Disclaimer: I don't own any of the products referred to in here. I make no money off of this, and I have no money for you to sue me for. If you think I stole any names or concepts, you're probably right, but read the prior disclaimers before you get your panties in a bunch. Any resemblance to persons living or dead (haha… get it? Dead… no? Well, whatever. The living have no appreciation for good humor) is merely paranoia on your part.


Shot to Hell

Chapter 07

After finally managing to peel himself from the door frame, Trent showered (with a chair jammed up under the door handles of both the bedroom and bathroom doors- just basic precautionary measures against perverts like Sky) and changed into more comfortable clothes.

His search for where Sky had skipped off to lead him downstairs. He found the man (robe back on, thank god) rifling through the refrigerator. Right as Trent reached the kitchen, Sky held up a purple ketchup bottle, twitching slightly when he squeezed too tightly and some of the condiment squirted out the top, plopping onto the tile floor.

"There is something incredibly disturbing about this," Skylar muttered to Duke, who responded by licking the floor clean.

"What are you doing?" Trent asked, sitting down at the kitchen table.

"Research," Sky replied shortly.

"Research?"

"Gotta keep up with the times, man. Oh, and I think your… ketchup is diseased. I mean, it's bright purple."

"Yeeeaah. That's why the bottle is also purple and it says 'purple' on the bottle. It's meant to be that way."

"I know that, but purple ketchup… Seriously?"

"Dead serious."

"Ha! Good one, Trev," Sky slapped his thigh.

"Huh?"

"Dead serious. I mean, not very original, but it gets me every time."

Trent stared at Sky, unsure of what to say. "Right… they make blue ketchup, too. There should be some of it in the fridge as well."

"It comes in blue, too?"

"Yes."

"And no one finds this strange? At all?"

"It's just food coloring."

"Good point…" Skylar waved the ketchup bottle at Trent, "but why? It's ketchup, who cares?"

"There isn't really a reason for it. Kids seem to like it is all."

"Kids these days…" Sky sighed, shoving the ketchup back in the refrigerator. "Anyways, are you hungry? We need sustenance for the many long, tedious, and exhausting hours we must spend in each other's unwanted presence-" You're the one who asked me to help you, you ungrateful bastard- "so how about some pancakes?"

Did he mean for Trent to make them… or was Sky offering to cook pancakes? Trent raised a skeptical eyebrow, unsure as to why he felt so apprehensive.

Sky… cooking… for me? Sky… doing something nice… for me?

"When was the last time you made anything with real food? Should I trust a dead person's cooking abilities?"

"No, not really, no," Sky chuckled, "but don't worry, you don't need to trust me."

"You got that fucking right," Trent mumbled.

Sky wagged his finger at him. "You mustn't insult the chef, Trevor, or who knows what might end up in the pancake batter."

Fuck you, you fucking dick-headed, ass-licking, shitty McShitster!

"Right, sorry," he forced through clenched teeth.

Duke sat beside Trent and they both watched, their heads turning back and forth, as Skylar rummaged through all the cabinets, pulling out a skillet, mixing bowls, measuring cups… He was humming some weird tune, the lyrics of which were something along the lines of, 'pancakes, pancakes, making pancakes'.

Trent could've simply pointed out where all the necessary items were located, but this was far more entertaining.

"Trevor, darling, do you have any flour?" Sky called airily from the pantry.

"Huh, you trying to make them from scratch? Just use the Bisquick. And it's Trent! T-R-E-N-T, Trent. NOT Trevor, and definitely NOT 'darling'."

"Bisquick? Quick is good. We might need to hurry things up." Sky's dirty-blond head poked out of the doorway. "So… this Bisquick?"

"It's a yellow box. Somewhere near the bottom."

"Right." His head disappeared again.

"How'd you get into my room anyways?" Trent asked.

"Hhhm? Well, you've got that conveniently placed trellis that leads right up to the window of the master bathroom."

"Oh… I thought maybe you could just pop up anywhere you please. Like that finger trick you did to me."

"No…" Skylar muttered as he read the box's instructions. "Just add water? Nice… but now they're telling me to use eggs and oil. That's some false advertising… No, this is Earth, where natural laws do actually apply… for the most part."

"Yeah, I just thought you'd have, like, portals or something."

