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Secret Killer

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Caleb woke up with a heavy weight on his chest.

"Arggg..." Still half asleep, he winced at the harsh light intruding his sight, closing his eyes again for a minute to adjust the rays of the morning sun peaking through his window. The weight above his chest shifted, Mmmuurrr the feeling of soft fur rubbed against his scruffy chin. Normally, Caleb would've had a heart attack if someone touched him while he slept, but this wasn't just anyone. He gave his bengal cat a scratch behind the ears. "Guten Morgen Frumpkin,  schlafen Sie gut?" (Good morning,  sleep well?)

The cat only replied by headbutting his master again, giving out a meow and jumping off the bed.  Frumpkin only looked back at Caleb to make sure if he was getting out of bed as he waited at the door.

"Ja ja ja... ich bin wach... " (Yes yes yes...i am awake) His voice still thick from sleep, Caleb slowly starts to sit up. 

The warmth of the bed sheets were quickly replaced by goosebumps all over Caleb's arms, which only earned him a slight shiver from the morning cold. The bed creaked as Caleb swung his legs over to the edge of the bed. Stretching his body for a few minutes, he felt his back and arms pop from the cause of the old stiff mattress. Eyes still heavy from the effects of sleep,  Caleb quickly shuffled to the bathroom to get ready for the day. 

A few minutes after washing up his face and going to the bathroom, Caleb took a glance at the old broken mirror in front of him. The apartment he lives in isn't really the greatest when looking for a descent place, but it's affordable and enough to get by. Plus, the person whom he pays rent to is a sweet old lady that lives in another apartment across from him. On the holidays she would always provide him cookies and sometimes even have tea with her. 

He stared at himself for a minute, noticing how much of his hair is a rats nest with the bloodshot eyes. His skin paler than the blank bathroom walls behind him that are starting to rot of age. He starts picking out the small details of the mess that he is until he couldn't take it anymore, and looked away. 

Disgusting

He walked out of the bathroom door to be greeted by the sounds of Frumpkin meowing,  rubbing his body all over Caleb's legs. Caleb smiled and he picked Frumpkin up. The golden brown bengal purred as he nudged his head under Caleb's chin, looking up at him with his golden eyes.

Caleb breathed a soft sigh, the dark thoughts that have been crawling up from the depths of his mind were slowly starting to subside as he scratches his lovable companion under the chin. It was strange to think that the familiar knows when Caleb is starting to "Drift Away" As Nott would call it. Much like a therapy animal, Frumpkin helps with Caleb's insecurities and the darker moments of his life. 

"Lass uns etwas zu Essen holen,  ja?" (Let's go get something to eat, yes?)

Frumpkin jumped out of Caleb's arms before Caleb could react and rushed out of the door.

Caleb looked around his bed room before grimacing at the sight. The room was small, the walls we're a light green but faded from age and neglect, giving it a dirty white look. Papers and trash were littered everywhere around the room,  making it seem like a tornado has come to trash the place. It was enough to fit at least one small desk,  a mattress,  and a drawer to put his clothes in. The closest right next to the drawer was small and technically useless to place any clothes in it. Luckily, Caleb doesn't wear much, a old brown sweater with either old jeans or sweat pants gets him through the day.  On his desk lays piles and piles of paper work of books or bills from the bookstore, The Zemnian Das buch. He smiled, despite everything he was proud of what he accomplish so far. Opening his very own bookstore was his dream since he was young,  inspired by his mothers passion on them.

He only wished that she was alive to see it.

As quick as the thought came,  he tried to quickly push it away. "Nien..." he said,  shaking his head and closing his eyes while mentally counting to 10. He starts to feel his chest getting tighter and tighter, almost as if his lungs were about to collapse from the smoke that his mother drowned in. "N-n..nicht..Denk nicht drüber nach" (Don't... Don't think about it.) 

He doesn't want to feel like he's in that building again the first thing in the morning. 

For a few minutes he took deep breaths, doing the breathing exercises that his friends help him do. He feels frumpkin rubbing through his legs and licking his hand for reassurance. The feeling of the sandpaper tongue on his hand gets him to calm down and notice that he was on the ground in a sitting position. Hands clenched into tight fists as his nails dug into his palm. It takes him a few minutes to unclench his hands, releasing the death drip. Caleb winced when he saw the nail marks into his palm already starting to swell and some even bleed through the cracks of the nails that penetrated the skin. 

He cursed and shakily stood up to go into the kitchen. Caleb almost tripped over frumpkin, the cat gave a loud yowl and ran skittering on the other side of the couch in the living room. "Scheisse, Entschuldigung Frumpkin!" (Shit, sorry Frumpkin!)

Quickly, Caleb walks to the sink of the kitchen and turned on the faucet. For a minute the water is cold and he is fully conscious of the world around him. Once the water was a bit warmer, he starts to tend his wounds. He pulls out a first aid kit from under the counter and opens it to grab the composites inside. He makes a disgusted sound in the back of his throat while he slowly takes off of the old smelly bandage.

The air was fresh and cold against Caleb's bare arms. Now with the bandages off and the dirty ones placed on the side, Caleb could see how horribly the skin has tried to heal over the scorched wounds. His skin was red with a few patches of brown and black bruises,  like a risen the skin was tight and Caleb had the sudden urge to scratch the puffed up skin that leaves the old dead cells across his arms. 

With a shaky breath he grabs the smoothing ointment from the first aid kit that Nott had given to him. He smiled at the thought of Nott as his fingers shake while rubbing the ointment on his arms. 

Nott, Caleb's closest friend, -who is more like a sister to him- has been there even in the toughest moments of Caleb's life, even in the times he was not proud of. She always had the authority of a mother towards Caleb when she was around. Not that he minded,  he was in a dark place when Nott used to stay at his place. He needed the comfort of someone around at that time, it grounded him and gave him the reason to try and get better.

With the perks of having Nott as the "Mom friend" Is that she had First aid and safety kits all stored over the apartment. There were times where Caleb would find a small box of bandages is drawers or in small places where Caleb couldn't even fathom to think how she managed to cram it in there. 

Sometimes, it gets a little annoying to find first aid kits all around the house like change acorns stored in trees. Other times with moments like these right now,  Caleb is glad for Nott to provide him even when she's not around.

