"Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened
of responsibility... to wrangle the words of a certain someone."
Dumuzid, quoting Sigmund Freud
"Humans. Isn't it telling that the only time they truly enjoy life… is when they are fully committed to throwing it away?"
The words lifted through the heavy, muffled funk, out of place and unwelcome. Philosophy sat poorly in the realm of Chaos. Introspection sat even worse in Vincent's new life. The new Lord of the Underworld frowned at the ceiling of his throne-room; he blew another smoke ring upwards, trying to smother the unwanted wisdom with ash and addiction.
"That's deep," he exhaled languidly, "but I don't remember inviting you to this party."
The party agreed one by one in exhausted, plaintive mumbles and whines. The tangled mess of naked bodies were laid out across the throne's shallow steps like a half-finished rug. The velvet red drapes were their only mattress. There were no beds in the Underworld, largely because no bed was big enough. A few of the newer demonesses shifted lazily, moving just enough to shoot the interloper an acidic glare. Dumuzid didn't appear phased in the least. He was laid out comfortably next to their naked entirety in his full dinner suit. He looked more like a corpse than a participant.
"Take a hike," Vincent added, in case the Shepherd hadn't taken the hint.
"… Forgive me," Dumuzid apologised, sounding utterly unapologetic. "Sometimes these words just come to me. Passing fancies, if you will."
"Yeah, well. Take your passing fancies someplace else," Vincent mumbled, stretching. The movement caused an echo of girlish and excited giggles, but he ignored them, feeling petty and grumpy. He'd been feeling that way for weeks, and he was still trying to figure out why. A familiar finger traced an unsubtle pattern over his chest.
"Leave him be, baby," Catherine pouted, moving like liquid sin against his bare side.
"What the hell does he want, anyway?" Vincent wondered nastily past his cigarette.
"Silly. He just wants to join in our fun."
"Sure, sure, whatever," Vincent yawned. He gave a small jostle with his left foot. The demoness with her cheek pressed adoringly against his ankle made a small, surprised noise. "Uh, have that one. She's new."
"Actually," Dumuzid interjected over the furious exclamation from the demon, "I came to speak to you, milord. About business."
"Business- You're shitting me," Vincent groaned, smothering his face with a palm. His groan turned into a genuine moan of misery when Catherine abruptly gave his chest a fluttering pat and sat up. She dislodged a few limbs as she did, shedding their consorts like anyone else would shed bedding.
"Ooh, Um... I... I should go, then," she decided aloud. "I mean, I have work today and all, and Pauly is so funny about our appointments. And it's not like I'll be missing anything fun! So don't wait up, 'kay?"
Vincent made a half-hearted grab at her leg, but the succubus stepped free of the cluster and cheerfully made her way down the throne-room's steps as if her day had just gotten better. It was incredibly unfair. Vincent knew his had just gotten much, much worse.
"And the rest of you. You heard the lady," Dumuzid announced. He clapped his hands curtly before adding, "Step to it, back to work! We have a job to do, you know!"
The harem dispersed like smoke, pouting balefully at one another as they did. Suddenly alone, Vincent levered himself sullenly up on the final step of his throne room. He put his cigarette out on the heavy crimson drape laid across the floor, hoping maliciously that a fire would start, knowing that it wouldn't. Instead, he struck a match on the corrugated edge of his own horn and lit up another.
Nicotine was the only little human vice he'd brought with him. His habit had picked up because of it.
"Your timing sucks," he muttered.
"What is time, to our kind," the Shepherd replied past a broad smile. The expression was weirdly forced. Clearing his throat carefully, Dumuzid adjusted his sunglasses and tipped his head. "It gives us the ability to best apply ourselves, don't you agree?"
"Apply ourselves? Seriously, could you have made that sound anymore like work?"
The deep lines around Dumuzid's eyes shifted, tugged into an expression that Vincent couldn't see because of his sunglasses. All that was left was that broad smile, getting more brittle and strained by the second.
"I regret to inform you, my Lord," Dumuzid said through his teeth. "That my technicians have been investigating the problem with rust in the Torture Chamber. They've deduced that there has not been enough blood to grease the wheels, so to speak."
"Not enough blood, huh?" Vincent mumbled, bored.
"Yes, exactly that. In your predecessor's time, an impressive 95 sheep per calendar month were participating in the challenges, which naturally provided the… uh… lubricant for the machine, if you will. This was quite satisfactory. I hesitate to point out that in the 6 months since you have... stepped up, that number has dropped."