"There are," Skylar answered, grabbing a couple eggs from the fridge, "but only a few. It's not like the whole earth can be covered in portals so you can just pop up anywhere you'd like. If the planet had a layer of portals- all that concentrated supernatural matter- over its whole surface, you can bet something wrong is bound to happen. Blending of dimensions, cosmic imbalances, those kinds of things."

"But you can do it when you're in…"

"The Immortal Realm. Yeah, typically. It's tiring after a while, though… especially traveling between the Lower and Higher Plains… or when carrying dead weight like you with me."

Sky pointed the mixing spoon at Trent, "Get it? Dead weight. Man, I'm telling you, these dead jokes. They never get old." When Sky paused to stare at him expectantly, Trent lifted his hands, palms facing upwards, and shrugged equivocally. "… because they're dead, get it… 'cause the dead… the dead never get old…"

"You are comic genius," Trent responded dully.

"That I am, Trevor, my boy." Sky waved the spoon about triumphantly.

"Sky! I'm not 'your boy' nor is my name fucking Trevor."

"Right you are!" Sky went back to humming his pancake tune. Trent knew that even if he was 'right', Sky would continue to call him Trevor. The man always did whatever he wanted. But…

Trent frowned, thinking. Something definitely wasn't right here. Sky had been extremely talkative… No. He was always talkative, fucking yapping and jabbering away. It wasn't that he was speaking more…

Ever since he'd gotten downstairs, Sky had been acting strangely… almost… almost kindly. Almost. Was this to lull Trent into a false sense of security so Sky could tie him up before he had a chance to defend himself?

Trent furrowed his eyebrows.

The scantily-clad man wasn't using his various dirty, underhanded, and immature means in order to avoid Trent's questions. He wasn't using a bunch of ridiculously dramatic voices. He wasn't smirking ingratiatingly, grinning coyly, or shooting Trent condescending, superior looks.

Was he too distracted with by something to act like a dick? Was it the pancakes… or something else?

Trent studied Sky's face as the man scooped out a cup of pancake batter and poured it onto the skillet. At the moment, his face looked neutral, or maybe lax if anything… though the dark circles under his eyes and the five o'clock shadow made his face appear rather haggard and haunted when he wasn't grinning obnoxiously like a total maniac.

I wonder how he died.

He could definitely get used to this more reserved- less volatile- less… he wasn't quite sure what- version of the other man.

Less of an infuriatingly cocky flirt who treats you like a piece of garbage?

Yeah, that sounded about right. If Trent absolutely had to be stuck with the fairy, then this version of him was infinitely better. It wasn't like he wanted to be in the man's company right now, either, he was merely choosing between the lesser of two evils.

Trent rested his head upon the table, turning towards the counter to watch Sky cook- only because it was never a good idea to have your back to that man, or you'd suddenly find yourself being bashed in by a baseball bat.

"Hey, Sky?"

"Hhhn?"

"Are you really going to use that rope if I don't do what you want?"

"I dunno… I brought it just to mess with you, but, now that I've got it, it'd be a shame not to use it." Sky waggled his eyebrows at him. Sky's flirtatious manner always bothered Trent- made him feel unbalanced. Thus, Trent decided, despite the risk of blunt objects to the back of the head, that he'd much rather follow the movements of the second hand as it rotated around the clock on the wall.

Time… he had all the time in the world, all the time in the universe, all the time ever- forever and ever and fucking ever. It was too much time for him to even comprehend, let alone imagine himself living (well, in a way) through all of it.

How long could he do this for? He knew that there had to be something worse in store for him in the near (for the immortal realm) future. This punishment just didn't seem extreme enough compared to the stories Lizzie had regaled him with.

"What's going to happen to me?" Trent whispered dejectedly to himself.

"Eh? You sound like you're going to cry," Sky looked up, eyes narrowing. His hearing is irritatingly good. He looked about ready to sneer and snap an insult at Trent, but was distracted with flipping the pancakes over. "Was that a philosophical-quandary-slash-rhetorical-question or do you mean within the next few weeks?"

Trent merely sighed dishearteningly in response as he stood up to retrieve the butter, syrup, and powdered sugar.

"Oh, stop moping like a baby," Sky rolled his eyes at him from over the skillet, "and bring me a couple dishes."

Skylar dropped the finished pancakes onto one of the plates, handing it back to Trent. "Now, shoo," he ordered, sweeping his hand at Trent

See if I thank you now, jerk off.

