"Coming!" Dr. Anne Lindsey yelled at the top of her voice. Apparently her visitor hadn't heard, since the doorbell rang again. Hurriedly she finished diapering Mary and set the little girl down amongst her toys on the living room floor. After a brief look around she ran to open the door.
The tall young man standing on the porch was a complete stranger, so she didn't open the screen door.
"Hi. Are you Anne? Anne Lindsey?"
She nodded slowly.
The man gave her a meaningful look. "I helped paint this house."
Anne opened the door. "You're a friend of Duncan's?"
"I hope so." His eyes narrowed thoughtfully. "I hear you know..."
Finally she understood what the meaningful look had been about. "Oh! You mean you are..." It felt impolite to actually say it, because he hadn't spelled it out, either, so she left the sentence unfinished.
He nodded. "Immortal."
What could she say? "Ummm..." She shrugged. "Why don't you come in?"
She led him into the living room and offered him a seat beside her on the couch. As he lowered his tall frame into the cushions, he briefly reminded her of Duncan, but the moment passed all too quickly. Just some stupid wishful thinking.
She saw him give Mary the same glance she had earlier when she had set her down here: he was checking there was nothing around with which her child could hurt herself. The same double-take at a block that looked sharp-edged but was in fact inflatable.
Then he returned his attention to Anne herself, and asked, "Are you still keen to have an Immortal's blood sample?"
She almost gaped. "You really mean that?"
"No, I've come here all the way from Paris just to pull your leg."
"Paris!?" She noticed she almost sounded hysterical. But ... well, Paris held some special memories.
"Never mind. Needless to say, you'd have to agree to some conditions."
"What do you have in mind?" She felt breathless. Finally she could do some real research and maybe give medicine an incredible headstart!
"You can have a blood sample and research it to your heart's content. But you cannot EVER inject it into a mortal, tell anyone about Immortals or about myself. I've been through witchhunts before, and I have no desire to repeat the experience. This is completely and utterly unofficial and under the table. What you can do is find things you can look for in your research. Above all, nobody but you and me can ever know about the existence of this sample."
He was not threatening her, and he had put all this very politely. It sounded all quite reasonable, too. Yet cold fear filled her gut. If she didn't follow those instructions, she was sure he'd have her suffer for it.
"What are you getting out of this?"
"There is something I want to know." He looked at her, and met her gaze levelly. There was no threat in his eyes. Only sadness. "I can't be killed by a virus, but can I spread it? Does it survive in my body?"
"Well,..." She hesitated again. Did she want to even risk this?
He interrupted, "One more condition." Nodding at the little girl, he continued, "Don't let her get anywhere near it. Or me." He shrugged. "Just in case." This time he avoided her eyes. "I've been exposed to quite a bunch of horrors, as diseases go."
A moment ago she had been on the verge of declining, but now she wanted to do this for his own sake, as well. Who knew what she'd find out?
A brief one (594 words) written in between, quite Gen.
This plot bunny kept badgering me for quite a while till I finally gave in and write it down. I've been asked for a sequel but right now I just can't do it. However, feel free to take the idea and run with it. :-)