Author: Jos Mous
DISCLAIMER: All these characters still don't belong to me.
NOTE: This is going to be the last fic in this series. You'll soon find out why.
Part One - Prologue
"She didn't come."
"She should've been there."
"How can you remain so calm?"
"Prevents me from breaking out in tears."
"Maybe you should."
"Do you know what happened?"
"I only know what was on news, just like you."
"I can't believe she didn't come."
"You already said that."
"She's not going to do something stupid, right?"
"I wouldn't know."
"I would if you'd…"
"Should I feel flattered?"
"I don't know."
"Not a very large turn up."
"You didn't really expect one, right?"
"Well no, but, at least _some_ family."
"Makes you wonder who paid for it. And who managed to arrange it all on such a tremendously short notice."
"You should talk to her."
"Who? … Oh…. Right."
"Make sure she doesn't leave tonight."
"I'm not sure if I can."
"Promise me something."
"If I… you know…"
"Don't even say it."
"Promise me you won't starve yourself."
"I won't, 'cause it's not going to happen."
"I can't… I'm sorry, but… You mean too much to me."
"Dammit Brooke. What did I do to deserve you?"
"You were born."
The couple slowly made their way towards the exit, both of them feeling that strange empty feeling of loss that hasn't been completely processed yet.
"Do you believe in an afterlife?"
"Where did _that_ come from?"
"I'm not sure. Maybe. You?"
She looked behind her and saw Nicole sitting in front of a tombstone, looking at them. Brooke smiled weakly.
"Yeah… I do."
In her young life Lily had already faced many terrible things. Well, that wasn't completely true, but she _had_ faced more horrible things than any average human would in his entire life.
Unless there was a war going on, but that's beside the point.
And right now she was standing in the hallway of the McQueen/McPherson mansion with her… girlfriend(?) staring at the door to Sam McPherson's room, which somehow was even more terrible. Lily hadn't seen Sam ever since the news of Nicole's death arrived and she was worried, well, terrified that the other girl just might lose her sanity.
It wouldn't be first time, or so she had been told.
"Come on," Brooke encouraged her. "I'm right behind you."
"That's not helping, Brooke."
"How hard can it be?"
"Oh gee, let me think, her girlfriend died in some random mugging, she heard it on the morning news and to top all off: She's a werewolf!"
"Like I said, how hard can it be?"
"Maybe I should've left you in the Void." Lily muttered darkly.
Brooke looked like someone had just slapped her in the face. Lily immediately regretted her words. Something had happened in the Void to Brooke that had almost broken her spirit. Only Lily's friendship and love kept her going. The brunette prayed that one day it would enough to heal Brooke completely again.
"I'm sorry." Lily whispered as she sat down beside the shuddering heap that was Brooke McQueen.
"Please don't say anything like that ever again."
"Why won't you tell me what happened?"
Lily didn't think Brooke's trembling could increase, but obviously she was wrong. Tears started forming in her eyes. "I can't. You'll leave me."
"Now why do you keep saying things like that? Shouldn't it be obvious by now that I'll stay with you forever?"
"I can't." Brooke repeated.
Lily wisely decided to let it rest for now. Those four walls she had seen just before they had left were still firmly in place. So she held Brooke in her arms, waiting for her to regain her composure.
(This can't go on much longer.)
"I'm fine." Brooke chuckled. "Well, I'm not fine, but as close as I can get anyway."
"Don't worry, we'll get there. I know it." Lily was a terrible liar, but right now Brooke didn't notice it. "OK," Lily continued, taking a deep breath. "One crisis averted. Time to face the next."
The brunette reached out and opened the door.
The room was empty, but Sam's laptop was set firmly in view. On the desktop was a link to a Word-document entitled 'To Lily'. Subtlety wasn't one of Sam's strong points.
Using her vast knowledge of computers Lily opened the document. Her eyes grew wide when she read the few lines and she cursed a few times when she had finished reading it.
Off to brutally murder the bastard who killed my Nic.
Take care of Brooke for me.
See ya later,
PS: STAY OUT OF THIS!
NOTE/SUMMARY: Nic's dead, Brooke's losing it and Sam mysteriously disappeared in a murderous rage. Can things get any worse? Of course they can.
Clive's Bar, the place to be if you want to know anything about what goes on in the real world. Lily often went there to pick up some blood. While she had found drinking blood an utterly disgusting thought at first, she did need it to survive. Lily opened the small steel door in the back of the shadiest alley in town and was met with an unfamiliar sight.
