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I know what you are (say it) bisexual

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“Mom. I have something to tell you. I’m undead. Now, I know you may have some preconceived notions about the undead. I know you may not be comfortable with the idea of me being undead. But I’m here to tell you that undead are just like you and me … well, okay. Possibly more like me than you.”

-City of Ashes, Cassandra Clare

“Terrific. A bisexual dominant vampire with kidnapping expertise.”
Lover Unbound, J.R. Ward.


Raphael is nothing like Simon expected.

 

Okay, he’s lying.

 

Raphael is exactly the stereotypical vampire, the kind of character found in comic books and in shitty early horror films. He broods, he smirks, he  likes wearing black suits, he takes a special pleasure in holding pointy things (this can go from a knife to a fencing sword, though Simon isn’t quite sure where he got that) and staring at Simon intently for full on minutes before asking questions like, “Have you ever held a man’s life in your hands?” (Simon gets smacked for asking if Dungeons and Dragons counts), he revels in lounging on velvet divans and posing like he’s a model for Playboy’s gay counterpart (“Do you want me to draw you like one of my French girls?” “What are you talking about? You’re a horribly dense idiot sometimes, go and be useful.”), and he drinks blood like, dramatically .

 

Simon’s not even kidding with that one.

 

Like, most vampires just drink up, wince at the taste of animal blood,  wipe their chins and (if they’re assholes) wink or something and they’re done, but noooo , not Raphael. Raphael , because he’s the bane of Simon’s existence, has to get a fucking silver cup from one of the city’s most ancient relic sites, make Simon polish it for three days before he says ‘it’s ready’ (whatever the fuck that means), and then he drinks it.

 

Oooooh , how he drinks it.

 

He doesn’t just swallow normally, or even drink slowly. Nope ! Raphael has a very complicated process that he follows strictly every time he drinks blood in front of anyone, which is...most of the time he’s feeding, to be honest.

 

Simon has it fucking memorized .

 

  1. He makes eye contact.

 

There is literally nothing as horribly awkward and unsettling as making eye contact with a dude who’s about to dip his B-list horror movie fangs into freaky red plasma. So, imagine (Simon doesn’t fucking have to , because apparently staying at Hotel DuMort means he is a witness to every horribly traumatizing situation happening at the place, which, thanks, Raph,) you’re  a werewolf who’s come here to talk nice, because uh, obviously the world is Twilight and, werewolves and vampires? Do not like each other.

 

Which is kind of a shame, because Simon has fantasies about braiding werewolf hair. Like, he’s being completely serious here. Werewolves looks like they have the softest hair ever, and Simon just wants to pet them, even if he knows, intellectually, that it would get him killed.

 

(Sometimes he goes as far as to reach out and try to do it, but Raphael grabs his hand in an instant and raises his eyebrows. Simon gulped the first time, kind of embarrassed and terrified, but now he just gives him the stinky eye and sulks.)

 

So, yeah, you’re a very angry werewolf. And this guy , who’s supposed to be like, the Obama of Brooklyn vampires (that should be a fucking movie, holy shit , vampire!Obama, Simon could be rich), instead of being like, cordial and shit and all smiles and hands raised and “Vampires are on your side,” oh nooo . He takes a long look at whoever he’s decided to intimidate that date, drawls, “Simon,” and the teenage vampire resigns himself to a life of being a fucking Alfred to an even more angsty Batman, bringing him his “Creepy Satanic Cup” as Simon calls it, or his “Immortal Cup” as Raphael’s pedantic pretentious little dead brain thinks it should be called.

 

Whatever, everyone knows Simon’s totally in the right in this one.

 

Okay, he’s getting a little sidetracked. They’re in the meet-and-greet room (no, Simon’s not gonna call it the Grand Entrance no matter how many times Raph scowls), and Simon brings in the Cup, and he’s been practicing, okay, so he tries to narrow his eyes just right , lets his fangs drop (because, let’s face it, he enjoys this sometimes, if only to remind himself that he can still have fun while being a bloodsucker) and says, in his best, creepy, abused servant voice (with trembling for added factor of being a scary motherfucker!), “Master, your evening drink.”

 

Which is total bullshit. Adult, healthy vampires only need one drink a day. But werewolves don’t know that, so that makes it even creepier , which is exactly what Raphael wants. What Simon hopes for is when the dude has more than two visits in one day, because he always has this face like he wants to throw up when he drink more blood -oh man, it’s hilarious, and Simon’s perfect voice kind of flounders a little, but it’s so worth it .

