Summary: Dave never believed in superstitions. But when a chain of bad luck hits Dave, he's sure someone is out to get him. Can he and Balthazar figure it out before it's too late?
A/N: Sorcerer's Apprentice multi-chap fic, as was mentioned being developed in my first one-shot for this fandom, Piece of Donut. Title from the Stevie Wonder song, listed in the movie credits, I believe.
Epic thanks to LoremIpsum, the most awesomest (yes, I know I just slaughtered grammar) beta and fandom friend ever xD
Disclaimer: Just borrowing stuff from The Mouse's lab. Don't own Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Dave was walking to class when a black cat crossed his path.
That was it. He carried a couple of books under his arm, and a backpack was slung over one shoulder. It was a normal, routine day. And then he stepped on a small peddle, and lost his footing. Dave suddenly, and ingloriously, tripped.
Books flew in the air, and paper exploded from the binding. He crashed into the pavement, hit the ground on one knee and screeched forward, sprawling flat on the ground. In the middle of a crowd, no less, he thought, and sighed.
He stood up slowly, and brushed the dust off his clothes. The crowd has stopped to look at him, others breaking into laughter, while most just minded their own business. It brought back memories for Dave – especially what happened at Arcana Cabana. He ended up in therapy for it, even if he knew and insisted it was real. He ended up being the laughing stock of the whole school, and his name had become synonymous to being insane.
Dave actually told Balthazar that he should sue him for psychological damages. Jokingly, of course.
Dave hated it. But now, older, a sorcerer, a hero… He was pretty sure that whatever happened was for the best.
Someone tapped him on the shoulder, jostling Dave out of his thoughts. The man handed him his things, and Dave said his thanks.
"It's fine. You should go get your knee checked, kid." The man just said, gesturing at Dave's pants. There was a hole the size of a tennis ball, and Dave sighed. He limped to one side, and looked at his injuries. Just a really, really badly skinned knee, nothing fatal.
And so Dave straightened, just shrugged, and kept on walking. He'd had a couple of weirder and worse incidents in his full twenty years of life, anyway and that was just another one of those freak accidents, he guessed.
I'm fine, it was nothing. I'll live.
Of course, Becky still fussed though.
"Dave? Why are you limping? What happened?" She gave him a small kiss, and held his arm as he winced with every step. Even if it was just a skinned knee, it still hurt, of course.
Becky bit her lip, and the corner of her mouth quirked. "Uh. Are you okay?" A little giggle escaped her mouth, and that started her laughing.
Dave tried to glare, but found it impossible. Before long he was laughing too.
"I'm sorry Dave…" She said. "I couldn't help it." Becky smiled, a little sheepishly. "Does it still hurt?"
"I think I'm going to need someone to take care of me the whole day." Dave answered, still grinning. "What do you think?"
"I could only help you after my classes and my show, Mr. Stutler. Think you will survive without my help until then?"
"I'll try my best, Ma'am." Dave answered with a twinkle in his eye. Becky ran her fingers through Dave's hair, and he pulled her closer.
Becky pushed Dave away playfully. "Of course, you're going to have to pay me."
"Dinner, then." Dave said immediately. "8 o'clock."
Becky smiled, and gave him a kiss on the lips. "Pick me up at the station later?"
Dave nodded, and dropped her off at her class. Becky turned, and wiggled her fingers in goodbye. Dave flashed a smile, waving back.
He still couldn't believe that she was his girlfriend now. After what happened years ago when he was ten, he never really thought that he would ever get a girlfriend.
Up to this day, Becky still smiled when he drew pictures of King Kong on buses to coincide perfectly with the Empire State Building. She seriously is, Dave always thought, the awesomest girl friend ever.
"Hey man, move!" Someone pushed Dave aside, and he crashed back down to reality. He realized that he hadn't really left the classroom, and stood there in the doorway, staring at Becky. People jostled him side to side, and he waved back at Becky sheepishly.
She just shook her head, smiling, and waved again.
Dave quickly shuffled away from the crowd slipping inside Becky's classroom. He had classes to attend. Then after that, he actually had a date.
A badly skinned knee was nothing.
Balthazar was lost. Well, almost. After a millennium of having a one-track mind towards his ultimate goal of finding the Prime-Merlinian, he was left with almost nothing to do during the long afternoons when Dave was out.
That was why he was so grateful that Veronica was there, as well.
For a while, there was a moment when the two actually just sat there in Dave's lab, not knowing what they were going to do next.
"We can't continue sleeping in the lab, Balthazar." Veronica said.
Balthazar nodded. "We should get an apartment."
"And some way to earn a living." Veronica said. "What did you use to do?"
"I used to run a magic-antique shop." Balthazar answered. "We could do that. We could find an apartment and a place where we could run a shop. I still have some money in my bank account – and I'm sure that it has collected a good amount of interest now."
"Where are we going to find a place, then?"
"Friends." Balthazar answered, and stood up. He held out a hand, and Veronica took it. They disappeared into the morning.
Balthazar entered the small, homey coffee shop, with Veronica following him.
"Balthazar? Is that you?" A man with warm, grey eyes and darker grey hair greeted them, and Balthazar immediately stepped forward.
"Magnus." Balthazar smiled, and the two shook hands. "It's been a while."
"Balthazar! Where have you been? You suddenly disappeared. We've been holding your order for ten years now." Magnus joked, and that elicited a smile from Balthazar.
"I was trapped in an urn."
"Are you kidding?" Magnus still smiled widely, but it eventually faded when Balthazar didn't answer. "You aren't kidding."
Balthazar shook his head. "No, I'm not." He turned to Veronica. "Veronica, this is Magnus Grayson. He's one of us."
Veronica cocked her head in greeting. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Grayson." She flashed a smile.
