Author's Notes: FINALLY!!!!! I had so much trouble with this chapter because I know exactly how this story is going to end, but I don't know what to do to get there and not let it sound all rushed and impatient, you know? Oh, and there is some lighthearted (lightheaded?) humor in this chapter, to warn you, and some brooding as well. Many apologies to those who waited impatiently for this chapter with bated breath- hope you haven't all died from asphyxiation ^_^.

Desires Of The Mind


Disclaimer: Hey! Looka dere!! ::points off into the distance wildly:: I own that! THAT!! Not this, though...

Chapter Five: Broken Hearts Mending

It was three twenty-seven in the morning, and the sky was beautiful. It was a deep blue, nearly black but not quite, and stormclouds flashed grey and purple in the distance. The majority of the sky, however, was clear and riddled with stars. It was cold, but bearably so... most likely, there would be no more snowfalls this year. The city was quiet and, with the exception of a few streetlights here and there, mostly dark, giving the night a soothing, whispering quality. The stars were amazingly visible and bright, as if to show off their splendor to the whole world. Tonight, however, there was only one person in the audience, and he couldn't have cared less about them.

Squee, lying on his back at the very top level of an abandoned building's fire escape, hardly noticed the sky, the oncoming storm, or the stars. Any other night, he would have beeing staring into them, dreamy-eyed, lost, and wandering happily through his mind's imaginings. Just now, however, his mind was on other things.

More important things.

Like that night at the club.

Like Angel.

He sighed, shifting his weight, and put one arm behind his head. Squee stared up at the sky, unseeing, replaying the events of that night in his head for the billionth time. It seemed like it had happened years ago; he could hardly believe it had only been three nights since. He couldn't believe it had happened at all, come to think about it. It seemed so final. Squee couldn't bear the thought of it- them, really- ending like that. Three months, he had talked to her... most couples their age didn't even make it to three weeks before they broke up. Something had to be done, and it looked like he would be the one who had to initiate it. The more he thought about it, though, the more he lost his nerve. He hadn't even been able to try to call her, much less even think about going to her house and confronting her. Squee hadn't seen her take one of her early early morning walks, either, but whether that was a bad thing or not, he wasn't sure. Maybe it was better this way... her in her world, he in his. She walked in the light, he hid himself in the dark.

Maybe it _was_ better this way. At least she was safe.

Even from him.


Even from him.


Angel shivered, hugging her light jacket closer to her body as a chill swept over her, hopping gently over a small pothole. She walked forward determinedly into the dark spaces between the circles of light provided by street lamps, quietly glad when she emerged again. The darkness had never bothered her before, but now... she'd realized that more was hidden in shadows than she'd thought.

The nightmares had been coming more and more often. She had been having them every night since the 'incident' at the club, sometimes twice or even three times in a row. Tonight alone, she'd had them three times in succession, and decided that the only thing for it was to clear her head. And, of course, what better way to clear her head than to take a little walk?

That had been her reasoning at the time. Now, however, with the winds picking up and clouds not too far away, she was having second thoughts. Being caught out in a storm in the wee hours of the morning would not be some fun morning activity. Not to mention the strange sensation she had that she was being watched... but that was impossible, wasn't it?

A pair of hands darted out of the shadows on her right and clutched her arm. She had just enough time to scream before she was pulled roughly off the sidewalk and into a small side alley she hadn't noticed before.


Nny leaned contentedly against his kitchen counter, sipping a fresh, steaming, full to the brim cup of black coffee, and watching the stormclouds gather over the city through his front window. He sipped again, careful not to burn his tongue with the scalding hot liquid, and sighed happily. It had been a while since he'd had a quiet night at home all to himself, and he had to admit, it was quite enjoyable. Even though he was technically still a young man- he was only in his early thirties- he was getting more and more willing to spend nights at home instead of going out. Nny shook his head ruefully, chalking his lethargy up to his age, noting that he would be forty years old in a little less than seven years. It was still strange to think so much time had passed since he had skipped town that night, in order to get rid of his emotions. He shook his head again, as if to banish the thought. It was best not to think of the past, especially such painful times as those had been. Nny sipped his coffee again.

The wind buffeted the walls of the house as the storm drew nearer, and thunder rumbled in the distance. Nny looked across the room and noticed Squee's still darkened house. He frowned, wondering where the younger man was, especially with a storm like that threatening to hit at any moment. He was likely to get good and soaked, and a wet Squee was almost never a happy Squee.

Nny glanced out the window again as the rain began to pour down good and hard, and blew on his coffee to cool it.

As he drew in another breath to blow on it again, the rickety door to his house slammed open violently as though kicked off its hinges, and a very startled Devi stood on his front step, one arm raised in the act of knocking, the other one holding a large purple umbrella.

Nny, startled beyond words, choked violently and jumped nearly a foot into the air, promptly upending scalding hot coffee all down his front. He stood, staring at Devi in shock, until the hot coffee soaked into his clothes and made contact with his bare skin. His eyes opened wide as saucers and he shrieked, running flappingly towards his bathroom, momentarily forgetting Devi as he panicked.