"Thanks," Trent grunted stingily, sitting down.

"Aw, Trev. How nice of you to say that!" Sky clutched the spatula to his chest, batting his eyelashes histrionically. God, he's starting this shit up again.

Fortunately, the man's attention was diverted as he concentrated on making more pancakes…

"That is really gross, dude." Skylar's lip curled in disgust at Trent's plate, whereupon his pancakes were submersed in a sea of syrup underneath an iceberg of powdered sugar.

Trent shoveled more food into his mouth, looking up. "Huh?"

Sky eyed him scornfully. "You've got syrup dripping down your chin."

"Mhmm," Trent answered. A moment later, a wet hand towel slapped against his face. He cringed in surprise from the unexpected, cold wetness. Peeling the towel off from where it was plastered to his face, he wiped his mouth with it. "Fanksh."

"You're welcome," Sky replied, sitting back down across from him, cutting into his own, unsaturated pancakes. "It was entirely my pleasure, seeing as no one, myself included, would want to watch anything dribbling down a gorilla face like yours."

Trent gulped down the rest of the food in his mouth and brandished his butter knife at the other man. "It's not my face. My face was normal. And not completely hideous."

"This is true," Skylar responded, taking a bite. Trent snapped his mouth shut and started to fish out a piece of pancake from the syrupy depths of his plate. He hadn't expected Sky to agree so easily. He wasn't sure why it was surprising. The blond had only agreed that Trent's real face didn't look like a Neanderthal's.

For fucks sake, it's nothing to be so self-conscious about.

"Anyways… After we eat, I do not want, as you seem to be under the impression, to fuck you."

Trent coughed. When Sky said the word 'fuck' it sounded so harsh, forceful.

Dirty and sinful as hell?

"Right. I got it," Trent stabbed at his food, "so we don't need to bring it up again then, do we?"

"Why the hostility, Trevor? I just wanted to make things absolutely clear. You seem to have a hard time with a lot of relatively simple concepts-"

"Oi!"

"-Anyways, tonight, we need to go shopping and find you a new body," Sky raked his eyes across Trent's upper body appraisingly before he winced insultingly, "preferably one that isn't jacked up on steroids and testosterone."

"He-" Trent stoppered his outburst. "Sounds good to me."

"After that, we're going to visit a friend of mine."

"A friend?"

Sky nodded.

"A living friend?"

"Yes."

"Are they aware that you are dead?"

"Well," Sky shrugged, "sort of."

Trent groaned. Of course, the ponce could never be straight-forward or forthcoming with anything.

"What does 'sort of' mean?"

"It means kind of, partially, somewhat-"

"I know that-" smart ass- "but how can they only 'sort of' know that you're dead. When you're dead, you're dead. There is no 'sort of' dead."

"You'd consider yourself dead, am I right?" Sky asked and Trent nodded. "But aren't you technically alive right now?"

"That's true, but-"

"So, there is in fact, 'sort of' dead," Skylar cut him off, "souls may also be 'almost dead but not quite' or 'only slightly dead' or simply 'not at all well'-"

"Alright, I get the picture already. But then how are you 'sort of' dead?"

"I never said I was sort of dead," he responded vaguely.

"Yeah, but you implied it, didn't you?"

Sky shrugged ambiguously.

Before Trent could attempt to weasel out a real response, Duke interrupted the conversation by barking wildly and racing to the front door. A moment later, the doorbell rang and Skylar dropped his fork, cursing, "Drat! Shit… Shit!"

Glancing at the other's outburst perplexedly, Trent stood to go see who was at the door.

"Don't answer it!" Skylar lunged out of his chair, dragging Trent down with him to crouch by the dishwasher, away from the view of the window or doorway.

"Are you insane?" Trent snapped, shaking off Skylar's grip, "Why shouldn't I?"

"Because you'll be inviting a D.R.A.T. bounty hunter into the house."

"Drat?"

"Dead Souls Reincarnation, Regulation, Rehabilitation, and Transportation. D-S-R-R-R-A-T, but everyone calls it D-R-A-T, drat, for short. Think of it as the police… No, more like the Unite States' police, CIA, and FBI all rolled into one… and then blend it with any kind of hired killer you can think of."

"Alright, okay… so one of these... D.R.A.T. people, a bounty hunter, is at my door." Trent briefly reflected on this statement. "Bounty hunter! A freakin' bounty hunter? You mean they're, like, coming to kill us?"