It's almost been a month since Nott has moved back with her husband and son,  Yeza and Luke.  Nott still calls Caleb regularly,  checking up on him like a mother after the first day their kids leaving for collage. She constantly reassures Caleb that she would always be "Her boy." He wouldn't admit it,  but Caleb would always smile at that, even though Nott couldn't see him, he was sure that she knew given by the soft reply of "I'll talk to you later" Before waiting for him to hang up in his own accord.

The apartment was more quiet now, even  though the sound of Frumpkin can be heard easily across the small living room connecting the small kitchen to the single bedroom. The space in the apartment is quite small, and still Caleb feels that the apartment too wide and empty without Nott.

Caleb started to wrap up his arms again with newly clean bandages before the sound of his phone came from his room.  He quickly walked back to where he slept, trying to find his phone. 

"Komm schonKomm schon... "

(Come on,  come on..) 

Throwing trash and other junk across the floor,  he kept searching for his phone while removing every blanket and pillow from his bed. He huffed in annoyance when he saw nothing underneath. 

It took a few minutes later before Caleb could find his cellphone. Picking it up from a pile of dirty clothes on the floor that were long overdue to be washed.  He took a minute to see who was calling him before answering the phone,  rubbing his eyes while doing so. "J-ja Jester..?  What do you need?"

"Goooooooooddddd MORNING CALEBBBB! "  The voice of his energetic friend echoed through his phone as it gave another rude awakening to his ears. "I hope you are okay cause you weren't here when I arrived at the cafe this morning Andiwasreallyreallyreallyworriedaboityourhealthcausenottwouldalwayssayto-"

Caleb cared about his friends a lot,  but today wasn't a good day to deal with the loud noise of his blue tiefling friend. "Scheiße...slow down, Jester." Caleb winced at the loud sound through the phone. He kept the phone a few inches away from his ear so he could properly hear again.

"It's... It's too early for this. "

From the other side, Jester giggled,  Caleb raised an eyebrow. He may not be there in person but he knows well enough that Jester is holding back something. "Sorry Cay, but why aren't you at the cafe?"  

He could practically hear her pout through the phone.

"Wh...What do you mean Jester? I don't understand..."

"Caleb... " Jester had a playful tone in her voice. "Did you forget about daylight savings time..? "

Right as she said that it was as if Caleb  was slapped in the face. He quickly scrambles to the window in front of his desk,  looking outside to see the sun shining down brightly above the horizon. A week ago around this time, Caleb would've woken up to see the Sun leaking behind the horizon, not over.

His eyes widen as he felt the blood in his views freeze over.

"Scheisse!"

Caleb could hear the sounds of Jester cackling through the phone. He would have rolled his eyes if it wasn't for the swell of panic quickly rising in his chest. "Scheiße Scheiße scheisse!  I-im so sorry Jester!"

He mumbled a few more curses under his breath until he stripped down his pajamas to find new pants.

Quickly, he throws the phone onto the bed while he searches for a pair of pants that have at least a decent smell.  He smelt tested at three different pairs of before finding a decent one. 

Ich sollte meine Kleider wirklich waschen...

(I should really wash my clothes...)

His heart racing and his head going down to a spiral. He doesn't notice Jester on the other side of the phone trying to call him out from his thoughts. 

"Calebbbb..."

Useless...

"Caleb? "

Mistake...

"CALEB!"

The shout from the phone jolted Caleb back into reality. He stared at the phone, frozen in his position where he was struggling to put on a brown t-Shirt.  "J.. Ja?..."

"Take your time... " Jester, who's voice is normally always loud,  is now calm and smoothing. Her voice in this state brings Caleb out of his thoughts,  waiting for her to speak. "I've noticed how you normally don't use your alarm... But don't worry! I've already gotten everything taken care of."

Caleb opened his mouth to argue that he doesn't have an alarm clock to begin with but decided against it. He wasn't feeling the mood to argue to Jester again that he doesn't need an alarm to wake up for work.

Jester was the kind of person who you can love for one minute, then wanting to tear your hair out the next. She was a sweet blue tiefling who seems to be rambunctious and embracive to everyone. Though Caleb is sometimes Overwhelmed (and sometimes a little bit disturbed) with the positive energetic energy radiating off of her, Caleb knows that everything is not all about sunshine and rainbows on the inside. It always seems when Caleb is having one of his... Moments, he gets reminded of how wise Jester could be. 

No one really sees Jester being so serious,  that why it always seems to be a shock to see when she goes to work. When someone is hurt,  she goes through the motions as if she was a trained therapist.  Even though Caleb hates going to one,  he could always count on Jester to have his back.

"N-nien Jester, that is very sweet of you,  but-"

"Too late!" Caleb could hear the smirk from her lips while he trys to start fixing his messy situation. "Already talked to Nila, and she totally understands."

Caleb's voice was muffled by his shirt for a few minutes until he successfully placed it on. His shoulders were now slightly relaxed as he scratched Frumpkins back. The cat sits on the bed, rubbing his head on Calebs arm after sensing his masters distress.

"I... Danke, Jester. You... You are a good friend"

"Anytime Caleb, you know that me and everyone here care for you...right?" Jesters voice sounded small and quiet, unsure if Caleb doesn't know or he just doesn't believe it.

His throat tightens and it takes a minute before he could get an actual reply. "Ja...Of course Jester, and I am very greatful for that."

A few seconds of silence lingered between them.

"Hey Caleb? "

"Ja? "

"Sooo... About the friend thing,  am I now considered your best friend cause you called me your friend orrrr....?"

Her voice was once again back to being mischievous and playful. Caleb gave a light chuckle. Jester would always try to pick up the mood when it feels damp.

"Goodbye,  Jester."

Jester quickly try to say something really fast but was cut off when Caleb ended the call.

As fast as he can, Caleb finishes getting ready for work. His work clothes are stuffed in a tan like satchel that are also piled up with books,  -both non-fiction and fiction- while he wore brown jeans that were patched in some places around the ankles.The T-shirt that he wears is too big for his skinny frame but he still enjoys it as it is decorated with cat paw prints at a corner bottom of the shirt. He quickly grabs a hair tie from his nightstand as he forms a small tight ponytail with his hair. Caleb doesn't have the best experiences with hair styles. Nott would have always styled his hair into beautiful braids,  even putting flowers in his hair from time to time.

He attempts to make sure that the small hair tie doesn't fall out of his hair for about 5 minutes. It's more for the propose of not letting any hair to get in the way more than style. Though even at the 7th attempt to keep all the hair at bay, there were some stands annoyingly hanging there on both sides of his face.

