No Rest For The Wicked

"There's one way to deal with this thing. I have to have an out-of-body experience, and I have to have it now." Frank Bannister, The Frighteners.

I watched the red lines vanished before my eyes, leaving nothing to suggest that they had ever existed.

This couldn't be happening. It had to be some sick joke on the behalf of some ghost I had pissed off. No force in this world could be cruel enough to give me a taste of heaven and then cruelly snatch it away from me, leaving the bitter tang of fear behind.

"Susannah, are you-?" Jesse started but I interrupted him with a strangled sob.

"Not you," I spoke, as though it would somehow keep him with me. But even I knew that there was no stopping this thing. It was a reaper and reapers are designed to take life, not to be swayed by the begging of some girl who happened to be hopelessly in love with the soul they were after.

His eyes flashed with understanding.

"Querida, no," he told me, trying to warn me against doing something reckless. "This doesn't mean anything! It's just a number."

But I knew otherwise, even before the skeletal hand slid through the rusting metal of the door.

I grabbed Jesse's waist and pulled him behind me in a rather pathetic attempt to protect him. If the reaper had to get through me first then maybe it wouldn't harm him. Maybe...

But if reapers were only supposed to take the soul of the person they were sent after, why did it try to kill me to get to Kelly?

I searched my mind for some piece of information that would help Jesse, but nothing seemed good enough. All I could remember at that moment was Paul's reply when I had asked him what to do if I was ever faced with a reaper.

"You want my advice? Run. Get out of its way. If it has come for you...close your eyes and hope that it's quick and painless."

The cloaked body of the reaper followed its hand and as it moved forward, I did the only thing that seemed right...I leapt for it. I pulled my fist back and slammed it into its bony frame as I moved.

Only...my fist didn't connect.

Oh, it connected with something, if the explosion of pain in my knuckles was anything to go by, just not with the reaper. I screamed in pain as my knuckles burned from the force of the blow. My whole hand was numb and I had to grip the door (which was obviously what I had punched) to remain upright.

I didn't understand it...I leapt right at the damn thing!

I guess reapers aren't as 'solid' to mediators as ghosts are.

It took only a moment for me to realise that the reaper was now behind me...which was where I so didn't want it to be.

"Susannah, what's going on?" Jesse asked, completely bewildered. I stumbled along the wall, willing feeling to return to my bruised knuckles as I tried to get closer to Jesse.

I fell onto the frame of the nearest bed and reached for him, despite the reaper's dangerous position between us.

"Jesse, get out of here," I pleaded, my heart pounding in my ears. It was all I could hear over my own shallow breaths.

He tried to run. He was fast, too...but the reaper was faster.

I saw the reaper twist violently in a way that should not have been physically possible and plunge a deadly hand into Jesse's chest.

Everything went quiet, as though someone had turned the volume of the world down. I could still hear my heart, thumping so violently that I thought it would beat out of my chest.

Jesse's whole body jerked backwards as the hand clenched and his face twisted into an expression of pain. I think I cried out, I'm not sure...it felt like I was underwater and the sounds seemed muffled and so far away. I could hear Jesse choking, his hand curling into a fist just above his heart, passing through the reaper's.

I tried to move towards them but I stumbled and fell face-first onto the ground. My vision shook when my head hit the concrete and I swear I saw something glowing just above me, but I couldn't bring myself to look at it. It wasn't until hands gripped my shoulders weakly and tried to feebly push me upright that I remembered what was transpiring a few feet away from me.

You can imagine my surprise when I heard the ragged breathing of my saviour and felt the warmth of his touch. This wasn't Paul...or even my father.

Jesse was slowly regaining his breath as he helped me to my feet, seeming almost as weak as I felt.

"What happened?" he gasped, greedily sucking in air as though he had not breathed in a thousand years. "I could feel...something...crushing my heart."

I just collapsed against him and wrapped my arms around his waist as my eyes searched the cell for some sign of the reaper.

Nothing.

"Where did it go?" I asked, well aware that Jesse couldn't see it.

