(Advanced warning: This chapter is fairly gory and graphic. This content might be unsuitable for readers who are squeamish. If you cannot handle gore and graphic descriptions, then you are free to leave and wait til next week to read the next story!)
Upon hearing the scream, Claude widened his golden eyes and zipped up to his feet, looking over at the mansion in high alert. Justine looked over at the mansion also, knowing fully well who made the cry. Turning to Claude, she asked, “What’s it going to be?”
Still, the spider was silent, but with furrowed brows over his glowing pink demonic eyes, he trudged to the mansion in rage. Justine followed him as he only saw red, kicking the large door down off its hinges.
Inside, Ash narrowly missed the door. As Claude marched straight to the angel to blame, Justine rushed to Angel’s side. “What’s wrong? What did he do to you?”
“He…ordered me to…to kill everyone…” she sobbed. “…I’m…sorry…” With that, the dog whipped around and slashed Justine with her sword. The cat narrowly missed the blade and blocked another blow with her small maroon scissors scythe. “Justine! You have to stop me! Please!”
With a nod, the cat demon swiftly got behind her best friend and punched her upside her head, knocking her out. “…Sorry Angel, but I had to.” Turning their attention to Claude and Ash, all anyone could do was watch as they fought one on one.
“…Shouldn’t we help him?” Rachel asked, concern drenching her voice.
Sebastian shook his head. “Claude was hurt the most by Ash’s actions. His defeat would only mean something if it’s won at his own hand.”
Claude and Ash threw punches and kicks at each other. The glares the demon sent the angel with his slit, pink eyes caused Ash to get more and more nervous as the fight dragged on. The angel eventually pulled out his golden handled sword as the demon slashed out golden knives in between each of his white-gloved fingers.
The sword swung and slashed at the man in black as the golden knives blocked the steel in Claude’s left hand. In his right hand, he threw his knives at the white man at bullet speed. Ash dodged each knife that was thrown at him, blocking some with his sword.
“You should’ve never thought that you could have a child with a being of the heavens!” the angel smiled widely. “Then, at least, you would’ve lived!”
“It’s amazing how you can be this cocky when both Pluto and Angel cannot come to your aid, and you are even more limited to just your half of the powers you and Angela pooled together.” Claude smirked cheekily.
To this, the angel growled and swooped himself up to the second-floor balcony on his large white wings. The demon, in turn, shot a string of web to the roof and launched himself to Ash, throwing more knives like bullets from his powerful hands. “I warned you that I’d do all this!” he stated truthfully as he clutched the demon’s shoulder in his black glove and shoved him to the edge. “Nothing I did was a secret from you!” The winged man cornered Claude over the rail of the second floor.
The spider quickly turned to the teens and adults on the first floor and shouted, “You all might want to leave! This could get messy!”
Ash smiled as the group followed his advice, Undertaker holding his weak son over his shoulder and Angela and Justine pulling Angel out. The white haired man pulled his sword to the black haired man’s throat. “Now who’s cocky?”
“…Now, this seems familiar…” Claude smiled, looking around. “One, two, three! One, two, three!” With every number, he made another slash with his knives until their positions were switched.
Reaching the white wings, the demon mercilessly ripped the feathers from the flesh and violently turned Ash around for better reach. When the angel tried to make another slash at him, Claude simply took the blade and threw it across the hall. Roughly, the spider took a sewing needle and thread from his coat and sewed the wings together. Surprisingly, he had the ability to make a spider web design, marking the angel as his prey alone in the rushed stitching.
With a smile, he took the broad shoulders dressed in white and lifted the thin face inches from his own. He smiled when he saw the purple eyes in a coat of fear before he shoved the now flightless angel over the rail. “Down you go!”
Ash had a hard time getting over the whip-lash as Claude took his time making his way down to the white and purple man. “Now, I can’t say that I warned you not to mess with a demon,” he smiled cockily, his limitless plethora of knives in his hands. “but, I simply thought it was common knowledge by now, with the reputation demons have built over the centuries.”
“Go back to hell.” Ash mustered the air to say.
To this, Claude smiled. “I miss it there. No pesky angels getting in your business. Sadly, now, I’ll get a new neighbor. Don’t worry, it won’t be a sudden move.” he promised, slowly digging his knife into the angel’s arm, soaking the white suit and purple shirt in crimson blood. “I’ll be sure the transition is nice and slow.”
Out of desperation, Ash reached over and snatched a pot that fell on the floor from a table and smashed it on Claude’s head, shattering it. The demon was distracted just long enough for the angel to slip from his hold and dash up the steps for his sword. With one arm in too much pain to do anything with, he wobbled as he reached for his sword with his one good hand.
Claude followed him up the steps, his anger still far from gone, but with the grace that he normally had as he shot several strings on the walls and floors, surrounding the angel in a complex web. “These webs are my prized weapon.” he stated in pride. “One false move, and…well,” he couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped his lips. “I’m afraid our fun will be cut short.”
