Almost Time

            He came—swift and silent like leaves that fall in winter. Unnoticed as he faded into existence along that empty street. A stray cat yowled and disappeared behind a molding cardboard box. He was a black figure—dressed in a suit that seemed to absorb in the light from the streetlamp overhead. To any passing car, he would have been just another shadow among the teeming mass of other shadows to be found that night. Just another reason not to stop the car and to make sure the doors were locked.

            There was nothing particularly threatening about his attire—he would have blended in smoothly among any group of businesspeople. But it was the lean meanness of his face that gave him the look of trained assassins that killed without thought. It was the sharp arch of his eyebrows and the set line of his mouth. And he almost would have been handsome were it not for the strange tattoos across one cheek—twisting and curling like the body of a snake against skin as dark as earth—and the unnatural silver sheen in his eyes. Glinting like the blade of a knife in the snow.

            Looking up through his hair (as unkempt and black as a crow's wing) he squinted momentarily at the light of a lamppost. Then, bringing his hand up in a flicking motion, the light went out. The light momentarily caught on a set of canines as it died and left him to continue on in complete darkness. Just the way he liked it, his wiry frame lending him the contented stride of a panther. He walked with a purpose, which was made clear when he wandered into a neighborhood nearby lined all the way down with identical white houses and little garden lots in front. A small, neat sign standing at the corner pronounced it to be Cornelia Drive. But he needed no street signs to know where he was going. Something like instinct, only more primal, urged him along to his destination. It had been too long since he had seen her. Five years, for him, had passed by on sluggish feet. Trapped where he couldn't escape—fly free. Not without her. So he made the journey tonight—if just to assure himself that the wait wouldn't be for much longer. He stopped before a small, white mailbox.

            27 Cornelia Drive.

            He had come to the right place. White house, nondescript, with a white picket fence. Stalks of roses (blood red with the moonlight) lining a red brick sidewalk. Red and white—the perfect picture of normalcy, with a loveseat. Wrought iron with the design of trees that had rusted a little in places. All these and so many other details he seemed to take in with a single glance—sweeping across the grounds and settling on the windows. Glowing orange with an inner light and life. All except one. And it was this one he focused on—his Source called.

            Muttering under his breath, the air shivered behind him—bursting into sparks that weaved into a pair of feathered wings. Feathers black and unkempt like his hair. They had formed in a moment until they looked so natural that they could have been there the whole time. Hiding until they were called into tangible existence again. There was a moment where not even the crickets chirped—

            And he took off. Leaping from the ground, his wings maneuvered him to that single, darkened window, curtains drawn and probably locked from the inside.

            He paused, wings beating steadily, before the window. Something flashed for a moment in his expression, the sharp glint of his eyes becoming just a little dimmer, before he brought his hand up once again—resting against the opening of the window. The ghostly curtains on the other side shivered violently for a breath in recognition of the raw power he carried.

            With the barest of whispers, the window fell open—rustling the sheer curtains as he made his way inside. His movements were practiced and sure. After all, how many times had he done this before?

            Maneuvering deftly around the various books and papers scattered across the floor, he had to chuckle a little—fangs extending. She always was reading. A deep black cover with silver lettering caught his eye. He knelt down and picked up the book idly, hanging it listlessly between his fingers.

            "Hamlet…William Shakespeare…" he looked quickly to the sleeping form on the bed. "Curious."

            Discarding the book, he went quickly for one of the papers laying innocently on the floor. It was full of crosses and slashes in inks of every perceivable color, but one name stood alone at the bottom. Circled with vigor. "Matt Smith." With only the barest of glances at the name, he crumpled the paper. Holding it in his hand, the paper seemed to ignite and burn rapidly until it was nothing more than a pile of ashes that he brushed briskly from his hand.

            Approaching the bed, he spotted the night light and brought his hand out—dimming the light slowly while keeping a careful eye on the figure sleeping in the bed.

            "Cara…" with her name, his shoulders untensed and something large seemed to leak out of his frame.

            Her hair was splayed lazily against the pillow—like lines of fire against the white fabric. The curtains shifted in a night breeze and bathed her face momentarily in the faint moonlight. Giving her pale face an ethereal glow. He bent forward to touch it, but the draft made her brows wrinkle and her body shift under the covers. He retracted immediately into the shadows with careful eyes, but re-emerged once he saw that she was still asleep.

            He came close—as close as he dared anyways. It amazed him, every time he made the journey, how much she grew each time. He had seen her born, seen her as a child. Even since then, he had chosen her—to be his Source. She never knew who he was, but seemed to accept that he was there from time to time. He'd lately only come to her while she slept, though. She was growing fast—almost a woman. Almost time. And the heavens knew he needed her. He couldn't last doing this for long. He had already grown weak to light.

            He had seen her during her mother's childbirth. He had gone unnoticed—no-one ever knew he was there unless he wanted them to. He had seen her mother go through the pains of labor, blonde hair wet and sticking to her face and neck. The moment Cara had been born, he had been one of the first to hold her. And he had known, in that moment, that she was the one. The one he'd have to take with him when the time was right. The one that would keep him from losing his powers and surrendering forever to the dark and cold. His Source. Ever since then, he'd always been lurking in the shadows. She'd seen him from time to time and maybe even recognized the fact that he kept re-appearing at random intervals in her life. Yet she never said anything, and kept it all to herself. She also had few friends, he'd noticed.

            Still bent over her, he brought one finger to brush against her eyelids—slow and lingering. He remembered what her eyes looked like. Green and blue like seaweed in oceans he hardly remembered. It had been so long since he had remembered anything other than the dark and ice melting from the ceilings—raining down in icy drops that became poison before they even reached the ground. And he had always been cold.

