He wants to ask, but he doesn't know how to push this without loosing it completely.
Dedicated to my wonderful Christany, because everyone needs a bit of fanfiction to make the world all better. And, to Tessa; because you have taken my mind and overrun it with the need to draw Zombie. Story's based completely around my fan art, included in the post~
Hanna's exhausted; his shoulders are drooping, and his smile- though still bright and wide- is slightly strained at the corners. The dark circles under his eyes look more like bruises than bags, but he has the appearance of too much energy as he bounces ahead of his partner.
The dead man has seen many things, over his time in the not-so-after-life, but the memory of Hanna's chest, bruised and seemingly stuck together by five little staples, flashes among the most terrifying. He can still recall exactly how weightless Hanna felt earlier, after he'd passed out from Lee's ghostly attack, and he has silently been wondering if his chest has anything to do with it. Hanna eats; he's seen the younger man put away more than his fair share of food, when it was available. And, sure, food isn't a terribly common asset for them, as more often than not these 'cases' they take on end badly, and without pay. He's still not entirely sure how Hanna gets the old woman to let them stay here.
But that's neither here, nor there, and Hanna's shouldering the front door of the small apartment open as he jabbers about insane vampires and curses and 'how was he supposed to know?'
They both make it inside, and Hanna manages five more minutes of endless babble before silence stabs the air with a cold discomfort. It's the first time he's been around Hanna that he hasn't felt completely at ease, and this new tension feels completely unnatural- which shouldn't feel that odd, considering he's literally a walking dead man, but this is a whole new level of weird.
"Hanna-" in the silence, his voice echoes off the dusty walls, stalls out slightly, and he turns his glowing gaze to Hanna's hands, which are picking at the hem of his shirt. Before he can get going again, Hanna's left hand shoots to his mop of hair and musses it further, and then the man's interrupting him.
"I think it's about time to hit the sack, don't you think?"
It's hard; he can see how much Hanna needs the rest; it even takes him a second to remember that the last time Hanna actually slept- discounting being unconscious- was over thirty hours ago. But he reaches out with cold, dead fingers to wrap around Hanna's wrist as the excitable man goes to turn away. They both freeze for a moment- beyond times of absolute need, they have not touched one another, and having both of them safe and awake at this moment seems like some kind of twisted milestone. But it breaks and he says "Hanna." This time, stronger. More firm. And he can feel the man's body tense under his fingers. "We need to talk about-"
"No, We don't." Hanna's voice cuts him off like a knife, and the tension is radiating out of him, rolling in waves. He brings his eyes to meet Hanna's; sees the mild orange glow that stains the man because of it. His eyes, that hidden hint of blue, are pleading silently with him. They whisper 'please, drop it.' But he can't. Not yet.
"Hanna, what's going on here?"
But Hanna doesn't answer. Instead, he slowly extracts his arm from the cold grip, and he lets Hanna go, because he knows he won't be able to stop it without hurting those small bones. Wide shoulders turn away, and he's presented with Hanna's flaming locks in place of a face. He wants to turn the man around, wants to force answers out of him, but he knows it won't help. The tension stretches, consuming the silence and making every rise and fall of Hanna's chest seem like another step of an escaping man.
He breaks, finally, when Hanna goes to the collapsed mattress on the floor that he passes as a bed and simply flops down onto his belly without any aplomb.
"Doesn't that hurt?"
Hanna's suddenly on his hands and knees, balanced as though for a fight. His eyes are narrowed and his usually smiling mouth is completely stern. "Don't go there."
He takes all of ten seconds to decide to completely ignore the young man's demands. "What did that vampire mean tonight, calling you a 'hollow shell of a boy'?"
Hanna's suddenly launched off the mattress, and within a foot of him. He's a good head taller than the redhead, but Hanna's rage filled that space between. He almost recoiled when Hanna's warm hand poked into his shoulder in a jab. "I said, 'Don't'." It was a warning, and a challenge.
But he didn't know how to push, this time. It was clear that Hanna was not willing to discuss this.