"Likewise, Ms. Veronica. Call me Magnus." Magnus answered, and smiled. "So you're the Veronica Balthazar couldn't stop talking about?"
"Yes she is." Balthazar said. He gave Magnus an exasperated smile.
"What can I do for you today, then?"
"I want to pick up my order, Magnus. I never had the chance to pick it up." Balthazar said with a deadpan expression, even if amusement curled in his voice. "And, also, if you still have a place we could rent to start our business again…"
"I might have a place for you, Balthazar." Magnus frowned. "But… I don't know about your order. It's been ten years."
Balthazar chuckled, and shook his head. "It's great to see you, Magnus."
"It's great to see you too, Balthazar. Why don't you and Ms. Veronica sit down, and I'll get you both something."
"Thank you." Balthazar replied. He walked Veronica to a table in one corner, and pulled her chair back. They both sat.
"Are you sure we can trust him, Balthazar?" Veronica asked, eyeing Magnus from afar. Magnus turned to look at her, and waved.
Balthazar shrugged. "He had been my confidant and ally for years, Veronica. A close friend. I think we can trust him." He took Veronica's hands in his own. "Don't worry, okay? Trust me."
Veronica smiled, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "You know I do."
Dave picked up Becky from the radio station, and took her to the roof top of the apartment.
He covered her eyes with his hands, and led her to a small picnic he had bribed Bennet to set up. Music played from an iPod and speakers in a corner. Their song had just started with the familiar cello – or violin, Dave could never tell – intro.
Dave dropped his hands, and Becky immediately turned and gave him a passionate kiss on the lips before she even saw the candlelight dinner he had prepared.
"This is really sweet, Dave."
"You haven't even seen what I prepared yet."
Becky laughed softly. "I don't need to see it to know how great it is."
Dave smiled. "Why thanks for placing your faith in me, Ma'am."
"You're welcome, kind sir." Becky made a little curtsy, and winked at Dave.
"Shall we?" Dave waved a hand at the picnic, and he led Becky to sit down.
Becky looked around, and stretched her legs out on the pavement. They sat on a big sheet of picnic blanket, lain on the rooftop of the building. There was a small picnic basket near their foot, and a candle stood between them. "What is this for?"
Dave shrugged. "I figured that since you help me save the world and all, that you deserve this little treat."
Becky stretched out a hand to touch Dave's face. "If I didn't, we would have all died. You would have died." She smiled, and twirled a strand of Dave's hair on her finger. "Besides, I still needed to answer your question about the note."
Dave pulled out two cans of Coke, and handed one over to Becky. "Sorry I don't have glasses for this."
"It's fine." Becky answered. For a while they just sat there, and stared out at the skyline. "This place is so beautiful."
"Yeah." Dave answered. He wasn't really thinking about the skyline, though. His eyes were on Becky. Her soft eyes, beautiful blonde hair... The fact that she accepted the deal with him being a sorcerer quite easily… That fact that she was brave enough to face her own fears to save the world… Those were just a few things that Dave really admired. She was perfect.
"You're not looking at the skyline." Becky said, and Dave snapped back to reality. Becky raised an eyebrow at him with a smirk, and leaned in over to kiss.
He did likewise, leaning forward on his arm. He heard something go clink, and Becky pulled away right before their lips met.
"What was that?"
Dave frowned, and looked around. "It's just salt. I think I may have spilled it. Uh, let me fix that." He grabbed the saltshaker's top and the cylinder, and started sweeping the salt with his fingers back into the shaker. "Did I spill any on you?"
"No." Becky answered. "Hm, you spilled some salt. Throw some over your shoulder or something – isn't that how the saying goes?"
Dave shrugged. "Never really believed in superstitions." He closed the top, and replaced it in the basket. "Now, where were we again?"
"We were…" Becky trailed off, and leaned in again for a kiss.
Dave did too. And then he felt his elbow brush against something. And then something felt really, really hot.
Becky yelped, and suddenly stood up. "Dave! Dave!" She gestured excitedly at his pants. "Oh my gosh, Dave! You're on fire!"
"What? Shit!" Dave yelped, and instinctively rolled in place. Instead of dousing out the fire, though, he just proceeded to set the blanket on fire. He stood up, yelping, and backed away, his pants still smoldering. "Shit!"
He closed his eyes, breathing deeply, and desperately reached out to the water in the air.
It congealed into droplets, and Dave immediately doused himself. He stared at his jeans blackened remains, and his boxers peeked from under a corner of the burnt material. He quickly covered it with a hand. His legs were covered in black, and his skinned knee was coated with soot. He was lucky – he suffered no burns, which Dave himself thought unusual. He didn't question bizarre blessings, though.
"I don't know what happened Becky! I'm sorry – what in the world…" Dave said, brushing away the ashes from the blanket that they brought. A small hole was in the middle, and all Dave can do was sigh in frustration.
His girlfriend may have been perfect, but whatever he prepared for them today was a disaster.
Becky, though, didn't seem to mind. She just gave him a long, deep kiss, and smiled. "Maybe we shouldn't place candles in between us next time."
Dave smiled too, although his looked a little more exasperated. "Yeah. Not a very good idea."
"We should go down, Dave. You need to change clothes." Becky shook her head in amusement. "Even if I like what I'm seeing. Are those boxers with pi on them?"
"Uh…" Dave quickly covered it with a hand, and Becky giggled. "Yeeeeeaaaaaaaah I think I should go change now."
"Let's go, then." They headed downstairs, and back to Dave's apartment.
Something about what happened didn't feel right. Dave knew he had to tell Balthazar about it – he felt residue of some sort of dark magic at play. He was sure of it. He couldn't say who was a target, or where the hexes came from. All he knew was that he needed to fix it before it does anything worse.
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