Author: SoullessLove PM
Sequel to Heartless. Seven years after Kari left the demon realm it is soon to fall into war. She is far away from the demon realms problems but her own are troubling enough. She is seeing things that shouldn't be there, and then there is this new pain. Growing closer to losing her sanity and her humanity, Kari is growing desperate.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Romance - Chapters: 48 - Words: 210,116 - Reviews: 143 - Favs: 25 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 05-26-13 - Published: 11-22-11 - id: 2973040
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Put me to sleep evil angel.
Open your wings evil angel.
Fly over me evil angel.
Why can't I breathe evil angel?"
-Evil Angel, Breaking Benjamin
Alex was sitting up in the hammock, pain still etched across his features each time he moved. His voice was soft, because the two people listening to him had above average hearing, and he didn't want anyone else to listen in. His eyes flicked around restlessly as he recounted his journey here, his hands fluttered occasionally, as if he were still trying to fight off the two Demon Hunters that had accompanied him. They had left many scrapes and bruises on him, dried blood and dark marks painted the canvas of skin. His light blue eyes didn't look bright, but washed out, like faded denim.
Kari was sitting down on the floor, cross legged. Her eyes never left his face as he spoke and her expression grew more and more troubled as the tale went on. She was normally as fidgety as he was, but now she was very still. Coldness settled over her and she felt numb. Gabriel was after her again, he knew right where she was. He had sent Alex to them, a message, that he could find her any time he wanted. The question that was left to ask was, what was he waiting for? As far as she could tell, not even Alex knew that.
The demon paused to try and get comfortable, and Kari's eyes flickered back to the third person in the room. He was standing in the doorway, the hand woven curtain falling behind him like a backdrop. She could feel his gaze on her the whole time she was sitting there, and now she met his eyes, reading the expression there. He was upset, his jaw clenched and his eyes dark. He stared at her, his gaze holding a challenge. She looked away again, as Alex resumed. Once he had caught them up he lay down, easing himself back. Kari could tell by the paint that flitted across his face that more of the bruises and wounds stretched across his back. She didn't particularly like Alex, but this treatment still made her angry.
She had offered to heal some of the worst of his injuries, but he had declined. Even if he had agreed, Xerex didn't want her anywhere near Alex. He had stopped spewing death threats, but it was clear he still didn't trust him. Hugin was pecking at the floor, hopping around Kari. The bird didn't seem to notice or care that his companion was missing. Xerex still hadn't seen any sign of the other raven. Kari had been too distracted to ask about the bird, and it was the last thing on her mind right now.
When he finished the three of them fell silent, and Kari's eyes fell to the floor. She traced one of the interwoven branches that made up the ground. "Do you know how he's planning on doing it this time? Killing me I mean…" Kari's words came out cold and detached, as if she were asking about something she had seen on the news that she didn't care about in the least.
Both boys looked at her, blue eyes and green studying her before Alex spoke. "He doesn't want to kill you this time around Kitten. He wants you to become his heir." She looked up sharply, waiting for him to rebuke this.
Xerex scowled, He was leaning against the wall now, and Kari could see a slight tremor in his shoulders, more proof of his worsening condition. "Kari would never cooperate, how does he think he's going to manage that?"
Alex raised one eyebrow, his gaze sliding up to Xerex. "You think he cannot be convincing, I would imagine that he has already offered her something in exchange for her subordination." He grinned his Cheshire smile, "So what was it Kitten, immortality, power, or maybe a little miracle?" At the last words he glanced back at Xerex.
She didn't say anything to that. Gabriel had not offered her anything exactly. However she knew that Alex was right, he was going to offer to save Xerex in exchange for her compliance. She didn't have to look at him to see that he was getting worse; she could feel it, like a phantom ache. His pain and tiredness brushed at the back of her mind from the other side of the bond, and she could feel him giving up.
What was more terrifying was that if it as her only option she would take it. She would hand the world over on a silver platter, if it meant saving Xerex's life. She had to find a way to fix him before it came to that. She pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs. "What do we do now?" Xerex crossed his arms, not sure how much he liked this "we" business. He didn't want Alexander around Kari, no matter how different he seemed. The blue eyed demon seemed a lot more like the demon he used to call a friend, but even then Alex had been a few screws loose.
Both of them were in a pretty sorry state what with the poison and Alex's loss of strength, and should he have to defend Kari, he wasn't even sure either of them could put up much of a fight. Still, he knew the red haired demon was sneaky, and he didn't want to be tricked.
