Work Header

really, cupcake, really?

Chapter Text

“Deck the halls? More like deck me in the face,” your useless vampire roommate grumbles, as you set a Santa hat on top of her head.

“Come on, it’s Christmas,” you chide. “What’s not to like?”

You belatedly realize that maybe you shouldn’t have asked, because Carmilla launches into a list of everything that’s wrong with the season. “For starters, cupcake, it’s snowing, which means it will be cold. I’m not convinced that the ginger squad can actually sing, which means that by the second dorm room we visit, my ears –which, I will remind you, I need for the rest of my immortal existence –will be ringing. And of course, Christmas in itself is a human holiday that only serves to feed massive consumerism, and-”

“Okay, I get it, you’re a Grinch,” you say, cutting her off because you know she could keep that list going on for hours and then you’d be late to meet Perry and LaFontaine, which is probably what Carmilla was going for.

“Did you just compare me to that disgusting green thing?” Carmilla wrinkles her nose in distaste. “I’m offended. I obviously have much better skin.”

You roll your eyes, because of course she does. “Come on, it’s just for a few hours. I’ll make it worth your while.”

You don’t miss the way she bites her lower lip and rakes her eyes over your body. “Well, cutie, I suppose if it’s just for a few hours…”

A few weeks ago, LaFontaine had snorted and told you Carmilla was whipped. You’re only now starting to realize that it might be true. Tiptoeing, you give her a peck on the lips before you drag her from the room to meet Perry and LaFontaine.

(The carolling doesn’t go so bad. Sure, after an hour and a half you start to feel like a third wheel because LaF becomes more interested in singing to Perry than to random Silas students, but before it gets too awkward Carmilla actually joins in and you’re surprised to note that her voice, which is normally low and husky, is high and clear when she sings. Despite her immense dislike for the holiday, she actually knows more carols than you do –“you don’t live for three hundred years without picking these things up, buttercup” –and at the end of the day you’re both freezing from walking across the campus to the various dorms so you end up in your bed cuddling and kissing and you’re definitely going to make it worth her while.)

Chapter Text

You put the box of decorations down by the door. It’s heavier than you'd thought it would be, but you’d had a feeling your super-strong, super-quick vampire girlfriend would have ditched the box somewhere in the snow if you’d called to ask for her help.

Said girlfriend behaves exactly as you expected when you ask her to help decorate the room. “Don’t we have better things to do?” she asks, not budging an inch from where she’s been reading Sedgwick on her bed. (Of course, your yellow pillow is on her lap.) But she does look up, and give you that stare that usually makes you forget everything because you want her so bad.

This time, however, you stay strong. “We can do those things after we decorate,” you say firmly, rolling your eyes when she starts pouting, because of course she would. “The faster we do this, the faster we can make out.”

Carmilla gets up, sighing long and heavy, and she saunters over to try again. “Creampuff,” she starts, and her voice is low and breathy and you’re tempted to just let her distract you but you didn’t haul that box over for nothing.

“Oh, no.” You waggle a finger at her. “Decorating first.” You bend down and open the box, revealing fairy lights and tinsel and baubles among other wonderful shiny things.

If the sigh she gave before was long and heavy, this one is long-suffering but resigned. “Where did you even get this stuff?”

“Alchemy club was raising funds,” you say, and she raises a perfectly-shaped eyebrow at you in disbelief. “It’s safe! This was one of their first experiments that didn’t fail. Some of them just glow, and some give extra warmth for when it’s really cold out, and others…” you trail off as a snowman ornament breaks free of the fairy lights and floats towards the ceiling. Carmilla snatches it out of the air as it goes past her, though she holds it gingerly and looks at it as though it’s dripping slime. “Yeah, others kind of float.”

“I’m not even going to ask why you thought we needed a floating snowman,” she says. You bite your lip to keep from laughing because just then, a whole flurry of snowmen break free of the fairy lights and Carmilla stares in incredulity. She doesn’t bother catching these, so they bump into the ceiling and start making rounds around the top of the room in a neat single file. “Really, cupcake, really?”

“They were cute!” you defend yourself. “Plus, the first one looked really lonely on its own, so I thought it should have a family.”

Carmilla rolls her eyes and releases the snowman she’s still holding on to, so it can float up and join the others. You get to work untangling the fairy lights –which glow on their own, no batteries necessary –and Carmilla reluctantly helps you put them up around the perimeter of your room.

The box is nearly empty –all that’s left is the tinsel, which you were thinking of lining the bottom of the windowsill with –when you realize you have to rush off for one of your last seminars before break. Grabbing your stuff, you tell Carmilla you can finish up later and throw out a “see you” before you run.

