((Totally didn't steal title from Rugrats movie. Warning, F-words. Since because Belinda Diamond.))
If Esra hadn't told him to just wander, Ras might have had a clue as to where the heck he was. As it was, he was alone in the massive-ass castle without even the slightest clue as to what was what, where, when or how. How long had he been wandering for anyway? His legs were getting tired. A woman opened a door behind him and he turned. "Excuse me...I'm a bit lost..."
The woman tilted her head, smiling. "Lost? Oh, it's easy to get lost when you're new here. Everyone gets lost all the time when they first come visit. You should have seen poor Mr Shadow trying to find a bathroom. I'm Niamh, by the way. Who are you?" He opened his mouth to answer her and she gave an annoying cooing noise. "Are you the man Mr Sunshine's older sister brought in? My you looked in a state when he pulled you past. So pale, you were. Look better now, of course. I liked the robes you were wearing. I don't like the shirt you have now though. It's all Gothic and stuff. Anyway, everyone else is in the dinner hall, or were last I checked, apart from my youngest and my husband and Mr Sunshine and yourself of course, but we have others. Mr Sunshine actually attracts some of the loveliest guests. I'm sure you're going to be another lovely guest. Anyway, I was thinking-"
He cut her off, finding himself rather irritated by her babbling. "I'm sorry, but could you be quiet please? I have a headache. I just want to this dinner hall place and talk to the others."
Niamh looked a little unsure, like no-one had ever told her to shut up before. Probably why she spoke so much then. He tried to give her a smile. She smiled back. "Sure, okay. Follow me."
The dining hall had one man standing at one end, eating toast and watching two men further down threaten each other. One girl beside the ginger man looked embarrassed. She caught the teenage girl looking at Vrestreni and turned to look. Her face brightened and she got up to greet him. "You're okay!"
He smiled, recognising the girl who had taken him away from the fight with Bonifac and then the man who had tunnelled despite being too tired. "My name's B-J. B-J Maleficent."
"Rasputin Vrestreni." He turned his eyes to the others in the room, but the redhead and the blonde men were still arguing, something about why the blonde wouldn't just die, and the man standing gave him a brief glance that was full of malice. He didn't want him-or any of the others present-in his house. The teenager was texting again. Reminded him of his sister. She never got off the phone either. Shrugging, Ras returned his attention to B-J, smiling. She was staring at him. "Can I help you?"
"Huh?" She shook her head and blushed. "Sorry."
"Thanks for saving me anyway..."
"No problem. Actually, depending on your magic type, I could use your hand..."
At least he didn't wake up in a prison cell...it was a strange first thought to have, but it hung there nonetheless as the first thought into the man's head. He sat up and realised he had been drooling in his sleep. Wiping the side of his mouth on his sleeve, he took a moment to take in his surroundings and sighed. There was a car by the road, evidently having broken down. His chest had healed and by the looks of things he wasn't that far from Roarhaven. Two people stood by the car, arguing. It seemed like one of them was the reason the car had broken down, the other was pissed off with them...one of them was Billy-Ray Sanguine. He didn't recognise the other person, but he heard the mention of Mevolent. He had no idea how he had ended up this far away from them, but it looked like he could get away without them seeing him. The repair work on his chest was mediocre at best and he wasn't sure how he would fare in a fight at the moment. As he edged away there was another stroke of luck as Sanguine and the other person started a scuffle. Slipping away was easy. Now he just had to hope he was going the right way. If not, he could probably move down to the road a distance away and hitch a ride or something. Someone was running after him and he realised there had been two broken down cars at the road. It had been a collision. Sanguine had been driving one car and the other had had two Asian people in the passenger seats, and another one arguing with the Texan. Before breaking out in a run he doubted his body could handle at the moment, he glanced over his shoulder to see two of the Asian men chasing after him. He turned fully and snapped at the air. He was well aware Japan were under Mevolent's control now. The two men were knocked head-over-heels and he turned and made a break for the road. One man scrambled up in seconds and was hot on his trail. He wasn't sure what to do, but as a third person, the woman who had been arguing with Sanguine, cut off his escape route, he found he had no choice but to stand and fight...