Frumpkin gave a quick meow at Calebs direction. Caleb smiled as he patted Frumpkins head. "Sei gut, solange ich weg bin, Ja?" (Be good while I'm gone,  yes?)

With a yarn and a stretch from the cat,  Frumpkin retreated to the pile of blankets on Caleb's bed.

Caleb walks out of his room after grabbing his brown light jacket and grey scarf before slipping it on. Only god knows how long Caleb had this jacket as there were holes on the bottom and patch marks sewed poorly onto his sleeves.

Looking back to make sure he has everything, he opens the door, and walks out of his small apartment.

Today is already going to be an interesting day. 

 

---

 

Even though it's the beginning of spring, the cold never really goes away in Zadash. 

To the other residents who also live in the other apartments around his,  he can always hear the complaints of the cold,  even in the summer. Though it's sunny and warm, there's a cold wind that always need to show each day. 

Caleb doesn't it mind, to his opinion it's the perfect weather. 

He walks down the sidewalk to downtown, the chilly wind blows against him slightly as he quickly walks to his destination. Luckily, the cafe that he works at -The Goodberry Cafe-. Is only a few blocks away, and right across from the streets stands the The Zemnian das Buch. 

He huffs at the irony of his situation. Normally, a business should be making you money. Caleb imagined that he would've been paying off his rent from his store. Instead he works at a coffee shop to pay the bills for his store so his bookstore can pay for his apartment. Still, Caleb knew the risks and the hard work that laid before him, and decided to take it.  

You might call it... A sort of challenge, when Caleb considered it.  

Instead of going right, he goes left. Walking into the cafe with a quick pace to be hit by the smell of coffee and warmth that the place seems to be radiating from the inside. 

The bell on the door rings as Caleb walked in. The coffee shop had a typical look for what a normal bakery looks like,  a counter full of sweets to show what they have and a couple of tables scattered around the cafe. The floor was checkered with black and white which contrasted well with the baby blue paint on the walls. On the corner of the top right of the door has a tiny dick drawn with a black sharpie from jester. Caleb is still surprised that Nila hasn't noticed it yet.  

"Good evening, Caleb." 

Caleb's head whipped to the sound of the firbolg and saw Nila walking up to him with a dirty cloth. She had a soft calm smile that made Caleb feel safe. The gentle giant always had the effect on everyone whenever they enter in the cafe. "Did you sleep well?  Jester had told me you had a rough morning. May I accompany you to a fresh batch of cookies?"

"Good evening Nila." Caleb gave her a small smile, he always feels happy to be around her. "Ah- t-that won't be necessary, I appreciate th-"

"Caleb... " Jester walked out of the backroom for employees only. She was wearing her work clothes which was a white shirt and a black skirt with a black apron with a little bit of colorful runes and sparkles placed around her clothing. She walked next to Nila, crossing her arms and pouting as if she were a disapproving mother. Caleb shuffled his feet a little bit. He looked at the ground seemingly to be in a spot light at the moment even though they were the only ones in the cafe right now. 

"Caleb, did you eat this morning? "

"I... Ja..? " Caleb took a chance and glanced at Jester,  she had a glare as she puffed out her chest, they both know well that it was a horrible lie. "... No.. " 

"I'll go get a Goodberry Muffin." Jester instantly went to working mode,  quickly disappearing behind the counter before grabbing a fresh muffin and handling it to Caleb. He tried to protest again to only be glared at again by the determined tiefling. "Eat." 

Jester can be intimidating when she needs to be.  

Reluctantly, Caleb took the muffin, giving it a little bit of a nibble so Jester can feel satisfied. The muffin was freshly baked so it was warm and smelled nice. His stomach quickly betrayed him with a loud groan. Caleb only then started to actually take a decent bite out if it.  

"You really need to eat more caleb." Jester poked Caleb's arm as he blushed on how he staggered a little bit even from a slight poke. "Your like, reallllllyyyyy skinny."

"Ja ja, I know Jester... "

"I mean, I only poked you and you've almost fell over. Have you considered to go to the gym caleb?  It could be good for you and maybe you can actually get out of the house for once-"

"I think it's around the time that we should start to open the cafe." Nila,  bless her soul, has seen how embarrassed and uncomfortable Caleb was getting. "Jester,  can you see if the next batch of the butterscotch cookies are ready? I've 

put them in the oven around 17 minutes ago." Her voice had a hint of humor as she started to finish off cleaning up the last table. 

"Of course!" Jester looked at Caleb before giving him the 'Im watching you... ' gesture."You better finish the muffin when I get back."

"I know, I will... "

Jester looked at him for a few more seconds before going back into the kitchen. 

Nila chuckled before looking at Caleb. "She cares very deeply for you." She tilts her head to the side. "If you do need to talk about things Caleb,  I am always here to listen. This is a safe place,  you know." 

Caleb sighs through his noise, feeling his heart flutter from the support of his friends before quickly scorning it away. "Ja... I know,  and I am grateful for that. You are... " His voice suddenly feels dry. "... You are like a mother to me, Nila. I haven't had one in a while... So i-it...it's nice... " Caleb's voice trailed off. His voice now heavy and thick, not being able to speak anymore. 

"Oh Caleb..." Slowly, Nila walked up to Caleb as if he were a wounded animal and hugged him in a secured grip. Not enough for him to feel squished or claustrophobic, but just enough to feel like a safety blanket. Her warm brown fur also reminds him of home as well. "I am honored,  you're like a son to be as well... Maybe not as much as Nott,  but I'm sure we can make some custody rules." Her tone was filled with humor,  Caleb managed a small laugh before hugging Nila back. "Danke, Nila." 

"Of course."

They pulled away,  Nila gently placed a hand on Caleb's shoulder. "Are you sure you are okay to work today?  Maybe a day off will be good... "

"Nein, I need this,  b-but thank you again." 

Nila walked to the door to turn the sign on the door from 'CLOSED' to 'OPEN'.  

"Well, if you need anything,  you know where to find me."

Caleb returned a small smile before walking to the kitchen that leads into a break room for employees. He closed and locked the door of the bathroom that's also connected to the break room. He glanced at the mirror before taking a deep breath. "Okay, du dreckiger Bastard, lass uns an die Arbeit gehen" (Okay you dirty bastard, lets get to work)

 He starts to get ready for work. 

Chapter Text

"You know, it'll be easier for you to just tell me where it is."

