thing I've ever seen. Sparkling vampires? I don't think so." Nathan said as he turned off his phone.

Varian arched a brow before smiling and shaking his head, glancing down to Venerra and back to Nathan. "She's out. She can't hear anything you say. She's always been a heavy sleeper."

He was rather curious to hear Nathan's response. It was essentially a test. How good were Nathan's morals?

"I'd still rather not. If I start cussing around her when shes asleep, I'll start cussing around her when she's awake."

Varian nodded. "Good. You pass." he said. "But back to Twilight. Why does everyone assume vampires are cold to the touch?"

Nathan thought for a second. "I guess because a lot of people think vampires aren't really already alive, or something like that."

Varian frowned. "How could me move and talk and bleed if we weren't alive?" he thought outloud. "If they're dead in the books, how can they have children?"

Nathan rolled his eyes. "Magical sperm, I guess? I don't know."

Varian smirked at Nathan's comment. "I don't think I want to know either. It's bad enough Bella gets pregnant."

"Don't get me started on her. She is the biggest waste of space I have ever seen."

Had he and Nathan ever discussed something so mundane? Varian found the discussion enjoyable, perhaps not the subject, but the talk itself was refreshing.

However, the waste of space comment brought up one of Varian's own personal thoughts on her. It was too much of a temptation to resist.

"She sucks in bed too. I don't know how Edward stands her."

Nathan laughed loudly before covering his mouth. "...First off, that's coming from a gay guy. I don't think your opinion counts. Second off, its a book - how would you know whether she sucked or not?"

Rolling his eyes, Varian sighed. "Gay or not, sex is sex. Doesn't matter who it's with. She just lies there. Let's him do all the work. How boring is that?"

"That's what most women do, believe it or not."

Varian couldn't help the snicker. "And they wonder why their boyfriends leave them for another man."

Nathan smiled and shook his head.

Thoroughly enjoying the conversation he was having with Nathan, Varian was surprised when the sound of a familiar vehicle pulled into his driveway. Then again, not really.

Expression turning sour, Varian felt his good mood diminish. He figured it's probably be visible to Nathan too.

Nathan raised an eyebrow. "...What? "

"Your mother. She decided to show up." Varian said after a huff of annoyance. Gently sliding out from under Venerra, he made sure she wasn't disturbed before heading towards the front door. "Guess we should talk to her."

Nathan sighed, hesitating for a second before following. "Why would she be here though?"

Shrugging, Varian opened up the front door and stepped onto the porch, waiting for Nathan to pass through before closing it quietly. Turning towards Elle's car, he waited patiently for her approach.

Elle got out of the car slowly, looking between Nathan and Varian before she began to walk towards them.

At least she was being civil. So far.

Deciding to be civil as well, Varian stepped away from Nathan and off the porch, walking around it so he could lean against the rail, his back to Nathan. "I think I should talk to her this time."

Sighing quietly, Nathan didn't seem to fight Varian's decision.

Good. That made life easier.

Elle walked closer, stopping about a foot away from Varian and looking him over disinterestedly.

Varian figured it was better than her yelling at him about how disgusting he was.

"I don't think we got off to the right foot yesterday." Varian began. Not quite certain how to approach Elle. He knew this would get ugly, but if he did it right, maybe he could fix this. "But if it's alright with you, I'd like to talk. Just us."

Elle raised an eyebrow. "I have nothing else to say that hasn't already been said." She'd replied quietly.

Varian knew she was obviously referencing the day before, but he couldn't help but think Elle and Nathan were pretty similar.

"I'm not asking you to. I don't care what you think of me or my kind. You can call me any name you can think of, I've heard them all." Varian said softly in reply. "But I do care about how much you hurt Nathan." he added more firmly. "What did you say to him?"

Elle glared a little at Varian. "It's none of your business what I say to my son. You're the reason he knows about all this in the first place. If you hadn't shown up, he'd be living a perfectly normal life right now."

Varian nodded in agreement. "I refuse to let somebody go through life not knowing who and what they are. So yes, it is my fault. And I'll gladly take that blame a thousand times over." Varian stopped talking for a moment. He had to collect his thoughts. "Under normal circumstances, it's not my business to know what you say to him. You're his mother. But you said something to him that made him more upset than I've ever seen him. And I want to know why you'd attack your child like that."