I thanked all that was holy that he was still alive. I could feel his uneasy breathing against my own pounding chest and it frightened me. He was obviously as scared as I had been and I honestly didn't blame him.

I could feel tears that I had obviously started to shed when he had been attacked trickling down my cheeks. With my ear pressed against his chest I could hear the steady beat of his heart. Such a monotonous sound had never seemed so beautiful.

The air buzzed with static and a moment later a black and glowing blue blur sped from one wall to the other. I blinked in confusion, still holding on to Jesse for dear life. A moment later...again.

"Suze, get out!" I heard, and it suddenly became clear. It was Ralph. I cried out in happiness. I knew they would come through for me!

"Jesse, tell the guard you are ready to leave," I asked him. "And please, sound calm."

Jesse nodded and slowly pushed me away. I was reluctant to relinquish my grip on him but I knew that it was necessary if we were to get out of here.

"I'm ready to leave now," he called, speaking through the small hole that the guards used to check on the prisoners.

I could hear the footsteps of the guard becoming steadily louder in the hallway despite the screams of Ralph and a recently-materialised Morgan as they pushed the reaper back through the walls of the cell.

As soon as I heard the scraping of the keys in the lock, I braced myself, ready to fight my way out. The door was barely open a fraction of an inch when I slammed my foot into it and heard the satisfying crack of it colliding with the guard.

"Hurry," Jesse urged me, gripping my hand tight as he pulled me out of the cell.

The hallway stretched several feet both right and left and I craned my neck both ways, trying to determine which route led to the exit. I blocked the door of the cell so that the reaper would have to pass through me before it got to Jesse. I didn't care if it had to cut me down; there was no way that I was letting it anywhere near him.

"This way," Jesse signalled, pulling me to the right. It's strange how I caught a glimpse of a bruise on his jaw as he turned. I swallowed my guilt and followed him obediently. I honestly didn't think I had hit him that hard.

My eyes darted around the hallway as we ran, searching for any sign of impending danger. I could hear the voices of my ghostly companions growing gradually louder as we ran.

"There's an exit to the car park up ahead," Jesse informed me. "We can run out there and drive to safety."

I thought about telling him that there was no 'safe' place for him anymore. Not while the reaper was still after him. But escape was better than nothing. At least I would be able to help him if we escaped together.

I stumbled dangerously as we ran, refusing to let go of Jesse's hand. The hallways were empty and bare and this made it easier to spot anything out of the ordinary. Such as Ralph falling through the wall just behind us. I spun around, jerking Jesse to a halt.

"Suze," he breathed, seeming ecstatic for a guy who is constantly complaining. "Are you guys alright?"

I shook free of Jesse's grip and moved towards Ralph, grinning insanely.

"Is it gone?" I asked. "Where is Morgan?"

Ralph raised a steady hand to his dark hair and cried out in triumph.

"She ran off to find you...and...I think we got it!"

To emphasise his point he jumped up and down on the spot a few times, punching the air in triumph.

"You should have seen us Suze," he told me, whistling loudly.

I let out a deep breath and fell back against Jesse, laughing from the relief that I felt. Of course, I didn't expect the reaper to be gone forever...just long enough for me to figure out how to banish it.

Ralph smiled back at me, his eyes alight with joy and pride.

"Watch where you're going!" I heard. My initial instinct was to ignore this voice but something nagged at me.

"Son of a bitch!"

I shook my head and leaned into Paul. I didn't have the energy to care about others tonight. I just wanted to get home, have a nice warm bath and then sink into my soft bed and sleep for hours.

Besides, I was used to people shouting at strangers in the street. I grew up in New York, after all. People shout all the time in big cities. It was just strange that it should happen in a relatively small town such as Carmel.

"Yeah, you better keep walking!"

I leaned a little to the left, my curiosity getting the better of me. There were only two people in the street besides Paul and myself, one being the man doing all the shouting. I guess it was the casual manner of the man being shouted at that bugged me. He wasn't reacting to this stranger at all. In the big city that wouldn't have seemed strange, but here...

