I watched them carefully, my posture portraying my concentrated curiosity. His eyes were all for her and her fidgeting hands and searching eyes told me all I needed to know to conclude that there were two completely different emotional battles being fought. He could only see his own, but she was well aware of the turmoil within them both.
"You're learning to read him better everyday." I turned to find Professor Broom seated in a chair opposite me, his graying blue eyes smiling with approval, making me tilt my head downward as I smiled before I raised my gaze to meet his eyes with a serious tone.
"Yes, but it takes the effort of reading everyone around him first." I frowned and he watched me. "And there's something else." I straightened and he sat up slowly crossing his fingers over a knee. "His emotions overpower my own, I know when he's near me because I suddenly feel things that would never be felt during moments like that. It makes it harder to determine which are my own and which are his." I sighed leaning a hip against the chair as I turned to watch them again through the glass.
"Maybe it's better that way." He reasoned from behind me, a bony hand clasping my shoulder gently. "Better that you learn to read your own clouded thoughts as you learn to read his clearer ones." I nodded quickly. "Have patience my dear, when he's ready, then you will be too." I sighed.
"I'm...worried." He was quiet as he waited. "You saw how well he accepted Agent Meyers, how do you know that he'll let me get close to him?" I whispered and I felt a gentle reassuring squeeze.
"I know, because despite his pride and overpowering zealousness to be the one who takes care of things," He said it carefully and as my eyes stared through the glass recognizing their sudden change in mannerism, I felt his words as they washed over me. "He needs to be saved and protected now and then, he needs a moment of weakness within all of his strengths, he will need you, and when he does, you will be there." I nodded as I felt his hand slip away.
"And Liz?" I asked softly. "How will she react to all of this?"
"With relief, or can't you read her?" He said with a smile in his voice.
"Like an open book, but this just feels so planned, like I'm going to force this upon him." My brows furrowed and I felt my chest tighten.
"I highly doubt that will be the case." He laughed softly. I shook my head. "Do you know why I requested you for this particular assignment?" He murmured but I continued to stare straight ahead.
"Because I'm awesome?" I joked before sighing. "I can only begin to guess Professor." I muttered.
"When one usually thinks of a devil's opposite, the first thing that comes to mind is…" He trailed of leaving it open for me to finish.
"An Angel." I replied softly.
"Precisely." He sounded almost chipper.
"But Professor," I turned to face his softened features. "I'm not really an-" He held up a hand to stop me.
"You are what you were intended to be, nothing more, nothing less, and take my word for it, you are something special, you just don't know it yet." I sent him a doubtful stare before turning back to the window, adjusting the muscles in my back where the pressure was making it uncomfortable.
"I wish I had as much faith in myself, as you have in me." I whispered.
"Any faith at all, is faith enough." He offered.
"Thank you professor." I whispered and then I felt his presence depart slowly. "I hope you're right."
Tonight was going to be fun, the alert went out shortly after twelve, giving us a little more than 5 hours to contain the situation. I say us humorously. The others didn't even know I existed, the other main BPRD Agents that is. I was one of the freaks, and yet I wasn't at all. I'd been relying on Special Agent Manning, to inform as many field agents as necessary without alerting the others of my arrival, or my continued undisclosed involvement with the BPRD. My part in all this was still restricted to the knowledge of very few, as was instructed by Professor Broom before his death; unbeknownst to the others, he still felt that it was a necessary precaution from beyond the grave as well.
So I waited, my back flush with the wall, my eyes careful as I scanned the crowds a bit on edge. Tonight didn't feel the same as it had on other nights when I had merely surveyed the team's movements, tonight seemed slightly more tense, and dangerous. He was somewhere out there I mulled in my head, hidden within the shadows of the buildings, waiting as I was, watching for any sign that there may be trouble. Christopher Nicodemus, was inside the city court house, chained within a chair that only he could be cursed to, restrained, kept from harming anyone, his black soul unable to reach out and touch another human being, but he was still able to call all things never found within the light to him. Call them to set him free, and those were the things we were waiting for. The chair was indestructible and as long as it existed he was unable to become completely immortal. As long as the curse remained, he would never be free. But as long as demons of the darkness shed their plague upon the earth, the curse could be removed, only by his opposite, a mortal, as innocent as he was evil, which I didn't believe existed.
