Title: Shift

Author: Jos Mous

Email: wotan_anubis@yahoo.com

RATING: I think PG

PAIRING: Sam/Nicole

DISCLAIMER: None of these characters belong to me. I'm just borrowing them.

NOTE: This is a sequel to 'The Bitch and the Beast'. If you haven't read that one it's likely you'll have no idea what's going on.

Part One

Sam sure wasn't kidding when she said it was going to hurt. I don't think there's way to describe how it feels to have every part in your body move and change. 'Excruciatingly painful' doesn't even come close. I screamed loudly when it started. I screamed while it was happening. I stopped screaming when it was over. But that was mainly because I didn't have enough air to continue screaming.

I sure hope I didn't wake anyone. A screaming Nicole Julian in Samantha McPherson's bedroom might be a bit hard to explain. But I can hear nothing besides her breathing and my panting. Maybe they slept through the whole thing.

"How do you feel?" She asks. Her hands are softly stroking through my new fur. I feel like a pet, but I don't mind.

"Miserable." I say back. The words leaving my mouth are most definitely not human. I wonder how I managed to learn this language so fast. But then, supernatural stuff never really makes sense, does it?

"Can you stand up?"

I'm not sure. Standing up is a very strange thing all of the sudden. I never really gave it much thought how animals stand up when they're lying on the ground. And besides, I don't really feel like standing up. I'm perfectly happy where I'm lying right now. But as nice as lying in her lap is I realise I have to get up sometimes. After a few failed attempts because of exhaustion and inexperience I manage to stand up. I walk around a little, trying to get a feel for this new body. The strangest thing about my new situation is the fact that I have a tail now. I really don't know what I can do with that. I suddenly feel like someone who's just emerged from a coma. You can feel all your body parts, but your brain has forgotten how they work. I focus entirely on getting that tail to move. Using muscles I never had before I can see my tail going from left to right. It's a very silly sight.

"Hey Nic, look over here."

I turn around to see that Sam is holding a rather large mirror in her hands. I had half expected that I wouldn't recognise whatever would stare back at me. But I immediately recognise the wolf I see in the mirror as being me. For a few moments I forgot how I look when I was human. My fur is completely black, except for a small patch of white that starts above my eyes and goes up in between my ears. The price of dyeing my hair.

"I look like a badger." I say. "Or possibly a skunk."

"I dunno." She says. "I think it's kinda cute."

"Great," I say sarcastically. "I always wanted to be a cute wolf."

"Can you shift back?" She asks. She tries to hide the concern in her voice, but she fails pretty miserably.

Instead of answering I simply try. I'm not sure how to do it, but I guess imagining me being human again might do the trick. At first nothing happens, but after a while I can once again feel everything starting to move inside me. There's no pain this time, giving me plenty of time to realise that this feels _very_ weird. After a few moments I stand on my own two feet once again. This human body feels pretty unreal, large and clumsy. I feel the need to shift back again, but I decide against it. This human body is the real me.

"Ready to go?"

"Ready as I'll ever be."

We carefully make our way down the stairs and this time I actually pull it off without making any sounds whatsoever. Even that creaking board at the top makes no sound when I carefully place my foot on it.The night air is cloudless and the pale light of the full moon shines down on us. It's almost eerily quiet around us. The complete absence of human noise turns out to be a beautiful sound. Add to that the fact that she has just pulled me close to her and this night couldn't be more perfect.

My nose detects something. It's a very foul smell coming this way. I don't know what it's from and I'm not sure if I want to find out.

"What _is_ that?" I ask quietly.

"Incerox." Sam answers. "All brawn, no brains, but quite tasty."

"I'll take your word for it."

"Come on, let's go."

She immediately shifts and dashes off. I have no real choice except to follow. I wonder why Sam finds hunting such a big deal. Guess I'll find out soon enough.


Brooke McQueen opened her eyes in the darkness. Did she just hear screaming? Or was it that awful nightmare again? Brooke hadn't been sleeping well lately. She often woke up trembling, bathing in sweat, but she had no idea why. Only a huge feeling of dread that seemed to linger all day. If only she could remember those nightmares, maybe she'd be better off. She didn't want to go back to sleep, but she was too tired to stay awake.

