cherith: Cherith bellydancing (bellydance)
[personal profile] cherith
Title: Blind Denial the Long Way Down (or How a Demon nearly Killed the Band)
Author: [personal profile] cherith

Summary: Sorrow is an assassin, she’s a demon employed by other demons to take care of the dirtiest of business. Tinamou is an alternative band that’s just made their first record deal. They are small time, from a small town and yet somehow the band manages to cross paths with the dedicated contract killer known by the full name: "Sorrow and Grief Defeated in Lovers Tears" again and again.
Warnings: Violence/Death, Unrequited Love, Language
Author’s Note: Guys, I don’t even know. It just seemed like a good idea at the time.


Blind Denial the Long Way Down (or How a Demon nearly Killed the Band) Part Two


“Guys we got another one!”

Cate twirls the bright yellow envelope through the air, aiming for their practice space. All of the guys make moves to catch it, but only Christian is successful, being the closest to the edge of the carpet. Without even setting his cello aside, he snatches the envelope from the air just before it hits the floor.

“It’s from her?”

“Or him, but yes. It looks like we have another fan letter from ‘Tracy’,” Cate makes air quotes around Tracy since it’s been a long debated issue whether their letter-writing fan is male or female.

“Well, open it up!” Ray helps his brother lean the cello in it’s stand so he has both hands free.

Christian tears into the envelope and when it’s open, glitter starts drifting down from his hands. It explodes in further glitter showers as he wrestles the thick letter out completely. When he unfolds it, he has to shake it out so that it’s actually readable beneath the glitter.

“That carpet will always and forever have glitter embedded in it now,” Cate murmurs.

“It’ll be fine,” Mark says. Then to Christian, “So what’s it say?”

“There’s another little cartoon of us...hey Tony, she got the new band sticker you put on your kit.” He holds the paper up to point out the front of Tony’s drum kit in the drawing. “Got your hair right too, Bro.”

Ray runs a hand through his hair. He’d only just had it cut before their last gig. “She’s quick.”

“Anything else,” Cate asks, stepping around to look over Christian’s arm.

He shrugs. “Just the same old message: she/he liked the show, thought we sounded good, wished we’d play some new stuff. Oh, and they’re happy we’ve got a proper album out now.”

“It’s been out for a while, wonder if she...he...” Cate shrugs and continues, “...they just bought a new one at the show?”

“Maybe,” Ray says. “Still, it’s pretty creepy all the same.”

Cate nods, “It was neat the first few times, but this is definitely overkill. I mean, what person includes that much glitter in a fan letter to a band?”

“For that matter, what sane person writes a fan letter after Every. Single. Show?” Tony asks. “It’s far more enthusiastic than the last one, this one is David Bowie and the last one...it was just, I dunno...whatever a boring version of David Bowie would be.”

Ray laughs, “That’s just everyone else in the world Tone.”

The rest of them chuckle and then there’s a long moment of silence as they pass the letter around between each of them. Cate is almost certain their mysterious stalker/fan is a teenage girl, because it seems like the likeliest fit. When each of them has looked it over, she folds it up and slips it inside what’s left of the yellow envelope it came in.

“I’ll get it to Liss tomorrow. For now, we should get back to practice.” She sets the letter down on her bean bag and takes a seat in the nearby director’s chair.

“I don’t know what they’ll get from those letters when the Police find us cut up into little bits,” Mark says.

Tony pokes him with a drum stick, “No, I though we decided it was going to be frozen -- in a meat locker?”

“Oh yeah,” Mark says with a nod.

“Creepy guys,” Cate says stretching to reach a foot out to kick Mark in the thigh. “Let’s just practice. I do not want to have to do multiple takes of the video next week just because we’re screwing up our own stuff.”

***

“How am I supposed to know?”

“You’re the leader...it’s your band...you like to take charge all the time, take your pick.” Mark pushes a long piece of hair out of his face and stares at Cate.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You know what I mean Cate, you have...ideas, very specific ideas about what will work best for us. So, make some decisions!”

“And if I’m wrong?”

“It has happened before,” Mark smiles, “Do you remember the 70s costume idea you had?”