 

And then, he takes the cup in one hand,  like James Bond or something, but without the Q, because mostly Simon’s just his glorified immortal assistant (and he’s okay with that), makes the fucking eye contact like they’re John and Sherlock or something (seriously, the amounts of eyesex Simon has to deal with on a daily basis is ridiculous. A few times he’ll see some werewolves embarrassingly covering their junk as they walk out, and smirks. Raphael is a little shit, but he gets things done.)

 

  1. The sigh.

 

Now, Simon’s had some experiences with sighs. He’s not a blushing sigh virgin or something. He’s totally seen those nostrils do the thing, in various different ways. But Raphael takes it to a next level.

 

So we have our sexually uncomfortable werewolf who might or might not be questioning his orientation (Simon always cheerfully hands out pamphlets for sexuality talks to Downworlders, who gape at him, but hell, he knows they go. Maisey from Lesbians United tells him.), and Raphael is yup, down there, gulping down some sweet blood like he has nowhere else to be (and that is a filthy lie , because Simon handles his schedule and he gets yelled at when he’s late, not the over irritable faerie that caused it, asking for help with her rat), and when Raph finally finishes licking the blood that’s at the bottom seductively, he sighs .

 

A contented, ‘I-just-had-sex’ sigh. A ‘well-look-at-that-honey-I-just-came’ sigh. A fucking sigh , all right? He exaggerates as much as he can, closing his eyes and purposefully making his Adam’s Apple move so as to force his visitors to stare at him (Simon always rolls his eyes discreetly. Fucking drama queen), and then he lets his breath out, simply, easily, and smiles.

 

Which leads him to:

 

  1. The smile.

 

Because, man. Erm. It’s the smile. Simon’s been hanging out at Chez Le Undead for long enough to be invited to the non-metaphorical bowling games at card games, and he’s seen what’s hanging on the only room in the creepy, abandoned, wet ass boring hotel that’s actually warm and comfortable. There’s a picture of Raphael. Smiling .

 

Whenever a guy gets discouraged from playing, he just looks up, sees the Smile, shudders, hunches his shoulders, and goes on. Because the Smile gets your fucking priorities straight. It’s like fucking Fight Club or Lord of the Flies or something. The Smile gets you and makes your fucking ancestors wish they hadn’t kicked that one goddamned rock that one time.

 

So yeah, Raphael likes sighing, and then Smiling . His face doesn’t move at all, his muscles stay the same. He only changes his lips’ positions, letting all his fangs show, and touches them, moving his fingers over them until he lets his skin be broken by the easily controllable pressure, and very carefully makes the visitor see the blood on his finger, red and powerful, before he licks it clean.

 

(Yeah. Maisey at LU really gets tons of people from here. Simon’s like the Gay Gandhi or something, apparently. She sends him postcards with pictures of ‘Simon’s Gays’, and all of them are giving him a thumbs up.)

 

People usually just fold at his feet around that time; some of them harder than others, but mostly all pliant and eager to please his Lord Sucky. Simon manages not to roll his eyes too much, because honestly they’re all just what he affectionately calls ‘blood sucking immortal power bottoms’.

 

(He, uh. He gets smacked around a lot. Maybe. Shut up.)

 

So, case in point: Raphael is totally some Bram Stoker shit, or at least tries to be, with all the practiced grooming and whole creepy routine.

 

But that’s not the problem here.

 

The problem is that Simon likes it.

 

 

It doesn’t even start as something especially significant, just a stray thought.

 

Raphael is writing away at his old wooden oak desk with gargoyles as its legs (Simon’s not even kidding. He wished it was. Those things creep him the fuck out), grumbling about fucking territory laws and stubborn furry assholes and he’s chewing his bottom lip, his fang puncturing it slightly, frowning, frustrated and Simon can’t help but think, he’s adorable.

 

Except.

 

What.

 

The

 

Fuck .

 

Simon’s in shock, frozen for probably a couple of minutes, since he doesn’t need to breathe and Raphael would rather pay attention to the growing mold population on his third stair (Simon named it Moldtopia, and cheerfully talks to it every morning when he wakes up Raph’s lazy ass) than him. After a few seconds of terrified panic, he chuckles nervously to himself, goes back to doing Trig homework, which he’s still resentful about. Raphael had wanted him to  keep doing homework and go to school. “You need it, fledgling,” he’d said, flicking him on the nose, strangely fond, and Simon starts to smile a little sappily.

