Oh who is the beauty...who the beast
would you die of grieving when I leave?
two children too blind to see
I would fall in your shadow, I believe
Simon shielded his eyes against the harsh glare of the sun and instinctively crouched.
Three weeks had passed since he was given the gift of light again and it's glow had already begun to dull. What use was the warmth of day when the one person who deserved it the most kept his distance? Even his best friend would never understand the majesty of a sunrise for someone who'd been thrust into inky darkness. He couldn't fault her for that but it made him feel even more isolated.
Rising, he crossed the busy street.
Mundanes bustled by and occasionally knocked into his shoulder, treating him as though he were one of them. Being a vampire was like that: you were no longer the beating heartbeat of New York. You became a soulless creature who prayed with a tainted mouth that everyone you love would not suffer at your hand. It almost never worked out in the vampire's favor.
He mindlessly wandered for hours until the sun dipped below the horizon.
There was no one to call and check in on him, to make sure he hadn't been savagely ripped apart by a rogue wolf or forgotten to feed. Clary had Izzy, Luke was busy with his pack, Maia hated talking on the phone and Raphael hadn't spoken to him since Simon let him slip through his hands again. He'd cowardly cut off his own pleading as Raphael clutched the doorknob to his old bedroom before 'Wait' could turn into 'Hold on, I still need you.'
That night, he dreamed of a beautiful beast with the kindest brown eyes who stood under a circle of light. In it Simon lurked in the shadows, drowning in self inflicted grief. The beast looked upon him longingly before he faded, taking the sun with him.
There was no beauty without the beast - the world was nothing more than shadows.
My love is a man who's not been tamed
oh, my love lives in a world of false pleasure and pain
we come from different worlds, we are the same
Six days later, Clary sat opposite him at Blue Bottle Coffee and listened as he lamented about DuMort, openly admitting how he couldn't get Raphael out of his head. Everywhere he goes, everything he does; Raphael is there.
"Eternity is a long time, Simon. Do you really want to spend it alone?" she asked.
"I don't have a choice," he replied flatly.
He'd sank to an all time low by choosing to free Camille then proceeded to add salt to the wound by hurling his pain and anger at Raphael every change he got. If he were Raphael, he wouldn't take him back either.
"Bed of Roses," she said, knowing he'd get the reference.
In it, two strangers had fallen in love and one ran away when the other got too close. She got spooked and they existed as shells without the other until she finally found her inner strength.
He groaned, placing his head on the table. "He doesn't even like silver roses," he whined.
Oh and the guy had once filled an apartment with thousands of his love interests favorite roses. It was overly dramatic and too soon but Simon respected the hell out of him for trying. They were even thornless because he knew she'd bled enough in her life, though she'd insisted they were too perfect without them. Unrealistic.
Raphael would likely roll his eyes and make a remark about the lifespan of roses, secretly he'd like it though. Simon knows that much. Everything the elder vampire does is dramatic, even in the way he walks.
Clary smiled at him, brow raised. "Everybody's entitled to a little bit of perfection."
"Yeah but life isn't a fairytale," he countered, feeling jaded. His roses have the power to draw blood.
In the movie, the couple had a touching moment where Lisa teared up and nearly left when her jilted lover responded coldly to her apology. Changing her mind at the last minute, she turned and said - "No, this is the part where you say 'Wait. Don't leave.' And I don't."
To which he'd told her life wasn't a fairytale - spitting her own words from months ago back at her. It ended with a sappy Hollywood kiss whereas Simon's - 'Wait' moment was sabotaged by his own stubborn pride.
Clary laughed. "You literally dreamed of him as a beast, Simon. You couldn't get more Disney fairytale than that."
He slumped in his chair and flipped a sugar packet over, reverting to his old habit of fidgeting. "I can't control my dreams," he pouted. "Besides, we live in different worlds now. I live in a boathouse and he lives in a death hotel. I can stand in the sun without burning to a crisp and he can't. Everything has changed and there's no undo button for that."
She glanced around at the busy coffee shop and leaned in where others couldn't listen in. "You drink blood, you still sleep during the day because you're no good at breaking habits, you still don't have a pulse. You're the same as he is. The same guy who wore his suit to a wedding."
She did have a point. "Okay, so what if you're right? What then?"
She sat back in her chair and stirred her neglected white mocha. "Then you say Hello, I'm still hopelessly in love with you. Trust me on this, I'm a smooth talker," she bragged.
Simon rolled his eyes.
