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Welcome to the deep, dark & crazy world that is my imagination
The Gathering - Chapter Two 
27th-Feb-2009 11:54 pm
Grave Lying
Title: The Gathering
Fandom (is so, include details) or Non Fandom?: Non Fandom (ie. Original bro!)
Chapter Number: Two
Word Count: 2,967 Words
Rating: M (due to language & adult content... not entirely sure where this thing is going)
Summary: In 1692 a group of witches sacrificed their powers to prevent death. Almost 3.5 centuries later, these powers have befallen new generations. Those that would be heroes are lost. It is up to those who are left behind to save themselves & the world they're in.
Author's Notes: This is WIP of my own doing which has like a zillion characters being introduced (and I'm still going) so you might need to hang on a bit for me to get into the meat of that summary *Crosses fingers she'll still be going with that*


Chapter Two


Streetlights shone in wide arcs over the ground of the main street, devoid of a great number of people due to the fact it was a weeknight, and a chilly one at that. In the middle of November the autumn season was just beginning to acknowledge the oncoming arrival of winter and lowering the nightly temperature to greet it with welcoming arms. Two assassins, whose primary opportunity to work was under the cover of nightfall, scaled past another brick building, carefully avoiding the shops that were determined to leave their lights on night and day whether there were people working there or not. Late-night workers drove up and down the streets, their headlights gleaming as darkness descended over the town like a thick blanket. Danny turned his head away, the glare paining his eyes.

“Why do you keep taking the main road?” he asked, keeping step with Mercy.

“Because it’s the quickest way through.”

“It’s dangerous.”

“Not if we’re careful.”

Looking ahead, Danny could see a group of highly curious people heading towards them. They stopped every now and then to peer in the windows of the now closed stores. Grabbing the hand of one very enthused woman, the man with her pulled her forward. Their paths very close to intersecting, Danny grabbed Mercy by the arm and hauled her into the alley between two stores. Pressing her against the wall his lips fastened to hers, his hands finding her thighs and lifting her to close the gap between them.

“Don’t move,” he whispered in her ear, giving it a slight nibble.

Warm breath coursed down her skin as he placed a line of hot kisses from her neck to her chest. Her legs tightened around him, her hands on his shoulders just about the only thing supporting her. She closed her eyes, giving in to the sensation of the feelings he stirred. Cold hands chilled from the night air lifted her shirt at her sides, his thumbs tracing the line of her rib cage. And then… nothing. He unfolded her from his body as he stepped back, glancing towards the entryway. She dropped to the ground, hearing the last murmur of voices fade away as the group on the street gained distance from them.

Danny looked back to her. “Okay. We can go now.”

Mercy shoved him back. Although public displays of affection were often a handy distraction and concealment technique, it wasn’t something she wholly agreed should be applied to business with someone she was already intimate with.

“Don’t do that unless you mean it,” she reprimanded, yanking her shirt back down. Awakening those feelings would only hinder their concentration on the task at hand.

“I didn’t hear you complaining last time,” Danny said, falling into step behind her as they exited back out onto the main street.

“Last time you weren’t an arrogant pig,” she said.

Hastening his speed, he circled around her until he forced her to stop, feeling a great need to defend himself. “There is still enough light for us to be recognized. Are you willing to risk that because you’re annoyed with me?”

Her face was expressionless; her eyes cold. “When you stop thinking you can force my mind, then I’ll forgive you.”

Matching her expression, he stepped back three paces before turning and continuing on to the intersection. She had no trouble catching up to him as they took a left, then a right, crossing over until they reached the glossy exterior of Valhalla. Although staff had likely arrived an hour earlier, the two Phoenix witches arrived minutes before the patrons were due to begin queuing for entry into the club. It had once been a quaint little bar with live bands during the week and a more commercially sounding music establishment on the weekend, but new ownership had brought about a revamp into some dance floor nightmare. Not that it mattered to the supernaturally-endowed – it just created a more successful pattern of loud noise to cover whatever nasty business they had going on in the area.

Mercy pushed against the rusted copper door embedded to the right of the less presentable part of the building. Her nose crinkled as she frowned and tried a second time.

“Allow me,” Danny said, sliding in beside her and crouching down until he was eye level with the handle. Lifting his hand, he flicked his fingers forward. A card so thin it was almost transparent appeared in his grasp. He slipped it into the almost non-existent crack, then rose and pushed the door open with his foot. “That was easy.”

Mercy cast him a look of contempt before making her way through the door. Danny followed as they descended down the dark staircase, hands against rough brick walls guiding their way down as the stairs circled around to end with a narrow hallway, lit only by one light. The place was odious and filled with shadows. It did not welcome those that found their way there.

Lifting his shirt over his nose, Danny followed Mercy along the path, carefully avoiding any wet patches on the ground. There was no telling if it was blood, oil, or simply water that had leaked through the rounded ceiling. His gaze rising above as they passed the light, he could see the moss growing between the cracks in the brickwork. Looking like a hollowed out tunnel it appeared almost foreign that anyone would take care to build a place such as this. A place which, to the naked eye, appeared to go nowhere for there was nothing but another brick wall at the end of the underground tunnel. Those that were magically inclined knew different. Mercy leant over and pushed her hand through it.

