Kaz slowly opens his eyes, a throbbing headache right between his eyes and he gives a low groan of pain. The sunlight is streaming cheerfully through the window that they forgot to close, only increasing the pain in his head. He glares at the windows in an attempt to make them close themselves before looking down at Ava. She seems to be sleeping peacefully and it takes him a second in the haze he’s in to realize that, from what he can see, all her clothing is missing.
The previous night comes back in chunks and pieces and he lifts the covers to find them both still wearing underwear. He hadn’t wanted to deal with the idea of them both tumbling into bed with how last night simply turned into a haze. If she did relent, he didn’t want alcohol involved and wanted to remember it. Kaz reaches up with his free arm, rubbing at his face and disturbing Ava. She presses closer, giving a small groan before she coming around enough to grasp the situation.
“Kaz… where’s my clothing?” She manages out, moving one arm and he watches as she feels out where her clothing should be, relaxing when realizing she’s still wearing underwear.
“Um…” Kaz looks to one side and then the other of the bed before returning to rubbing his face, covering his eyes from the sunlight. “On the floor?”
“Could you possibly clear up as to why they’re on the floor?” There’s a long silence as Kaz tries to press into the hazy memories from last night.
“Ahm… something about not wanting to change into pajamas.”
“That makes surprising sense.” Ava pauses for a while. “I don’t want to go out with Hyde again to an izakaya.” Kaz nods, trying to ignore the throbbing in his head.
“I have no problem with that,” he responds, keeping his eyes covered.
“Now that that’s settled... who’s getting up to close the blinds?”
They get up much later, drinking a great amount of water and taking pain pills for the continuing headaches. Ava wears a loose, baggy shirt, it hanging low over bare thighs even as she sits on the couch, nursing a cold glass of water. Kaz joins her, wearing just pajama bottoms, sipping at his own glass of water.
“What the…” Ava runs her fingers over her lip, making Kaz look at her in confusion.
“What’s wrong?” She turns and he shrinks back from the venomous gaze he’s on the receiving end of.
“Is there any reason why there’s a set of holes in my lip?” She’s still running a finger over her bottom lip.
“Huh?” Kaz stares as she draws her fingers back and can recognize the fang marks for what they are. He’s fairly certain they weren’t there when they stumbled home. “I have no idea.” A long silence follows, Ava watching him suspiciously.
“Never going to another izakaya with Hyde,” she states, seeming to be checking as to the reason why she’s been nipped.
“Never,” Kaz reaffirms and she returns her attention to her drink, seeming to calm. “I honestly don’t remember doing it.”
“I don’t either.” Ava looks at him, looking tired, worn down by her hangover. Kaz reaches out and runs a finger lightly over her bottom lip, guilt washing over him. Without even knowing it, he could have done serious harm.
“I’m sorry.” His voice is quiet, eyes fixed on the damage he’s done. She nods, seeming to accept the apology before looking curious.
“How often do you have to drink?” There’s a long silence. “Kaz?”
“Every day, technically.” There’s a longer silence.
“When’s the last time you drank?” There’s concern in her voice but Kaz has the feeling that it isn’t towards him.
“I—I’m not sure.” Lies don’t come as easily to his lips any time she asks, the honest truth seeming to pop out every time, no matter how much he thinks it’ll cause her to leave. She shifts a little, putting distance between the two of them.
“Should you deal with that?” She looks notably nervous.
“I’m not putting any more puncture wounds in you,” he states firmly and Ava shakes her head, swallowing a mouthful of water.
“I wasn’t offering.”
“I was just trying to reassure you.” Kaz tries to move closer but Ava draws away in response. There’s a long silence between the two of them before he gives in, shoulders slumping and looking away. “Should I contact Kyoko? You can stay with her instead.”
“I just don’t want to be bitten now. I’m worried that when you’re reaching for me, it’s going to turn into a grab and bite.” Ava sighs, rubbing her head. “No matter your assurances. It’s why I asked if you should deal with it, which I think you should.” There’s a short silence before Kaz gets to his feet.
“I’ll fix it,” he states and disappears into the bedroom, Ava watching after him with some concern as she getting to her feet. He returns fully dressed, pushing his cell phone into a pocket as Ava watches, the screen going from lit to dark. “I’ll—I’ll be back in a while.” He seems to pause before heading for the door, giving her a wide berth and continuing to look guilty.
“Kaz.” He stops at the call and Ava’s hand touches his shoulder, sending a small shiver through his body. A small noise of pleasure escapes his lips at a kiss to his neck. “We have to talk when you come back.” His heart stops, looking at her in concern but she shakes her head, shoving him towards the door. “Just a normal talk.” A pause. “Well, as normal as a talk can get considering the subject.” She offers him a small smile and he nods, quickly heading out the door.
When Kaz returns, Ava’s lying on his couch with his guitar, playing along to a melody and singing softly. She’s completely dressed, looking nice and he’s sure to make as little noise as possible so as not to disturb her. Continuing to play, she seems completely absorbed in what she’s doing and he gets close enough to listen to her murmur words. Her eyes wander over the room before noticing Kaz.
