Posted in Friends For Life, Stories

Chapter 1; Separate Demons

~10 centuries later~

Angel entered the room, arms crossed as she leaned against the doorway. The black coat over her shoulders tightly stretched across her arms to give the limbs the room they needed for the position she decided. Over the popped up white collar of the dress shirt was a black polo tie uniformed to her father’s with the exception of the purple pin that was meant to keep it tight now clipped on one end of the tie as it hung loosely around her neck. Down the back of her legs, reaching her calves covered in black slacks were the two cloth points of the black tail coat. Under her arms, the single button to the coat was undone and open, leaving the butler coat to hang at her sides with her loose, white dress shirt fully exposed if she let her arms down. Her long brown hair messily twisted around her padded shoulders as she gazed at the man in the room with half opened golden brown eyes, locked in a look only a 16-year-old girl could master; a look of complete disinterest and disrespect. “So, dad, I hear you’re someone else’s manservant.”

Claude simply stood there in the center of the room, gazing at her blankly with his white gloved hand adjusting his silver glasses. As opposed to Angel, the father kept his butler uniform tightly together with all the buttons together and the black tie tight on his large football player neck with the navy blue pin as close to his skin as it could get without choking him through the top button of his own white shirt. He looked up at her with blank golden eyes before sighing. “Don’t you have your own master to tend to?”

“I took care of him a year ago. Keep up with the times.”

“…You finally decided to eat.” he stated with a smirk. “That boy had his contract fulfilled a decade ago.”

To this, Angel ripped her arms apart. “I was STARVING!” she screamed. “How else was I supposed to eat?!”

“I hear villagers have fine souls that could satisfy you for a few days.” The teen sneered at her father’s smart alack response and stormed out with gritted teeth and anger filled, glowing, demonic pink eyes locked on the path out the door. Claude gazed at his teenage daughter with slumped shoulders as he groaned out, “Where are you going?”

“Out!” the teen huffed out in response as she slammed the door behind her and continued to stomp down the stairs, shove out the front door, and trample through the flower beds of once lively, brightly colored flowers that could effortlessly catch the human eye instantly.

As Angel continued out the gate, Claude’s eyes drifted from the window where he watched her from the second story to the royal red carpets designed with golden thread. “…Angel…” he sighed sadly. “…what happened to us?”

Meanwhile, in the Reaper Training Facility, Justine stood straight and in perfectly blended uniform to her classmates. The black suit over her shoulders hid her red blouse perfectly and no one noticed her lack of white collar and black tie. Strapped to her side were maroon handled scissors that her mother gave her as an early graduation present. In front of Justine’s blue-green eyes were the purple glasses she had prescribed to her by an actual optometrist, so she had no need for the thin, silver, round, basic glasses all her classmates owned. Other than that, she didn’t stick out in the crowd…except for the fact that she was the ONLY girl in the whole facility.

Standing with her shoulders pushed back, she tried not to think of how much she really stuck out as her eyes followed William, the instructor of the class, a fairly tall man that never broke uniform with his short, coal-black hair, and square black and silver glasses, he himself was as square, boring, and clean cut as a brand new, unpainted door. She desperately tried to keep her attention on him pacing the front of the room and giving a lecture, as always. “Mr. William,” a boy beside her called, hesitantly raising his hand. “When do we get our own scythes?”

“You will be able to use higher quality Death Scythes as you collect more souls. The more difficult the soul, the higher the upgrade.” he answered dully before returning to his lesson.

Justine gazed over at the boy that looked to be about 18 or 19. He had long, wavy, dark brown hair and the typical green eyes behind his glasses, which were oddly bold, square, and black. His suit wasn’t buttoned; instead, it was opened to fully show the front of the buttoned vest, which was bizarrely purple with his black tie tucked under. This confused her, seeing as how any color other than black, or white in the facility were out of the norm in lines of fashion. Grell was an exception since he preferred red and brown hues in his closet; he could do that since he was a fully graduated Grim Reaper instead of a student like herself and the boy that interested her so.

Of course, she’s one to talk about being outside the Grim Reaper Normality, seeing as how the blue in her own eyes makes her stand out of the norm of lime green. Her prematurely personalized maroon scythe sat at her side while every other student in her class had small sickles as training scythes and all the graduated reapers with their red and white metal scythes. Even her gender made her an ugly duckling in the pond of limbo, but she didn’t want to think of that at the moment.

