A/N: Yay… here's another chapter. I only own Cassie

When I opened my eyes, a stark white ceiling greeted me. Where am I? Another church? I reached out to my left. A metallic rail, like the ones on cots in hospitals. What happened? I haven't drunk for a while so I know I didn't drive like that. Then it came crashing back to me: leaving the monastery, changing in broad daylight, almost killing someone, the other side called her Astarte, demonic angel, daughter of Satan. Then a burst of water. Then blackness.

A voice greeted me from my left. "Ah, so sleeping beauty finally awakens and joins the world of the living." There she was: the girl I tried to kill. She looked about my age. A book was open on her lap and two boys sat with her. The picture wasn't a rare one. Teen pregnancy was pretty common nowadays. But they looked about five… it might be some freaky demon thing. "Though I suppose after seeing your other side, you could be considered a sleeping ugly." She set down the book and the boys who I could only assume were her sons. Other side. She said it with such ease as if it were to be expected.

Deciding to try and sit up (mobility was usually limited after changing back), I asked, "What happened?" rubbing my face with my palm trying to remember the details. I didn't want to say what was on my mind: Did I kill anyone?

She didn't seem to understand the context of my question. "You came charging in on your familiar, interrupting my lesson in the process I may add, and claimed you were going to punish those who had committed wrong as is your nature." I gathered that much. But my familiar? I became somewhat familiar with the world of exorcists in the past two years, and familiars were pets of sorts, but the Ghost Rider demon was just something that came and went with my changes. She put down the book. "If you're wondering why you didn't, I managed to get that human side of yours to respond to the fact my two handsome little princes were there with me." The two little boys giggled at her words as she held them closer. A stab of jealousy hit me. A demon could learn to be a loving mother while my completely human mom rarely ever had the time of day for me, other than when she took me to her work. I wondered if she ever noticed I was gone. She continued, "So, I take it that you want to be trained as well? Though you are in pretty good control already." Good control? That was almost laughable; I changed about once a month before coming to Japan, where I never really left the monastery. My version of control was slicing my wrist so the pain would bring me back, and that rarely ever worked. She amended, "Well, of your familiar, at least."

I reached for my jeans pocket. My head was on fire. There wasn't anything there. "You'd train me despite the fact I wanted to… take you back to Gehenna?"

She didn't seem to notice my desperate search for self-medication. "I assume that if I did not take you under my wing, in a non-literal sense of the term, then I would be exorcised for failing to comply with the Vatican's orders," she explained. "Besides, what's one more of you to train? You'd end up being dumped on me by the Vatican anyway." Another one? Then I remembered the group of teenagers with guilty souls. Those must have been her students. She got to her feet and walked to the window, adding with a hint of humor, "Besides, they wouldn't appreciate it if I left your familiar running around the academy." I heard a roaring I'd recognize anywhere: my bike. Getting out of my hospital bed with relative ease, and followed her to the large hospital window. Instead of its normal black with a flame job, the front was enlongated, the metal crafted to resemble bones and chains and in place of the headlight was a massive skull, spewing fire. I never really paid attention to what it looked like when possessed. I just knew it changed with me. It drove in circles around the area outside my room, like a puppy eager to play catch.

"It hasn't moved since we brought you here. It must be some sort of loyalty thing." I glanced sidelong at her. "Now, as much as I would love to stay and chat I unfortunately have a meeting with the Vatican so I need to go. But I expect to see you with your familiar with the rest of the class tomorrow, understand?" I nodded. "Excellent, now. If you'll excuse me." She turned on her heel and exited the room as a nurse entered.

"Ah, Martin-san. You'll be pleased to hear that you are to be discharged later today." Oh, crap. I didn't have time to steal any money so I didn't have a penny to my name. "Miss Faust said that she will cover your hospital bill so you do not need to worry about that either." Well, thank God for Good Samaritans. She took out a box and a prescription, instructing me to take two every four hours and no more. Well screw that. Dumping about four pills into my hand, I downed them without any water—my head hurt too much to bother with normal doses.

I heard a voice from behind me. "Oh, you're alright now?" he asked somewhat sarcastically. There were two boys, an unconscious Caucasian 16-year-old and an older male with hair so black it looked blue and a demon tail. I assumed it was the older one, since he was awake. "You seemed to be in bad shape when Astarte brought you here. Even though she was the one who put you in that way." I looked closer to the boy. Was that a leg missing? He shook his head. "Anyway, we were never properly introduced. I'm Okumura Rin and this here is Drake Ashton." So he was the one who the priests at Our Lady of Sorrows wouldn't shut up about.

The only thing I could think of saying wasn't 'Hello', 'Nice to meet you', or anything like that. No, what I said next made me sound like a real genius. "Why is his leg missing?" I stared at the trailing blood and ragged flesh where his thigh should've been.

He laughed nervously. "Funny story, actually. You see, Well, he kinda got in Astarte's way when she was leaving the hospital and tripped her up. Usually she'd just batter you around the head a few times but she seemed to be annoyed over the fact she'd have to face the Vatican covered in dust so...chopped his leg off." The Vatican. I've only heard the name scarcely in my months of running but it was the second time I heard of the mysterious heads of the Knights of the True Cross today." The boy, Drake, moaned in pain. "Well, that's my cue. See you around…" he trailed off, obviously asking my name.

"Cassandra Martin." He nodded and continued dragging the semi-conscious boy, tiny drops of blood in their wake. I turned back to the window and watched the demon possessing my bike, my familiar now, I guess, feeling the ruthless hunger deep inside. Well, might as well drown it.

Walking outside to my bike, I placed my hand on the seal. It immediately changed back to normal. Reaching into the bag, I pulled out the whiskey flask Moreau gave me and took a quick swig. Before you lecture me about drinking and driving, and I know it's an ass move, I just wanted to drown the pain. As the great Buddy Nielsen once said, "I think these pills are too plain. Drink up the loneliness."

XXXXX

After about a day roaming around the campus, enjoying the looks I got from people that clearly implied I was insane, I saw one of the other kids, the Drake Ashton who was missing a leg a few hours ago, but… it was back now. He flagged me down. Stopping, he ran up to me with a twisted grin. "I think you're a lot hotter when you're not on fire." I punched him for that. "Sorry, I couldn't resist. So you're our new classmate, huh?"

I shrugged. "I guess. Not sure how long it'll last, though."

"As in, you might get kicked out?"

I shook my head. "As in, I might kill you."

"Astarte'll take care of that. She told me to show you to your dorm and help you unpack."

The dorm was an abandoned boy's dormitory and according to Drake, where the entire class was taking up residence. He offered to help me unpack, so I let him. A scare would be good for the kid. Unhooking the leather bag I took it to my new room. "Let's see… books, books, a knife, another book… wait, a knife?!" His eyes bugged out of his skull.

"And painkillers and alcohol," I pointed out.

"Please tell me not all Americans are like you. And what's the knife for anyway?" I rubbed my left wrist subconsciously. He caught it. "You don't…"

Putting on a fake grin, I said, "Nope. Just for self defense. And what's with you? A few hours ago you didn't have a leg."

He smiled nervously. "I might've gotten in Astarte's way. Don't worry, she cuts off my limbs all the time. It just hurts like a mother. Oh, and Astarte told me to tell you that Mephisto put seals all over the campus so you can't change against your will."

"Alright. Cool. Thanks for the help, Drake."

"Anytime, Cass." That stopped me in my tracks. No one called me 'Cass' since the last relationship I was in when I was 14, before my mom 'hired' me. Then the kid got in trouble for substance abuse. I guess that the only guy who'd ever go for me had to be on some kind of drug.

A/N: Please review!