(Later on, you come back to a giant black cat snuggled up in the box on top of the tinsel, her tail spilling out and swishing from side to side occasionally. You don’t have the heart to wake the vampire up –the tinsel was one of those that gave off heat, and she looks pretty cosy –so you let her be, stepping around her to make yourself a cup of cocoa and deciding to tease her when she rouses.

You do, however, snap a picture. For posterity.)

Chapter Text

Carmilla looks at you with one eyebrow raised, looking as though you asked her to join the Summer Society. “No.”

“Why not?” you whine, still holding out the sweater. It’s green and thick and fluffy, and it has reindeers. You’d bought it immediately when you saw it in the store that afternoon. “It’s cute.”

“Well, cutie, then you can wear it.” Carmilla goes back to her book, and you huff, disappointed.

You tell yourself, as you fold the sweater up, that you’ll get her to wear it. Somehow. 

By the end of the next week, you’re ready to give up.

You’ve tried everything. You’ve left it out on her bed, stuck it with her clothes, stuck it with your clothes, pulled it over your yellow pillow –she’d simply snuggled the pillow with the sweater on –tried to ambush her right after she’d come out of the shower, but nothing’s worked. You don’t normally throw in the towel like this, but perhaps three hundred years of disliking Christmas can’t be overturned in one. You figure you’ll just work on it next year, and the year after that. Eventually, you will get Carm to like Christmas.

Your girlfriend can be a real stubborn piece of work, but you can live with that. You’d rather she be stubborn, and stubbornly refuse to die –the battle with the Dean hasn’t even begun to fade from your mind –than to quit easily.

(You’re not quitting easily, either. But this battle is one that will probably take longer than a year to win.)

It’s a cute sweater, though, and even though you’re resigned to the fact that Carmilla won’t be wearing it –this year –it’d be a waste to let it gather dust in your closet. So, as Carmilla suggested when you’d first asked her to wear it, you do instead.

LaFontaine laughs when they see it, but they do admit it has its appeal. It’s also fluffy and warm, so you wear it pretty much all the time. Carmilla rolls her eyes when she sees you, but her lips also quirk upwards, and you manage to talk her into naming all five reindeer with you. (You’d wanted to go with Cuddles for the first one, but she’d immediately vetoed that and had named all of them at one go –Ginger One, Ginger Two, Tall Ginger, Cupcake, Vampire. You’d vetoed the Gingers, but you’d kept Cupcake and Vampire.)

After naming the reindeer, you get quite attached to the sweater, so you’re worried when one day you open up your closet and it isn’t there. You check to see if it’s in Carmilla’s half of it, but it’s not. You’re torn between tearing through the room looking for it and running to the store to buy cookies because you’re all out. In the end, your need for sugar wins, and you pull on the first jacket you see (Carmilla’s leather one, which is lying on the floor by her bed) before you dash off.

When you get back to the room, you realize that Carmilla has gotten back, too, and you’re going to ask her if, a), she wants any cookies, and b), if she’s seen your sweater, but before you can do it, you see what she’s wearing, and your second question becomes moot.

She tries to act like she doesn’t care that you’ve just caught her taking off your sweater, but you can tell she’s embarrassed because she snaps and doesn’t meet your eye. Noticing that you’re wearing her jacket, she pounces on that as an excuse. “I couldn’t find my jacket, and figured that since you decided to steal mine, I would steal yours.”

“Nice try, but you’re forgetting that you went out before I did,” you tell her, shrugging off her jacket and hanging it up. “I found your jacket right by your bed, where you always discard your clothes when you’re trying to decide what to wear…” The realization hits you. “You weren’t planning on wearing it, but you couldn’t resist!”

“Believe whatever you want, cupcake,” Carmilla says, rolling her eyes even though you’re a hundred percent sure you’re right. She goes to take a shower, and you let it drop.

Despite her words, though, Carmilla wears the sweater three more times before Christmas, and you catch her cuddling it as she sleeps twice. You don’t say anything other than “That looks good on you” and she rolls her eyes and says that it’s warm and that’s the only reason she’s wearing the monstrosity, and you know her better than that, but you let it go, because, you remind yourself, this is not a battle than can be won in a year.

Carmilla wears the sweater when she takes you on a date on Christmas, though, so you think you’re making good progress.

Chapter Text

You’re not sure why Laura’s complete and utter lack of subtlety still amuses you, other than that it’s Laura and nearly everything she does is amusing, and that you’re a goner.

Oh, she tries to be subtle, you’ll give her that, but that’s as much as you’ll give her. Your tiny girlfriend tries to tiptoe around it, dropping hints and staring at your lips when she thinks you’re not looking.