She was already well on her way to slumberland again when she clearly heard the front door slam shut. She quickly got up out of bed, threw a bathrobe on and made her way down the stairs. She looked out the window to see Sam and Nicole walking together. Not only do they appear civil to one another, they actually look like friends. Brooke eyes almost bugged out of her skull when Sam put her hands around Nicole's shoulders and pulled to other girl closer to her.

(What the hell is going on here?)

Amazed and with a strong feeling of hurt running through her body Brooke turned away from the window and ran back upstairs. She crawled back into her bed, wanting to forget what she had just seen. Tears started to form in her eyes for reasons she didn't want to examine any further. She happily welcomed her sleep and even the nightmare that she knew came with it.

Outside Sam shifted into a wolf and ran off, followed by Nicole only a few moments later. Neither of them had ever noticed Brooke looking at them.

Part Two

If there is one thing the Void will teach you it's patience. And he had plenty of time to learn that lesson. True, he had been defeated but his enemies did not destroy him. And he was more than willing to let them pay for that mistake. The bars of his prison were already fading, his return to the other reality imminent. The pieces were in place. Just a few more moves and it would be checkmate.


Lily absentmindedly sipped her blood as she once again spent a night to figure out the cards she had taken from Patricia a few months ago. She knew she could use them, after all she had used them before, and she had a vague idea of how they worked. She just didn't know _how_ to use them. The secret was locked somewhere in the back of her head and she had no clue where the key might be. And staring at these cards in frustration didn't really help either. She tried to recall the feeling of magic flowing through just seconds before the cards summoned that angel. While it had been a very overpowering feeling it was also something completely alien to her and Lily didn't think she was the cause of it. She could feel the cold night air rushing in, indicating that the door had just been opened and that somebody had just entered. While Lily had accepted the fact that Sam and Nicole were… very friendly to one another she still found it disturbing to see the two of them come into the bar with their arms wrapped around each other. It was even more disturbing than the small stain of black blood -or whatever it was- still sticking at the corner of Nicole's mouth.

"Good hunt?" Lily asked as the two werewolves sat down at the table.

"We weren't hunting." Sam said in response.

"Really? Then what were you doing?"

Sam and Nicole merely grinned. Lily closed her eyes and shook her head to get rid of the disturbing imagery suddenly entering her mind.It didn't work.

"So what were you doing?" Nicole asked. "Still trying to figure out those cards?"

"Yeah." Lily answered. "Each time I think I've got something it turns out I was thinking in the wrong direction yet again."

"Give it up." Sam advised, her prejudice against any form of magic clearly showing.

"No." Lily said resolutely. "I know I can do a whole lot of good with these if I can just get them to work."

"Lily if you want my opinion…" Nicole became silent for a moment. Sam looked at her concerned and squeezed her hand in a comforting way. Nicole was still feeling a lot of guilt over what she done. And over what she was still doing. During the day she was the old Nicole Julian again. Lily had no idea why Nicole would do that, since she so obviously felt extremely bad about it. "Well, you probably don't, but I'll give it to you anyway." Nicole continued in a sad voice. The blonde looked at Lily and smiled faintly. "I don't think the cards themselves are magical. I think they're just a focus."

"Nic, don't go encouraging her."

"She saved me from a life full of scars with those cards. The least I can do is help her a little."

Sam smiled. "Did I mention that I love you?"

"Not for the past ten minutes." Nicole answered with an equally affectionate smile on her face.

Lily groaned. "Could you guys please don't do stuff like that in front of me?"


Sam quietly opened the front door and went inside. Since it was Saturday Sam didn't need to sneak out, but had just told her mom that she would be going out. She leaned her head briefly against the closed door and smiled. Who would've thought Nicole was the one that could make her happy? She sure as hell didn't. Sam took of her coat and made her way up the stairs to her room. She was about to roll up on the floor -her bed hadn't been used in ages- when she thought she heard Brooke shout. Sam quickly went into Brooke's room, just to be on the safe side. It looked like Brooke was having a nightmare, she was tossing and turning, her breathing was laboured and she was sweating heavily. But something told Sam that Brooke wasn't just having a bad dream.

