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How to Save the Day (sort of)

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Ash brooded in the shadows of the club, and quite becomingly so, he was certain. But no matter how much he furrowed his brow—Don't spoil your looks, Mary-Lynette had scolded—he still could not figure out how to begin a journey of redemption. Or white knighthood, for that matter. The books Mary-Lynette had recommended were just as difficult to get through as she had predicted; he wanted to dig the authors up, reanimate them, and argue with them, or at least ask them to explain. Preferably with small words. If it were just the repenting, he could handle it, but instead, it was this entire other worldview, and he could not get a foothold into it because they kept insisting that the sky was green and blood wasn't tasty.

He would have come up with more ideas for the whole reparations thing, except the guys next to him were annoyingly trying to pick up a girl who very clearly didn't want to be picked up. He could saunter over and show them how it was done, and he would have, but then he imagined that it was Mary-Lynette there.

"Leave her alone," he growled at them, not-so-subtly accompanying the command with a mental blast of "I could rip your throat out and leave you for the dogs."

The guys scurried away, and the girl stood there with a vaguely disgusted look on her face. "I tell them that a hundred times, and nothing, but one sentence from another guy and it's Splitsville? I hate people."

It was not exactly the swooning thanks Ash was expecting. You don't get cookies for being a decent person. Vampire. Person. Whatever, said the Mary-Lynette in his mind. For extra effect, she kicked him. "I know, I know," Ash said, only belatedly realizing he had spoken out loud. He would have to ask James if the whole soulmate thing came hand-in-hand with loss of sanity, as a hypothetical, of course.

The girl cautiously reappraised him. "Yeah, it really sucks. But, well. Thanks."

"No thanks needed," Ash replied, partly to make her leave as soon as possible.

The Trials and Tribulations of Ash Redfern: one. Ash: zero. This was going to be a long year, and he couldn't even write to Mary-Lynette of his progress (or lack thereof) without looking like a fool.

Hrm. He wondered how much of Darcy's letter (the second one, of course) he could crib before Mary-Lynette called it plagiarism instead of clever reference.