 

And then he fucking-

 

Holy shit -

 

N o -

 

He’s straig-

 

Can’t -

 

He literally runs away from the room, claiming Clary’s having some kind of emergency, even though he didn’t pick up the phone at any time. Simon can feel Raphael’s puzzlement, but his non beating heart (his friends-with-benefits heart, as he likes to call it) was beating crazily in his chest, and he was going to get dizzy and yup, there it was, the screech.

 

Damn you, heteronormativity. Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

 

 

It takes a while, but Simon gets over the Teh Gay freak out, analyses it like, twenty billion times, determines that it must have been a fluke, because obviously he’d know if he was bi. He goes back to his duties the next days, whistling and walking in step to some horrible vampire ear MCR song, for irony’s sake.

 

Raphael barely glances at him when he comes in, but his lips curl, “Did the redheaded human survive? She’s feisty, I like her.”

 

“Clary?” Simon frowns, “Why would y-Oooh,” he remembers his pathetic excuse, and tries not to let it show it was clearly a story, “Yup, Clary’s fine. Peachy. Last night went off without a hitch.” If he’s asked, Simon will say either “Clary’s pregnant, and it’s Isabelle’s baby ,” or “Raphael. I think you fucking Mulan’ed me. I think I’m your Shang. I hate you.”

 

Thankfully, Raphael seems content with the excuse and supports his elbows on the desk, sighing normally (thank g- nope, still can’t say that), “Well, I had some pressing business for you to attend to, anyway.”

 

Simon brightens. Maybe he’ll get to be away the other vampire for a while, and clear his head a bit. He’d do anything to get time alone. He would even hang out with Jace! Right after he thinks that, he winces. There are limits to what he’s willing to do, and becoming pals with Clary’s weird incestuous mess of a brother is out of the questions, even if (he admits reluctantly) his hair is nice like a werewolf’s.

 

“You’re getting a suit,” Raphael declares, and little storm sounds follow him.

 

Simon glares, “You told me you were giving back the special effects machine!”

 

The older boy (well, he’s probably around a hundred, but meh) crosses his arms, refusing to make eye contact for once, “I don’t see how that’s relevant -”

 

Raphael, it’s my band’s special effects! You can’t just -wait.” Simon blinks, “What-what do you mean, getting me a suit?”

 

Raphael smirks, reaches into his pocket, stretching, lean and powerful and- nope. Stop. Bye, train of thought, it was nice knowing you! Anyway, the vampire pulls out a credit card.

 

“Vampires use Visa?” Simon asks out loud, disbelieving.

 

Raphael glares, “Vampires use their annoying assistants as rag dolls if they don’t learn how to shut the fuck up .”

 

He grins at him, ruffling what little hair he has, delighted, “You adore me, admit it.”

 

Simon tells himself, It’s not gay, it’s not gay, I’m totally not checking him out, he just had that stain on his right trouser leg…

 

Raphael is, apparently, a rich as fuck vampire, because the suit shop they go in is fancy as hell. They park in the basement, because, uh, sunlight , and even though dusk has fallen it’s better to be safe than sorry (sorry meaning dead). Raphael keeps smirking, which does nothing to help Simon’s inner mantra that consists of I’m straight, I’m straight holy fuck is he licking his lip- I’m straight .

 

“This,” the vampire announces as they walk into the shop, smiling faintly, looking, almost for the first time since Simon’s met him, as if he’s relaxed, “is the greatest place in the world, Simon Lewis.”

 

He looks at him then, grinning, eyes dark, shining, looking more polished than ever but somehow oddly vulnerable, and Simon’s breath hitches, his insides turning to goo.

 

His mantra becomes Let me not jump him, or, at least, not in public .

 

A wiry old man with a ready-to-go, costumer-prepared smile awaits him as he turns around, dressed impeccably and saying, in a short, monotonous voice, “Sir.”

 

Feeling rebellious, Simon leans into Raphael, eyes fluttering at the way their skin feels together, and whispers, “Why do I have an Alfred? I thought I was Alfred.”

 

For some reason, Raphael sounds weird, strangled, as he answers, “Don’t bother me, Lewis. You’ll be acceptable soon enough.”

 

Simon rolls his eyes, because, fucking vampires and their fondness for the dramatic, and then declares, in his best Benedict Cumberbatch impression, “Well, the game is on!”