“Please don’t remind me.”

“My point is that we seem to have made it out relatively unscathed, despite the fashion horrors you subjected us to.” He laughs. “So, pick a song that’ll work and that’s the one we will do.”

She huffs and turns away from him in order to flop down into her bean bag chair, only it’s gone. Some of the steam comes out of her when she has to take a moment to look for it and realizes it is nowhere to be found. For that matter, as she starts to look around the basement, she can tell that other stuff is missing too, that’s enough to put her back in a bad mood. She whirls around for Mark and he’s gone now too.

“Mark? Where are you?”

The room is dark and getting darker or is filling with shadows, a thick sort of darkness that’s covering single objects...and people, one at a time. Christian and his upright go missing, then Tony, although his drums remain around a little longer, but it’s not enough time for her to do anything; not that she knows what she would do. She thinks she hears Ray’s voice but it’s muffled and by the time she’s turned around to look at him, he’s gone too.

“Ray?” No response.

None of them hadn’t wanted to get in between her and Mark when they argued so she was as far from the practice space as she could be, though the darkness didn’t seem centralized there. That was just where the most things were and then were not. Cate spins around trying to keep her eyes on different objects around the basement but each time she turns she finds more things covered in darkness until finally, she’s alone in a dark and formless void.

“Mark?”

“Mark? Are you there? Anybody?”

Despite the darkness, despite the lack of what looked like any sort of surface, Cate felt like she was standing on something. Pacing and yelling would get her nowhere, so she kneeled down and when she comfortable enough that there was a solid...something under her, she sat down.

Somewhere, though he wasn’t sure where, Mark walked a dark expanse. When Cate had disappeared, it felt like a piece of his heart had been yanked from him. He sunk to his knees and waited and called and screamed hoping that he would find himself back in the basement again. When nothing happened he stood, calmed himself down a bit and started walking. He didn’t have a plan, it’s hard to plan when you can’t see, but it felt better than sitting and wallowing and hoping to him. It felt like he was doing something, even if it was nothing.

She wasn’t sure it would work but while she sat, Cate thought she would try to reach the others. She never told them, though she thought some of them suspected, that she had some telepathic ability. Normally, she stayed out of their heads, it was hard work and it ruined the way she thought about things. Often, she knew things her friends were thinking without even trying, which both amused and frustrated both she and them. But, now, in the darkness or the void, whatever it was, she opened her mind and tried to reach out to someone else. She wasn’t sure what she was doing, but she held a clear picture of Mark, who was not just her band mate but was also her oldest and closest friend, in her mind.

She pictured his long dark hair, so floppy that it was always getting in his face, his hazel eyes that turned dark when he was sad and the playful smirk that almost always dominated his face. With the idea of him secure in her mind she tired to look for him, to find a direction a place in the void that felt like him. She turned her head in different directions, trying to feel out which one would lead her to him.

After several long, quiet moments she thought she had gotten his attention. She could almost hear him asking for her, calling out her name.

“Catherine Harvey?”

She snaps her eyes open at the sound of her full name in a warbled woman’s voice. It’s muffled, like the void muffles the sound as it passes to her, but she hears it all the same.

There’s a tall woman with shadows where her face should be. She’s surrounded by a halo of long white hair that shines though there should be no light in this place. It takes Cate a moment to realize how disconcerting it really is to be surrounded by so much darkness and yet be able to see someone, something...anything, so clearly.

Still, Cate remembers her manners and hops to her feet. As she does so, she takes in the dark dress the woman is wearing, with a lighter colored cloak falling down behind her, half hidden by long pale hair.

“Do I know you?” Cate steps toward the woman. “You seem so familiar...”

The woman doesn’t make a movement from what Cate can tell, but a long dark blade materializes in the woman’s hand. She makes a tugging motion and Cate can see the blade is attached to a long wooden pole, and that’s when she makes the connection.

“You’re her...the one that attacked Christian!”

The woman remains motionless and does not respond. After a moment, Cate takes another step forward. Then another. When they’re nearly face to face (or more face to chest, since Cate is a good head shorter than the woman) Cate reaches out a hand.