"We do what we have to. We warn the other demons about Gabriel, and we try to find a way to end this war." Alex replied, reaching up to brush his hair out of his eyes, it was beginning to get unruly.
Xerex laughed, it was a dry hollow sound, "Haven't you heard? On top of our other problems, I'm dying."
The red haired demon shrugged, his eyes went to Kari. "Then have her fix it." He said it as simply as if he were telling Xerex to flip a light switch. Kari stared at him, wishing it were that easy. She drew into herself, ashamed that she wasn't strong enough.
"I can't, I don't know how," She pushed her hair back, trying to swallow the knot in her throat. "I'm not strong enough, I would lose myself." Xerex hadn't even considered asking her to heal him, and he wouldn't. He had seen her nearly lose her mind just trying to keep him warm. If she expended that much energy her humanity would shrivel and die, she would become what he used to be. He couldn't do that to someone.
He scoffed, "Then figure it out, get stronger, or heal it a little at a time. Surely you could at least push it back?" She looked down at her hands, her eyebrows drawing in.
"No." Xerex spoke up, he looked at her, and his eyes were drawn to her throat, where he knew there was still a scar. She had already given up too much for his sake. "She can't, she said herself she isn't strong enough."
"You underestimate her, so does she." He reached up and tapped the side of his face, "You healed this without even meaning to, I am willing to bet that you could do the same for him if you tried." Kari looked from Alex to Xerex. Then down at her demon mark. Misery was still trying his best to keep that side of her trapped if she used it, what would happen to him?
Xerex scowled at him, "I have never underestimated her." He threw his head back and laughed at this. Xerex shifted, annoyed.
"You wanted to play knight and ran as fast as you could to save her from me, but you didn't did you? She saved herself, she's good at that. Our little Kitten is a survivor, which is more than anyone can say about you."
He snarled, "She isn't OUR anything!" He took a step forward, and for a moment Kari was afraid he was going to attack the injured boy.
She stood up, startling Hugin. "Cut it out." Her words were sharp and harsh, more so than she meant them to be. She saw Xerex recoil and he glared at her. She shook her head at both of them tired of listening to them talk about her, and left. They watched her go, a little stunned. Kari took a deep breath of the cold air outside, it hadn't been much warmer in the small hut, but the air hadn't had the same crisp feel to it.
She shoved her hands in her pockets and sped up. It was the equivalent to night here now, and other than the patrols with the long curved limbs, there was no one out on the boardwalks. She considered Alex's idea. Could she heal Xerex? Before when she was on the edge of losing it every day it hadn't even been a possibility. She had thought there was a cure waiting for them, at the other side of this journey. Now she may not have been much stronger, but she knew that there was no cure, and they were running out of time, and options.
She wasn't shocked when she heard unsteady footsteps behind her. She stopped, letting the wind tear at her hear. "What if I am strong enough? What if Alex is right?"
The words were soft but she knew he had heard him by the slow intake of breath behind her. "That's a lot to risk Kari. I don't want you to throw your life away for me."
She turned around, a humorless smile on her face, "It's a little late for that Xerex. If any one knew how much I had protected you, I would be sentenced to death. If anyone knew that I had let you drink my blood, I would be killed, and if anyone found out that I defected from the Demon Hunters to save you, I'd have a bullet between my eyes faster than I could think."
He looked away, a troubled expression on his face, "That doesn't make me feel any better. I was supposed to be the one protecting you."
"I don't always need protecting, not like I did." She admitted, taking a step closer. "I'm different now, so are you."
He shrugged one shoulder, "So? That doesn't mean anything." He got the feeling they were no longer talking about him protecting her. "I'm still the same person you knew seven years ago, I'm just a little more broken. So are you, I know you."
She shook her head, "No. You knew the human Kari, but not the Demon Hunter, or the demon."
"But I want to!" his voice rose, and he started to walk closer to her, but her expression stopped him. Like she was about to flinch away, distance herself. "You told me you would give me a chance… What do you want me to do?"
She shrugged, not meeting his eyes. She wasn't sure why she kept pulling away from him. Every time he got close to her, she got scared. "Let me try, to get rid of the poison." She crossed her arms, unsure what to do with her hands, "I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't try."
He stared at her, weighing his options. "Fine, but if you start to slip, we stop and don't try anymore." She nodded in agreement and he pulled her back to the hut she had slept in, as it was farther from Alex than his was. He pulled the curtain shut in attempt to get some kind of privacy. "What do you need to do?"
