About three things James May was absolutely positive. First: Richard Hammond was a not-very-secret American. Second: there was a part of him - and James didn't know how potent that part might be - that thirsted for cheese. And third: he was a massive bellend.
"Yes, thank you James," Richard said, rolling his eyes. "But you're going to need to add a fourth item to that list, since you are now positive that I am also a vampire."
"An American vampire in London," James said, twiddling through the trilly bit of a Chopin nocturne. Richard was pacing around behind him, and was making him twitchy.
"It's not funny, James," Richard said quietly. He perched on the edge of the piano bench, his bum rather impertinently close to James' thigh, and sighed. "It's a right pain in the bollocks."
James frowned at the piano and shut the fallboard with a little more force than was strictly necessary. "What's so bad about it?" he asked, glancing over at Richard. "Besides the garlic allergies."
Richard squinched his face and looked determinedly into the middle distance. James hoped he wasn't trying for broody, as he mostly just looked bunged up. "It's not all night life and castles," he said. "And I'm not allergic to garlic; that's a myth."
"Oh, well, obviously," James said. He wondered idly if he could tweet this. #VampiresWalkAmongstUsAndTheyAreWearingCowboyBoots.
"I can't even go out in the sun," Richard said, slumping. "At least, not without a mountain of slap on."
"Oh, is that why," James said dryly.
Richard looked at him with that stupid Puss in Boots face. "It's because I sparkle, James."
"Sparkle, all right? I sparkle! And it's a bloody nuisance and Jeremy saw me once and he thought it was glitter and I heard about it for weeks." Richard was up and pacing again, and at James' snicker, he turned on his heel and stalked out of the room. James heard the garden door slam shut and, sighing, headed out back.
"Richard, stop being a berk and come back inside," he said, though it came out rather strangled when he finally caught sight of him.
Richard was lying in James' overgrown garden (possibly one of the least-beautiful gardens in all of Her Majesty's Isles). Richard in the sunlight was shocking. James couldn't get used to it, no matter how long he stared. His skin literally sparkled, like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface. He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating arms bare. His glistening, pale lavender lids were shut, though he didn't seem to be sleeping. A perfect statue, carved in some unknown stone, smooth like marble, glittering like crystal.
"Christ," James said.
"Hideous, isn't it?" Richard sighed, opening his eyes.
"Worse than that, mate," James said. "I looked at you and came over all Miss Beatrice Heathropshireham in the garden."
Richard lifted his head and stared at him.
James strode over and looked down at him. He nudged Richard's ribs with the toe of his shoe, then squatted down and prodded his chest.
"Oi," Richard said, but tiredly, like he didn't really care.
"I thought your arms were scintillating," James said with disgust.
"I think that's all part of it." Richard waved a sparkly hand to encompass his entire sparkly being. He looked quite tragic there in the weeds.
"Well, you might as well come back inside," James said, standing. "You're scaring the locals."
Rich snorted, and let James help him to his feet.
It had gone better than he'd expected, he thought, eying James' neck. James was yammering on about something - gravity and blood types, probably - and Richard let him, following him quietly into the house. His eyes flashed red as he shut the door behind him, and he grinned, lips stretched wide over his perfect teeth. James stuttered to a halt, swallowing heavily.
"It's all right," Richard said soothingly. "I just wanted to show you one more thing."
He stepped forward and took James in his arms (his very scintillating arms, thank you very much), nuzzling his throat. James' indignant squawk cut off abruptly.
Outside, the day slowly bled away into twilight.