|A Stitch In Time
Author: petulant2u PM
This story takes place shortly after "Return To Me." about three years Our boys are about to embark on yet another adventure! I hope you enjoy, and as always, your feedback is much appreciated, and inspiring.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 19 - Words: 143,359 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 08-23-12 - Published: 07-04-12 - id: 8286560
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I don't care if you hurt me some more
I don't care if you even the score
You can knock me and I don't care
You can mock me and I don't care
You can rock me just about anywhere
'Cus you're all I've got tonight
You're All I've Got Tonight - By the Cars
"No Justin No!"
Brian paced the length of the room with barely suppressed rage. His hands shook slightly as he combed his fingers through his hair in frustration. He smoked his last cigarette three minutes ago and was already in need of another. Every instinct in his body was telling him to run, but unfortunately that was not an option. Howes and his band of psycho psychics had seen to that. They effectively cast him into his own private Hell. A Hell he could not escape because of their actions. And Brian hated them all for it at this moment. They did the unforgivable. They released Jack on him. It didn't matter that he had agreed to the channeling, even asked for it. Those thoughts were reserved for a more rational man, and he was anything but that at the moment. All that mattered to him was that Jack was now in his head, mocking him, judging him, laughing at him...
Brian huffed a deranged, almost hysterical laugh into the room. Jack turning up in his life again was like a bad scene straight out of the movie The Shining. The sadistic father returns to torment his psychic son. It was a bizarre case of life imitating art, or vice a versa. Or what ever the fuck! In any case it was unacceptable!
Death had done nothing to change good old Jack. He was still the same self-serving, sadistic son of a bitch he'd always been. He just couldn't help taunting Brian about the irony of their current predicament. The prick actually found the whole situation amusing! A fucking demon was after him, and his son was being dragged into the middle, and all his Dad could do was laugh. Why the fuck would any celestial being think it a good idea to put thatman in the position of 'spirit guide' for him, or anyone for that matter! It was like some cruel cosmic joke. He couldn't believe Andy would let this happen to him! Surely he had a say in his replacement. How could his brother abandon him like this?
Brian's heart was racing along with his errant thoughts. Now he was blaming Andy for his fathers' sudden reemergence in his life. And to top it off, it was getting harder and harder to block the cocksucker from his thoughts. For the first time, he was grateful for his gift, and Howe's lessons. He'd been able to block Jack from communicating with him. Not that it stopped the son of a bitch from trying. In life, Brian had successfully removed Jack from his life, and his thoughts. In death however, there was no escaping the fucker. He was in his head and astoundingly, was insisting that Brian needed his help! The arrogance of his assumption enraged Brian to no end. He didn't need him before his demise, and he certainly didn't need him now. When it came to taking care of his family, Jack Kinney was the last person Brian would go to for help! Even if the psycho psychics insisted his help would be needed to break Jagger free from the demons grasp.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!" Brian spat out angrily as his feet continued to wear a path in the carpet. He was in an impossible situation. He had buried Jack a long time ago, and the last thing he wanted was to dig up that toxic relationship again. However keeping his son safe was his main concern right now and as crazy and unfair as it was, Jack was his best hope at accomplishing that feat. Celia certainly wasn't strong enough to deal with Joffith, but Jack, well for once Jacks' sadistic ruthless ways were attributes Brian could appreciate. How fucked up was that?
Brian's emotions were all over the place. Why, he wondered for the hundredth time, was he destined to be plagued by curses, demons, Angels and spirits from all ends of the spectrum? He wished the Powers That Be would just let him live his life in this world, without having constant interference from the other side.
Justin sat on the bed and watched his partner prowl their bedroom like a caged animal. His anguish was palpable and it was warranted. He'd been trying to get Brian to talk about what happened in the Séance room but with little success. The moment Brian heard Jack speak through Betty he flipped. He threw his hands up, cursed everyone in the room, including Justin, and stormed out. It took Justin forty minutes to find him. It was a good thing the moon was bright tonight or else Justin might not have spotted him sulking near the rear gate of the compound. He was walking aimlessly around in circles mumbling to himself. It took him another thirty minutes to get him back to their bedroom where they were currently still going around in circles only verbally this time. Justin would attempt a conversation, and Brian would shut him down. However Justin was tenacious and determined to get Brian talking so that they could come to terms with this new development, for all their sakes, but especially for Jaggers' future peace of mind.