She shrugged, thinking. She had healed Alex's scar without even meaning to, but she had purposely healed Max. She had put her hand on Max to heal her, and she must have had some contact with Alex. So she reached out and put her hand on his chest. Her fingers were splayed out and she could feel his heartbeat beneath her fingertips.
She kept her eyes on the base of his throat, not wanting to meet his eyes. Xerex watched her, waiting a little impatiently. She chewed on her bottom lip, trying to think fast. When she thought she had the right wording, she spoke aloud, feeling the energy move sluggishly down her arm towards his chest. She was trying to clamp down on her humanity, holding it in place. But the harder she held on, the weaker her energy was. Xerex felt numbness spread through his chest and slight sparks flew off of fingers fizzling out as soon as they hit the air.
Light green threaded through her irises, and Xerex saw her nails lengthen, narrowing into points. He reached up to pull her hand away. "No! Not yet, I'm alright." Her voice was uneven, and her fingers trembled, but he dropped his hand, watching her.
"Be careful Kari," he warned, as she closed her eyes in pain. Hugin fluttered his wings and cawed, taking off. He flew out the door, and Xerex watched after the bird, wondering if that was a bad sign.
She took a deep breath. She was holding back, and it wasn't helping. She could feel that her power was barely affecting the poison, chipping away at it little by little, but it wouldn't save him. She wasn't going to let him die, so she let go. The energy crackled like fire and poured out of her, slamming into his chest with such force that it threw him back into the wall, and sent her to the floor as well.
For a moment, Xerex felt all of his energy return. He was as strong as he had ever been with Misery, his claws sank into the floor. Nothing could stand up to him, his heartbeat was strong and his fever disappeared. The moment ended and his illness slammed back into him worse than before. His head pounded and he sagged to the floor, nauseous. He clutched at his stomach, groaning. "Kari? I don't think it worked."
He didn't receive an answer. Had she been so exhausted that she had passed out. He blinked, opening his eyes slowly. A large feather skidded across the floor and stopped in front of him, at the end of it was a sharp barb. He tried to pick it up, and found that the edges of the ink black feather were razor sharp. Blood dripped from his fingers, and he dropped the feather hastily.
Was he hallucinating, where had the feather come from? It wasn't Hugin's it was the size of the raven, and the length of his forearm. He looked up and froze, his eyes widening. "Kari?" She was curled up into a ball, leaned against the back wall of the hut. Large black wings curved from her shoulders, arching around her protectively. Her face was covered by her hands, but he could see the talons that curved at the end of her fingers, and a few feathers mixed with her hair.
He pushed himself up on his hands and knees, his hair hanging into his eyes. He should stay away from her, she might not recognize him. If each of those feathers were like the one on the ground, then those wings were deadly. He should have crawled towards the door, but instead he pushed his way towards the fallen girl. "Kari, are you okay?" Her hands pulled away from her eyes, and light green eyes met his, slit pupils and all.
Her wings shifted, feathers standing up and glistening threateningly under the flickering light that hung from the ceiling. A growl shook the air between them, but Xerex kept moving. She had been able to approach him when he was like this, maybe he could do the same. "It's alright, it's just me." Her eyes were frightened, but she didn't attack him. Her wings closed in on her, shielding her from him, and she pulled herself further against the wall. He put one hand on the oil black wing and pushed it aside, the feathers sliced into his palm, but she allowed him to move it.
With his other hand he reached out and took one of her hands, his claws wrapping around her small wrist. "Are you still in there?" Her wings pulled back and settled against her back, folded up, but there was no recognition in her eyes just fear and shock. She didn't know him. Kari wasn't there. He slammed his fist down on the floor in frustration. "I'm sorry." He let go of her hand and slumped forward.
She had lost her humanity, and it hadn't even cured him. She reached forward and tugged on a lock of his hair. He glanced up, surprised to see a shaky smile on her face, revealing her fangs. "Can't… call me human… anymore."
He shoved her, no longer afraid of her attacking him, "You idiot, you scared me half to death. Don't do that!"
Her smile fell from her face and curiosity sparked her eyes, which were returning to their darker hue. "Better?" Her wings scraped loudly against the back wall, and left marks in the wood.
He shook his head, "I still feel sick." She frowned, she could have sworn that her efforts had worked; she had felt the poison dissolve and disappear.