"Paul," I said, stopping my boyfriend in his tracks. He raised his head and looked down at me, smiling instantly as though I would be expecting it. He can be so dense sometimes.

My eyes drifted over to a glowing figure across the street. It was a man, no older than thirty-five and he swore violently as he kicked a lone can, sending it bouncing down the street.

"Have some respect for the dead!" he shouted after the other man. Paul's head snapped in the direction of the voice and he sighed impatiently.

"Not again," he groaned. "Suze, just leave him, alright? It's not like we're compelled to do anything."

I raised an eyebrow in dismay and jerked away from him before jogging after the ghost.

"Hey!" I called when I closed in on him. "You lost?"

The ghost spun around in a manner that would have made any live person sick.

"'Scuse me Miss?" He did a poor job of disguising his surprise. "You...you talking to me?"

I raised an eyebrow again, crossing my arms over my chest. Ghosts really don't know what phrases have been done to death, if you will excuse my pun.

"No, I was talking to the pixie behind you," I replied sarcastically. "Who else would I be talking to? So...what's the deal? You get lost on the way home from a fancy dress party? Or have you been wandering around in confusion for the past thirty years?"

He shook his head in confusion and was even brave enough to take a step towards me.

"Wait a minute...you're not kidding around, are you?" He asked in disbelief. "You can actually see me."

I nodded slowly. At least this one was catching on faster than the others usually do.

"Does the word 'Mediator' mean anything to you?" I asked. I felt Paul come up behind me and place his hands on my arms.

"Sort of," the ghost replied. "I was told to find one after the crash. Like hell I did... Stupid ghosts, thinking I can't figure out my business on my own."

He tilted his head to the side and smiled at me in a friendly manner.

"So I'm guessing you're a Mediator?" He asked. "And your boyfriend, too. By the way, I would appreciate it if he at least tried to look even vaguely interested. Or am I keeping you guys from something?"

I groaned and pulled away from Paul's hands.

"You have been hanging around for the better part of thirty years," I informed ghost guy. "I think that figuring things out on your own isn't working. So why don't you just tell me what you know and I'll do my best to help you."

He looked unsure, as though he would damage his male pride by accepting help from a Mediator...a teenage Mediator at that.

"I was driving home after a party," he explained, obviously deciding that a little bit of help wouldn't hurt. Either that or he figured I wouldn't be able to help anyway. "Then this car comes speeding round the corner and ploughs headfirst into mine. Next thing I know, I'm by the side of the road and nobody can hear me. I figured that maybe I wanted revenge on the idiot who rammed me but he died in the accident, too."

He sighed deeply and kicked another can across the street. It bounced twice before landing with a splash in a deep puddle.

"Name's Ralph, by the way," he added. "Ralph Hutchinson."

I should have known that something would happen. It was too quiet; even the clock high above us wasn't ticking.

Ralph barely had time to react when a scythe swished through the air. I don't even think that he felt it embed itself into the top of his spine. With a flash, the reaper stepped out of the wall and yanked the scythe backwards, pulling a blue ball of light from Ralph's ghostly form.

I screamed loudly, almost knocking Jesse over in an attempt to flee the reaper.

Ralph's body crumpled in a heap on the ground then slowly dissolved into glowing particles which blew away when the reaper swished its cloak.

"Ralph," I whispered, blinking in disbelief. He wasn't...he couldn't be...

But he was. Ralph was gone, and there was nothing I could do to get him back.

The reaper pounded its scythe on the ground and the blade clicked into place, ready to cut through the next object that got in its way. And right at that moment, that object was me.

I couldn't move, not even when Jesse gripped my hips and attempted to pull me backwards. My eyes remained fixed on the scythe which glistened and gleamed dangerously in the dim light. The bulb above its head flickered ominously, casting frightening shadows on its cloak. I had never realised before how real this reaper seemed. In the sense that it didn't seem like an apparition like other ghosts. The ghosts I dealt with exuded a faint glow, which set them apart from the living. This reaper...it was real in every possible sense. I could see the scuffs on its leathery cloak and the way that the thin layer of brown skin seemed to fall into the joints and tear slightly with every movement. The only thing that separated this reaper from everything else in this world was the fact that it was invisible to all but us mediators.