The bar lay in ruins.
That was very uncommon considering the fact that Clive really had a talent for showing troublemakers the door. The gargoyle sat alone on one of the few remaining chairs, holding an ice pack to his head.It would be comical if it wasn't so bizarre.
"Must've been some fight." Lily casually noted.
"It was that werewolf friend of yours." Clive answered. "That girl's pretty messed up."
"You can't blame her. Not really. Her girlfriend died the other day."
The ridge above Clive's eye shot up. "Her girlfriend died?" His voice sounded concerned. "My condolences."
"You should give them to Sam."
"No need." Clive said darkly. "Tell me, how did her friend die?"
"She was shot in some mundane human mugging."
"That's not possible." The gargoyle said determined. He chuckled. "Well, now it all makes sense, doesn't it?"
"What are you talking about?" Lily asked.
"Girl, I know you're part human, but I do expect you have at least some brains." Clive looked right at her. "Lead doesn't kill werewolves."
Lily groaned as the realisation hit. "They found out, didn't they?"
"At least one of 'em did." Clive said. "And I'm betting McPherson's gonna try to find him before it's too late."
"What do you mean?"
"How much do you know about werewolves exactly, Esposito?"
"More than most humans."
"That's practically nothing." Clive sighed. "I hate to be the one to tell you this, but…" He stared at the ceiling for a moment, trying to formulate a sentence that wasn't too blunt. "When two werewolves fall in love, it's forever. They become _so_ intertwined mentally that they sometimes even display telepathic powers, though that's very rare. Anyway," Clive trailed off and looked back at Lily. "Do I need to continue?"
Ignoring the shivers of anxiety and fear that crawled all over her body she asked the gargoyle to continue all the same. Somewhere she already knew what Clive was going to say, but she needed to hear it."If one werewolf dies, the mate will shortly follow." Clive's usually sardonic expression was gone, replaced by honest sadness. "McPherson's dying, Esposito. And there's nothing you can do about it."
Ever since leaving the Void Brooke was unable to sleep. Oh, she closed her eyes, sometimes even dreamed, but her sleep never brought rest. She seemed permanently surrounded by shadows, constantly whispering their accusations.
((You weren't meant to exist.))
((You were created by evil.))
((You will hurt everyone around you.))
((Why don't you just give up? It'd be better for everyone.))
((She will leave if you tell the truth.))
Brooke tried to block them out, but she couldn't. Their hushed whispered and mocking laughter kept buzzing in her ear. She was already convinced of half the stuff they told her even before she had left the Void and she willing to believe the rest of it too.It was slowly driving her insane.
And if that wasn't bad enough, Brooke wasn't only caught between sanity and madness, she was also stuck between life and death. She suspected that somewhere out there a God of Very Cruel Jokes liked to play around with her. The dead were all around her, and their peacefulness sometimes made her wish she could join them. Sometimes Brooke withdrew into her room, and cheerfully talked with her dead companions, the world of the living temporarily forgotten.
But Brooke's dark and gloomy world had one more speck of light. Ironically Lily was the only lifeline she had left. Whenever the brunette was around her the shadows were kept at bay and the dead respectfully took their distance.
Hell, some of the dead even congratulated her, which was all the more worrying.
But right now Lily was off searching Sam and the dead were silent. So the shadows happily came out to play. And tonight they were content to whisper one line over and over again.
((Maybe I should've left you in the Void.))
((I should've left you in the Void.))
"Brooke, wake up. Please."
Brooke slowly opened her eyes and saw someone standing over her with a panicked look on her face.
"Nicole, please, go away. Can't you people ever let me sleep?"
"You have to help me Brooke."
Brooke could hear Nicole was almost hysterical. And the dead were never hysterical. Something was really, very wrong. Brooke sat up in bed and looked at her friend. "What's wrong?" It was a lame question in Brooke's mind, but it served its purpose.
"She's gone Brooke! I can't find her!"
"She's not here, but she isn't with you either. You need to help me find her!"
"How? How I can help?" Brooke asked desperate.
((You can't help.)) The shadows whispered. ((You're meant to cause harm.))
"I don't know." Nicole continued, not hearing the accusations. "There are some places we can't go. She has to be there. You have to find her!"