Elle glared more, tilting her head slightly. "Fine. I asked why he was dating another boy. I don't see that as attacking."

Oh yes. Very much alike.

Varian eyed Elle. He wasn't afraid to dig. He'd push until he got what he wanted. This wasn't for him. It was for Nathan. Somebody he cared about more than himself.

"There's more to it than that. You obviously didn't ask him if it upset him so much. I don't like being lied to."

"And I don't like other people telling my son things that they have no business saying." Elle replied raising her voice slightly. "I said it was wrong for him to be with you. That's exactly what I said. Happy?"

Varian blinked in shock at Elle. She'd said that? No wonder Nathan was so upset.

What parent in their right mind had the right to do that?

Nobody. He knew how much it hurt.

Crossing his arms over his chest, Varian narrowed his eyes at Elle. How dare she?

"What makes you think you had the right to say that to him?" Varian questioned lowly. "You're his mother, but no parent has the right to disown their child. If loving somebody is such a capital crime that you'd willingly kill him like that, then all of us standing here might as well rot." he growled.

Elle roll her eyes. "If this is your idea of getting off on a 'better foot ' than yesterday, I'm sorry to say that you're failing miserably. Now if you don't mind, I'd like to talk to Nathan at some point, because I am not in any sort of mood to be lectured by a child."

Oh, if she knew how little of a child he really was. He'd had enough life forced down his throat to outlast a lifetime.

"Do you love him?"

Elle seemed quite taken aback by the question. "...He's my only child. Of course I love him. What kind of question is that? " She'd replied quietly.

"Do you?" he pressed. Nathan needed to hear it as much as she needed to say it.

"Yes." Elle spoke forcefully.

Varian wasn't convinced it was enough.

"How much?"

She give him a vaguely annoyed look. "More than you will ever know. That's probably the best way to put it."

"If that's true then you should love all of him. If you truly love your son, then nothing should get between you two." Varian replied, uncrossing his arms and relaxing against the rail.

Elle sighed quietly and brought a hand up to her head. "You are giving me a headache..." She mumbled.

Varian resisted the urge to smile.

"I'm just telling the truth. If a parent truly loves their child they love all of them. Their mannerisms, their good qualities, their bad qualities, and their sexuality." Varian stated, recalling how often his parents had told him they loved him more than he could possibly know.

They'd lied.

Nathan didn't deserve that.

"And they should know that if their child that they're hurting is their only child, they will do as much as possible to accept them. Because neither of you know how long you have together." he paused. "My parents told me the same thing you said. That I'll never know how much they loved me. They lied. Don't make the mistake of telling him something that's part of who he is, part of his soul, is wrong. Because then all you're doing is lying. Everything you just said is untrue."

Pulling away from the rail, Varian headed off towards his barn. "Talk to him. I've got work to do. My farm isn't going to run itself."

And then he left them alone. Entering the barn, Varian headed right for Cana in his stall, wrapped his arms around his neck, and buried his face in his mane. The horse stood still, letting him have his peace. Somehow he always knew, and that was okay.

Hopefully it'd been enough.

Nathan watched as his mother hesitated, glancing up at him before walking up and joining him on the porch. They were both silent for a few seconds, before Elle cleared her throat.

"That friend of yours is very long-winded." she murmured. Nathan smiled slightly. It was a start, at least.

"Boyfriend. And...yes. He is sometimes. You get used to it."

Elle didn't seem to like the last bit, sneering slightly at the comment.

"He's not going anywhere just because you don't like him you know." Nathan told her, his smile forming into a frown. Elle glanced over, snorting silently as she shook her head.

"You'd choose him over me?"

"I don't want to have to choose anyone. But..." he paused, sighing quietly. "...I don't know." he finished, looking over to her. Elle had on a thoughtful expression, hardly paying any attention to her son at the moment.

"...How did you find him?" she asked suddenly. Nathan was a little shocked by the question, stumbling over his words.

"...Uh...I didn't... He uh...he found me, actually. He noticed my eyes. And apparently, I smell like a mint."

That made Elle smile and nod. "Yes. Daniel always had a bit of a minty smell to him."

Nathan smiled too. It was nice to talk to Elle without some sort of argument going on. But Elle had to know that nothing had changed. He wasn't leaving Varian just because she didn't like him.

