Title: Exchange 1/2
Pairing: JeTi, bff!SunFany, slight!QMi
Rating: R (overall)
Genre(s): supernatural, romance, fluff, humor, light smut
Word Count: 10,213 (overall)
Summary: In which Jessica is a vampire, Tiffany needs a place to live, and Sunny is a fangirl.
Written for the femmebigbang
a/n: This takes place in the same universe as coley_merrin
“This is impossible
!” Tiffany wailed, throwing down the apartment listings and burying her face in her hands.
“There has to be something,” Sunny chimed in unhelpfully from the couch that Tiffany was leaning against, “People are always renting out apartments to college students. This is a college
town. You’ll find something.”
“This is all your fault,” Tiffany whined, the sound muffled by her hands, “If you weren’t going abroad next semester, I wouldn’t have to move!”
“I’m sorry,” Sunny apologized for the millionth time, “But you’d go to Paris too if you were in my position.”
Unable to deny the fact, Tiffany just let out another whimper of frustration and flopped back onto the hard wood floor. In exactly three weeks, their lease was up and they both had to be out of their apartment. Of course Sunny wasn’t worried at all since she was flitting off to Paris. Tiffany, however, was staying in Korea to complete the second semester of her junior year of college. That is if she could find a place to live.
“Sunny!” Tiffany called from her bedroom, looking up when her roommate shuffled to her door in a big sweatshirt and a pair of boxers, “What do you think of this?”
Sunny walked over to the computer and read over what Tiffany was pointing to.
“I told you!” she gloated, standing up straight and playfully shoving at Tiffany’s shoulder.
“But what’s the catch?” the taller girl asked, looking quite distressed, Sunny thought, for someone who’d found an apartment listing for so cheap.
“There are two other ads up for rooms in this building but this one is half the price. There has to be a catch,” she explained.
“Maybe it’s just smaller or something,” Sunny shrugged, ever the optimist. And while Tiffany was fairly optimistic herself, Sunny was just ridiculous
“That’s what I thought, but I called the management office and the guy who owns the building said that all of the rooms are the same size.”
“So did he tell you why that one is so much cheaper?”
“He didn’t know,” Tiffany sighed, “It’s an ad for a roommate, so whoever is renting that apartment is the one who made the ad and listed the rent that they want.”
“Hmm…” Sunny paused, tapping her chin and scratching the back of her calf with a sock-covered foot as she thought, “It seems a little shady, but you should at least go look. It’s a good apartment at a good price. It’s worth a try.”
“But what if like…a rapist lives there or something?” Tiffany fretted, “And he’s not really
renting out a room at all! He just posts ads with tantalizingly affordable prices to lure poor girls to his door!”
Sunny was staring at her, open-mouthed, when she had finished theorizing before the shorter girl just shook her head- turning to leave the room.
“You watch too many movies,” she called over her shoulder.
Tiffany wasn’t convinced that her theory was as unlikely as Sunny seemed to think it was. But the apartment was affordable. And she was running out of time.
So, despite her misgivings, she responded to the ad via email and set up an appointment for that Saturday afternoon.
Tiffany was surprised to come face to face with, not a creepy man, but a girl who looked to be around her age- blonde hair, side swept bangs, delicate bone structure. She was actually quite beautiful; the opposite of what she had been expecting.
“You must be Tiffany,” the blonde woman said, smiling and reaching out to shake her hand.
Hesitantly, Tiffany reciprocated the action, nodding to confirm that she was, indeed, Tiffany.
“I’m Jessica,” the other woman said, releasing her hand and stepping back to let Tiffany pass, “Come in. I’ll show you around.”
The first thing that Tiffany noticed was how bright the main room was- big windows on the back wall while the rest of the walls were painted white and white furniture with colored accent pillows filled the space. Part of her wanted to spend the rest of her life relaxing on the couch and reading a book while the other half feared that she’d surely mess up the careful decorations somehow.
Not that it was impeccably clean like a show room; there was enough clutter to show that someone comfortably lived there- piles of fashion magazines on the coffee table, DVDs stacked on shelves next to the TV, various photographs and trinkets on most horizontal surfaces. It was homey and Tiffany had a good feeling about it.