True, it’s been three days since you even last kissed, but that’s entirely her fault seeing as she’s been rushing to finish her lit paper and had worn herself out doing it. If she wanted something after the way she (rudely) blew you off, you thought she should work for it.

The day after she submits her paper, when you get back from a biology lecture you’d decided to crash (you thought you should take a refresher course on your anatomy), you find Laura trying to put mistletoe up on the wall by her bed. Mistletoe. You wonder if Laura thinks a constant reminder will help her entice you.

Being the tiny thing that she is, she seems to be struggling, and she skips the greeting and asks you to give her a hand. The journalism major is about as innocent as they come; you suspect nothing when you get on her bed to help. But then suddenly her hands aren’t on the mistletoe anymore and it’s still up and she apparently never needed your help in the first place, because her hands are then on you and she says now you have to kiss me and you have never been so amused by this tiny blonde and the lengths she will go to and so you agree that yes I do, I do, I do; your words are swallowed by her tongue before they can even begin.

Chapter Text

When you wake up, for a moment you think you’ve dreamed the last few months because you can’t quite move and is your roommate still holding you hostage? But wait –you’re still in your bed, Laura’s yellow pillow below your head, and you don’t feel thirsty like you would if you hadn’t fed in the last week. Also, the scent of mushroom spores still lingers on your body, particularly your shoulder where you took a hit to shield the creampuff.

So, no, your roommate is not still holding you hostage. But it seems she’s doing it again, though this time she has you wrapped up in a string of fairy lights. You’d like to say you can’t believe you didn’t notice she was doing it, but you’re a vampire and that means during the day you get very, very sleepy and it’s actually really hard to rouse a very, very sleepy vampire.

I take mushroom spores for you, and this is how you repay me? You try to roll over, but a light jabs you in the side and it’s not quite painful, but it’s highly uncomfortable so you roll back.

Your girlfriend is sitting in front of her camera, but she’s really just been watching you, probably, because she hasn’t been talking to it. You’re totally lacking in festive spirit, so we’re going to change that. She holds up three DVDs –How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol, and Arthur Christmas. As she pops one into her laptop, she says, You know, I still can’t believe you’ve never watched How The Grinch Stole Christmas. It feels like it should be your kind of thing.

Nothing Christmas is my kind of thing, you tell her, rolling your eyes because really, shouldn’t this be obvious? Laura sighs. She carries her laptop over to your bed and settles in next to you.

You stay like that for half an hour. Laura is kind of snuggled up to you, but the bindings keep getting in the way and it’s beginning to grate on your nerves. It’s only a string of fairy lights, and you both know that you could break through it easily if you really wanted to, but you humour Laura like you always do until you get too annoyed like you always do and complain about how uncomfortable it is to have a string of fairy lights digging into your sides. Laura pauses the movie, quipping that she’d thought you’d have said something sooner, but she helps you get untangled and you spend the rest of the movie properly cuddled up with her and you’re such a sap, but with this tiny ball of warmth by your side, none of these movies are all that bad.

Chapter Text

Bundled up in a thick Christmas sweater, you stand with your useless vampire girlfriend towards the side of the quad. You’re waiting for the light up that the alchemy club has organized with a tree they’ve somehow enlarged tenfold over the past week; the art club helped decorate it and it looks spectacular. You wanted to be nearer the tree, but after one too many incidents with the alchemy club’s mushrooms, Carmilla refused to go any nearer than the edge of the quad in case the tree decides it doesn’t like the bright lights and goes ballistic. You have to admit, a giant tree going ballistic does sound terrifying, and that’s the only reason you don’t try to drag your girlfriend nearer. Well, that, and the fact that she has super-strength and you couldn’t make her budge an inch if you tried.

Said girlfriend is standing next to you, her hand in yours and your scarf around her neck, which is probably why you keep calling her your useless vampire girlfriend in your head because she doesn’t really need the scarf and it’s cold but she won’t return it because if you’re cold I could think of a few ways to warm you up but you can’t do that, like, right here? She’s made no secret of her distaste for coming out to watch the light up from the moment you started begging her to go with you, and she only came because you said you’d go with Danny if she didn’t go with you and yes, that was a low blow but you really, really wanted to watch the light up and you really, really wanted her.