            But she was so warm. Almost scalding to his icy fingers, but in a way that kept him coming closer. Hoping she'd dispel some of that alluring warmth to him—of only for a short while.

            So that was how he kissed her. He had been waiting too long, and he needed something to keep him through until the time he could claim her. His lips touched against hers for the briefest of moments—hers so warm and full of life that it made him ache. But she was still sleeping—she wouldn't even know he'd been here when she woke up in the morning. Except—

            He straightened back up and curled his hand into a fist. Squinting his eyes and furrowing his brows, he seemed to turn his concentration inward, tattoos glowing for a while with an eery light before he abruptly opened his eyes. Uncurling his hands, an object lay in there now. Pale and catching the moonlight, a pendant of entwined snakes, holding a single stone between both of their gaping mouths. The stone was the eye of a snake, unnaturally cold and an angry red in color—contrasting starkly with the chain of woven spider threads and his own raw power. She'd need to grow accustomed to it in order to last the ritual.

            Taking it from his hand, he placed it carefully around her neck—despite her constant shifting. She seemed to be looking for something without wanting to wake up—tossing and turning in a fitful slumber. Encountering his waist, she proceeded to wrap her arms around it and fall back into rest—snuggling her face into his side. Obviously unaware of what she had snuggled into.

            He looked down at her, and suddenly could remember a time when he had been here on Earth, when she had been but five years old. Playing in the park, she had chanced upon a snake and gotten bitten. Alone and crying in a forested area of the playground, he had simply come up to her and held her in his arms. He was surprised when she didn't question or push him away, but clung onto him—the same way she was now, screaming and crying.

            "It hurts! It hurts so much!!"


            "Ri—Right there." She hiccupped, pointing with a shaky finger in the area of her foot. Bending down, he saw the puncture wounds and the skin swelling up quickly. He knew the poison was spreading too fast to wait for aid. He would have to act soon.

            Taking his hand, he gently placed it over the bite marks, ignoring her cries of pain, and simply concentrated on the flow of poison already in her fragile mortal bloodstream. He took his concentration and used it to dive into her body, traveling her bloodstreams and focusing on getting all the poison out. Minutes of concentration and making sure he got every single last drop of poison, and he was finally able to pull it all out into a large and shining bead of clear fluid, suspending it above his hand and watching with amusement how the child immediately stopped crying to stare at it.

            "You can do magic?" her hazel eyes, all innocence and wide-eyed curiosity.

            "Yes." he said it simply, but with a smirk that denoted calm patience. Well, it was one way to put it. She seemed about to say something else, when—

            "Cara!! Cara-dear!" a mother's anxious voice rung out through the trees accompanied by the noises of one (unsuccessfully) trying to part the shrubbery. "Cara, where are you!"

            A small frown creased the top of Cara's head for a moment. Then, shaking her fine red hair out of her face, she turned up to look at him.


            "I have to go…"

            Abruptly, he got up and smoothly put her back on her feet. He was turning to leave, when a tugging at the base of his leg made him turn again.

            "What's your name?" her hazel eyes pierced into his as she asked me that question with all the gravity of an adult.

            He considered her briefly—turning the question over in his mind. Was it too soon for her to know too much? She was five, and he would have to wait all those cold years for her to mature…

            "Vengan." He had said simply. And before she could ask any more, his body shivered and faded in between the rays of light.

            Only to reappear in a nearby tree. He needed to be sure that she was safe before he could truly leave.

            "Cara?" her mother's voice emerged again and her figure soon followed through the dense foliage. "Why didn't you answer when I called you?"

            With all the innocence and honesty of childhood, she answered back, " I was talking to this man, mommy."

            He saw the mother's brown eyes narrow and her shoulders tense. "A…man? What did I tell you about talking to strangers!" The mother's posture was suddenly defensive and her eyes shot about the clearing as if she expected the stranger to jump out of the bushes and begin attacking them any second.

            "He's not, mommy! His name is—is—" her brows furrowed and she bent her head in concentration—trying to remember the strange name that dark man had told her.

            "Never mind. Cara, come here. We're going now." Clenching her hand around Cara's arm, the mother began walking hurriedly away.

            Obediently, Cara followed her mom and left the clearing. Vengan had been watching the whole time. And, with a brief flash of dagger-eyes, he truly left.

            She was stirring next to him. He could feel each of her movements like his own—could feel her rising from the world of dreams. She would be up soon. She'd wake up and find the pendant hanging around her neck. Maybe she'd know—maybe she wouldn't. That still wouldn't change the fact that he was coming for her soon. That soon, she'd be his and it wouldn't be so cold anymore.

            With one last glance at the rays of sun beginning to leak in through the window—he faded out of existence. As quiet as he had come. Only the female figure on the bed seemed to note his absence keenly. Frowning in light sleep and turning over, she muttered a single word—a name—before closing her hand around the pendant and falling back to the fairy tales of sleep.



A/N: well, here's the revised version. In my opinion, A LOT better than the first one I posted up. But yea, like I said. This was an idea that I had had for a story a LONG time ago. Even before Loki, I think. I had the first few paragraphs, but school happened and I was forced to discontinue. Then I started Loki and, while searching for some research thingamabob for a final, I found this and…. voila ^_^

For those of you wondering about Loki, since school is out, I have more time to go over it and work on it. I am currently going back over chapter 6 part 1 and revising it (hopefully better than before ^_^). I also have the entire next part worked out and such, I just need to write it down. So, let's say, give me a day to revise....two days to write…one day to personal edit and give to beta reader…and another day to get it back with feedback, fix and get it on ^_^..see? I CAN be organized when I want to…^____^

Well, give me EXACTLY what you think about this (I'm not expecting any flattery simply because I still don't think it is exactly my best work, but…*shrug*)…I won't be offended by any flames and this-is-crap reviews.