Brooke made up her mind. Pushing the whispers of the shadows behind her and forgetting the promises of death she now had something to focus on beside Lily.
A friend needed her help.
And despite all her problems right now, she was going to give that help.
Brooke quickly gathered some clothes and left the room, closely followed by Nicole.
Father Samuel was a kind man in every way of the word. Of course, since he was a priest it was more or less his job to be kind, but with father Samuel it was always genuine. He had been preparing his church for service when someone knocked on the heavy doors. Father Samuel was naturally worried. Sure, everyone was allowed to go into the house of the Lord at all time, but in the middle of the night _was_ a bit unusual. He made his way over to the door and when he opened them he saw a young girl lying unconscious in front of it. Father Samuel immediately gathered the young girl in his arms. There were a few small rooms at the far end of the church. He would lay the girl in one of them until she had regained consciousness. As he gently carried the girl to the back he could feel that the girl had an alarmingly high fever. She slipped in and out of consciousness. The girl tried to talk a few times, but her words were incoherent and came out more like growls than actual words. Perhaps he should call the hospital. Instinctively father Samuel started praying. It was likely that this girl needed all the help she could get.
"STOP THERE!" Nicole shouted.
Ignoring the sudden deafness caused Nicole's voice Brooke hit the brakes. She followed Nic's gaze, which was pointed right a church.
"She's in there." Nic said. "I know it." Then she sighed. "But I can't get in there, it would be my one-way trip off this world."
"Want me to go in?" Brooke asked.
"Of course." Nic answered.
Brooke gracefully parked the car, said goodbye to Nicole and left. The peaceful darkness of the night immediately became an intense black as whispers started haunting her again.
((Why are you going there? Why wander into the house of the man who hates you the most?))
"Shut up." Brooke whispered through clenched teeth.
((Turn around.)) The shadows pleaded. ((Leave.))
Brooke kept walking, trying desperately to block the voice out. She never even wondered why they wanted to keep her away from her.
Lily halted dead in her tracks for few moments. A wave of dizziness and nausea flooded her and she had to lean against a wall for a few moments. She shook the feeling off and continued walking.
Father Samuel moistened the girl's forehead with a small piece of cloth made out of orange silk he had found lying around somewhere. The girl's fever was high, and while she had snapped back to consciousness for now, the girl was delirious. He had called an ambulance to take care of her, but he wasn't sure if they would be able to do anything. He looked up when he heard some stumbling at the front of his church. Leaving his unknowing patient for a moment he went to check it out. Two visitors at his church at night was very unusual. When he entered the main area of the building he saw a girl with blonde hair leaning against a support pillar. The girl was slowly rocking back and forth, her eyes were tightly shut and she seemed to be talking to herself.
"Shut up. Please shut up." It sounded desperate.
Now, father Samuel _was_ a convinced Christian. It was his job, after all. He believed in God and Jesus and the Bible and everything, but he had always doubted he would ever see something like this.
He didn't know what it was, but there seemed to be an aura of darkness around the girl, smothering her. Father Samuel walked over to the girl and managed to get her on her feet. The girl kept muttering to herself -or maybe the darkness- as he guided her to the back room. He silently prayed to his God a second time that night, but the darkness he could perceive around the girl kept getting more and more intense. He managed to get the girl to sit down and after sadly realising that there was nothing he could do for the blonde, except pray or maybe call an exorcist, he focused his attention on the delirious brunette again.
After about five minutes sirens could be heard. Approximately twenty seconds later the doors to the church could be heard opening again. Not only was it a very strange night for father Samuel, it was also starting to get a very busy night. Two men appeared in the back room pretty soon, carrying a stretcher with them. No explanation was necessary, because the priest had already managed to explain enough over the phone. With little effort the two managed to lift Sam up and onto the stretcher.
"So, what's the deal with her?" One of the men asked, indicating Brooke.
"I really don't know." Father Samuel responded. "But I doubt you are the right men to help her."
The man looked at Brooke for a few moments more, then turned around. "Alright, let's get this girl to the hospital." He said to no-one in particular.
After the two men and the girl were out of sight Samuel headed to the main part of the church. He quickly gathered a cross, some holy water and any other things he could find. He didn't know what he was supposed to do, or if it would have any effect, but he would try everything if he thought it would help drive the blackness around the blonde girl away.