“It’s really nice,” she said, looking around as Jessica closed the door behind her, “It’s bigger than I expected.”
“I’m glad that you like it,” Jessica smiled, leading the way to the kitchen which was also mostly white with new looking stainless steel appliances, “This is the kitchen. Obviously.” She giggled and Tiffany found herself smiling in response.
“This is twice the size of my kitchen now,” Tiffany marveled, running her fingers along the brushed steel of the handle of the refrigerator.
“Follow me and I’ll show you what would be your bedroom,” Jessica instructed, walking over to a closed door and opening it to reveal another all white room with just a bed frame, mattress, and dresser in it, “It isn’t very exciting now,” she admitted, “But you can do whatever you want with it.”
“I have lots of posters,” Tiffany supplied, feeling stupid as soon as the words had come out of her mouth- she sounded like an eight year old! But Jessica didn’t seem bothered, just ushering her out and leading the way to her bedroom.
Tiffany immediately noticed that the other girl’s room was the only room in the apartment not white- instead the walls were painted a charcoal grey and the drapes were a deep pink, the same pink as her bedding which was covered in a vintage looking floral print. But it was the fact that the drapes were drawn that made the room so dark in comparison, not the color scheme.
“This room is the same size as the other one,” Jessica was saying, “So it’s obviously possible to make it look more like a bedroom and less like a hospital room,” she joked.
“It looks good,” Tiffany nodded, noting with some relief that there were posters- prints from vintage Vogue magazines, but still
- on the wall.
“So do you think you’d be interested in renting the room?” Jessica asked, “I don’t mean to pressure you or anything,” she quickly added, “If you want to go home to think first, that’s fine. But if you are, we can talk about it now. There are probably a few things that we should go over before you decide if you want to sign anything.”
Tiffany paused, considering her options. Although she’d been wary coming in, this was just what she’d been looking for. In fact, it was better than what she’d expected to be able to find. It was spacious, aesthetically pleasing, close to her college, in a safe area… Plus, Jessica didn’t seem to be a creep. All in all, it was safe to say that she wouldn’t find a better place even if she had a year to look.
“I’m interested,” she smiled, seeing Jessica’s face break out into a grin in response.
“Alright, let’s sit go sit on the couch and talk about payment then.”
Tiffany walked back to her current apartment in a daze. That…had not been what she’d been expecting. She almost wanted to congratulate herself for having the instinct that it was too good to be true. But was it really? The reality of the situation wasn’t…that bad. Or maybe it was.
Tiffany shivered as she recalled what Jessica had said to her- those three words that had made her heart nearly stop with shock and, quite frankly, panic: I’m a vampire
It’s not that Tiffany hadn’t known that vampires existed. Of course she had- she’d learned about them in school and how they weren’t something to be feared since the government had come up with a safe way to manage them and allow them to eat without any humans being harmed in the process. But that had been a long time ago and it had never affected her life so she’d barely given it a second thought. Now though…
Tiffany tried to recall what exactly she’d learned about vampires. She knew that most of them lived in government run facilities where every citizen eventually had to go and be fed off of. According to her teachers, the vampires would get to choose from a group of humans and then they’d feed off their choice before the person was allowed to go back to their daily life no different than before they’d gone in. And while that sounded pretty terrifying, even if it was something that everyone had to go through, Tiffany hadn’t given it much thought. She hadn’t yet been summoned and it kind of felt like one of those things that happen to other people and wouldn’t happen to her, even if she knew that it would eventually.
She also recalled the teachers saying that some vampires found other means of acquiring a food source if they had someone willing to let them feed, but that they shouldn’t worry because every vampire had to register with the government so they were kept track of. Though the teachers never went into much detail on that.
Now, however, Tiffany had a really good idea of how those vampires who chose not to live in the government buildings managed to survive.
“You’re probably wondering why the rent is so cheap,” Jessica had said, suddenly looking a bit nervous.
Tiffany had nodded.
“Well, I offer to pay more than my half of the rent in exchange for a favor from whoever moves in here,” she’d said, “You see, I’m a vampire.”