Justin knew how upsetting this was for Brian. His relationship with his father had been complex at best. Jack was a bad father from day one. He didn't want Brian. He blamed his birth for the continuation of the curse. He beat Brian for the smallest infraction and ridiculed his existence. Jack's treatment of Brian was the source of many of the insecurities that he had harbored for so long. Yet through all the abuse, and rejection, Brian still sought his approval. He strove to be the best at everything he did, just to prove his father wrong. Money and success became very important to Brian. Those things made Brian everything his father said he'd never be. Or so he thought. Each time he would approach his father with news of his success, Jack would find something to criticize about him. And each time Brian tried to make up for his 'failure' by slipping Jack money, or acting the dutiful son, buying his father's buddies drinks and regaling them with drunken tales of his conquests. Afterwards, Brian would sulk away ashamed of his behavior and ended up crying in Mikey's bed torturing himself with questions of why his father couldn't love him. Wondering if things would ever change.
Brian eventually distanced himself from his family and the pain they caused him; yet there was still a part of him that needed that connection. He continued to visit his father, though not as often, and give him money, but at that point, it was more out of pity, than any need for any acceptance, and in the end, Jack saw it for what it was.
Those close to Brian often wondered why he bothered at all. They knew how abusive Jack was, any other son would have walked away never looking back. Justin understood. Brian had witnessed true evil as a child, an evil that caused the death of his brother. Emilian tortured and killed the boy he raised as his son. In comparison, Jack didn't seem like such a bad Dad to Brian. When Jack told Brian he had Cancer, Brian decided it was time to come clean with his father and tell him he was gay. Jack took it pretty much as Brian expected, with violence and rejection, but what Brian didn't expect was his own reaction. He finally had his chance to let Jack have it. Give him a taste of the pain he'd endured for so long at his hands, yet he couldn't do it. For the first time, Brian saw his father for who he really was. A bitter old angry man whose life turned out to be just as he predicted his son's life would be. Worthless.
Brian had walked away from him that day feeling the weight of twenty-nine years of emotional grief lift from his shoulders.
Shortly before Jack died he paid Brian, (his 'gay' son) a visit. That act alone was a bit of a shock to Brian. He wanted to give Brian a picture he'd found of himself holding Brian as a baby. It was the first and only gesture of affection Brian ever received from Jack, and though the significance of what Jack was doing wasn't lost on Brian, it simply didn't matter anymore. Brian no longer wanted or needed Jacks approval.
When Jack died, Brian had closure. He didn't understand fully until years later that part of Jacks bitterness and hatred came from their family curse, and though it gave explanation, if not justification, to his inexcusable behavior, it was a moot point by then. That chapter in his life had been permanently closed. Or so he thought. Now, due to unforeseen and unbelievable circumstances, Jack was back in Brian's life and he had to deal with him for their son's sake no matter how difficult a pill that was for him to swallow.
Justin understood the dilemma Brian was facing. For him it was a matter of having to deal with one demon in order to rid themselves of another demon; not something he relished doing, but would do nonetheless. Brian would face down the devil himself to protect someone he loved, that was a given. Justin however was more concerned about the possible reemergence of a third demon. The one that had plagued Brian throughout his childhood and well into his young adulthood. The one that would occasionally pop up to tell him he wasn't 'good' enough, that he didn't deserve love. That demon was the hardest of all to defeat. And though Justin believed their love had vanquished that demon, its' specter still resided deep inside of Brian.
The danger in dealing with Jack was the possibility of him reawakening those old demons that used to haunt Brian. Justin couldn't let that happen. It took years for Brian to shake the dark cloak of his past insecurities from his conscious in order to be comfortable in his skin, and with his life. Justin was not about to let Jack, or anyone else for that matter, destroy what they worked so hard to achieve.