“Let’s see if he’s home,” she said, stepping into the very depths of the Underworld.

“Hello, Weasel,” Danny acknowledged moments later.

The scrawny man had no chance to escape. He stopped and stared at the pair, his bottom eyelids rising with a disturbing clicking sound as he blinked twice. Keeping a careful eye on Danny as he circled him like a predator hungry for prey, Weasel was by no means quick or conniving enough to slip away from their attention. Danny cocked his head to the side.

“It’s time to pay up,” he said.

Seconds trailed slower then the witch’s speed as he raced forward, flinging the demonic being into the wall and pressing an arm to his chest as he rebounded. From somewhere unknown a dagger had appeared in the assassin’s hand, the blade now turning his informant’s face from side to side as the cool steel pressed against the stubble on his cheeks.

“Danny,” Mercy warned from behind him. Weasel would be no good to them if Danny’s bravado took over.

“Sh-sh…” Weasel stammered. Words appeared to change over in his mind but he couldn’t decide which one he wanted to use. His nose twitched like an animal trying to determine a scent. “Scrutinized enough?”

Danny let him go, the dagger flashing away in his hand as he stepped back. Weasel leveled his footing on the ground, brushing at his clothes. Despite the scruffy appearance of his hair and face, he was fastidiously and some would even say obsessively neat.

“What do you want?” he asked.

“We need some information. We’re trying to locate someone,” Mercy explained.

“I don’t know if I should help you after the way you treated me,” Weasel admonished. “And I doubt anyone would give up much to such rough treatment.”

“Oh, it could get much worse,” Danny threatened. “We haven’t even started on the torture yet.”

“Hey!” Weasel protested, holding his hands up. Mercy threaded a finger through Danny’s back belt loop, prepared to keep him at bay if the situation continued to heat up.

“We saved your bacon against the Oyex and you swore you would return the favour when we needed it,” Danny reminded him. “Tell us where Marcus Revelle is.”

“Marcus Revelle. Revelle,” Weasel pondered for a moment. “Tricky fellow. Not easy to find.”

“Not what I want to hear,” Danny said. Weasel sniffed.

“He’s closer than you’d think. Whispers around he’s going upside tonight. Got some meeting with a big-shot of yours. If you hurry you might catch him.”

“Where?” Mercy pressed.

“Valhalla loading dock,” Weasel answered.

“Thank you,” Mercy said. She dug into Danny’s back pocket and pulled out a few paper notes, throwing them at the man. “For your trouble.”

“I thought favours were free?” Danny grumbled as she pulled him back towards the tunnel.

“I was feeling generous.”

“What if he’s wrong?”

“He’s not.”

“How do you know?”

She lifted a finger to his chin, caressing it lightly as she turned his face slightly towards her. “Trust me.”

* * *


“You’re not cold in that?” Ashley Kalis asked, pushing his brunette hair up from his eyes so that he could see his girlfriend more clearly. Shae Springer pulled at the bottom hem of the tight short black dress she wore as it crept up her body once more.

“Should I be?” she returned.

The thin spaghetti straps about the only thing holding the fabric up, Ashley frowned down at the girl who was about half a head shorter than him. He was quite ready to tear his jacket off and throw it around her, not so much for the cold but more to prevent the other guys in the queue outside the club from looking at her. He wasn’t even sure why someone so stunningly beautiful as she would want him to be her boyfriend, yet here she was in the flesh. It felt like an act of benignity more than anything else. Ashley, after all, was a guy from the poor end of town who struggled to support his mother and himself as well as pay his university bills on a meager wage. Shae seemed to have none of those problems, but even if she did she wouldn’t complain. He’d never heard Shae say a bad word about anyone yet. Her smile brightened as she pushed him as the queue moved, a gleam in her large turquoise eyes… at least, they looked turquoise. They had appeared to be as green as emeralds earlier but there were blue flecks in them now, probably from the reflection of the blue neon sign above. Whatever colour they were, they were still just as beguiling.

“I’m just saying, we’re dropping into single figures now and you’re still walking around like it’s the middle of summer.”

“How hot do you think it is in there?” she pondered, turning her body to face the door. “With all the drinking and the dancing… maybe we should go.”

He laughed disbelievingly. “You were the one who wanted to come here!”

“So I did,” she said, turning back towards him with a grin so wide that dimples creased her pale cheeks, making her look more adorable than she already was.

“I.D. please,” the bouncer at the door requested.

Fumbling in her purse, Shae produced her identification card and handed it over to the large man, her eyes and smile still bright as she looked at him. He glanced up and down a few times, inspecting the make of the card as well to ensure it was real. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately in any girl’s eye, for Shae she had an eternally youthful looking face and could easily be mistaken for someone five or ten years younger than she was. Finally satisfied she was old enough to enter Valhalla, he handed her back the card and reached for Ashley’s. The card blew from his hand and back up the street. Lifting his head in annoyance and taking a breath, Ashley looked back up the street in the path his card had taken and began to climb beneath the roping on the side of the queue. Shae crouched down beside the roping as the wind suddenly changed direction and blew the card back towards them. Skittering over the pavement, it stopped and rested just inches from Shae’s crouched body.