How did it end up there?
Well, when something hasn't moved in 2000 years, it tends to take on a sort of statuesque quality, and if it looks, like a statue and doesn't move, like a statue, it must be a statue, right? That's what the courthouse clerks had assumed when they'd ordered it a week prior, as a 'decoration'. Because nothing says justice like a 2000-year-old 'statue' of a man sitting in a cursed chair, that was probably why their ashes littered the courthouse marble tonight. Should have paid more attention when they talked about ancient Greece in history class.
I felt a smile tug at my lips, as a garbage truck was suddenly spotted, parked off to the side, almost inconspicuously. Closing my eyes I pushed outward with my thoughts to read Dr. Abraham's and he felt me. Somehow he knew there was someone there, without me letting him. I let reassurance bleed into him and his curiosity calmed enough for me to break the link between us unnoticed. My eyes suddenly caught onto something moving in the shadows, but it wasn't letting me read it. I concentrated harder trying to find the strength to feel whatever was hidden in the darkness of those metal and brick masterpieces, but only a faint outline was felt making me pull back. It was unnatural, something that shouldn't be there, and then I saw it move, in my mind only, but with my eyes I only saw its shadow. I pressed my tracer, pulling my gun from my hip holster as I ran.
"There's something here, on the northern wall, it's invisible in the light." I breathed harshly. "Someone needs to tag it." I was coming closer to the edge of the roof and as I did, I felt the force growing as I prepared to jump. Then it was there, propelling me as I hurled myself from the edge, twisting in my flight, gusts of wind forming, my jacket ripped suddenly, tearing as my wings silver and white spread wide and I was soaring over the rooftops towards the northern wall of the city court house. A tiny blur of red caught my eye, he was on the move and they had already relayed my information to him. My lips were pulled into a smile as I focused on him, his determination flooding me as I landed on the nearest rooftop and waited. There was silence; I concentrated on him, feeling his stealth and prowess as he moved into the shadows. And then I heard gunfire, there was a gasp from the crowd, their eyes shifted everywhere worriedly. There was a pause and then more gunfire until a sudden crash was heard, and vibrations of its force shook the nearby buildings. I felt myself suddenly spasm, my wings almost folding back into me, and my legs collapsed. Horror struck me when I realized that I could barely feel him anymore. "Where is he?" I called desperately into my mic. "I can't feel him, something's wrong." I whispered to myself. There was a crackle of static.
"Man down." Agent Thomas called. "I repeat man down. Red's not moving. We need backup." I kicked up, my wings spreading outward against the air, and the fear burning in me pushed my speed higher as I flew, rocketing towards the far wall. There was more gunfire, and I could see in my mind the shadows moving around Agent Thomas as he guarded the body beside him. Agents were running towards the far wall but they weren't moving fast enough. I was overhead of them both, coming to a halt above them, swooping to the ground. No better time to make introductions than during a crisis I suppose.
"Move." I screamed as I landed with an earth-shaking thud, emptying both of my hip holsters as I backed towards them both. I let off a few shots into the shadows trying to see with my mind. The thing screamed and backed away, I couldn't fully see it's form but I knew it was there. "You've got to wake him up." I screamed over my shoulder and Thomas nodded with his mouth wide, my wings making the wind against them both.
"Red." He shook him harshly. "Come on man, you gotta wake up." He urged as my eyes darted around me, it was still here. I fired and it screamed again, this time high and painful, just as I felt his pulse and presence flow back into me.
"Who's the pigeon?" I heard him mutter sluggishly.
