On a Warm Paris Afternoon

by Katsuko

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There were very few things that Mina Harker enjoyed more out of her recent living situation than dealing with young Tom.

True enough, the boy was in his twenties, and was quite old enough to get himself both into and out of trouble if he put his mind to it, but there was just something far too enjoyable about involving herself in his business.

Take, for example, the fact that for reasons known only to the boy and God above, the fact that he had opted to get emotionally involved with Rodney Skinner. The man called himself a Gentleman Thief, and Mina personally thought him a bit of a rake, but he was good people all in all. And if the vampire were to be honest with herself, she thought they made quite a dashing pair (even if she wondered how the, ah, logistics of their physical relationship worked, and not only because they both were the same below the belt. Her curiosity was mostly how do they manage to do anything when Tom's at a disadvantage? Do they just turn out all the lights to even everything out?).

However, Mina had taken to thinking of Tom as her responsibility, and as any good elder sister would do... she meddled. She meddled a lot, basically because she could.

"Do remember that we have a client meeting us at Hell's Café promptly at seven this evening," she said this particular afternoon, "so be sure not to be late."

Tom rolled his eyes and nodded even as he headed for the hotel room's door. "Yeah, I know, Mina," he said. "We'll be there on time."

Mina hummed. "And be presentable, the both of you. It would reflect poorly on all of us as professionals were you to arrive rumpled."

And, ah, there was the blush. Tom looked rather adorable when he was flustered, and Mina enjoyed making sure it showed up as often as possible. "We're just going to lunch!"

"And then back to Skinner's room, no doubt, to rest until then."

Tom didn't grace her with an answer, just grumbled something that she couldn't quite make out and rushed out the door. Mina smiled sweetly to herself and turned to fetch her hairbrush. Finding it absent, she turned further on the vanity chair to shoot an unamused look to her paramour. "Henry."

Henry Jekyll frowned at her in disapproval; in the mirror's reflection, however, she could see Edward Hyde looking quite amused at her antics. "Must you, Mina?" he asked, and she thought it might be rhetorical. "I think you're going to give that young man a complex if you continue to comment upon his and Skinner's activities."

"Isn't that the job of an older sister?" she asked, definitely meaning it to be rhetorical. "Poor Tom probably wouldn't know what to think if I kept my thoughts to myself."

Henry sighed and rubbed at the space between his eyes. Edward was saying something, she knew that much from looking at their reflection, but didn't realize that she had an ally in her quest to keep Tom on his toes until the good doctor turned and hissed, "No, it is not that funny, Edward!"

Mina snorted and stole her brush back from her beloved ones. "Oh, come now, Henry," she cajoled, "I know for a fact that you get on Skinner's case about their relationship as much as I do on Tom's. How can you justify that and then tell me to ease up on my baby brother?"

"Because Skinner is more than happy to snipe back," came the answer, courtesy of Edward from the other side of the glass; she did so wish she could hear everything he said, but the only time Mina could speak directly with both sides of her lover was if the one not currently in control spoke directly to her through a reflective surface. "He has his opinions on our personal lives. The only reason he doesn't say anything to you is because he respects you too much."

Henry snorted. "More like he's afraid Mina will bite him then tell us," he mused, looking a bit more amused at their friends' antics.

Mina laughed lightly and finished brushing out her hair before moving to braid it neatly. "I'm sure we all know that Skinner is capable of taking care of himself and our Tom," she said airily. "Unfortunately for him, Tom is just too easy to rile up and scandalize. I thought he was from the Americas, but he can be worse than my mother when it comes to being offended, God rest her soul."

Her paramour made a soft sound of agreement and moved to stand behind her, leaning down to kiss her cheek. "It is amusing sometimes," Henry finally admitted. In the mirror, Edward looked pleased at his other half's agreement.

The vampire smiled warmly at her men and finished up by wrapping her now-braided hair in a loose bun, pinning it in place before reaching for her gloves. "Now that we've settled that," she said, "shall we off to our own late lunch?"