A/N: Wow, thank you guys so much for the overwhelming response for my first chapter! I totally was not expecting that! ^_^ All those reviews gave me the warm fuzzies.
Thanks to my beta, Jedi Pirate Jaeh for being awesome! xD If you didn't see her Sorcerer's Apprentice stories, high tail it and check them out now!
Also thank you to my sister for doing last minute edits on this thing! Please, check out her stories on fictionpress. The link is on my profile page.
I also realized that I forgot about Tank in the last chapter! Poor Tank, that's unforgivable. We'll just say he was sleeping in the corner somewhere. I added him in this chapter though to make amends.
Note: So my sister pointed out something interesting. I was telling her the plot to this and she said how in the movie there in no indication of anything from a supernatural world. The magic manipulates matter from our world, so there's actually not anything otherworldly about it. True, true, but for the sake of this story however, there is a supernatural world.
Dave threw a bunch of essentials into a book bag, including his physics textbook. The letter from Balthazar wasn't specific, so Dave didn't know what he was getting into. Balthazar might want him to stay there for a few days, maybe even longer.
Becky looked over the note with a small frown on her face. "Why didn't Balthazar come here himself?"
Dave attempted to shove the textbook into his book bag. "He uses the pigeons for stealth. They're way less conspicuous to baddies than if he landed on my doorstep on his giant eagle."
Dave coughed and glanced at the desk. The pigeon ruffled its feathers and cocked its head to the side. "Uh, speaking of which can you let the little guy out the window? I think he left a present on my desk."
Becky giggled and picked up the pigeon and released it through the open window. It beat its wings rapidly and flew through the rain until it was a white dot in the distance. Becky watched it go and turned back to her boyfriend. "Dave…how bad is this?"
Dave paused and looked up at her for a moment. "I don't know… but Balthazar usually isn't this concerned. He's probably worried about something tracking his magic."
Dave stopped packing for a moment and looked up at his girlfriend. He ran a hand over his face and swallowed. "Becky, I don't want you to get involved with this. It could be really dangerous." His voice dropped toa whisper. "And… I don't know what I'd do if something happened to you."
He wasn't trying to be chivalrous or gallant. He honestly felt afraid that something horrible would happen to his girlfriend. That he would lose the girl he gave his heart to. She almost died once because of him, and he wouldn't let it happen again.
Becky stared at him for a long moment, her eyes roaming over his anxious face. "Dave, I know you're worried, but I can take care of myself. Besides…" she kissed him on the cheek. "What if you need saving again?"
Dave smiled weakly at her. He knew there wasn't much use arguing with Becky. She would come anyway, despite what he said to her. "Well since you're so infuriatingly stubborn, I'm going to make sure nothing happens to you." He threw the book bag over his shoulder and staggered slightly under the weight.
Becky snorted back her laughter. "Maybe you shouldn't have packed your physics textbooks."
"Hey, you never know when they could come in handy. Besides just because I'm the Prime Merlinian does not mean I'm exempt from school. Believe me, I've asked. Multiple times. "
Becky and Dave walked back into the kitchen to see Bennet rummaging around the fridge for some dinner. He looked up at them and smirked. "Hey, you guys leaving already? Talk about your quickies…"
Dave felt his cheeks go slightly pink, and he ignored the comment as per usual. "Bennet, Becky and I have to go… I'm not sure how long we'll be gone. Maybe a few days or something." He caught Becky's eyes and grinned.
Bennet narrowed his eyes suspiciously and looked from Dave's backpack, to him Becky holding hands, and his mouth opened in shock. "Are you guys eloping?"
Dave chuckled and wrapped an arm around Becky. "Hey, we're both old enough and madly in love. Why the hell not? Please don't look for us, we wish to start our lives anew."
"Man, I have to say I'm a little hurt. I thought you would at least tell me of all people…"
Becky rolled her eyes and nudged Dave in the ribs. "We're not eloping. Dave needs to go stay with his friends for a few days, that's all."
Bennet looked disappointed. "Oh man, thought you guys were taking it to the next level. Ah well, when you do don't leave ol' Bennet out of the loop."
Dave patted Bennet on the shoulder. "Of course not, buddy."
Bennet scratched the back of his head. "Does this have to do with that old bum guy with that crazy name I met once?"
"That's sounds like a pretty accurate description of Balthazar, so yes."
"Okay," Bennet looked thoughtful. "He owns that antique shop right? With that Italian lady?"
Dave frowned and glanced at Becky. She raised her eyebrows. "Look, Bennet…" she began. "If someone comes looking for Dave, you can't tell them that's where he is."
