Dawn in San Francisco

Before the bomb

Wendy crouched behind the tree as they waited for Mr Devil to come home and open his potentially explosive fridge. This… wasn’t quite how she had expected things to go.

In hindsight, she was glad she had taken upstairs. Evil people rarely bothered putting any of the genuinely nasty stuff on the second floor. They only really bothered with lugging things upstairs if there was an ominous tower involved. Still, it had been unnerving to see the empty bedrooms coated in a fine layer of dust, and finding the ‘memoir’ in the box at the back.

When Marco had told her what he’d found down in the basement, she had wanted to be sick. A part of her had wondered when she had found the rooms, but to hear it confirmed… Before now, this guy had been nothing more than a name, a vague threat in the background with a promise of terrible power but surprisingly little action. She had even begun to wonder if this wasn’t some sort of ruse, put on by the queens. After all, it had been years since anything had come up, at least anything that she had known about. But then they had gone into his house, and Marco had found the bodies, Kevin had found the book and what Buddy had found in the fridge… it made her stomach turn, and she clenched her fists with rage.

She wasn’t sure if the… man(?) was stupid, not putting any protections about his home and leaving his ‘property’ out for anyone who bothered to actually look. He couldn’t possibly think nobody would be looking- if not for him then for the mantle he had stolen. The queens were limited in power right now, but they were still rulers and brutally efficient ones at that.

Unless of course he had wanted to be found, and this was all a trap and they were just cannon fodder. They didn’t know what this guy was really capable of, what he had been planning to even do with the power he had stolen. She had thought perhaps that he might go and kill the grandmothers, in revenge for his previous defeat. Or the queens, to teach the grandmothers some sort of lesson and upend the courts. But even with the new mantle at their disposal and the important lessons Willow had given them, Wendy still didn’t know if they could win. Could she actually fight, when it came down to it? What if she forgot her part of the spell, or got distracted? What if the others got hurt? What if Kevin hadn’t actually rigged the fridge properly? He had somehow rigged up the fridge with explosives – apparently it would be ironic that they used the place he had stored those children’s souls as a means to capture his. Kevin always thought interestingly and logically, but not always sensibly.

Wendy found herself reaching for Kevin’s hand. She hoped the mantle had not interpreted liberally what it had found in her heart. It could be difficult to tell, with ancient cosmic powers that transcended beyond mortal ken. Wendy felt sure that she knew herself and what she wanted, but sometimes people were wrong and what you thought you wanted wasn’t the real thing. But she was pretty sure.

She loved Kevin. She loved him with everything she had, even when he tinkered with infernal machines and said hurtful things and put his feet on the coffee table that had taken weeks before she was close to happy with it. She knew that she wasn’t always easy to live with either. That was just how things were – you took the good with the bad, and found the perfect point in the middle. She clutched his hand tightly, knowing that he would understand without her needing to speak.

Please don’t die.



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