Clocks Don't Work

Chapter 7

I disappear for you.

The Familiars huddled close together in the basement of the abandoned building, the stench of burnt flesh and decay around them. They gibbered and whined, looking at their mistress who was also in the corner. "Don't be afraid, my dears, we'll be fine." She said. Hallow and Eve fighting over bandaging her up. They hissed and snapped at one another, before shivering as a bone-chilling wind came into the room and the nuzzled closer to her. "Keep yourselves warm, don't worry about me." With that they all huddled closer to her, shivering. She pets a few of them that lingered close, "Don't be scared, darlings. Let's recover and then we can leave." They nodded and licked their wounds. A portal opened and she looked up, her Familiars getting on their guard and growling protectively, Lord Loss and Juni exiting the portal.

"So you're here." Lord Loss said, and the Familiars calmed down, the Countess wrapped in a moth-eaten blanket.

"The shadow got past my seals, laid siege to my home. My experiments broke out and it made thin of my familiars. Look- I only have a hundred or so left. My experiments fought for me bravely, and some are here with me, while others lay, waiting to be buried in the corridors of my domain." The Countess hugged herself. "I was pushed out my Faith, and a group of my familiars came with. We've been hiding here for a few human days- maybe a week- sleeping and recovering." She explained, and the other demonata helped her to her up and she fell to her knees, "He severed my lower half- I was forced to take on human legs. I still can't stand."

"Calm down, Countess. Your Familiars will multiply and we'll fix up your house." Lord Loss told her, and she nodded. A few more familiars appeared with a dead snow leopard. "Look, they brought you a new pelt to play with." He grinned and she nodded solemnly. "Come, stay in my realm. You can patch yourself up and take a few of my familiars if you wish."

"A kind offer, but here no humans come." The Countess said, "The air is thin, but there is magic within these hated blocks of material. I will heal here."

"It's nothing but dead magic, you can't heal with it. Come." He tried to coax, but she held her head,

"He told me I held no place in the ranks of the Demonata if I chose to not side with him! That I was a traitor!" She suddenly snapped, obviously having a mental breakdown now, and Lord Loss pushed Juni back into the portal they had just come through, some of her familiars backing away from her. Faith didn't move an inch, even as his creator shook violently, "He told me I'm old and that I should be at the Crux than my own home! 'If you want to live in a home when you should dwell in the Crux, then let me help make your home an imitation of the Crux!' That's what he told me!" Lord Loss sighed,

"Countess, we're both old demons. He holds a connection that Death can't deny or break, but, since you're like this- I guess I'll have to do THAT." Lord Loss concluded, and she looked up at him, "I see you've realized it. Yes, the move I learned from your dead husband- just before his passing. The move that only I and that Count ever knew- and you of course." She hesitated, and his arms lashed out.

~O~ Lord Loss's Realm ~O~

The Countess glared at Lord Loss, as she laid on the couch he had set her on, "I. Hate. You. So. Much. Right. Now." She hissed slowly, and he shrugged it off, Juni looking at her,

"Why isn't she moving?" Juni asked, and lord Loss wiggled his fingers,

"Because I have the Magic touch and she'll be paralyzed for a while. It's something you can only use on the Countess when she has human legs- didn't remember that, HUH, Countess?" The Countess hissed feral-like at him.

"I'll fucking murder you in the FACE when I can move, you pompous asshole!" The Countess snarled angrily,

"Calm down, you're just mad because I keep shoving the face in your face that I used the Eight-Finger-Touch on you." Lord Loss chuckled and she calmed down.

" 'Eight-Finger-Touch?' "Juni asked, and Lord Loss looked at her,

"It's the name of the secret move that paralyzes the Countess." Lord Loss purred, "You touch her in 8 different but specific places- a single millimeter off, and the technique is completely worthless." The Countess bared her teeth at him, "She can't fight back if you catch her off guard." He said proudly,

"Spick, Span, Hallow, Eve, kill this fucker now!" She ordered, and they pounced on Lord Loss. Tried to anyways, before Juni got in the way, and they all attacked her. She fell back as they drained magic from her with every attack, bite, and claw swipe. Lord Loss blasted them, but it bounced off a shield and raced back at him.

"Call them off!" Lord Loss growled at the Countess, who looked back emotionless, before looking at them and whistling. They disbanded and withdrew from Juni, regrouping around their stunned creator. Her werewolf additions searched her for wounds and upon finding none, lay down and slept. Faith lay down as well, the shadows rolling off and surrounding the countess like a rolling fog, before Lord Loss waved them away, "I won't have any of that in my realm." Faith called back his wisps and rested next to the Countess, and Juni healed herself.

"It seems your assistant is having problems." The Countess said, "Help her, I can't look away from the scene." She said, and Hallow turned his back to Lord Loss and threw up his cape, "Oh, thank you, Hallow." She smiled, and Hallow chirped affirmatively. Her familiars twitched and stopped moving, yellow tendrils moving towards her, as Lord Loss helped Juni heal,

"Good luck with that." Lord Loss told her sarcastically, the Countess ignoring him as Juni got to her feet.

"You know, I was thinking about throwing away my dignity and playing board games with humans, what do you think?" She countered sharply, and Lord Loss grinned.

"Funny, I was thinking about stealing bodies and salvaging them to make my body a full one- care to share any techniques with me?" Lord Loss remarked, and the Countess's familiars shivered.