"You're letting him win." Justin said deciding it was time he took this particular bull by the horns.
Brian literally growled at Justin.
"Just talk to him for God sakes Brian! He's here for a reason; it would be totally irresponsible of us not to find out what his intentions are. Be they good or bad, we have to know." Justin said.
Brian cursed and stopped his pacing and faced Justin.
"Maybe he's not my spirit guide. Maybe Joffith's using him as a ruse to make me trust him." Brian said.
Justin tilted his head and studied Brian as he mulled his words over.
"I don' think that's the case here. But only you would know whether or not Jack is on the level. Jack had many faults, but lying wasn't one of them. If anything he was brutal in his honesty. Something you inherited from him." Justin said.
Brian's jaw dropped opened in shock at Justin's words.
"How can you fucking compare me to that animal?" Brian asked, his voice sounding pained and wounded.
Justin's heart clenched sorrowfully at the look of hurt in Brian's eyes.
"I'm not comparing you to him, far from it, but you have to admit there are certain traits you inherited from both your parents. Just as I have. It doesn't mean we are like them, on the contrary, if they had been different people, those traits wouldn't have been considered faults. Whenever you've been blunt in telling someone the truth it was always to help them. Even in your criticism, you expect the best out of people and your 'no holds barred' approach to expressing your expectations wields results. And though your brand of honesty may sting at times, it ALWAYS comes from love. Jack on the other hand used his blunt honesty to hurt and demean people in a sad attempt to shield his own massive shortcomings. My point is, Jack never hid his contempt, or intentions. If you talk to him, you would know if he was lying, or being used." Justin said, hoping his explanation of his previous statement smoothed some of Brian's ruffled feathers.
Brian snorted in response to Justin's words.
Justin stood up from the bed and placed his hands on Brian's shoulders.
"You are not your father. The fact that you're even entertaining that thought at this point is proof he's winning! So stop it! You've been the most loving partner, father, brother and friend to all in our family. That's a fact no one can deny, not even Jack. So if he's been in your head taunting you, understand where it comes from. Envy. And if he wants to use you to get his sorry ass out of whatever level of hell he's in, then let him! What do you care as long as it helps Jagger?" Justin asked.
Brian pulled his bottom lip in with his teeth and stared down at Justin. Once again, his blond was right. Obviously Jack saw Brian as his shot to redeem himself. He was always a selfish prick, in life, and Brian sensed, in death as well. Only difference this time was that his selfishness could actually help them get rid of Joffith.
Capitulating to the inevitable, Brian sighed heavily and dropped down on to the bed. Justin followed him.
"Ok, but if I have to deal with him, so do you." Brian said.
Justin smiled at him.
"That's a given. Jack may be your father, but he's our problem now," he said.
"Hmmmm...Just promise me you'll remember those words when it comes time for us to deal with your father." Brian returned.
Justin's breath hitched a bit at Brian's words. He'd forgotten about their earlier conversation. Fortunately, for now it was put on the back burner, but Brian wanted some assurance from him that when the time did come, Justin wouldn't fight him.
"I promise." Justin said.
Brian leaned over and brushed his lips over Justin's.
"Good boy," he whispered into his mouth.
Justin's heart fluttered in his chest, as it always did when Brian used those words in that tone on him.
He pulled back from Brian, and his own mounting lust, and cleared his throat.
"As much as I'd like to be your 'good boy' right now, I think you should first talk to your Dad," he said.
'Brian scowled in disgust and turned his head.
"Talk about a mood killer," he said then sighed.
"All right...let's see what the prick has to say." Brian said.
He took Justin's hand, took a deep breath and let his shield down.
"...Jesus Christ it's about time! That's some wall you got there Sonny boy..."
"Better to keep the big bad wolf out." Brian said.
There was a pause before Jack spoke again.
"...Is that him?..." Jack asked referring to Justin. They never actually met while Jack lived.
Brian's body stiffened.
"Not that it's any of your fucking business, but yes. This is my partner Justin."
Justin gripped his hand tighter in support. He was only privy to Brian's side of the conversation, but he could glean the gist of their exchange from Brian's responses.