"AAAAAAAAAAAIIIIEEEEEE!!! Hothothothothot it BURNS!!!!" he screamed, diving headfirst into his shower, and turning the spray on full blast.

Devi watched this, supremely startled and a bit amused. She had just closed her umbrella and stepped into the house when another series of yelps exploded from the direction of the shower: "YAAAAAAAAAGH!!! COLD!! Holy grapefruit on high-" at which point the words degenerated into furious spluttering noises.

Devi smiled, attempting to close the front door and wondering at how different Nny was since... the last time they had both been in his house. He had been shy and reserved, but at the same time sweet and... well, a bit vague. Well, she now knew why he had been so mysterious. Now, he just seemed so much more... reachable.

Her reverie was interrupted when Nny splooshed his way out of the bathroom, and she had to put a hand over her mouth to prevent herself from laughing. Upon closer examination, she placed the other hand over it too, as reinforcements in case the first one failed. Even still, she shook with suppressed mirth.

Nny stood there, a long suffering look on his face as he dripped water onto the floor. He was soaked clear through, his dark blue dyed hair plastered to his head and running rivulets down his face, and there was a substantial coffee stain down his shirt and part of his pants. He looked awful.

"Hello, Devi," he said, as though she stopped by every day.

"I-Is this a bad time?" she queried, amused. "I think that we... well, we need to talk some things over."

He shook his head, suddenly shy. "N-not at all, if you'll just let me go change into something a little," he motioned down at the puddle accumulating below him, "less wet."

Devi nodded, trying to hide a small smile.


Squee jerked upright as a piercing- and heartstoppingly familiar- scream tore through the night, startling him from his thoughts. He stood up quickly, listening, as a familiar worry wormed its way through his stomach and into his heart. A shorter scream, identical to its predecessor in everything but length, burst forth and was quickly silenced. Squee jerked his head in the direction the scream had come from and leapt onto the ladder, sliding down the fire escape and onto the street below. Breaking into a run, he set out to find the source of the screams. He only prayed he wasn't too late.

Thunder rolled as lightning forked across the sky.


Angel managed another short scream before her back was introduced rather harshly to a rather unyielding brick wall, knocking the wind out of her. She slid down the wall to her knees, gasping from the impact. Not too far away, someone giggled like a child being presented with some favorite kind of candy. Someone grabbed a handful of her left shoulder and hauled her upright, pinning her back against the wall with one hand and lifting her chin with the other. Still trying to catch her breath and scared half out of her wits, she could do nothing but stare at her captors.

Holding her firmly against the wall was easily the most attractive, frightening man she'd ever seen. Just shy of six feet tall, he was a man of medium build with very long, very straight hair. His cold dark eyes looked her up and down, checking her over as though she was a slab of meat he was inspecting, his equally dark eyebrows drawn together. Judging by his appearance, he was still young, in his early twenties at the most. His face was extremely attractive, thought the part of Angel's mind that noticed such things at the most inappropriate times, and very intelligent looking. Long blond hair- dyed, most likely, if his thick dark eyebrows were any testament- framed his pale face, and nearly black eyes examined her impassively.

"Well, Rex," the man mused, his voice incredibly throaty and hoarse- it sounded like he was speaking through a throatful of gravel, "it seems that you're in luck. You've been wanting one of these, haven't you?" He turned his head to look at the shorter man standing behind him, and Angel caught sight of a horribly deep scar across the man's neck. Someone had obviously tried to cut his throat, but, somehow, he had survived. "A fresh little girl," he continued, as a shorter, older man in an old, tattered suit came snivelling up behind him, rubbing his hands together happily. The handsome one looked at him almost disdainfully. "I guess I'll let you have her."

"Oh, thank you, Din, thank you. She'll do," he cackled softly, looking slyly at Angel out of the corner of his eye.

The man who held her, Din, must have noted the look on her face. "Don't worry, little girl. Whatever things Rex likes to do to little girls, he does them after they're dead. You won't feel a thing."

She was even more horrified. "And that's supposed to make me feel better?!"

All three of them jumped in surprise as a dark figure crashed loudly and abruptly through a bunch of metal garbage cans at the opposite end of the alley. Lids and cans rolled everywhere, clanging loudly, and a young man swore colorfully as he nearly tripped amongst them.

Squee emerged from the shadows almost triumphantly then, only to be stopped cold by the scene he found in front of him. His eyes narrowed, taking in Rex, Din, Angel, Din's rough grip on Angel's shoulder, the lecherous look on Rex's face, and most especially the look of fear on Angel's face. He squared his shoulders and advanced toward them in a barely controlled fury.

"Din," he said by way of greeting, stopping a few feet away from them.

Din released Angel's shoulder. "Squee," he replied. "Anything I can do for you?"

"Yeah, actually," he replied, "I see you have something of mine, there."

Din arched a brow. "Really?"



Cliffhanger!!! Hate me now, you know now how I update. I've been working on the next chapter already, so hopefully you won't be waiting _as_ long as all that. Read, review, you know the schpeil if you've been with me this far.