"...You know, he isn't that bad." he whispered. She looked over to him again, raising an eyebrow.

"Nathan..." she looked down, sighing, "I'm sure he's a...lovely boy. It's just that...everything I worked so hard to protect you from..."

"You're hiding a part of my life, mom. You should have known I would find out eventually."

"I know, I's just...I wish it had been me that had told you. It's a...parent thing, I guess."

Nathan rolled his eyes. "I guess...but I think he's just worried. He doesn't want you to do what his parents did to him."

Nathan had said that part without thinking, and thankfully Elle didn't ask about it- just rose an eyebrow.

"I guess it's good that he's worried, then." she sighed, standing to full height and glancing to her car. "I'd better get going though. Eric didn't think this was a good idea as it was."

Nathan nodded, hesitating before looking at her. "...So...does this mean you'll stop hating my boyfriend?"


"...Worth a shot..."

Varian stayed with Cana, stroking him without much thought. The contact was welcome though, even if Cana wasn't doing anything to respond, just resting his chin on the top of the bottom door of his stall.

The sound of Elle's car leaving his driveway alerted him that it was relatively safe to talk to Nathan. Giving Cana one last pat on the snout, Varian headed out of the barn and towards the house. Nathan was still on the porch where he'd left him.

Approaching silently, Varian paused a couple feet before the steps, shoving his hands into his pockets and lifting his gaze to rest on Nathan.

"She hates me."

Nathan smiled a little and shrugged. "...I wouldn't say hate...I'd say...dislike with a strong passion."

"Well, then she dislikes me with a very strong passion." Varian relented, still not happy with how Elle didn't even know him and still hated him.

Sighing, he took his hands out of his pockets and climbed the steps on the porch, taking a seat on the top one and leaving plenty of room for Nathan. "I don't hate her though. She did what any mother would have done. I'm not going to blame her. Just keep out of her way."

Nathan made his way to sit next to Varian before speaking. "Hm...point taken, I guess. I am, however, glad that you don't hate her."

Varian looked out at his driveway to where Cana had shown him the kitten. She'd disappeared for a bit, but she was nosing her way out of the bush now, and upon seeing him scampered over and clumsily jumped the steps to sit next to him, regarding him with those vivid green eyes.

Smiling at her, he scooped her up and held her out in front of him looking her over. "Why do you like me so much? You're a cat. You're supposed to be on Elle's side."

Varian noted Nathan's frown. "...Why should the cat side with my mother?"

Varian set the kitten down and she curled up on his lap, licking one of her paws before running it over her face. He shrugged. "Cats don't usually like Changed vampires. This one's strange. I don't get why she's still here."

"Hm...maybe... No. Never mind. I don't know why either."

Varian looked over at Nathan. He was curious, and Nathan better answer him. "What? What were you thinking?"

"Uh...nothing, lost the thought." Nathan replied, shaking his head.

Well, he did answer him. Just not what he was hoping for. Brushing it off, Varian realized Nathan hadn't told him what happened in the store after he left.

"You never told me what happened in the store when I wasn't there."

Granted, Varian wasn't too thrilled about what happened when he wasn't in the store, he was curious about Nathan's half of the story.

"Ah...right...the store..." Nathan replied quietly with an equally quiet sigh.

The kitten sat up and mewled quietly, lifting her head to gaze at Varian with those striking eyes, momentarily distracting him and delaying his next question. She was just so cute.

Smiling at her again, he reached down and scratched her under the chin. She closed her eyes and leaned into it.

"I'm assuming you got the rest of the story." Varian said.

"...Yeah, I got all of it. Well, as much as Millie knew, at least."

Varian didn't want to press Nathan, but he was curious, and Nathan wasn't giving him much.

"I'm prying, I'm aware, but what's the whole story?" He asked, taking his hand away from the kitten and settling back, palms flat on the porch.

Nathan glanced over and shrugged slightly. "Not much more than what you told me. Daniel, my father, had some friends that Changed him, and he came home and was really...hungry. So he bit what would have been my older sister."

The impact of what Nathan said took a moment to sink in. In fact, Varian was having a hard time registering what'd he'd just been told.

"Sister?" he asked, blinking, sitting up sharply. Which startled the kitten, and she jumped off his lap and ran off to disappear around the barn.

Nathan had a sister.

"He was Changed, by his friends...and then...he bit...your sister." Varian paused, frowning. "Who would have been five at the time."