Jacks' gritty laugh echoed in Brian's head.
"...Got a thing for blonds huh Sonny boy? Just like your old man. Minus the fag shit of course..." Jack said.
"Another fag remark and I'll fuck him right here and make sure you have front row seats to the action." Brian threatened.
Justin frowned. Apparently redemption was a long way off for Jack with an attitude like that.
"Can he hear me?" Justin asked.
"...I can hear him..." Jack answered before Brian could ask.
"Yes, he can hear you." Brian said.
"Hello Mr. Kinney. I was just wondering, how's that bigotry stuff working out for you so far?" Justin asked.
"...Boys got a smart mouth too. A good beating would cure him of that..." Jack said.
Brian turned to Justin.
"He thinks I should beat you for being a smart ass." Brian said tongue in cheek.
Justin shook his head.
"I see death hasn't mellowed him at all." Justin said.
"Are we surprised?" Brian said in a dramatic sigh.
"I told you, he's not going to be able to help us," he said.
"...Whoa now Sonny boy, don't be giving up on me yet! You're my last chance here. Though I have no idea what I have to do to get out of this shit hole, whatever it is I'll do it. Living with the warden was like paradise compared to this place..." Jack said.
"Funny, Mom feels the same way about her life without you. It's actually pleasant now that she's living with us." Brian said.
"...Wait, what? The warden is living with you and your fag friend? I don't believe it!..." Jack said.
"Ok Justin, time to fuck. Daddy dearest here refuses to be respectful of our relationship." Brian said.
"...Arrrghhhh Jesus, Mary and Joseph NO! Have a heart for your old man! I'll drop the fag comments, ok? I just can't believe your mother is accepting of your...you know...lifestyle..."Jack said.
"It's a life Pop, not a lifestyle. And yes, Mom is accepting and happy living with me, my partner and our children. Her grandchildren." Brian said.
"...Grandchildren? As in more than just Gus?..." Jack asked.
Brian forgot that before Jack died, he got a chance to meet his son. Gus was just a baby at the time.
"Yes. Justin and I have eight children total. Four biological, and four adopted. Two of which are Claire's boys. Peter and Johnny. You do know Claire passed away, right?" Brian asked suddenly curious if his sister met the same fate Jack did. She wasn't exactly a loving person, but she wasn't a sinister bastard like their father either.
There was a moment of silence in Brian's head.
"...No. I didn't know..." Jack finally said. There was a hint of sadness in his voice. Brian wasn't surprised, he always liked Claire. She was the child he wanted.
"...Wait, are you shitting me Sonny boy? How do fag...I mean men like you have kids? Last I was on earth you still needed a female for that. You still giving it to that hot blonde? What was her name?..." Jack asked.
"Lindsey Pop. Her name was Lindsey and no I didn't 'gave' it to her. I was Gus's sperm donor. But we had different women carry our other biological children." Brian answered.
"...Ah hell boy! I just don't get it! If you wanted kids you should have just married some breeder..."Jack said.
"What's so funny?" Justin asked.
"He just used a fag term for straight people without realizing it. He asked why I just didn't marry a 'breeder' if I wanted kids. It was meant to be derogatory towards women." Brian explained.
"...Well look who's the hypocrite now. I'm not allowed to say fag, but you can? That doesn't seem fair..." Jack said.
"I get to say it because I'm not a bigoted asshole like you. I'm queer. If you want to join the ranks, then by all means, use the word fag. But if you use it in that insulting demeaning tone then it's considered a slur. And I don't think you want to be pissing me, or anyone up there off. Not if you want to elevate yourself from your current status." Brian said.
"...That's my goal Sonny boy. I've been stuck in this place for longer than I care to be. I gotta get out. When Maria's boy came to me with this opportunity I jumped on it. Though I have to admit, the idea of me being your spirit guide was laughable. I told him you wouldn't let me, but he insisted you would. Besides, he said the kid needed my help..." Jack said.
Brian narrowed his eyes in confusion.