Gale lay the girl on the bed and backed away a step or two, resting the back of his fingers against her cheeks calmly. The others were downstairs. This was Belinda's house. She had said they were to leave Daemon there and then leave completely. Didn't look like that was happening. The redhead turned to leave when the girl began to awaken with a groan. He glanced over his shoulder as she sat up, then gave a toothy grin. "You're awake I see."
"Where...who are you?"
"Gale Blaze." He bowed theatrically. "I helped save you."
"Oh...thanks I guess..."
"No problem. Austin and Belinda were quite worried when they saw what that ginger minger did to you."
He came closer to her and she felt a strange something in there. They both smiled and he sat on the edge of her bed, resting a hand on her leg as though he hadn't realised it was there. "You should be good to be up and about in a couple of hours...we didn't have a healer, so we had to make do with what we did have...and it will hurt to move...a lot..."
She nodded slowly. "Okay, thanks...where am I?"
"Belinda Diamond's house. She told the rest of us to leave once you were put in here, but no-one's moving. It's all stubbornness. Actually, Austin had his fingers digging into upholstery last I saw and had trapped his coat under his chair leg so they couldn't give it to him and make him leave." She gave a slight laugh.
"Tell him I'm fine. And to clean his fingernails. Or cut them. Or something."
Gale nodded, a toothy grin overtaking his face radiantly. "Oh I will. I'll make sure to tell you how he reacts. You're actually pretty cute for someone who hangs around that guy..."
"I don't hang around him, he abducted me."
He laughed and got up as a crash sounded downstairs. "I'll be right back."
Austin drew his feet in, fingernails still digging into the sky blue sofa. Belinda stood opposite him, leaning against her fireplace. She wasn't looking happy. Cadence had been trying to make the atmosphere a little less tense but Maxim had thrown something at her. Now everything was tense and sombre and Belinda just wanted everyone to leave. Everyone. Even her boyfriend and siblings. Cadence sighed. "Bel, why d'you hate us?"
She turned her cold gaze on her. "Because you rejected the teachings of the temple, blame our dad for everything, think you're oh so beautiful and wonderful and special and that you have to be a fucking giraffe height-wise, stole my first boyfriend, make fun of me for being fat and disapprove of all of my friends and of all of Austin's friends." She turned to Austin. "And I hate you because your stubble looks like something crawled on your face and died, you constantly ask me for money, you also rejected the temple teachings yet still use Necromancy, you go around with one of the world's most annoying girls who I swear to god has cheated on you before like eight times, you have no personal hygiene, you never put what little money you do have to good use and you get into trouble like this all the fucking time."
Austin sighed, putting his feet back on the floor. "No job, need experience before I can get experience, I like her, only once and one case of being assaulted, homeless, no showers on the streets, Cay is the one in trouble, and screw you, you have no sense of family anything."
"What the heck do you mean by that?"
"Nothing. Just Cay and I tend to stick together. Only in stupid ways." He sent a meaningful glare to his sister, who shrank back murmuring about everyone being against her. Baritone laughed and sighed, grinning. "You're so sour, Bel."
Bel took a furious step towards her little brother and Cadence was reminded of when they were children back in the temple. Katharine and Nostradamus stepped in to stop the siblings as Austin rose to meet his sister's challenge. Gale came down the stairs, announcing Daemon was awake and grinning as he realised what was going on. "My money's on the broad." He announced loudly as they both took their objects of power, before turning and both pounding the elemental into the wall.
Lilia sat up in bed. It was a little early to be asleep for most, yes, but she had not slept for days. She had some important things to plot out. Finally she had been going to sleep, but a noise had awoken her. She lifted her eyemask and instantly noticed someone else in her room. She narrowed her eyes. "Whoever you are, leave without taking anything or killing anyone and I'll not kill you."