"Susannah," Jesse called, snapping me from my reverie. I saw the flash as the light caught the line of the scythe's blade and jumped, pushing Jesse backwards as it sliced into the ground at my feet.

"Go!" I yelled and pushed him forwards, hot on his heels as he ran. I heard another crash and shout behind me as the reaper was pinned down yet again.

This didn't slow me down, though, not one bit. I stumbled round the corner and crashed through the door to the stairwell, my feet slipping on the newly-mopped floor. I swore violently and gripped on to Jesse for support. I didn't care if I hurt myself; I just wanted to get out of there. I told Jesse to go on as I steadied myself and zipped up my jacket. The last thing I wanted was to get hooked on a door handle. Believe me, it happened a lot. I have lost count of the times I have been running from a violent ghost and have hooked an open coat on a door handle. I have woken up in hospitals with concussion a couple of times thanks to those mishaps...other times the ghost has been caught off guard and ran straight into the door that hooked me. Those were the lucky times, especially with new ghosts. It usually takes them a few weeks to realise that a heavy blow to the head won't knock them out anymore.

I gripped the railing and hurried down the stairs, leaping a few at a time. Jesse paused halfway down to make sure that I was following him and when I reached where he stood he held my arm again and we continued together.

I wasn't watching where I was going, which is the easiest mistake to make when fleeing an assailant. Especially when you happen to be fleeing said assailant down a flight of stone steps. So I guess it goes without saying that I lost my footing and flew (rather spectacularly, might I add?) several feet into the air. Fortunately, Jesse was running in front of me (so that I could see if the reaper snuck up on him) so he didn't see my acrobatics. He did hear my collision with the floor, however, and my grunt of pain as I landed awkwardly on my left wrist.

"Are you alright?" he asked, leaning down to check on me. I hissed slightly when he touched my injured wrist in an effort to help me to my feet once more, but the pain wasn't that bad. I could still move it, which was always a good sign.

"I'm fine," I assured him. "Just a little embarrassed."

His nervous laughed soothed the pain caused by said embarrassment and I gratefully held onto him when he lifted me upright.

It was unusually silent in the stone stairwell; I couldn't even hear the footsteps of the other police officers. I took comfort from this small mercy and breathed deeply. I guess we had outrun the reaper...for now.

The only problem with silence is that you can hear even the slightest noise. Such as the click of a gun.

I whirled around, my wrist jerking painfully in the process.

Crap.

The pistol was trained very carefully on my head. Right between my eyes I assumed, considering that I went cross-eyed when I tried to stare into the barrel.

The tension was eased slightly by the fact that this agent seemed to have stumbled upon us by accident, if the way the hand that held the gun trembled said anything.

"Ah!" Agent George Jensen yelled, his voice shaking more than his hand. I probably would have laughed and pounced on him had he not been holding a gun. He may have shown a sign of weakness (and fear) but he was still holding that...thing. My phobia of guns was an irrational fear, but a fear nonetheless.

"Don't even think about moving, Simon!"

Uh, no problem.

"She's insane," I heard Jesse say, shocking me enough to tear my eyes away from George's weapon. "When she realised I was unarmed she forced me to call the guard before attacking him. She asked me to drive her to the airport."

I watched him in confusion as he moved away from me and stepped behind Agent Jensen, as though he would protect him. This seemed to give Agent Jensen that little piece of strength that he needed to cock his pistol and close one eye.

He was actually going to shoot me.

I opened my mouth to scream at him, possibly to remind him that he would be gunning down an unarmed innocent but nothing came out. Well, alright, I squeaked, but I'm not that proud of it. I'm faced with death and the only thing I can think of doing is a very bad impression of Mickey Mouse.