Bennet rubbed his chin nervously. "Are you in trouble for something, man? Is your dad…"
Dave shook his head sharply and Bennet closed his mouth, glancing at Becky.
"No, " Dave sighed. "Nothing like that. I just need to help Balthazar out with something."
"Okay, Dave." Bennet said, still frowning a bit. "If you say so."
"I say so. And please take good care of Tank. Remember to take him for lots of walks. He's getting fat."
The bulldog was curled up in the corner, a pool of slobber near his raised his head when Dave walked over and the dog's ears perked up "Bye-bye, beautiful," Dave cooed, tousling Tank's fur. Tank gave Dave an enthusiastic slobber then promptly fell back asleep.
Dave waved at Bennet and took Becky's hand with his non-slobbered one. "All right, let's go."
The rain had slowed down to a drizzle. Fog had trickled in, obscuring buildings and skyscrapers from view. Dave had actually prepared for the weather this time and grabbed his umbrella and boots so he wouldn't drown himself again.
"It figures," Dave sighed as they walked out onto the damp glistening street. "As soon as I actually have an umbrella the rain stops."
Becky patted his arm. "I'm sure you'll have you're very own little black rain cloud soon, sweetie."
"I can probably ask Balthazar how to make one."
Becky laughed and they were silent for a few moments. "So you have no idea what Balthazar meant in the letter?" Becky asked him.
Dave shrugged and stepped over a puddle. "No idea. It's always completely random with him, but if he says I'm in danger, I have to believe him.I mean, he's the guy who throws random projectiles at me so I can perfect my shield spell, so yeah.
Becky let out a breath and clutched Dave's arm. "Yikes. Good point."
Over the last year Balthazar had changed a little. He was still as intense as ever, but he seemed to loosen up a bit. Maybe it was because of the whole, defeating Morgana thing and getting the love of his life back. He didn't even berate Dave when he didn't call him 'master' now, not that he ever really called him that anyway. Too many unfortunate connotations attached in this day and age.
"Dave," Becky began and chewed on her lip for a moment. Dave smiled down at her. "Hm? What's up Becks?"
"What was Bennet saying before? You know, about your dad?" Dave never really talked about his parents too much. She knew his father was an astrophysicist, who was also a professor at Princeton University. And that his mom had died when he was fifteen. That's all he ever said about that, and Becky didn't blame him in the slightest.
Dave cringed slightly. He couldn't help it. "Oh. That." He really did not want to talk about his father right now. "Look, uh… Becky, can we talk about this some other time?"
Becky nodded and didn't pursue the subject. It obviously made him uncomfortable and she didn't want to push it. "Of course."
"Thanks," he sighed and hitched up his book bag. They made their way into Greenwich Village. The buildings became more residential and upper-middle class. Balthazar and Veronica had opened their antique here and were doing surprisingly well for themselves. Well maybe not surprisingly. They were sorcerers after all.
It was still misty and raining out. The Washington Square Arch loomed over them in near silhouette because of the thick mist.
"Hey, we made it to Washington Square park without being attacked by zombies," Dave said brightly. He looked around worriedly. "Although… maybe I shouldn't speak so soon.
NYU buildings were right next to the park so it was almost always filled with college students and pedestrians. Which was why Dave found the lack of people around very unnerving. Usually, even in the worst of weather there would at least be a few people in the park.
As he and Becky walked through, the fog thickened and made it nearly impossible to see the surrounding buildings. Only vague wisps and outlines of them were visible.
Becky noticed it too. "Dave… it wasn't this foggy a minute ago. Where is everyone?" she asked quietly. Becky took his hand. It was warm and helped ground his rising apprehension.
"I… don't know," Dave muttered. "Let's hope alien abduction, and not that we stumbled into a Silent Hill game."
Becky snorted and glanced around. "I can't even tell which way we're going anymore. This is crazy."
"Yeah. But we should keep… "Dave suddenly stopped in his tracks. An icy cold feeling ran down his spine and his hairs prickled on the back of his neck. He shrugged off his book bag and dropped it to the ground.
"Dave! What's wrong?"
"Becky," he said evenly. "Get behind me."
"What is it?" Becky gulped, and her face went pale "Another troll?"
Dave shook his head and stepped in front of her. The atmosphere now felt slimy and creeping, as if the fog was reaching around them with tendrils. "I've never sensed something like this before."
"Wait," Becky said, pointing into the fog. "I think that's someone over there."
A faint dark outline of a person made it's way toward them from the haze. The feeling in Dave's spine grew worse and his breath caught in his throat.