Something else that stuck out about him was the red handled, silver bladed double bladed ax by his side. Why did he ask a question about personal scythes if he has one already? she asked herself. Also, no one is supposed to have personalized scythes and glasses until after graduation. I’m an exception because mom’s an instructor and trying to shove this whole Grim Reaper career down my throat. If that’s why I’m an exception to that rule, then why is that guy an exception? Cleaning her prescribed glasses on her sleeve, she slid the frame back on her face and looked at him closer to be sure she was seeing the boy correctly. To her eyes, the sight of the boy was simply intriguing and oddly familiar, but she didn’t know why or where she could’ve seen him other than in class.

“Ms. Michaelis!” a voice snapped her from her thoughts. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t drift off.”

“Sorry Uncle Will-I mean-Mr. William.” she scrambled, not realizing she was drifting towards the boy until she was nearly falling. William gave her another cold, hard look before continuing his lecture. Justine sighed as she lifted her eyes to him, also seeing Grell sitting in the corner with red nail polish. Good. she breathed. Mom didn’t see me…or at least didn’t notice me…looking at that boy. He’d have a fit!

After class, Justine rushed out to the front to see Sebastian at the gate, securing the overcoat on his shoulders that covered his black tailcoat, tie, white dress shirt. His silver chain leading to his silver pocket watch stringing from under the gray overcoat and into his large side pocket. His white gloved hands slipped to his watch as he quickly checked the time and huffed before going back to arguing with other reapers hired to guard the students in training from demons; seeing as how reapers were supposed to be neutral and demons were supposed to be dramatically swayed to the evil side of the supernatural stereotype, defense was deemed a necessity. I wonder where mom and dad missed that part when they decided I was meant to be born… Justine thought as she rushed to her father’s rescue, listening to him convince the reapers that he posed no threat like he must do every other Friday after class.

“I’m telling you! I’m only here to pick up my daughter! We go through this every other week, and I’m short on time!”

“That’s a rich story.”

“Yeah, best one I’ve ever heard.”

“DAD! Over here!” she shouted, waving her arms and catching the reapers’ and Sebastian’s attention.

The moment the three saw her, Sebastian grinned while the other two hung their mouths open. “Now, if you’ll excuse me,” he stated as he squeezed between the two reapers to get to her with a smug smile on his face directed to the nameless guards as the demons walked back out side by side. “See you two in two weeks~”

Sebastian sighed as he drove the wagon down the road, Justine sitting beside him with boredom scribbled all over her face. She’d already removed the suit and replaced it with her favorite black sweater that went perfectly with her red blouse and black slacks anyway. “How was school?”

“Fine.”

“Are you alright?”

“Fine.”

“You’re very talkative today.” he mumbled, quietly thinking of a way to fill in the silence between the father and daughter. “…Undertaker told me that he wants you to visit with him while I finish my work. It’s just a small murder case the master was assigned, I should be done before too long.”

“Fine.”

“…Humans say nothing rhymes with orange, but nothing and orange don’t rhyme at all.”

“What?”

“You ARE paying attention.” Sebastian smiled victoriously before he pulled the reigns of the horses and the wagon stopped on the cobblestone street. Beside them was a small building with a large sign labeled ‘Undertaker’. “I’ll see after work.”

Justine groaned and stepped off the wagon, the wood creaking under her feet before she stood on the sidewalk with crossed arms and a scowl. “I don’t need a babysitter.” she grumbled as she entered the building and heard the clopping of the horses hooves on the cobblestone fade down the street. When she opened the door, she was greeted with nothing but coffins. “…Hello?” she called in the uneasily dark and creepy atmosphere of the room before she sighed in boredom. “I know you’re here uncle! I’m too old for this game!” When there was no response, she opened the only coffin that was standing and crossed her arms at the residence.

Inside was a tall man with long silvery white hair that also covered his eyes. He was dressed in all black and gray and appeared to be dead. Justine just gazed at him unamused and huffed, “…Hey, Uncle Undertaker.”

“What gave me away?” he whined with a smile on his face. At least she played along. he thought. That’s more than what I could say about her lately.

To this, she slumped as he climbed out of the coffin. “Uncle, you hide in the SAME EXACT coffin EVERY time I come to visit.”

“Oh, you’re no fun anymore.” he grumbled humorously. “I liked it better when you called me ‘Uncle Undy’, at least then you laughed at my jokes and played my games.”

The teen furrowed her brows. “I was only 425 then. That was 1,176 years ago!”

“Just because you’re 1,600, and you think you’re all grown up, doesn’t mean you can’t have a laugh once in a while.”