Brooke's eyes were open, but it didn't seem like they were seeing anything.

Part Three

NOTE: I was in a _very_ strange mood while writing this piece and so it turned out to be… a little different. OK, follow me here: "…" is speech, (…) is thought and ((…)) is, well that would spoil it.


(911. Need an ambulance here. Where's the damn phone!?)


(Found it! 9… 1… 1.)

((Where am I?))

"Can I help you?"
"I need an ambulance here, NOW!"
"What's the address?"

((I call it the Void.))

(Ambulance on its way. Shit, I'd better wake mom and Mike!)

((Of course, it isn't as empty as it sounds.))

"Mom, wake up!"
"Wh… What's the matter?"

((What are you?"))

"Something's _really_ wrong with Brooke!"

((I'm your creator.))

"Oh my God! Call an ambulance!"
"I already did. It's in its way."

((I created you to serve my own purposes.))
((That can't be.))

"Brooke, can you hear me!?"

((What was that?))
((Your father. Don't worry. He doesn't matter.))

"There's the ambulance."
"What? I don't hear any… Oh."

((Who _are_ you?))

"Jesus, what's wrong with her?"
"We don't know! That's why we called you!"
"Shit. I need help here!"

((The others cast me out, but thanks to you I can return.))
((What are you talking about?))

"Everything's going to be fine Brooke, you hear me?"
"I don't think she can hear anything, sir."
"You don't know that!"

((What's that sound?))

"How much longer to the hospital?"

((What do you want?))
((Isn't it obvious?))

"We need a doctor here now!"
"But most the staff are…"
"Then wake them up!"

((I need your body.))

"Mr McQueen, if you and your family will follow me?"
"She _is_ going to be all right, right?"
"I really wouldn't know, sir."

((What!? What are you talking about?))
((I created you so that one day I could escape here.))
((Well you can't. I'm still using it.))

"We let you know as soon as we find out anything."

((A minor formality. And besides, you weren't really doing much with it to begin with.))

"What's the status of the patient?"
"I really wouldn't know, doc."
"What do you mean you really… Holy shit."

((I mean, let's face it. Your only 'real' friends are one cold bitch who screws your soon-to-be stepsister and one Texan axe-murderer.))

"Someone restrain her!"

((You don't know me!))
((I think you're forgetting that I arranged for your birth.))

"OK, I need someone to anaesthetise her."
"You really think that's wise?"
"Do you have any better ideas?"

((Come on, you were never really meant to exist. As a matter of fact I think you should be grateful.))
((For what?))

"All the anaesthetists have gone home already."
"Then call them out of bed for God's sake!"

((I gave you a chance to experience life. It's not my fault you 'screwed it up' as you put it.))

"Mom, what do you think is going on?"
"I really wouldn't know."

((And now it's time for you to pay me back.))
((You're lying!))

"Haven't you hooked her up yet? I really need to know her vital signs."
"Hey, I'm trying! It's like trying to pin an angry cobra to the ground with a pair of tweezers!"

((I have no reason to lie.))

"What the hell is going on with this girl?"

((You're lying.))

"What the…"

((Humans can be so stubborn.))

"Mr McQueen…"

((You're lying.))

"It's about your daughter…"
"What about her?"

((Goodbye Brooke. You've served me well.))

"We have no idea what was going on, but I can tell you that she has slipped into a coma just now."

((You're lying.))

"And frankly we have absolutely no idea when or even if she wakes up."

((you're lying.))

"I'm sorry."

Part Four

NOTE: Remember: feedback is one of the base necessities, even more so than food and water.


Jessica Partridge watched the small family being led out of the waiting room. She knew that they were here because of that blonde girl that had come in a few hours ago. She had been told that nobody knew what was wrong with her. Shortly after the girl got into a coma. It had been quite a blow for the three people that were now on their way out the building. The girl seemed especially upset about it, even more than the two parents - if that was possible.