“Oi!” She jumps up, keeping a tight hold on the guitar, before realizing that it’s him and a smile appears on Kaz’s face.
“Found my guitar and couldn’t keep your hands off of it again?” It’s a teasing tone and her face turns bright red, remembering playing it when she had gotten locked in the venue. She pauses before smiling back slyly, the red starting to fade away.
“Of course not.” She plays a couple notes before starting to pull it off. Kaz reaches out and stops her.
“Play some more.” There’s a long pause, Ava considering his request for a while, looking as if she’s going to reject it before settling the guitar strap more over her shoulders.
“I suppose I could. As long as you don’t joke about bad technique.” She smiles nervously, moving to retake a seat on the couch and Kaz slips in beside her.
“I don’t think I’ve made fun of you for a skill and I don’t plan on changing that,” he states, watching as she seems to think for a bit.
“Good.” She smiles a little, still looking nervous before starting to play again. She relaxes into it, gaining speed and dexterity as she plays. Kaz closes his eyes to listen with a smile, enjoying learning new things about her.
“How’d the guitar playing come about?” Kaz’s arm is linked through Ava’s as they walk, the woman taking in the sights more.
“I used to play a wind instrument. No strings at the school I went to or I probably would’ve picked up violin.” She smiles faintly. “Give it a while after I stopped playing that and I decided that I wanted to play bass.”
“Bass?” Kaz raises an eyebrow, looking incredulous. Ava laughs at the look, nodding and continues to speak.
“I decided to go from the smallest instrument to the largest I could manage.” She pauses. “Drums were out of the question, I have no rhythm. So I got a bass. I already had a guitar that I never played.” She chuckles, shaking her head. “So I plucked along on the bass. Then I started realizing that there aren’t a lot of lessons or whatnot specifically for bass. So I started learning guitar instead, figuring I could just apply what I learn for guitar to it.” There’s a short pause. “I haven’t really picked up my bass since.”
“Bass?” Kaz questions again and Ava laughs more.
“I might have a picture of it somewhere on my phone. I like to think about it sometimes. Another thing that I failed to go back to. At least I don’t feel terrible about that one, I think I might like guitar more.” She gestures to a shop. “Can we go in there?”
Ava sits partially on the counter, watching Kaz cook with a frown. He hadn’t let her anywhere near the food tonight, insisting upon making all of it himself. So she obstinately pulled herself up onto some of the free counter space and sat, offering every so often to do something. She receives a no every single time, her frown only growing with each rejection.
“I’m cooking tomorrow,” she states and it startles Kaz enough that he stares at her, blinking for a while as if attempting to comprehend what she’s said. It takes some time before he manages to say anything.
“Huh?” The statement still doesn’t seem to have made a mark.
“I’m making dinner tomorrow,” Ava insists, tapping her fingers on the side of her face, her arms crossed. “I’m the one imposing, I’m not sure why you’re working so hard at all this. I should be cooking for you every night.”
“No—No that’s not how that works.” Kaz turns his attention back to the meal, making sure he’s not burning it. “You’re my guest, I take care of you.”
“A guest who feels like you’re going far above and beyond what you normally do.” There’s a short silence.
“I don’t normally cook this much food,” He admits quietly, hoping that the statement will be lost in the sizzle coming from the pan.
“I can tell,” Ava responds and he glances back at her again. An amused look has appeared on her face, a smile made crooked by her hand on her face.
“How could you?”
“You’ve started to burn the veggies.” She chuckles and he hurriedly removes them from the heat, noticing the burn marks on some of it. “You don’t do stir-fry style vegetables often.” Kaz’s face has turned extremely bright red as he plates the rest of the meal, unwilling to speak thanks to his embarrassment. Ava slides off the counter and slips her arms around him, setting her head on his shoulder, standing on tip-toe to do so. “It’s fine. I think those vegetables are good with a char on them anyway, gives them a slight, almost nutty taste. Otherwise, I would’ve told you sooner.”
“I wish you had. I feel like an idiot.” His voice is quiet when he speaks.
“Don’t. Just let me cook for you tomorrow. No stress on you trying to make everything perfect.” She presses a soft kiss to his neck as she gives a quiet giggle, continuing to gently hold him. “You’re going to run yourself into the ground if you keep trying to make things perfect.” There’s a small pause. “And if you keep trying to make up for the nip to the lip. I’m okay. I didn’t attack you for it and you didn’t kill me.” She moves one hand up to run into his hair.
“I could have.”
“But—” Ava turns his head with her hand and presses a kiss to his lips, breaking it shortly after and stays close as she speaks.
“See? Lips are working fine.” There’s a short pause as she runs her tongue over her lips for a second, looking puzzled. Kaz offers a piece of the stir-fry quickly.
“Here, have a taste.” Ava turns her head slightly to avoid it.
“Are you wearing flavored chapstick?” She looks greatly amused at the idea.
“Ahm.” Kaz’s face starts to flush, frozen in place with the piece of food between a pair of chopsticks.