Dumuzid bent at the waist, leaning in closer. A dull red light flared from behind his glasses for a moment when his grin revealed teeth.
"Alas, now only 8 sheep arrive for the nightly climb. This, as you can imagine, is a problem."
"How's that a problem?" Vincent complained, blowing smoke into the Shepherd's face. "That's a good thing for your mission, right? It means less fruitless relationships or whatever are happening topside… The way I see it, less is more. Can I go now?"
Vincent heard the grinding of teeth.
"My Lord. Need I remind you that the Tower's contract requires you to provide the necessary succubi to assist in this endeavor. Their aid has the greatest impact on the sheep's morality, as you know. You cannot simply... keep them for yourself."
"Watch me…" Vincent mumbled petulantly, scratching at his naked gut. The very best part of being the Lord of the Underworld was this. Dumuzid could huff and whine all he liked, but he'd never dare cross Vincent. No one else would either. There was not a soul, immortal or no, that could make any decisions for him at this point. The very worst part of the Underworld was how easily boredom slithered into the fun. Who'd have thought that having things constantly go your way could get dull..?
Dumuzid looked offended. His glasses were beginning to slip, and another flare of red peeked over the tinted rim.
"But- culling the flock is our purpose! Our divine right and responsibility! The Underworld is not your local bar, need I remind you, and you have an obligation to-"
"Of course, the Stray Sheep!" Vincent burst out, sitting up suddenly. Dumuzid leapt away from him as if he was expecting a backhanded slap.
"O-O-Of course?" he echoed in stutter.
"Jeez, I couldn't figure out why I was feeling so down and out, you know? When really, all I wanted was a drink."
Dumuzid's jaw dropped a little further.
"It won't kill me to take the night off, I have been working pretty hard. With the girls, I mean. Hey, I should go right now and- Ah, right. This."
Vincent stood at the height of the stairs and ruffled at his hair, adjusting the familiar old gesture to account for the horns emerging from his skull. No hat in the world would hide them. He didn't need a mirror to know his eyes were no longer blue, and no amount of dim bar lighting was going to hide the shade of hellfire they'd become, either.
He stood on the tiered throne room and closed his eyes in deep thought.
"Uh... Should probably ask Catherine," Vincent confessed, thumbing the blunted tip of one twisted horn. "Dunno how to... well, you know. Switch these off. And I haven't worn clothes in so long I can't remember how they work. She'll know how to fix this up. It's her job and all."
"A job that she's in the middle of," Dumuzid managed, appalled.
"Yeeaah, who cares about that. It's just one night! You really need to live a little, 'Zid. Let that hair down."
Dumuzid ran his hand quickly over his slick backed hair as if frightened that it had peeled free of its mould. He jumped again when Vincent gave him an accommodating pat on the shoulder. The pat turned into a not-so-subtle push.
"Go round up the girls."
"B-But, my Lord-"
"Hey, did that sound like a request?" Vincent interrupted pleasantly. "Off you go, now. Break a leg!"
The Shepherd disappeared from the room in a hasty flurry of black ash, looking affronted and indignant as he did. Vincent, unimpressed, waved the lingering cloud away with a flap of the hand. Finally alone, he clapped his palms together and gave them a gleeful rub.
It had been 6 months since he'd convinced Nergal to let him live with his daughter Catherine in the Underworld. It had been 5 months and 28 days since he had beaten the old goat from his throne and taken it for himself. Chaos treated time differently, however. Vincent had counted the months because the determined twist of his horns had steadily pushed out further and further. Catherine had shed her lace and lingerie and let her psychedelic patterning bleed back into her flesh. But past skin deep... well, change didn't happen down here. Not the normal, human kind.
But outside of the Underworld? The mystery was the most excitement he'd had in weeks.
Was Toby still simpering after Erica, or had he finally wised up? Jonny had been cutting himself up over some girl that had no idea he had it for her bad... Something must have happened by now. Orlando always had some insane scheme in the works. Hell, Erica was always stirring up trouble of some kind, she had to have new gossip to share.
The Stray Sheep was about to have Hell open its gates onto its doorstep, and Vincent could hardly wait.