"What do you think a bounty hunter does?"

"But I thought we already died, you can't kill a person more than once, right? You can't kill a dead person!"

"Well, I happen to view reincarnation as a cockroach as being about on par with dying."

"I dunno, a cockroach lifestyle is looking pretty good these days," Trent mumbled petulantly.

The doorbell rang again

"But… Maybe they aren't bounty hunters? Maybe they've just come to chat. I mean, Lizzie said she worked for D.R.A.T. and-"

"And I bet she threatened to turn you into a cockroach, too, didn't she?"

"Well, now that you mention it…" Trent trialed off and the two sat in silence for a moment. "Is this because I didn't do my homework?"

"What?" Sky shot him a disbelieving look, "No, idiot."

"So it's probably something you did then?"

Sky glanced at Trent sharply, before smiling soothingly. The smile had the opposite effect on Trent's nerves than its (supposedly) intended one.

"It involves the both of us, most likely," was the man's nebulous answer.

"Is it because I treated Scott so poorly? I broke 'The Golden Rule' and didn't treat others the way I wanted to be treated. Is that why? Because, besides that, I really can't figure out what I've done wrong."

"Sure," Sky agreed, "and I didn't help an old lady across the street the other day."

"These people are fucking strict aren't they?" Trent responded, missing Sky's sarcasm in his worried state, "I'm surprised points aren't taken for every curse word uttered."

"They do add a day to your sentence for each word, depending on how you use them. If I say 'Fucking hell!' because I stubbed my toe, that's all well and good. However, if I say 'Fuck you, Trevor', or 'Trevor, you're such a whiny, bitchy pussy, you might as well be one great, big fucking cunt. Someone should teabag you so you can get a taste of what real balls are', then it's bad. See the difference?"

Sky smiled affably while Trent scowled at him.

"I think I do. So, hypothetically, if I were to say, 'Sky, you're a cum-guzzling slut-bucket of a whore; You should chop off your shitty, diseased dick and go fuck yourself in the ass with it', they'd add to my sentence, am I right?"

Trent gave Sky one of the man's own smarmy grins as best he could. I hope you choke on that bit of your own medicine, asshole.

"Yeah," Skylar rolled his eyes, mouth twitching as he pushed Trent's face away, "you're right."

The person outside tried an old-school approach, testing out the doorknocker.

"They're being awfully polite about it," Trent observed.

"The bounty hunters usually are, technically, still on probation. They can choose whether to get paid in monetary credits for when they're released or to get paid with 'time'. With the later, instead of a salary, a certain percentage of the hours they work is deducted from their sentence. So, if they get a twenty percent deductible and work ten years, that's two years off the sentence.

However, they can still be penalized, so most of them at least try not to do anything that could set back their release date, especially when their sentence is so close to being over… unless it's absolutely necessary and then the paperwork they have to fill out to get approval of any sins, crimes, or damages made on the job is horrendous. It's a sucky job. Most of them gain so much time from this line of work, that the small deductible is worthless. Always go for the credits I say. After all, you'll be richer when you're out and you'll still have just as much time ahead of you- that's how eternity works."

"Uh…" Thanks for the career advice? "I guess I'll keep that in mind? But, anyways, why have you been answering all of my questions so easily? Recently at least, I mean."

"Huh, don't I normally?" Skylar rubbed at his nose.

"No," Trent shook his head, "you don't."

"Oh," Sky scratched at his chin pensively, making it seem as though he was thinking of his response. Yet, even after he finished 'contemplating' the matter, he didn't speak.

I should have never brought this to his attention.

"Like this! This right now is exactly what I mean, you avoided answering the question."

"Really?" Sky gave Trent a puzzled look, lips curling up mischievously.

"Yes!" Trent waited for Sky to respond, but was met with silence, "Well?"

"Well what?"

Oh, this is real fucking stupendous. I am such a dumbfuck for asking.

"Aren't you going to answer my question?"

"Sure… what was it again?"

Trent gave an exasperated sigh.

The doorknocker had been abandoned and the purported bounty hunter began banging at the door.

"So…" Trent began, "shouldn't we be, like, making a run for it… or…?"

"No," Skylar responded curtly.

Care to elaborate at all on that?

"Ah… why?"