I saw his finger twitch and I closed my eyes, preparing for the deafening shot and the pain that followed. Would I even feel any pain? If he shot me in the head would I be dead before the pain set in?

There was a muffled thud which was followed by a loud clatter and rushed footsteps.

I opened one eye.

When I saw nothing but the empty stairwell, I opened the other and my eyes were drawn to ground-level by a metallic scrape and the ruffling sound of fabric being tampered with.

"Well, come on," Jesse laughed as he removed a spare clip from the inside of George's jacket and slammed the butt of the gun against his head when he groaned. "When he wakes up, he'll head to the airport."

Jesse looked up at me expectantly and held out a hand to help me step over George's unconcious body without stumbling. Again, when I touched him, my whole hand tingled unnaturally. It may have been unnatural, but it sure as hell wasn't unwanted.

His hand remained in mine as we jumped the rest of the stairs and broke out into the cool night.

The sudden drop in temperature was much appreciated. I was beginning to feel sick from all the running and I could feel a bead of sweat trickling down the back of my leg. I hate feeling all sweaty, even when I'm working out. I hated the smell, too, and the last thing I wanted to do was to smell like a workout in front of Jesse. Unless, of course...never mind.

"We'll take my car," he decided. "It will be too risky stealing a squad car and we don't want them to be able to track us."

Us. It sounded so good when Jesse said that. I had never been part of an 'us' or even a 'we' since Paul's death. Morgan and Ralph helped me, they didn't work with me. I came up with scenarios and they acted them out.

My eyes fluttered shut as my thoughts wandered to Ralph. When the reaper cut him down, had he ascended to shadowland? I hoped that he had found peace at last. He deserved it.

"Susannah?" Jesse asked. "Are you alright?"

I must have shivered as his hands began to rub my upper arms, willing warmth back into them.

"No," I admitted, not only to Jesse, but also to myself. "But I will be."


As Jesse drove down the dark roads, the streetlights flitting past us and illuminating the interior of his car for a brief moment, I was given time to think about what I should be doing. But truth be told, I was clueless. I had saved Jesse for now (or should I say Morgan and Ralph saved him?), but I had no idea what to do next.

I couldn't touch the reaper, that was for sure. It only emphasised the fact that I was powerless to save him. Sooner or later the reaper would return. And when that happened...could I really stand back and watch him die?

I felt the car slowing down and suddenly became aware of where we were.

"Once George awakens, they will search my house, your house and my parents' house," Jesse explained. "I have friends here, so you will be safe while I find a lawyer and work on your case."

I looked at him then back out the window at the large building whose parking lot we were currently cruising through.

"The hospital?" I asked. He sighed theatrically and neatly pulled the car into a parking space close to a small metal door.

"Susannah, would you rather stay here or in a jail cell?"

"Whatever," I grumbled. I wasn't in the mood to argue, not when my head was spinning so badly. It felt as though I had just stepped out of a waltzer cart after a particularly violent ride.

When Jesse stepped out of the car, I waited patiently for him to open the passenger door. I knew that he liked doing it and I wasn't exactly looking forward to standing up again. I was going to need all the help I could get.

I don't know what made me open the glove compartment. My eyes just drifted over to it and it suddenly seemed like a good idea. I guess you could say that I wasn't thinking straight, either. Especially when my fingers closed around the handle of the gun that Jesse kept in there and pulled it towards me. For some reason this gun didn't seem as frightening as the others. Because with it came an idea.

I continued to stare at it dumbly as Jesse pulled me out of the seat when it became obvious that I wasn't going to move by myself.

I couldn't touch the reaper because the reaper was neither living nor dead, but... Ralph and Morgan could. They tackled the reaper and saved Jesse's life. The living may not be able to interfere with reapers, but the dead could...

"I'm sorry," I muttered, wondering if Jesse had heard me over the slam of the car door. "But I can't protect you like this..."

Then I jammed the barrel of the gun against my right temple and slid my finger over the trigger.