"Cute." I remarked over my shoulder as I backed towards him, kneeling besides him as I kept my aim leveled towards the shadows. "Take this." I handed one of my guns over to Thomas and he took it shakily. "Shoot anything that makes a noise over there." I motioned to the shadows. There was a scrape and I pulled my trigger sending another wave of high screams into the air. "Like that."
"I don't need a pixie cleaning up my messes babe." He tried to sit up but I shoved him down by his chest with my free hand.
"And none of us need a eight foot wounded red monkey stumbling around." I turned to look at him after firing off another shot and my eyes met his. He looked taken aback and I resisted the urge show worry when I noticed the blood everywhere. "I'm getting us out of here, but you have to hang on to me, I can't hold all of your weight." I explained to him quickly as Thomas fired off a few shots.
"Where the hell is this thing?" He screamed shooting wildly making me roll my eyes and we both ignored him.
"Babe I can bench press all the weight of this eight foot wounded red monkey." He bragged and my eyes locked on his.
"So can I." I said it flatly and I the shock bled into his eyes quickly. "But with Thomas too, it's a little bit harder. So if he's going to get out of here alive I need your help." I reasoned and he nodded suddenly, his arms reaching to hook around my waist. "Thomas hold on to him." I ordered and he continued firing as I stood pulling him up with me, before Thomas jumped onto his back and I aimed one more time and fired. I pushed off, my wings fighting the weight as we rose higher towards another rooftop where I dropped them gently. "Call for help, you need to get him to a medic quick." I stood ready to push off but I felt a grip on my ankle making my eyes fly to meet his yellow ones where they stared up at me.
"I don't usually like to fly, but we should do that again sometime." He grinned and I smiled down at him. "You know without the whole, invisible demon, blood and bullets part." I smiled until I felt the liquid on my hands. I saw the blood and it made my heart race.
"I hope this isn't yours." I murmured worriedly showing him my hand and Thomas's eyes flew to him as he spread his coat wide.
"It is." He muttered revealing slashes across his ribs and chest, and then I saw the gash near his hip where a bloody chunk of flesh was missing.
"Shit." I pocketed my gun and knelt besides him to press my palms over the wound making him groan. I met his eyes as blood oozed between my fingers closing my eyes I pressed the power in me, into him. "This is going to hurt." I warned him and his eyes went wide as his hand gripped my wrist making me look at him
"What are you going to do?" He asked and my eyes slammed into his.
"You have to trust me." I whispered and his grip eased slightly. "Dimiourgo apomeinaria ligis simasias." I whispered, breathing out wisps of silver smoke before leaning to breathe into the wound, and the flesh began to sizzle suddenly making him slam his stone fist into the roof.
"Shit." He said through clenched teeth. "You didn't say it'd hurt this much."
"Eite dokimazo arthro dynami aney simasias." I breathed opening my eyes as I pulled my hand away and the flesh began growing back together, the muscles reforming and reshaping. I watched an angry muscle tick in his jaw until there was a whole smooth patch of skin replacing the wound. He exhaled suddenly and dropped his head back weakly to stare at me.
"What are you?" He asked almost annoyed.
"A friend." I whispered before I jumped up grabbing my spare gun from Thomas's hands and pumped my wings until I was back in the alley the shadows surrounding me.
I took a deep breath and backed up into the shadows behind me, blinking my eyes so that my night vision was prominent. I shifted my gaze and then I saw it. It was huge, standing on two legs, it's skin scaly and smooth, it's chest protruding as it blended into firmly fleshed ribs and abdomen. The arms were thick sinewy bands, one raised above it's head as it watched me, it's eyes wide and careful, his jaws closed. Other than the skin, feet and hands resembling a lizard, the yellow piercing eyes, sloping pointed nose, sharp outward spine, swishing scaly tail, and bent legs it was almost human, almost. It grinned suddenly, revealing a smile of tiny knives almost making me gulp, and I took a defensive stance preparing for it to strike but it stepped forward into the light and suddenly went invisible again. My pulse sped up. It could still be there waiting for me. I raised my intercom to my lips. "I need back up." I whispered. "I'm here alone with it, it stepped into the light and went invisible again." There was static. "Shit." I muttered to myself. "Guys," I pleaded. "A little help would be appreciated." More static. "Ah, fuck it." I muttered swinging up my mini-Uzi so that it was aiming towards the light and fired. Blood suddenly splattered everywhere out of thin air and I heard it scream wildly as I continued firing. I caught the splatters of blood as they moved from side to side, splashing in puddles to the ground. I released my magazine and reached for another only to find an empty case. Cold fear shot through me, and I froze, it had stopped moving.