 

The old man sighs, long-suffering, “Please, Mister Lewis, follow me,” and mutters something unsavory under his breath that Simon decides to ignore.

 

Apparently , there iss a Downworlder ball.

 

“You could have just told me, you rotten potato!” Simon snaps at him when Raphael smoothly announces the ball three hours before it is scheduled to start , “Now there won’t be any tickets, and I’ll- You can’t handle yourself without me, you make the whole Seelie Court nervous, and I’m better at taking care of werewolf trouble anyway-!”

 

“Simon,” Raphael stops him, lips quirking upwards, “No need to flail around like a prepubescent teenager. You have an invitation to the ball; I procured one. Now, go get ready and be here in my office in two hours so we can leave.”

 

“You called me Simon!” he exclaims delightedly, clapping his hands, not even caring about the ball thing. He usually isn’t required to go (well, more like the other vampires politely asked him not to ever attend. Ever. Because he’s clumsy and stupid and raised mundane and they don’t want to be embarrassed. And Simon obeys because, hey, free night means cheetos and a chance to hang out with Clary. It doesn’t make him feel unwelcome and lost. Not at all!)

 

The vampire’s eyes soften almost imperceptibly, but he scoffs, “Please, no such excitement at the ball. I will expect some decency, at least.” He seems to hesitate, thinking over something, before saying very carefully, “You’ll have to stay close to me. Don’t wander off.”

 

Simon rolls his eyes, making a mock salute, “Yessir,” before hurrying towards his room, rummaging through his small closet in the Hotel.

 

It barely has any clothes inside of it, just some old jeans and t-shirts he doesn’t mind getting blood on, or claw marks from when Luke’s pack get angry at him and decide to shake him a bit. It’s a sad, empty space that’s in his sad, empty room, and it just makes Simon even more miserable (and that’s saying something), but now, hanging proudly on the only hanger, is the suit Raphael had made him buy, much more traditional than the ones the other vampire wears, a normal tuxedo.

 

He’d only been trying it on, and then he’d come out, expecting ‘Alfred’, but it was the Raphael who was there, and his eyes widened as he took in Simon’s appearance. He’d cleared his throat, sounding hoarse when he said, rasping, “Keep it, Lewis. It...suits you, or as much as any fine piece of garment could ever suit you,” he took a deep breath, “Now,I’ll see you tomorrow. Lewis. Shooo, leave me alone, you annoying neophyte.”

 

Now, he puts it on, muttering about vampires and their weird little intimidation tactics (it hadn’t worked when Raphael had displayed a live crocodile the first day Simon was on as his assistant [he’d shouted at the vampire for taking the animal out its natural habitat, and he’d seemed appropriately taken aback], so it’s not as if a Downworlder ball will traumatize him much), and grabs a couple of things., like his keys, his phone and -

 

His gaze falls on his nightstand, where his ‘I’M IN A BAND, BABY’ pin is. He took it off the first night he slept here, fingers still trembling, terrified. He was sure he’d never see his mother and sister again, and he couldn’t bear the thought of Eric, Maureen and the others. He swallows thickly.

 

I’m nothing more than a monster ,”, he remembers whispering, horrified, lips stained with blood.

 

“We’re going to be late,” comes a bored voice, and yup, that’s Raphael leaning against his doorframe, hair slicked back, looking perfectly polished. Simon frowns, because he thinks Raphael said something about going to his office, but it’s not as if he minds sparing the trip, looking uncomfortable in way more expensive clothes he’d probably buy while Ricky snickers and elbow Fran so they can both laugh at him. Raphael’s eyes give Simon a once over, probably checking to make sure he isn’t embarrassing, and he nods, approving, smiling, showing his fangs show.

 

Simon hesitates, “Raphael…”

 

You’re a monster!

 

“When I said...when, uh, when I’d just been turned and I called you a- a m-”

 

“What are you talking about?” Raphael cuts him off, waving the matter away with his hands, “I never pay attention to the idiocies you blab about constantly. Now, come with me?”

 

For some reason (okay, for a reason Simon is pretty sure he knows, but fuck it, denial has always been his thing), he smiles.

 

 

When Simon thinks ‘Downworlder ball’,he imagines Dracula-esque mansions with lots of music that sounds like the Psychosis soundtrack and people dressing in black.

