Full Summary: Set post-movie, just a short time after Priest returned to Cathedral City. A question continues to loom as to why Monsignor Orelas was so adamant about denying a secret. Priest returns to his childhood friend, Ella, someone that he has been denied access to for eighteen years. Unintentionally he brings her into the war that has been raging around them and finds that Ella is Black Hat's next intended target. Time ticks against the clock as Black Hat works to establish his new world power, and to exterminate the sinful human race.

Notes: I decided to start writing this on a whim, since seeing the movie for the first time last weekend … All canon characters and basic plot do NOT belong to me. R&R. Thanks.

Priest

"Redemption"

I: Rumors

I heard whispers through the trees, and between the euphemisms that people preferred to use rather than the real words that threatened to roll off their tongues. The town was full of rumors. Everyone seemed on edge, as if anticipating a storm that was about to break any moment. The thunder clouds were rolling fast and no one could outrun the rain that was sure to wash away our sins … the only question was whether we were going to be washed away with the floods.

"Did you hear?"

"Vampires"

"A priest …"

"His niece -"

"I heard daughter."

"A boy with him."

"Vampires destroyed Jericho."

"... to the city …"

"Was it destroyed?"

My ears were on full alert as I passed the whisperers on the street. To them I was nothing more than a nameless face that meandered through the towns, sometimes begging for money, sometimes begging for food, sometimes begging for a refuge from the place I called home. To them I was just a blind girl, staying with a man that could not keep a job, and who was violent …but no, I was a smart girl. His greed and anger was enough to keep me hidden from those that would prefer me dead.

"... passing through …"

"They need supplies."

"They're headed back from the city …"

"There's two of them."

Without another word, I began running, walking cane collapsed and tucked beneath my coat. As I ran I grabbed food, medical supplies, cloths … faster than anyone could see … by the time they realized the items were missing, I would be long gone … and this time, hopefully, for good. When I reached the outpost, it was empty. Nate must have gone out; the bike wasn't next to the house. He wasn't dumb enough to drink and ride his motorcycle; his brother's death was a testament to that.

With a heavy sigh, I took out my walking cane and entered the small, two bedroom single level house. The only space underneath the house was for hiding if and when the vampires ever came … or worse, the Clergy. The house was a mess, I could tell by all the bottles my feet were kicking, and the dust that tickled my nose, but they were coming … they had to come. How long had it been? Fifteen years? No … eighteen long years … we were childhood friends, bonded by a common trait …

I dismissed the sinful thoughts from my head as I began making stew, throwing all the vegetables I had swiped through the marketplace. I pulled out a packet of meat that had been place precariously on the edge of the butcher's stand, and hacked it into tiny pieces, being careful not to clip my own fingers. As the stew began to simmer, I collapsed in a chair, taking in what my life had become.

As much as he was mean to me, Nate loved me and if I ever left or if anyone ever tried to take me from him, they would have more than just an angry drunk on their hands. The clock on the wall ticked, moving the hands closer and closer to the storm that was coming … whether it was Nate's fury or the metal taste of war that was tangible only to those that had the power to feel it, I was not sure. In the distance the sound of motorcycles filled my ears, and I knew it could not be Nate because no one else came to our house … ever. His paranoia, and fear of my leaving him constricted him to the point that he had convinced himself that keeping me locked up as a pet was the only way to live … my one trip a week to the market was all I was afforded. Even then I sometimes felt his burning gaze on the back of my head.

The knock on the door was swift and urgent. I left the cane where it rested, on the side of the stove. Moving gingerly, hoping that it was my long lost friend, but nervous that it was someone that had come to betray me, I leaned against the door and whispered, "The beginning of eternity, the end of time and space; the beginning of every end, and the end of every place … what am I?"

As the pause between my words lengthened, I could feel my breath increase exponentially, and my head turned to the knives that were too far out of reach. The only option would be to meet my assailants head on, and hope for the best … though fighting in a dress was cumbersome.

"E …" the deep, hoarse voice whispered back, and as my lungs expelled all the air thirty-seconds of time could hold, I felt relief wash over me. Slowly, I opened the door, the sun was brilliantly orange as it reached the point where it was about to dip below the horizon. I didn't raise my head as he stood there, tall, battered, his heart beating tirelessly as it worked to pump enough blood to his damaged organs. I could hear the leaks in his veins and arteries, and a sickening feeling filled my gut.

"You are injured," was all I said as I stepped back to let my visitors arrive. As the other one passed I tilted my head in curiosity. She was certainly many inches taller than me, with an air of confidence that followed her from the world that hated her and into my humble home. I closed the door and turned to face them. "My home is your home, what do you need?"