He's been lucky with Hanna so far- any other person would open the door to find a walking corpse calling and try to exterminate him, but Hanna had taken him in almost without question. If he was honest with himself, Hanna helped to fill the steep chasm left by his memory, and he wasn't sure how he'd handle going back to how things were before he went crashing into this charismatic young man's life. So the silence stretches between them, and Hanna's hand stays jabbed awkwardly into the dead man's shoulder.
Minutes pass, first one, then two, until Hanna's hand falls. It seems like a cue, and he takes a step back, giving the shorter man room. It seems almost like a standoff, but he's trying to find a way to break the sullen tension that's surrounded them. Hanna's shoulders are still set, chin lifted in cool defiance.
So he does the only thing he knows how to do, this late at night (or is it 'this early in the morning'?)
He sighs, turning toward the door. "Fine." It's simple, but he's retreating so it means just that much more. This is another first- they don't avoid one another.
Hanna seems to freeze for a moment, and that's all it takes for his dead partner to reach the door, open it, and depart.
He doesn't hear the choked attempt at a random name that lodges in Hanna's throat; and he doesn't hear the staggered steps that Hanna takes after him. He's completely intent on getting outside; getting out of the tension.
He can still feel it, clinging to his skin like thick residue from fog.
The street, when he exit's their building, is empty but for a few birds who skirt away from him with a ruffled look about them. For a moment, he tries to find it as amusing as it should be- tries wondering what the birds could be thinking about a dead human walking the night like this. But all he can bring to mind is a flash of Hanna's battered and scarred chest, his dark, angry eyes. He feels his shoulders slump, and something seems to wind tighter inside him, coiling the tension from the botched conversation right in his gut.
The streetlights are mostly out; broken or bent, sparking in attempt to light bulbs that no longer exist. The affect is strange, serving only to add more danger to the already unsafe part of town they reside in. He doesn't know where to go from here, though.
Hanna's apartment had become his home, too; he has almost nowhere else he knows to be safe to retreat to, and he's relatively sure Worth would simply dismember him if he were to turn up this late-or-early.
He's getting ready to soldier on, lack of destination be damned, when there's suddenly some noise above him. Slowly, he turns his eyes to the building. Hanna's apartment is lit dimply from within; a blue cast from his laptop- one of the few light sources Hanna has. But there's a shape blocking some of the light, and it only takes an instant for him to realize what it is.
Hanna is fumbling for the window, and the dark silhouette he casts is elegant and long as the window clangs open, echoing in the empty street. He has a sudden flash of a memory- one of the precious few he's formed recently. Hanna had been practicing runes, sketching them in his ever-present magic marker on papers that lay strewn about. He'd been singing- 'too late, my time has come, sends shivers down my spine...'- and as the song continued, Hanna had abandoned his runes in favor of using his magic marker as a microphone; jumping up to stand on the bed as he continued the song...
But, suddenly, the young man in question is half-hanging from the window and the streetlight from below is catching his hair and face at odd angles.
"Fitzgerald?" The call is hesitant, and even from this distance, the dead man can tell that Hanna is concerned; can see his brows drawn down tight in confusion. "Please, don't leave..."
It's mildly surreal, for a moment, watching Hanna hang out of the window in an effort to bring him back- as though he had another place to go.
But the dead man gazes back on him for another moment before quietly nodding to himself. He turns back toward the building, and heads for the apartment again.
Hanna is waiting for him, when he reaches their level. The young man stands in the doorway, head downcast, hands wringing nervously. He's switched on the tall lamp that serves for light near the door, and it casts a warm glow on the young man's body.
As the zombie mounts the final steps, Hanna's eyes raise sheepishly. "I'm glad you came back...?" He tries hesitantly.
And the dead man smiles, feels how it stretches his cold skin oddly. "I saw a little silhouetto of a man..." this, murmured into the quiet. Suddenly, Hanna's smile is back and all of the odd, unnatural tension of the past hour is gone.