"What the fuck are you talking about? Are you saying Andy made you my spirit guide? And what kid needs your help? Jagger?" Brian asked totally confused by Jacks explanation.
"...Yes, my son, your half brother ... Andy made me your guide. Well assistant guide actually. He came to me and told me that your current spirit guide needed help, not Jagger. He has his own guide. My boys an Angel now, did you know? Oh and he also told me that the curse was broken. Not that it matters. I'm still here..."Jack said.
Brian's face twisted in disgust at Jacks words, "my son". His sudden declaration that he was Andy's father after years of denying that fact was sickening. When Andy was conceived from his affair with Maria, Jack wished the same fate on him that he did on Brian. Much to Jacks' dismay, Maria had Andy. Jack was perfectly happy letting another man think he fathered him. He never once bothered to see about the welfare of his own flesh and blood. He stood by blindly while Emilian tortured Andy to the point of death. But now that Andy was an Angel, and of possible use to Jack, suddenly he was his 'boy'.
Justin saw the myriad of emotions flit across Brian's face. He put his hand on his arm to get his attention.
"What is he saying?" He asked.
Brian shook the morose thoughts from his head. He couldn't, wouldn't let Jack get to him. Not again. Not ever again...
"Andy assigned Jack to help my spirit guide." Brian said getting his composure back.
"Andy assigned him? Jesus Brian, you know Andy wouldn't do something like that unless he thought it was absolutely necessary. And what's this about helping your spirit guide? Jacks not your spirit guide? You have another one?" Justin asked.
"Apparently." Brian said then addressed Jack.
"Who is my 'real' spirit guide?" He asked.
"...Ahhh some stupid kid that's who! I can't believe they would put this much responsibility on him. He can't be more then ten years old..." Jack said.
"Ten! Jesus Christ, he's just a baby! Is he in the same place as you?" Brian asked.
"...He is now. Doesn't seem to bother him much though. He may be young, but he's got steel in him, I'll give him that. Andy brought him down here to me. I was hoping to get a reprieve from this place with my new mission but I was told I can't leave. So the kid volunteered to come here so we can work together to help you though I don't know what kind of help he's going to be. So far the only thing he's been is a pain in the ass..." Jack said.
Brian suddenly grew very nervous knowing Jack was with this kid. Jack did NOT do well with kids.
"I swear to God if you hurt him Jack you won't have to worry about getting out of that place you're in. I'll make sure you do, and go straight to Hell! He's MY spirit guide, you understand? Where is he? I want to talk to him NOW!" Brian said.
Justin sat by listening to the exchanged with wide eyes. Brian's spirit guide was a ten-year-old boy? For some reason, that didn't surprise him.
"...No need to threaten your old man now! He's here. Go ahead, talk to him..." Jack said.
Brian felt a soft brush against his psyche as a very young, yet strong voice filtered through.
"...Your father is an ass..." The boy said.
"Yes he is. A mean one at that too, so watch out for yourself." Brian said.
"...He's not as mean as you think. I've seen worse..." The boy said.
His tone was weary; his words laden with what sounded suspiciously like regret and sorrow.
"What's your name?" Brian asked.
"...Richie. I've been your spirit guide since Andy became an Angel. He picked me personally for you. He said that you had a soft spot for young boys in trouble..." Richie said.
"And are you in trouble?" Brian asked.
"...Must be. I haven't made it into heaven..." Richie said.
A painful lump formed in Brian's throat at the boys' admission. What could a ten year old have done that was so bad it barred him entrance into heaven?
"Well Richie, if Andy made you my spirit guide, then you must be very special. He was my brother and he loved me very much." Brian said.
"...Yeah, he told me that too. Listen, I'm sorry they had to call your Dad in. Andy said you wouldn't be happy, but it was necessary. I really tried to stop you from following that demon, but you wouldn't listen to me so I kind of, you know, redirected you. I couldn't let you go where he wanted you to go. He's up to something, I know it, but I can't get close enough to him to find out what..." Richie said.
"Don't go near that demon Richie! That's why Jack is here. Let him deal with that fiend." Brian said.