"They'll just keep following us. No matter where we go."

Lovely.

"Okay… Then, what? We're gonna wait here for them to come in and kill us?"

The banging was growing louder, as if the person had switched to kicking the door- with a foot that sounded very large and very strong and very scary.

"No. You are going to wait here while I go and take care-"

The front door suddenly and violently crashed open with the distinctive, frightening sound of splintering wood. Well, Trent supposed, they did try asking nicely first.

A few footsteps sounded heavily against the wood floor before the- what had previously been- incessant barking cut off unexpectedly… and did not start back up again.

No! Not the dog, you bastard!

Trent clambered towards the kitchen door, but Sky grabbed onto him, shoving him back to where he'd been. "Wait here," he mouthed, holding up a hand.

With his open robe trailing along the linoleum, Skylar crawled on his hands and knees to the doorway. His crawl didn't look nearly as cool as in all the thriller movies Trent had seen. His movements were not fluid, composed and graceful like a panther. No, his movements were more like a small rodent, short and hurried (and jerky- his robe kept getting caught under his knees).

The blond cautiously poked his head out the door while Trent crept after him, despite Sky's command not to.

"That traitorous attention-whore," Skylar hissed under his breath.

Curious, Trent leaned over top of Sky to peer around the doorframe.

Duke lay prone on the foyer floor. A bearded man with a huge gash across his chest and donning only a tartan kilt, bent over the dog, cooing and scratching him behind the ear.

Skylar thrust an elbow up into Trent's stomach, jostling him. Trent tried to stifle his grunt of pain, sitting back away from the unpredictable man. Sky turned and pressed a hand against Trent's chest, crawling forward, forcing Trent to crab-walk backwards. He propelled Trent into the corner adjacent to the door while Trent bared his teeth at him the whole way.

"What was that for," he muttered and Skylar shot him a murderous look, flapping a hand up and down, motioning for him to keep his voice down. The slim man sat down next to him, shoulder to shoulder.

"He might be distracted for a while. Duke's pretty adorable," Sky tilted his head up to whisper in his ear.

"What?" Trent twisted to hiss back, "Is that supposed to be comforting?"

"Not really," he murmured, the warm air hitting Trent's ear. After the sensation faded, Trent found himself acutely and incomprehensibly aware of Sky's every exhalation. His breath kept… tickling Trent's ear and he felt like shuddering in revulsion. His own mouth, he realized, was very close to Sky's ear. Trent wondered if the man could feel his breath- if it affected him the same way. Was Trent's breathing just as annoying and completely distracting- so much so that it was hard to remember there was a man in the next room out for their blood? Trent wasn't sure when or why he had started to breathe so shallowly-

"Trent Mancini!" A deep voice echoed through the house. Startled, Trent's breath hitched in fear. Eyes clenching shut, he grimaced with mortification. There was no way Sky hadn't heard him, not when he was that close.

"Are you scared, Trevor?" Sky, for all intents and purposes, purred, and Trent could hear the laughter in his voice- could practically feel the sadistic smirk against his face.

Turning away, Trent responded with a trembling breath, "Yeah right."

"Trent Mancini!" The authoritative voice boomed again from the living room, "I work for D.R.A.T. and I know you're in the house. I've been ordered not to reinca-"

Sky quickly and unexpectedly jumped to his feet, not bothering to keep his voice down- in fact he practically shouted, "They're trying to trick you. Stay here!"

Trent followed Sky to the doorway, but remained hidden behind the wall as ordered.

"-you. However, if you refuse to comply, you'll be charged with resisting collection as well as aid-"

"Hellooo there! Good sir!" Sky called running out to meet the kilt-clad man. He skidded to a stop, but his one socked foot continued sliding forward on the polished wood floor. Legs splitting, Sky twirled his arms wildly to keep his balance. "I think there's been some mistake here!"

It was like a grungy, clumsy, pathetic version of Risky Business.

Trent's amusement vanished instantly when the bounty hunter stretched his arm out, pointing a gun at Sky. The lack of distance between the barrel and Sky's chest pretty much ensured the shot's accuracy, no matter how shitty the aim.

Panicking, Trent rushed to the kitchen counter, pulling the knife drawer ope- It's stuck!