"Becky, I don't think that's a-"
He didn't get to finish his sentence. The figure lunged at them with an ear-splitting shriek. Dave put his hands up and the power surged through him. A translucent shield came over him and Becky with a whirl of magic and the thing banged against it with a dull smack.
It recovered and snarled, and they were able to finally see what it looked like. It was humanoid in appearance, but crouched on all fours, apelike. The skin was rippling with powerful muscles but it appeared diseased. Skin peeled and flaked from the creature's bulky body.
It didn't have any eyes, but it didn't need any. The frightened college students heard it snuffling around as it smelled them, and it licked a black tongue over its fangs.
"Dave, what the hell is that thing," Becky whispered hoarsely, her voice quavering.
"I have no idea," Dave answered, sounding equally terrified. The thing suddenly jerked its head at Dave and let out another bone-chilling shriek. Dave wavered and realized his shield was in danger of collapsing. The humanoid abomination suddenly threw itself wildly against the shield, shrieking and clawing, trying to tear its way in. Dave cried out, trying desperately to hold the barrier as his concentration dwindled.
The monster screeched in fury and turned its eyeless head directly to Dave. Sudden coldness surrounded him, as if he was just plunged into ice water, and Dave realized it was hunting him, not Becky.
"Becky," he shouted. "I'm going to lower this shield. And when I do, you need to run."
"What? I'm not leaving you with this thing!"
"Listen," he gasped as the effort to maintain the shield grew more difficult. "It's after me. I'll distract it, you get out of here."
The creature slammed into Dave's shield and it shattered. Becky screamed and fell backwards. Dave staggered and it lunged at him, its fangs gnashing. He wasn't sure if his instincts kicked in or what, but a plasma bolt materialized in his hands. It wasn't the most powerful plasma bolt, but hey, he wasn't being picky at the moment. He released the magic and it hit the monster squarely in the face. It reeled back, squealing in anger and pain.
"Becky," Dave shouted over his shoulder. "Run-"
He didn't finish his warning, however. The breath was knocked out of him, and he was on the ground, a mass of slimy skin and muscle on top of him. He brought his arms up and summoned a weak barrier as the thing clawed and bit down on him. The barrier exploded outward and forced his attacker off. The monster skidded a few feet away. Dave focused another attack but the monster was too quick. It scrambled forward and grabbed his leg. He fell to the ground again and his head hit the concrete.
Once he blinked the stars away, he realized he was being dragged. It was clawing at his jacket and hood, scratching his face, dragging him away into the mist. Dave yelled something incoherently and blindly shot another burst of blue energy. The beast howled and yanked on his hair as Dave frantically tried to break free from it. Then to Dave's utter shock he heard a guttural voice, raspy with a strange reverberating quality. "Be good Merlinian… wants in one piece… no food… right now…"
Suddenly there was a thunk and the monster staggered, giving Dave ample time to tear himself away. He looked around wildly and saw Becky standing there with one of his physics textbooks held aloft.
"Nice one," Dave gasped.
"You're right, these things come in handy!" Becky laughed shrilly.
The creature had already recovered and turned its attention to Becky. "Can eat… flesh…"
"Yeah, I don't think so," Dave snarled unleashing a powerful plasma bolt. It stumbled and hissed angrily. Dammit, this thing will not go down! "Hey, ugly, I'm over here!"
It screamed and lunged at him, teeth bared. Dave braced himself as best as he could for someone about to be torn to shreds.
There was a blinding flash of blue and the monster was knocked to the side in midair. Out of the fog, Balthazar and Veronica emerged. Power pulsated in their hands, ready to be unleashed.
Dave stumbled up and ran over to Becky, who fell into his arms, eyes wide in terror. He could feel her shaking.
Balthazar's face was set in stone cold fury, and he walked forward unwavering, even as the monster rounded on him and howled.
"You have broken the Law of Neutrality and have acted violently on Mortal grounds," Balthazar growled. "What manner of creature are you?"
The monster made a strange high pitched wheezing sound and Dave realized with a shudder it was laughing. "Fool… the child… comes with me."
Veronica unleashed her own purple plasma and it sent the monster flying through the air and it hit a lamppost with a resounding clang. The lamppost dented in the middle and the creature crumpled to the ground. For the first time it seemed to be debilitated from the attack.
"You don't touch these children," she stated calmly. "You will tell us who sent you, and why you want the Prime Merlinian."
"Does not… matter… more will come… darkness will shroud… and we will feast… "
Then it shrieked and suddenly galloped into the dark mist, leaving the four humans alone once more.
A/N: Yeah, so, darker chapter and stuff. Review anyway?