At that point, Tiffany was fairly positive that she wasn’t breathing. She felt like her heart was no longer beating and that her blood had frozen in her veins. Which was quite ironic, honestly. Part of her wanted to jump up off the couch and run home without looking back, though it seemed that she was too shocked to actually manage this. But another part of her reassured her that it didn’t seem that she was in any danger- Jessica wasn’t trying to kidnap her or kill her and she didn’t look like she was getting ready to pounce (though Tiffany wasn’t really sure if that’s what vampires even did
). She was just sitting there, looking anxious and as though she was ready for Tiffany to spit in her face.
“Oh,” she’d finally croaked out, wringing her hands together.
“I understand if that makes you uncomfortable,” Jessica had said, “You can leave now if you want.”
But for some reason that Tiffany wasn’t even sure of after she’d left, she hadn’t. Instead, she’d stayed and asked Jessica to explain exactly what the exchange would entail.
“As you probably know, vampires need to feed at least once a week in order to live. So in exchange for picking up some of your share of the rent, you would let me feed from you.”
She’d stopped then and bit her lip, obviously aware of that Tiffany’s eyes were growing wider by the moment and that she had a white-knuckled grip on her purse.
“It’s not a lot,” she had clarified after a moment, “It isn’t harmful and all it does is make you a little sleepy right afterwards. And it’s been medically proven that it’s perfectly safe for a person to be fed from up to three times a week. Though I’d just be asking for once a week because that’s plenty.”
Jessica had stopped talking again, this time seemingly waiting for Tiffany to say something.
“Is that why your room is so dark?” was what had come out of Tiffany’s mouth, much to her humiliation. Of all
things to ask.
Jessica had seemed surprised by the question too. Though, after a moment, she’d burst out laughing- her delicate hand coming up to cover her mouth as she appeared to almost be crying she was laughing so hard.
“No!” she’d gasped out between fits of giggles, “I just like to sleep!”
Tiffany had felt some of the tension drain from her body at that, even chuckling a bit at her own stupidity as Jessica explained that sunlight being harmful to vampires was just a myth. After she’d gotten her laughter in check, that is.
Shortly thereafter, Tiffany had left the spacious apartment, promising to call Jessica within the week to let her know if she was interested. Fortunately, the other girl was understanding of Tiffany’s shock and let her leave without any further probing as to whether or not she was still interested in the apartment.
To be honest, Tiffany wasn’t even sure herself.
There was a part of her that just wanted to call Jessica immediately and tell her that it was off. Then she could just pretend the whole thing had never happened and she could go back to all but forgetting that vampires even existed until she was summoned to feed one of them.
But even as she clutched her cell phone in one hand with Jessica’s number scrawled onto a piece of paper in girly handwriting in the other, she couldn’t bring herself to dial.
It was a really nice apartment, she told herself, that’s why she was still considering moving in there. However, the niggling curiosity about the whole ordeal was pretty hard to ignore.
She would definitely have to give it more thought.
“That sounds awesome!” Sunny exclaimed as soon as Tiffany had finished explaining the situation to her.
?” Tiffany asked, incredulous. Sunny was optimistic, enthusiastic, and always up for new things, but this…Tiffany never expected that she’d be so excited about something like this.
“How cool would it be to say that you live with a vampire?” Sunny gushed, “No one would ever mess with you!”
“No one really messes with me now
…” Tiffany pointed out, still not quite understanding the other girl’s enthusiasm.
“I mean, that’s an experience that most can’t say that they’ve had!”
“Well, I guess that’s true, but…” Tiffany paused, thinking back to her meeting with Jessica, “It’s not that I’m that hesitant to live with a vampire. I mean, Jessica seemed nice. It’s just…the feeding
“It can’t be that bad,” Sunny waved her hand in a dismissive fashion, “Everyone has to do it at some point anyway. And it’s not harmful.”
“I know…it’s just kind of hard to get my head around.”
“I’m sure that you’ll get used to it,” Sunny rationalized, packing her books into a large cardboard box.
“And you said it’s a nice apartment, right?”
“Yeah, it’s really
nice,” Tiffany confirmed. And while she could admit that Sunny did
make some good points, she wasn’t quite sold.