The alchemy club is being all theatrical, so the light up is taking a while, and you find yourself staring at things around you and looking at the colours and thinking about how some colours are warmer than others and your eyes land on red lipstick and they linger for too long because your useless vampire girlfriend notices and takes the chance to initiate something and oh, if her lips looked warm they feel like they burn but it’s a pleasant burn and screw this you’re going to lean in and kiss her back and if it gets heated, well, you’re on the edge of the quad under a tree and who’s going to see, really-

-and the tree goes boom and the ground starts quaking and Carmilla quips I told you this wouldn’t go well and you hate that she did, but you’re glad you dragged her along anyway because you’re still a little cold and she’s warm and she picks you up and says come on, we can continue this upstairs where the murderous tree won’t be our problem and you know you really shouldn’t but sometimes you love the selfish comments she makes because the only problem you want to deal with right now is how to get the vampire out of her tight leather pants.

Chapter Text

When Perry announces the dorm-wide baking competition, you’re convinced it’s the worst idea you’ve ever heard. Most of the dorm has gone home for the holidays, but it’s still a substantial enough amount of people and the kitchen at the dorm isn’t very safe. You think the microwave might be possessed and last you checked, there were mushrooms growing in the fridge and the oven always smelled too strongly of werewolf (the Summer Society loved baking, apparently).

Laura, though –dear, sweet Laura –thinks it’s the best thing she’s heard all holiday, and that includes the carollers she’s made you be nice to (nice enough not to slam the door in their faces, anyway) just last week because they sound great and it’s a fantastic way to build up the Christmas cheer! (Honestly, there’s still a week to go until Christmas and you’re surprised your eyes haven’t rolled out of your head.) So of course she signs both of you up without asking first and she whines about it so much that you say yes just to get her to shut up for, like, five minutes so you can finish your book.

(Also, she’s adorable and how can you say no, really?)

You know you’re right –it is the worst idea you’ve ever heard –from the moment you step into the kitchen. A group of students is attempting to capture the microwave because you were right and it is possessed and it’s running all over blasting out bursts of heat and you instinctively put yourself between it and Laura when it comes too close and thank the heavens that it’s not interested in you, but in the bags of frosting you’re holding so you toss most of it into its open mouth and it chews all of it up and leaves you alone, burping happily and running out of the common area with students on its rubber-insulated tail.

Laura nudges you and asks, did you just feed that microwave all our frosting? You shake your head, no, and hold up one piping bag filled with sugar that’s been dyed red. Most of it. But I saved this.

Your roommate is torn between going to get more and just settling for what you have, but she decides that there’s a lot you can do with red frosting; you agree. You wait until she’s popped the dough in the oven and her guard is down because while you’ve just been lounging around and pinching the dough, you haven’t done much, which means you haven’t made a mess of anything. Yet. Also, you wait because you know how much this ridiculous competition means to Laura, and you don’t really want to sabotage all her chances of winning. Her lack of cooking skills will do that for you.

You decide to start with her hair; you’re still holding the piping bag of frosting, and you leave a streak of it down her blonde locks. This you find very amusing, arguably more so than Laura does, because now you can be part of the Ginger Squad too, sundance, and Laura is annoyed but she’s always mildly annoyed at something you’re doing (unless you’re in bed; then it’s only a fifty-fifty chance she’s annoyed) so you don’t take it too seriously until a handful of flour lands on your face because you were too busy laughing at your own joke to pay attention.

Oh, this means war, buttercup. And it does, because then there’s flour flying everywhere and the thing about impromptu food fights is that once someone starts, everyone else joins in, and soon enough you’re all divided into two camps, hiding behind different counters and flour and sugar and was that an entire block of butter are flying across the room, and you’re almost regretting starting this because you can’t see Laura and you wouldn’t admit it, but you like having the girl by your side.

And you’re really glad you didn’t say that out loud, because just then sprinkles start raining down on your camp and sprinkles aren’t bad on their own but your hair and clothes are streaked with butter and frosting and caramel, you think, and all sorts of other sweet sticky things and the stains make for very good adhesives. Deciding that you’re gone beyond repair, you stand up, taking hits like the mean, lean vampire you are, and stalk through the room in search of your girlfriend. When you find her, crouched behind a countertop near the oven, she grins sheepishly at you before she takes a swipe at your shirt, scooping up a little bit of what you think is cake batter and putting it in her mouth. The way she’s sucking on her finger is uncalled for, and you let her know this by throwing it all to hell –you’re in a food fight, what other cover do you need –and taking her face in your buttery hands and kissing her hard. She tastes like frosting and sugar and possibly diabetes, but you don’t mind because her lips are like marshmallows and you’ve never been a big fan of sweets but Laura Hollis is one sweet you wouldn’t mind unwrapping. You think she feels the same way about you –not so much about the sweets, but about the unwrapping; her hands reach under your shirt and slide up your back, and-

And then Perry comes in, LaFontaine at her side, and the Floor Don’s face is all priceless shock and horror at the mess that’s become of the common room, but LaFontaine just laughs it up. You catch them making eye contact with Laura and they raise an eyebrow knowingly; Laura blushes twenty shades of red before settling on burgundy.

