Title: Dear Mister Fitzroy
Sequel to: The Prayer
Disclaimer: I do not own
Summary: Rudy's got a 'ghost flu', Henry is obsessively drawing Chloe, and Chloe has agreed to read the many fan letter Henry has gotten for 'Blood Bride'. And then a letter comes from someone from Henry's past, threatening to ruin everything
Written for my Paranormal25 150 Prompt Table. Prompt used #88
"This is ridiculous." Chloe grumbled with little ire, going over Henry's fan letters as she sat on the sofa, trying her best to do as Henry asked, as he laid down on the opposite couch, drawing pad in hand, drawing her.
Apparently he needed some inspiration for the drawings in Blood Bride's newest volume, and for that she had to stay in various positions everywhere in his large home, while he followed her around and drew her nearly obsessively. Since he'd started the Blood Bride graphic novel series (she'd finally learnt to say that) it'd become his biggest success to date, and the publishing house was asking for more volumes in a year to be supplied to them, since the volumes were being devoured by Henry's fanbase. So that meant that the time that Henry wasn't feeding or following her around during her cases, he was following her around with a notepad, drawing her and every single thing that she did.
It was starting to make her self-conscious.
To be truthful, Chloe couldn't understand why a graphic novel series based off of her was doing so well. Sure, her life was unusual, maybe even interesting, but she couldn't believe that it was enough to garner this sort of interest and reader following.
"Continue reading." Henry didn't take his eyes from the notepad. "I like seeing your lips move when you talk."
Telling herself firmly to not blush, Chloe took in a deep breath and picked up the next envelope.
This had somehow become a routine of theirs.
Whenever the fan letters would come in they'd lay down on their sofas and Chloe would read them for Henry while he drew her.
"Dear Mister Fitzroy," she began, pulling a strand of hair out of her face. "I have always been a fan of your work, but I must admit that this has been my favorite series of yours to date. I had been worried when your work began to get so...so depressing, with the Nicki Vensen character in your Blood Ties series. Don't get me wrong, I love your dark pieces, but she annoyed me somewhat. I mean, she was kickass, but it was such a sad story that was obvious (from the very beginning) that it was doomed, mostly--if not entirely--due to her attitude. I was quite depressed for months after reading the last novel of that series...and to top it off, you went on that long hiatus that left all of your loyal fans (such as myself) in an even deeper depression. Your works have become an integral part in our lives, so you should be proud of that."
Henry stopped drawing, looking up at her, a conflicted expression on his face.
Chloe had read the Blood Ties series, though she'd never admitted it to Henry. And she knew that the characters had been based on people he'd known before...especially Vicki Nelson, the woman she was kinda sure Henry had loved. The woman he'd left Toronto to get away from.
"Continue." Henry whispered.
She cleared her throat. "I am a very big fan of Blood Bride, and you seem to be as well! There are a lot more details in this series than in any of your previous works, and while it might just project your growth as an artist, I feel that it displays your involvement with this character. You bring her to vivid life on paper, and we as readers can truly love the quirky, insecure, yet amazing and beautiful valkyrie that is Chlea Suleman. She's such a complex character, so snarky, and yet she's very motherly and caring with her friends, especially Rony, the pet ghost (who is morbidly adorable), and your newest addition...the vampire Harry Finnegan. In this day and age vampires are starting to become so cliche, and yet you've managed to make Harry a very unique vampire, not at all 'broody and repentant' like the media like to make their vampiric stars. Harry enjoys being a vampire, and he enjoys being with Chlea, and its obvious that Chlea enjoys him as well. Their chemistry is quite electric, and considering that they're best friends and both immortal, well, I know I'm speaking for a large part of your fanbase when I say that I hope you explore the obvious attraction between them." Chloe paused, eyes wide.
Henry was watching her intently again.
The forty-four year old with the appearance of a nineteen year old, gulped and ignored the vampire intently, forcing herself to continue on. "On another note, I quite enjoy Luisa, the eccentric, adopted cousin. She brings vibrance and comedy to the story (which is odd in your novels, and yet is a welcomed change! We can only take so much darkness in our lives, right?) Oh well, I leave you once more stating that I adore your work...and that I hope to see future issues of Blood Bride slowly bringing in the Harry x Chlea romance that we're all desperate to read about. Yours faithfully, Your Biggest Fan."
