Title: Paying A Call In London
Series: Neverwhere/Hetalia
Character/pairing: The Marquis de Carabas, England
Rating: PG-13
Author's note: comment_fic: Axis Powers Hetalia/Neverwhere, England, London Calling. Note for those who are following Good Enough: I've got updates, I'm just waiting for my beta to finish the first one. This fic, however, was part of a timed challenged, thus had no betaing due to lack of time. Apologies for any mistakes.

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"Hello," he says to the magician cloaked in black, dead drunk in the gutter. He pushes the side of the magician with his boot until he stirs awake.

"What do you want?" The magician says. "I doubt you've come here for the pleasure of my company."

"I've heard things," The Marquis says vaguely, gesturing with his hand.

This wakes the magician up more. "If it's from that bastard of a Frenchman, then he's a damn liar. Also I can drink more than the bloody git. If it's from that ungrateful wretch of former ward of mine, then you can tell him to go to hell!"

"Neither," The Marquis says. "I believe you owe me a favor."

"So the pipers come to call eh? Oh bugger it all," the magician mutters. He holds his head in his hands. The Marquis de Carabas simply smiles, his teeth very white and very sharp.

The magician blinks up with brilliant green eyes that were covered in a cris-cross of red veins from his night out. "Bloody gits thought they could out drink me," he mutters.

"I'm sure you showed them," the Marquis says, with a faintly superior, amused smile.

"Damn straight I did. Now where did I put that cure?"

Bottles clink. Empty bottles spill out from seemingly endless pockets within the cloak. As an owner of a coat with such pockets, Marquis can't help but admire it.

"There it is!" The magician says. He drinks down a foul liquid, and spits out a curse as he finishes, his face contorted in a grimace. Under the cloak he looks a young man. Punkish hair, untrimmed eyebrows and green eyes. Marquis knows that he is centuries old, as most magicians are. This one seems especially old, ancient in his knowledge and ways. There is something dangerous there, a sight of it in his bloodshot eyes. The Marquis makes a note not to double cross this one.

He smiles, diplomatic, yet his patience is wearing thin. He only has so much time to set these things in motion. One misstep by a fool, and then all his plans will be spoiled.

"So what do you want this time?" The magician asks. "Somehow I don't think it's a love potion."

"Hardly," The Marquis says drily. "I need to put my life elsewhere so I can retrieve it."

The magician snorts. "You're a glutton for punishment. People say there's no pain in death, but they're just hopeful sods. It's a bitch to die, and even more to live where you can't die and all there is in this dark world is the cold. The terrible cold that you never get out of your bones."

"I've heard conflicting tales of death," The Marquis says.

The magician sneers. "You really think you're man enough to face death and see who wins? You know, death doesn't like being cheated. She'll stalk you and never leave you. You think you're man enough to take that?"

"There's only one way to find out," The Marquis says amiably. He lifts his shoulders in a shrug, his expression containing a feline smugness.

The magician scoffs. "Young ones. Always think they can do it. Here's one clue that Orpheus never took to heart: Don't look back."

"I'll remember it," The Marquis says.

The magician takes a swig of the alcohol and begins to the circle about it, chalk to his fingers. He mutters to himself as he makes out the symbols. Swearing, not chanting, he begins up the ritual.

"No safe, pure spot?" The Marquis asks.

"Pfft. Children these days with their safe spaces. All of England is home and I can draw wherever I like. The people who call themselves magician these days. Makes me laugh."

The magician reaches out with a hand and suddenly the Marquis is hit with a terrible cold flooding through him. It soon passes, and he feels lighter. The magician cups his hands and breathes, and a little egg forms itself in his hands.

The magician hands it over, in a careless manner. "I don't provide the boxes to keep them."

"Any further instructions?" The Marquis asks.

"Find a fool to take and save it for another day. Threaten to haunt them if they don't," The magician said.

"Many thanks," The Marquis said. He bowed once, but the Magician had already returned to drinking. The Marquis was glad to be with someone who didn't want the wasted time of pleasantries. He had many miles to travel yet. He already had a fool in mind.