Try as he might, his brain just wouldn't wrap around what'd been said.

Nathan raised an eyebrow in response to Varian's confusion.

That's when it clicked. Nathan's father had been bitten and Changed, and then he'd gone home, and the first source of blood available was Nathan's five-year-old sister. Satisfying his first craving for blood would take more than the usual amount. And she was just a child.

The feeding would have killed her. His own child.

The incredible pain and guilt that he would have felt would have been beyond his comprehension. It would have driven him mad.

Putting Venerra in that place instead...Varian shoved that thought away. No. Venerra would not be Changed.

But Nathan's sister? She'd been killed. It hadn't been an accident. He could have controlled his hunger enough to get out of the house.

Gritting his teeth, Varian gripped the step overlap to keep his hands from shaking, but there wasn't any use. His arms trembled from the effort. "Your father killed your sister. She was the first blood source around after he'd been Changed and he went for her. His own child." Swallowing past the lump in his throat, Varian let go of the porch and covered his mouth instead, staring at the ground.

He was having a hard time deciding if he was angry or sad.

Nathan nodded. "Yeah. He did."

Closing his eyes, Varian let his hand drop and decided that he was sad. The grief he felt for both Nathan and Elle quickly made the anger fade. He could deal with grief. He didn't want to deal with rage. Not again, not so soon.

"What was her name?"

"...Venessa, I think."

Varian opened his eyes and turned to Nathan. "I understand where your mother's coming from now. Losing a child, especially a young one... It's awful." Frowning, he looked back out over his driveway. "He didn't have to choose her. He had time to get out of the house. A vampire would turn on himself before attacking a child. There's always another option."

Nathan shrugged. "Well, he chose her. Not sure what else to say about it..."

Sighing, Varian pulled some hair out of his face. "I know it's not much, but I'm sorry it happened. And that you had to find out the way you did. I'd like to say it probably would have been better if I hadn't told you anything, but I know that's wrong."

"Eh. Over it now. Hard to miss someone you never knew and all that." Nathan replied, clapping his hands together in his lap.

Varian turned to Nathan, arching a brow. "You..." he began, and then stopped. No point in finishing that. Instead, he smiled and shook his head. "Are very interesting."

Nathan frowned. "...How, exactly, did you get that I'm 'interesting' from that response?"

And Nathan expected him to have a reason for that?

"I don't know. I was thinking something else and it just popped in my head so I said it. You're interesting, and I'm weird." Varian said, shrugging. "Why does everything have to have a point?"

"...Well, maybe I like it when things have a point."

Varian smirked. Oh, yes. Some things were better when they had a point.

"Well, maybe I like being long-winded." Varian countered, his smirk turning into a smile.

Nathan nodded in response. " can be long-winded..." he said, smiling slightly.

Gray, white, and black striped movement caught Varian's eye and he turned to watch the kitten bound up the steps to him again, carrying a baby shrew in her mouth.

Wrinkling his nose at the dead critter, Varian grinned anyway.

"Belle Fleur."

Nathan frowned. "...Belle what?"

Varian looked the kitten over. "Fleur. Belle Fleur. That's what I'm going to call her. Belle for short."

Varian was rewarded with a nod from Nathan. This one only slight. " think it's weird that she stays around you...yet you named her."

Varian looked up at Nathan, smiling openly at him. "Most things that turn up on my farm are here to stay for some reason. I never had a pet growing up, and this one feeds itself. So, I named her. Beautiful flower. That's what Belle Fleur means."

Nathan nodded again. "Makes sense, I guess."

Letting it go at that, Varian decided to enjoy his company a bit longer. Belle Fleur jumped off the steps and carried her catch off somewhere.

He had a pet. Venerra would like the kitten.

Nathan had gone home after that. He figured he'd let Varian spend some more time with his new pet.

Not that he didn't like cats, but...they weren't his favorite.

His only problem now- working on the damn essay he had to write. It was idiotic. Why should he write an essay on someone he considered a "hero", or whatever the prompt was? Completely pointless.

He sat at the desk in his room, sighing as he put his head on it. He didn't really "admire" anyone. It was childish to have some sort of hero. When he was younger, it was Santa. Then he found out Santa didn't even exist.

Kind of ruined things for him.