The intruder tilted their head and made no other movement and no sound. The Adept sighed and rolled her eyes. "You know who I am and what I can do, right?" The stranger stepped forward. It was just one step but it held the malice within it, just the step. She scrambled to her feet and released her Gist. The intruder evaded it amazingly. He was beside her in seconds, delivering a powerful kick to her chest. The Gist retracted and she gasped, remaining on the floor as her energy lulled. She was completely vulnerable as the man stood over her. She struggled weakly but inevitably he took her head and twisted it sharply, breaking the neck.
Harrison shook his head. "There is no way that's happening."
Ursa grinned. "I know someone with direct links to Mevolent. I know his every move."
Harrison pulled a revolver out of his waistband. "I'm not going to kill Scaramouch. He's more trustworthy here. You, however..." He knew he was lying. He was the only one Fred trusted. After this he would have to kill all of them. Even his girlfriend Kat and the pregnant Hibernia. They would all have to die. He pulled the trigger, holding the gun close to Ursa's head, but there was no bang. Borealis opened his hand and let six bullets drop to the floor. "Ah."
Amadeus opened his eyes and found two men stood over him, whispering quietly to one another. One of them held up a hand to stop the other. "He's awake."
"Is that even the right word?"
"Fine. He's crossed. Happy now, Larrikin?"
The second man, Larrikin, nodded, holding out a hand to help Darkside to his feet. He accepted it and the man's hand came off. A burst of blood sprayed the sensitive in the face and he cried out in disgust. Larrikin grinned.
"Oh, cool! All these years of being here and I've never realised I could do that!"
The other man gave him a withering look. "Larrikin..." He moaned disapprovingly.
Larrikin laughed again and Amadeus watched disbelievingly as his hand grew back. "You have to admit that was awesome, man."
The other man outstretched his hand. "I promise mine won't come off." Amadeus accepted the hand warily and allowed himself to be pulled to his feet.
"No problem. My name's Hopeless."
"Amadeus Darkside." They shook hands and Larrikin stood to the side, grinning like an idiot. "Did...did you two get me out of there or something? Where am I? It looks...weird..."
Hopeless and Larrikin exchanged worried looks. Then Larrikin turned and bluntly stated "You're dead."
Hopeless facepalmed. "What have I told you about tact?"
"That Marie, Nefarian and Raven are better at it?"
"Wait a second...I'm dead?"
"That's what I said." Larrikin spread his arms wide, grinning. "Welcome to the afterlife!"
"From now on only Marie and Raven can greet the newly dead..." Hopeless crossed his arms moodily and glared off to the side, clearly very annoyed with his companion. It seemed like this happened a lot.
"It's great here." Larrikin continued regardless. "You can do whatever you want, don't have to eat or sleep or pee, you can if you want though...and you can do practically anything...except have babies..."
"Didn't want any anyway." The American responded, sounding bored.
"Good. Hopeless, can I show him around?"
"As long as you don't lock him in the fire cage as a joke?"
Amadeus frowned. "Fire cage?"
"It was where Mevolent was trapped by some ruler of this place named Archangel or something...it was to stop his soul ever returning to the mortal plane or whatever..."
"Evidently it failed." Darkside spat back vehemently.
"I know, and I'm sorry. Archangel does it with every bad soul to stop it getting recycled. No soul has ever escaped before, according to him...I think he's lying though...I think something fishy's going on..."
The look in Hopeless' eyes intrigued and somewhat disturbed Darkside. He decided to talk to this Archangel and see if he could work out what the hell had happened. As if he could read his mind, Hopeless nodded. "Whatever your plan, go for it, Amadeus. Any idea is our only idea."
((No idea where the Larrikin and Hopeless thing came from...but it was fun...no idea where the serious portion at the end came from either...according to my brother, naming knives, killing people with knives a lot and stabbing crocodile-related stuff is very Australian...next couple of days'll be fun.))