Is something burning? you ask, your superior senses picking up on the smell earlier than the humans can. Laura jumps up –aw, crap, the gingerbread –but when she tries to retrieve the cookies, the oven roars and grows wings and a tail and starts flying, it’s actually flying, she says, like she’s still surprised this kind of thing is happening at Silas and you pull her back before it starts breathing fire, sighing all the while. You’re covered in at least ten kinds of sweet, sticky substances, and the problem is that none of them came from your girlfriend and thanks to that impromptu make out session, you’re feeling so turned on and you literally just want to take Laura against the wall but Perry is still there, not to mention LaFontaine who will probably take photos for science, and a quarter of the dorm, so you just resign yourself to always being interrupted just when you’re getting started and damn it, but you knew this competition was a bad idea from the moment you heard about it, though not entirely for the reasons you’d come up with at the start.

Chapter Text

You curse the day you thought buying candy canes would be a good idea.

Sugar is your entire existence (Carmilla aside), but you forgot to consider that your roommate from hell steals all your food, candy canes included. Said roommate is a three hundred and thirty-four year old vampire, with perfect eyebrows and flawless skin and you really can’t help that sometimes, when you look at her, you end up nibbling on your bottom lip.

Three days after you bring back six boxes of candy canes, you finally chew through the lip and draw blood, though you’re only made aware of this by how Carmilla’s head snaps up and she nearly growls your name. You apologize and run to the bathroom to find something to stop the bleeding, and when you come back she’s gone.

The candy canes are more trouble than they’re worth. Your roommate is hot enough on a normal day, with her ripped up jeans and almost-transparent shirts, but you’ve handled that fine. That is, until she started stealing your candy canes and holy shit, but the way she sucked at them was such a turn on and you could imagine, like, at least fifteen different things you could ask her to do with that mouth of hers and okay, so she’s really hot, but she’s still just your roommate and nothing more.

You contemplate throwing out all the candy canes, but you’re evidently a huge glutton for punishment because, when you’re holding the boxes over the trash can, you find you really don’t want Carmilla to stop.

And really, how were you supposed to know you were doing the same thing to her?

Carmilla has you pushed up against the wall. She’d come back long after your lip had stopped bleeding and you had been minding your own business, working on your Lit paper and sucking one of those infernal sticks of sugar and she had taken one look at you, dropped some choice swear words, and had pulled the candy cane right out of your mouth. Her lips had crashed into yours before you could have argued.

You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do this, she husks, and you’re lip to lip and teeth to teeth and yes, tongue to tongue. The candy canes didn’t help.

I think it helped plenty, you breathe out, coming up for air before diving back in.

While you’re still thinking coherently, you make a mental note to buy candy canes when they’re in season. Every single year.

Chapter Text

Despite her claims otherwise, Carmilla, you soon realise, does feel the cold. You’re walking side by side across campus, headed to Starbucks for hot chocolate and tea, and she keeps rubbing her arms.

You’re not going to wear a jacket? you’d asked, back in your dorm room, raising an eyebrow.

Carmilla, wearing a plain, short-sleeved (and obviously black) shirt, had only shrugged. I don’t feel the cold, cupcake.

You’re walking in silence because she seems to be contemplating your surroundings, so you contemplate her arms. You stare at them closely and realize that yes, those are goosebumps she keeps brushing a hand over and sometimes she shivers, when she thinks you’re looking somewhere else.

You frown, taking off your scarf. Carm, you’re cold.

She feigns hurt, clutching at her chest. Wow, are you sure you’re my girlfriend? I’m wounded.

No, like, you’re cold, cold. You drape the scarf around her neck. You don’t have to act so tough all the time, you know. It’s natural to be affected by the cold. Wait, do you get sick? Because my lit final is in three days and I don’t really have the time to be taking care of you right now, even though you’re sure that a sick Carmilla would be your absolute top priority and you’re not kidding anyone, especially her.

Carmilla doesn’t object to the scarf, but she does stop you from taking off one of your layers. You insist that it’s okay because you’re wearing, like, three sweaters under your jacket, but she shakes her head. I like the cold.

You huff because she’s so stubborn. And I like pizza, but you don’t see me rolling around in tomato sauce and melted cheese, do you?

No, cupcake, I mean, I like the cold. She bites her lip like she isn’t sure she wants to tell you this, and when she gets like this you know not to interrupt because either she tells you something, or she doesn’t, but she sometimes gives you promises to tell you everything someday and that’s good enough for you. It reminds me that I’m real, that I’m not still six feet under and that this isn’t a hallucination I dreamed up. I need that sometimes, like when I think you’re too good to be true and I must be delusional to even think I have a chance with you, much less something real.