"Hero...hero, hero, hero...heeerrooooo..." he mumbled to himself, tapping his foot on the bottom of his chair. He was stalling. He could just bullshit the entire thing. But as it was the "end of the year" essay, and apparently any college he went to would look at it very closely- teacher's words, not his; he didn't think it was true- he wanted to do at least a moderately good job. And he couldn't bullshit that.

Deciding to take a break from thinking about the essay, he sat back up, going over the events of the past two days. Going to work. Elle randomly popping up. Yelling at his boyfriend. Insulting said boyfriend. Watching said boyfriend kiss Grant. Fuck Grant.

Varian and him did have a very eventful relationship, he guessed. Varian getting sick, then getting expelled, then working on the farm.

Alright, so Varian had an eventful life. Nathan just sort of witnessed it and played a small part every now and then.

And damn, did that make him feel useless.


Nathan frowned thoughtfully, glancing down to his essay paper, containing only his name, date, and period. Great start.

He reached over and picked up his pencil, tapping it on the desk a few times before writing a few words down, to see if he liked his new idea.

"My idea of a hero is someone who never gives up. Someone who puts up with a lot, and still tries to give one hundred percent every day, regardless of their situation."

Sitting back, he read the sentences over again, thinking of how to continue. He was never good at essays. Finishing the introduction, he started to smile to himself.

Yes, this would be a very interesting essay...

After Nathan had gone home, Varian went into the shed and looked around. He had various orders tacked to the walls that needed filling. Sighing, he ran a hand through his hair and plucked the oldest one off the wall, pulling out his chair and plopping onto it.

A person by the name of "Robin" wanted a natural birdhouse. No paint, just sealant so the wood wouldn't deteriorate or discolor.

Tilting his head, Varian glanced at his materials. A natural birdhouse wasn't the same as a basic birdhouse. Would this "Robin" person like raw cut wood- which would be very natural- or cut and sanded wood?

Frowning, he glanced at the information. There was a phone number.

Getting up from his chair, he headed back into the house and to the kitchen, passing the still sleeping Venerra on the couch. Smiling at her, Varian grabbed the phone, glanced at the paper to make sure he had it right, and dialed the number.

He waited a couple rings until somebody picked up.

"Hello, you've reached Robin, how may I help you?"

The voice was feminine, so that eased Varian's mind. He didn't want to offend somebody just because their name was gender neutral.

"Yes, my name's Varian, I'm calling about the birdhouse you ordered?"

"Yes, is there a problem?"

Varian blinked in surprise. A problem?

"No," he said quickly. "No problem. I was just curious as to how 'natural' you wanted it to be. There wasn't a whole lot in the description and I wanted to ensure I got it right."

There was a pause before she spoke. "I want it to blend in to its surroundings. It'll be placed in a tree grove."

Varian's didn't need any more information. Ideas whirled in his head faster than he could count them.

"Alright. I'll let you go then, thanks for the clarification Robin." He said.

There was a muffled "you're welcome" before the line cut off.

Heading back out into the shed, Varian grabbed a couple pieces of chopped wood and began to shape it. He'd keep the bark attached. he knew what he wanted to do.

A couple hours later and Venerra joined him in the shed, sitting on a stool he kept in there for her. "What you doing?" she asked, yawning and rubbing at her eyes.

"I have some orders I need to catch up on for Millie." Varian explained, pointing to several birdhouses that he'd managed to finish.

Venerra smiled. "Can I help?"

"Sure." Varian said, smiling. Handing her a paintbrush he instructed her to cover a small piece of sanded wood with a particular color.

Venerra grinned and began eagerly painting the side he told her too. It didn't take long before paint splattered back at her and Venerra blinked before giggling.

Chuckling at her care-free attitude, Varian set to work in silence, Venerra occasionally giggling next to him as paint got on her face and clothes.

When they finished, Varian wet a rag and knelt down so he could wipe the paint from her face. Venerra's brilliant purple eyes looked up at him, and Varian smiled back. She was adorable.

Belle Fleur made her way into the shed then and Venerra's eyes widened. "It's a kitty!" she exclaimed, pulling away from the rag to run over and scoop up Belle. The kitten protested, but didn't claw her. Instead she squirmed before giving a defeated mewl, and laid in Venerra's arms, flicking her tail in irritation.