“That was weird,” she said, picking the card up and handing it back to Ashley. Taking it into his hand, he climbed back over the roping to join her and handed it to the bouncer. Shae gave Ashley an unknowing smile. “I guess someone’s looking out for us, huh?”

“I guess,” he replied, the same wary confusion in his tone.

Handing Ashley his I.D. back, the bouncer let the pair pass and moved onto the next person in line. Shae and Ashley descended the stairs into the club, her hand firmly in his. The music thrummed around them, not as loud as what would be called for in a party atmosphere, but with enough volume to keep people entertained while they sat around drinking and talking. Shae led Ashley to the bar, lifting herself onto a stool as he eased onto the one beside her.

“You look really cute in that shirt,” she said. Ashley looked away, his cheeks turning a slight crimson red.

“Thanks,” he replied, making himself busy fetching his wallet from his pocket and splitting the divide. “What do you want?”

“Midori Illusion?”

“Right. One mid…”

There was a loud crash to his right, startling him so much that he almost jumped right off the stool. Looking towards the sound he discovered a pile of metal objects had fallen by his feet – perhaps not what he would have expected to crash right by him in a bar. Untroubled by the sound, Shae vaulted from her seat, rounding her boyfriend and crouching by the stool beside him.

“Let me help you,” she said, picking up the tools from the floor and placing them back inside the metal box as she turned it upright.

“After all these years you’d think I’d have learnt depth perception by now,” Michael said. He smiled sheepishly as Ashley met his gaze. “Hi, Ash.”

“Mr Colliver,” Ash acknowledged, raising his hand.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know which order these go in,” Shae said, placing a pile of screwdriver screws of varying sizes inside the toolbox as Michael crouched down to join her. He waved a hand dismissively.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s my own fault.”

“Dad, are you okay?” David asked, rushing to the edge of the bar and peering over.

Michael glanced up and nodded, unsure whether his eldest son could see him in such close proximity. David shifted his gaze to Ashley, the blue intensity of his eyes burning to Ashley’s very core compelling him to look away. Shae shuddered against his leg and he glanced down, seeing her waver and reach out with a hand across the floor to steady herself before she collapsed entirely.

“Ow,” she said, lifting her hand. A light trail of blood coursed down the edge of her palm like a slow-moving river. Staring at it in wondrous fascination, it took Ashley’s hands beneath her forearms to haul her to her feet before she realized how painful the wound was. She crinkled her face at him in a vulnerable childlike manner.

“Here,” David offered, holding a bandaid out towards them. “If it’s anything serious we’ve got a first-aid kit out the back.”

Ashley went to make a grab for the strip but Shae was there first, her hand softly and slowly lingering against David’s fingers as she took it into her palm. Her eyes were fixed on his for what felt like an eternity until Ashley pulled her back.

“Where’s the bathrooms?” he asked, looking around.

“Over there,” David indicated with a thumb to his right.

Ashley guided Shae towards the women’s bathrooms, not caring that he was about to crash a non-male gendered room to fix her hand. The bright white clearly lit room was almost empty as they pushed their way in. Only one person of the female gender exited as they stopped by the sink and turned the faucet on, not even batting an eyelid at his presence. Ashley suspected that was a good indication of the frequency of both genders co-existing in either bathroom.

“Argh, ow, Ash!” Shae protested, Ashley holding fast onto her hand as he tried to clean the wound under the water.

“It doesn’t look that deep,” Ashley said, peering closer.

“It’ll be okay,” she said. “I’m not going to bleed to death.”

Grabbing a bunch of paper towel and scrunching it together in one hand, Ashley wrapped it around her hand, taking a much gentler approach as he softly dabbed the skin dry.

“Was that Christian Colliver’s brother?” she asked.

“Yes, that’s Chris’ brother,” Ash confirmed, working studiously on her hand. He seemed far more interested in the injury than she was.

“They don’t look at all alike.”

“That’s cause David looks like his father, and Chris is the spitting image of his mother. Except he’s not female. Or dead.”

“Must be terrible to lose someone you love so young.”

Ashley pushed his hair back up out of his eyes with the back of his hand. “Yeah. About eight years now I think.”

“I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have to live your life without a parent.”

“Yeah…” Ashley drawled, the bandage almost totally in place as one too many feelings came rushing back with the statement.

“Oh, sorry. I forgot… your dad….” Shae apologized quickly.

“It’s okay,” Ashley said dismissively, though the force with which he pitched the paper towel into the bin revealed otherwise. “I’ve lived my whole life without him. What’s another day?”

“The start of something fresh and new,” she said, her words holding the distinct air of a promise. She circled around him and leaned up to softly kiss his lips. “The past deserves to stay in the past. It’s better when you don’t look at it.”


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