Jessica glanced at the clock. Time to make her rounds on the patients in this ward. And that included their new coma-patient. Jessica didn't like people in a coma. They looked so dead, even though you knew they were alive.

The living dead, so to speak.

Jessica had almost completed her round and was now approaching the one room she didn't want to look inside. She knew she was going to be freaked a little when she would see that dead body that the monitor indicated still had a heartbeat. The nurse froze in place when she heard a wolf howl outside. It took her a few moments to rationalise the howl away. The old trick of 'Don't be so scared, it's probably just the wind' worked very well and with new resolve she reached for the door.

When she stepped inside she faced the biggest surprise of her life. The girl sat upright and stared at her hands in wonder. This had to be the shortest coma ever.

"How are you feeling?" She asked the girl.

Brooke looked up to her. "I'm fine."

It would be the last words Jessica would ever hear.


"Yo, Cass! Wait up!"

"Get lost Jack."

"Hey, cool jacket."

"I bought it, now go away."

"You actually _bought_ something?"

"What part of 'get lost' don't you understand?"

"So, how ya been?"

"In a cell, remember? Got caught when we almost beat some guy to death?"

"Oh yeah, I forgot."

"Well I didn't. See ya around Jack."

"Hey come on, we gotta celebrate you getting out."

"There is nothing to celebrate Jack. Don't you get it? I'm through. I want to have nothing to do with you guys any more."

"I don't buy that, you're just like the rest of us."

"Not any more Jack, believe me."

"You'll never be able to keep this act up."

"Not that it's any of your business, but I enrolled in high school."

"You're kidding?"


"You'll get kicked out before you can say 'hello'."

"Don't count on it. Goodbye."

"Yeah, later."

Cassandra Hamilton watched her friend run off. One thing was for sure, she was _never_ going to mug anyone ever again. She just hoped that Jack would stop before he actually killed someone.

Little did she know that Jack would never be able to do anything ever again.

Part Five

The morning breakfast in the McQueen/McPherson household was engulfed in a depressing silence. Having a family member (and even though Sam hated to admit it Brooke had become family to her) put in hospital with an unknown and violent condition that ended up causing a coma will do that to people. The only sound came from an annoying pigeon outside that just wouldn't shut up.

"So," Sam started, just to say anything instead of really beginning a conversation. "We gonna visit Brooke today?"

"Of course." Jane answered.


Not really knowing how to keep the words coming and not really caring to the table sank into silence once again. Sam practically jumped out of her chair when the phone rang.

"I'll get it." Sam said.

She walked into the living room and picked up the phone. A very familiar voice greeted her. The red alert alarms immediately started ringing in Sam's head.

"Samantha McPherson?"

It was David, the leader of the werewolf pack Sam belonged to. He was talking in an even more formal tone than usual. The simple explanation was that Sam and David weren't supposed to know each other. There had been numerous werewolf hunts in history and nobody was eager to cause another one by risking that someone might be listening as well at another extension.

"That's me, who is this?"

"David Parkhurst, the owner of White Wolf Records. I'm calling to say that your delivery has arrived. I suggest that you come pick it up at once."

"Right, I'll be there in a sec."

Sam put down the receiver again and dashed towards the hallway. Whenever David started calling people something was about to go very wrong.

"Mom, I gotta go!" Sam yelled towards the kitchen.

Not waiting for an answer Sam had already left the building. In her dash towards the sidewalk she passed a rather short man who looked at her strangely for a moment before continuing towards the house. Only a few seconds after he rang the doorbell it was already opened.

"Are you Mike McQueen?" The man asked.

"Yes." Mike answered. "Why?"

The man took a badge from his inside pocket and showed. "Detective Raymond Thomason." He introduced himself. "I'm afraid I have some bad news concerning your daughter."


Sam walked into the record store and headed straight for the back entrance. She walked through the small corridor and into David's house. Everybody else was already there, evidently waiting for her. Nicole looked at Sam with a look that was both worried and confused before returning her attention back to David.

