This is the last chapter of "The Exorcist and the Demon". If you enjoyed this story and want to read the sequel, please put me on your author alerts! If you don't do that, you may not be able to see when I post the new story and you may never find out what happens to everyone... I am currently writing the sequel, "Lux Cipher", which will show up on FictionPress before the month is out. Be on the lookout for it!

In this chapter, the result of Abby's sacrifice is realized and Krystal struggles with her feelings for Isaka.

Part 16


As Eveon mixed the pancake batter in the kitchen, she heard voices coming down the hall. It was morning and Isaka wasn't back yet, so the young girl strained her ears to listen.

"Then your clothes can disappear and reappear?" It sounded like Abby. Eveon's heart skipped a beat.

"Yes. The armor and clothing were crafted from the flames of Purgatory," came a voice that Eveon didn't recognize. It was soft and proper. The woman spoke unlike anyone Eveon had met.

When the two women came into the kitchen, Eveon set down the spoon that she had used to stir the batter and walked around the counter. When she saw Abby, her mother smiled and said, "Good morning, Eveon."

Eveon ran to her and hugged her tight. "You're still here!"

"Still alive and kicking," Abby joked, hugging her back. "Making breakfast?"

"They had pancake mix," Eveon said, a smile on her face.

"Did Isaka come back yet?" Sakura asked.

Eveon looked over at the white-haired woman, confused. Sakura was no longer wearing her armor, but rather her dark long-sleeved shirt and matching pants tucked into her boots. She stiffened when she realized she was noticed by Eveon. The way she awkwardly stood there, as if frozen and her red eyes... Eveon let go of Abby and slowly went over to Sakura. After a moment, Eveon hugged her too. "...good morning, Inferno."

Sakura let out the breath she'd been holding and hugged Eveon back. She felt so different in her unarmored arms... Sakura thought back to all the times she held Tycara. "Good morning, Eveon. I... I hope this is not too much of a shock."

Eveon pulled away from her and shook her head. "No, you're really beautiful."

Sakura blushed and Abby walked over, pulling Eveon away. "Okay, enough of that," Abby said. "Don't you already have Mina?"

"But it's true," Eveon argued. "Don't you think so?"

Abby looked over at Sakura. "Yeah, of course I do."

The gears in Eveon's head started to whir. Hadn't the Living Inferno been interested in her mother? And hadn't, in turn, her mother been interested in the Living Inferno? And if the two of them had been spending a lot of time together, including last night, then...

"Oh my God," Eveon said. "Mommy... you... you're... You can't make anymore gay jokes about me, you hypocrite!"

Abby rubbed her forehead, embarrassed. "Eveon, that's... I mean... We just..." She took a deep breath. "It doesn't mean I'm gay."

Eveon pointed at Sakura. "Unless the Living Inferno is a really beautiful man, I think you're wrong."

"But I still had a wonderful relationship with your father," Abby argued. "It's not like I particularly like men or women or... or..."

"But now the odds are even," Eveon said, smiling.

They stopped arguing when they heard wonderful, harmonious giggling. They both looked over to see Sakura with one hand on her mouth, trying to stifle her mirth at their fighting.

"You know... I approve, right?" Eveon said to her mother. "Not like you need my blessing."

Abby hugged her again. "No, I'm glad to have it. And I'm glad to have her."

Sakura's giggling died down and she said, "The two of you are wonderful together."

Eveon pulled away from Abby. "I'm just happy that both of you are happy. That's all I care about."

"One nice thing is when I need to give you the talk, I will actually know what I'm talking about," Abby laughed.

Eveon gave her a horrified look. "...what?"

Abby realized what she just said. "Nothing, Eveon."

"Wait... you two... last night..." Eveon shook her head. "I thought you just kissed."

Abby let out a long sigh. "So naïve, Eveon. It's endearing to a point, but come on."

Sakura made her way to the kitchen counter and looked at the batter. "Do you need any help?"

"Sure," Eveon said. "We just need to cook them on the griddle."

"You should show us your angel cooking firsthand," Abby said.