“Care to tell me what’s going on?”

It’s then that Cate can see some light, it’s off to her side and she has to slowly turn, trying to keep her eyes on the woman and the source of light at the same time. But, there’s light and it looks like a window, like the window in her basement and then, the basement starts to appear. It’s like little pinpricks exploding all over the void, they tear at the darkness and the shadows until none of it is left and then her basement and her friends are back where they belong, save one thing. The woman remains.

“I need your help.”

***

“Tell me what the fuck that was,” Cate yells as soon a she can see her own basement clearly. The woman is still in front of her and Cate steps forward anger flushing her face.

The woman steps back and leans her weapon forward, putting it between herself and Cate. They boys all get seem to move at the same time, all headed away from their instruments to intercept Cate or the woman, they don’t seem to know exactly is the larger threat at the moment. Ray reaches them first, having only pushed his guitar around to his back instead of wasting the time to unsling it. He reaches out a hand for each of them but stops short of actually putting a hand on the strange woman. Cate pushes against his hand, but she lets the momentum of it swing her to the side, and she turns away from the woman.

Mark is there to meet her and Cate takes a firm hold on both his arms. He can see the questions in her eyes, her ginger eyebrows knit together in frustration and confusion. He whispers, “Where did you go?”

“Where did I go?” Some of the anger melts and she has to shake her head before she can actually look and recognize him. “Didn’t we all go? Didn’t you disappear?” She lowers her voice with the last question, realizing how crazy it sounds now.

Mark shakes his head. “Something happened, she did something to us. But, Cate,” he whispers as he softly places his hands on either side of her head. “Are you alright?”

“That woman,” she says, trying to wriggle out of his hands, her eyes large and wild but focused on the pale woman. “She took me somewhere, it was dark and empty...”

“I am sorry.” The woman says her voice soft and calm. “I needed to separate each of you, it was only for a moment.”

Mark’s arms fall to his sides as he turns to look at the woman. He recognizes that voice. “You’re her. You’re the woman from that night...”

The rest of them turn from the pale-haired woman in order to look at Mark now. Even Ray lets his arms fall, figuring the tense moment between the woman and Cate is over. He crosses his arms over his chest and looks at Mark, then at his brother. “Christian? Are you alright?”

“It’s her,” Christian whispers. “From the Tower.”

The woman watches them, lingering a moment on each face as though finally committing them to memory. Recognition triggers in all the men and the outburst from Cate is forgotten as they all turn to face the stranger directly. When they have all focused on her, she repeats her question to Cate.

“I need your help.”

“My help?” Cate asks incredulous. “I’m the only one you haven’t terrorized recently. But, you need my help. We don’t even know you!”

The woman nods, pale hair bobbing loose from her cloak. “My name is Sorrow,” she says attempting a half-smile.

“Well that’s something,” Cate says crossing her arms and looking around at the four guys.

Each of the boys has a glazed look of half-surprise and half-disbelief stuck on their faces. Cate chuckles and turns towards her bean bag chair. When she flops down into it calmly as any other day, Mark actually jumps at the noise.

“Sorrow. And what is it you do Sorrow? Or maybe, I should just ask what is it you are?”

Sorrow nods, a smile of amused approval on her lips. “Neither answer will please you. It would be better to explain why I came here...to you.”

“Alright,” Cate answers.

“I am, as I have said already, I am here because I need your help. And by ‘your help’ I mean specifically, you, Catherine Harvey.” The woman turns away briefly taking a moment to lean her large weapon against the wall near the back door.

The guys seem to have regained some normality and each of them are looking for nearby seats from which they can keep an eye on Sorrow. Christian doesn’t sit, instead, he finds a portion of wall near Cate’s bean bag and leans against it. He grumbles when Sorrow uses Cate’s full name, then tries to cover it with a lame attempt at a cough.

“I know you’re probably some scary...” Cate waves a hand in a vague gesture “...thing, but please call me Cate. Using my full name is just an extra level of freaky I don’t need right now.”

The woman nods, “Cate.” On her lips, the nickname sounds just as formal to Cate’s ears.