"Whoa!" I heard Jesse shout before my body became pinned between the car and something hard and warm and the gun was wrenched from my feeble grip.

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" he demanded, his voice no longer as gentle as it had been for the past hour.

I stopped struggling and just let my body relax. Well, as relaxed as it could be considering that Jesse's body was pinning me to the car. I may have been hysterical but I still knew when a hot guy was pressed up against me.

"The only way I can stop this thing is if I'm dead...I can't touch it when I'm alive." It was when I heard the nasal quality of my voice that I realised I was sobbing. They were hysteric sobs, not upset sobs.

"Susannah, no," he instructed, his tone suggesting no nonsense. "Do you think I will be able to live with myself, knowing that you died for me?"

And suddenly it made sense. As if I had suddenly been medicated, the stupidity of my plan became evident to me. I wailed in frustration.

"But I can't do anything," I cried. "Not like this. I'm going to have to sit back and watch you die, just like Kelly...just like Paul."

He pulled back so that I was no longer pinned and wrapped his arms around me in a comforting manner. I leaned into him gratefully, not caring that his heat was causing me to burn up. It had been so long since anyone just held me.

"There...there is a way," he whispered in my ear.


"So remind me how this works," I requested, shrugging off my jacket. Jesse stood with his back to me, messing around with several chemicals, none of which were familiar to me.

When he turned around his face was as dark as it had been when he had suggested this idea.

"I'm going to induce hypothermia in you," he replied, still not warming to the idea. Warming, hah. "Patients who have suffered from hypothermia have been successfully revived without extensive damage to cells after an hour. Induced hypothermia is frequently used on patients undergoing heart surgery and brain surgery. You will be clinically dead, but not brain dead. I will revive you after half an hour, forty minutes at the very latest. You said that mediators recover faster than normal people so I hope that this will help with your recovery, but querida...this is very dangerous. Even if I manage to successfully revive you..."

"Hey," I said, grabbing the front of his shirt and pulling him towards me. I sat on the edge of a gurney, so it was quite easy to do this. "Stop worrying. I'll be fine."

My hands wandered up his shirt, which had been pulled half-open during our escape, and began to button it up properly, my fingers brushing against his silky chest hair in the process. His chest ceased moving as soon as my skin touched his and I laughed.

"You weren't exaggerating when you told me how you felt, were you?"

His warm fingers came up beneath my chin and lifted up my head. Part of me was slightly annoyed by this because my wandering eyes had found something that my cave girl side liked a lot...namely what I could see beneath Jesse's shirt. But when his lips met with mine I no longer cared that I was deprived of the knee-weakening sight, because...well, he was kissing me. A picture may speak a thousand words but with a kiss like that who needs pictures?

At first I wondered why he didn't answer my question and why he had kissed me to avoid doing so. Then it hit me...the kiss was the answer. And whoa...he definitely wasn't exaggerating. His gentleness shocked me, but I welcomed it. I may act all tough but what girl doesn't just want to be loved underneath it all?

He moaned slightly into the kiss, which I would have done had I not been trying to save my breath so this kiss could last forever. I was well aware of the fact that we were no longer in a dirty jail cell but were, in fact, in a clean, sterilised hospital room. Coupled with the fact that he was settled between my open legs...

I could feel his hand sliding up my body, beneath my thin cami and my body tensed uncomfortably. Not that it felt bad, no way, it felt incredible. Something was just nagging at me, screaming at me to pull away. I guess it was my self-esteem. It had taken quite a beating in the past and it wasn't prepared to forget that just because some large, beautifully tanned hand was sliding up towards an area that hadn't been touched in so long.

The hand that had been in the process of unbuttoning his shirt suddenly took on a mind of its own and pressed itself flat against his chest, pushing him away from me.

"Dios," he cried, suddenly removing his hand. "Querida, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be so-"

"It's alright," I choked, mentally beating myself to death. "I just...I guess I'm not ready for that kind of relationship just yet."