"...How the Hell am I suppose to do that Sonny boy? I can't leave this place, remember?..."Jack interrupted.
"...Your Dad don't listen well either. He can leave, well at least move around. He just can't go up. He has to stay at this level. He can go anywhere that demon goes cause he can't go up either. I reside several levels above here, well I didanyway before I came here. Demons can't go up that high. They get burnt or something. That's why I volunteered to come down a few levels. I thought I could get closer to the demon from this level, but Andy said my light's too bright. The demon won't come near me. But your Dad shouldn't have any problems getting close to him..." Richie said.
It was all starting to make sense now. This is why Andy chose Jack to help Brian. He could get close to Joffith and find out what his plan was. Richie was too young, and to chaste to venture were demons dwell. His light would burn them. Brian got some comfort knowing that at least the boy was close to heaven, if not in it.
"Brian what's going on?" Justin demanded. He heard Brian warn Richie not to go near Joffith.
"Richie says he can't get close to Joffith, but Jack can. Seem's being an evil fuck has its advantages. Jack can go anywhere Joffith goes. He can find out what he's planning." Brian explained.
"...Now wait a minute Sonny boy, I'm not crazy on the idea of me following a demon around. You do know where he lives right? I go there, they might not let me out..." Jack said.
"Look at it as a practice run since you'll be going there eventually anyway with a disposition like yours. Andy gave you this opportunity, personally I could give a fuck if you help me or not, but this is not about me. It's about my son, Jagger. Who, by the way, is your great nephew. Aidan's grandson. This demon is using him to get to me. I have to find a way to stop him, and you have to find a way to help me, that is if you want to move up a level or two. You heard Richie. It's a lot nicer on the upper floors, and closer to the Penthouse." Brian said.
Jack made a rude sound in Brian's head that made Brian cringe.
"...Aidan? Bah! He was a fucking fag just like you! Got himself killed because of it. We all knew something like that was going to happen sooner or later, the way he flaunted it...had it coming to him..." Jack said.
Rage boiled up inside of Brian. He remembered his mother telling him about the night Aidan was murdered. How those animals raped her and her brother then made her watch as they killed him. For years she had kept the incident and her 'dishonor' a secret. She wasn't allowed to go to her brothers' funeral because her parents believed that God had punished Aidan for his sinful ways. She took their words to heart. For the longest time she couldn't accept Brian for who he was because she feared he'd be punished too, just like Aidan was. To hear Jack speak of Aidan's death so callously was too much for Brian to bear.
He turned to Justin.
"Fuck him. I'm done with that cocksucker! I pray he burns in hell!" Brian said.
Justin was startled by the venom in Brian's voice. Whatever Jack said, it hit a raw nerve. Justin had to diffuse his anger before he did something he might regret.
"Brian, you can't let anything he says get to you. We need him. You have a fucking demon after your soul! Jack can help us." Justin said.
"I don't need help from that prick! I'll deal with Joffith. If it comes down to it, he can have my soul! That will satisfy him and he'll leave my family alone, once and for all!"
Brian spoke with such determination and finality that it shook Justin to his core.
He knew that tone, and that look in his eyes. Nothing he could say, or do, would stop Brian from doing what he felt he had to do to protect his family. Justin couldn't wrap his mind around the fact that he might lose Brian's soul, his souls' mate, to that demon. The thought made him physically sick.
"Why, or dear God why did Andy do this? He must have known how Brian would react to... Justin didn't get a chance to finish his thought.
"...He knew exactly how Brian would react to Jack. He was counting on it. You humans tend to see things one dimensionally. It works different here my friend. Your soul mate's destiny is not determined by the help he receives, but rather by the help he bequeaths..."
Justin sucked his breath in as the soothing voice caressed his mind.
"Nice to hear from you again Elliot." Justin sent the thought out to the Angel.
"...Don't get use to it. I'm very attached to my wings..." Elliot said.
Justin smiled. He missed talking to Elliot though he knew the risk the Angel took in contacting him.
"Jagger isn't the only one who needs Brian's help, is he? Justin asked as understanding dawned on him.