Within five minutes, Abby and Eveon Kasaguri learned the hard way that Sakura's purgatorial powers unfortunately translated into her cooking. As Eveon scraped the burned remains of batter off the griddle, she murmured, "I didn't even realize you could set a griddle on fire..."

Abby, a few smudges of soot on her face, had taken Sakura aside to the kitchen table. "I don't know if I need to make this clear, but we're not trying to eat food bathed in the flames of Purgatory, okay?"

Sakura nodded, a slight pout on her face. "I understand. These modern machinations for cooking are..."

"Everything you touched lit on fire. I don't think it was the appliances."

"...when I cooked when I was younger, it was nothing like this," Sakura said.

"You're sitting here. No more fireballing food," Abby said, getting up from where she sat at the table. Sakura just gave her a pleading, sad look and Abby hesitated. Finally, she just sat next to Sakura and grabbed her hand, stroking her soft skin. As Eveon continued to clean and clear smoke out of an open window, they all heard the front door open.

Sakura and Abby exchanged looks. "Stay here, Eveon," Sakura said as she stood up. Abby, still holding her hand, went with her. When they arrived in the living room, they saw Krystal and Isaka standing there. Krystal was pale and shaking, though Isaka seemed calm and cool, except for the distraught look in her eyes. "You can go shower in my room," Isaka said. "You can borrow some of my clothes."

"Okay," Krystal whispered. She stood there for a moment before going up the stairs. Neither Abby nor Sakura missed the amount of blood smeared on both of their clothing.

Isaka turned to them, her eyes flitting over to Sakura in confusion before she went over to her couch, holding a leather briefcase. It looked a little worn and tattered, but Isaka set it down on her coffee table. "I should have guessed you were a woman," Isaka said, her eyes swiveling over to Sakura. "I never thought that you would be related to Tycara."

"How did you know?" Abby asked.

"Isaka saw how Tycara originally looked before she entered Cassandra's body," Sakura said. "She would have little trouble realizing that I am Tycara's mother."

Isaka stopped halfway through unlatching the briefcase. As she began to pull the laptop out along with some of Eska's other personal effects, she said, "Her mother."

"Yes."

Isaka frowned, gritting her teeth. "Do you love irony? Why the hell didn't you tell us?!"

"Do you think she would have forgiven me?" Sakura asked. "After everything I did as the Living Inferno? No... as her mother?"

Isaka shook her head. "You're clueless. When Tycara comes back..." She trailed off and looked to Abby. "Sorry."

"No, it's fine," Abby said. "I've been telling Sakura the same thing."

"You're still here," Isaka sighed. "In a way, I'm happy."

Abby sat down on the couch, holding her stomach. She began to feel nauseous. Sakura placed a hand on Abby's shoulder. "You killed him," Sakura said.

"Took no time at all," Isaka said, her eyes distant.

"In front of Krystal." Sakura squeezed Abby's shoulder.

Isaka snapped her head to Sakura. "I did what I had to do."

"Is Krystal okay?" Abby asked.

Isaka took a deep breath. "No. I didn't want her to see any of that."

After a few minutes of silence and Isaka making sure the briefcase was empty, she scattered the contents on her coffee table. A laptop, the syringe gun Eska had used for pain medicine, a cell phone, and finally, a lanyard holding a set of badges. Abby reached forward for the badges, frowning. One card had a picture of Eska along with his name and title. "Lead Resource Procurer?" Abby read aloud. "That's a funny way of putting it..."

She turned the badge over and looked at the second one. It had no picture, but appeared to be an access card instead. Abby returned to the first badge, noticing a logo in the upper right corner. It was a muted blue gray color that looked like the caduceus, but with six wings and no snakes. Abby turned it over again and began to read the small print.

"Brae Pharmaceuticals," Abby said.

"He said he was with Lux Cipher," Isaka said.

"No, Brae is a national company," Abby said. "They were going to build a new complex in the next town over quite a few years back. Terry worked with some people on the financial issues with it, but the deal fell through."

Sakura took the badges from Abby. "If he is a medical employee, then..."

"Lux Cipher might be operating under Brae Pharmaceuticals," Isaka said. "Makes sense that it would be a medical research company pulling this shit."

