Kingdom of Twilight by planet p
Disclaimer I don't own the Pretender or Supernatural or any of their characters.
The angel's vessel had been shot. It was not difficult to heal the vessel. It was quicker than Afra had anticipated, in her unrest. The difficulty came now, in the intervening moments. The vessel was highly distressed, confused. It did not understand why Afra was playing dead. The time to leave the vessel was drawing ever nearer, Afra knew. It would be soon. She would allay the vessel's rising panic, but she could not allow the vessel control before the task was done. She would not betray her promise. She would leave the vessel unharmed, in body. The vessel's agitation rose, and now it became sheer panic. Panic for her newly born baby. But it was not Afra's duty to save the baby; it would have to endure its destiny.
It will be soon now, Afra told herself. The vessel had served her well, but she'd had to fight hard to maintain control, at times. Like now. The baby was gone. Now they would wait. Once the man thought that they were out of the picture, dead, buried, they would leave this place. The vessel would be free to pursue its life freely, as it would. Afra had to remind herself that it was a her, not an it. And a mother, double. She could only enforce what she'd earlier attempted to convey. The vessel must not allow the man to know that she was alive.
Soon, the baby was taken away, and the man returned to dispose the body of a dead woman who wasn't dead. They were loaded into the trunk of a car, and the car driven away. Afra was not certain of where they were when the car finally came to a standstill and they were taken out of the trunk, but she knew, as soon as she realised what was to be the method of their disposal, that it would hurt. Unbearably. But they would not die.
By this point, the vessel was stricken, convinced she would die. Afra waited until the man had left, did not try to convince her vessel that they would live. The vessel would come to see, soon.
They were left to burn as, once again, the man drove away in a car. This time, he would not be returning.
You will flee, Afra commanded her vessel, freeing them of the fire and healing the vessel's damaged body. Very soon she would return to receive new orders. It was only a matter of moments now. Goodbye, Catherine Parker, she bid, and exited the vessel's body in the same manner that she had entered.
Jazz had been sent to monitor the progress of the human woman, Miss Parker. He'd managed to send the demon, Lika, who'd been inhabiting the human, Alex, back to Hell, and was now beginning to wonder of her twin brother, Lyle. He'd not sensed that the human was inhabited of any other being than itself, but he was unsure of what this meant. It did not mean that he was not, it just meant that he'd not yet been discovered.
Jazz had taken the body of a man named Cox as host, but found his day to day tasks tiresome and irksome. He sometimes wondered who he'd angered to be assigned such a duty, but it was surely only because he'd been deemed reliable, efficient, dependable. It was surely a matter of pride, and honour.
Jazz's host was to meet his newest patients today, and Jazz was only mildly interested to discover who they would be. So it was only to his great surprise that he discovered that they were clones of the human twins, Jacob and Sydney, and looked completely identical to one another.
He wondered why he'd even wondered. Of course, it was going to be something outrageous and astounding. He worked for the Center, after all.
Liutras, or Leon the Sweeper, as he'd dubbed his human host, was pleased to be swapping bodies. He'd tired of the old one. It was, after all, dead. He'd given it life but it was essentially still dead. Re-animated, as though a puppet. In fact, a puppet was exactly what it was! He often mused at the humour in this. To think that he, a demon, had given something life! But soon Leon would be exiting this life, and Liutras would be entering a new host, in a much more favourable position to his objective than he almost found comforting, but he was infinitely excited, of course.
It would be all too easy. They were currently in pursuit of the boringly irritating escaped Pretender, Jarod, so, all he would have to do would be to join the right team when they split up to cover the building's exits. He didn't really care if Jarod escaped – he was nothing to him, anyway – he was much more interested in acquiring his new host.
And of course, everything worked out exactly as he'd planned. He didn't bother to keep the smile from his face. He'd done everything perfectly.
Everything was perfect!
The man in front of him suddenly wheeled around, frowning, but Liutras didn't bother to mask his smile; he figured he'd find out soon enough how apt his words had really been. Only, he wasn't going to stop.
The man looked confused for a moment, before Liutras dipped Leon's head backward and exited his body. 'Leon' dropped to the ground like the dead weight he was.
The man stepped back sharply, alarmed, his eyes on the body rather than on where they should have been, the real danger – the thick black cloud steadily swarming toward him.
Liutras was mere inches from his goal – and then he was dragged back down to Hell. He didn't have time to register anything other than shock.
19-year-old 'Annie Raines' stepped sharply around the corner ahead of Lyle, but, to her surprise, she found that the demon was gone, though she couldn't say quite how exactly. Her gaze flicked to the body lying in front of Lyle, before she saw him turn suddenly, becoming aware of her presence. "Well, good day, Lathrope," she greeted smugly, careful to mask her shock and disorientation. A shiftling – or stirling, as they were known to some – was really beneath her; she needn't have addressed him by name at all. He was merely a figure, a denominator, a spare body, so to speak, placed in the line of fire to protect the human woman, Miss Parker. And that was the only reason he'd been bequeathed life.
A shiftling alternated from life to life, and could be ripped from one life to another in the blink of an eye. They were not given warning when it would happen, it just happened. It was no more than they deserved.
The shifting turned to the wall beside him suddenly and rested his forehead against it. "He's dead," he finally said, several long moments later, as Annie's smile stretched on, beginning to become painful.
A look of obviousness and superiority flashed across Annie's face, replacing the smile, and settled there. "And it has so been for as long as you have known it," she supplied.
"Can you just… I don't know… go for a walk, or a fly, or something?" Lyle asked, still facing the wall, "cos I think I'm gonna be sick."
Annie grinned. "As you wish," she replied, and faded away with her the end of her sentence.
Lyle slid down the wall and sat on the ground, staring at the ground in front of him, for a long moment in effort to convince himself not to throw up, and took deep breaths. It seemed to work.
The only problem was: How was he going to explain that that Sweeper he'd been with at the time had suddenly dropped dead?
He tried not to let his gaze stray in the direction of the dead body and wondered what he'd done in his last life, or whatever life it had been, to deserve such a crappy one this time around.
Predictably, as always, he supposed that Jarod had escaped again.
Yeah, lame. If you've suggestions for the names of the twins/clones, I'd be happy to hear them, as I have none. Thanks for reading.
Yeah, and I totally made that up about shiftlings; I couldn't think of anything else, so I made something up – oops! =(