The warehouse was quiet by the time the moon was up on it's highest peak. When there were once echos of loud screams and gunfire,  was now replaced with absolute silence. The man before him laid against the wall,  holding onto a bullet wound that was bleeding profusely on his right shoulder. Lucien walked over to pick him up by the collar of his shirt. 

A small whimper escaped from the bloody man's throat. Lucien had him by the color of his shirt against the wall. The man couldn't see the stranger holding him up, blinded by his own blood. He felt both of his legs broken and the bullet wound throbbing in pain. 

"F-fuck you!" The man tried to spit blood at the man in front of him, at the direction where he heard the voice come from. He felt a small victory in his chest, hearing the attacker make a disgusted sound before it was quickly stomped on as he screamed. He felt a sharp object though his shoulder right where the bullet wound was. 

"Well that was just plain rude. Did you kiss your mother with that mouth?" 

The man had finally managed to blink away the blood from his eyes before looking past at a tall white hair man who was pining him to the wall with one arm. 

What showed behind of the attacker were piles of bodies scattered around like litter, both either dead or unconscious. They had at least 30 men defeated around them. 

The mans eyes widen in shock,  he quickly made the connection that he was a small fawn compared at this apex predator in front of him. He looked back at the human with fear in his eyes. His body shook like a leaf in the beginning of fall. 

This was supposed to be a simple mission, a group of mercenaries were ordered to stay and watch over the night at the wearhouse until next morning. They didn't get the details on who or how they were going to get paid, they thought it was going to be a simple job,  quick and easy.  He should've expected that smaller prey attracts bigger predators. 

The man before him wanted answers, and he had none. 

"I-im...I'm sorry... " The man whispered, his instincts screaming at him to run. The piercing blue eyes from the other human made his skin crawl. Instead,  his eyes trailed down to the gun that was in the strangers hand. He held a M1911 pistol in his right hand, ready to fire. The gun was decorated with vines of Ivory gold around the hammer, sights, trigger, and barrel. The grip had a wine red leathery feel. On each side of the barrel were golden words engraved "Bad News" In a beautiful folktale story font, as if the victims who looked at the gun before were reading the last words of their story.  

"I-i... I don't know where it is." He was pleading for his life. "I-i swear! W-we... He-! "

"Who was he, the man who payed you to do this?"

"I-i I don't know!" The man tried to shove down a sob coming up from his throat. "I- we...we-we've been told that we will get the money when the job is done.  P-please believe that I'm speaking the truth!"

The blue eyes looked at him with no pity in his eyes. He looked more annoyed if anything. "So your telling me, that your posse agreed to a terms of a man you've haven't even met?  It's bad enough that you didn't even consider asking them to show you the money. Tell me, how's this business going on for you? "

The man, for a second didn't feel fear, but confusion. "... I-i.. Uh w-wh-... Well... "

"Not going well, I assume with your position right now, hm?"

The man slowly nodded,  he didn't expect this new comer to just attack his whole gang and then proceed ask him about his life choices. "Y- yea, well obviously!" He pointed at his bleeding shoulder and broken legs. 

"Hmm... It's too bad really." The white hair man dropped the mercenary roughly on the ground. "So you don't know anything about your patreon?"

The mercenary hesitantly nodded,  looking up at the man as if Lucien held his life in his hands. "Y-you... You aren't going to..." His heart froze at the thought. "..kill me... Are you?"

Lucien looked down at the mercenary, the mercenary couldn't see his eyes with he glasses reflecting the moon. "Oh dear... " He held the gun between the eyes of the wounded man. 

"You're not going to be leaving here alive,  I'm afraid."

---

He dropped disguise self when returned to his condo. 

The lights are off as he walked in and closed the door behind him. It didn't matter if he had the lights on or not,  one of the perks of having night vision. 

With a groan he plopped down on the couch closest to him. Face first, he grabs the closest pillow and starts cuddling his face into it. It was soft and fuzzy, causing him to slowly drift off into sleep... 

"You know, should really take a shower before sleeping on the couch with blood all over you."

An instant, like a deer on headlights,  the purple tiefling sits straight up and aims his gun towards the sound of the intruder across the living room. 

The light turns on, standing next to the light switches for the kitchen and living room, stands a human with a smirk on her face. She wore a light blue tank top with the words 'Sleeves are bullshit' written across the shirt in bold white lettering. Her tank top  matches with a light grey sweat pants and a light blue hoodie wrapped around her waist. Her dark brown hair was pulled up in a small messy bun that shows a shaved undercut. 

Molly groans in annoyance as he flopped back down on the couch, dropping the gun carelessly onto the ground. He knows he shouldn't keep doing that,  but he's just too tired right now to care. "What do you want Beau?...and why are you in my house?" His voice was muffled by the pillow when pressed it into his face again. He tried to close out any light sweeping through his vision and trying to go back to sleep. 

"Just checking to see how the mission went, " Her eyebrow furrowed. "... I guess it was another dead end? " 

Molly shot up a thumbs up, he groaned again in conformation as he tried another tactic. He buried his head under the pillow for cover like a child trying to hide from their bad dream. "Can you please get out?  I'll talk to you in the morning, I'm exhausted." 

"Yeah... Uh about that... " Molly peaked out from under the pillow with a raised eyebrow. What did Beauregard do now?  

"Can I say here for the night..?  I uh... " She rubbed the back of her neck nervously as she looked at Molly with a sheepish smile.  "I... Kinda got into a fight with my landlord... Again." 

"God dammit Beau, how many times do you have to kick some landlords ass? Why not sleep at Yasha's house? You've done it before." 

Beau blushes as she looked away after glaring. Molly has no idea how in the name of gods why Beau and Yasha weren't together already. He doesn't know how a disaster lesbian mind works, but seeing them not see how they like each other was mind boggling to him. "W-well,  I've already spend the night at her house. I didn't want to be rude for staying there more than once with out her permission."

"You've literally walked into my house and announced yourself living here, then proceed to stay at my house for almost 5 months straight before. Where's my empathy?"

Beau tried to give back a witty comeback to only sputter out nonsense before glaring at Molly in defeat and flipping him the bird. He smirked in victory. "Fine, you can stay until you can find another apartment... Again." 

"Thanks dude." 

Molly felt a sharp pain on his back as he felt Beau slapping him on the back. "Holy- FUCK!"

He peaked up from his pillow in pain and glared at Beau, rubbing his now newly sore spot. Beau grinned, not feeling sorry at all "I appreciate it, really."