 

He definitely doesn’t picture white roses, a 19th century ballroom, a sultry young faerie singing passionately something that sounds worryingly like Céline Dion, and lots of happy young adults wearing colorful dresses and sparkles . This looks like a politician’s wife charity ball, as stereotyped as that sounds.

 

Simon frowns and stares at Raphael, “What…?”

 

The vampire glares at him, “Not enough candelabros and ataúdes for you, Simon? We do have normal parties, as strange as that must seem, even though this is...more extravagant than most. Refrain from making any terribly ignorant comments, it would spare me a great deal of embarrassment.”

 

He only does as he’s told because Raphael calls him by his name, and not because he actually takes orders. Fuck that, Simon’s a free spirit.

 

“Simon!” Clary calls out delightedly, and what .

 

He raises his eyebrow at Raphael as Clary walks up to him, wearing a gorgeous, glittering blue dress that hugs her curves. But, somehow, it doesn’t take Simon’s breath away the same way it seemed to two weeks ago.

 

He’s kind of terrified because that makes him think about a whole other subject entirely.

 

“How come you’re here? Invitations were handed out so long ago, and it’s Downworlder exclusive, but I managed to get in here as Magnus’s plus one-” Clary is smiling up at him, looking so at ease, and Simon frowns.

 

“But,” he looks at Raphael, not understanding, “You said there were invitations, that I could go…”

 

The vampire tenses up, “Shut up, fledgling.” And we’re back to the derogatory terms.



Raphael -”

 

Clary’s looking between them too, like she’s figuring something out, eyes just slightly narrowed, and Simon doesn’t like it. He bites his lip, deciding not to say something more, but shoots Raph a mean, mean glare that he hopes says We’ll talk about this later , and not I have garlic in my eye .

 

“Anyway,” his best friend says, the love of his life says, “I’m so glad you came here! I wanted to be here because apparently there are some important warlocks here tonight,” her eyes darken, “maybe one of them can manage to wake my mother. Jace,” she hesitates when she says his name, sounding confused and guilty about her brother, which makes an incredible amount of sense, “and the others couldn’t come, so, uh, it’s just me,” she beams at him, “come with me to grab a drink? I promise not to make a face at you if it has blood.”

 

Raphael tenses behind him, clearly disapproving, but what the hell? The vampire’s already lied to him about the party, no reason why he can’t have a hang out with Clary, who’s alone , no Jace to speak of, and -

 

“Nah, sorry,” wait, what? Mouth what the hell are you saying? “I have to help Raphael with stuff, he’s useless at politics that don’t involve staring creepily at people. I’ll catch up with you later, though.”

 

Clary looks at him for a long moment, assessing, before she smiles, cryptic, and glances at Raphael with something shining in her eyes, lips curled, “Yeah, later. Have fun, Simon!” and she’s gone, immediately stopped by a tall dark-haired faerie (because, okay, Simon’s no expert,  but she has the faerie look, with all the glitter she’s wearing [although Magnus does wear a lot of glitter too, but that could be just because he’s fabulous]).

 

“Why did you do that?” Raphael glares at him when she’s out of sight, “I knew you wanted to go with her. Annoying me won’t be as rewarding as chasing after her like a puppy, and you don’t have to think about my feelings ,” he spits the last word out.

 

“Firstly, don’t make me think of vampire puppies, okay?” Simon shudders. He can’t honestly say what made him stay with the creepy-as-fuck, hair-gel-covered vampire, but hell if he’s going to admit it, “And then, Raphael, I stayed because you brought me here. Figured there was a reason for that, unless you were being petty. Also, who said anything about feelings?”

 

Raphael stares at him, tilting his head, “You’re strange, aren’t you?” he grins, rolling his shoulders, and making sure to bring attention to how he’s strutting like a peacock ( fuck , don’t think about words with ‘cock’ in them when Raphael’s around, trousers so fucking tight- nope ) because he’s still a dramatic little shit, “Now, come with me, Simon. You’re going to meet Terry, an important vampire. He’s also known as ‘Goatee King’, and I thought you might appreciate that..”

 

The Shadow World is truly amazing.

 

(Just as they’re leaving, tired and feeling restless as sunrise approaches, Simon catches sight of Clary, and realizes he hasn’t thought about her in all night.)

 

 

“So...I got invited to a wedding,” Simon says, because he has to say it at some point, before Raphael freaks out and threatens to rip a werewolf’s throat out with his teeth , like the last time he’d been gone without previous notice, and while they’re sitting quietly in his study seems a good enough time.