"Gentlemen, we have a problem. Brian came to me about half an hour ago and told me that there are some troubles at the local church. According to him something took residence there and slaughtered the churchgoers."

"And what are we supposed to do about it?" One of the werewolves who held humans in a very low regard remarked. "We can't shift during the day and you know it."

"True." David admitted. "But I think we can arrange for an exception here. Everyone inside that church is dead so chances that any humans will see us are very slim. Secondly, and most importantly, we need to pin whatever did this before it's on the move again. Too many daylight killings are bound to cause a large amount of trouble for our kind.""How do you know it's really a supernatural? For all we know it could be some insane human. Wouldn't be the first time."

"Look Nina." Brian said before David could respond. "I know what I saw. I am _very_ certain that this wasn't some human mass-murderer."

"Well, now that that's settled we should really get going." David said. "We are on a mission to save mankind yet again."

"Nic, there's something I gotta tell you." Sam said when the group started to leave the house.

"Can't it wait?"

"Not really. You see," Sam tried to think of a way to say this subtly, but found out that she couldn't. "Brooke's in a coma."

"What!?" Nicole said in stunned amazement. "How?"

Before Sam could answer that the voice of David interrupted their small conversation. "Girls, must I remind you that we have something to do? This is no time for small talk."

Nicole's eyes lit up in rage and Sam feared an outburst. "Look you…" Whatever Nicole was going to say would be unknown forever because she choose that time to exercise all the self-control she had. David was the pack leader after all. So instead the blonde said nothing and walked past him, ignoring him completely with an air of smug confidence around her.


The stench of death is something you get used to. It may sound cynical, but it's true. Especially when you're a werewolf because then you tend to cause a lot of death. Still, the smell of about fifty humans already decomposing was enough to make even a werewolf stomach turn. The bodies were stacked up in a heap near the altar as some sort of perverted throne. And on this throne of human remains sat Brooke McQueen, smiling warmly at the werewolves who had just entered. Sam didn't know what surprised her more: the fact that Brooke was no longer in a coma and sitting on top of a bunch of dead people or the fact that she wore a black leather jacket, a pair of black jeans and a white shirt that she had probably stolen from one of the bodies.

"Well, well, more visitors." Brooke said. She got up from her throne and floated through the air until she was hovering next to the large cross hanging in the middle of the church. "I suppose my triumphant return to this plane should be celebrated in the death of some werewolves as well."

"What are you?" David asked to buy a little time. The rest of the pack was already spreading throughout the church and several had already shifted.

Brooke was not impressed. "That might be a bit of a difficult question. I suppose you could consider me the personification of Chaos." She looked around at the wolves slowly circling her and smiled. "I must admit I have always respected your bravery. Too bad it's always accompanied by tremendous foolishness." Brooke lifted a hand and pointed it at Nicole, who stood growling at her and was ready to jump. Nicole's growling quickly faded to make way for agonising cries that could easily match the cries of those trapped in Hell. The black wolf squirmed and rolled over the ground, her first shift was a gentle pat on the back compared to the pain Brooke had so easily caused. If you can imagine how it must feel like to have your skin slowly peeled from your bones, then multiply that pain by two million and you still wouldn't be even close to what Nicole was feeling right now. "Pain's an interesting thing." Brooke said like a teacher explaining a complicated subject to a slow student. "While I am not actually harming her right now she will die if I keep her in pain for long enough."

A loud howl interrupted Brooke's speech as a brown wolf leapt up from behind her and hit her in the back. Brooke didn't seem fazed in the slightest and remained floating right where she was while the brown wolf had to obey the laws of gravity and fell to the ground. The only good that had come of the action was that Nicole had stopped screaming and was now lying on the ground with her tongue hanging out of her mouth and her chest carefully rising and falling.

"That was a very brave jump Sam." Brooke said. "But it has only postponed the demise of your girlfriend."

"Of course it did. Everyone has to die sometimes." Sam growled. "But I know that your demise will happen today."

"Would you really harm your beloved sister?" Brooke asked amused.

"Like you said, you hurt my girlfriend. For that you die. I don't care if you're going to be my sister or not."