“Tastes like…” Ava pauses in thought before dipping in and pressing another kiss to his lips. “Cherry, it tastes like cherry.” He gets another kiss to the lips. “Definitely cherry.” The flush has lessened as he watches her lick over her lips again.
“Enjoying that?” Kaz questions and she blushes and grins at the same time.
“I like cherries,” she claims and presses another kiss to his lips. Kaz makes a mental note to turn the accidental buy into a permanent one as he kisses her back.
“We never had that talk.” Ava tilts her head, a piece of food halfway to her mouth, looking at Kaz suspiciously. She has a feeling that he had purposely distracted her from it. He looks uncomfortable before giving a slow nod.
“Yes.” Ava takes the bite and sets her chopsticks down to focus on Kaz. The guitarist looks worried under her gaze.
“I…” She pauses, thinking out what she wants to say, eyes wandering away as she thinks. “If I’m going to be around more, you have to take care of yourself,” she states firmly, refocusing her gaze on him. “If you need to drink blood every day, then that’s not something you can ignore.” She picks the chopsticks up again, playing with a piece of food for a second, looking mildly uncomfortable.
“What?” He blinks, looking surprised.
“You heard me.” Ava’s face darkens as she eats a half of a mushroom, eyes focused down on her food. “You need to take better care of yourself. Did you even drink any while you were on the rest of the tour?” There’s an extremely long silence.
“N—No.” Ava looks up at his response, looking bothered.
“No.” Kaz turns his gaze down, pushing the food around on the plate.
“You can’t do that. That’s not good for… well I assume it’s not good for you.” Ava looks more bothered and concerned. “Just… take care of yourself for me? I know about it, I’m all right with it. It’s just…” She trails off, looking embarrassed.
“You should just be taking care of yourself,” she claims, face flushing darkly, returning to eating and pushing the thoughts in her head away, eagerly changing the topic at hand. “How does the whole eating human food work? I would have thought that you couldn’t.” Kaz blinks slowly, seeming to be trying to follow the train of thought before shaking his head.
“It’s a little complicated.”
“Well, explain then,” she requests and Kaz pauses before starting to try and explain it to the best of his abilities.
Kaz slips out from under the covers, silently heading into the living area and taking a seat, running a hand through his hair. He’s still bothered by the fact that he had bitten her lip. What’s starting to bother him more is the fact that he hadn’t gone for more. He isn’t sure what that means. Based on what he remembers, he can’t recall imbibing any blood since right before the tour started. It left him weakened in terms of anything vampire-related granted to him and the craving for blood usually went up the longer he went without. He has starved for a while before, normal food helped the cravings, but after a few weeks, that thirst would break him down to where he needs to drink.
Had it been a month since the last time? He had never made it this far starving himself before, only to about three weeks. There’s still a lot of concern that he could bite Ava in his sleep. If he could do it while drunk, he could do it while sleeping. It hadn’t occurred to him before but now it had turned into a looming threat. If she woke with his fangs buried in her neck that would be the end of any relationship he could hope for.
He stays sitting out in the living area, head in his hands and trying to figure out a work-around for the situation. The simplest solution is to separate from Ava at night, sleep out on the couch instead. It seems good enough and he moves to lie out on the couch, imagining her sleeping soundly as he shuts his eyes. He would have to come up with a different solution eventually but sleeping on the couch would stop him from doing what she fears. He muses on the idea of wearing some sort of facemask to bed before discarding it. Nothing probably afforded that much protection from his fangs unless it’s a muzzle.
“Kaz…?” He looks up, tilting his head back over the end of the couch. Ava stands in just a long shirt, underwear hidden by its length. She looks half-asleep and confused. “What are you doing out here?”
“Just… thinking.” He manages out and she looks at him with a note of suspicion before frowning.
“You’re not sleeping out here.”
“You’re not sleeping on the couch.” Ava strides over and attempts to pull him up, digging her feet into the floor as the guitarist stays where he is.
“All of this because of one nip, you should be ashamed.” She grumbles and tugs more on his arm uselessly. “Get up or I’m going to sleep on you.”
“You already do that,” Kaz states with amusement. Ava growls and pulls harder on him before seeming to give in, rubbing tiredly at her face. “Why did you get up? You look tired.” There’s a long silence as she moves and joins him on the couch, arms slipping under his head to encircle his neck as her head lies on his chest.
“…you were gone,” she murmurs into his chest, eyes closed. He stays quiet, gaping at her before wrapping his arms around her and pressing a kiss to her head. “I missed you,” she mutters into his chest, seeming to be drifting off to sleep quickly. “Bastard.” Kaz gives a small chuckle at the final statement before her breathing evens out, seeming to be sleeping soundly in her new spot.
Moving a hand up, he runs it through her hair, getting a small, pleased sigh from Ava as she sleeps. He’s more than a little surprised at how attached she is considering her earlier distance. He wonders if it’s just sleepiness pushing her to say things or if she really meant it. Eventually, he carefully lifts her up into his arms and returns to bed with her, Ava’s arms still around his neck and face pressed into his chest.