"... You were always quick...for a blond..."Elliot said.
Justin could hear the humor in his voice.
"I see you've gotten the knack of human humor. Not bad Elliot." Justin commented.
"...Only took me a couple of hundred centuries..." Elliot said.
"...Have faith my friend. Andy chose wisely..." Elliot said.
Justin was about to respond when Brian suddenly sprang from the bed.
"I'm glad you find this amusing!" He sneered.
"I don't! I was laughing at something Elliot said. Brian, Elliot took a risk in contacting me to tell you that you should have faith in your brothers' choices." Justin said.
"A ten year old boy and a miserable old man? Some spirit guides. Thanks, but no thanks. I think I'll pass. You can tell Elliot that I have total faith in Andy; I know exactly what he's trying to do. He's got some misguided notion that I can help Jack redeem himself. Well fuck that. I'm not that altruistic. Jack can rot in Hell for all I care." Brian said.
"So that's it then? You're giving up?" Justin asked.
Brian turned to him, fury blazing in his gaze.
"Yes. That's it. I've made my decision. It's done." Brian said.
Justin shrugged his shoulders.
"Fine. I just hope he'll be ok on his own." Justin said.
Brian narrowed his eyes.
"Why would you give a fuck if Jack is ok or not?" Brian asked.
"Oh I wasn't talking about Jack. I was talking about Richie. You were Jacks only hope of moving up. Now that hope is gone he's going to be real pissed. And who do you think he's going to take it out on? But hey, I understand if you don't want to deal with Jack. He's hurt you too much in the past, and obviously, still has the power to hurt you. He is who he is. Better he take his venom out on another soul. You survived him. I'm sure Richie will too." Justin said.
Brian stood there letting Justin's words seep into him like little tiny needles pricking at his conscious.
Justin watched as a new determination filled Brian's gaze. Elliot was right. It was Brian's destiny to help out a soul in need. Though it wasn't Jack's soul that needed help, it was Richie's.
"Fuck. You had to do that, didn't you?" Brian asked accusingly.
"I didn't do anything. Andy did. You know there is a reason for all things in this life, and in the next. We are but players in destiny's theater. Who knows what Gods' will is? Perhaps, all this is happening for the sole purpose of helping one little lost ten year old soul." Justin said.
Brian grimaced as the truth of Justin's words sunk in. Deep down he knew Andy would not have assigned the boy to Brian if he didn't need his help. Richie may think he's responsible to look after Brian, but it was Brian who needed to look after the boy. And Andy wouldn't have put Jack in the equation if he weren't central to the outcome.
"Well if that's the case then I'm really fucked. I can't turn my back on the boy, but I can't turn my back on my family either. There is still a demon stalking me, and using Jagger in the process. How the fuck am I going to help Richie, and defeat a demon at the same time?" Brian asked.
Justin took a deep breath before giving Brian the answer he knew he didn't want to hear.
"With Jacks' help."
"He could be trouble." Joffith said.
"I know that one well. He won't be any trouble. Nothing I can't handle." The spirit standing next to Joffith replied.
"You've been wrong before." Joffith hissed.
"It was an understandable mistake. I forgot the time frame. They boy looked exactly like Brian at that age." The spirit said.
"Your mistake could have ruined everything, and damned us to eternal life on earth you fool!" Joffith spit out viciously.
He should have known better than to use a rogue spirit to extract his revenge. There were rules that both good and evil spirits followed. Rules set centuries before to avoid another war. When an evil spirit broke those rules, they were damned to live out eternity in human form, suffering from every pain known, and some not known, to man, unable to free their spirits from the confines of flesh. Hell was much preferable to Joffith.
"I saw an opportunity and I took it. Like I said, the boy looks exactly like Brian at that age." The spirit defended.
"I told you I would bring him to us! You cannot go to him, or force his hand! We would forfeit his soul with that kind of interference. If that boy would have killed that man it would not have boded well for either of us." Joffith said.
"That's your fear, not mine. My only goal is to see him and his loved ones suffer at any cost." The spirit replied.