"They're one of the largest pharmaceutical and research companies in the United States," Abby said. "If they really wanted to get Tycara, why send one guy?"

"Lux Cipher may be using Brae's resources to operate," Sakura said.

Isaka tapped the laptop. "When Seth gets better, I'm going to ask him to look into this. If we can find out who's behind this-"

"You're not really going to go after them, are you?" Abby asked.

"Yes," both Isaka and Sakura replied.

"You can't. Not right now. What if when you're off taking down a huge corporation to find this organization, they send someone else to Greenland Terrace. Then what?" Abby asked. "Maybe you killed Eska really quickly, but if they sent even two agents as strong as him, we would be done for."

Isaka crossed her arms. "Then what? Sit around?"

"At least until Tycara is safe," Abby said. "You can't protect her or Krystal if you're running around playing hero."

Isaka flinched at the sound of Krystal's name. "I'm not reckless."

"You're covered in blood!" Abby yelled before turning to Sakura. "And you better not do anything stupid either. If Lux Cipher is an organization, they already have that advantage. Someone is going to find out that Eska died and they're going to come here. It's like the two of you think that revenge is the only way to get over your problems-"

Abby froze up when pain went all through her body. She pitched forward from the couch, but Sakura caught her in time and Isaka was at her side immediately. Abby's body shook and she clenched her eyes shut when she felt an unknown, painful heat sear through her. Isaka and Sakura watched as tendrils of light and dark energy began to shoot off of her. "No, Abby," Sakura said, holding her tight. "Not now, please!"

"Abby, stay with us," Isaka whispered into her ear. "You can't fall asleep, not yet."

Eveon came into the living room, shocked. "Mommy?" She ran to her mother's side. "What's happening?"

Abby couldn't say anything as she felt everything inside herself begin to tear in two. "You cannot go," Sakura said. "I love you. Not yet. This is..." She felt Tycara's energy inside of Abby subside as the blonde woman went limp in her arms. "...too soon."

Sakura looked down to see that Abby had fallen asleep in her arms. "No," Eveon said, trying to shake her awake. "Mommy!"

Isaka slowly got up and backed away. "It's over," she said, looking at Eska's belongings on the coffee table. "It's all over."

"Wake up!" Eveon said. "You can't go, not right now! It was supposed to be tonight, not... not this morning...!"

After Eveon fell into a sobbing mess from trying too hard to wake up Abby, Sakura stood up, holding the blonde woman in her arms. "I am taking her back to her home," Sakura said.

"You should leave her here," Isaka said. However, she glanced over at Eveon, bawling on the floor. "...alright then."

"Eveon, let us go. Your mother should sleep in her own bed tonight," Sakura whispered. Eveon did her best to pick herself up and follow Sakura out. Isaka stood still until the door shut behind them and then she began to pace the living room, angry.

She almost reached out to break her coffee table, staring at Eska's smug picture on his badge. How she wished she could kill him again and render him into dog meat. She took a deep heaving breaths and looked down at her hands, the blood caked under her fingernails. It had been a while since she had killed another person, but the look on Krystal's face and the quiet trip back flooded her mind. Isaka looked up the stairs, where she knew Krystal was. She needed to wash the blood off.


"She hasn't woken up?" Seth asked, sitting up in the hospital bed. His arm was on its way to a full recovery, but the hospital insisted he stay over a second night.

"No," Krystal said. It had been a day since Abby fell asleep. "You're going to be able to see her today, right?"

"Yeah. They discharged Ken already, but didn't want to let me go yet," Seth said. "I wish I had super demon healing."

Krystal thought back to Isaka and how quickly her wounds had closed after the fight with Eska. "...yeah."

"What happened?"

"What do you mean?" Krystal asked.

"With you and Isaka." He looked at his arm in its sling. "Every time her name comes up, your expression changes."

"When she fought Eska... it wasn't even a fight. She just killed him," Krystal said. "And she had a strange power, but it was all..."

"Frightening?" Seth asked.

"Yeah."

Seth nodded. "Are you afraid of her?"