Setting the rag aside, Varian gazed at the two of them fondly. "Her name's Belle Fleur. Call her Belle."

Venerra turned to look at him with awe. "We're keeping her?"


"So. Finish your English essay?"

Nathan sighed quietly, patting his binder, the only thing he was carrying considering it was the last two weeks of school for him. "Yep. Whole thing's in here."

"Whole thing?" Justin said, "How much did you write?"

"Roughly...three or four pages."

Justin snorted, frowning. "Seriously? I could barely write one."

"Well, luckily for me, I have a boyfriend that I can use." Nathan said with a smile, though it faded as Justin smirked back.

"Aw, how cute! Nathan used his boyfriend as his hero!"

Glaring, Nathan rolled his eyes. "Fuck you. At least I'll get extra credit."

Justin dropped his smirk, opting for an unamused expression as Andrea walked up. "And what are you two going on about now?"

"Nathan's 'heroic' boyfriend." Justin replied, making Nathan elbow his ribs. Andrea smiled at the two.

"You guys are so weird."

"I am not weird!" Justin exclaimed.

"You're gay. That automatically makes you weird." Nathan retorted.

"I am not gay."

"Might as well be."

Justin didn't reply, instead choosing to stay silent and pout as Andrea laughed. "Off topic," Nathan commented, "Did you guys know a group of ferrets is called a business?"

Andrea frowned. "...And you know that how?"

"I got really bored yesterday while stalling on my essay."

Sighing, she shook her head slightly. "Figures."

"A group of jellyfish is called a smack," Justin added, "And fish are a school, and crows are a murder, and a group of six people is called a sextet."

"The last one depends." Nathan mumbled. Justin frowned, looking over at him.


"Well, do the people have clothes on? If not, it's an orgy. Not a sextet. Though...sextet does start with 'sex'..."

Andrea blinked. "I can't believe we're having this conversation."

"Yeah," Justin mumbled, "But exactly how many people need to participate for it to be considered an 'orgy'?"

"...I don't know. There's regular sex, and threesomes, and foursomes...I don't know if fivesome is a maybe five?" Nathan thought out loud, counting on his fingers.

"And on that note, I'm going to class." Andrea said loudly, patting the boys on their shoulders before making her way around them, shaking her head as she left.

"...I thought it was a fairly educational conversation." Justin mumbled. Nathan laughed in response.

After dropping Venerra off at school, Varian changed his clothes and went right into the barn, grabbing a wheel barrow and a shovel, heading for the nearest vacant stall.

Stepping inside, he took the shovel and buried it in the soiled straw bedding, tossing a full scoop into the wheel barrow before repeating.

The task was mundane, and part of everyday farm life, so he let his mind wander as he usually did.

It'd been a long week. He'd met his boyfriend's mother- which he wasn't too thrilled about. He got where Elle was coming from, but that didn't mean she had to be such a jerk to him.

Sighing, he momentarily started when his shovel struck dirt and concrete. Blinking, he pulled it back and set it against the wall of the stall, grabbing the wheel barrow and quickly taking it out to dump in the compost pile before returning and going to the next stall.

It was Friday, the end of the week. And it had been a long one. Nathan was just glad he got his essay back.

He sat on Varian's porch, looking over the comments his teacher had made. There weren't that many, and he got a ninety on it, but he was curious as to what she hasn't liked.

… It could also have been the fact that it was four pages long.

Looking over the second page, Nathan glanced across the yard, seeing Varian playing with Venerra near the barn. They were playing some form of tag, he guessed, as Venerra touched Varian before running away giggling, and Varian gave her a minute to run before going after her, picking her up and kissing her cheek before setting her back down as the process repeated.

Nathan smiled at them for a second, laughing silently to himself before looking back at his essay. He didn't really feel like reading the rest of it, and the following comments. He was fairly proud of it, though. He thought it deserved more than a ninety. But, whatever. He was just glad he didn't fail.

He noticed Varian glance over at him before sitting down in the grass and pulling Venerra into his lap. She giggled, hugging him, then sliding off and laying in the grass too, staring up at the sky.

Laying down felt like a good idea. Nathan was tired.

He laid back on the porch, sighing before putting the papers over his face. It was impossible to read from that close, other than the large ninety percent in the corner. Like it was mocking him with it's less-than-one hundred-percent grade. Fucking English.

