The moon smirked down at her, illuminating her dark emerald hair with soft ethereal light and causing the crimson jewelistic sheen of her eyes to seem even more cold and hard as diamonds. She stood silhouetted against the darkness, one and the same as the inky night around her—an ice cold angel of death. The thick vinyl of her coat billowed out behind her, and she resembled so well the stone cross which made a white splotch from the top of the cathedral. Her boots were well-balanced on the building's slanting top, a feat few humans could accomplish well. But she wasn't a mere human, she reflected as a wry grin spread over her angular features, revealing two long fangs like tiny daggers under blood red lips.

Aesha Kutlass watched the fog settle over the city streets, dimming lamps all over. It was hunting season again, she smiled expectantly. The cool of gunmetal penetrated her leather breeches as she felt the two guns strapped at her waist. The bullets were quicksilver, blessed to banish all evil back to the depths of hell. She would never leave these anywhere but on her body. She flipped back free ringlets of dark green and leapt from the stone roof and landed quietly on the ground below—a sheer four storey drop. Her lean and powerful legs bent to absorb the impact, then straightened almost immediately as she sprinted away from the cathedral doors.

Partying again, Aesha?

The vampiress continued, unfeigned by the mental intrusion into her mind. After all, she had allowed her partner to do so.

In a manner.

She replied coyly and shot a glimpse to the slightly rustling bushes as she sped past them, just a dark blur. A similarly quick shadow darted in step with her, feline in form and as big as a well-bred stallion. Her phantom panther shot her an amber-eyed stare in return, assuring Aesha of her presence. She only turned her head back to the streets as her legs pumped rapidly. As long as the cathedral remained safe she would have to go in search of some trouble to combat her boredom. All part of being the biggest irony in the world.

Aesha turned swiftly down an alleyway and slowed as she reached an inconspicuous back door. She eventually came to a rather abrupt stop, the phantom cat appearing by her side. She turned the knob and walked calmly into the bar, bustling with the sound of clanging billiard balls and complaining customers as well as a few male consorts having a pleasant time. Most of them were vampires, sipping on what looked like red wine or Bloody Mary's, but the true identity of these beverages was better left unknown. On this particular night the bar was even more packed than usual. Well of course, what would the denizens of darkness have to do with Christmas Eve?

She heard a familiar chuckle resound in her head as her partner Lucian once again intruded into her mind. Technically he was many miles away in New York, spending the Christmas holiday with his family and taking a break from the whole monster-hunting business he so often undertook with Aesha.

Aren't you supposed to be kissing under the mistletoe, Lucian, and not bothering my already packed mind? She sent a sarcastic mental message back at him. Her partner was quite the flirt, and she adored hounding on that point. Another chuckle came floating back at her as she sat down at the counter, the panther reclining under her feet. No one would see the ghost cat, and that was probably a good thing.

My dear Miss Kutlass, he replied slickly. It's Christmas Eve. Perhaps you should consider doing more interesting things other than drinking blood.

Aesha almost snorted out loud, but managed to check herself. She felt her cat's tail flick gently against her shin and sipped from the mug of red blood. My innocent Lucian, she thought with every inch of mirth she had. If you had not noticed, that is the monster I have become.

There is still the other part of you, the part you used to have. I wonder where that has gone.

She scowled darkly at this, always hating how she was plagued with a partner who refused to see her as a monster.

That part of me is lost. She answered sharply.

Lucian gave another mental chuckle, but this time an amused one. Then go find it.

Aesha was about to send a jolt of pain to him, but he broke the link almost immediately. It seemed years of partnership had gotten Lucian used to her antic. No matter, she thought to herself. What Lucian had told her, however, haunted her as she finished up her drink. Could she truly find that other self she buried deep under her pain and anger once again? Could she push the vampire away, and bring out the angel? How disturbing those questions were.

"Hey miss, you gonna just sit there for the rest of the night?" the bartender asked her inquisitively. He was a tall young man with chestnut brown hair. His eyes glowed the telltale vampiric red.

"How many places can vampires go on Christmas Eve?" she answered back. He looked thoughtful for a moment.

"Back to their families? With colored contacts?" he replied with a smile. Aesha managed a small smile.

She said quietly, "Ain't got no family."

He frowned. "Anywhere but this hell-hole." She silently agreed.

The vampire hunter stood and beckoned her phantom cat to follow her. Taking out a few bills, she slipped it on the counter and nodded politely to the bartender. He grinned and watched her go.

"Merry Christmas!" he called as she pushed the door open. Aesha paused a moment, wondering if she should return the call.

She shook her head. "Merry Christmas to you too." She said under her breath, the words strange on her lips. She strode off into the night, watching the clouds gather. A light snow began to fall all around her, staining her with ivory flakes. Her boots crushed into cool ice as she watched the Christmas light blink. Singing and loud voices emanated from houses on both sides of the roads. Dim yellow light filtered through windows and curtains, spilling onto the pavement. Aesha thought of the warmth of the cathedral and the fireplace she'd seen once, back when she wasn't what she was now. She lifted her head to the windows, watching couples dancing, people half-drunk and sitting round the Christmas trees, children putting up mistletoes, families feasting on ice cream cakes. When was the last time she had seen Christmas, Aesha wondered randomly. She could hardly remember.