"Not really, you just have to seduce them, which you clearly still seem to have some charm in you. (demon gibber gabber), you seem to be lacking in the physical attraction area, so you may have some difficulty." A point for Countess, Juni noted uncomfortably, as Lord Loss's lips twitched,

"You're too stubborn for your own good, Countess." Lord Loss said crossly, and she looked away, "One day, you're going to be necromanced, and I shall dance upon your open, empty grave while you're forced to do the bidding of some necromancer."

"You're very spiteful, Lord Loss. Is it because I don't keep to my promise to call upon you when I'm in trouble?" The countess and his temper flared, "Take your frustration out on your booty call- I've been told hate sex is fantastic." She said hollowly, before her eye twitched a few times- her left, then the right, and she finally closed them, letting the tendrils drain something from her familiars and feed it to her. Her finger tips twitched, as did the end of her feet. Her toes wiggled before curling. "I believe I'm being summoned."

"You're not going anywhere in your condition." Lord Loss growled, but dark bandages wrapped around her anyways, tightening on her form. She had this look in her eyes, like she wanted to stab Lord Loss repeatedly, before she was pulled through the floor. "…What was that look for?" He asked no one in particular.

"Master- The Shadow is calling us." Juni informed him, and Lord Loss nodded, kissing her on the cheek, and opening a portal for them both.

~O~O~O~

A large amount of time had passed, when the Countess returned to the Demonata realm, having slaughtered the necromancer when she tired of him, and stored her human vessel's body in another, unmarked graveyard. She returned to her realm, her familiars having cleaned up the house she stayed in with them. Something was…different.

The windows were boarded up, and the doors were barred. Like when Death had attacked her home. She walked to her lounge; things lay in shattered messes, askew here and there. She closed her eyes, opening a window, and crossing, coming to Lord Loss's realm. She entered on her own will, not caring that the familiars of his, hissed warnings and threats. Lord Loss sat in his webby throne, glancing up at her. He looked as though his human heart had been ripped out and stepped on, "You've been gone a while, Juniper."

"Time passes faster here than the Human world." She said softly, looking around, "where is your attendant?' Lord Loss covered his face,

"Dead. Killed by a meddling girl while Death is indisposed." Lord Loss said, sighing. "If I could love, I think it would have been my sweet Swan." Though the Countess didn't move, those words ripped through her soul like hungry chain saws. So that was it, huh? All of her work for nothing?

"I was thinking on this matter a long while, while I was in the human world." The Countess spoke, hands behind her back, "I think- it's my time to go to the Crux." Lord Loss looked over at her with surprise.

"The Crux! Why?" Lord Loss asked, baffled, "You'll-"

"That's right." She cut him off, smiling. "I have a soul that Death wants…but since he's indisposed, I can be free now." The Countess bowed, "I…just wanted to tell you that. It was pleasurable knowing you." She opened another Portal, and walked through it, Lord Loss piggy backing on it as it closed.

"WHY!" Lord Loss demanded, the Countess standing in front of a large panel that looked onto a completely different world, other Demons going to the panel, touching it- and vanishing completely. She looked at him, "Why are you leaving me too?"

"Don't throw a little bitch fit." She told him bluntly, "Think of me as going on a long, slow trip."

"No!" Lord Loss hissed, rushing at her. She moved aside and back, grabbing his wrist and pulling his over, kissing his forehead.

"I think…I loved you, Lord Loss." She told him, pulling out something from him and holding it to her chest, as her back collided with the large panel…

And she turned into sparkling, silvery dust.

"Master!" Someone called. A familiar, female voice called. He opened his eyes, as a woman came into the room, making him look over as the woman sat at the edge of his chair. "Did you fall asleep again, Master?" She asked, and he stared at her,

"Indeed, it seems I have." He answered, looking at Juni, before stroking her head. Juni looked forward,

"Did you draw this, Master?" Juni asked, making him look to where her gaze sat, on a picture in front of him.

"…Yes." He answered, having problems remembering something, but he remembered that. Beyond that picture, the room was filled with pictures and canvases of paintings, all different, but the same girl in all of them.

In the one in front of him, it was a picture of a girl, smiling happily, holding a variety of flowers. Her eyes held an emotion he didn't recognize, but Juni did, and stared captivated, at the picture. The girl wasn't a girl, but a woman, the wind going at her back, pulling long, silvery strands of hair around her almost making her look like an angel. Her dress was black and white, almost like an old-fashioned maid's uniform. The woman looked sad, but so very happy, holding her bouquet of fresh wild flowers, in such an abundance that they over flowed from her arms. A faint blush on her cheeks as some of her flowers were playfully taken by the wind. "She looks so sad…but it's like she's come to terms with everything." Juni observed, and he, himself, nodded. "She looks familiar…"

"She does." He agreed, unable to think of a name, except one. He lifted up a pen that rested in one of his 8 hands, and touched the tip to the canvas, in the upper right corner.

Juniper

He wrote, before setting the pen down, and Juni laid her head in his lap. It seemed as if life sparkled in the painted woman's silver eyes. Lord Loss got up and set the picture among with the others.

"Hey…if I die, remember me, ok?" She asked him once, and he laughed.

"You're a Demon Master- you're not going to die." Lord Loss said, too young to know this wasn't true, but she smiled.

"Yeah. You're right."

The End