"Aren't you a long way from home Angel?" The voice slithered around me, making me raise my chin higher. "Won't they be missing you?" My brows knit together in a frown of irritation.
"Not really." I muttered straightening. "But I don't recall Hell offering vacation days to demons either," A smile slid across my lips. "You must be lost," I reached over my shoulder for the bow and an arrow, sliding them from their holster, raising it before me. "Let me point you in the right direction." I offered. The laugh I heard, made my smug smile fall slowly, it was deep and guttural.
"Are you going to escort me yourself?" It snarled and I felt a thin prick of awareness, watching the blood dribble down its invisible skin. "Because I won't be going back alone." I adjusted my aim suddenly pulling back my arm.
"We'll agree to disagree." I smiled letting go of the arrow, it screamed through the air, and light exploded when it met it's target, resulting in a high pitched shriek of pain, as the air ripped open. Light cast it's rays upon the blue scales that were clawing at the ground, trying to escape where the open portal was sucking it's screaming form into it, until it was gone and the torn air began knitting itself together until it was just empty space once again. I released the breath I'd been holding slowly. "Nasty little sucker." I huffed. Loud clapping startled me from behind, making me whirl to face a dark figure stepping from the shadows slowly, until I saw his face, and when I did I froze.
"Impressive." His eyes were black, his face ashen and old, but his voice sent shivers down my spine. "Do you always dispense with justice so mercilessly?" I felt my face darken, my hand tightening on my bow. "Or so fearlessly?" One brow went up.
"I'd call it self-preservation rather than justice." I replied angrily. "Kill or be killed."
"However you wish to put it." He laughed quietly and my mind flickered to the arrows at my back. "You're cupid darts have no effect on a spirit my sweet Angel." He waved a hand ripping my bow from my grasp and sending it crashing into one of the walls surrounding us. "But I won't have your attentions diverted from me with pointless plans of attack, they will do you no good." I sucked in a breath and blew out angrily through my nose as I clinched my jaw.
"And your parlor tricks cannot harm me Nicodemus, not while your ass is still chained to that chair." I smirked smartly, if that irritated him, I couldn't tell. He was still for a moment, and a second later I blinked and felt his hand beneath my chin from behind me, long nails digging into my cheek, so much so that it was painful, while the other hand on my wrist, twisted my arm behind my back beneath a wing.
"Kill? No. Harm? Yes." He whispered tightening his grip until I felt the skin split, and drops of blood trickled town my check. "Do not try to foresee moments before they are made child, or you will find yourself blinded." I felt his breath on my ear. "I will be waiting." With that, the support of his body vanished making me stumble backwards, my breath coming in sharp pants, my cheek stinging as the wind ran across it.
"Fucking psycho." I muttered sharply to myself. "What the fuck did that mean?" I spat as my eyes scanned my surroundings.
"Well boys," The sound from above me, made me jump, "Looks like little miss parakeet had all the fun." I smiled up into grinning amber eyes, putting my hands on my hips.
"Oh that's totally original." I bit sarcastically, raising a disappointed brow before flying to his level and hovering; watching his eyes narrow when he noticed the scratch marks. "Don't worry, big boy." I patted his arm gently. "I'm sure if you hurry there will still be a few bananas left." I grinned; pausing just long enough to watch him realize the joke was on him, before I jutted upward, and away from the shadows on the ground.