Dain was perched up on the roof, watching the glittering lights of Downtown Los Angeles when he saw Karrin run from the church. Dain sat up that quickly that he nearly slipped off of the roof, and scrambling down to the window, he swung inside and tore down the stairs. Spying Sera sitting at the dining table with her head in her hands, Dain stopped, breathing hard as he stared at his old friend.
"What did you do?" he asked, eyes wide. Sera looked up at him, and Dain could see the apology written on her face.
"I'm so sorry Dain, but she needed to know the truth before Anna told her."
"You had no right to do that!"
"No, but you should have!" Sera yelled back, standing up and slamming her hands down on the table top. "Dammit Dain, stop acting like a child, and face up to the fact that Karrin was your responsibility! You're the one who should have told her the truth; she wanted to hear it from you!" Sera snapped, and Dain felt like he'd been slapped.
"If she never comes back, I won't forgive you," he said, and Sera's eyes narrowed at him.
"Then go after her, you idiot."
Dain ran from the church like the Devil was at his heels, and flew up Main Street towards the heart of Downtown. He had no idea where Karrin would have gone, and only knew that she had run towards the city when she had fled. Kicking at a trash bin in frustration, Dain felt like screaming as he stood on the street with no idea how to find the girl that he had waited so long for.
Unknown to Dain, Karrin was closer to him than he thought, yet she wasn't allowing herself to be seen. She'd run as far as she could up Main Street, and had then collapsed onto a bench, using her gifts to go unseen by the night owls that were prowling the street. When Dain kicked at the trash bin, Karrin was only meters away from him, and the sudden furious noise had startled her. Watching him, Karrin felt torn between running to his side and staying invisible where she was just to spite him. The things that Sera had told her had both scared and infuriated her, and the fact that the truth about her past hadn't come from Dain himself had hurt her more than she thought it would.
Dain looked up and down the street for a moment, seemingly unsure about where he should go, and as Karrin watched he jogged towards the mall where they had first met. She followed after him without even thinking about it, slipping into the building like a ghost. She knew that she couldn't be seen, yet Dain was striding through as if he were invisible too. Maybe he just didn't care if he were caught?
When Karrin caught up to Dain on the roof, she felt a horrible sense of déjà vu when she saw him standing up on the wall that ran around the rooftop once again, staring out over the city. She didn't want to startle him, so she allowed herself to be seen and heard, clearing her throat to gain his attention. Dain spun around so fast that Karrin was certain that he was going to fall, and she rushed towards him, arms held out to grab him. But instead of falling, Dain jumped down and flew at her, scooping her up into his arms, burying his face into her neck and letting her short hair tickle his cheek. He could remember when her hair flowed long like silk, and yet it suited her so much better short. Everything suited her so much better now than they ever did before.
"What are you doing up here?" Karrin asked, pulling away so that she could see his face. The relief that she saw was so unrestrained that it nearly broke her heart to see it. There was no mask in place; Dain was letting her see everything that he was feeling.
"I thought I'd lost you again," he said, holding her face in his hands. Karrin gently pried his fingers away, holding his hands in hers.
"So you were planning on jumping off of the roof?" she asked, and Dain hung his head, shaking it slightly as his hair hid his eyes from view. Karrin frowned. "When we first met up here, you told me that you were more afraid that you wouldn't fall. What did you mean?" she asked, and Dain pulled his hands free as he turned and walked back towards the wall, taking a moment to watch the city around them.
"It's hard to explain," Dain began, watching the city lights and trying to gather his thoughts. "I love standing on top of buildings, because you can see for miles, and everything just seems so much clearer than what it does on the ground. Up here you can see the people scurrying around like ants; cars whizzing by like flies. But this high up everything is still. I can stand here for five minutes, or five years, and it doesn't matter. The world will continue to move ever onwards, whilst I remain the same," he said, turning around so that he could see Karrin. "People like you and I – we are the rocks within the river of time – we are in it, and yet we do not move with it. We are stuck, and standing up here allows me to see it all from on high, and for a while I can be okay about it. For a while I can be above it all, but I know that I will eventually have to come down and resume my life of endlessly existing. And it's a moment that I dread, because at heart I am a coward, and I can't stand the idea of forever being alone in this world. That is why I am more afraid that I won't fall – because it means that I have to keep on living."