It’s usually like this. She bites her lip, sometimes backs off, sometimes doesn’t. When she doesn’t, she invariably breaks your heart. Oh, Carm.

It’s stupid, she’s already saying, but you know that no, it isn’t, that this is a really big thing for her. You’ve long ago accepted that your girlfriend will always have her ghosts; a coffin filled with blood is one of them, and you’re going to be there while she deals. You’re always, always going to be here for you, and I know that doesn’t help much but I want you to know we’re both real and you’re not alone anymore and I love you, no matter what.

That’s all you say, because you recognize that these are her problems and she’s a private person and likes to work through them herself. All you can do is be there for her, but that seems to be enough for her as well, because she smiles, like, actually smiles, despite the gravity of what she just told you and she slips her hand into yours and gives it a gentle squeeze.

It’s enough for both of you, and you carry on towards Starbucks with the warmth of that knowledge snuggled deep into your chest. You hope that knowledge is warm for her too. You hope it’s a warmth that nudges her like the cold bites and reminds her that this? This Is very real.

Chapter Text

As of this moment, you are –you glance at your watch –six minutes and forty-eight (forty-nine, fifty) seconds late for Christmas dinner with your dad.

You know you’re easily distracted, but it really isn’t your fault this time. True, you’d made Carmilla pull over so you could get coffee at a diner you’d passed, but you had gotten here with two minutes to spare. By now, you should have been in the kitchen, pleasantries past, helping your dad put the finishing touches on the meal.

The reason you aren’t is that Carmilla –your three hundred and thirty-four year old badass vampire girlfriend –is shaking in her tight leather pants.

Carm, you say softly; she’s been pacing your driveway for the past nine minutes and you don’t want to startle her. It’s just my dad, come on.

She bites her lip and in that moment she looks so incredibly young. Most days you can see something in the way she carries herself that shows how long she’s really lived, but today there’s none of that. Today, Carmilla is a ball of eighteen year old nerves.

You would be lying if you said you didn’t like seeing it.

Maybe I should just head back, she says, and you like this a lot less. I can just spend Christmas in the dorm and you can go see your dad and have fun and I’ll see you when you get back-

You cut her off because she’s being ridiculous. I want you here.

This partially snaps her out of it, enough that she stops pacing and nods slowly, taking a deep breath, even though she doesn’t stop shaking and she’s totally fidgeting and holy chocolate chip cookies, she’s so nervous you want to wrap her up in blankets and feed her brownies and blood. (You didn’t think the two would go together, but your girlfriend seems to like it.) Except that all your blankets are inside the house and to get to them you’re going to need Carmilla to girl the hell up and meet your dad, even if she’s being adorable right now.

Ready? you ask, and she nods again. You knock on the door. It’s an agonizing minute before it opens up, revealing your dad. And maybe you’ve just been surrounded by too many young people (like your roommate who never ages), but he looks older and were those white streaks always in his hair or is that a new thing? You jump into his arms and his hugs are just as tight as you remember. Hey dad, Merry Christmas.

He returns the seasonal greeting and hugs you a while longer before he lets go. You’re expecting a barrage of questions, and he doesn’t disappoint –are you okay? How’s school? Have you met any bears?

You field all his questions, making sure to be careful about some of your answers since you haven’t told him what really goes on at Silas. You tell him you’re doing great and school’s fine (even though it’s really not; you’re close to failing half your classes but you swear you’re going to pull through and get those grades back up after break), and no, you haven’t met any bears, nor have you stormed a bear sanctuary. Oddly enough, it’s that last bit of information that seems to reassure him the most.

Then his attention shifts to the girl standing still as a statue behind you, and you grin and tell him that dad, this is my girlfriend, Carmilla.

Said girlfriend is hesitant and shy and nothing like her usual self. Even her clothes are different –she’s wearing her leather pants, and yes, you do want to run your hands all over her legs because damn, but she’s also wearing a pink Grumpy Cat Christmas sweater you bought for her and the clash is almost laughable. She greets your dad with a quiet hello, though you notice she gives him a firm handshake and returns his smile. (You’re not jealous, you tell yourself, even though you have to work to make her return your smiles.) I’ve heard much about you, sir.

I’ve heard a little about you, but not enough, I’m afraid, he says, and he pauses to shake his finger at you like he’s disappointed. He genuinely might be, and that leaves you with a heavy feeling in your stomach and the resolve to call him more often when you’re at school. Come in, you can tell me more about yourself when you’re warmer. Over dinner perhaps?