“I’m 1,601!” she corrected.

“One year makes as much a difference to you as one day does for a human, my sweet.” he chuckled, causing Justine to cross her arms. Undertaker straightened and sighed, his smile still plastered on his face, framed by his scars on his cheeks, neck, and nose. “You mind helping me out for a bit? I need someone to bring back a body down the street, and I need to stay here and check inventory. Would you mind fetching the body for me?”

“Fine. Just give me a ride or something so I’m not dragging some dead guy on the sidewalk.” she answered dully.

“You know my price for one of those carriages.”

The teen groaned and pouted a little before clearing her throat. “I told my dad to embrace his mistakes. He cried. Then he hugged me.”

Undertaker chuckled a little but shook his head with his smile still carved through his cheeks. “You can do better than that with a father like yours, I know you can.”

Justine thought for a moment before trying again. “A man and a dog go inside a bar and make bets with the bartender that if the dog will talk, they get free drinks. The man asked the dog, ‘What’s on top of a house?’ and the dog replied, ‘Roof’. The man then asked the dog, ‘What protects a tree?’ and the dog answered, ‘Bark’. Because it was a con, the bartender threw them out. After getting kicked out, the dog turned to the man and asked, ‘Why is it always the Talking Dog?’”

He let out a hearty laugh before nodding and tossing her a steel horse bit, which she caught with graceful ease. “Good enough. Don’t take too long~!” With that, she got out the back and hooked up the black horse to the small carriage.

.   .   .

Angel was wandering the streets, kicking a rock just for something to look at, when she saw a teenage girl struggle with what looked like a dead body. The girl was dragging the corpse in a carriage labeled ‘Undertaker’ across the side. Her red tinted brown hair was shielding her face as she pulled and yanked the body across the stone. “Need some help?” Angel asked, causing the girl to stop and look up.

“N-no.” she answered, looking into Angel’s golden brown eyes with her blue tinted green ones behind slipping purple glasses and revealing that her black sweater was falling off her shoulders that were left bare from lack of sleeves with her blouse. As she shifted the corps to one arm, she used her temporarily free hand to adjust her purple glasses before she rushed the hand back under the falling half of the body. “I got it.”

Angel ignored her claim and grabbed the dead man’s feet, lifting them and assisting in loading him in the carriage. “I haven’t seen you around here before.” the girl stated, pulling her sweater back where it goes on her shoulders. “You live out in the country?”

“Something like that.” Angel answered before dusting her hands and reaching out to shake the girl’s. “Angel Faustus is the name.”

The other girl took the hand and shook it a little before shutting the doors. “Justine Michaelis. Nice to meet you.”

“I couldn’t help but notice the sign on the carriage.” Angel stated as Justine strolled back to the front of the carriage, the new teen following close behind. “Are you the town’s Undertaker?” the Faustus girl asked.

Justine chuckled a little before climbing up to the seat in the front. “No, not me. I’m just the Undertaker’s niece.”

The girl still standing in the stone street looked around before leaning in as close as she could to the teen on the carriage. “I don’t think that guy is human.”

Hearing this, she stopped untying the reins from the carriage and looked at her with a sense of urgency and nervousness. “What makes you think that?” she asked. “Of course, my uncle’s a human.”

“I see him at…places…” she answered. “…Places I’ve seen you at…”

Creepy. Justine thought, but kept her polite smile. “I’m not sure where you could’ve seen me at, I mean I-”

“I know you’re a reaper.” she blurted out. “I’ve seen you and your ‘uncle’ at that training facility. Also, your eyes and glasses are a dead giveaway.”

“I’m not a Grim Reaper!” Justine exclaimed.

“You’re also not human!”

“How would you know?!”

“You don’t smell human!”

Hearing this, it silently clicked in the Michaelis girl’s head. “Who did you say your parents were again?” Justine asked.

“I never said my dad’s name, and I’m not going to.” Angel replied, crossing her arms. “My dad’s a jerk. He can’t even teach me to be a demon right.”

Justine sighed. “Yeah, my mom’s a jerk too.” She chuckled a little as she just continued to blabber on about her supernatural life to this complete stranger that claims to be a demon. “One of my uncles is dull, the other is a child, and my dad…well…I can’t say much bad about my dad. I mean, he is one hell of a dad.”

Angel chuckled. “My dad thinks he’s one hell of a dad, but he’s not even close.”

The reaper smiled a little. “Maybe we can hang out sometime.”

“Sure.” The demon stated. “Sounds fun.”

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