Posted in Friends For Life, Stories

Chapter 3; Secrets Bloom

The two teens met in the clubhouse yet again not even a month later. “So?” Justine smiled.

Angel looked at her friend in confusion, packing the Christmas things in a box. “…What?”

“What’s going on between you and Ronald?” the reaper specified. “I haven’t seen that guy happier since my mom and uncle gave him a raise. I also noticed you started going to that ice cream bar, like every day.”

To this, the demon shrugged. “Nothing super interesting,” she admitted. “We’ve just been going to that ice cream place every once in a while, and having walks in the park. We just talk.”

“You think you guys’ll be more than…friend zoned?”

The dog smiled and huffed out a chuckle. “That seems to be what my dad thinks. What about your dad? You never said what he thinks of your boyfriend or anything about him for that matter.” All happy-go-lucky feelings were thrown out the window the moment parents were mentioned. “Come on.” The demon girl insisted teasingly. “I’ll talk about mine if you talk about yours.”

Justine sighed before she answered. “Fine. There’s not that much to tell. My dad didn’t really approve of Finnie being my boyfriend at first, but then again, what father does?…I’m not sure what else there is to say. He’s just…a guy that’s working as a butler for Earl Phantomhive.”

“…Phantomhive?” she asked as Justine nodded. After a moment of thought, Angel dismissed her idea and took in a deep breath. “My dad’s in a similar bind.” she chuckled. “Of course, my dad’s a demon and yours is…”

“Not your dad.” the reaper stated.

Angel sighed. “…Not my dad.” she repeated. “My dad’s a butler too. He drives me nuts sometimes, with all his spider references. He’s a spider demon, he keeps spiders in the manner, even his new brat is known as ‘The Queen’s Spider’. The Stupid Spider Trancy.”

“…Trancy?” Justine asked as Angel nodded. “…I feel like I’ve heard that name before…” The reaper wracked her brain on what was so important about the name Trancy.

The dog demon shrugged uncaringly. “Well, it’s probably nothing.”

“…Yeah…”

.   .   .

When Angel returned home that night, she let her mind wander as she wandered the estate. “Something I can help you with?” someone asked, entering the room she was currently in.

The teen was startled before she saw who it was and sighed in relief. The woman beside her was only a few inches taller than herself with dark skin that contrasted with her long, silvery white braid down her back. Over her left eye was a tightly wrapped bandage as her right eye was free for all other eyes to see the beautiful sea blue color. Her deep purple dress was covered by a white apron with the indigo ribbons holding it together in tight bows around her waist and her neck. “Hey, Hannah.”

“What’s wrong?” the demonic maid asked.

She looked up at the demon maid before she turned away. “I told you about Justine, right?” Hannah nodded. “And you remember this is just between us? My dad doesn’t hear about this?”

“Yes. Claude does not and will not hear about your friend from me.”

Angel was silent for a moment. “…Justine has everything. She has a dad who actually loves her, a mom that cares about her, uncles that care too, and I don’t have any of that.”

“Your father loves you.” Hannah reassured, looking straight into the golden brown eyes with her free blue orb. “With all his heart, he does.”

“He has a funny way of showing it.” she grumbled, averting her eyes.

“You also have me.” the maid stated, gently tucking the teens hair behind her ear. “I love you as if you were my own daughter.” With that she hugged her as another thought came into Angel’s mind…she never knew her birth mother, nor anything about her.

Later that night, after Alois was fast asleep, Angel came up to Claude, biting her lip in anxiety. She hasn’t asked about her mother in centuries; since she was just a little girl. Now, here she was with more questions that she was unsure whether her father was willing to answer or not. “…Dad,” she called, causing him to turn around and face her.

“Yes Angel?” he asked, facing her fully.

“…Can you tell me what mom was like?”

Instantly, Claude’s eyes widened and one could easily tell he was shocked and caught off guard from the question, his ability to answer this question hadn’t improved over the years. “…Why do you ask?” It was obvious he was trying to stay calm.

“You never told me anything about her.” she reasoned. “You never even told me if she was a demon, human, reaper, or even an ANGEL for all I know!”

The demon’s eyes averted her as he sneered. “I told you precisely what you needed to know.” he answered. “She was killed not long after you were born. Once I found out she died, I hunted you down and was your father ever since.”

“So you’re not my birth father?” she asked.

“Of course, I’m your birth father!”

“Then why did you sound like I was adopted?”

“When your mother was pregnant with you, things were very complicated!” he exclaimed, starting to lose his closure, and making no attempt to pull himself together. “I couldn’t be there when you were born, so your mother took care of you until the day she died. I knew of you, that you existed, so I took on the title of your father. Does that satisfy you?”

“No!” Angel exclaimed. “It doesn’t!”

“Well, I’m sorry to say that it’s all you’d hear from me on the subject.” Claude informed, closing the conversation as he tensely left the room with a high head, shut eyes, and robot stiff movements.

The next day, Justine and Angel made their way through the forest, following the same path that led to their clubhouse. Little did Justine know that Bardroy, a tall man with light blue eyes and short blond hair that barely reached the popped, white collar on his chief uniform, was watching as she disappeared into the trees. “I should tell somebody.” he whispered to himself. “Justine’s been going over there for a few months now…I wonder if Sebastian knows…she is his daughter after all.” With that, he silently followed her through the thick trees, which only grew denser as he went further down the path.

When the girls made it to the clubhouse, Justine noticed something off about her friend. “What’s up pup?” she asked as she closed the door behind her, not noticing the blonde chief peeking in the window. “You seem kinda down.”

“It’s my stupid dad.” she complained, plopping on the bench after throwing sticks in the fire pit. “He won’t tell me ANYTHING about my mom! It’s like she did something so unspeakably horrible to him that he can’t even tell me her name! I HATE IT in that stupid mansion!”

The reaper felt fairly helpless to her troubled friend. “Why not talk to someone else? I’m sure your dad’s not the only one that lives in the Trancy Estate.”

“…Trancy’s?” Bard breathed to himself.

“Besides,” Justine continued. “Who does your dad think he is?”

“Claude Faustus.” Angel answered distastefully. “The biggest douche ever.”

“…Claude…Claude…” Bard repeated in his head. “…That name sounds familiar.”

“Claude Faustus?!” Justine exclaimed. “THAT’S your dad?!”

Angel looked at her confused. “Yeah, why?”

“…My dad is Sebastian Michaelis.” the reaper explained.

The other demon looked at her sideways. “You’re dad’s Sebastian Michaelis?” Justine nodded as Angel sucked her teeth with a smirk. “1,648 years, and I’ve never even heard of a Demon Reaper.”

“We’re getting off the subject!”

“Sorry.”

After some silence, the demon reaper bit her lip. “My dad said some really…unkind…things about your dad.”

To this, the Faustus demon chuckled. “I have no doubt any of that’s not true.” The cook backed away from the window as quietly as he could before he bolted down the path. “Well, our dads are, like, mortal enemies.” she summed up. “What do we do now?”

The question hit Justine like a ton of bricks that fell from the sky square on top of her head. “I…don’t know.” she answered truthfully. “One thing’s for sure, this is just all the more reason we should keep this a secret from our parents.”

“Right.” Angel agreed without a second’s hesitation. “But most importantly,” she added. “we stay friends.”

“Of course.” the reaper nodded. “We stay honest,”

“Loyal,”

“And, of course, stay together.” they both completed with a smile before crossing their hearts and covering their eyes with their paw hands.

“We stay friends,” Justine stated before they both opened their mouths and completed the thought.

“Forever.”

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