Nicole's head shot up when two men left the church again. But this time they had brought Sam along with them. Nic got out of the car, intending to get into the ambulance when she realised that she should warn Brooke that she was leaving. But Brooke was inside a religious place and if she were to enter it as well she would be taken away to whatever came after death. And Nicole simply was not ready for that yet. Luckily for her Nicole spotted a man wandering across the cemetery.
"Hey you! Dead guy!" She shouted.
The man looked up at Nicole and pointed at himself with a questioning look on his face.
"Yeah, you!" Nicole shouted. "One of my friends is in there." She said, gesturing at the church. "A blonde girl. When she comes out, tell her I'll be at the hospital."
"Surely you know that if we go in there we will never come out again." The man said.
"I know." Nicole said, glancing quickly at the ambulance. Sam was already loaded inside and the two men were making their way to the drivers seat. "But my friend is still alive."
Nic saw that the man was about to object again, but Nic quickly held up her hand. "No time to explain. Just do it!" And with that the dead blonde rushed over to the ambulance and jumped through the door.
Nicole sat down next to Sam, who looked deathly pale. Nicole sighed. Sam would probably join her in a matter of hours.
For some reason Nicole did _not_ find that good news.
NOTE: Aeryn -or anyone else for that matter- if you _really_ want more fic in this particular universe after this one, I could be persuaded. ;) But I still have to finish this one of course.
Sam was sleeping. But it wasn't the pleasant restful kind of sleep. She tossed and turned in her makeshift bed on the way to the hospital and Nicole could do nothing except sit by and watch helplessly. She planned to brush a few stray hairs out of Sam's face, but a little too late did she realise that her hand would pass straight through them. Still, it did something since Sam calmed down. A smile even appeared on her face.
Did Sam know she was here?
Being dead gives you a lot of time to think, but Nicole had never managed to figure out why it was exactly that she had fallen in love with Spam McPherson of all people. Oh, she could easily name everything she loved about the brunette -namely everything, even her biting articles against the Glamazons-, but she could never pinpoint that one reason why her life had started to revolve around the now feverish girl. When she looked down at the sleeping face once more Nicole found the answer.
She loved her, because she loved her.
Nicole -quite literally- brushed through Sam's thick brown hair, just to see if she could provoke another smile.
Nicole dead heart almost burst with a joyful pain, the fact that Sam would soon be dead as well temporarily forgotten. The ambulance stopped, the doors opened and Sam was hauled out. Nicole quietly followed her.
"Now you stay away from me, you hear?" She told the still sleeping girl.
Father Samuel had tried everything. He tried talking to the girl, he tried praying, he had sprinkled some holy water on her forehead, he had even waved a cross around in the hopes that that might do anything. But unfortunately it had all been in vain. The blackness around the girl kept increasing and father Samuel could do nothing except sit by and watch helplessly, but he wasn't going to give up. He stood up and walked towards the nearest phone, replaying the number of a local magic shop in his mind. The girl let out a choked gasp and slumped to the ground. Father Samuel hastened his pace somewhat.
Lily fell to the ground. Her hands just barely managed to support her and she was breathing heavily. There was something massively wrong, but for the life of her she couldn't figure out what. Then it hit her.Brooke.
She didn't know how she knew, she just did. Lily tried to struggle up again, but failed. Instead she ended flat out on the pavement. Since she had no interest of carefully studying the tiles she tried to figure out why something that happened to Brooke affected her so gravely. She didn't even know _what_ was wrong with the blonde, except that it had to be really, really bad. But why did she know even that? Painfully realising she wasn't going anywhere right now she tried to make sense of it. Almost-vampires and humans could not in any way make ome sort of link, she was sure of that. But Lily wasn't just a near-vampire, she had also been the vessel of Marduk, the personification of Law and Order, and possibly Good as well. Brooke had been used by Gemma, the embodiment of Chaos and Evil. Maybe that was what caused it? She soon figured that it wasn't. When Marduk resided in her body she was still aware of it, she was still tucked away in some small corner. Brooke had been completely gone.
Lily tried to get up once more, but her limbs weren't operating. She couldn't see the pavement any more since it was slowly being replaced by an absolute darkness. It strangely resembled the Void, she noted distantly.
Darkness swept over her and the shadows cheered.
Death seriously disappointed Lily. She had expected something more, maybe even some corny tunnel with the big white light. Instead she was just standing in some great black nothing.