“Never mind,” Cate says with a sigh of disgust. “Just, you know, get to the point.”

“As you wish,” Sorrow says with another nod. “I believe you can help me find someone. Someone that is already looking for you...who has been for some time now. And, I think you already know where I can find them.”

“Is that why you’ve been following us?” Mark has moved over into their practice area and is sitting on his stool, putting as much room and instruments between he and Sorrow as possible. He’d could only be further away if he’d sat at Tony’s drum kit instead of his keyboard, hard to do with Tony already there instead. Every time she moves, a different part of him feels as though it’s waking up. And he’s pretty sure that he can smell her, even with all that space between them; she smells of winter, of clear dark nights and a shiver passes through him.

She shakes her head, her hair and cloak rustle, “I have not been following you. In fact, for a time, I thought you might be following me.”

Cate and Christian simultaneously let out mixed sounds of derision and surprise. Ray and Tony exchange a questioning look and then Tony looks back to Sorrow and asks, “How would that have been possible?”

“There were a number of places I found you, where I did not make myself known.”

“That doesn’t sound creepy at all,” Cate says.

“It is the truth. I have been searching for quite some time and each place my search took me, one of you,” she scans each of their faces, dark eyes reflecting pinpricks of the florescent lighting, “was there.” She raises her hand towards their practice area, “ Then, I saw you perform at the Penny Lane Bar and realized I had seen each of you before, and that my quarry was following you.”

“That’s when you came after me,” Mark says. “That’s the night I have had such a hard time remembering. But, I remember you now. I can’t believe...”

“Yes. I assumed one of you had to know, or that if I followed you, I would be able to complete my assignment as well. I don’t apologize for it, though I wish now I had come here first.”

“Assignment?”

Sorrow turns back to Cate, “I am not just tracking someone down for my health, of course.”

Cate snickers, “Of course. And what are you going to do when you find them?”

“I have orders to bring them in to meet with my employer.”

Shrugging Cate asks, “Being as we’re a band, not bounty hunters, what do you need us for?”

“You,” Sorrow points at Cate, her cloak falling back to reveal her pale arm, and the same black dress that Christian recognizes. “You can help me by giving me your sight.”

“Right,” Tony chuckles. “It’s not like she’s using it...”

Cate looks away from Sorrow and finds Mark’s eyes on her already. They exchange a worried glance that silences Tony. “I’m not sure that’s something I can give you,” she says, eyes never leaving Mark’s.

“You can,” Sorrow answers. “I will return it, I promise.”

Tony uses one of his drumsticks to reach out and poke Mark in the arm. After the fourth or fifth poke, Mark breaks eye contact with Cate and turns back to him with a harsh whisper, “what?”

Cate wrestles her way out of the bean bag and strides towards Sorrow. Their heights are evenly matched, but Cate does her best to look down on the frightening woman with the pale hair. She stops with only a few steps left between them.

“I don’t even know what you are,” a small twang of her parent’s Glasgow accent coming through giving away the stress she’s feeling. “Why would I believe you?” She puts her hands on her hips in her best intimidating gesture and stares at Sorrow.

“You don’t have to believe me, though I think you must already. As for what I am, I think you know might have guessed the answer to that as well,” she leans forward, bringing her face only inches from Cate’s. The mass of her pale hair hangs forward an effective shade to hide her face from everyone else in the room. “I am a demon, Cate.”

Her breath is like cold air, but the shiver it sends though Cate is warm and pleasant. And the honeyed sound of her name lingers in her ears and Cate closes her eyes reflexively trying to hold on to the sensation. When she opens her eyes again everything is slightly fuzzy, hazy at the edges and it’s darker than she thinks it should be. Sorrow is gone and when she turns around to look at the guys, they’re all staring at the space where Sorrow should be, mouths hanging open with surprise.

***

“Hey.” Cate gives Mark’s shoulder a quick tap as she walks around to stand in front of his keyboard. It’s only been a few hours since the guys went home; nobody was really in the practicing mood after Sorrow disappeared. Her sight has already gotten worse since then and she has to take her steps slow and careful so she doesn’t trip on anything.