"Yes," Krystal said. "And every time she looks at me, all I see is blood and her... her sadness, I guess. She just has this look, like she knows I'm scared."

"Have you talked to her about it?"

Krystal looked down at her hands in her lap. How clean her nails and skin were. "No. I don't know what to say."

"Just tell her the truth," Seth said. "Isaka may be a little brash, but she's not insensitive. She cares a lot about you."

"Cares enough to kill for me?" Krystal's hands shook. "God, Seth. You should have seen her. It was like I finally understood why Ian and the PDF are afraid of her."

"You're not really being fair," Seth said.

"What?"

"What do you expect?" Seth asked. "Isaka has killed a lot of people. And do you think she had much choice with Eska? Do you think she wanted to kill him in front of you? Krystal, you're an exorcist. Someday, you may have to kill a person like Eska."

"I know that, but-"

"Do you care about Isaka?"

"...yes."

"Then this is something you can work through," he said. "I wasn't there to see it, but I have seen the way you look at her and the way she looks at you."

Krystal took a deep breath. "You give really good advice Seth."

He smiled. "Only because we've known each other a long time. I know it's weird that you like a girl and that she's a demon, but she has a big heart."

"It's a shame Isaka isn't here," Krystal said. "She might actually come to like you if she hears all this praise."

Seth scoffed. "She'd come twist my other arm off for getting you kidnapped."

Krystal giggled, trying to push all her doubtful thoughts away. "So when can I take you out of the hospital?"

Right then, Krystal's phone began to ring. She excused herself from Seth's room and stepped out into the hall. "Hello?"

"Krystal, it's Keith," came her uncle's voice.

"Hey," she said. "What's up?"

"Our conversation got cut off before, so I just wanted to check up on you," he said. "You were talking about training?"

Krystal grimaced as she remembered how hastily she hung up on Keith when Eska broke into the Greenland Terrace Lodge. "Yeah, Keith... I was thinking that I need to train more. So I can be better prepared."

"Did something happen?"

"No," she lied.

"You sound shaken up. Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'm fine," she said, looking over at Seth's bedroom. "But I wanted to ask about what you and Josh are up to now."


"Do you need anything?" Erin asked as she stepped inside Abby's room. Sakura sat on a chair, holding Abby's hand as the woman continued to sleep.

"No," Sakura said, all her concentration on Abby.

Erin paused before leaving the room. She sighed as headed down the hall. "Still the same?" Faye asked from where she stood at the top of the stairs.

"Yeah," Erin said. "It's too tragic that it doesn't even feel real."

Faye looped an arm around Erin's shoulders. "I felt the same when it came to us. We worked out, so maybe there's still hope."

Erin shook her head. "If there's nothing even we can do, then..."

"We can hope."

As they headed downstairs, they found Seth working furiously on Eska's laptop with one hand. "There's no way I can get into this," he said. Krystal sat next to him, trying to go through the cell phone records.

"This phone is a disposable and it's filled with dummy numbers," she said. "I can't trace them at all."

"He covered up his tracks pretty well," Erin sighed, looking at the two of them work hard.

Faye, however, surveyed the damage to the lodge. She had broken the windows, but it was only through some wheeling and dealing that she was able to get someone give a quote to fix it without the PDF finding out. Without Abby's insurance, Faye was paying for it out of pocket. Plastic sheeting covered the windows and the exposed entrance. With October coming soon, there would be snow, so the repairs had to be done quickly. She let out a sigh at the thought. It would be a long month.

Erin checked her watch. "Is Eveon still at school?"

Seth peered over at her wrist to catch a glimpse of the time. "I think she might be studying with Ken and Mina. Pastor Marshall said it's too hard for Eveon to come see Abby too often."

The air around them became quiet except for Seth's keyboard as he researched Brae Pharmaceuticals. "Where's Isaka?" Faye asked, coming over to the couch.

All eyes turned to Krystal. "She's around town, making sure no one else from Lux Cipher comes," she said.

"And?" Faye continued.

"And what?"

"How are you two?" Faye asked.

"We hardly get a moment alone," Krystal said. "I haven't had a chance to talk to her."