"I thought I felt something weird," Xerex winced at the sound of Alex's voice at the doorway. He didn't want him here at the best of times, but certainly not now.
"I thought you couldn't get up?" He snarled at the demon, looking over his shoulder at him. Alex didn't even spare him a glance; his eyes were fixed on Kari. Xerex wanted to block his view of her, but he stayed where he was.
"So you took my advice then? I told you wit could work," He walked in; Kari made no move to attack him, although her wings twitched when he got closer.
Growling, Xerex fixed him with a glare, "Yes well, it did not work. I feel worse than before, thanks to your idiotic advice."
Alex snorted, "Please, she pushed more energy through your body than you are accustomed to, it is perfectly normal for you to react negatively. What your feeling now, is kind of like, car sickness." Kari perked up at this, because that meant there was still a chance that it had worked.
"How do you know so much?" The green eyed demon inquired, his question was clearly accusation.
He just shrugged, "I spent a lot of time around Gabriel, I know more about the language and its power than you do. I'm sure you want to use this against me, but why don't you put that aside for now and just be grateful for my aiding knowledge?"
Kari had stopped talking and didn't seem interested in the conversation at all anymore. Xerex saw that she was staring at her wrist. He followed her gaze, seeing only unmarked skin. "What's wrong?" She ran her other hand over her wrist.
"Misery's demon mark… it's gone." She whispered, wondering what this would mean for herself and the creature. From here on out she was on her own, she would have to keep herself in control. As for the monster, she hoped that the disappearance of the mark hadn't doomed him.
Kari was starting to find it easier to talk, "What am I supposed to do about this?" She tried to raise one of the wings a little, it ended up shooting out and slamming into the opposite wall loudly. She winced and pulled the wing back in.
"You might want to practice controlling those. I imagine they will go away soon, same as his claws," Alex gestured to the dark haired youth, who tucked his hands into his pockets at the mention of his claws.
She tried extending them again, slower this time and was more successful. "If we are leaving in the morning, you two are going to have to chill out, I'm not listening to you argue the whole way there." She picked the feather up off the floor, and twirled it between her fingers.
"He is not coming with us," Xerex demanded.
"Do you even know the kind of lands you have to go through between here and there? You're going to need all the help you can get."
"We can manage just fine without you," he snarled, his eyes narrowing into angry slits.
"We aren't leaving him behind Xerex, deal with it." Kari snapped, "So you can either suck it up and play nice, or I'll order both of you to stop talking completely."
Alex grinned seductively, "I always play nice, don't I Kitten?" Xerex went read and looked like he was about to tear the other boy's head off of his shoulders.
"Okay, that's enough, cut it out Aleksander," Kari snapped, glaring at him. She only barely remembered Gabriel referring to him as such, and the name had really just slipped out.
Alex looked startled and stared at her. Finally he just said, "If we're leaving in the morning, then we should all get some sleep, later Xerex. Goodnight… Kari."
Once he had disappeared Kari pushed Xerex, "What is your problem? You know he just says stuff like that to piss you off. You shouldn't let it bother you."
Xerex shrugged his eyes still on the space that the other demon had vacated. "I don't know… if anyone else had called him that name, he would have killed them for it." He got up and offered her his hand. "He is right though, we all need to get some sleep." Kari put her hand in his, and couldn't help but stare. Her taloned fingers and his claws. He cleared his throat and pulled his hand from hers. "Goodnight Kari." To her surprise he leaned down and gave her an awkward kiss on the cheek, not meeting her eyes afterwards.
She stood there alone staring at the floor and trying to figure out exactly what had just happened. Finally she threw her hands up in the air muttering, "Stupid demons." Trying to find a comfortable way to sleep with two wings protruding from her back proved difficult. She found that she could settle the feathers down, and they became soft, instead of razor sharp, then she could use them to wrap around herself, after that it wasn't long until she drifted off. She was so tired, even her nightmares couldn't disturb her.
A/n: Man this chapter took way too long. I have not had a good couple of weeks -_- . But now that my schedule is better and my illness is going away, back to writing! Hope everyone had a great valentine's day I made Heartless valentines, they are on my DA if you want to check them out. Link to my DA on my profile :D Also, this song, I have been looking to use this song forever, because the whole song is just so Heartlessesque to me :3 hope you liked the chapter, and I hope Alex is starting to convince you he's not such a horrible character after all. Let me know whatcha think, ciao!