The blonde took in a deep breath and forced herself to look at Henry, forcing herself to look nonchalant, though she knew her expression slid slightly at the odd, intense look the vampire was giving her.
He then smiled, dimples deep, and lowered his gaze to the notepad once more. "Interesting."
"Delusional is more like it." Chloe muttered to herself, hating herself for the blush she knew was fighting its way up her neck. "Chlea and Harry are just best friends. They never see each other like that, and even if they did, they'd never---she'd never risk the special thing she has with him on something that will probably not work out and ruin the best thing she's had in a long time."
"I can understand why she would feel that way." Henry announced in a half-distracted way, concentrating on his drawings once more. "She's been hurt by nearly every man she's ever given her heart to, and she sees him somewhat as a womanizer due to the fact that he feeds from different women in the nights."
"Exactly!" Chloe jumped at that. "He's not exactly monogamous material."
"But he'd never hurt her. Ever. If they were together, he'd find a way." Henry replied in that same calm way. "Harry loves Chlea deeply, unlike he's ever really loved another woman, whether it be platonic or as a lover. He has...a deep spiritual, emotional...and maybe even physical attraction and bond with her."
She pursed her lisp in contemplation at that. "And Chlea loves him too, he's her best friend, and maybe she might have an attraction to him, but she's made bad choices in the past and anyway, how is she not to be sure it isn't just the vampiric allure working on her anyway?"
Henry smirked. "You're forgetting that Chlea is bullheaded and that the allure doesn't work on her."
"Maybe it does. To a certain degree." Chloe disagreed stubbornly.
"It doesn't." Henry shook his head. "Life would be much
easier for Harry if it did."
She made a face at him. "You make it sound as if Chlea is troublesome."
"No. But you have to admit, she's always getting herself into trouble." Henry replied, seeming quite amused with this conversation. "It gives Harry indigestion worrying over her sometimes. She's really inconsiderate in that sense."
"Well maybe Harry shouldn't worry about Chlea so much!" Chloe announced, folding her arms defensively over her chest. "It's her job, not his, and she was doing it long before he came onto the scene and tried to tell her not to do what she did best."
"She is constantly getting hurt. What do you expect him to try and do?"
"Nothing! He shouldn't do anything!" Chloe growled. "She's good at her job! She enjoys her job! And she's immortal
"We all know that immortals don't live forever." Henry finally looked up at her, eyes annoyed. "Everyone dies. Maybe centuries after others do, but they die. 'Immortal' doesn't mean eternal life. Just means Chlea'll be harder and take longer to kill, but it'll happen...especially if she's forever putting her life at risk!"
Chloe opened her mouth.
Intense rappings interrupted whatever was about to spew from her lips.
The blonde sighed, waiting for Henry to decipher to the morse code Rudy was using.
The poor ghost had developed some sort of 'ghost flu' (she still didn't quite understand how that worked) and while he was sick he was unable to visually or audibly manifest himself...so he communicated by rapping against the wall in morse code, which, conveniently, Henry knew.
"We're not arguing." The vampire shook his head. "We were just debating the characters. Weren't you listening?"
Another set of furious raps could be heard.
"No. No. No. We clearly were talking about Harry and Chlea, weren't we, Chloe?"
"Of course." Chloe nodded in agreement. "Why would we have said the things we said if we'd been talking about ourselves?"
More sedate raps.
Henry chuckled. "Yes, we do seem quite invested in the characters. We just--got carried away with the subject. But, it gives me good material."
Chloe looked down at her hands.
Was that all she was to Henry Fitzroy?
Is that why he insisted on following her around on all of her cases now? So he could get good material for his Blood Bride series? Did he see her as a person, as a friend at all...or was she just good material for Chlea Suleman, his main character?
She hunched down on the sofa, wondering why this bothered her so much.
So what if she was only good material?
It wasn't like...it wasn't like she...
Chloe closed her eyes tightly.
It wasn't like she was in love
with the vampire or anything.
To distract herself, Chloe picked up another letter, finding this one with senders address.
Why did that name sound familiar?
And then it hit her, and Chloe's eyes widened as she dropped the letter, only to reach down and pick it up again. "Henry? It's from one of your friends in Toronto."