The faucet dripped into the grimy basin steadily. Katherine watched the water circle the drain, hands gripping the disgusting sink tightly. Her french nails looked strange to her in the dim light; her bare arms stranger still. She tightened her grip, then lifted her eyes. An unfamiliar face stared back out of the cracked and spotted mirror. The tiny bathroom at the Stray Sheep probably hadn't had a decent clean in years. Katherine looked at her carefully brushed and painted visage through the grime, feeling naked without her glasses despite having spent two months using contacts.
There was a tap at the door.
"S'just me," a familiar voice slipped in through the old wood. "Hope you're decent! Coming in, Kat."
Katherine sighed and shifted to the side. The single bathroom to the bar had never been big enough for one; sharing it amongst the ladies was a disaster, and it was one of the reasons why Katherine had stopped going during peak hour in the first place. Erica slipped in to the narrow space comfortably, purse tucked under arm because she was still in uniform and working. She fished out her bold red lipstick from its depths.
"I wondered where you ran off to," she said around the wedge of crimson.
"I didn't run off," Katherine shot back, arms folded defensively over her chest. "I'm just... thinking. It's hard to do that out there."
"I'll say," Erica laughed. She paused and caught her friend's eye in the grimy mirror. "... So what's got the cogs turning? Is it that message from your boyfriend?"
"Paul cancelled on me. He's working late."
There was a pregnant silence.
"Oh, no you don't," Erica chided at her via the mirror. "Working late actually happens sometimes, you know."
Katherine bristled, then swung her eyes away defensively.
"I know that," she managed.
"Good. Because not all men are pigs. That's our mantra, remember? Say it with me, not all men are pigs."
Katherine echoed the sentiment through her teeth, if only to change the topic. She flushed when the door opened again and a young woman entered.
The girl was breathtaking. She was blonde with impossible little ringlets, dressed in the kind of white that only the truly bold could wear. She had stunning blue eyes that fluttered when she daintily touched them up with mascara in the mirror. She was humming to herself in that cute, prissy way girls did nowadays.
"Anyway, I like Paul," Erica continued cheerfully, pouting her lips at her reflection. "As far as boyfriends go, he's steady, nice enough... gets along with kids and is good with money. Hey, if he's great in the sack, then you've found yourself a keeper!"
"Can we drop the subject?" Katherine managed, turning her head to scowl at the far wall. The pre-school humming was beginning to drive her around the bend, but just as she began to grit her teeth, it abruptly stopped.
Into the silence, a ridiculously effeminate voice said,
"Oh, shoot. Um, hey, does anyone have some concealer?"
Erica was packing away her makeup. She faltered, surprised.
"I thought I had it covered," the strange girl continued, tugging at her bra straps. It took a while to register in the dim light, but there was an unmistakable hicky on the height of her breast, half covered by the lacy hem of her bra.
Why the girl insisted on wearing a dress that hid neither the bra nor the blemish was a mystery. Erica stared shamelessly. She eventually levered her gaze up to cast Katherine a loaded look, then managed to conjure a pleasant smile from god-knows-where.
"Uh, I do. Always be prepared, that's my motto," she said generously, passing over a round compact. The blonde girl did a bad job dabbing away the bruise, then left the compact on the sink edge and pushed herself away from the mirror. She gave her curls a little flick. They bounced buoyantly.
"There," she said, satisfied. "Not that I like hiding my baby's love for me, but, you know… It makes me look skeezy."
She finished adjusting her bright red sash and then left with that stupid little tune again, completely unaware that Erica spent the entire time gaping at her in pure disbelief. Katherine pinched the bridge of her nose, giving a heartfelt sigh. The night wasn't improving. Paul had promised her an elaborate and pricey martini, something classy to celebrate their two month anniversary. Katherine had flipped a coin to decide if she'd accept or not. A fateful Tails later, and her date was cancelled an hour after it was supposed to have started. Being stood up at the Stray Sheep of all places was the truly the coup de grace. Maybe she should have just gone straight home.
The door closed on the questionable young blonde. Erica shook her head as if to dislodge the scene from memory then gave a helpless shrug.
"Anyway, cheer up for me, okay?" she urged quietly. "I-I know it's hard seeing the place again, but you're doing great. The guys are really glad to see you too. Hell, I haven't seen Jonny smile in ages."
"... I guess I've been pretty inconsiderate, haven't I?" Katherine admitted with a black sigh.
