A vampire discovers a little immortal.
Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.
~ William Faulkner
"Attention shoppers! There is a lost little girl looking for her father. Will any father who has lost his daughter please come to Register Nine. Thank you."
Xavier glanced sourly up at the speakers. What kind of employee would ask any random guy to pick up his daughter? he wondered. Any crackhead pedophile could take her, and the employee wouldn't know any better, especially if the guy came up with a really good reason why, exactly, the little girl was saying that he wasn't her father.
He wandered aimlessly down the main aisle, giving the men's clothes a disdainful look. Too much color.
"There he is!" someone screeched, and then a little blond blur slammed into him. Xavier grunted, and looked up only to see a bored looking clerk wave in acknowledgment. He waved back, a bit uncertainly, and then stared down into huge, blue-gray eyes.
"Hello!" she said perkily. Xavier groaned internally. This can't be the lost little girl...
"...Who are you?"
"You can call me Kisa," the girl said as she gazed up adoringly at him. "Tell me, are you a vampire?"
Xavier growled and pushed her away, heading for the electronics section. Kisa followed, chattering as if he were an old friend. He continued to ignore her for about ten minutes, and then found he couldn't stand it anymore.
"Will you SHUT UP?!?" he seethed, whirling to face the astonished little girl. She looked shocked for a moment, and then grinned cutely.
"I can see your fangs! I KNEW you were a~"
"Shut your mouth, you annoying brat! I don't even like kids!" Xavier whispered furiously. People were starting to stare. Kisa looked up at him woefully, her gray-blue eyes wide and shiny.
"You mean..." she gulped, "you mean you don't like me?"
To Xavier's horror, Kisa began to cry.
What am I supposed to do now? he groaned internally. It was true, after all. He didn't like kids, especially not this one. This one was loud, and (God forbid) perky. He hated perky. And colorful. And bright. Ugh. He looked at the little girl and sighed in disgust.
"Come on...my darling daughter," he said between gritted teeth. It only helped a little when she stopped crying, but then she took his hand in her tiny one. Xavier resisted the urge to shake her off, but a small crowd had gathered nearby, watching intently.
Don't they have anything better to do besides stare at a little girl crying? Fucking sadists. I wish they'd go kill themselves!
"I'm sorry," Kisa began, once they'd left the store. Xavier did not reply, choosing to stare straight ahead. "I just thought that...well, I was excited to see someone like me."
"Someone like you?" Xavier found himself echoing her, and felt sickened when he realized he was actually talking to her. Kisa nodded.
"You see...I kind of...well, I can't die."
Is she serious? I didn't think that they took little kids...
"You're saying you're a vampire?" Xavier forced himself to sound civil. He did not like vampires. Despite being one himself, it was not his choice, and he would gladly give his life if only he could kill the one who'd bitten him. Perhaps he could stand this little girl, if she was in the same predicament.
"No, silly! You're a vampire! I'm just immortal. And I think, sometimes, I help people get better. But that runs in the family, so I'm not too worried."
Runs in the family? What is she, some sort of Healer? There's only one decent family of Healers, and I don't think she's part of it. If she was, her father wouldn't have left her...
"When I saw you, I just got this sense that you weren't like normal people. You're kind of like me," Kisa went on.
I seriously doubt that.
"Okay, so what were you doing, in Wal-Mart of all places, without your father?" Xavier asked, curiosity getting the best of him. Kisa sighed, and Xavier found himself thinking that a frown did not suit the little girl's face.
"First of all, my father is long dead. The one who left me is my younger brother. Well...he was younger. Time goes a lot faster than people realize."
"Just how long have you been immortal?"
"I can't say, exactly. A long time, I know that. Long enough to outlive everyone in my family except my youngest brother. And he's not so young anymore. I really don't want to figure out the exact years, anyway. It just makes me sad."
She's got to be having a hard time right now, Xavier thought guiltily.
"So are you really a vampire? I mean, you're not planning to take me to a mental institute, are you?" Kisa asked, sounding just a bit worried. Xavier sighed.
"Yeah, I'm a vampire. It's not so exotic as humans make it out to be, believe me."
"I do," she replied softly. Xavier glanced down at her, and was surprised to see the solemn look in her eyes. He cleared his throat and looked away.
"You got a place to stay?" His voice was rough, but his words made Kisa light up.
"No. Are you offering?"
"Do you trust me?"
"Until you give me a reason not to."
"I mean, you're not scared I'll bite you or anything?" Xavier asked, trying to keep anything that sounded like worry out of his voice. Kisa studied him for a moment.
"Should I be?" Her voice was very quiet.
"No," he said finally. She smiled again, and squeezed his hand.
"So I can stay with you?" she asked, her bright eyes shining with happiness. Xavier sighed. Damn those innocent blue eyes!
"So we're friends now?" Kisa was positively brimming with excitement.
"Don't push it."
She deflated just a bit, and then shrugged it off. Together they walked on, with her clinging to him adoringly as a little sister would.