He froze. "Vicki?"
Something inside of her cracked at that name and the way he said it. "Uh, no. Coreen."
Henry frowned and stood, accepting the letter from her and ripping open the envelope, quickly reading through the contents of the letter, before wordlessly passing it to her and going to sit down on the sofa.
Worried by his reaction, Chloe read the letter he'd offered her.Dear Mister Fitzroy,
God. Henry. Has it been so long that I feel the need to address you in such a formal way? Argh.Henry.
Uh, look. I would love to make this a pleasant letter telling you how wonderful things have been and asking you about there, but I'm desperate. I know that Vicki and I both messed up, and we lost your trust and we deserved that, but I also know that you know we did it to save your life because we love you and you're our friend and that's what friends do! They make the hard decisions to save the people (vampires included) that they love!
I know that Vicki says we should give you time and respect your wishes to be away from us, (and I know she's still reeling from you leaving and telling her she wasn't 'good' for you---really? Henry? Really?) but I'm desperate and not as understanding and...and this was the only way I could think of getting into contact with you since you changed your cellular number and you never told us where you moved to. So when I saw your latest graphic novels out I knew that you were fine and 'alive' and I got the mailing address from your publishing house. They must think I'm a super fan or something, but it was the only way of contacting you that I could think of and as I stated before, I'm getting desperate.
You know how Asteroth is halfway in this world? Well...he's causing problems for Vicki again. She's trying to do that "I'm strong and can handle it and am an independent woman who doesn't need anyone to save me" act, but I can so totally see through it, and she's scared too. She's been having the nightmares and visions and everything is pointing to something very bad about to happen, and well, Mike might be talking to her again and trying to help, but we all know that Mike Celluci isn't the best person we could have on our team at such a time like this.
We need you, Henry.
Please. I'm begging you.
Come back to Toronto and help us.
Chloe looked up from the letter, her stomach queasy with nerves. She---she had deluded herself into believing that this day wouldn't happen, that Henry's past wouldn't catch up to them and pull him back. But still, still deep down she'd known it would. She...she'd known that Henry would always love the mysterious, beautiful and strong Vicki Nelson, and that despite his hurt at what he thought as a 'betrayal' that he'd return back to her.
And it was only right.
They obviously loved each other.
They---who was she to stand in the way or make him feel guilty for doing what his heart obviously wanted?
"So. You want help packing?" She asked him, forcing a smile on her face.
He looked at her. "Who said I was going?"
She shook her head at him. "I know you're going. You're very kindhearted, henry, and you love those girls, despite whatever may have happened between you all. You'd never be able to live with yourself is something happened to them and you knew you could have helped."
He sighed, leaning forwards. "You know me too well."
She bit back a taste of bitterness, keeping that supportive smile on her face.
He looked up at her. "Will you come with me?"
She froze, eyes wide.
Did she want to go and see him play the hero and make up with the damsel fair?
No way in hell
He then shook his head and looked down at his bare feet. "What am I saying? I don't want you there."
Her heart tore in half.
Henry pushed up to his feet and walked to his little bar, pouring himself something to drink. "If Asteroth is on the loose and causing problems, that's the last place I want you. He's bad news and I will not let you get hurt."
She sat down.
Well...when he put it that way...it wasn't so bad, was it?
Rudy rapped on the wall.
Henry smiled. "Thank you."
Chloe's crackberry rang, and she jumped, shocked by the sound, before reaching into her pocket and pulling it out, seeing the reminder about the meeting with a client she had. "Well, I have to go...and since you'll probably be gone by the time I'm finished...well...take care...Henry."
He turned to her, glass in hand. "Client?"
She nodded, grabbing her jacket. "Its just kiddie stuff, the usual haunting, don't worry."
He nodded, tightening his hold on the glass before taking in a deep breath and letting it out. "Try---try be careful. Please?"
"Never." She smiled softly, going to him and hugging him, tightly, fighting the tears making their way to her eyes as he hugged her back just as tightly. "You be careful. If you die. I'll never forgive you." And with that she pulled away and stalked towards the door, opening it and closing it. She then hesitated, put on her jacket and rested back against the door, tears glistening in her eyes.
The blonde wiped silently as one made its way down her cheek.
She didn't love him.
Chloe took in a deep breath and walked away.