Joffith studied the rogue spirit before him with an appreciation and envy. This one feared not heaven or hell. Foolish, but admirable. Of course eventually he would be destroyed. Neither world tolerated such insolence.
"Just remember your goal can only be achieved with my help. You have no powers save that I grant you! If you persist in going off on your own, you will be defeated and annihilated. For now, I won't let that happen, not before I get my revenge" Joffith said.
"Then get him to me! You've blundered everything up to this point! How can it be so difficult to lead him to us? You said he would follow his son!" The evil spirit said.
Joffith hissed evilly.
"I underestimated his spirit guide. I was deceived by his youth. Yes, he follows, but then his guide leads him back to his past, and away from the neutral area." Joffith said.
"Then destroy the young guide. He is now within your reach. Once he is gone nothing will deter Brian from following his son into our trap." The spirit suggested.
Joffith snarled at the impudent fiend.
"Your stupidity knows no bounds! I cannot just destroy a spirit guide! His loss would be felt deep into the celestial levels. The last thing we want is to attract the Angels attention." Joffith said.
"Like I said, your fear not mine. Just figure a way to get Brian to me. I will give you what you want then." 'And what I need.' The evil spirit thought to himself. He was disgusted with the fact that he was dealing with such an incompetent. He was hoping Joffith could be of some help to him. He would have never partnered up with him otherwise. But so far he has been little help.
"We need a new strategy. I can manipulate the young guide, but this other spirit will not be so easily fooled." Joffith said.
The spirit near him scoffed.
"He won't be an issue. I told you I know him. He has no desire to help his son. There is much bad blood there." The spirit said.
Joffith snarled his contempt. If he didn't need the wretch's help so badly, he would let him rot where he was! But he did need him. He was the only one who could instigate Brian to commit the sin that would seal his fate. Joffith could not push the matter, and his cohort would not need to. All Joffith had to do was get the two in the same space, at the same time. A task that was becoming increasingly more difficult, with the arrival of Jack on the scene. It was true, there was no love between father and son, but Jack had another motive, a more selfish one, for wanting to help his son.
"Perhaps, but he has every desire to see us fail. If he helps his son, it will advance his own cause. Or so he thinks. His selfishness knows no bounds and he'll use any means available to him, including his son, to free himself from Purgatory. Though that will only ensure his descent to a lower level, he doesn't yet realize that. And that ignorance is to his sons' advantage. I'm telling you, he will be a problem. But I'll deal with him. Your job is to just wait and do nothing until I bring Brian to you, and then both our goals will be met." Joffith said.
The evil spirit was not happy entrusting his vengeance with this stupid demon, but he had no choice. He was imprisoned on the lowest level, just above hell and would remain so until one of the Lords from the underworld summoned him. Then his fate would be at their mercy. This was his last shot to extract his revenge. He always thought he had time while he walked the earth. If he had known of his unexpected death, more like execution, he would have struck sooner. As it was, that opportunity was lost to him. He would not let this one slip away so easily. The soul he sought would suffer the same fates' as his. It was after all, his due.
Joffith left the evil spirit in Hells lobby (as some called it) thankful for the bonds that kept him there. It was but a waiting station for a soul's ultimate destination. Joffith had been there once, and stayed for many centuries before his Master finally claimed him. He often wondered which was preferable. Eternity in limbo or eternity in Hell? If he had to choose, he'd choose Hell. Things were always unpredictable in Hell. One never knew what new tortures the Masters would heap upon their demon minions, but in limbo there was nothingness. An eternal cycle of pain, in Joffith's view, was far preferable then an eternity of 'nothingness'. He wondered what his fiendish friend would prefer...
Joffith cleared his musings and concentrated on the task at hand. The condemned spirit was of no concern to him beyond his usefulness in obtaining the soul he was once denied. Joffith knew what he was up against, Brian was not without friends. He now had a legion of psychically connected souls to help him and a father whose goals were counterproductive to Joffiths'. It would be difficult, but not impossible. None of them knew of his 'ace in the hole'. He'd save that one for a last resort though. He had a few other tricks he could use first. Starting with the sister.