Shared Accommodations

from Hellborne 1.5

Cranberry-apple tea was a disconcerting shade of red, so much so that the contents of any ridiculously large mug of choice were questionable but for an obvious difference in density. Tea, for example, was more prone to spilling when its mug was placed unsteadily by an outstretched arm.

 

“Why are you still awake?”

 

Eyes rooted to the monitor, Zoe took up the mug with a note of gratitude. “Why are you still alive?” he asked in return. Working through the night into the mid-morning – some people called it brunch, but brunch was a meal and Zoe insisted not even a real word – was entirely common for him so his roommate had really been asking why he hadn’t finished the job already.

 

“Oh, uh,” finding a stable shelf to lean on, Luce stalled before using all his excuses. “The moon was in pallor and George didn’t show – I think she got caught in the time differential between dimensions – so I figured I’d stay around for a bit.”

 

“Save me some on rent,” Zoe filled in, deadpan.

 

Luce smiled. “Exactly.”

 

At which point Zoe jumped out of his chair in a sudden show of animation that was as impressive of his ability to lack animation. “FUCKTRUMPETS ON A SHITDRAGON! DON’T DO THAT, LUCE.”

 

“What?”

 

Zoe stood where his chair had been before it was sent skittering across the room. “You said you were going to ascend, we made a whole deal out of not making a whole deal out of it, and then you withdraw at the last second.”  He clenched his fists against his temples. “Augh! You told me you didn’t want to do the whole ‘multiple centuries’ thing.”

 

Lucy Kolline was completely unfazed and rather laid-back, leaning back against a display of LEDs. “Well, yes,” he admitted. “But I can ascend whenever now, so it’s nothing, really.”

 

“No,” Zoe insisted. “No, you’re going to waffle around the issue until the next millennia dawns on you and I’m the only friend you have that’s still around and…”

 

“And?” The proposed future didn’t sound that bad to Luce.

 

“And I already put out an ad for a new roommate.”

 

Luce would have laughed if it weren’t for the feeling of his stomach dropping, “You put out an ad? You of all people?”

 

Antisocial wasn’t the right word to describe Zoe. Zoe was many things, but he wasn’t antisocial; he was perhaps exceedingly careful. “No one’s answered.”

 

“Did you mention you live in a server bay?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“That’s why no one’s answered.” Luce breathed something of a sigh of relief. He had known Zoe for decades but it had taken the better part of eight years for Zoe to find a place and then Luce to move in. Somewhere where they could both live, safely and privately, together, while still being able to work. Luce wasn’t entirely keen on finding his own apartment and having to tip-toe around some innocent bystander of a new roommate.

 

“Probably,” Zoe shrugged after a moment’s consideration, then grabbed his chair and returned to work.

 

Luce moved over the vampire’s shoulder again. “Why are you still working on this?”

 

“Oh, uh, there’s this one bug fix that had a remarkable domino effect on, quite plainly, everything.” Zoe gestured at the mass of screens of code. “I’m going to have to remember it for later, after I mend this.”

 

“Huh.”

 

SHARED ACCOMMODATIONS

Warehouse District E

0bdrm 0bath remote IT op.

nb occupant, lives in server room,

quiet, keeps to self, has own blood supply

previous tenant left all worldly possessions

no laundry, free internet

$350/mo, no util. in location