Chapter 11: (boy)Friends and Enemies

Nick and I were like best friends by now. I mean, seriously, three days of spirit from with Reaper-dude…I hadn't slept (I didn't need to, seeing how the actual me was doing only that- sleeping) and didn't need to eat. Nick on the other hand was too chicken to leave the hospital and face his superiors. So we had nothing to do but talk and sneak into other people's rooms because we're invisible and all.

Getting to know him was nice. Turns out we both had similar taste in music and had highly contradicting views on what was a 'good movie'. He was a fan of all those sci-fi movies whereas I lived on pure action. I also found out that he was a Potterhead. Little old for that aren't we?

Right now, I was sitting cross-legged on the bed that I shared with…myself. (Wow, I never thought I'd ever have to say something like that) Nick was on a chair nearby and from the way he was looking at his hair, it was like he was trying to find out the degree of each curl or something. Then, out of the blue,

"Do you like believe in love at first sight or do we have to go through this whole death and resurrection process again?"

"Is that supposed to be like a pickup line or something?" I asked.

"Maybe," he said with some weird Owen-Wilson-look.

"Yeah sure….I can totally go around with a boyfriend I can't see unless I'm dying."

"Oh this?" he asked, motioning to himself in general. "This is just my reaper form."

"You have a human form? Like solid, existent human form?"

"Yeah, but I like to call it an avatar, though. More effect," he said theatrically waving his hand.

"So if I wake up and remember all this, it's a date?"

"If you can find me."

"Find you? You're the one asking me out."

"So?" he asked, that stupid, endearing mischievous glint in his blue eyes.

"You have a moral obligation to come and find me."

"I don't have to find-"

This was just getting interesting when Meera and Lee-lee walked in. Always interrupting. I have to tell you, my friends have impeccable timing.

"You think she'll like it?" asked Lee-lee pulling out card from her bag. It had a gross pink teddy bear on it that held a placard or something that said 'Get well soon, before someone else gets it…' Both of them were scrutinizing it. Nick was grinning and looking pointedly away. Sometimes I just don't understand that guy.

And my friends? Those cheapskates! Can't even get me a decent box of chocolates or something. A card? A CARD? And where the hell was Dani? Probably at one of those voluntary brain research thingies or swimming camp.*

"- yeah, and did you see her hair? Appalling I tell you," Meera and Lee-lee were still talking about some girl from Lee-lee's old drumming class.

"Man, she looks bad," said Lee-lee noticing me on the bed. Finally.

"I don't know how to face her." Face me? Like what? Am I Medusa or something? Jeez.

I probably said that out loud or made a really unearthly face because Nick was laughing his perfect-haired head off.

"Face her?" asked Lee-lee questioningly.

"Face you?" asked Nick, mockingly.

I just stared at him, because he was the only person who could actually see my patented 'Death Stare'.

"Well, you know, when she wakes up…." began Meera, finally deciding to answer.

"When she wakes up?" prompted Lee-lee.

"When she wakes up?" mimicked Nick.

"Well, basically…She's all hurt and all right? And she banged her head? So what if she doesn't remember anything? Or what if she becomes one of those soft, down to earth people who have been 'changed by experience' or some shit like that? Dani's presence would be appreciated, you know," said Meera. Yeah, Dani's presence would be appreciated.

"You know she takes swimming seriously," said Lee-lee in a very matter-of-factly tone. Swimming. I knew it. It's like subzero temperatures out there and she's swimming.

"You know she takes swimming seriously." Nick. That jackass. Once this whole invisible spirit thing's over, I'd like to make Lee-lee meet Nick. They'd make perfectly sworn enemies.

"So, um what do we do now?" asked Lee-lee awkwardly.

"So, um what do we do now?" echoed Nick.

"I don't know. Should we like, talk to her? Maybe she can hear us."

"Yeah right. She can't hear us when she's wide awake and we're talking in her face and you expect her to hear us now," said Lee-lee.

Before Nick could repeat that, I yelled out, "I CAN HEAR YOU! URRGH!"

Sadly (for him) Nick was the only one that heard me. He was wincing and pretending to check his ear and stuff.

"Maybe we should leave. I can't bear to watch her like this," said Meera picking up her bag. Then they both left.

"I like you friends. 'Ooooh let's get her a card. I can't face her. Let's leave' " said Nick, grinning.

"Well at least I have some," I said, just to counter his jibe at my friends. That struck a chord. Immediately, I regretted it as his head turned to the floor, the grin/smirk wiped clean off his face. He had abandonment issues. His father, the Reaper had left his mother. And then his mom died when he was sixteen and then the other Reapers and their offer to join them and the rest of that story.