“Hey yourself,” he slowly marks a few keys with his fingers and then plays a simple chord.

She bends down to find a way to get on eye-level with him when it’s obvious he’s in one of his moods. She taps a key on her way down, one at the top of the scale and the noise is annoyingly high and tinny. He glares at her for a moment before reaching down to a piece of paper on the bench next to him and scratching something out.

“New composition?”

He grunts noncommittally.

“Look, I get it. You’re mad we didn’t believe you.”

A few more low keys get tapped and he looks back to the page as though she hasn’t said anything. She sighs and starts to stand back up.

“Not ‘we’ Cate,” he says. “You. I’m mad that you, of all people, didn’t believe me. You...the person that “just knows” things...you should’ve believed.”

“Yes.” She nods.

“I wanted so badly to remember...”

“And we...I, acted like you were crazy. Like, it wasn’t possible. Truth is Mark, I did believe you. I really did. I was just...scared. I’m still getting used to...you know.”

He looks up at her, his eyebrows knit together in worry and frustration. “Scared? How do you think I felt?”

“I know. I said I was sorry. I’m sorry it took her actually showing up here, admitting she’s been following us around...”

“It’s okay,” he whispers as he turns his gaze back to the keyboard again. “I really don’t want to think about it anymore. Now that she’s been here...”

Cate nods again. “I’m sorry. If or when you’re ready to talk about it, please come to me.” She starts to walk away so he can be left alone with his music.

“Nothing left to talk about,” he says to his keyboard. “Being with her was amazing. I should’ve remembered that.”

She’s almost out of the room when she hears, “Cate?”

Spinning back to Mark she asks, “Yeah?”

“Are you going to be okay? I mean, without your...” he shrugs and waves a hand in the air, confused.

“My sight?”

“Yeah. I mean, I don’t know what it is you do, but are you going to be okay without it?”

Cate chuckles and takes a step back into the room. “Thanks,” she watches him for a moment and then adds, “I think I’ll be okay. As long as we find whatever she’s looking for quickly.”

***

“This is the best venue ever,” Ray says. He’s has one hand up shading his eyes as he stares at the plane overhead.

“You would think that,” Tony says trying to pull Ray back from the building’s ledge. “But, please be careful where you step.”

“Don’t worry Ton’, I know where the edge is.” He extracts his arm from Tony’s hand and then pats Tony’s arm reassuringly. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“I know, Ray. I just...don’t like heights.”

They both pull back to where the rest of the group is setting up their makeshift stage. They’re on the roof of a downtown hotel, preparing to do a live show from the roof. Liss and a small band of busy sound and camera men are bustling around them, setting up, moving cords and arranging equipment. And near one corner of the roof, Sorrow is perched on the window ledge of a small turret protruding from the roof. She watches the band as they set up, tune their instruments and prepare for their set.

Even with no way to contact Sorrow, she had still been downstairs waiting for them when Cate and Mark arrived. Though now Sorrow’s eyes are light, almost humanly blue and while Cate’s are still green, her vision is almost completely dark, light showing as pinpricks and she can sort of make out the outlines of her friends if she really concentrates. It’s been frustrating, but she tries to stay positive that as soon as Sorrow finds whomever she’s looking for, her sight will be restored -- both mentally and physically; it’s been a rough week.

Liss strides into the band’s space, “Are you all ready?” Everyone nods, making final adjustments to their clothes or instruments or both. “Great, okay.” She takes a deep breath and looks the band over then adds, “You are going to be wonderful, I just know it.”

“So, how exactly is this going to work?” Cate turns towards the sound of Liss’ voice. It’s been hard work not giving away anything to Liss but Mark’s steadying hand is on her arm making sure she keeps her balance.

“Just the way we talked about. Tinamou performs,” she gives Cate a smarmy look as if to say ‘that’s you guys’, “and around the minute-thirty mark in the song, Jay over there will give the signal to the chopper.” Liss points her pen towards the sky where the helicopter will soon hover over their heads. Cate nods understanding and Liss continues, “Once they land, we’ll cut so they can get their chutes off and then will figure out where to pick it up from there okay?”