He heard footsteps approaching, figuring it was Varian as they stopped beside him and the person sat down. "Something wrong?"

Yep. Varian.

"Tired." Nathan responded without moving the paper. Varian, however, did it for him, lifting the corner of it.

"Why do you have a paper on your face?" he asked curiously. Nathan shrugged slightly.

"Don't know what else to do with it. And thinking that I should have gotten extra credit for the extra pages."

Varian let go of it, sitting back. "What's it on?"

"... Eh... We had to pick a person that we considered a 'hero', or something..."

He didn't really want to tell Varian. Because then he might want to read it. Even though it was about him... Which would be weird...

"What a strange topic for an essay." Varian smiled.

"Yeah. Well. Had to write it."

"Did you get a good grade?"

"Ninety." Nathan mumbled. Most people would consider that good. He, however, was still aggravated by it.

Varian nodded. "Not bad. Who'd you write about?"


"... Uh... Um... Well... That's... Highly classified information."

Varian regarded Nathan curiously. "If you aren't going to tell me, can I read it?"


Nathan groaned quietly. "If you really, really, really want to. Like... Really want to. More than anything in the entire world."

Varian paused. "If you don't want me to, I won't if it bothers you so much."

"Eh. I don't care. Read it if you want." Nathan sighed. He cared, yes, but... Whatever. He just wasn't one for heroes and admiring people and whatnot. Well... With them knowing, at least.

"Can I see it then?" Varian asked, holding out his hand. Nathan hesitated before handing the essay over, covering his face again with his arm. Varian took it, lifting it up to his face in order to read it. Nathan did, however, peek out from over his arm to see Varian's reactions.

When Varian began to read, Nathan could see his eyes pause, and he lowered the paper slightly before they began to move again. He read all the way to the third page without much more reaction, save for a smile, going to the last page and handing it back to Nathan while looking at him. "Why... Me?"

Nathan sighed, taking the essay and shrugging as he sat back up. "... Because you do a lot. Between work, and the farm, and Venerra. More than most of the older adults I know, at least."

"You help me a lot." Varian said with a smile. "I don't know where I'd be right now without you."

Hm... Well...

Nathan thought that over, nodding slightly. Considering Nathan didn't really help until Varian ended up in the hospital...

"... Dead, probably." he said, wrinkling up his nose at the thought before glancing over to Varian. "... Besides that though, you've managed to do it for the past few years without me."

Varian frowned. "And you saw what I was like. I don't want to go back to that." he said, pausing and looking at Nathan.

Nathan sighed, glancing to his lap briefly before fully looking at Varian. "Well... I don't intend to let that happen anytime soon."

Varian reached over, touching Nathan's shoulder and smiling softly before pulling him into a hug, wrapping his arms around him securely.

… Well then.

"Well that was unexpected." Nathan mumbled, wrapping his own arms around Varian and lightly rubbing his back. He'd never just hugged Varian before. For all the kissing and various somewhat sexual acts they did, (okay, so maybe a blowjob and handjob was a little more than 'somewhat sexual') they'd never just hugged each other.

Varian laughed at Nathan's comment. "Get used to it, I'm very touch oriented."

"I'm not complaining."

He wasn't. He was fine with hugs. Hell, he was fine with touching Varian in general.

Varian pulled away, and both boys noticed Venerra running up to the porch. "Can I hug Nathan too?" she asked, clapping her hands in front of her.

Nathan laughed. She really was adorable. He turned slightly, holding his arms out to her. "Yeah, sure, why not?" he replied, motioning her closer with his hands.

She smiled, running to him and throwing her arms around his neck. "Love you Nathan!"

Nathan smiled before he could stop himself, hugging her back tightly. "Yeah, love you too..." he mumbled.

And he did. He loved both of them.

Varian waited a minute before he spoke. "I protest the quality of my hug." he said, crossing his arms over his chest as Venerra giggled. Nathan let go of her, watching her run back into the yard before looking at Varian and smiling wider.

"I'm sorry. Would you like another one?"

Varian thought it over before shaking his head. "I will take a kiss though."

Ha. Nathan pretended to think it over, glancing around as he already knew his answer. "Hm... No... No, I don't think I can do that."

Varian grinned.

"Fair enough. But you can't touch me until I get a kiss."

"... Son of a bitch..."

So that's it. All done. I'm gonna go cry in a corner now.