Molly mumbled a 'fuck you' in infernal before sitting straight back up. Looking at his clothes, he can now see how filthy and tattered it was with blood, sweat and dirt. He instantly feels disgusted as he stands up and starts to take off his bloody white shirt. 

"W-what the-?! The fuck Molly?!" Beau  dodged the bloody shirt that was thrown at her face. "I thought we agreed that you wouldn't throw dirty clothes everywhere anymore?!" She looked annoyed more than angry. 

"Call it even for slapping me in the back dear." Molly smirked before stretching his arm muscles. 

"Bitch."

"Asshole."

They both looked at each other with playful death glares. This was just a normal night for the two of them, Molly was the first one to break with a smirk. "Taking shower first!" It was so sudden and out of the blue, Beau stood there for a long minute before fully processing what was going on. With an alarming speed, Molly rushed towards his bedroom where his bathroom was connected. 

"Fuck you Molly!" Beau called out,  "Don't waste all of the water this time asshole!" 

"Can't promise on that dear!" 

The water was nice and hot as Mollymauk washed his body. Scrubbing all of the dirt and blood out of his purple curly hair and around his curved horns. It annoyingly took about 20 minutes before his hair was matted free from all the gunk clamping his hair together in tight nots. When he was finally done washing his hair, he quickly worked on washing the rest if his body. 

He reluctantly stepped out of the shower when he was done washing himself. His body instantly shivering from the cold as he quickly started to dry off with a towel. The steam that arose from the air that made the air moist was now slowly disappearing from the cold air that was sweeping under the cracked door. 

Molly was almost done drying and brushing his hair when a sound of a gunshot echoed through his home with the sound of Beau cursing. 

Forgetting the towel that dropped from his waist, Molly rushed out of the bathroom before grabbing a dagger from the drawer in his nightstand. He opened his bedroom door with great force and rushed back out into the living room, ready to aid his friend in the sudden danger. 

All he saw was a cursing Beau, standing on top of the coffee table before stepping down and picking up Molly's gun from the floor. "Fuckin- FUCK Molly!" 

Oops. 

Molly sighed in relief when he realized it was only the gun...which he forgotten that he thrown it onto the floor without the safety clip on. 

"Terribly sorry dear, forgot I did that."

Beau whipped her head around and glared at Molly. She wasn't bothered by the fact that Molly was standing butt naked in front of her. During the 5 months that she lived here, 90% of the time when she saw Molly was when he was running around the house with either one or two people walking in or out of the condo. Besides, dicks aren't just her thing. 

"This is the third fucking time that happened Molly!  I almost gotten fucking shot at!" 

She pulls out the magazine from the gun and dumps all of the bullets onto the counter before storming up to Molly and shoving the empty gun into his arms with the safety clip on. "Remember for once in your life to-"

"-To keep the safety clip on, I know." Molly snapped, taking a heavy sigh. "As I said,  terribly sorry dear."

"Yeah well,  your paying for the hole in the wall this time."

Molly looked behind Beau to see the bullet hole through a painting in the right bottom corner. The painting had a beautiful road that was full of trees and snow. In the middle shows a stick sticking up from the ground, standing on it was a black Raven looking into the distance. Yasha always asked Molly why he bought the painting from an auction every now in then. His answer?  He doesn't know, other than it seems intriguing to him,  plus it looks good in his living room. 

"Aww, that's a pity." Molly pouted. "I've always liked that painting." 

"I don't" Beau huffed. "Anyways,  you owe me coffee in the morning." She pulled out a hand for Molly to shake. "For almost killing me and making me deal with your bullshit."

Molly grinned and shook her hand,  "Of course, it's only fair."

"Hm, oh yea almost forgot." They broke off the handshake. "Moonweaver wants to talk to you, about the mission."

Oh.

"Oh, " Moly felt a forced smile on his lips. "Lovely..." 

"Molly... " Beau sighs,  "I know both of you don't really... Uh... See eye to eye." She said slowly, trying to choose the right words for this conversation. 

"No, no... It's fine." Molly sighs, rubbing his temple. "Its not like me and my mother have a "Stable" Relationship anyways." He let out a forced laugh. "I mean, she left and abandoned me to a circus and for years I had to fend for myself. Then, out of nowhere she just appears out of thin air,  as if everything was now okay and I've forgave her and-" He froze, realizing that tears were swelling up in his eyes, not from being sad. No, he was done with that, but from the anger built in his chest from all those years ago. He quickly blinked them away and placed on his famous smile. "Sorry...kinda started going off on a rant there, you don't need to listen it it."

"Molly... " Beau sighed,  placing a gentle hand on his shoulder, his smile quickly fell. "It's okay, you need to talk about that ugly shit every once in a while. It's good to talk about your feelings every now and then."

A real chuckle came out of Molly's throat this time. "Like your feelings with Yasha?" 

"Missing the point asshole." Beau lightly hit Molly's shoulder with a light blush on her cheeks. "This is not about me,  this is about you. So don't go locking up your feelings in a tiny box cause it won't work, and you have friends that can help you. Plus, your a real dick if you keep saying your alright when you aren't." 

Molly rubbed his arm and gave her a warm smile. "I always knew you cared for me... Even if you think I'm a dick. "

"Or a flamboyant asshole"

"I actually take that as a compliment."

"It isn't" Even though Beau kept a straight face,  Molly knew she was joking... Maybe. 

"But really,  Molls,  I know what it's like to have a shitty family. So if you need to talk about it... " Beau pulls up her fist for a fist bump. "Fuck family club?" 

Molly smirked,  instead of fist bumping her back he pulled her into a hug. "Fuck family club... Also, thank you Beau, again for helping me. I mean it."

"No problem... " Beau awkwardly patted Molly on the back. She wasn't the type of person to get touchy touchy with another,  but Molly complements her for trying.

"Uh... Molly?"

"Hm?" 

"I really hope that's your gun pressing against my thigh and not your dick." For an awkward minute of standing there, Molly still hugging her, Beau took the chance and looked down at her thigh. She made a groan of disgust and quickly looked away. "Fuck, really dude?!" 

"Hey, I didn't make this awkward, you did." Molly laughed. He was shameless about his body. If he could walk out of his condo and into the streets butt naked without getting arrested, he would. 

"Well, this would be less awkward if you pull away around now."

"Oh, right. Sorry" 

They stepped away from the hug,  Beau cleared her throat. "Listen man, I'm fine seeing you ass naked. Don't give two shits about it,  but if I feel your dick against my thigh again." She points at Molly's dick. "You will never brag about how big your dick is ever again." 