 

The other vampire raises an eyebrow, “And you thought I might care because…?”

 

“It’s Alec Lightwood’s wedding, you know, the Shadowhunter .”

 

That seems to peak Raphael’s interest, and he even smiles, “ Ah, fantástico ,” and fuck, Raphael speaking in Spanish is really hot, “Bane finally got him to give in, then?”

 

What? ” Simon blurts out, incredulous, “He’s marrying Lydia Branwell!”

 

A confused frown, “But…”

 

Simon thinks about it for a second and- holy shit (it’s so unfair that he can say ‘holy shit’ but ‘g-’ is still a fucking problem) “Oh my g-, they are so gay for each other!”

 

Raphael smirks, looking up from his notebook, where he’s presumably writing a letter to some important person or something. Once, Simon caught him playing Sudoku, “Took you long enough.”

 

He glares at him, blushing, and thinking of that time he saw Jace and Alec staring passionately into each other’s eyes while holding hands. Maybe Shadowhunters are just...freer with their sexuality? Who the fuck knows, they’re weird. “Anyway, I’m only telling you so you don’t go all Edward Cullen when I’m not in the Hotel.”

 

“Who’s Edward Cullen?” Raphael frowns, ceasing his writing, “Do you like this Edward Cullen? Why have you never spoken about him before?!”

 

Simon buries his face in his hands, thankful that he isn’t getting his glasses dirty, as he would have before becoming an immortal fucking nerd, “How do you not know about this? Do you at least know Dracula ?”

 

Raphael frowns, “Is this another of your boyfriends ?”

 

And that. That makes Simon freeze.

 

“I don’t,” he clears his throat, “I don’t have a boyfriend. Or girlfriend. I don’t-I don’t have an anything.”

 

hOLY FUCK THIS IS HAPPENING

 

Raphael looks at him, startled, and his tongue automatically moves to lick his lips, as he does approximately 4598350 times a day (it’s been driving Simon crazy ), and his voice goes low, hands (his fingernails are painted red, and he’s been staring at them since he saw them that morning) gripping the armchair where he’s sitting so hard his knuckles are turning white, “ Simon ,” he growls, and he feels like whining, something incredibly pleasant pooling in his stomach, Mini-Simon getting excited, “what are you wearing for the wedding?”

 

WAIT WHAT?

 

“A-A t-shirt,” he mumbles, whiplash hitting him harder than when Clary decided fighting with pans was a good idea and he got rekt, “A black t-shirt and some nice trousers. I figured it was enough, you know? Not like anyone’s gonna pay attention to me, and I don’t like the suit you bought me.”

 

Raphael stands up, vampire quick, and he’s inches away from Simon in fractions of a second, so close he can smell the shit he puts in his hair. His eyes are dark, melted chocolate, his lips seem like fresh strawberries, and his body is hard, legs almost touching his. Simon flicks his eyes down, unable to help himself.

 

Raphael is just wearing a suit jacket, no shirt in sight, and he can see his muscled chest, the way it almost seems to glow, the trail of dark hair leading to his...Simon’s aching , and he’s struggling not to swallow hard because that won’t go unnoticed, “ Eres mío . Nothing of mine will go to a wedding looking like a disgrace to the name of good fashion.”

 

Nothing of mine .

 

Simon gulps, eyelids flickering, “Oh. What...what should I wear?”

 

The vampire smirks, trailing a red nail over his cheek, eyes glinting, “ Ay, chico , something of mine should wear something of mine.”

 

 

The suit smells like Raphael and Simon doesn’t think he’ll be able to sleep that night .

 

 

Simon hesitates before knocking, and Raph has already opened the door, eyebrows raised.

 

“I, uh, I came to give you back the suit,” he says awkwardly, shoving the thing at Raphael, “Thanks, it was perfect, Clary said I looked good, and you wouldn’t believe what happened, I had no idea Alec was so gone for Magnus, although I approve -”

 

The vampire has him inside the room in milliseconds, pushing him against the wall and crowding him, arms at his hips, eyes glazed over, fangs extended, “I need you now -”

 

His mouth meets Simon’s, and everything explodes .