"Dammit!" Trent cursed, pulling harder. It's not opening! Why is it not opening? He was wasting so much time messing with it and now he couldn't even hear what was happening in the other room over the sound of knives rattling in the drawer. His anxiety was mounting and the gorilla's body pumped itself full of adrenaline accordingly. Several frazzled, desperate attempts later, Trent finally remembered.

The drawer was child-proofed.

Wrenching open the drawer (after wedging his fingers through the small opening to fiddle with the lock), he grabbed the biggest, most intimidating-looking (and hopefully, as a consequence, the most lethal) knife he could find. At the sound of gunshots he rushed into to the foyer. When he found the burly man standing by himself in living room, he instinctively howled an incoherent battle cry, arms raised.

The battle cry died off soon after with a gargling whimper when Trent realized that he had actually launched the knife across the room. He watched in horror as the blade imbedded itself in the man's forehead. A deadly silence descended upon the room as both Trent and the man stared at the knife, completely stunned.

A moment later, on the far side of the living room, Sky's head slowly rose up over the back of the couch. He stared curiously at Trent, then at the man, then at Trent, and then back at the man, while the two stood frozen and gazing in shock at the profusely-bleeding wound.

Having assessed the scene and come to his own conclusions, Sky hurriedly scrambled over the top of the couch. The sudden action pulled Trent's horrified gaze away from the man he'd just knifed. In the freakin' face.

"You're not a cockroach!" Trent exclaimed with relief as Sky raced across the room towards him.

"You idiot!" Skylar practically screamed, snatching Trent's wrist and whipping him around as he set off down the hallway, hauling Trent after him. "What did you think that would do, kill him? He's a fucking bodycopy!"

"Keep him groveling in pain for a while?" Although, the man had merely stood there silently, not even twinging in slightest-

"Not if he's working law enforcement for D.R.A.T.! Their fucking pain what-the fuck-ever-they-are get shut off by those Naraka assholes. The only thing you've done is given him an unwelcome surprise that'll severely piss him off!" Sky pulled them both into the bathroom at the end of the hall, slamming the door shut and locking it.

"They use bounty hunters as policemen!"

"I told you, 'every hired killer you can think of'! They're still the fucking fuzz, the only difference is that these guys think they have some god damn license to kill when things go wrong. Which they now are, 'cause you had to go bury a knife in the fucker's skull! Shit, I need to stop smoking here," Skylar leaned against the door, breathing heavily.

"There were gunshots-" You were missing- "He was already-"

"Yes, but he was already trying to kill me. I wasn't-" Skylar groaned, hitting his head back against the door "-I wasn't talking about me. Just, never mind, it's not important now."

"Okay..." Trent stood awkwardly in the middle of the room, crossing his arms defensively as Sky straightened up to give him a once over, his eyes still bright from the adrenaline rush.

He laughed, "This Trent really is a brutish, uncontrollable caveman, isn't he?"

Trent bent his head in shame, stammering, "I- I didn't mean to actually throw it. But you were- when I thought he'd- it just- I didn't even know I'd let go. I mean, I could've- I could've killed him if he -"

"Well you didn't… very nice aim though." Sky patted his arm as he slid past him towards the window.

"Uh… thanks?" Trent's face scrunched up, flummoxed. He wasn't sure for exactly what, or even if, he should be thanking Sky. He didn't particularly believe his good aim was something to be complimented on given the circumstances.

On the other hand, Sky had interrupted the beginnings of his rant- a rant which would have soon derailed straight into the middle of a morality crisis… or at least a one-man ethics debate. Still, however, it wasn't as if he needed to thank the man for butting in. He was positive that Sky's only intention was to shut him up, since he seemed to view Trent as nothing more than a nuisance- a nuisance that was amusing to tease on occasion, but a nuisance nonetheless.

"Guess now you really do have no choice but to come with me," Skylar casually declared while unlocking the window.

Trent blinked.

Wait wait wait.

"Huh?"

Was the man implying what Trent thought he was?

"Well, you just attacked a D.R.A.T. officer and resisted collection… which means you'll also be charged with aiding and abating a criminal. It's a break two, get one free kinda deal."

Resisted collection, Trent pondered, that was probably like resisting arrest…

"Wait a fucking second."

Did that mean Trent wasn't going to be reincarnated? Or was collection just synonymous with 'we'll reincarnate your ass'?

A bullet hit the door, splintering a bit of the wood. It seemed their pursuer had come to a decision along the lines of 'no more mister nice guy'.