Molly raises his hands up in surrender. "Noted."

"Alright, good." Beau then yawned, she walked past Molly towards the room where she normally stays, its right across from Molly's room. "Im tired as fuck, going to bed. Night molls"

"I thought you were going to take a shower."

"Doing it in the morning!"

"Okay well,  it better be yearly cause if you're not ready to go and get coffee, I'm leaving you here. "

"Fuck you!"

Molly laughed as he hears Beau slamming the door shut. He goes back into his room and places the knife and gun in the drawers of the nightstand and quickly crawls into bed. Most of the time he sleeps naked, he likes how the silky bedsheets felt against his skin. He looks outside of the large window that shows the bright city lights of Zadash. He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, loathing for the day ahead of him tomorrow. 

 

Chapter Text

Molly woke up at the sound of the alarm on the right side if his bed

He groaned in annoyance as he blindly tried to find his phone on the nightstand. It took him a few minutes before he heard the sound of his phone falling from the nightstand and landing onto the floor. "FffffuuuuuCCCKKK"

He slowly sits up, reluctantly getting out of the comfortable bed sheets. He picked up his phone from the floor, making sure first that the screen hasn't cracked before shutting off the alarm. "Happy now?"

With a sigh Molly stood up from the bed to get ready for the day. He walked up to his closet that holds many clothing. On the inside every rich girl would've thought it was a dream coming true. It was a walk in with beautiful pink wallpaper and a huge body mirror at the end of the closet with two books shelves of shoes on each side with many clothes hung along the walls. Beau once made a comment on it when they had to dress up for a secret mission. She kept telling him that he didn't need to shove a mall into the damn thing for almost the whole night.

After taking almost an hour to decide what to actually wear molly choose a simple -yet totally in his style- outfit. He looked at the mirror in front of him that was right next to the huge window, he switched sides to see a better angle of his outfit. He was wearing high knee brown leather boots that matched well with the wine red ripped skinny jeans, to make his tattoos pop out more he wore a simple white blouse. 

There was a loud knock at the door. "Molly!  You up?  I'm ready to get some fucking coffee!"

"Uh... " He looked at door from his closet with hesitation, he haven't even had his teeth cleaned yet.  "In a minute, I'm almost done with my makeup!"

"God dammit Molly! You do this everytime! If you don't finish within 15 minutes I'm hauling your ass out of there!"

"Your can't rush perfection dear!" He shouts before rushing towards his bathroom, quickly cleaning his face and brushing his teeth. Faster than Molly has ever been in his life, he fished out all the makeup kits. For a minute he was indecisive before finally saying "fuck it" And going for a simple lipstick that's a darker tone of his skin and black eyeliner. Molly looked at his hair in the mirror and started to mess with the heap of mess on his head with water. To hell with hair products for today, this is going to be quick.

When Beau ripped him away from the bathroom after fifteen minutes, he was not very happy. He managed to put a little blush and eyeliner with lipstick smeared across his face (which was not intentional) before Beauregard grabbed and almost dragged him all the way to her car.

On the way to the elevator Molly almost tired to bit Beau's arm to let him go until Beau smacked him on the forehead. This soon changed into a quick sibling fight as Beau tried to pull on his hair to keep Molly at bay while he tried to scratch the hell out of her face.

This only lasted about a few more minutes until they got a few stares from strangers leaving the place or walking in. Molly, -who didn't look at Beau for the rest of the way-  walked all the way to Beau's car, dramatically sulking as he dragged his trail from the floor even though he hated getting his tail dirty. Beau rolled her eyes behind him as he walked slowly to the parking lot right next to the Condos.

"Maybe should've woke up sooner." Beau said, fixing her rear view mirror before smirking at the sulking Molly who was sitting in the shotgun seat. He was trying to fix his makeup before giving up and rubbing all of his lipstick off with a napkin.

"Couldn't have you been patient for at least one more minute?!" Molly said, pouting like a moody teenager. He rested his head on his hand as he stared at the window, watching buildings and cars go by when Beau pulled out into the roads. 

"Hey, cheer up, maybe you can find a cute person at the coffee shop and flirt with them. If your lucky, maybe, even a date."

"Hmph" Molly stayed quiet and pouted to himself until they arrived and parked in front of the building, the Louvé Shatoe.

Guards were stationed at the club entrance as Beau and Molly walked up. Molly shivered at the cold and cursed at himself for forgetting to bring a warm coat. It's supposed to be spring, why the fuck does it feel so cold still?!

"Here." For a second Molly almost dropped the item that was thrown at his face by Beauregard. He was surprised to quickly notice that it was his colorful jacket. "You're lucky I grabbed it while I was dragging your ass down the building."

Molly looked at Beau with gratitude as he slipped it on. The coat was full of color as the hood is deep blue with light blue moons patterned on them. The rest of the jacket was a maroon with symbols and different patterns sewed onto them. The sleeves on each side are patterned differently in three different sectors. You either hate or love it, and Molly loves it as if it were his baby.

"Right," Mollymauk took a deep breath.  "Let's go see my mother."

They walked up to the guards. Molly greeted them with a hand wave as they let them in with ease, knowing who Mollymauk and his friends we're.

For being a Mafia bosses son, you are used to see millions of other bars and clubs around the city. Though Molly has been to a lot of other clubs than this place, he couldn't help but say that this was the best place to party in the city. The place was huge with 6 different stages and 4 bar stands at each corner of the place. Tables and mini strip pole stands scatter around with some booths while millions of lights hung over the blackened ceiling.

Some of the club dancers that were now here stood on one of the 6 stages, each stage was numbered for certain types of performances. The pole dancers were around stage 2, warming up for the big night or to just to hang out and relax. At the right corner next to the dance floor, (stage 1) Molly could see an old dear friend. 

He allowed Beauregard to drift off where she wanted to go, most likely stalking the dancers as they were practicing their routine. The purple tiefling walked up to the curly ashy brown hair bartender, who was fixing up a drink for himself.

"Hello Gustav, already fancying yourself a drink I see."

The lanky half-elf looked up from his drink and grinned. Him and Mollymauk go way back, since the circus. Gustav was like a father to him. "Molly!" He laughed as he patted Molly's shoulder. "It's great to see you again. It's been a while. How are you?"

"Ah, well you know. Interesting things,  here and there. Say, uh... Do you know where the Moonweaver is?"