 

Simon moans , kissing back desperately, fisting his hands in dark hair and pulling . Raphael’s hungry, pressing his entire body against him, and he feels warm (vampires aren’t supposed to feel warm, are they?), his hands are raking all over him, wandering under his t-shirt and whispering fiercely, “ Te tengo, te tengo, tengo que tocarte , I need to see you naked -”

 

And Simon, ( stupid, dumb, believer in true lover Simon ) pushes him away, glaring, “No!” he  pants, still not being able to believe he’s doing this, andwaits a few seconds before he coughs, repeating a little more calmly, “No, Raphael. I-I can’t do this.”

 

Raphael roars, crowding him, trying to suck a mark into his throat, and Simon shivers, feeling electricity shoot up his spine, but he whines and shakes his head, lightheaded. The other vampire throws his arms up ( can he stop, jeex ) and paces, looking wild, breathing hard, “You keep sending me hints, fledgling. You can’t expect me not to answer -”

 

“I want you to answer!” Simon yells before he can think that, wow, he, uh, he actually does, “But-I don’t want to be your vampire boy toy! I don’t want to wear tight clothes and go to balls so you can parade me! I don’t want you to call me names and make me feel small! I don’t want you to fuck me and then go! I want,” his voice breaks, and he looks down, embarrassed, “I want to be your boyfriend .”

 

He sounds like a thirteen year old, and he knows it, but fuck it. He’s done more humiliating things before (like dying his hair pink in eighth grade by accident, which wow, not a fun three months).

 

Raphael just stands there, still, for a few seconds, and then he turns away, swallowing hard, “I’m not- I’m not the type who has relationships , Simon.”

 

“Oh,” it’s incredible, how small he feels saying that one word, how his heart seems to contract in his chest, trying to hide, and he nods absentmindedly, as if trying to clear the air in the room, taking a step back, rubbing at the back of his neck, “I see.”

 

He takes a deep breath, “I’ll be back next week. I know you don’t need me for meetings, anyway, and I’ll just come and take my blood, listen to your speech about unity and shit-”

 

“Simon,”

 

“-really, no need, wow, we should really forget this ever happened-”

 

Simon ,”

 

“-so, yeah, bye.”

 

 

Simon isn’t moping.

 

“I do not mope,” he lies to himself, alone in his room, switching his popcorn from one arm to the other, “I am a strong, independent vampire who needs no man.”

 

Yeah, right , the pile of rom-coms DVDs and dirty clothes lying on the floor seem to say, Whatever you say, buddy .

 

His mom took one look at him, shoulders slumped and speaking in tired whispers, the way he moved his food around the plate instead of sneakily throwing it away like usual, and concluded that he had a broken heart.

 

Rebecca readily agreed, smiling sadly and squeezing his wrist.

 

I’m dead, Mom , Simon wants to say, I’ve got no heart to break .

 

(After thinking that, he realizes he actually sounds like some Edward Cullen shit, and forces himself to play World of Warcraft until the taint is washed off him.)

 

Clary calls, that first day, and whines about catching Magnus and Alec “in the weapons room , Simon, like, isn’t that unsafe?”, and he nods and says the necessary “hmm-hmm” and “yeah” and “totally” whenever he’s required, and then she asks about That Awful Heathen.

 

“How’s Raphael?” she sounds like she’s smiling, teasing, and Simon realizes that she knew .

 

“Fine, I guess,” because Simon is the master of being subtle, “I haven’t been at the Hotel for a while.”

 

“Uh-oh,” Clary laughs, and it makes Simon’s heart clench, “Relationship trouble?”

 

Damn you, Clary, and your natural perceptiveness .

 

“Oh. Oh ,” she says, after a few seconds of awkward silence in which Simon isn’t sure what to say, “I, uh, I see.”

 

“Good bye , Clary, have fun training with Isabelle.”

 

“Simon, wait -!”

 

He’s already hung up, because Clary is a great friend, his best friend, but he’s not about to take relationship advice from his former (former? Is he over her yet? He’s not really sure.) love and talk about his weird daddy kink or something on his vampire almost-boyfriend.

 

There are lines , and Simon is not crossing them.

 

So he sulks, like the expert he is at it, and watches early Alan Rickman movies, listens to shitty early 2000s love songs and chooses the episodes of Supernatural that have evil vampires in them to shout at, and he eats chocolate and Rebecca says things like, “Uh, I, I am trying to empathize,” while sitting awkwardly on his bed and asks him what’s the girl’s name so “I, uh, I can, like, give her decaf coffee or something.”

 

His sister is a wonder.