Like the spider he was, he lept on the strings and balanced on them perfectly as he took the sword right out of the black gloved hand. When Ash reached for it back, his coat found its way to the web, and it sliced through the thick cloth like a fork through warm butter.
Instead of just cutting Ash into bits with the sword, Claude had more fun with his opportunity and swung the sword just close enough for him to instinctively move into one of the stands in the intricate web, gaining another cut. With a growing smile, he thought of a new way for him to have fun with this once in a lifetime opportunity. He shrank his form to a small brown recluse spider and climbed around the webs.
Ash fearfully moved as far from the small deadly spider as he could while still staying in one piece, which proved to be a large challenge. When the insect finally made it on the angel’s hand, he crawled under his sleeve and made minuscule bites in various places, causing the areas of the bites to disintegrate, but not enough for him to die. That would be too merciful.
Eventually, Claude climbed back out of the mess of webs and grew to his human form, retrieving the sword before returning in the strings and navigating the web to be face to face with the angel. He wanted to say something to the angel as himself so he’d remember his face, not his species. “…One more thing before I win our little game.” he stated with a large smile.
Taking the sword tight in his hand, he held it between himself and the angel and he leaned forward, forcing Ash to lean back into the webs. “Next time you want to contain a spider,” With quick, agile movements, the demon pulled the steel blade back and plunged it through the stomach behind the purple shirt.
Pushing his face even closer to Ash’s, Claude grit his teeth and finished his last line. “…make sure it’s not poisonous, ’cause they will bite the hand that tries to contain them.” With that, he twisted the sword to make the experience all the more agonizing for Ash and all the more enjoyable for him before he ripped the blade out, kicking the man in white away from the steel for him to be chopped in the web, his many bloody pieces scattered on the floor. As the demon smiled at the pile of bloody mush, he jabbed the sword in the pile. “True fact. Look it up.” he stated with a conniving chuckle that would send a chill down any spine, no matter how brave.
. . .
Claude returned outside where all the teens and adults waited to hear something from the spider. He smiled kindly as he looked over at his daughter, who was just starting to come to from being knocked out. The collar around her neck wasn’t glowing anymore, so the rest of the group knew something happened to Ash.
Claude simply glanced at Angela with a growing smile. Suddenly, he reached over and pulled her in for a tight, much-desired hug. “…Thank you.” he smiled in her ear lovingly.
“Is Ash…?” The spider nodded to Rachel.
“That means you get your powers back!” Justine exclaimed to the woman in white. “…Right?” As a response, Angela popped her large, white wings out and hovered over the ground for a few moments.
“That means you can take Angel’s collar off…right?” Paul asked.
After a moment, Angela approached her daughter. “…Angel?” she called “Are you alright?”
“…Yeah…I think so, mom.” she groaned, not noticing that the mother was fiddling with the buckle on her neck. The teen didn’t understand why the rest of the group was looking at her until Angela smiled, pulling back with a strip of black leather. Angel hurriedly moved her hand to her neck and was overjoyed to feel the collar gone. She then noticed Claude standing not far away and rushed to hug him. “DAD!” she cried in his shoulder. “I’M SO SO SORRY! I DIDN’T MEAN ANY OF IT! I PROMISE! I LOVE YOU DAD!”
The spider only hugged his daughter tight. “It’s alright.” he soothed. “It wasn’t you talking. It was Ash having you around his finger.”
“So, things are back to how they were?” Rachel asked her older brother.
Bard simply smiled and pulled Rachel close in a side hug as they all walked. “For you and me, things go back to how they were. I’m guessing for everyone else, it’ll be just a little different.” He looked back at Jeremy and Justine, who walked together with arms happily linked, Paul talking about some change suggestions he had for the morgue to his father, Grell, and William trying to make sense of why Jeremy was calling Sebastian ‘Uncle Bassy’, and Angel walking down the road with her father in her right hand, and her mother in her left hand. Everyone smiled as they walked down the road.
After some time of walking, Claude and Angela let Angel’s hands go to hold hands themselves, but the teen didn’t mind and joined her teenage friends. “…Come back to the Trancy manner with me and Angel.” the butler offered. “I can convince the young master to hire you as a maid or something. Besides, it might be good for Angel to have her actual mother around, to answer questions about her angelic half. As you might’ve noticed…I’m not one hell of a flying teacher.”
Angela smiled at him before she sighed. “I want to, I really do, but you’re a demon, and I’m an angel. We can’t just-” She was interrupted when the spider’s lips met hers.
When they parted only seconds later, the demon could only smile. “You talk too much.”
With a growing smile, Angela answered him with no words. Instead, she lightly gripped his tie and gently pulled him down to her lips. As the sounds of the rest of the group’s talking faded from existence, they stood there with all the fiery passion of hell, and all the calming bliss of heaven all combined into one time freezing moment.
And so, we now enter the two words which are possibly either the most cliche, or the most classic way to end any story; large or small.