(Well, if this is eternity I'm going to be really bored.) She thought.
"This isn't eternity." A voice behind her said. "You're back in the Void."
Lily groaned. Not the Void again. She turned around to see who was talking to her, but saw nothing.
"I take it you're invisible." Lily stated.
"If I want to, yes."
"Who are you?"
A few soft chuckles filled the air. "Why don't I show you?"
The darkness made way and in its place there appeared some sort of window. Lily could see Brooke being surrounded by some black aura that was slowly killing her.
"What… what's this?" Lily asked almost desperate.
"Reality." The voice answered sadly.
"Who _are_ you?" Lily asked again, more forcefully this time.
"I told you." The voice answered. "I'm her. She just doesn't know it yet."
"Could you please be a little more cryptically?" Lily asked sarcastically.
"Of course I can." Lily could almost see the disembodied voice smirking. "But I have no time to." The voice grew serious again. "Brooke's brief visit here has really upset things. Her mind tried to shield itself from the outside world. Well, you should know, you've seen it."
"Yeah." The image of a few hundred different Brookes briefly flashed through Lily's mind.
"But unfortunately, not only Brooke's… how should I call it? … Defence mechanisms? Were materialised, her insecurities became very real as well, along with a few other less pleasant things."
"And they followed her." Lily guessed. "And now they're killing her."
"I'm afraid so."
"What can I do?" Lily asked.
"Be there for her." The voice simply answered.
"I can't. I'm lying on the pavement unconscious and unable to move."
"Yes. Sorry about that. I needed to do that to bring you here." The voice apologised.
"Well, now you can send me back." Lily stated.
"I was planning to, calm down." The voice said bemused. "Brooke's in a church right now. You'll find her there."
Lily's eyes flew open again and she quickly crawled back to her feet. She stood doubting for a few moments. What to do first? Find Sam or save Brooke? The answer was simple, of course.
Lily immediately dashed off in the direction of the church.
NOTE: Right now I'm suffering from a very peculiar kind of writer's block. I'm mentally working so hard on a fic I'm not even writing (yet) that I'm neglecting this one! Strange, isn't it? Fortunately when I _do_ start writing my brain takes over and I almost automatically churn out a paragraph, sometimes even two. Unfortunately it's usually crap and I have to re-write the whole thing.
Father Samuel sighed as he put the receiver down. There had been no response. Of course, since it was just a few hours after midnight he hadn't really expected any, but still. He looked up as the church-doors opened yet again. A girl came walking in. She stood still next to a support pillar and leaned on it to catch her breath again. At that moment father Samuel decided that he would never again by surprised by anything. The girl was surrounded by a strange halo of light. But after a closer examination he could perceive a few streaks of darkness intermingling with it. After the girl's breathing returned to normal she looked around and noticed him. She stood in front of him before he could even notice her moving.
"Hi," The girl greeted. "You didn't happen to see another girl around here, have you? Blonde hair, slightly taller than me?"
Father Samuel was slightly baffled by this question, but he managed to hide it pretty well. "Actually there is. She's in the back." The girl already turned to leave, but the priest put his hand on her arm. "Do you happen to know what's wrong with her?" He asked.
The girl looked at him strangely. "There's nothing wrong with her father." She said and her voice implied that it would be best for his health if he didn't ask any more questions.
Father Samuel wisely kept quiet.
"Brooke? You here somewhere?" Lily asked as she made her way into the small room.
Brooke was indeed there, but she couldn't see Lily. She was trapped inside her own personal piece of Hell. Lily quickly rushed over to her and sat down next to the huddled figure lying on the floor.
"Brooke, you OK?" She asked worried.
"Lily?" Brooke asked, looking up. A sad smile formed on her face. "I'm sorry."
"Sorry?" Lily asked. "Sorry for what?"
The blonde started trembling. "I'm so sorry."
Brooke was falling back into her world of intense despair. "Brooke, don't do this to me." Lily said, despair creeping into her voice as well. "Stay with me."
What happened next could not be seen by either girl, but if father Samuel would be standing in the doorway he would see the light surrounding Lily increase and drive away the shadows lurking around Brooke. The shadows drifted into the centre of the room and the girls now _could_ see it. The blackness shifted and formed. In a matter of seconds Brooke's 'evil twin' stood proudly in the room. Looking at her was like looking straight into the heart of a black hole and the only light that escaped were two glowing streaks of red light at the place where the eyes would be. While it was a most impressive and rather terrifying sight the more ironic side of Lily couldn't help but finding it a bit cliché. ShadowBrooke looked at the two lying on the ground and her eyes glistened mockingly.