Though not everyone is paying as much attention, there are bobbing heads noting their understanding. As Liss walks away, Mark whispers, “You’ll be fine.” Cate nods but wobbles a bit as she steps towards Mark. “Just try not to wander too far from your mic stand.”

Their director, Jay, makes a motion with his hand and after a moment his assistant yells out, “Quiet on set! Places!”

The guys huddle around Cate for a moment and they have a quick group hug before everyone moves into their designated place. The square area of roof that’s been marked as their stage has been set up a little like the basement, complete with both the director’s chair and beanbag chair that belong to Cate. Cords and wires in the space have been left on top of the rug they brought out and dusted off so that it looks messy, and just like home.

Jay’s assistant whispers something in Jay’s ear and it’s only a few more seconds before Jay yells “Action!” and Christian strikes the first chord on his upright. Cate sings the opening words to “Myersiella” and when the first stanza is over, she steps back from the microphone and sways. She and Mark built time into this song, just for her. She listens to the deep chords on Christian’s Bass and the matching harmony Mark plays on the keyboard and she just relaxes. She sways with the rhythm of it and her long hair trails behind her like a counterbalance. When it’s time, she leans into the microphone to start the chorus and at the same time Jay raises his hand to give the sign to the chopper.

It’s hard to hear at first but as the band plays, their music gets overwhelmed by the sound of a helicopter hanging directly above them. The sound fades away nearly as quickly as it arrived as the helicopter circles once and then flies away. A few seconds later, the first of many people lands on the roof to Mark’s right. In quick succession, the rest of the group from the chopper lands softly around the band. Cate tries to watch but can only catch shadows as the parachutes drift down, and she takes her cue to stop singing when Mark stops playing. Jay gives the signal to cut when the last parachute softly hits the ground.

“Honest to goodness Flying Elvises!” Christian remarks to the group. His face is full of child-like wonder as he watches the Elvis impersonators around them remove their parachutes and the techs and assistants nearby pick them up and start packing the gear away.

“Wouldn’t you think it was Elvii and not Elvises?” Cate grins and gives a sloppy punch to the air near his elbow.

They all shrug and keep an eye out, looking for anyone that doesn’t seem to fit the part. After a minute passes, Mark wonders aloud, “How do you spot an impersonator imposter?”

That earns him a laugh from the other four, and Tony says, “Sounds like someone is thinking up lyrics to a new song.” Another round of chuckles ensues.

It only takes another two minutes and Jay’s assistant is calling for quiet on the set again. Jay gives direction on where to pick up the song again, and calls for the Elvises to join Cate in the chorus. They repeat the whole chorus several times until Jay is happy with the results.

They break a second time while the crew sets up a backdrop for another set of shots. As soon as everyone breaks, Sorrow strides over to the group and a chill breeze sweeps through the group.

When she has their undivided attention, she says, “I think it has to be now.”

“Can you at least tell us if they’re here? He, she...we don’t know who we’re looking for,” Cate says. After a pause she adds, “Not that I could see them if they were here but, you know.”

Sorrow sweeps a long thin hand through her hair in what seems like a decidedly human motion to Mark’s eyes. He feels like she’s looking right at him, and for just a split-second, it’s like he can almost hear her in his head. When he thinks about it, he’s not even sure what she said or if she said anything at all, but she was there. It’s like that night at the bar all over again...whatever power she has, it rolls through him and when he comes back to himself, she’s watching him intently.

Mark clears his throat uncomfortably. “What do we do?”

She is here,” Sorrow gives a pointed nod towards the space where Liss is working with the crew. “Not one of the impersonators...”

“She working on the set?” Mark asks. He regrets it immediately when he sees the disappointed look on Sorrow’s face.

“I see her now.” Sorrow doesn’t move, but clear as if she held a picture in front of them, the image of a short young woman with blonde hair and killer black heels, is there; a woman with a clipboard and determination in her eyes.

“It’s Liss?” Christian says with a slight wobble in his voice.