"Now that I have your attention," the officer shouted at the door, sounding (as Sky predicted) not at all pleased with having a blade stabbed into his brain, despite the lack of pain it was causing him, "D-R-A-T has given me the authority to reincarnate the unregistered soul, allegedly referred to as 'Skylar Lan'-"

"Come help me with this window," Sky ordered as the door shook from the impact of another bullet, "The paint has sealed it shut."

Trent didn't hear him, too busy listening as close to the door as he dared, incredibly curious as to why Sky was being hunted down. Since he had no fucking clue that was the case less than twenty minutes ago.

"-following crimes: impersonation of a higher authority (i.e. a Spirit Guide from Good H.A.N.D.s); kidnapping of a minor soul, defined in Act 485, Article 13, Line 6 as being less than fifty years dead-"

Upon hearing those phrases, Trent slowly turned to look at Sky imploringly, waiting for some excuse, some reasoning, some anything that would refute the one explanation he could think of and desperately hoped wasn't the case.

"They've made a mistake, right? You didn't do all that."

"No, I did," Skylar replied candidly and Trent blanched.

Sky twisted round to face the window again, trying to crack off some of the paint sealing it shut and speaking rather good-naturedly given the circumstances, "This would go much quicker if you'd just break it open, Trev."

Everything, absolutely everything that had happened after Sky latched onto him-

"It's too late now; you already flung the knife at him. You stay with me or you'll be coming back a cockroach," Skylar told him unsympathetically, no hint of remorse.

It was all a lie.

This is fucking wonderful. Just great. This is- This is just. Fuck!

"Why the hell should I believe you?" Trent snarled in a cool rage, "It's probably just another piece of all the bullshit you've been feeding me."

Skylar shot him a dark, murderous glare very briefly before his expression changed back into hurried and earnest.

"-suspicion of bribery and extortion of an Acheron employee-"

"That's why you were trying to be nice at dinner! You were hoping I'd take your side! And then it'd look like I'm in cahoots with a criminal! You set this up!"

"Of course I was attempting to be pleasant! I was trying to get you to agree to leave without using force. I was trying to get you to help me, if you remember! I should've just knocked you unconscious again, you selfish jerk. But the fact that you threw that knife is your own fault. I was just lucky that your stupidity benefited me."

"My stupidity? And me? a selfish jerk? What about you, you asshole! I threw the knife because I was trying to keep you from getting killed!" Trent shrieked.

"No!" Skylar snarled. "You were trying to keep yourself from getting hurt. You thought I was gone and with no one left to protect poor Trevvy Wevvy from the big scary man, you freaked out!"

"Argh! Fine! So what if that's the case? Maybe I keep doing stupid shit because you keep leaving me in the dark! You're the selfish, immature asshole here! If you want someone's help, you ask them honestly. I know, for a self-absorbed idiot like you, it's a hard fucking concept to grasp. You don't lie to them and insult them and abandon them in some stranger's body!" Trent slammed his fists down on the sink's marble counter-top. "You fucking kidnapped me! And that Tom brat helped you! I wouldn't be surprised if Lizzie was in on it, too!"

Trent laughed harshly. God, I wanna cry, this is all too fucking ridiculous to deal with.

Another shot blasted against the door frame, breaking off the top hinge.

"-unauthorized presence on earth, illegal possession of a living body-"

"Is Skylar Lan even your real name?" Trent bit out between clenched teeth.

"Now isn't," Sky grunted as he pushed against the window, "the time for this." The glass panel finally loosened and Sky quickly slid it open.

"You are nothing but lies. No, you're one big web of lies stuffed full of bullshit," Trent spat, "a big, fucking bullshit piñata!"

He knew he was throwing a fit, acting much like the baby Sky accused him of being. Nevertheless, he felt had a rather good fucking reason for it.

Skylar simply ignored him, climbing onto the toilet and punching out the screen.

"Hey, are you even listening?" Trent exclaimed as Sky hopped to the floor and shuffled past him so that he could shove Trent towards the window. "Explain everything that guy's saying! Why, exactly, is D.R.A.T. after you? What else have you done? Are you like some criminal mastermind? I bet you murdered someone, didn't yo-"

"I said!" Skylar shouted, cutting Trent off, "Later. Now get going."

"-and the hindering of proper soul-monitoring!"