Before the conversation could continue, the three girls all felt a shock of energy come from upstairs. Even Seth sat upright, his hair prickling on the back of his neck. "Tycara," he whispered.

They all raced upstairs and barreled into Abby's room. Sakura turned to look at them, her cheeks stained with tears. She helped the blonde woman sit up in bed. Everyone held their breaths, not sure if she was still Abby or not, but then her warm red eyes fluttered open.

"Did I faint?" Abby asked, looking around. "Thanks for taking me back to my room."

Everyone stared at her before exchanging confused looks. "Abby," Sakura whispered.

"Yeah?"

Erin pulled Faye out of the room as she began to read the mood. Krystal and Seth exited soon as well, leaving just Sakura and Abby. "What's going on?" Abby asked.

"...they thought Tycara had awoken," Sakura said.

Abby took a deep breath. "I feel... a lot better than when I fell asleep-"

"You were asleep for four days," Sakura said.

"What?"

Sakura squeezed Abby's hand tight. "You should have turned into Tycara by now."

Abby looked down at their joined hands. "Then why haven't I?"

Sakura stared off at the window and the afternoon sunlight pouring in. "...if Tycara did not want to take over your body and you yourself were hesitant, then natural resistance existed. It is possible that the process is reversing itself."

"What does that mean?" Abby asked.

"Tycara is no longer devouring your soul because you are devouring hers," Sakura said. "A twist of fate that I believe Tycara herself employed."

"No way," Abby said, bringing her free hand to her chest. "I can still feel Tycara here, inside of me. She can't be gone."

"She is not gone yet, but that is the only reason I can think of. Why else would her power erupt out of you?" Sakura said, another tear sliding down her cheek. "I love you both so much that I do not know how to feel."

"But I wanted to save Tycara," Abby said. "What's going to happen now?"

"You will slowly gain her power," Sakura said. "But even I do not know what will happen."

"How am I supposed to explain this to everyone?"

Sakura let go of Abby's hand and stood up. "I will ask everyone to come here tonight."

Abby slipped out of bed and followed her. "Sakura, what are we going to do?"

"Allow fate to take its course." When they left the room, the four others were waiting for them in the hall.

"Are you alright?" Krystal asked.

"Unfortunately," Abby sighed, holding her stomach. She felt bloated and strange.

As they continued to ask her questions, they all headed downstairs. Before Abby could even begin to answer them, she saw that Kei had entered the lodge, looking for them. "You're finally awake," Kei said. "You were asleep for a long time."

"So I heard," Abby said, feeling tears start to prick her eyes. "I can't believe this is happening."

She looked to Sakura, who seemed just as torn as her.

"Exactly what is happening?" Erin asked.

They all stood in the living room, silent. "...is Tycara okay?" Seth asked.

Abby flinched. "I... I don't know."

Kei looked at all of them before her eyes landed on Sakura. She squinted in confusion before approaching her. Sakura returned the confused look until Kei went over to Abby. Before she could react, Kei grabbed her. Abby stood stock still as the wolf demon began to sniff her vigorously. Sakura went to pull Kei away, but soon, the demon backed off.

"Why are you all upset?" Kei asked. "You should be happy."

"Why? Because Tycara might die instead?" Abby asked.

"What are you talking about?" Faye asked.

"My soul might be eating hers and-"

"Congratulations," Kei said, cutting Abby off.

"Are you crazy?" Abby almost yelled at her.

Kei frowned. "Is this an unhappy pregnancy?"

Everyone stared at her in shock.

"What?" Seth asked, voicing the entire group's opinion.

Kei took a deep breath. "Wolf demons have highly developed senses. Abby's scent reveals that she is pregnant."

"There's no way!" Abby said. "This is not funny."

As Abby and the others tried to talk with Kei in an effort to find out exactly what was going on, Sakura began to cry quietly by herself. She could hardly contain the smile on her face when she approached Abby. She tapped her on the shoulder and when Abby turned around, Sakura kissed her in front of everyone.


