"Do you believe in reincarnation?" Victor asked suddenly, breaking the comfortable silence in the car. His dark hair nearly blended into the dark sky behind him. Taylor hadn't even noticed he had rolled down the window.
"I have the heat on, idiot," she muttered, rolling up the window from her side. Victor jerked his arm out of the way just before the window rolled up fully, and turned to regard her half-hearted glare with a grin.
"C'mon. Reincarnation. You. Sound legit?"
"No," Taylor said, rolling her eyes. "There's just no way it's possible. And I know you don't believe in reincarnation, either. You've told me that before, when you were taking Religious Studies."
"Well, yeah, that Hindu thing was nuts, but I would've liked to know who I was," Victor said cheerily, tapping his fingers on the car window, watching the cars zoom past him. His fingers twitched towards the window button, and Taylor pre-emptively put her finger on the button on her side, keeping one hand on the wheel.
"Who you were?" Taylor asked.
"Yeah, in a past life. Bet I was awesome. Hey, maybe I was, like, Sean Connery or something."
"You're too old to have been Sean Connery."
"Buzzkill. Still would be cool to know, if that mumbo-jumbo was real." Victor rolled down the window a bit, a tiny breeze rushing into the car with a tinny sound.
"Ugh, I wouldn't." Goosebumps rose on Taylor's arms, and she shivered and rolled Victor's window back up. She could hear him laughing softly next to her.
"Wouldn't what? Wanna be reincarnated?"
"No, I wouldn't mind that. I just wouldn't want to know what my past lives were like."
"What? C'mon, why wouldn't you? You'd know more, for one. Ha, I bet you could skip like, all of grade school."
"Yeah, but what if my life sucked? What if I didn't even go to school, huh? What if I was Ted Bundy's last victim? What then?"
"Oh, c'mon, Taylor…" Victor's cheery smile had dimmed, and he finally looked away from her and out the window, his finger slipping from the button as he put his hands in his lap.
"Aw, you suck the fun out of everything."
"I'm being realistic. Not everyone gets a Sean Connery lifestyle."
"I thought you said that I was too old for Sean Connery?"
"Well, yes, but that's not what I- that's not the point, Victor!"
"God, Taylor! I know, okay! I'm trying to get you off of your death rant."
"I'm just being-!"
"Realistic, yeah. But not everyone is a murder victim, either." Victor rolled the window down again as he spoke, the wind rushing into the car and raising goose bumps on Taylor's skin. She rolled up the window with an irritated hiss, glaring at him before answering.
"For the most part, though, people are more unhappy than happy."
"Says you," Victor muttered.
"Says a lot of people, actually," she snapped, flicking the heat up a notch with one finger.
"No, says you. You don't even know enough people to make that assumption, Taylor, geez."
"I'd rather be prepared than hurt."
"You'd rather not take chances, I know you."
"Okay, I resent that. I've taken plenty of chances."
"You wouldn't even go to that one concert with me!"
"Concerts can be really shady, Victor."
"It was an orchestra, for fuck's sake."
"Yeah, yeah, sorry."
Victor went quiet, letting Taylor feel the silence stretch between them, almost palpable in its heaviness.
"I had other plans that night," she spoke, a rush of relief filling her at the end of that stillness.
"You did not, c'mon," Victor said wearily. His anger was seemingly drained from him, and he played with the buttons of his jacket half-heartedly.
"I was babysitting, I told you that."
"You say that every time, they can't possibly need you that much."
"I don't want to fight with you over some stupid work schedule, Victor." She didn't want to fight with him at all. Why did this always happen?
"I'm not trying to start a fight! Fuck, Taylor, I was talking about fucking reincarnation, I wasn't starting anything." Victor's hands were tangled in his dark hair, and he was looking out the window, not even meeting her eyes anymore.
"Why do you always curse like that? You sound like an idiot."
"Yeah, well you sound like a pretentious-"
"Stop it, Victor. I said I don't want to fight."
"Maybe I wanna fight! Maybe I want to call you names for a change, and then blame you for starting things!"
"I don't-!" Taylor began to sputter indignantly.
"Don't lie," he cut in, quiet and sharp.
"Just be quiet, Victor, seriously." She flicked the heat up again.