The breakup had been her decision. Avoiding her friends hadn't been her decision, but it had happened anyway. Ending everything with Vincent had been harder than she wanted anyone to know; she had needed space, not pity, so she'd taken five weeks off from work and shut her bedroom door on the world. She'd never eaten so much ice-cream in her life. By the time Katherine had felt like she'd stuffed her stupidity and weakness down into the darkest pits of her heart … well, suddenly the world felt like a different place. It had turned the Stray Sheep into unsafe territory, a place of memories so good that they were bad. Orlando, Jonny and Erica fell into the same pitiful category. She was vaguely aware that her distance might have been hurtful, but it was a hard bridge to cross.
It wasn't until months later that Katherine had finally caught up. It wasn't until she shared a coffee with Erica that she found out Vincent had disappeared as suddenly as she had. No one had seen him since.
It took everything she had to not care.
"That pig," Katherine ground out, if only to crush the concern again. "Come on. I'm owed a pricey martini."
The door creaked open. She knew something was very wrong the second she stepped out of the bathroom.
The bar felt muggier than usual, thick with a warmth that had nothing to do with the spring night. The gaudy pink neon lights that the Boss had installed so lovingly had deepened to an almost-red. In the small amount of time that she was in the bathroom, the entire bar had been filled. It was so packed with bodies that there was no room to move; Katherine had never seen so many patrons in the Stray Sheep. Most of them were women. Gorgeous, provocative, simpering women.
Erica was stunned.
"What the hell?" she managed.
"Clientele," the Boss said blackly from behind the bar, polishing a glass vengefully. For a self professed ladies' man, he appeared incredibly bitter about the sudden crowd.
Every stool at the bar had been taken, and the wait for a Jaded Lady cocktail was horrific. Katherine spilled most of it in her attempt to get back to the booths, and Erica took the long route on her deliveries just so she could help clear a path.
Katherine was trying to find somewhere to wipe the sticky liquor from her fingertips when Toby erupted from the crowd, looking pale and utterly horrified.
"Woah, sweet-cheeks!" Erica managed, deftly swinging her tray out of the way. "Careful with the merchandise!"
Katherine backed up to avoid the swinging tray, bumping right into Orlando. Half a second later, and suddenly there was a wall of young mechanic in front of her.
"W-W-Wait, don't! You can't! I mean, stop! Like, right there!" Toby shouted at her.
"H-Hey, not so fast sunshine! You went and got a drink without us?" Orlando managed in the same instant, right in her ear.
One was waving his hands directly in her face like a traffic cop, the other had wrapped an arm around her shoulders in a not-so-subtle attempt to herd her towards the bar.
They were bustling her away from her seat.
"W-what's the matter with you two?" Katherine demanded, having more of her expensive drink spilled. Something about Orlando's desperate grin set her on edge. She tried to elbow him away from her, but she'd barely swung her arm back when it was suddenly seized in a tight grip.
"Katherine," Jonny began in a low voice. "T-there's something I wanted to talk to you about... You got a minute? Outside?" His cool demeanour would have been a great deal more convincing if his grip on her arm hadn't been a vice. When she gaped at him, as confused as she was angry, he gave her an anxious tug.
The last of her untouched drink fell to the floor. She stared down at the wet patch, disbelieving.
"Alright, what's going on?" she burst out furiously at them, loud enough to rise above the din. "Are you drunk? I just want to sit down and have one lousy drink! Answer m-"
"-you're kidding me… Katherine?"
The whole bar shed its heat and noise in a horrible moment of vertigo. Jonny, Orlando and Toby all froze with the same expression of horror. Erica was the only one that looked back to the booth; the colour drained from her face and she very nearly dropped her tray.
Katherine knew then that she didn't want to look.
"Oh my god… Vincent?" Erica managed.
He sat in his old seat as if he'd never left it, elbows on the placemat and long legs stretched out under the table. The stunning blonde from the bathroom was plastered possessively against his arm, cheek laid against his bicep and one hand toying idly with his fingers.
Katherine felt her knees give a little. Orlando's stupid bear hug around her shoulders went tight instantly. It was only for a tenth of a second. She used it to regain her balance before anyone could see.
"Is this another of your friends, sweetie?" the blonde suddenly asked brightly. She tugged at the arm pressed against her breasts, all sugar and sweetness. Only her eyes betrayed her. "Hi there," she continued, expression flashing with malice, "I'm Catherine."