Like a match dropped in oil, Gustav face changed from being happy to a slight frown, as if he was slightly disappointed. Molly always doesn't like it how the name of his mother can change the mood of things so drastically.  "Yes, she's in her normal headquarters, you know where she is."

"Thank you."

Before Molly to turn and face the direction,  Gustav had him by the shoulder. "Hey" He had the tone of a wise father. It reminded of Molly when he would've always used when he was little and asked so many questions about the world. "Stay strong, don't let them get to you."

Molly smiled, patting Gustav's hand before it dropped. "Of course, who would I be if did?"

Then walked to the back door.

 

 

---

 

Her office was white and grey, too much shading and not enough colors. 

He stood in front of the office. He noticed the Moonweaver wasn't here and decided to look around. He sat down in the chair in front of a black fancy desk where a view of the city could be seen for a few hundred yards. It reminded Molly too much of a therapy office as two long black leathery couches are placed in front of the desk with a glass coffee table in the middle. Book shelves were on each side of the wall. Molly rearranged some books that he knew his mom wouldn't like seeing them being touched while he waited for the Moonweaver.

A few minutes later after glancing through the books placing them in their new spot, Molly heard the sound of the door opening. He turned his head to see a tall and beautiful dark blue drow figure. Her hair was in a beautiful white braid running down all the way to her hips as her white pupilless eyes look at Molly with a soft smile. She wore a professional black business suit and black high heels. 

"Lucien, my son. I thought you would've ignored my message."

Molly huffed in annoyance when Moonweaver knew full well that his name wasn't Lucien anymore. "You know I don't want to be called that, and yeah well... It seemed like we've haven't talked to a while... You can thank my friends for that."

Molly looked at her with a tight smile, not trying to hide how much he wasn't enjoying this.

"And with that, I am grateful, Lucien." Molly felt his hands turn into fist as he held down his tongue with great effort. He watches her slowly walk up to the desk and sit down in the chair. "It has been a while since we've talked to each other like this and I... " She fiddled with her fingers. Molly raised an eyebrow, since when does the Moonweaver get nervous? "I miss you, my dear Lucien,  and I want to build on this bond-"

"Well, for starters if you really want to have a bond with your son, maybe consider calling him by his real name, which is  Mollymauk." Molly made sure to empathize his name as he walked to sit down on the couch, letting go of his tongue.  "I am not your small boy whose been afraid for the most of his life, not anymore. Who ever that was, he's long dead. I am Mollymauk Tealeaf now,  and you should respect my choices for being me."

His tone was calm and collected to his mouth but his words were made of fire. Molly felt a smirk slowly creeping onto his lips at his mothers distasteful look.

The fiddling with her fingers stopped,  the Moonweaver's eyes squinted and her mouth was pulled in a slight frown. "... Mollymauk. " She had a slight distasteat his name and Molly tried his best to not grit his teeth.

Cool your temper Mollymauk , this is what she wants.

He took a few silent breaths before listening to the Moonweaver again.

"How was the mission, did it go well?"

Wow,  great way to try and start a bond with your kid. Mollymauk thought sarcastically,  slightly rolling his eyes. "Another dead end, the group didn't know who they worked for."

"Any witnesses?"

"No."

"Did anyone see you?"

This was all seemingly like she's trying her best to insult him more than she already was. "No, mother." He gritted his teeth. "Like I said I killed them all."

It's not like he wanted to kill the man that he harmed last night. If it were his choice Molly would've had set him free, but the Moonweaver would know. The last time he tried to set a man free...

Molly slowly rubbed the mark on his finger instinctively at the thought of the last time he left a survivor. It's the only tattoo that he despises on his body.

"Hm... " His mother replied,  pulling out a file of papers as Molly couldn't help but feel a little bit of anger steaming up in his chest. "Well,  you've certainly attracted the police around. We'll have to work on that."

"Huh, so no 'Good job son,  you cleared the whole base by yourself! ' or 'Nice job on not leading the police onto you!'? "

She carefully closed the files and put them away. Her face was still as she shown no reaction to the insult Molly has tried to tell her. This only made him more annoyed, the itch to wreck the whole place just to get a reaction or some sort of emotion from her was eating him alive.

"The police are getting closer to your trail due to your recklessness Luci-....Mollymauk."

Molly opened his mouth up to say something but closed it back up. At least she was trying to actually use his name now.

"We cannot have anymore accidents where the more you go out on the mission the more police will come. You need to place yourself high in society if you want to have a chance to blend in with the crowd."

Molly couldn't help but laugh. "I don't know if you actually know me mother, but I can't exactly... " He gestures to himself "blend in,  if you know what I mean."

"I know." Her tone was flat like she was implying to Mollymauk that she doesn't need a reminder.

"Which is why I think you should consider working here at the Louvé Shatoe until you earn publicity and wait until the most recent mission has subsided."

"I thought being put up with the whole 'Self disguise' thing was to prevent from doing all of that?"

"Gaining popularity from society is like an invisible barrier. If many people love you the police are going to have a harder time trying to put you in jail. Society will do wonderous things for others who are high on the pedestal of fame and fortin. You will still have to use your glamour when you go on missions." The Moonweaver said firmly. "When you are walking around the streets or preforming to an audience, you are Mollymauk. When you are out on the field you are-"

"-Lucien."

"Exactly."

She had a very faint smile placed in her lips. Satisfied that Molly and her actually agreed on something when from the other side it was far from the truth. 

"And if I don't want to perform here...? " Molly could probably guess what would happen if he didn't, but he would like to think that he has at least 2 choices for this.

"Then you will be coming with me to Rexxentrum to be my bodyguard while I form a partnership with the Ikithon family."

"What?" Mollymauk did not suspect this. He thought would be "grounded" Or something along the lines like that.  "Why me? Couldn't Cookie or Waffle come with you?"

"They will, if you don't agree to come with me." She stands up from her chair and watching the busy cars below them. Molly almost sighed in annoyance of how dramatic his mom was being, until he realized that he was as much of a dramatic ass as her.

"Besides,  this will be good practice for the good of your people when you take my place."

Molly's eyes widened, this was definitely not what he was expecting. "Woah, woah wait,  slow down." He nervously chuckled, quickly standing up from the couch and walking to the desk to face his mother. "What do you mean your place?"

"Lucien-"

"Mollymauk"

"Molly" She looked at him with stern glare. "You are getting to the age of taking over the family business. Of course,  you will have support from me but you need to take on the role to take on our family's name."