"Hey, I didn't mean to-"

"S'okay. I-"

I don't know what he was going to say and never did find out, because right at that moment this random stranger walked in. He was pale and had straight blond hair. He was dressed in that cloak-of-darkness thingy that the Xenx wear. I gasped and Nick held his hand over my mouth.

"Hide," he whispered and shoved me out of the window that was so conveniently near where we were.

Adam wanted to read more, but there is only so much time that a human can function without food. He left the book open on the bed and got his car keys. He decided to eat out.

Ariadne was nervous. She was waiting for Mikhael to show up. It was a cold night and there was a two-foot layer of snow covering everything in the vicinity. Today was the night, when as planned, the human girl who had seen one of the Xenx would be cleared of her memory. She won't even know what struck her.

Or so was the plan. But according to the deal between Ariadne and Mikhael, bound by a Blood Oath, there would be a 'glitch' and the girl might end up dead. The plan was simple- the incantation for the memory wipe and the incantation for summoning more of the Xenx were different by only a word. So in pretense of clearing the girl's memory, Ariadne would 'accidentally' call more Sons and Daughters of Darkness. This would surely wake the girl, she'd see them and be killed by the Elders. Then, as planned, Ariadne would lose her post and Mikhael would be Jasper's second-in-command.

"So we're really going ahead with this?" asked Mikhael showing up in a dramatic swirl of snow, his cloak and his hair. Rolling her eyes and ignoring his theatrics, Ariadne nodded. Unnoticed by them, because of the blowing wind, a black car passed by.

"Well, good luck then," said Mikhael. "I should be leaving…I'm supposed to be at home, not knowing a thing that's going on here.

He was gone. Ariadne was irritated with him. What was the whole point of this meeting? Shaking her head and preparing herself, she headed towards the soon-to-be dead human's apartment.

Adam was driving through random streets. It was such an ungodly hour, he was looking for some place that was open and would give him food. Just as he was driving through Victoria Crescent, one of the newest parts of town, he noticed a man and a woman standing outside a condo building. The woman looked extremely familiar —the almost-purple-but-still-burgundy hair and the lean, tall figure — it was his 'girlfriend'. Soon the man disappeared and she went inside the building.

Curiosity got the better of Adam and he followed her after waiting for a few seconds. Inside the building, everyone was asleep. There were no noises except those from outside, which seemed oddly distorted in the empty corridors. Ariadne was nowhere to be seen. The Adam heard a lock click. He would have missed if he hadn't been listening intently. So she was already inside.

Examining the doors, he found one that was closed but not locked. Slowly he opened it and stepped in. The rooms were not very big and the walls were covered with millions of framed photographs. Suddenly, it was all quiet, save for the breathing of the sleeping girl in her bedroom. Too quiet. *

Adam went into the room. Ariadne was standing there murmuring something. She didn't look like she was up to anything evil as such. Adam immediately regretted coming. He was better off not knowing what these creatures of the paranormal were up to. Just as he turned to leave, his foot hit the door.

This caught Ariadne's attention and she noticed him. That distracted her from her incantation and the crucial part, which was originally a memory wipe, modified to become a Summoning of the Xenx became a Summoning of the Enzzaq, the demons.

As soon as Ariadne realized her mistake, she stopped. But it was too late. For five seconds that followed, time itself seemed to have stopped. Nothing was heard except the innocent girl's breathing. The moonlight coming in through the window was blocked by some clouds.

Then, all hell broke loose. In the blinding darkness, there were swift movements of air accompanied by shrill screeching noises. The girl was screaming. Things all around the house were falling and debris was flying. On reflex, Ariadne began chanting, calling her Brothers and Sisters. The Demons were not pleased. One of them tried stopping her, by choking her judging by the noises which were almost indiscernible blent with the crescendo of the chaos. Ariadne was no less. She had pulled a cutlass from somewhere was attacking back.

Soon the other Xenx were there and it was almost war between the two species of the supernatural. Adam was just an 'innocent bystander' who had triggered off this whole mess. The actual person who was innocent in this whole ruckus, the human girl, was dead by now. Slowly, hopefully unnoticed Adam slipped out. But Ariadne saw him and the cold stare that she gave him was one he'd never forget. Now, because of Adam, she would pay the price for the human's life.

Little did Adam know that this operation was meant to be screwed up. Little did Ariadne know that it would be so royally screwed up. The only person who gained anything was Mikhael, who was happily feasting in his mansion.

AN: Yeah, so long time no update. I received a few reactions to that. But anyway, here's a new chapter. I hope you like it and please review. And excuse any typos.

* Firslty, yeah 'Dani' that was a personal jibe. Please don't kill me, I was just in the mood to irritate someone.

* Secondly, see Meera, it's 'too quiet' and then someone dies. ;-)