Over dinner sounds good, Carmilla says. Laura told me you’re an excellent chef.

Your dad’s laugh is boisterous. I’m not bad, he says, and you immediately announce that he’s being humble. He’s one of the best cooks you’ve ever known, and you love that you get him all to yourself.

You glance over at Carmilla. And my girlfriend, you add in your head.

You cross the threshold, stepping into the house you grew up in. You’ve always taken for granted the way things are; Carmilla examines everything like she’s in a giant treasure chest and she’s a master appraiser of pirate loot. Is this all you?

With chagrin, you realize she’s looking at the photos displayed on the wall. You, nine and on a bicycle, ten and with cake all over your face, fifteen and sitting at the dining table working on something for yearbook. I’m an only child, who else would it be? Can we just carry on and get to the food, because I’m hungry and you really don’t want to look at these, who are you trying to kid-

But your dad seems to like Carmilla’s interest in your pre-college life, because he pipes up. If you want, I can show you more after dinner. There are albums in the living room.

You let out a groan. Letting her look at your pre-puberty photos wasn’t on your agenda when you asked Carmilla to come back to your place to have Christmas dinner with your dad. Carmilla knows this –with the way she’s grinning, how could she not? –and she looks surprised, yet her face lights up and she agrees readily to your dad’s offer. That would be nice, thank you.

She’s still stiff as a board, mostly, though some of the tension in her shoulders has dissipated and she doesn’t look like she’s just waiting for her execution. Neither does she look like she’s stalking prey. In this moment, she just looks like a regular girl, and you’d stare at her in wonder all day long if you could.

Carmilla might not have understood why you were so insistent on bringing her home with you for this dinner, but you look at the way she’s trying, she’s really trying to make an effort with your father and how her fingers go from drumming on her thigh to dancing lightly over the pictures on the wall, and there’s no place you’d rather she be than right here by your side.

I gotta say, cupcake, she whispers, as you follow your dad into the kitchen.You slip your hand into hers and don’t miss the way she relaxes a little into you. Your dad isn’t as bad as I thought. Do you think he’ll let us take some of your photos back? The walls of our room are looking rather bare.

You whack her on the head and pretend to be angry, which is hard to do when all you really want to do is sigh in relief and kiss her (and maybe push her up against the wall because her fingers have returned to tapping on her leather pants and holy fuck, but she is hot).

Chapter Text

You sorely regret letting Laura near your eggnog.

You’d spiked it more than you should have, because you’d really wanted to get drunk and it’s harder for vampires to get drunk. You hadn’t watched it properly, and suddenly Laura is there and she’s, like, really thirsty and can I get some of that because it looks really good.

Shit no Laura wait –but it’s too late and Laura has pretty much downed the glass in one go. You groan. The tiny blonde doesn’t handle alcohol well, so now you’re stuck taking care of her. You ignore the voice in your head that says you would have stayed by her side taking care of her throughout the night whether or not she was drunk, because drunk Laura is a grabby Laura who tries to flirt with everyone.

Emphasis on tries. Drunk Laura’s idea of flirting is questioning whether dinosaurs or ninjas would win in a fight, like, really loudly, and then doing dinosaur impressions in the kitchen. (Her dinosaurs are also ninjas that hurl shurikens.) You’d like to think you wouldn’t get jealous, but you know you totally would if she wasn’t just scaring everyone away.

Come on, let’s go back, you say, because as fun as it is to watch Laura embarrass herself in front of all these people you don’t know, you’d much rather she be back in the room where she’s easier to watch. She doesn’t fight you on that, which you’re grateful for, though she does demand orange juice and a pot brownie (you give her a regular brownie and she doesn’t seem to realize the difference, she’s that far gone).

Drunk Laura also has a loose mouth, you discover, as you haul her back to the dorm room, but as long as she’s not making dinosaur sounds at you, you’re fine. You know you’re really pretty, she says, slurring slightly.

Of course, cupcake, you say, because you don’t live for over three hundred years without finding looks that work for you.

She nods, like she’s really digesting anything. Mm, Carm I think I love you. Yeah I love you. You’re sweet and kind and really really cute.

You make a face. I’m not cute. Wrinkle your nose in distaste. I’m a three hundred and thirty-four year old badass vampire. I’m not cute.

Laura just shakes her head. Cute.

You roll your eyes. Thankfully, you’ve reached your room and you’re able to deposit Laura on her bed. You remove your leather pants before you join her there. I’m not cute, and if you say it one more time I’ll rip the curtains up with my claws, but I love you too.