So that night, after Sunny disappeared into her bedroom to curl up and watch dramas on her computer, Tiffany sat at her desk and set to work researching vampires.
Within the first ten minutes or so, she was able to confirm what Jessica had told her along with everything that she remembered from school. But she wanted to know more than that. Which was how she ended up on a vampire-centered forum catering toward humans with a particular interest in the…species.
Much of the topics were based around the mandatory blood “donations” that every person must make at some point in their lives. Tiffany read up on how, exactly, it all worked and was surprised to find that sex was something optional that a person could “offer” to the vampire who chose them. It was apparently not any sort of well-kept secret or anything, but she’d just never paid any attention before.
But that didn’t affect her (not right now anyway), so she went to a sub-board that seemed to focus on the bite itself. It seemed that the general consensus was that it stung at first, but the pain faded quickly giving way to tiredness (just as Jessica had said) or arousal. Arousal
? Jessica hadn’t said anything about that. Though Tiffany reasoned that perhaps it only aroused people who had some sort of fetish for this kind of thing.
After that, Tiffany found her way to a sub forum about humans living with vampires, reading about people just like herself who had taken up residence with a vampire and gave their blood in exchange for a room, or for a discounted price. The stories varied from completely unsuccessful to stories about pairs that became best friends or even lovers. Of course there were instances where nothing out of the ordinary happened and the person simply looked at the feeding as a chore they had to do around the house like taking their turn to wash the dishes. All in all, it didn’t seem to be as big of a deal as she had originally thought. Though the idea of living with a vampire still seemed pretty out there to her.
Forty minutes and more information than she’d ever wanted to know, along with more questions than she’d started with, Tiffany found herself reading a post by a man who had fallen in love with the vampire who had chosen him when he had gone to do his part and give blood. Apparently they had maintained a relationship while the vampire continued to live in the government run building for a while before he eventually moved out to live with the man.
It wasn’t exactly applicable to Tiffany’s current situation, but it was certainly a captivating story- easily the most interesting and personal-feeling entry that she had read on the forum. Curiously, she clicked on the man’s user name and found herself on his profile- 25 year old, male, and he actually lived just two towns over. Tiffany let her cursor hover over the private message for a moment before she decided, screw it
, and clicked.
“Thanks for meeting with me,” Tiffany said to the tall and slender man who sat opposite her at a tiny table at a coffee shop located approximately halfway between their respective homes, “I know this is probably kind of weird…”
“Not at all,” the man- Zhou Mi
, Tiffany reminded herself- said in slightly accented Korean, smiling brightly and flipping his red hair out of his eyes, “I know the whole ‘vampire thing’ can be really intimidating at first.”
Tiffany nodded, smiling gratefully.
“You…came alone?” she asked, feeling kind of stupid. It’s not that she had asked him to bring his…vampire lover? (Tiffany almost snorted at that- it sounded like a bad romance novel) But she’d been half expecting him to.
, is available to come if you want to meet him later, but I figured that I’d come alone so you could ask any…sensitive
questions without fear of offending him. Though I doubt that’s even possible,” he chuckled.
She was a bit relieved, to be honest, that it was just her and Zhou Mi, at least for the time being. She already felt weird enough without having a vampire watch
her stumble through a bunch of stupid questions.
“So what’s it like?” she asked before she had properly thought through what was going to come out of her mouth.
“What’s what like?” Zhou Mi asked, an amused, but understanding smile on his face.
“Um…” Tiffany realized that she no more knew what she was asking than Zhou Mi did, “The bite?”
Zhou Mi immediately nodded as though he was expecting it.
“The fear of what it will be like the first time is the worst part,” he told her, “It hurts, of course. But the pain doesn’t last long. And it’s not unbearable. Your neck might be a little sore the next day, but that’s not bad either and it fades pretty quickly.”
“How often do you…?”
“As you probably know, vampires only need to feed once a week to stay healthy, but sometimes he’ll feed three times a week. But don’t worry about having to do it that much if you don’t want to- it’s different because we’re a couple. I’m sure that the girl with whom you’re considering moving in wouldn’t expect it that often.”