"When I entered Purgatory, I did it so I could atone for my sin of murdering Tycara," Sakura said, holding Abby's hand. "My contract stated that I would work for Purgatory for as long as I needed to forgive myself."

The two of them sat on Abby's bed, side by side, as the rest of the group spread the news about her pregnancy. "When you stop feeling guilty, will the contract be nullified?" Abby asked.

"Maybe. I will find out," Sakura said.

"...how do you think Tycara managed it?" Abby asked, looking down at her navel.

"When you and I made love, she must have used her power to recreate herself as an embryo, using the both of us as our parents," Sakura said. "She was my daughter, but she lived most of her life in Cassandra's body, your ancestor. She managed to bring the genetics of both existences together."

"She's a tricky girl, isn't she?" Abby laughed.

"A smart girl," Sakura said, smiling. "Maybe she does love me... if she still wants me to be her mother."

"Of course she wants you," Abby said. "We'll just have to spend some time fixing up the lodge and making sure we have baby clothes..."

A small knock at Abby's door made her trail off. "Come in," Sakura said, surprising Abby.

Eveon opened the door and peeked in, before going inside and shutting it behind her. "Everyone said that you had good news?" She looked so impossibly hopeful.

Abby gestured to the chair next to the bed. "Eveon, you should sit down."

She did so and looked at both Abby and Sakura, hoping for some sort of answer. Abby took a deep breath. "I'm pregnant with Tycara."

Eveon sat still before her eyes trailed over to Sakura. "...I thought the Living Inferno wasn't actually a dude."

"I am not-" Sakura started.

"Unless you have extra parts or something, but that's okay," Eveon said quickly. "You're still really wonderful and really pretty, Sakura-"

"Eveon, this means no one is dying," Abby said. "Now get your head out of the gutter and be happy."

"So you're not leaving?"

"Not at all."

Eveon got out of the chair and hugged her mother tightly. "I'm so happy!"

Sakura watched the two of them with a smile on her face before she turned to look out the window. She stood up and said, "There is something I must do in Purgatory."

Abby turned to her Eveon still in her arms. "Will you come back?"

"Always."


"Your life better not get as exciting as Abby's," Matt Lamet said to his wife as he watched her set a variety of dishes on the dining table of the Greenland Terrace Lodge.

Melanie shook her head. "I don't think I will be running into any emissaries of Hell that will want to impregnate me anytime soon." She took a step back to look at her handy work. Roast chicken, beef skewers, roasted asparagus, steamed green beans, freshly baked bread... She headed into the kitchen when she realized she had forgotten to bring out the baked potatoes. Matt watched her with a smile until he noticed Adam standing by himself, by the bay window in the dining room.

Matt walked over to him. "A lot on your mind?"

Adam nodded. "I knew she was never mine, but I feel like I'm losing her."

Matt patted him on the shoulder. "What are you going to do?"

"Support her," he said. "Even if she's with something from the depths of this Earth... a something that is another woman... if she makes Abby happy, then that's all I can ask for." He took a deep breath. "When she wore that armor, Abby still loved her. The way they interacted..." He smiled at Matt. "It's hard."

"At least you're honest," Matt said. "And you're a champ. I wouldn't have been able to help plan the baby shower for a woman I love if she was with someone else."

Adam shrugged. "Both of you helped immensely. So did Eveon and Mina. Except now I have to spend time telling them that they can't go get magically pregnant."

Matt rolled his eyes. "Tell me about it. Melanie is afraid Eveon will get Mina pregnant while they're teenagers and I have to keep telling her it isn't possible."

"She's only concerned about Mina getting pregnant as a teenager?"

"Well, I did get Melanie pregnant while she was still in high school," Matt said. "She doesn't want the same to happen to Mina. Except now she's even more paranoid about magical things. Does she worry about demon attacks? No, she's worried that Eveon will impregnate Mina before we're ready for grandkids."

Adam chuckled. "We'd be wise to stay out of the affairs of demons."

"Cheers to that," Matt said.

Melanie came out of the kitchen, placing the baked potatoes on the table. "Is everyone almost ready for dinner?"

"They're all in the living room," Adam said. "Except Abby is waiting for Sakura outside."