"Aw, would you look at that?" She said, and eerily enough her voice sounded _exactly_ like Brooke's. "The two little lovebirds. Or should I say one little lovebird and one pretender?" ShadowBrooke pointedly stared at Lily at the end of that sentence. "Well, it doesn't really matter. You'll be dead soon anyway." She stared over to Brooke, who stared back in absolute horror. "I suppose it's ironic that you're the one killing her." ShadowBrooke sighed, but her eyes easily betrayed that she didn't mean it. "You should've listened to me Brooke. If you would've just listened to me none of this would happen."
"Alright that's enough." Lily interrupted. "I don't have time to listen to your mindless ravings." The girl stood up and took a fighting stance. "And I certainly won't allow you to say things like that about _my_ girl."
Brooke looked up at Lily, disbelief obvious in her eyes. ShadowBrooke just stood there, the mocking light still glowing in her red eyes.
"Bold words vampire. But you can't back them up."
"I'm _not_ a vampire." Lily growled before lunging at the dark figure. ShadowBrooke didn't move and Lily jumped right through her.
"Not a vampire?" ShadowBrooke said, turning around to look at Lily who was crawling back up from the ground. "Let's see, you have no reflection, you can't stand sunlight, you hate garlic and, oh yeah, you drink blood."
"I'm in a church, aren't I?" Lily said tauntingly. "I'm pretty much surrounded by crosses and they don't hurt me."
ShadowBrooke waved her hand dismissively. "Details, details."
Even though she knew it would do little good Lily charged at ShadowBrooke again. ShadowBrooke simply responded by sticking out her arm and grab Lily by the throat.
"Well, if you're not a vampire that means you're still human. And _that_ means you still need oxygen, am I right?"
Lily responded by punching ShadowBrooke's arm, but her hand went straight through it.
"Don't you get it?" ShadowBrooke said. "You can't hurt me because I'm not completely real." She stared back at Brooke. "I'm her. So to defeat me you have to kill her." ShadowBrooke's hand gripped Lily's throat more tightly and the girl started gasping for air. "Don't worry Brooke." ShadowBrooke said, while keeping her eyes fixed on Lily. "Soon she'll be gone and I'll be the only one left to accompany you." She looked back at the blonde girl. "We'll be together forever."
"No." Brooke's voice was shaky, but determined.
"Excuse me?" ShadowBrooke said and her eyes glowed amused.
"You're not me, you never were me." Brooke said as she stood up.
"True." ShadowBrooke said. "I could never be as pathetic as you are."
"You almost had me." Brooke said. "You almost managed to drive me over the edge."
"'Almost'?" ShadowBrooke asked. "You were gone girl. Nothing can save you."
"I can." Brooke answered. She slowly made her way over to ShadowBrooke, her eyes started glowing as well, but not the ruby red of her dark mirror but a strange intense light-blue. "You're nothing. Mere leftovers coming back to haunt me." ShadowBrooke's grip loosened, but she still had a firm hold on Lily. "You were never anything more than a annoying little gnat buzzing in my ear." ShadowBrooke let go of Lily and the brunette fell to the ground, deeply sucking in air. "I can't believe I actually listened to your false accusations." Brooke continued relentlessly. "You don't even exist outside my own mind." Brooke halted and her soft blue eyes stared directly into fiery red ones. "You were never anything more than a figment of my imagination made real by my own mistakes. Well, not any more." Brooke smirked. "Goodbye." She said simply.
There were no shouts or screams, not one last-ditch attempt, no spectacular explosions, nothing. One second ShadowBrooke was still there, the next she wasn't. Brooke's eyes stopped glowing and returned to normal.
"You OK?" She asked Lily.
"Gimme a sec." Lily answered, breathing in deeply a couple more times. She stood up to her full length again. "OK, I'm fine."
Brooke turned around and was about to leave when Lily stopped her."Brooke. I just want you to know… What that thing said about me being a pretender…"
Brooke's head dropped and Lily could hear her sigh. The shadows were obviously still far from gone, but at least now they only _did_ exist inside Brooke's mind.
"Brooke, look at me." Lily said.