"Ever done any of those things before, cat?" she said quietly to her panther. Although she knew it could not understand anything beyond her feelings, it felt good to watch as the ethereal cat cocked its head at her. Aesha sighed and stroked its soft fur. "Guess not huh."

She startled as a madly running child bumped into her and stumbled backwards, dropping a small bouquet of roses. The little girl pushed back the hat, which fell over eyes and stared at Aesha apologetically.

"I'm sorry." She said quietly. Aesha gathered the fallen flowers and handed them back to the child.

"These are for my mother. She's really sick and I wanna make her happy." The girl smiled sadly. "Thank you for saving them!"

Aesha shrugged and smiled a bit. "I hope your mother gets well."

The girl brightened and grinned. "I'm sure she will! You're very kind, miss." She said. "Goodbye and Merry Christmas!" she jogged past her and retreated into the distance.

Aesha shook her head and wondered if God was trying to turn her into a softie on Christmas Eve. Not exactly the present she wanted. She continued down her path, all the while lost in a place of blankness. All she really wanted to do now was return to her bed and get a straight sleep for one night at least.

Those thoughts were shattered as she slipped through the cathedral doors to find a figure in a brown trench coat, sitting quietly on a bench with head bowed in prayer. Dark green hair—much like hers—was crew-cut and rather unruly. He looked up suddenly and stood up, turning around to face her. Aesha wished and wished she wouldn't see that face she had begun to loath ever so much. Yet there it was, staring back at her—a masculine version of herself, complete with the same crimson eyes. She glared at him, making a move for her guns. He raised his arms slightly to the side, as if showing he had nothing on him.

"What do you think you're doing here? You defile this place." She spat at him.

He smiled a rather despaired smile. "I wanted to see you. It's been too long, sister."

Aesha felt her anger rise and pushed it down, retaining every inch of clam. "Don't you dare call me that. You are just another blood-sucker to me."

Aidan Kutlass winced at the insult, running a pale hand nervously through his hair. "You still hate me for what I did to you?"

"I will never forgive you." She said, her voice dangerously cold.

"Funny," he retorted, loosing some of his patience. "You seem to be enjoying the unlife."

A black gun came from under her coat and into her hand, its barrel pointed directly at her brother—the man who took away her mortality and turned her into an Undead monster. Her finger twitched on the trigger, and she imagined blessed metal tearing into his vile heart. But how much less vile was hers?

"Do you want to die tonight?" she whispered in a deadly tone. He shook his head and sighed.

"I'm sorry." Aidan said placatingly. "I made a mistake in coming here."

He moved towards the door, and Aesha lowered her gun. He walked steadily, down the isle and towards the exit she so wanted him to disappear out of forever. When he reached her side. However, he stopped.

"You hate me, and I do not blame you for it." Aidan said gently. "But it was you whom father passed his blood to. It is you whom inherited all the archangel Gabriel had to give, and you left me with none. Now I am an Undead, a Child of Darkness, and there is no path of redemption for me—no matter how hard I seek it. But you have the Light and the Darkness, and you can rise again. If you forget all else about me, sister, at least remember this.

Remember that while you are making that choice between the twin sides in your heart, I am forever bound by eternal darkness." He said in a tone both cold and honest. With that, he continued towards the heavy oak doors.

Aesha stood there, unmoving as an ebony statuette. Her heart pounded as the reality of those words sank her hatred like a heavy anchor. She had never realized that while she had the freedom of choice, her brother was forever fallen—forever bound, as he had said. Was she right in being so petty in her feelings? Had the light inside her been extinguished? The dull ache and sudden doubt that plagued her usually confident persona made her a mirror unto herself, and she saw the ugly faults in her soul.

"For God so loved the world," she murmured, her voice echoing around the cathedral. "That He gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever shall believe in Him will not perish," she turned her eyes to the stained glass, a design of angels and a cross, stained red with blood.

"But have eternal life."

The footsteps halted by the door, where the half-open slit allowed a splinter of light to cut into the dimness. The first rays of dawn reflected of the stained glass windows, splashing a picture of the two figures on the deep blues, reds and yellows. Aesha stared at their images, reflected dully in the white of the cross. She watched as twin black wings sprouted form their backs, glowing with tongues of fire. The light from outside fell across her face in a slanted line, turning part of her pale skin gold. From far away she heard iron bells toll and the sound of voices singing, carried in the swift winter wind.

"When I was a seeker
I sought both night and day,
I asked the Lord to help me,
And he showed me the way."

A/N: wow that was kinda long. Christmas is coming soon so here's a sort of tribute. A one-shot haha. The song is from Go Tell It On The Mountain. crits anyone?