"Can you go get her?" Melanie asked.

Adam hesitated before heading to the sliding glass door. The Lamets went into the living room to announce dinner to everyone else. When Adam shut the door behind him, he saw Abby. She sat on the deck in the backyard, waiting. Even though Sakura had left a few days ago to settle business in Purgatory, Abby didn't know when she would come back. Everyone had wanted to have a party to celebrate, but all Abby wanted was to see Sakura again. Abby shut her eyes as her heart ached, painfully. It passed.

When she opened her eyes, Adam was sitting next to her. "Is she still gone?" he asked.

"Yeah. I don't have any way of contacting her," Abby said.

"She'll come back as soon as she can," he said. "She wouldn't delay."

"Since when can you read Sakura's mind?" Abby asked.

Adam chuckled. "Those of us that love you tend to think alike."

Abby bit her lip. "I'm sorry."

He shook his head. "Abby, this has been going on ever since Terry first introduced you to me. It's not as though suddenly Sakura took you away from me."

"I know."

"It's an overused sentiment, but I want you to be happy," he said.

"You don't care that she's a woman?" Abby asked.

Adam tilted his head back and forth as he thought. "Well, it wasn't what I expected considering your relationship with Terry, but sexuality is an odd thing. You don't have to be straight or gay. There are plenty of people who are bisexual or somewhere in between. Or look at Faye. She's attracted to all types of people, but only loves Erin."

"Am I really getting a sexuality talk from a pastor?"

"I have already given a similar talk to your daughter," he said.

Before their conversation could continue, they heard a gentle flapping sound. They both turned toward the backyard to see a winged figure descend to the ground. It took Abby only a moment to realize that it was Sakura, with her wings back. She stared at the beautiful woman in her white dress, her red eyes still standing out in the darkness of the evening.

Adam stood up and headed back inside. "Well, if that isn't a sign from heaven, then I don't know what is."

Abby jumped off the deck and ran to her. Sakura caught her in her arms, smiling. "Your wings! How did you...?"

"My contract in Purgatory has ended," Sakura said. "I believe that I have atoned for everything and that Tycara will forgive me."

"She already does," Abby said, kissing her.

Sakura pulled away and placed a hand to Abby's heart. "When I asked to end my contract, I negotiated my wings in return for my power... and I asked for something else." She placed one of Abby's hands against her own heart. After a few rhythmic pulses, Abby realized their heartbeats were the same.

"What is this?" Abby asked.

"I requested that we be tied together," Sakura said. "Should either of us die, we die together, but if we both continue to live... we will live together." She blushed, embarrassed. "Maybe it was presumptuous of me, but I thought-"

Abby kissed her again, holding her tight. "You must have a great boss," she murmured.

"I performed well over the years. They said it was a parting gift." Sakura caressed Abby's cheek. "Let us never be apart again. We can raise Tycara together."

Abby took her hand. "We're about to miss the baby shower."

"Baby shower?"

"A celebration for Tycara and us!"


As the party wound down, Krystal stood by the fireplace with her soda, watching everyone else. The baby shower had gotten off to a raucous start as Abby reintroduced the now angelic Sakura and everyone was awed by her wings. It had been nice to see Ken standing and cheerful, as though he hadn't almost bled to death from his wound, and Eveon so overly excited. Krystal took a sip from her drink and noticed Isaka slip away down the hall. Krystal took a deep breath before setting her drink on the coffee table.

She tapped Seth on his good shoulder. "I'll be back in a little bit."

"Go get her," he said with a wink.

Krystal gave him a nervous smile before following Isaka. When she went to the backyard, she couldn't catch a sight of the demon, but she already knew where she went. Using her memory, Krystal walked through the forest, carefully making her way to Isaka's manor in the dark. It took a while, but when she reached the iron fence, she entered it, shutting the squeaky waist high gate behind her. She moved around to the back of the house, only a sliver of the moon illuminating it. There was a beautiful garden tucked away by the side of the house and healthy, green grass everywhere else.