***

Sorrow’s scythe appears as if from thin air and in less time than any of them can track, she has Liss by the neck. Liss screams for a brief moment and then the sound dies, caught in her throat as Sorrow’s scythe presses down. Mark steers Cate and they all scramble towards Liss and Sorrow. When they can see Sorrow’s face again, no semblance of humanity is left on it. Her eyes are dark again, colorless and featureless and her face is demonically contorted. Each of them instinctively takes a step backwards.

“It’s Liss?” Cate asks with a hiss in her voice. “You couldn’t figure that out on your own?” Her hands ball into fists and she fights her own instincts to regain a step in Sorrow’s direction.

Sorrow actually hisses, mouth open wide with several sharp fangs glinting in the sunlight. While she’s distracted, Liss uses that moment to wiggle free, kicking Sorrow in the shin with a heel before moving out of immediate reach.

“Liss?” Christian takes a step towards the small blonde woman. “What’s happening? Are you Tracy--” his voice cracks, “Is it true?”

The air whistles as Sorrow’s scythe slices through the air nearby, she tries to hook Liss around the waist. Liss bounds backwards in a leap that carries her not only out of the way of the scythe, but also up onto a nearby turret’s window ledge. She spares a glance for Christian then smiles and shrugs.

Everything goes quiet around them and then the roof disappears. It’s darker wherever they are but they can make out the forms of Sorrow and Liss. There’s a clattering sound and the scythe skitters across the ground in front of Mark’s feet.

“Shit!” He whispers with alarm and looks at Cate. “What do we do? Do we help?”

“I don’t know!”

There’s a scream and Liss raises her hands and then sweeps them in front of her. An odd light trails behind her movements and when it fades, Sorrow lets out a scream as she’s pushed backwards through the air. Her cloak is ripped from her and billows through the air, coming to a slow soft landing her her feet. She jumps to her feet but not before Liss makes another gesture with her hands, and this time the light carries forward a strange symbol in the space between her and Sorrow. Sorrow raises her shoulders and then with a visible force of strength lowers them, her hands straining towards the floor.

There’s a crackling sound followed by another noise that sounds like grinding cement. In the space between Liss and Sorrow, bones appear from the floor. Sorrow raises her hands and with the movement, Liss is dragged to the ground by shadowed and bony hands. She cries out and reaches for the group as she falls, “Help me!”

Cate reaches for Christian’s hand as he steps forward. “Wait!” She takes a few tentative steps in front of him and strains to get a decent look at the floor. There’s a small light coming through an area, now covered in bones and dark shadows.

“Guys, I think I’ve found something,” she whispers.

Liss struggles on the floor to extract herself from the grasp of the shadows but as she struggles, she’s moving closer and closer towards the demon. Sorrow flicks a wrist and her scythe hovers in the air near enough for her to reach out and grab it. Ray whimpers, a clear memory of the broken hotel wall in his mind. There’s a pale purple light from the ground as Liss finally manages to get back to her feet, and then off them completely and hovers above the ground several inches. She crashes into Sorrow a moment later before the taller woman can get the scythe between them.

Cate takes another step forward and reaches a tentative arm down to the floor where the light is. She makes a movement to sweep a long leg bone out of her way but her hand slides through the air, the bone disappearing completely. Her fingers touch the cold, rough stone of the floor and she feels around for anything solid, her hand passing through the cone of pale light.

The boys hover over her, staring down at the ground as searches for the light source. Finally, her fingers strike a chilly and smooth object, metal she thinks. She grabs it, and it feels no bigger than a quarter, but as her hand covers it, the light dims.

“What is it?” Tony asks as they all watch Cate raise a glowing hand up from the shadows.

She stands and slowly turns her hand over, so they can all get a look at the object. When she opens her fingers, there’s a small gold medallion on her palm. It’s thicker and less well-formed than a quarter but about the same size. They exchange a look between them and then stare back down at the medallion and it’s small but constant light.

“I think I know,” Christian whispers. “She asked about a medallion!”

“Who did?” Cate asks.

He looks up and inclines his head in the direction of the two supernatural women across the room from them. “Sorrow. The first night I saw her, at the haunted house.”

“She asked you about a medallion?” Ray asks, though his voice has a small quiver to it.