She won’t remember this in the morning, you know. The past few times she’s been drunk she was blackout drunk, and you think today will not be an exception to this pattern. You feel like your first time saying it should have been something she should remember, but she’d said it first and it didn’t sit well with you that you hadn’t immediately said it back because you do love her, you swear you do.

The next morning you wake up and she’s still cuddled into your side, but she’s awake.

Carm? She shifts so she’s looking you in the eye. I know I was drunk last night and I have this massive headache and everything is kind of a fog, but I love you too. I can’t remember if I said it back because everything is sort of a blur but I do remember your voice telling me you loved me but maybe it was just a dream and uh –you know what, this is awkward maybe you should just ignore me I think I need more sleep-

You press a kiss to her forehead and she quietens. Yes, creampuff, I love you too, and you’re a little embarrassed but mostly you’re just glad because of all the things she could remember, she remembers that. Do you remember anything else?

No, not really.

So, you don’t remember trying to flirt with everyone by imitating a dinosaur?  you ask, because how could anyone forget that?

Her eyes widen comically. Shit, I did what? Tell me you’re joking.

Joking? Me? I wouldn’t dream of it, you tell her. Besides, would I really make that up?

Laura groans, snuggling back into you. She asks if anyone saw, and you say that Danny did stop by looking for a drink, but she’d scared her off pretty quick. Muttering something about how she needed to apologize, she makes a bunched up little face and it’s hilarious and adorable and you have no idea how you scored the dinosaur-ninja beside you, but you give her a smile because you’re glad you did.

Chapter Text

Year 1 | Laura

You don’t think you’ve ever been so stressed about finding a present.

Back in high school, you’d only ever worried about finding a great gift for your dad, and maybe a couple of friends, but those were easy compared to what you’re looking for now. What do you get a three hundred and thirty-four year old useless asshole of a vampire who also happens to be your girlfriend? Carmilla seems to have nothing –she still lives out of a single bag, though she has bought some new clothes since Betty packed up and left –but she also has everything. There is nothing you could walk out and buy her because she probably has everything she wants.

You agonize over her gift for two weeks, and finally decide to take screenshots from your videos and put it into a collage. It’s dumb, probably, and self-centred, possibly, but you want Carmilla to have something to remember this first year by.

Forever is long enough to forget anything.

 Year 2

This year, you get her a laser pointer (it’s more for you, honestly, and it’s a total joke) and cat toys. LaFontaine jokingly suggests that if you’re already giving a joke gift, you should toss in a collar (your vampire is whipped, I bet she’d totally wear it) and you do.

But because Carmilla has been a mostly fantastic girlfriend this year–she makes you cocoa, when she feels like it, and sometimes actually replenishes the cookies she eats –you also get her a philosophy text she’s mentioned a couple of times but hasn’t had the chance to read. You order it online and you’re relieved when it comes in on time.

Carmilla scoffs at the cat toys, but she holds the book in her hands like it’s fragile and you know from the way she delicately turns the pages that she’ll treasure it, perhaps longer than she’ll treasure you.

 Year 3 | Carmilla

There’s a freak snowstorm that blankets the whole of Styria this year –the alchemy club is in this turf war with the meteorology club, and they don’t care who they take down with them; hailstones and blizzards have been commonplace for two weeks now and you’re just glad you’ve already graduated and have no reason to leave the apartment you now share with Laura. She’s made no secret of how much she wishes she wasn’t stuck at Silas, and you know not to take this personally because she just really misses her dad.

Also, you suspect that she’s actually somewhat like Perry, who graduated last year and then went on to do something normal; LaFontaine got a job at a supernatural science lab, but they live together, as far as you know. She may not scream at everyone to be normal (sometimes when you’re alone you still watch the videos from the first year you met Laura, and you still laugh softly when Perry does this), but she does need a break.

So you outdo yourself this year. You haul in a real tree, hang décor up, throw some mistletoe in for good measure. By the time you finish setting up the fairy lights, it looks like Hallmark has thrown up in your shared space.

Laura gets home and she’s so stunned, she can only repeat, many times, I love it.

Year Four

Are you sure, cupcake? You can always back out. You can choose not to do this. You bite on your lip lightly. Laura had told you she wanted a forever with you three months ago, but you’d made her wait until the end of the year to make her final decision. This is permanent, you know.

Carm, I’ve dated you for three years now. I think I would know that this can’t be reversed, Laura says, and her voice barely even quivers. She’s sure, even if you’re not sure she should be. I want this. I want you.

It’s going to hurt, you warn.

She doesn’t even flinch when your fangs extend. I know. Go ahead.

This year for Christmas, you give her a forever, a glass of blood, and a hand when she claws her way out of the ground. She gives you a weak smile and a simple golden ring.