"-and I figured that since we were in town and all, we could stop at the movies to see Dread Night 5 – that part with the meat grinder was so cool – anyway, then it was late and we came right here! It's not really my scene, but I guess it's okay. This place isn't really built for lots of people, is it, baby?"
Catherine with a 'C' fluttered her thick lashes adoringly at the man beside her, idly swirling her French Martini in her free hand. She'd been talking non-stop ever since everyone had reluctantly crammed themselves into the booth, totally unaffected by the tense atmosphere. Vincent didn't answer her. Whatever conversation the blonde repeatedly tossed his way seemed to go in one ear and out the other as if he was concussed.
Katherine eyeballed the stained edges of the placemat under her hand, trying not to notice that her ex-boyfriend was staring at her. Too late, she realised that she was drumming her nails against the tabletop. She forced her fingers down flat, taking a deep breath.
"Well, it's not the classiest of dives, but it's home," Orlando murmured, because no one else was speaking. He kept adjusting his hat, as if wanting to hide under it.
"Vince talks about it all the time," Catherine said expressively. She giggled and made a grab for his hand. "It's good to see it again, right?"
"Uh, yeah," Vincent managed, rousing from his stupor for half a second before sinking away into that dim stare again. Katherine's eyebrow twitched. Toby was standing at the table edge, having traded his spot so Katherine could sit. She hadn't wanted to, but the other Catherine had made such a fuss about her joining in for a friendly catch up that she couldn't politely refuse. She was angry, embarrassed and uncomfortable... but she was an adult. She was going to be civil to the brazen little hussy if it killed her.
"I don't get it," Toby announced suddenly, hands stuffed in his pockets. "So where have you been all this time?"
Vincent didn't answer him. Catherine did, in a voice so dismissive it was almost rude.
"Just around," she said before downing the last of her cocktail. She peered at the empty glass for a moment, then bumped Vincent with her bare shoulder. "Scoot, honey! Baby needs her refill!"
She had to prod him in the ribs to bring him out of his daze. Vincent shuffled out of his seat and helped his new lover to her feet, barely paying attention. The casual way that he held her hand made Katherine reach up to adjust her glasses, but she winced when her fingers found nothing. Cursing her decision to convert to contacts, she tugged at the ends of her hair instead. She really needed something to do with her hands. She hadn't found anything by the time Catherine made a fond little tutting noise, danced her fingers up Vincent's chest and then pulled him down for an unnecessary kiss.
Jonny covered his face with his palm and Orlando sunk so far into his slouch that he nearly disappeared under the table.
Katherine gritted her teeth. She refused to look, but that didn't stop the noise of their mouths from reaching her ears. It went on entirely too long. Suddenly being the mature, polite adult was a lot harder than it should have been.
"Mmm. You taste like rum and cola," Catherine purred as she pulled away. She brushed her dress off, collected her empty glass and then swept away with a clack of her thick heels on the wooden floor. The silence stretched on long after she'd left.
"Dude," was all Orlando could say with a wince.
And then Erica came out of nowhere and belted Vincent with her empty tray.
"What's the matter with you?" she hissed, furious.
"Ow, wh-what was that for?" Vincent demanded, rubbing his elbow.
"What was – you can't – that was just - You inconsiderate asshole! Toby, hit him!"
"What?" Toby yelped, leaping back.
"Hey, calm down!" Vincent tried again, looking frustrated and beleaguered. "Jeez, what's the problem now? I don't see you for a few months and this is the welcome I get? Talk about tough love."
"I'll show you tough love," the waitress threatened, then drew back a fist.
Katherine brought her palm down on the tabletop with a thunk.
"Erica," she ordered, voice harsh even to her own ears. Everyone gaped at her. She bristled under the scrutiny. The plan had been to keep her emotions under control, but they had been too close to the surface, too caustic… Awkwardly, she cleared her throat and ran a hand uncomfortably through her hair to keep her hands busy. "... No one has to hit anyone. Really, it's not a big deal. Don't make it one."
Vincent was staring at her again.
"But, Kay," Erica managed.
"No, I'm serious. Listen, I don't think I'm doing anyone any favours by being here. I should go."
Jonny half rose from his seat, expression partly pleading, mostly sympathetic. His pity and guilt just made it worse.
"H-Hey, you just got here," Vincent said haltingly, almost hopeful. One of his hands had shifted forward, an echo of an old gesture. Katherine very deliberately stopped being mature and reasonable for the half second it took to glare at him. He recoiled from the expression.