“She said just once a week,” Tiffany nodded, trying not to think about the things she’d read about feeding often coming with sex, “What happens if a vampire doesn’t eat once a week?”
“It’s just the same as if you or I skipped a couple of meals,” he explained, “Kyuhyun says that he gets weak and tired and that he sometimes gets a headache as well. And while not eating properly isn’t good, it’s not like a vampire will just drop dead if eight days pass without them feeding.”
Tiffany went on the ask Zhou Mi whatever else she could think of to ask him. And though he mostly just reiterated what she’d already learned in her own research, it was nice to hear it from someone’s mouth- someone who had personal experience to draw upon.
After they’d been speaking for forty minutes or so, Zhou Mi texted Kyuhyun so Tiffany would be able to him anything that she was curious about. And as they waited for his arrival, Tiffany asked one last question.
“Should I do it? Should I move in?” She knew that he couldn’t actually give her an answer, but she wished that he could. She had taken in so much new information in the past few days that she was completely overwhelmed. She didn’t feel that she was in any state to be making an important decision.
“That’s up to you, Tiffany,” Zhou Mi predictably answered, “But, from what you’ve told me, the situation seems to be safe and fair. It’s just up to you what you think is right for yourself.”
“I know. It’s just…a lot to take in.”
“It is,” he agreed, “But at least know that it’s perfectly safe. It’s just what you’re comfortable with.”
Tiffany nodded, her head spinning with different scenarios, but she was pulled out of her reverie by a bright call from Zhou Mi.
The next thing she knew, a man- or vampire, she supposed- sat down next to Zhou Mi. He looked perfectly normal- she would never have guessed that he was a vampire- with shaggy brown hair, dark brown eyes, and long limbs.
“This is Kyuhyun,” Zhou Mi introduced him, “And Kuixian, this is Tiffany.”
“Nice to meet you,” Kyuhyun politely greeted her, lips quirking in a smile.
“You too,” Tiffany responded, suddenly feeling a bit like the odd one out with the way that Zhou Mi so naturally leaned into the other man, a look of adoration in his eyes.
“So Tiffany is considering moving in with a vampire,” Zhou Mi stated conversationally as though that was a normal topic of conversation. Though, to them, Tiffany supposed, it was.
“Are they male or female?” Kyuhyun asked.
“Female,” Tiffany supplied, not really knowing why it mattered.
“What difference does that make?” Zhou Mi asked. Apparently he didn’t know why either.
“Well, if you were a girl, I doubt we’d be in this situation,” he teased, chuckling. Zhou Mi flushed and Tiffany did as well. She’d avoided dating for the most part- always too busy with school and extra-curricular activities- and though she’d had a few casual boyfriends, she’d never put a great deal of thought into her sexuality.
!” Zhou Mi admonished, shooting an apologetic glance at Tiffany.
Kyuhyun just laughed, clearly enjoying the fact that he’d gotten Zhou Mi frazzled, and Tiffany took the opportunity to look at his teeth- something that she’d been too shocked even to do when she’d been talking to Jessica. And though it wasn’t extremely noticeable, Tiffany could see the way his canines came down into sharp points. It certainly wouldn’t have been something that she’d have been aware of if she wasn’t looking though, and that made her wonder just how many vampires she came into contact with on a daily basis without even realizing it.
And while that was a somewhat jarring thought, it was also comforting in a way- it meant that presumably, aside from the whole feeding thing, living with Jessica would be no different from living with Sunny. Well, except for the fact that she doubted that Jessica would squeal quite as loudly as Sunny did when “her” Sungmin oppa (she continued to call him that even after Tiffany kindly pointed out that claiming possession over a stranger was kind of bizarre…and inaccurate) came on TV.
Tiffany briefly discussed her particular situation with Kyuhyun and he had pretty much the same things to say as Zhou Mi had. By the time they parted ways- Tiffany profusely thanking both of them, especially Zhou Mi- she felt a little better about the circumstances that she found herself in. And certainly more informed. But she still wasn’t sure what she wanted to do.