"Werewolf loyalty, what a beautiful thing it can be. But I'm afraid I'll have to disappoint you. I assume you've already guessed that I'm not Brooke. I'm just borrowing her body. I'm afraid that if you do succeed in your intentions you will be killing Brooke, whilst I can easily find another body to live in."

"So you're a parasite?" Sam said.

"Hardly. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gemma. Once upon a time I was the most powerful Seraphim in existence. But I found that all what we were really doing was to make sure inferior creatures like yourself could live here. What a waste of all that power, don't you think? Anyway, to make a long story short the others rose against me, destroyed my body and locked my soul in the Void where I've been patiently awaiting my return."

"I already fought you, remember?" Sam said. "Patricia summoned you as a tool to kill me."

"That was only a reflection of me. I am much more powerful than anything in this world could possibly imagine. And if I'm not mistaken, my reflection would've killed you if it wasn't for Nicole to come your rescue."

Sam glared at the thing that had Brooke's form for a few moments before she started another charge at him/her. She was stopped, however by David who growled a command at her. Reluctantly Sam started to move towards one of the walls, her eye still firmly on Gemma.

"You're an anachronism Gemma." David said. "The age of the Seraphim has been over for a very long time. Sedna no longer watches the oceans and Thantatos no longer guides the dead to the other side."

"I'm afraid you're sadly mistaken." A new voice said. Everyone including Gemma looked over to the girl leaning casually against the church doors. Only Sam and Nicole recognised her. And there are no words that could describe their surprise. "The Seraphim still keep this world going." The girl said. "We're just no longer physical beings."

"Who are you?" Gemma asked, suspicion creeping into his voice.

"This body belongs to one Lily Esposito, but my name is Marduk." The girl lifted her head and smiled. "And I'm here to banish you a second time."

Part Six

NOTE: As my annoying little sister so kindly pointed out to me this is starting to become more of a 'Septerra Core' fanfic than a 'Popular' fanfic. While I can't _completely_ deny this I _can_ tell you that this will be the last time. More or less.


The hardest thing in any murder case is not solving the case, but telling the victim's next of kin about it. There is no right way to tell people you've never met before that one of their loved ones is dead. And unfortunately when you worked at the homicide department you had to do this much too often. Of course, the news Raymond had brought was not of the _death_ of their daughter, but the _disappearance_ of their daughter. But the fact that two bodies had been found mutilated beyond recognition in and near the hospital did not bode well for the girl. The two adults that he had just told the news reacted in the most common way.

Shocked silence.

Raymond gathered his coat and stood up to leave. After a few more formal words he left the room, wondering why exactly it was again that he had chosen this profession. Lost in his own thoughts he didn't even notice that the ground was shaking.


At the epicentre of the small earthquake the people present _did_ feel it. The entire church shook on its foundation when the magical swords of Gemma and Marduk (still residing in the bodies of Brooke and Lily) clashed for the first time.

"This may be a good time to retreat." David said. "Everyone out! NOW!"Reluctant the werewolf pack made its way towards the exit. While they all rationally knew that whatever they might do would not affect the two fighters, it just didn't feel right to walk away from a fight like this. Another, larger earthquake hit as the fight between the two beings became more intense.

"So, what's going to happen now?" Nicole asked when she got out of the church.

"I fear there are only two possibilities here. Either Marduk slays Gemma and Brooke dies, or Gemma slays Marduk and we all die." David answered calmly.

"WHAT!?" Both Sam and Nicole exclaimed at the same time. "We can't let that happen!"

"I'm afraid there is nothing _we_ can do about it. Their fight does not only take place in this realm. If we were to destroy the bodies of your friends they would continue fighting without them."

The next quake came and everyone was thrown to the ground. The earthquakes were rapidly gaining in strength. The church building already started crumbling. The roof of the church burst open and the two combatants flew into the air locked in battle. Neither seemed to be gaining the upper hand and the earthquakes no longer hit in intervals. It was like the world was slowly shaking to pieces.Which, unfortunately, wasn't far from the truth.

