Title: Death or Something Like It

Author: Princess Twilite 


Rating: PG-13 (for language)

Summary: George. Mason. The first time. No, not *that* first time.

Spoilers: Pilot Episode

Pairing: slight George/Mason

Disclaimer: Not mine

Archive: List archives. Otherwise, just ask.

Fandom: Dead Like Me  http://sho.com/deadlikeme/ 

Website: http://www.shippersunited.com/whip

Beta Reader: Serasempre was kind enough to edit this story for me. 

All mistakes are my own.

Death or Something Like It
by Princess Twilite

There's something about the first time that always makes you want to cry like the little girl you never quite were. She felt like she'd been run through, pillaged, and burned down. Roxy had called it having her cherry busted, and maybe she'd been a little bit right about the whole affair after all. Well, they'd always said the first time hurt. Why was it that the myths always had to be about good things? Why couldn't a bad thing be a myth for once?

And well, who really cared?

George felt too deflated, too resigned, and a little too much like she'd lost her virginity to one of those college guys at a party she'd gone to once or twice. One of those ones that she hadn't wanted to be at. 

Cherry, meet your maker. His name is death, he's not pretty, and he's drunk. He also smells suspiciously like a bad science fiction B movie plot.

George yanked her coat tighter around herself as she made her way slowly back to her dubious little apartment in the early morning light. It was chilly, she was dead, and this was suffering. The least 
they (whoever `they' potentially were) could do was make Grim Reapers cold-resistant, or something. After all, they didn't get paid, they didn't get to move on, and shit, she looked like a drug addict. Being 
warm didn't seem like very much to ask for.

Unlife wasn't fair.

Rube had left her about an hour back, flicking at her nose with his thumb (an annoying habit he would continue to develop and use at leisure) and mentioning an appointment he had to catch. Appointment, 
such an innocent word. It hadn't felt innocent. It had felt strange, and powerful, and certainly nothing like flipping patties over a grill. George had watched him walk away, curious at how he could remain so unruffled by the idea of taking someone's life away from them. How long had he been at it? A year? A millennium? Maybe soon she'd be that blase about the whole thing.

That little girl...

Then again, maybe not.

George sighed and dragged her feet as she entered the building masquerading as an apartment complex. The stairs were steep and weak in some places, so she navigated them carefully to avoid breaking them. *Of course* there wouldn't be something as convenient as an elevator in a building like this one. Crack-addict. Crack-house. At least she matched. She scowled at the top step as she took it, and pushed open the creaky door leading to her hallway.

Somehow, she wasn't as surprised as she should have been when she found Mason on his knees in front of her door, picking the lock. He held his tongue between his teeth, and made a little sound when the lock gave and the door swung inward. Her mouth curved a little to the left as she quietly walked toward him and stopped at his side.

George cleared her throat loudly and Mason flinched.

Yeah, that felt good.

His lips pulled back across his teeth in a charming smile and he turned his head to look up at her. Faux innocence painted his face in the blue-white shades of dawn. He blinked. Once.

"You're earlier than I expected," he said blandly.

George put her hands on her hips, arching an eyebrow. "Funny, considering I didn't expect you at all."

He laughed as he stood, slipping his breaking and entering kit (where did they sell those things?) into his jacket pocket. "Maybe it was meant as a bit of a surprise."

George ignored the warm feeling in the pit of her stomach. "Maybe I'm tired and you should leave." She shouldered past him and into her apartment, also ignoring him as he followed behind her and shut the 
door with a rusty click.

"How did it go?" Mason asked, seriously. "Blood? Gore? Or did you get a clean one your first time out?"

She hesitated as she slipped her coat off, looking toward the window where a flickering street lamp stared back at her. A memory snagged her, brief and flitting, of dragging her sister out of the closet with only the pale light to guide her. "Hey, I'm a Grim Reaper," she replied, distractedly. "Little things like blood and gore don't bother me." She tossed the jacket he had given her across an unsteady chair and tucked her hair behind her shoulder before she faced him.

His expression made her stop short.

George became aware for the first time that she was alone with a strange, possibly lethal guy in an apartment she was squatting in. And she had a very real body, even if it was a crack-whore's.

Mason stalked her, stepping in and out of shadow, face intense like one of those seductive criminals in suspense movies. She backed up a step, but he was still there in front of her between one blink and 
the next. His hand reached out, slipped under her ear, against her neck, as his fingers tugged a clump of hair back over her shoulder.

She wished, for once, she'd worn lip gloss.

Oh damn, was her breath bad?

All guys with accents like that had to kiss at least better than Tommy, the guy who had brought her to Prom and groped her in the back seat of the limo like an octopus with extra hands and an agenda for 
everyone one of them.

Mason stepped back a little and smiled at her. "It was hard, was it? You come sit and tell me all about it."

George blinked, returning to reality. With his back turned, she lifted her palm to her mouth and blew. Maybe her breath was worse than she thought. After all, undead people couldn't have breath that 
smelled too great and she hadn't brushed her teeth since, well, dying.

Mason took a seat on her bed and stared at her expectantly. Slowly, with a degree of caution, George approached him. She sat down on the mattress carefully, feeling uneasy when the dip in the center had her 
body succumbing to gravity and sliding with increasing speed, toward his hip. 

Grabbing onto the edge of the mattress, she blinked at him.

"Who?" He asked, with that quiet lilt in his voice. 

George shrugged, eyeing the patch of carpet lit by the streetlight burning through the metal blinds. "A kid. Little girl." 

Mason said nothing for a moment, but she heard him take a deep breath. Looking over at him, she found his eyes on her, his lips pursed. "Hard, eh?"

"I'll live." When he chuckled, she realized what she had said. "Shut up."

"Hey, I said nothing," he replied, smiling. "It's the truth though. You become used to it. Trust me."

Trusting him could be a mistake.

Her mother had always told her to never trust a person without a social security number.

Mason suddenly shook himself, as if he had heard her thoughts. "Anyway, I just came over to see if you'd made it back in one piece." He stood abruptly, and George slid fully into the crevice in the center of the mattress. She stared blankly at the wall behind him, without speaking a word.

Mason eyed her for a second, and then tugged on a piece of her hair again, sharply enough that she winced and slapped his hand away.

"Jerk," she muttered, but he only continued smiling.

"Making sure you're paying attention."

"To what? You standing in front of me awkwardly? I'm so sorry I missed it." George rolled her eyes and fell back onto the mattress, tossing an arm across her face to block out the light from the approaching day. 

"Nah," he murmured, still at the end of her bed. "I was going to kiss you, but..."

George froze. Swallowed. Once.
When she pushed herself into a sitting position again, Mason was standing by her door, propped against the archway with his shoulder. She opened her mouth to say something, but found she didn't really have the words. He gave her a jaunty little wave, smiled, and then pulled the door shut behind him as he left.

George groaned and threw herself back down onto the mattress. She stared at the dark stains on the ceiling with a scowl on her face. Just her luck. Her first prospective love interest came *after* she died. 

With a sigh, she rolled over onto her side and closed her eyes, hoping for a few winks of sleep. But the image of the little girl running through the woods with the lights surrounding her like a halo kept a peculiar ache throbbing in the back of her throat.

The last thought George had before she drifted into unconsciousness was of Rube's warning.

"You can't save any of them."

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