Trent wasn't budging. He didn't know what to do. How could he still just follow along with whatever Sky told him?

He knew the man had been hiding something from him, so he didn't know why he was surprised… but he also hadn't expected that Sky would be lying about virtually every major component of their 'relationship'. Trent had jokingly referred to the man as his 'kidnapper' on occasion, but he never thought that Sky had literally kidnapped him.

The only reason Trent had put even the slightest bit of faith in the man was because he'd been assigned as his spirit guide. And that wasn't even true.

Why should Trent listen to him when the man had done nothing but lie and deceive him? Sky manipulated him and put him in another body without asking and made him suffer being a gorilla who worked in insurance and had a nympho for a wife.

And none of that was even part of his real punishment. It was all for absolutely nothing!

Why did Sky steal Trent anyways? The jerk was clearly using or planning on using him for something completely and undeniably illegal…

Skylar rubs his nose and stares down at his swinging feet as they bounce rhythmically against the wooden panel of his desk.

"I need yo-" "-u're an idiot," Sky snarled impatiently, disrupting Trent's thoughts. "Look! I'm about to go save you from an eternity of torture- whether that's reincarnation or being escorted back to the Lower Plains for your real punishment, does it make a difference? You can: A: run away and wait for me at the train station. B: run and hide, and I'll find you anyways. Or C: you can stay here and hope a stray bullet won't turn you into a cockroach before you're dragged back to hell again."

Well, when you put it that way...

"How?"

"What?"

"Saving me…how are you doing it? Or are you just trying to manipulate me again?"

"No! I can. You heard the D.R.A.T. man. I'm an unregistered soul- no files, no monitoring, right? The only reason I've got criminal charges right now is because you're still being watched. So it's really your fau-" Trent growled in warning and Skylar wisely chose to skip ahead- "But I can break the connection your soul has to their system- no sins, no rules, and no punishments."

Trent felt that was a fairly convincing argument for leaving with Sky. Even though it was probably another huge, stinking pile of bullshit.

And why, for fucks sake, couldn't he have mentioned any of this earlier?

But the faintest hint of desperation in Sky's voice persuaded him. That, and another gunshot seemed to have blasted off the bottom door hinge.

Trent took in a huge, gasping breath of air, and then exhaled slowly.

"I'm such a gullible dumbass," he muttered as he stepped onto the toilet seat. Thinking over his choice once again, he hesitated. "What about when that guy reports back?"

"He won't be."

"You're killing him?"

"You said yourself, can't kill a dead man," Sky responded, pulling out a flask from his robe pocket, "I'll just do the same thing I did with the gorilla-"

"Kill him?"

"No, you dolt," Skylar shook the container at him, "I'll seal his soul in here. It's where I've been keeping the gorilla."

"You," he hesitated, staring at Sky's sadistically pleased look and then down at the flask, "you own a magical liquor flask?"

Sky grinned wickedly, "I know, pretty bad ass."

"Whatever," Trent sighed, clambering onto the window ledge, "I can't handle any more of this tonight."

"I'll tell you how it works later," Skylar spoke soberly.

Is that supposed to be an apology for all this? Because it's a fucking pathetic one.

"I don't care how your silly genie-lamp knock-off works," Trent grumbled bitterly.

"Eh?" Sky pouted. "How callous of you, Trevor. This is waaay cooler than that."

This, from the man who thinks puns are the apotheosis of comedy.

Trent refrained from commenting. Contorting his body around in the window, he managed to jump feet first, stumbling slightly onto the lawn six feet below.

Sky leaned out, smirking, "Are we playing cat and mouse some more or are you meeting me at the station?"

"At the station," he muttered at his feet before calling up resolutely, "but I'm going to beat the ever-living shit out of you when you get there."

"If only you could!" Trent could hear Sky's derisive laughter as the man disappeared back inside the bathroom. Trent rolled his eyes.

That ponce is talking trash, but who was the one that completely dominated last time?

The image of Sky, smirking and waving a bundle of rope at him from the bed flashed across his mind.

He scowled darkly.

Just you wait, you lying, sneaky son of a bitch. We'll see who owns who.


A/N: Soooo let's pretend im sick/hungover/taken hostage by the emperor penguin crime syndicate/whichever you prefer so i can skive off on review responses until next time. Buuut. I still absolutely adore them! I am thankful for my reviewers!