In mere seconds the church had collapsed. Debris was filling the streets, the streets started to creak and tear open and seismologists everywhere got highly distressing information over the new readings that came pouring in.

Gemma and Marduk didn't notice it.

"We need to get away from here!" Sam shouted from her position on the ground.

"Where?" David shouted back. "I don't think it'll be much better anywhere else!"

As soon as the earthquakes started they disappeared again. The werewolves carefully got up from the ground and surveyed the damage. All houses nearby had completely collapsed. Ambulances could be heard in the distance and those lucky enough to not get their house fall on top of them were already searching for those who weren't so lucky.Still hanging in the sky were the two Seraphim suspiciously eyeing each other.

"This world has become too fragile." Marduk said. "If we continue this conflict we might end up destroying it. And I have a feeling that that would seriously hamper your plans for world domination."

"Agreed." Gemma answered. "But we can't leave this unfinished."

"Perhaps we should let them fight our battle." Marduk said, gesturing towards the ground.

"Very well, I shall appoint a champion to fight in my place."

"As shall I. And remember, winner takes all."

The bodies of Brooke and Lily sailed slowly to the ground. Two ghostly images disconnected themselves and hovered over them. One was a large grey daemon, the other a young man in blue and gold armour. Lily groaned and slowly got up from the ground. Brooke remained motionless. Lily squinted towards the sunlight and immediately started searching for her sunglasses. With an almost triumphant cry she took them from her coat and put them on. It was only then when she took good look at her surroundings.

"What happened here? And where is here, anyway?"

Sam walked up to her. "That's a very long story, but it involves those two." She said, pointing at the apparitions.

"Choose your champion." Gemma said impatiently, ignoring the petty beings scurrying about in his sight.

"I already have." Marduk looked pointedly at the girl in front of them.

"Lily!?" The voice of Nicole could be heard from miles away. "She is your champion!? We're doomed."

Gemma seemed to be thinking the same thing. His laughter could be heard even above Nicole's shouts of protest.

"Maybe the Seraphim have become even more pathetic than I already thought if you choose her to represent you."


Gemma laughed again and briefly waved his hand. The sky darkened for a moment when something blocked out the sun. It turned out to be a Siren, a strange hybrid beast with the torso of a woman and the body of a bird. The Siren was great deal taller than Lily and the sword shining in her hands was about half the size of Lily.

"Meet my champion." Gemma said with a hint of pride in his voice. "Attack and get this over with." He ordered.

The Siren nodded and dashed at Lily who seemed to be able to do nothing more than stand there helplessly. At the last second her survival instincts kicked in and she jumped out of the way of the blade.

"Hey, don't I get a sword or something?" She cried desperately.

A sword immediately appeared in Lily's hand. It was large, heavy and clumsy and Lily nearly dropped it to the ground. The Siren laughed before she made another attack. The Siren missed again, but this time a little on purpose. She had decided that seeing this human ran around to avoid her was a very funny sight and she was planning to enjoy it a little longer. Lily threw away her sword when she realised that she couldn't really do anything with it.

"Forget the sword. How 'bout a gun? Can I get a gun?"

Unfortunately for her no gun appeared. Lily dodged a few more playful swipes aimed at her head. Almost being turned into a vampire had its advantages after all. Her faster reaction time gave Lily the time to think a little, and since the Siren wasn't planning on _really_ killing her just yet she might have a chance.

In Lily's view of the world there was balance in everything. Good and evil, love and hate, dead and undead, and so forth. Right now the creature that stabbed in the direction of her stomach was representing Chaos, so she was probably representing Order or something.

Then a very ridiculous idea entered her brain. But fortunately it fell into the category 'it's so stupid that it just might work'. Minus one plus one equals zero, so maybe Chaos plus Order equals zero as well. It was worth a shot.

Lily danced out of the way of a few more blows searching her pockets. The Siren's attacks were steadily growing fiercer and Lily's time was starting to run out. The brunette took a pack of card out of one of her pockets and began searching it while she ducked to avoid a swipe to the head. After a frantic search Lily took out a blue card with the word 'Law' on it.