Christian nods and stands a little straighter to watch Liss and Sorrow. “She thought I had it and she wanted it back. I didn’t think anything about it when we met her again...” His train of thought trails off as Sorrow slams into the ground after being tossed by Liss.

Sorrow takes her time trying to get up from the ground and as Liss leans over her to land a punch. Sorrow uses her feet to grab Liss’ and then rolls to the side bringing Liss to the ground. They can hear a mumbled sound as Sorrow says something and two long dark wounds appear on Liss’ face, one below each of her eyes. Shadows of long fingers wrap around Liss’ wrists, pinning her to ground. Sorrow keeps pressure near Liss’ feet, but slowly brings herself up to a standing position. Then, the shadows creep over Liss’ feet and legs and Sorrow turns towards the group.

“Thank you.” Her face looks somewhat normal again, her eyes are dark and her hair sweeps neatly behind her as if the shadows could style it for her. She reaches out a pale hand out towards Cate, “I see you’ve found it for me.”

Cate nods and slowly turns her hand over Sorrow’s dropping the medallion in the demon woman’s palm. “Christian said you were looking for a medallion when you found him.”

Sorrow nods, “It’s why I was looking for that one,” she sweeps a hand back towards Liss’ struggling form. “My task was to return both she and it,” she lifts up her palm, “back with me.”

Christian takes a few steps out from the group and towards Sorrow, “What’s going to happen to her?”

“She’ll be put back where she belongs,” Sorrow says. “Though an investigation will be launched to discover how she escaped.”

“Es-escaped?”

Sorrow nods, then turns and nods again to Cate directly. “Thank you for everything, Cate. I pray we never need meet again.”

Cate shivers as the breeze from Sorrow’s lips, as her name is said, passes over her. She nods hurriedly and after moment, as she thinks to ask where they are, or how they’ll get back, they’re back on the hotel roof in the midday sun. The set crew is still working and Cate’s father, Franklin, is chatting with their director. Liss is nowhere to be seen.

“Dad?” Cate asks, forgetting Sorrow momentarily and stepping forward to greet her father.

***

There’s a few moments of confusion as they try to get back to their places and get back into the right mind-space needed to finish shooting their music video. Sorrow watches over them for a few minutes and tries to slip quietly away when it seems they’ve forgotten her altogether.

“Sorrow?” Mark asks, approaching slowly. “You...I...I’m not sure what to say.”

“Then nothing needs to be said.”

“But, I remember now. I remember that night, the one in the bar when you came to me. You...I thought you were the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.”

“And now?” A small smile tugs at the corners of her mouth.

“I still do.” He takes a few more hesitant steps forward. “I know, you’re probably not into...I don’t know,” he stares down at his hands and wrings them a few times, “dating? or anything. I don’t know how it works with demons...”

She chuckles, “It’s true, we do not date the same way you humans do.”

He nods, “Okay. But, do you think...sometime...maybe...I would like to see you again.” He gets the rest out quickly and then takes a deep breath.

She sweeps forward covering the last distance between them, until he can feel every inch of of his skin raised to gooseflesh by her chill. She leans in and places a small, chaste kiss on his cheek.

“I am very sorry to have used you that way. I shouldn’t have done it.” She takes a step back and watches him.

Mark has to take several more deep breath before he can nod and say, “That’s okay. Can I ask you something then?”

“Of course.”

“Is Sorrow really your name?”

“Partially,” she smiles again and this time, the cool air around her warms and her face looks drawn and tired. “Where I am from, I am known by a longer version, Sorrow is much easier.”

“Will you tell me what it is?”

“Sorrow and Grief Defeated in Lover’s Tears.”

His eyes grow wide for a moment, and he turns the phrase over and over in his mind. “Wow.”

“You can see why I call myself Sorrow instead.”

The End

Date: 2010-10-19 06:42 am (UTC)
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)
From: [personal profile] dharma_slut
Aww man, Mark and Cate both are carrying a torch for Sorrow now!

This is another one that reads like the beginning of something-- or a great universe for you to continue playing in.

Your html is a wee bit borked...

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