“Jessica? It’s Tiffany,” she spoke tentatively into the phone. Over the course of the past two days, she’d practically been living in her head, trying to decide what to do. She knew that Sunny thought that she was insane for thinking so hard about it (“just move in with her
, you drama queen”), but she wanted to be absolutely sure about her decision because it would be even more unfair to Jessica if she moved in and then decided that she couldn’t go through with it.
“Hi Tiffany,” Jessica responded on the other end of the line, “How are you?”
She sounded happy to being hearing from her, but something about her voice betrayed her nerves- she was probably worried about what she would learn from this phone call, Tiffany realized.
“Good,” she responded, knowing that were both stalling, “How about you?”
“Good,” Jessica replied and then paused, “Have thought any more about…”
Tiffany almost wanted to laugh. She’d thought of almost nothing but
the prospect of moving in with her.
“Yeah, I’ve been thinking a lot,” Tiffany confessed, “And researching honestly,” she added with a nervous chuckle.
“And…?” Jessica prompted when Tiffany didn’t immediately continue. The fact that Jessica seemed to be genuinely hoping that Tiffany would move in with her somehow brought comfort to her.
“I’d like to move in,” she said, words almost blending together in her rush to get the sentence out before she could chicken out.
“Really?” Jessica sounded surprised, “That’s great!”
“Yeah,” Tiffany couldn’t help, but smile at the genuine excitement in the other girl’s voice, “So…when do you want me to move in?”
“As soon as you want,” Jessica told her, “The room is empty!”
“This weekend?” Tiffany ventured, knowing that she had to be out of her apartment the following Wednesday.
“That’s perfect! Just let me know what time you’re coming and I will be sure to be there so I can help you bring everything in and get set up.”
After they’d ironed out their plans, Tiffany hung up the phone feeling both more and less anxious than she had before. This was really happening- she was really going to do this. But at the same time, actually speaking to Jessica reminded Tiffany that she’d liked her right away- the only thing she’d been focusing on about the other girl for the past week had been the fact that she was a vampire.
But it was all decided now and at least she wouldn’t have to listen to Sunny bugging her to just do it,
anymore. Though now she had to try to convince the other girl to help her move.
“At least we don’t have to move any furniture,” Jessica joked as she picked up a particularly heavy box out of the back of the minivan that Tiffany had rented for the occasion.
,” Sunny agreed, struggling with two heavy tote bags.
Tiffany smiled sheepishly and followed the other two to the elevator with a floor lamp in her grasp. She was extremely grateful for all of the help (though she was pretty sure that Sunny had only been enthusiastic about coming because she wanted to meet Jessica). But still, she was there and working hard to get Tiffany moved in. And the fact that Jessica had been waiting on the sidewalk in a white t-shirt, skinny jeans, and her hair in a ponytail, ready to help, when they’d pulled up gave Tiffany a really good feeling about her new roommate.
“That’s everything!” Sunny announced, setting down a box with a flourish, “I’m gonna go take the van back while you get settled in.”
“Thank you so much for helping,” Tiffany gushed, pulling the van keys out of her pocket and handing them over to Sunny.
“No problem,” she grinned, “I’ll come back tomorrow to visit and help if you still need to organize anything.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Tiffany smiled.
“I can’t believe that we’re not going to be roommates anymore!” Sunny suddenly exclaimed, lips pulling down into a pout, “The apartment is going to feel so empty when I get back!”
“I know!” Tiffany wailed, suddenly feeling as though it was the end of an era. She’d been so concerned about whether or not to move in with Jessica, she had forgotten that she’d no longer be living with Sunny.
The two girls hugged, giggling over how silly they were being since they were going to see each other the very next day while Jessica busied herself with pulling stacks of books out of boxes.
After Sunny left, Tiffany wandered back into her new bedroom where Jessica was staring at the piles of boxes. Noticing Tiffany in the doorway, she turned around, giggling slightly.
“I don’t really know where you want to start.”
“I don’t either,” Tiffany laughed. “But don’t feel like you have to help or anything! You’ve already helped so much. I really appreciate it.”
Jessica waved her off, claiming that it was no big deal.
“Should we start at the top?” she suggested, pointing to the box that was stacked the highest.