Title: "Black Shadows"
Author: monimala
Fandom: Blade: The Series
Rating/Classification: AC for language, Shen, Blade, pre-slash, filler fic.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and, yeah, I watch Spike TV. Sue me!
Summary: A tag for episode 11, "Hunters." 575 words. Shen's not that dumb or that brave.

"Familiar" is a dirty word between them. A strange one to pick since they seem to have no problem with your basic array of "fucks"s and "shits"s and even the occasional "asshole," if Blade's having a good enough day on the serum to swallow the fitting description of himself. (There are others just as apt and even more profane, but Shen's not that dumb or that brave.) "Familiar," though, is something that means gutter rats, and drones and useless pieces of skin. Just another neck to snap and a body to throw on the pile.

When the White Prince's bitch calls Shen Blade's familiar, it's fightin' words. He feels the adrenaline rush and pounces the fucker and he may be more House of Flying Daggers than House of Chthon, but he leaves his mark…his very human mark… and beats any more references to familiarity to a pulp.

Later, when he's alone, scrubbing the blood from beneath his nails and taking stock of his scratches and scars in the mirror, he tries not to see the recognition in his eyes. Not of his subservience to Blade…fuck that crap, he doesn't work *for* the Daywalker and they both know that…but of something else: that he is equal. And the black shadows that ring his irises *are* familiar…though they're usually hidden behind a pair of shades that would give Corey Hart a case of the envies.

He makes his way back into the workroom and Blade is hunched over the computer, staring at it. Which is only slightly less effective than if he were doing the ol' hunt-and-peck. The remnants of Krista's rampage are still littered all over the place. Would it kill the guy to pick up once in a while? Shen has never had to double as a weapons expert *and* a cleaning service before. Perhaps because Blade makes more than the average amount of messes.

"They cut you."

It's not an "Are you okay?" but it'll do. "I'm touched that you care," he quips, nudging the bigger man out of the way so he can flop into his chair in front of the terminal -- a feat in itself considering that most of the time nudging Mt. Fuji would probably be more effective.

"I don't. You smell like blood." Blade always manages to make things sound like they're Shen's fault. Like he picked up Eau de Sang this morning instead of spritzing on the Old Spice.

He snorts, keying in to one of Van Sciver's databases in a matter of seconds. "I do have several quarts of it in my body," he points out. "The good stuff, I might add, since the White Prince and the New Power Generation thought you were helping yourself to it."

Blade is not amused by his Prince reference or his observation. It's too uncomfortably close to the f-word. Fuckin' shit, Asshole. Don't go there. Shen grimaces and the silence stretches out across the room, echoing like it always does.

Sometimes Shen thinks it would be easier if he was. A lackey. A gopher. Someone Blade could roll over. Just another neck to snap and a body to throw on the pile.

But he isn't.

A hand presses down on his shoulder, fingertips just barely stroking the side of his neck. Shen brushes over the taut cool skin of Blade's knuckles on the pretense of flicking at some imaginary lint or dandruff.

And he leaves his mark. His very human mark.



September 12 2006.

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