Isaka was kneeling by a grave, the grass and dirt freshly disturbed. A simple wooden cross marked it. When Isaka turned, she looked embarrassed, a few strays tears escaping her eyes. Krystal walked over and kneeled next to her. The grave was decorated with many flowers, all fresh.

"I'm sorry," Krystal said.

"For what? There's nothing-"

"For avoiding you and not talking to you," Krystal said, reaching over to grab Isaka's hand. The demon was trembling.

"Are you afraid?" Isaka asked, looking at her. "I never wanted you to see that."

"You're very frightening," Krystal admitted. "All of this is scary."

Isaka turned her hand so their palms touched and their fingers intertwined. "I just wanted to protect you."

"I know. That's why..." Krystal took a deep breath. "I'm going back East to train with my uncle and cousin."

Isaka looked back toward the grave. "For how long?"

"Maybe until spring."

Isaka squeezed her hand. "...I understand."

"So that second date will have to wait until I get back," Krystal said.

Isaka turned to her. "Krystal, you don't have to."

"I want to." Krystal smiled at her. "Like I said, this is scary. In some bad ways... but mostly in good ways. I've never felt this way for anyone but you."

Isaka turned red and fumbled her words. "Krystal, I... I'm very flattered and I want to be with you-"

"I want to be with you too." It was Krystal's turn to blush. "I will be back, I promise. I want to be strong enough so you don't have to protect me. Instead, I want us to be able to stand together."

It was then that Krystal noticed Isaka was crying. "She said something similar," the demon choked out, looking at the grave.

Krystal cupped her cheeks and the demon fell into her crying. Isaka grasped at Krystal's shirt, pulling her closer and closer until they were a mess of fabric and limbs. Krystal gave Isaka soft kisses on the top of her head and felt warmth swell up in her. It was an unfamiliar but not an unpleasant feeling. What had usually been Krystal feeling the deep, dark abyss inside of Isaka slowly transformed into a familiar, caressing energy. Before she could think about it anymore, Isaka pulled away and gave her a clumsy kiss. Their teeth clashed and their noses bumped, but it was honest and desperate, the two of them pulling together to try to find what they so needed from each other.

"I'll tell you all about her," Isaka said. "And me. I'll tell you everything."

"When I get back, tell me," Krystal said, brushing her nose against Isaka.

The demon smiled. "I promise."

Krystal caressed her cheek and said, "You know, we aren't connected by fate like Erin and Faye, nor do we have a child together like Abby and Sakura, and even Eveon and Mina have the advantage of being classmates, so the least you can do is get a cell phone."

Isaka frowned. "I don't get service here and I really don't need-"

"Do you want to be able to call me?" Krystal asked.

"...yes."

"Then you need to get with the times."

Isaka pouted and Krystal kissed her. The demon bit at her bottom lip, before giving it a quick, teasing lick. Krystal squealed and the Isaka laughed. "Maybe I will," Isaka said.

"You have to promise that you'll stay put and protect Tycara," Krystal said. "Abby told me about how you and Sakura were ready to go tear apart a company to find Lux Cipher."

"Sakura and I share at least that in common," Isaka muttered.

"You're more similar than you think," Krystal said.

After a few more moment of holding each other, Krystal got up, wiping the blades of grass off of her jeans. "I should get going."

Isaka stood up as well. "Krystal, I'm going to miss you."

"I'll miss you too." Krystal hugged her before handing her a slip of paper.

Isaka took it and realized that it listed both Krystal's number and email address. "...you do realize I will have to go to the lodge to call you."

"And you do realize you're going to be over there all the time because of Tycara," Krystal replied. "Kei said it seems like it with be an accelerated birth and growth for Tycara. She'll be an adult before we know it, so you have to be her big sister."

"...can't I leave that to Eveon and come with you?" Isaka teased. "Have you introduce me to your family?"

Krystal gave her a light shove. "Yeah, right. If you came with me, you'd be moping about your loss of sisterly love!"

"Then I'll wait here, moping around for you instead." Isaka gave her one last bittersweet kiss before Krystal left the manor. Isaka gave Cassandra's grave one last look before heading inside. Tomorrow, she would ask Seth about getting a cell phone.

End