 

It’s on the third day of feeling sorry for himself, swallowing down Pop Tarts and trying not to jerk off to the way That Capitalist Cucumber’s suit smelled like him, that Windows Vista himself suddenly enters his room.

 

Simon stares, Raphael stares back.

The guy looks terrible; his hair’s not slicked and perfect, but messy and unwashed, and he’s wearing what looks like a sad attempt to blend in as a casual teenager in Brooklyn, some old grey jeans that look way too big for him and, astonishingly, a t-shirt that says Come to the dark side, we have Nicolas Cage .

 

Simon thinks, he truly is a master of disguise , and hates himself when it makes him want to giggle.

 

His mother calls, “Honey, who’s that boy who just came in?”

 

Simon glares, “My mother -”

 

“I’m Simon’s boyfriend, Miss Lewis!” Raphael calls out, eyes still fixed on Simon, looking horribly out of place in different clothes, standing in Simon’s room, like he’s a piece of another world that doesn’t belong here, with his Jack the Ripper poster and his miniature TARDIS on the shelf.

 

“Simon’s boyfriend ?!” comes a screech, and Raphael shuts the door.

 

(Simon’s mom is probably already fainting, so he doesn’t worry too much about all that.)

 

“Oh, are you now?” Simon crosses his arms, tilting his head up indignantly, ignoring the fact that he’s wearing his old Pikachu pajamas, he’s lying in bed like he’s sick, and that his hair probably looks like shit, because dammit, he’s trying to be better than this.

 

Raphael sighs, “I-I thought about what you said.”

 

( Shocker . Raphael listening to him is about as rare as Luke using social media properly; that is, it has never and will never happen, as long as the world makes sense.)

 

“And?” Simon’s actually kind of enjoying this, and he’s gonna milk it for all it’s worth if he can keep the damn smile he’s feeling in his fangirl heart from showing.

 

The other vampires cocks his head, “You’re going to make me do this, aren’t you?” when he gets no answer, he smiles, and his fangs show a little, which, fuck, isn’t fair, he looks good with his fangs, “ Estúpido, I want to be in a relationship with you, Simon. I want to be your partner -”


“Boyfriend,” Simon corrects, shooting him a pointed look.

 

Boyfriend ,” Raphael rolls his eyes, but complies.

 

“What made you change your mind, Mister I-am-too-much-of-a-vampire-diva-to-change-my-Facebook-relationship-status?”

 

He stares at Simon, and there’s something fond in his expression, “Because you say ridiculous things like that, and you shout at me when I wake you up at four AM, and you refuse to call my Immortal Cup what it is -”

 

“It’s creepy , is what it is!”

 

“-and I miss you,” he finishes, shuffling his feet, “When Clary called me -”

“Clary called you?” Simon gapes, stunned, “But I didn’t-”

“She,” Raphael hesitates, “She is very loud, for a Shadowhunter.”

Despite himself, he laughs, “That’s what you get with Clary.”

“You were my plus one to the Downworlder ball,” Raphael blurts out suddenly, and then looks horrified with himself, “And I didn’t want you close to help me, I simply...I was uneasy about the thought of you with anyone else. And, uh, Clarissa made me see that…I might want a relationship.”

Simon hesitates.

Is this what he wants? A boyfriend? A vampire boyfriend? A dude who wears suits like he wears hoodies, who bosses him around and whose eyes twinkle when he embarrasses himself, but who always barks the second someone else makes fun of him? A guy who reads huge philosophy tomes and who cares about each and every vampire he’s in charge of as if they’re his children?

Yeah, he realizes, dumbstruck, that’s what he wants.

( He’s not Edward Cullen- he’s Bella fucking Swan.)

 

“You’re buying me dinner tonight,” is what he ends up saying, “I don’t care that we can’t eat, you’re going to take me to the nicest place that serves Downworlder food and you’re going to pay and you’re going to let me paint my room at the Hotel a different color, because decaying and moldy makes me cranky.”

Raphael sighs, as if it’s a huge sacrifice, but he’s willing to do it if Simon insists, “I guess I can manage that.”

Simon smiles, getting off the bed with vampire speed, not even caring that he’s supposed to be mad, because he wants Raph now , kissing him, and then the other vampire’s eyes are hooded, and he’s making a small sound in the back of his throat and they’re touching and-

“Simon!” his mother shouts, opening the door, looking scandalized and staring at the rosary on Raphael’s chest, “You never told me your boyfriend was a Christian !”

He laughs.