My soulmate tattoo used to make me feel hopeful. I was thrilled when I had gotten mine on my 11th birthday. I know Father feared I wouldn't, since I'm not technically alive. But when I unbuttoned my flannel and gazed into the mirror early that November morning, there were seven words written in a messy scrawl right over my heart. 'I know you, Baz. I see you.' I laughed, something I rarely did even as a child, giddy with relief and the knowledge that I had a soulmate.
In first year, when the Crucible cursed me, I thought, at least I have a soulmate. And as first year turned to second, which turned to third, which turned to fourth, and it became glaringly more and more obvious that I had no interest in girls whatsoever, I thought it would be okay. Surely, if I was gay, then my soulmate would be another boy. At least I have a soulmate, I thought, at least I'm human enough to have a soulmate.
Until fifth year, when I realized I didn't. Not really.
I had been particularly vicious to Snow in Possibelf's class that early spring day. But he couldn't accomplish a simple You're Getting Warmer, for Crowley's sake. "Really, Snow. You can blow up the entire theatre, but you can't cast a third year spell?" I drawled, and Dev and Niall snickered appreciatively at my insult.
Snow and Bunce, the Siamese twins they were, both cast me identical nasty looks. "Piss off, Baz," Simon said through gritted teeth, and the room started to smell like a bonfire. Wellbelove glanced over from the other side of the room, throwing Snow a concerned pout, and I decided I wasn’t quite finished with him.
I was sick of Snow following me that year, sick of him getting in my face. His piercing gaze always finding mine across the dining hall, his constant presence at every one of my football practices. His new cross—a gift from Mr. Wellbelove, he announced in our bedroom pointedly after the winter holidays—always around his neck. So I pushed harder, and with a sharp sneer, I said, loud enough for Wellbelove to hear it too, "Really, the Mage should just throw you out on your arse, already. You're the worst Chosen One that's ever been chosen."
He looked genuinely hurt by that for a moment, and I got an uncomfortable pang deep in my gut that I didn't want to admit felt a lot like guilt. He quickly replaced his wounded look with one of anger, standing up and saying, “you—you know what—"
Right then, Mrs. Possibelf cast an Attention Class, and we were all forced take a seat, quiet down, and look at her. But Simon's magic wasn't calming down—it was getting stronger, more intoxicating, rather more like a forest fire than a bonfire. When the bell rang, signalling the end of the period, most of the class, including Wellbelove, rushed out the door, trying to get away from Snow before he blew. But I've always been a bit of a masochist, so I took my time, smirking at Snow as Bunce whispered to him, trying to calm his temper, and waltzed out of the classroom, knowing Snow wouldn’t be far behind.
"You're a monster!" he yelled as he charged after me, and the words cut through me like a sword.
I spun around, and said, calmly, "thanks". Then I turned back towards the hall, dismissively, but he caught my arm and glared me down, and repeated, "You're. A. Monster."
Why do I care so much what he thinks? I thought as looked directly into his blue eyes. I couldn't get myself to tear my gaze away, and that shot a shock of fear through my system. His round eyes were just blue, average, mediocre blue, but they mesmerized me for some reason, even when they were pinning me with contempt. I could never get myself to look away from him. "I think we've already established that's your position on the matter, but I really would like to make it to dinner on time, so—"
"Why? You never eat anyways." He said it a bit nervously, like he was afraid of me. He clutched at his chest, where I knew his wooden cross was.
I tried to sound casual as I replied, like I didn't know exactly what he was getting at. "Sure I do, Snow. Humans need food to survive. You should know all about that, since you stuff your face like you'll never see another meal again." Then I rolled my eyes for good measure.
"Yeah, humans do," Snow replied, undeterred. He took a step forward and his delicious cinnamon scent invaded my nostrils. "But you're not human, are you, Baz? I see you sneaking off the the catacombs every night. There are rats down there, drained of blood. Know anything about it?" He looked a little disgusted when he mentioned the rats, glancing down at my lips and shuddering a bit. I felt suddenly very exposed, and not just because of what he was insinuating about my undead status. The disgust was almost worse than the fear, the fact that he knew I was so pitiful that I had to suck rats dry and was properly grossed out, the fact that he knew I wasn't human, looking at me like I was worthless. It didn't just annoy me, like I always pretended. It hurt me. I didn't want Snow to feel revolted when he looked at my lips, I wanted him to—
I stiffened. Oh no, I thought. Oh Crowley, no no no please. I began to pray to a God I didn't believe in. To try to will away the feeling that had been growing in me the moment we first touched, when we shook hands and I felt his warm skin on mine. To pretend that I didn't know whose hands touched my face in my dreams, whose curls I would run my fingers through, whose chapped pink lips I would kiss, whose average blue eyes I would look into—
And then he said those seven words.
"I know you, Baz. I see you," Simon snarled at me, and I recoiled like he slapped me.
"What did you just say?" I whispered, deadly quiet. The little blood I had in my body rushed straight to my head. He carried on like he didn't hear me.
"You'll slip up, but I'll be here. I know you're a vampire, and I'm going to catch you. I see you Ba—"
That's when I punched him, hard, in the jaw. It wasn't my fault that we happened to be at the top of a staircase. It wasn't my fault that he lost his balance and stumbled down it. It wasn't my fault that he broke his toned leg, that he scratched up his strong hands, that he cut his beautiful, golden, mole-spattered face.
It's his fault that he made me fall in love with him, and that he will never, ever be in love with me.
I had an unrequited soulmate, and it was Simon bloody Snow.