Reluctantly Brooke turned around and looked at her.
"It's not true. I know I never really said it, and I'm not even sure when it happened, but…" Lily sighed. "I do love you."
Brooke smiled. She leaned in to kiss Lily and the short brunette eagerly agreed. After a few moments they broke apart again.
"Come on." Lily said. "We still need to find Sam before…"
Lily didn't finish the sentence, but Brooke had already picked up on it.
Lily sighed again and averted her eyes from the blonde. "Before she dies."
NOTE: Most of these characters still don't belong to me. Father Samuel, however, belongs to me and me alone!
"What do you mean, 'before she dies'?" Brooke's voice sounded strangely distant and emotionless.
"I… I don't know how it works. According to Clive," Brooke looked a little confused upon hearing that name. "You know, the gargoyle who provides me with blood." Lily clarified. "Anyway, according to him if ne werewolf dies the mate soon follows."
"You don't seem particularly upset." Lily noticed.
"I've got a… very personal view on life." Brooke answered. "Death can't really upset me."
"How about the loss of friends?"
"It's not losing, but more… not seeing them for a while."
Lily looked at Brooke curiously. She was hiding something from her and Lily didn't like it. But she decided that there were a few more pressing matters at hand. "Keep that attitude Brooke, you'll need it to support the parents."
Brooke's eyes grew wide. "I haven't thought of them yet."
"You should." Lily said. "But not now."
Lily and Brooke left the small back room and walked through the main area towards the doors. Father Samuel watched them go with a highly amused smile on his face. Whatever happened back there it had quite a few consequences. The few streaks of darkness surrounding the brunette were almost gone, but it was the blonde who really got his attention.
The blackness around her was completely gone and was instead replaced by a blue light, shining brightly and lighting up the entire church. As a good, close-minded Catholic priest father Samuel should object to the extreme closeness of the two girls, but he didn't. A smirk appeared on his face when he found a new topic for tomorrow's sermon.
He chuckled when he realised he might even get excommunicated for it. But it would it worth it. He particularly wondered how those two criminally insane-looking Texans who always sat in the front row would react if he started professing that love between two people was a beautiful thing indeed. Even if those two people happened to have the same gender.
Yes, it had been a very eventful night for father Samuel, but it would all turn out for the best.
He was sure of it.
"Say, how did you know I was here, anyway?" Brooke asked when the two stepped outside the church.
Lily had to think about that for a moment. Somehow saying 'I was dragged into the Void and then told about where you were by someone who claimed to be you' just didn't seem like the right thing to say. Instead Lily settled for, "Well, you're car's standing over there so I figured you were here."
"Excuse me?" A voice said. "God, I feel so ridiculous." He whispered to himself. He looked up when the blonde girl looked at him and said 'Yes?'
"Brooke, who are you talking to?" Lily asked.
"Can you see me?" The man asked surprised.
"Brooke?" Lily asked again.
"Ah, well, you don't happen to have a friend with blonde hair who's also dead, right?"
"I do." Brooke answered.
Lily looked over from Brooke to the empty space she was talking to. She didn't know what was going on, but she was determined to find out soon.
"Ah," The man said. "Excellent. Well, your friend told me to tell you that she was going to the hospital. So, err, she's at the hospital." He finished lamely.
"Thanks." Brooke said. "Rest in peace." She added smiling. Brooke turned to her still living companion. "Come on. I think I know where Sam is."
"You do?" Lily asked. "How?"
"Call it a hunch." Brooke said as she headed for the car.
Lily however kept firmly standing in place. "How?" She asked again.Brooke turned around and looked at Lily, a small shade of fear creeping into her eyes. Lily simply raised an eyebrow and kept waiting for an answer.
Brooke closed her eyes and sighed. "To use a movie phrase, I see dead people."
"What?" Lily asked, continuing her line of one-word questions.
"I see dead people." Brooke repeated. "I can see them, I can hear them, I can talk to them. They're almost everywhere." She looked up again at Lily. "Happy?"
"Why didn't you tell me this sooner?" Lily asked.
"I… I don't know. I was afraid you might think that I was nuts or something."
"Brooke, I'm partly vampire, I hang out with werewolves, I drink blood at a bar owned by a gargoyle and I got the privilege of wandering around inside your mind. Talking to the dead is relatively common compared to all that." Lily said smiling.
Brooke smiled back. "Never thought of it that way." She turned back to the car again. "Coming?"