"It's okay. I had plans anyway," she said finally, then excused herself from the cramped booth. Thankfully no one stopped her. She felt like she actually had her dignity intact when she forced her way through the strangely packed crowd and towards the door, relieved just to have the whole scene at her back. Most of the women in the bar were watching her curiously as she passed.
The night air was a shocking relief when Katherine stumbled out onto the street. Their town's nightlife wasn't an exciting one; the roads were silent and empty, and even the insects circling the streetlights appeared half asleep. The quiet made it too easy to think. Katherine stood there with her hands curled into fists, breathing deeply and slowly so that she could regain all the air that she'd lost in the stuffy bar. When minutes passed and she still felt suffocated, she tilted her head back until the streetlight touched her face. It was hot with a humiliated blush.
Her eyes prickled suddenly, unbidden, and Katherine stomped her foot in frustration with herself.
She was so busy cursing her idiocy that she almost didn't hear the door open.
She spun, nearly tripping on her heels.
Vincent stood hidden on the bar's stoop, a shadowy, indistinct figure with an all-too-familiar slouch. He still had one hand on the door, as if it anchored him to the world in some strange way.
"I have nothing to say to you," she replied thickly, retreating a step.
"W-Wait, just-" he began, leaning out of the shadow just enough for the neon-sign to light half of his face. "… Y-you really shocked me back there. I thought the guys would still be around but- well, I barely recognised- I mean, you look-" Whatever tangent he was on surprised him; Vincent let the sentence hang and tugged at his earlobe in embarrassment. He took a small breath before continuing, "What I mean to say is, I'd feel pretty lousy if you left just because of me."
"Vincent," she replied flatly, unimpressed. "What did you expect?"
He paused for a moment to run his eyes over her face. A hesitant smile tugged at his lips when he said, "Hah. Yeah, I guess. Hey… can I buy you a drink?"
Katherine didn't know if she should be enraged or confused.
"Are you - Vincent, you can't be serious! Do you really expect me to act like... like nothing happened?" she demanded starkly. Her cell trilled at her and she swore under her breath when she fished it out of her purse. "Just… Go back inside, you idiot. Everyone's been worried about you."
She was reading Paul's apology text when Vincent scuffed at the doorframe with his boot and said something in a low voice. She didn't hear what he said, but she didn't need to. That halting mumble meant excuses. She snapped the cell shut.
"I have to go," Katherine said with a tired sigh.
"C'mon, what'll it take for you to stay?" Vincent asked quietly, then gave her a charming smile.
It was easy, knowing, self-assured and so unlike Vincent Brooks that it was disturbing. She paused, momentarily dumbstruck. Vincent had always had his own special brand of charisma, but it was that useless, nice and helpless kind that Katherine had never been able to resist. This confidence was new. She found her shoulders dropping from their tense hunch.
But then the memory of a badly hidden hicky rose up to slap her, and whatever was in that smile that had hooked her was dispelled.
"… Go back inside," Katherine ordered belatedly. She allowed herself a small moment of immaturity when she added, "Anyway, that was my boyfriend, Paul. Turns out he doesn't have to work late after all. I'm going now. Goodbye, Vincent."
She left him stunned and speechless on the doorstep. If she'd expected a little satisfaction at the shock, she was severely disappointed. There was no satisfaction. There was just the same old hurt, so spread out and settled that she had no idea who it belonged to any more. She could only set her shoulders against the sensation of staring eyes.
And despite her desperate wishes to the otherwise, Katherine knew deep down that this wasn't the last time she'd cross paths with her unfaithful ex. The truly horrible part was that she didn't know how she felt about that.
A/N: Something a little different for a fandom that favors the blonde. I'm a pretty staunch VincexKath shipper, and I'm saddened that there's not more support for 'em. I shall do my best to represent! Also, despite my undying dedication to the TrueKath ending, there's just too much story potential in messing around with this one!
Firstly, beginnings aren't my strong suit, but I do try. The plot is certainly more involved than it seems.
Secondly, Vincent. Demon Lord Vince and Human Vince don't seem to have much in common, and this fic shall try to explore that gap. Forgive the ping-ponging characterisation, it is intentional.
Finally, I'm keen to stick to this rating, but this is a Catherine fanfic we're talking about. If I blur the lines, please say so and I'll reassess.
Thanks for reading!