I closed my eyes in an attempt to suppress a wail. Why did my body, heart and head always want different things?

"I really am sorry," he insisted. "I usually never...you just have such an effect on me."

I laughed as he turned away from me and walked over to the large freezer on the other side of the room. Just to know that I had an effect on someone...wow. Take that, self-esteem.

I shivered uncomfortably from the sudden cold. I hadn't realised how much heat he was exuding when he was standing next to me.

When Jesse returned he held a bottle of a strange clear liquid in one hand and a frighteningly large syringe in the other. I watched with interest and mild horror as he fixed a needle onto the end of the syringe, pierced the foil-like lid of the bottle and filled the syringe with an alarming amount of the liquid. Once he was done he placed the bottle and the syringe on the gurney beside me and told me to hold out my arm.

The size of the needle bugged me, so I held out my left arm since I'm right-handed. I remember how painful shots had been as a child.

"This is a kind of anaesthetic," he informed me. "It will cause vasodilation, which means that the blood will flow away from your major organs so that your body will lose heat faster. It will also affect the temperature control centre in your hypothalamus, increasing the normal temperature control limits and therefore compromising your body's normal cold response system."

He pressed a thumb into the crook of my arm then paused.

"Querida, I have never done this before," he told me nervously. "I'm not a doctor. I know the theory behind it and I have seen it being used before, but-"

"Jesse," I broke in, placing my hand over his to ease his shaking. "I trust you...please."

He sighed and pressed the sharp needle against my skin.

"This takes a few minutes to kick in so you should know that I'm going to give you a cold IV to help lower your core body temperature," he added. "Then I'm going to wheel the gurney into the freezer. That way you should have an extra few minutes incase anything goes wrong. It is eight-thirty so I'm going to revive you at nine. You have half an hour to do whatever you need to do. I'm sorry, querida, but I'm not leaving you any longer than that."

I smiled and pecked him lightly on the cheek. As I did, I silently summoned Marta and Paul.

"If the reaper comes for you, Marta and Paul will stop it," I told him, looking over to the ghosts in question to make sure that they had heard me. They nodded in recognition.

Then, with a sharp pain, the needle was pressed into my skin. I hissed from the sharp stinging, but it quickly subsided. Jesse withdrew the needle and threw it into a hazardous waste bag by his feet.

"You may want to lie down."

One of his hands slipped beneath my legs while the other gently pushed me onto my back. I sank gratefully into the comfortable blankets that were stretched out on the gurney. The light above me moved as I did, swirling around like a firefly. I tried to reach up to touch it but my arm seemed too heavy and it just wasn't worth the effort.

I could hear a voice talking to me as I felt pressure on one of my arms, then a flood of ice washed through my veins. I tried to call out, to tell whatever it was to stop whatever it was doing but I just couldn't be bothered. Falling asleep and ignoring it seemed so much easier.

Suddenly, I was shaking. I was moving. The light above me flitted out of sight and two blue glowing shapes appeared for a brief moment before flitting away like the light.

I shivered uncomfortably. I hoped they were taking me somewhere warm. I could feel the cold creeping further through my veins as the temperature around me decreased dramatically. My body jerked involuntarily as a voice whispered to me, telling me not to move. Yeah, like I had any choice. I couldn't will my body to move so how the hell could I stop it from jerking like that?

"You're going to be alright," the voice assured me. It sounded so wonderful, like a lullaby, singing me to sleep. Something warm pressed against my cheek and I tried to lean into it but...yes, my body was practically paralysed. Another warm, soft object briefly pressed against the corner of my mouth and parts of me flickered to life, dying slowly as the warmth left and a loud bang threatened to pull me from my dream world.

I would have shivered, but I could barely think by that point. Images flashed before me. Jesse...reaper...George Jensen...kisses...

Suddenly remaining awake seemed like a waste of energy. With one last breath I let go and I was falling deeper and deeper into my dream world, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, twisting, rushing, floating. Everything faded, including the redness of my eyelids from the external light and then...peace.

AN - Please review :).