The drive to the hospital was short, the talk at the reception was long. Visiting hours were over and neither Brooke nor Lily were allowed to visit Sam. It became all the more problematic when it became clear that there was no 'Samantha McPherson' registered, but that there were several 'Jane Doe's'. All of them at Intensive Care. Even if the two girls were in any way related to the one of them, they wouldn't be allowed near her.
In short, Brooke and Lily were pointed the door and soon the two girls were standing outside again.
"Well now what do we do?" Brooke asked.
Lily didn't know the answer. Go back to the McQueen/McPherson house? Try to break into the hospital? She just didn't know.
So therefor she didn't answer.
NOTE: I'm still not feeling very well, but I managed to write something all the same (I think it sucks, but hey). Now, this was _supposed_ to be the last fic in the series, but nooooooooooo. My brain has already thought up a sequel. And all the while I still have this idea for another fic I want to start working on. Writer's block is very, very bad, but writer's overload sucks too.
Only two sounds filled the room. The beeping of the heart monitor and the steady breathing of Sam. Nicole sat in a chair next to the bed, hating the fact that she could do nothing except sit by helpless and wait for the brunette to die. The blonde stood up and walked towards the window. She needed to clear her head a little and looking at Sam deteriorating wasn't helping. She looked down and saw Lily and Brooke standing in front of the entrance. Without a second thought Nicole jumped through the window, fell four stories down and landed on her feet.
Brooke jumped at the sound of Nicole's voice suddenly coming from behind her.
"Jesus Nic, don't ever do that again."
Lily briefly looked over to the spot Brooke was talking to and decided this was not a conversation she wanted to get involved in.
"Do what?" Nicole asked, her eyes wide and innocent.
"Sneak up on me like that."
"I didn't sneak up on you." Nicole said. "I jumped out of a window and landed behind you."
Brooke took a deep breath and managed to get her heart-rate back to normal.
"Is Sam in there?"
Nicole nodded in response.
"Is she gonna wake up?" Brooke asked.
Nicole shook her head. "I don't think so." She sighed. "Look, can you do me a favour?"
"Kill the bastard who shot me."
Brooke seemed to think about that for a while. "I dunno Nic…"
"Come on, please?" She pleaded.
"Can't we just hand him over to the police or something?"
"And let them find out about werewolves?"
"Good point." Brooke sighed. "Well, I'm not going to kill him Nic. But if I ask nicely I'm sure Lily can do some mayhem."
"Hey, keep me out of this." Lily said.
Nicole didn't seem very happy with all this, but agreed. "Fine. Just make sure he gives up hunting us, alright?"
"Oh, I can do that." Brooke said, grinning darkly. "You know where he lives?"
"Sure. After he killed me I was so pissed off at him I followed him home. I was planning on haunting him a little, but I don't know how to do that." She was silent for a moment. "I'm not even sure if that's possible. Anyway, I should go back to sitting by helpless at Sam's bedside."
Nicole quickly gave Brooke the address and headed back towards the hospital.
"Bye Nicole." Lily said.
Nicole looked back with an amused smile on her face. "Tell her I'll see her again." She said to Brooke.
Brooke waited until Nicole had went through the doors before turning around and leave, closely followed by Lily.
"Nic says bye too, by the way." Brooke said before stepping into her car.
Five minutes later Brooke pulled up at the address Nicole had given her. It was dark inside, the curtains were shut and they both assumed the owner was either sleeping or out to kill things. Brooke and Lily quietly made their way to the front door.
"Any ideas how we're gonna get inside?" Brooke asked.
"I was thinking about breaking in."
"Lily breaking the law?" Brooke asked amused. "That's something new."
"Well, everything for my cause, right? And besides, this guy deserves to have his house torn down."
"Fair enough." Brooke said. "So, how do we get in?"
"Easy." Lily simply raised her foot and kicked in the door. Vampire strength had its advantages.
"What about the police?" Brooke asked before going in.
"Well, if they do show up I'll just cloak us and we can get away without seeing us."
They entered the house and as they looked around they both came to the same conclusion. The entire house was empty.
Whoever lived here didn't live here any more.
Nicole stepped back into the room and what she saw filled her with a strange mixture of sadness and joy.
Sam was sitting on the edge of her bed, looking at the straight line on the heart monitor.
The End, but To Be Continued someday.
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