"But that's not a bad thing," Karrin said, stepping forwards. "And what if you did fall, but lived? You don't know for sure that you would die, so what then?" she asked, and Dain turned away. "And what about me?" she said in such a quiet voice that Dain couldn't bear to listen to the note of hurt that was underlying her words. "What would I do if you were gone?" she added as tears stung her eyes, and Dain made to approach her; yet she stepped back. "You've lied to me, you've kept important information from me, and you've kept me on this yo-yo string of 'will I, won't I?' ever since I met you. I've hated you so much that I've wanted to scream, and yet now that I know you, I can't imagine not having you in my life. If you fell from this roof tonight, it would crush me. Did you ever think about that?" Karrin asked, trying to hold her voice steady as her emotions threatened to take over.
"But I'm not good for you," Dain said. "You don't understand everything that I've done."
"So stop being such a coward and tell me!" Karrin interjected. "I'm right here, awake and real, and I'm not going anywhere," she added in a calmer voice. "You need to trust that I can handle the truth, even if I just need to run off and get some space to process everything. After all, it's not every day that you find out that you're a real life Sleeping Beauty," she added with a wry smile, and Dain chuckled.
"How is it that Sleeping Beauty seems to be a much stronger person than Prince Charming?" he asked, and Karrin raised an eyebrow.
"You're assuming that you're Prince Charming in this scenario," she said playfully, and Dain feigned hurt.
"My Lady, your words pierce straight through my heart," he said with a hand over his chest, and Karrin giggled. Turning serious once again, she stepped up to him and took his hands in hers. Looking up into his deep blue eyes, she felt like she could lose herself in his gaze.
"No more secrets, okay?" she said, and Dain nodded, gently brushing a lock of her short hair back behind her ear. Bending down slightly, he met her lips with his own, and this time after they kissed, Danian did not run away.
Sera and Matt were in the chapel, tidying things away in preparation for the morning service. Anna had seen fit to pull out everything she could during her brief visit, and Matt had his work cut out for him keeping his wife's temper in check, so much so that neither one noticed when the door opened and someone else stepped inside.
"Excuse me? Are you Miss Seraphine?" a voice called out, and both Sera and Matt turned around to see a young man walking towards them, looking unsure and just a little bit lost. They had both seen his like countless times before – another of their kin, no doubt having heard of Sera and the church from another who had passed through before. That's how word of the Los Angeles sanctuary got around these days.
"Yes. Can I help you with something?" Sera asked, putting down her arm load of bibles and approaching the young man. Matt was watching him carefully, but couldn't detect anything suspicious in his emotions. The only thing that he could sense was excitement, and Matt smiled. It was always fun meeting first timers to the church. This young man looked to be of African decent, with dark skin and a shaved head, and yet his eyes were a strange pale blue colour. He was quite tall, and was hiding his solid frame under a large hoodie, with his hands stuffed into the pockets.
"I hope so. I was told that you could help me learn more about who I am?" the young man said, and Sera nodded as his eyes flicked towards her husband.
"I'm Matt," he said, holding out his hand. The young man took it, and Matt gasped as a white hot pressure seemed to grip his mind. The feeling of excitement grew into glee, and the last thing Matt heard before her passed out was Sera scream in horror.
"What have you done?" she cried, dropping to her collapsed husband's side.
"Don't worry, he's not dead. And you'll be joining him soon enough," the young man said with a sneer as he crouched down next to Sera. "By the way, my name's Corrick. Anna sent me." And then his hand gripped Sera's arm, sending the same white hot pressure through her, leaving her in a crumpled heap besides Matt.
Corrick smiled down at his handiwork, cracking his knuckles before he picked up Matt's feet, dragging him across the floor to where Anna had said that there would be a locked storeroom. Fishing the old fashioned key out of his jeans pocket, Corrick dragged Matt inside, before going back for Sera. He hated using his ability on innocent people, and although some part of him knew that it had been wrong to incapacitate Matt and Sera, Anna had told him that it was for the greater good, and he had to believe her. After all, she was his Queen, and was more powerful and more beautiful than anyone that he had ever known. How could he have ever said no to her?
Closing and locking the storeroom door, Corrick made his way into the rectory, and took a seat to wait for the inevitable return of Dain and Karrin. With them out of the way, there would be nothing left to stop Anna from regaining the church that had been stolen out from under her, and Corrick was so proud that he had been chosen as the one who would help her achieve her goal.