Black Frost

Set in 'Tundra', Black Frost attacks, Vince is hurt


Characters: ,





Length: words

Notes: A fluffy short

Black Frost by elfin

An icy slash like a razor blade struck Vince and toppled him backwards. Caught around the shoulders by Howard’s quickly outstretched arm, his head dropped back and hit the snow-covered floor.

‘Vince?’ Sticky red seeped through the tear in the Coca-Cola styled ski-suit like the cloth was bleeding colour. Panic seeped into Howard’s voice. ‘Vince!’

Everything froze in the arctic, Vince was as still as he’d ever been; even in sleep he was constantly moving but now he was like a warm corpse as Howard pulled him into his lap, cradling the back of his head with a large gloved hand.

Something was blocking Howard’s throat, stopping words, stopping air. He wheezed passed it, gasping for breath, blinking sudden, stinging tears from his eyes. ‘Vince… no. Please… don’t die.’

He glanced up at Black Frost’s dark visage staring down at them, the whites of its eyes reflecting the snow, the inhuman curl of its nose and the sharp points of its teeth like a charcoal nightmare.

The same emotions that had driven him to tell Vince he loved him were welling up now on the other side of the block in his throat. Vince had laughed when he’d told him, embarrassed probably because Howard had never shown him any real affection before, definitely not like love. Just jibes about his hair, his music, his art. He’d shown an appreciation of his gift of being able to talk to the animals, yes indeed. But didn’t such an incredible a gift warrant more than simple appreciation? Didn’t someone like Vince? They’d known one another since school, and Howard wasn’t sure he’d really thought about it before, but the issue was bring forced now, wasn’t it?

He leaned over Vince, awkwardly combing gloved fingers through autumn hair shot through with sunshine. ‘Please, Vince, don’t die.’ He sniffed, wiping his suddenly runny nose on one expensive mink sleeve. ‘Don’t leave me.’

Black Frost moved without warning, crouching down next to them. Instinctively Howard tried to shift himself and his ward backwards, further away from the evil grinning demon, but to no avail; the ruby’s plinth blocked their way. Black fingers with nails filed to dark points spread like two stars in the icy air. Howard pulled Vince closer into him, hugging the fragile form to his chest.

The block in his throat suddenly gave way, releasing the all those pent-up emotions in a loud sob that crashed against the deep breath he tore into his starving lungs. The resulting sound was one of raw pain, a wound opening.

Jet-black hands flew to cover jet-black ears and Black Frost seemed to scuttle back several feet in the blink of an eye, its movements jerky and impossibly fast. Breathing in quick, deep gulps, Howard stared at the enemy and tried to draw together two separate thought threads in his terrified brain.

He fell quiet. And a second later Black Frost was on them again, pointed fingers like knives reaching for Vince, reaching to cut him, to bleed him dry.

Howard screamed, scraping the back of his throat raw; denial and grief, terror and pain.

The answering shriek wasn’t his. It belonged to Black Frost as it flew back, hitting the curved ice wall of the cave, head smacking hard against frozen snow, black body falling limp to the floor like a broken Golly.

So much time passed without movement that Howard thought finally that it might be dead. Stretching one foot out he kicked a black leg gently, relieved when there was no response. His eyes fell on Black Frost’s red shiny cowboy boots with a silver flash and he knew Vince would love them. He’d steal them, he decided, then Vince would have to wake up because he loved presents. He always woke up for presents.

Looking down at the lifeless form in his arms, Howard began to cry.

‘Stop it! You’re making my mascara run!’

Howard opened his tired, wet eyes and a grin split his face in half. ‘Vince! You’re alive!’

‘Course I’m alive! And you’re making me wet!’

Wiping his face on his furry sleeve, Howard watched while Vince struggled to sit up in his lap by wrapping an arm around his neck and pulling himself up. He felt him flinch and saw that the wound in Vince’s left side had re-opened and started to bleed. Perfect fingernails picked at the original the sticky scab melding his suit to his skin as he made a face. ‘Urgh.’

Howard stared at him, not even thinking to knock his hand away from the wound. ‘I thought you were dead.’

A cloud passed over Vince’s sunshine face. ‘I wouldn’t leave you alone out here all by yourself.’ He kissed the tip of Howard’s nose, surprising him. ‘I love you too, Howard. I mean it. I’m sorry I laughed.’

‘It’s okay.’ It was good to feel Vince’s weight on his thighs, to have him back, full of life. He’d never complain again about him always shifting around, even when they next had to share a tent or worse (better?), a sleeping bag.

‘Are you okay, Howard?’

‘More than okay, little man.’ He smiled up, and without warning Vince kissed him again, full on the mouth this time, lingering for a second or two before lifting his head.

Howard licked his lips and glanced at the twinkle in Vince’s sky blue eyes before letting his gaze drop to his mouth, just an inch above and away from his own. ‘What was that for?’

‘For saying you loved me.’

‘Oh.’ He didn’t know what to say so he said, ‘We have to get out of here.’

‘How are we going to do that?’ Vince was looking around. There wasn’t an obvious escape route, let alone a helpfully placed snow mobile to steal.

‘Hail a passing sleigh?’ It didn’t matter. Howard had never felt so positive. ‘We’ll find a way, Vince.’ He wanted to say something cheesy about them always finding a way if they stuck together. But he didn’t. Because it sounded cornier than, ‘I love you’ and look where that had got them. Anything more, they’d probably end up married or something.

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