Lily now had the card she needed.

Step two was using it, and she still didn't have a clue how she could do that. She waved the card around a bit, but that didn't do any good. She tried to focus all she had on it, but that didn't work either.The Siren swiped again and this time Lily was a bit too slow. A nasty cut suddenly graced her left arm breaking Lily's concentration.

But with the pain came a sudden realisation. She wasn't the source of the magic, something else was. Lily backed away from the Siren as much as she could and closed her eyes. For the second time in her life Lily could feel magic. But this time it wasn't flowing through her body, it was all around her. All she needed to do was direct that magic towards the card. It proved to be a lot easier than she thought.

The Siren started screaming when the spell started working. The being flailed around frantically, shooting the debris from the earthquake everywhere before disintegrating.

A second scream could be heard as Gemma was banished once again.


"So what happens now?" Lily asked the spirit of Marduk.

"Now life will return to normal."

"Look around you blue boy," Nicole said, indicating the large crowd of spectators. "All these humans just witnessed a supernatural struggle _and_ survived an earthquake. Things will never be normal again."

"That's where you wrong." Marduk said with a smile. "With Gemma gone it will be very easy to undo everything he has done. No one will remember anything."


Jessica Partridge watched the small family being led out of the waiting room. She knew that they were here because of that blonde girl that had come in a few hours ago. She had been told that nobody knew what was wrong with her. Shortly after the girl got into a coma. It had been quite a blow for the three people that were now on their way out the building. The girl seemed especially upset about it, even more than the two parents - if that was possible.

Jessica glanced at the clock. Time to make her rounds on the patients in this ward. And that included their new coma-patient. Jessica didn't like people in a coma. They looked so dead, even though you knew they were alive.

The living dead, so to speak.

Jessica had almost completed her round and was now approaching the one room she didn't want to look inside. She knew she was going to be freaked a little when she would see that dead body that the monitor indicated still had a heartbeat. The nurse froze in place when she heard a wolf howl outside. It took her a few moments to rationalise the howl away. The old trick of 'Don't be so scared, it's probably just the wind' worked very well and with new resolve she reached for the door.

The sight inside was exactly as she had expected. A blonde girl lying motionless in bed, hooked up to all kind of machinery. Jessica walked over to the papers indicating who this patient was. She was the kind of woman who wanted to know all her patients, even though this particular patient scared her a little.

"Brooke McQueen," She said when she had read the paper. "I hope you'll wake up again soon."

Part Seven

NOTE: Don't you just hate it when a writer finishes a story while in reality it is still far from over? Well, I don't.



The room was silent except for the constant beeping of the heart monitor. Sam was sitting in a chair next to the bed. Nicole stood directly behind her, resting her head on Sam's shoulder. Brooke had been in a coma for six weeks now and still no one knew why. Sam visited her daily and always accompanied by Nicole.

They were the only ones who visited her daily.

Sam and Nic looked up simultaneously when the door opened and Lily stepped inside. She made her way to the other side of the bed and sat down looking rather shyly at the couple.

"Come to visit Brooke?" It was more of a statement.

"Not really." Lily admitted. "There's something you need to know."

"What?" Sam asked.

"I know why Brooke's in a coma."

"Really?" Nicole asked, disbelief very obvious in her voice.

"Yes, really. Now don't ask me for the details 'cause that'll take too long. The point is that Brooke's soul has been driven out of her body. Some evil thing took over her body and started causing mayhem. Anyway, I drove it out again and a… friend… of mine turned back the clock again so nobody remembers what happened except me."

"Wait, if what you're saying is true and this guy did fix everything like you claim, then why is Brooke in a coma?" Nicole asked.

"I'm getting to that. This friend of mine can do a lot of things, but he can't force an unwilling soul back into a body."

"What are you saying?" Sam asked.

"What I'm saying is that the reason Brooke is still in a coma is because she doesn't _want_ to be here."

Sam and Nicole became silent. They both knew somehow that what Lily just told them was true. They also knew was this meant.

Brooke was never going to wake up.

The End, for now

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