She shoved at his arm playfully, "Hey now, it works. That's how I got Izzy."
He jumped at the chance to shift the conversation from his lackluster love life to hers. The one thing Clary loved more than Izzy was talking about her. "Still teaching her how to paint?"
Clary instantly grinned. "I'm pretty sure she's still wearing the charcoal from the last time I tried." Her cheeks turned a light shade of pink and she bashfully tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "We got distracted and yeah...you get the picture."
Simon smiled. Izzy was good for her. She made Clary happier than she'd ever been. She continued on and he listened, ignoring the hole in his chest that ached for someone he could not have. His own fairytale was upside down and inside out.
You're not a stranger to me
and you are something to see
you don't even know how to please
you say a lot but you're unaware how to leave
(I never doubted your beauty,
He paced around outside of DuMort looking like a fool with a silver rose in his hand for all of two minutes before Raphael realized he was there. Clary's advice repeated in his head as the elder vampire appeared in front of him.
'Hello, I'm still hopelessly in love with you'
Raphael wore a rich blue suit tapered at the waist, a black t-shirt underneath and dark slacks. He really was something to see.
Simon recognized the jacket as the same one he'd wore to Alec's ill fated wedding. Seeing it on him reminded Simon of how Raphael had taken his time undoing every layer and ghosting his lips over bare skin as their clothes pooled on the floor. They'd drank from each other for the first time that night. It was a declaration of love and trust; certainly not something to be taken lightly.
He bit his lip and forced his eyes upward, away from Raphael's chest and the cross shaped scar he knew the location of by heart.
Raphael self consciously adjusted it, knowing where Simon's mind went. "What do you need?" He asked.
Need? Just him. Rescue me one more time, Simon thought. "You."
They should feel like strangers in the night, both feeling the gulf between them and allowing it to divide. Instead, there was only memory. Raphael had to feel it too, it was impossible not to. Once you've loved someone in such a deep encompassing way, there will always be that something when you're together.
Raphael pursed his lips and Simon thrust the rose at him before he could protest.
"It's thornless," he offered.
Raphael, being hopelessly ignorant of romance movies looked at him like he was a bumbling idiot. "What am I supposed to do with this?" He asked, holding the rare rose awkwardly.
Simon didn't come here to educate him on roses, he opted to skip the question and dive headfirst into the real reason.
"I'm still in love with you and I don't know how not to be," Simon confessed. "And I'm beyond sorry but I-I get that you probably hate me because, you know, Camille. And maybe even the daylighter thing too and I've been a jerk but," he sighed, staring at his feet. "I want you back. That's it."
Clary would be proud of him for spitting it out, if nothing else.
Raphael blinked, momentarily stunned and unsure which part to focus on. A beat or two of silence passed before he held out his hand. Simon stared at it with wide eyes, looking half scared to death.
"Take it," Raphael said. "I won't bite," he added lightly.
Simon chuckled nervously and slipped his hand in Raphael's. He wasn't sure who was shaking worse, himself or Raphael. Either way, the elder vampire wove their fingers together and cupped the back of Simon's head with the other.
"You've always had me," he murmured and pressed their mouths together.
Simon whimpered and kissed back with everything he had to offer. The silver rose lay tucked between their palms, tilting slightly but every petal remained intact. Two worlds, once separate, now joined together.
Maybe fairytales did come true if you wanted it bad enough.
There is no beauty
without my beast (my love)
my beautiful, beautiful beast
"Told you so," Clary teased. Simon groaned and adjusted the phone.
The door to his (Raphael's - theirs) room creaked open and said person strolled through and casually removed his shirt, to change for bedtime. On the other end, Clary wa
s rambling about Izzy and a double date but he was far too distracted to focus.
"Yeah, yeah. That's great," he replied, unsure of what he was agreeing to. "I gotta go. We'll talk soon."
He didn't give her a chance to reply before throwing the phone on the bed and coming up behind Raphael and wrapping his arms around his waist from behind. He nipped at his boyfriends shoulder and trailed tiny kisses up his neck.
"I missed you," he said.
Raphael leaned back against him, allowing Simon to touch. "I was only gone for ten minutes."
Simon brushed his nose against Raphael's neck and inhaled deeply, breathing in the intoxicating scent of him. "Ten minutes too long."
He closed the door behind them and led the elder vampire to the bed. Eternity is a long time, he thought. Raphael laid back against the pillow, staring at him with heavily lidded eyes and teeth caught between his bottom lip.
But not nearly long enough.