"I'm sorry to burst your bubble but I am no leader." Molly laughed. "I mean, every once a week it seems like I have break at least one heart and as you said, I am being too reckless on my missions and-"

"Which is why I am going to be moving you to Xhorhas in 6 months."

For a second, time stopped around Molly. He stared at Moonweaver for what it seemed like an eternity before laughing it off. "You can't be-"

"Yes, I am. You will be known as Lucien and not as... Mollymauk when you are over there. You will be there to learn and train about our family's past, like my father before me. I have already set up a private jet for you when-"

"I can't fucking believe this..." Molly scuffed. The Moonweaver actually seemed surprised that he was staring right back at her with a glare. "And just when I think we're actually getting along, you just... Just... " He tries to explain with random hand motions "You just pull this shit right out of your ass!  Why don't you even consider the things that I want!?"

"I thought you would've enjoyed this." Moonweaver tilted her head aside in confusion. "You've always wanted to travel and I thought-"

"This is nothing about traveling." He snapped. Keeping a level head be damned, she can't make him do this. "You can't just tell me where I need to go and just think I'll be okay with it!  Will I ever come back?  How long will that take?"

"It will depend on your training, but if you do well, only 3 years."

3 years...

3 years .

There was no way in hell that he was going to leave so be can just go to a family friendly boot camp. He likes it here and he wants to stay.

"Hell no." Molly growled. "I am not going to live there for three years cause of something you want me to do! You may think that this is for the best for me, but it isn't! Why can't you see what I want isn't exactly what you want?!"

"Lucien-"

"My name is MOLLYMAUK!"

His lips fell into harsh infernal with words full of fire. The office was silent when Molly uncontrollably unleashed a bit of vicious mockery. The moonweaver looked at Molly with a blank expression for a few minutes. For a second Molly felt a little pride to see how shocked the Moonweaver was until her lips replied with a more harsh and colder infernal tone. "You dare to use vicious mockery on me? Do you see how much of a child you are acting? You don't even how to control your own powers! This is why I am doing this! You will follow my rules and you will obey them. Are we clear?"  

Mollymauk looked down, but he didn't say anything. His body already frozen in fear by the harsh Infernal words of his mother it was as if she took his words and unleashed the spell on him. He then felt cold fingers under his chin, lifting his head up to come into eye to eye contact with the Moonweaver. Both of them dared not to look away. 

"I said," Moonweaver said slowly, the cold touch of her skin made Molly slightly flinch on how different their body temperatures were. "Are we clear?"

They stood like this for a few minutes, their eyes never blinking or looking away from each other. Molly silently swallowed, his Adams apple throbbing out of many emotions that were swarming inside him at the moment. "Yes... " It was quiet, his face held no emotion. Moonweaver seemed satisfied with his answer and let her fingers fall, Molly took a silent sigh of relief.

"Now," With a flick of a hand towards the entrance where Molly entered before, the two doors opened. "You may leave,  I'll see you in the future when I need you."

Mollymauk stormed out, without even looking back or saying goodbye.

He continued to walk out of the building until he walked up to Beau's white Camaro. She was waiting outside, leaning against the drivers side as she looked at Molly with a raised eyebrow. "So uh... I assumed your conversation didn't go so well."

"You can say that. " Molly looked up to see his mom looking down at him through the window. He gave her his middle finger as a goodbye before going into the shotgun.

Beau quickly went into the car after him, saying a quick "ah ha...kids will be kids" towards the guards before quickly going into the car herself and drove off. 

Back on the road, every once in a while Beau would glance at Molly while keeping her eye on the streets. " So uh... Do you want to... You know... Talk about it?"

With a deep sigh,  Molly turned on the radio in the car. The top 5 music were playing again for the second time this week. Molly turned the radio off again. "I would rather not, if that's okay with you..."

"Okay, just...remember what we talked about last night."

"I know it's just... " He look a deep sigh through his noise as he looked out of the window. "I need to think for a bit... That's all."

Bea hummed back a response as they drove into the middle of the city. According to Beau this cafe place that they were going to had the best coffee in the whole damn city. On the way there Beau described how cool the place and the staff there was. 

"It may be small but it's sure as hell good, and cheap! Their staff are pretty chill, I'm friends with one of them. I don't know if she's working today but, if she is maybe we can get a box of free donuts?" She glanced at Molly who still looked grumpy. "I can probably convince her to get one of those raspberry fillings that you strangely like... " A disgusted look quickly appeared on her face. "Man, I don't know how you like that shit."

"I beg your pardon but raspberry fillings are the saints of this world, have you ever consider even trying one?!"

"No, and I don't want to ever since I walked in on you with that Elvish man..." Beau had to stop talking for a minute so she could concentrate on the road and not throw up. She shuttered at the thought of the last time she walked into Molly during one is his "sessions".

"Fuck man, why a Long John? "

Molly shrugged, "The man had a...very Interesting kink."

"Ugh... " Despite Beau feeling very disgusted and disturbed right now, she had a smile on her face. Molly had his usual playful smile now and he seemed to be in a better mood. "That's probably the weirdest fucking kink that I know...and I know a lot."

"Hey, in this house we don't kink shame."

"Yeah, I know. I lived with you for 5 months, you kinda pick up on that shit."

They both laugh and talk a bit more until they had to park one block away from the cafe. They both got out of the car and walked along the sidewalk to their destination.

Molly knows the midtown city like the back of his hand. Him and his small gang would always come down and reek havoc by breaking in coffee shops or spray painting walls. "Speaking of coffee shops... " Molly mentioned. "Have you ever broken into this one before? "

Beau nodded. "Oh ya,  done it for a couple of months until I finally got caught. You see,  when I say that they are cool...they are really cool. When I got caught they didn't beat me out of the building or called the cops on me. There's a firbolg there, her name is Nila. She's pretty weird at first but really sweet once you get to know her.  Anyways, she offered me some more food, probably thought I was a homeless person."

Molly snorted at the thought of Beau being homeless.

"-Don't know if she still thinks about that,  but yeah she then scolded at me and basically did the parent equivalent to 'Don't brake into other people's Places,  you'll get caught' and that shit.' So I asked if I could just walk in form the back and take any left overs or any rejected piles if I wanted. You know what she said?"

"I'm sure I'll know soon."

"She said yes, which was pretty shocking considered I punched her in the face before all of that happened."

Beau continued to talk about the people in the Goodberry cafe as they walked. He quickly added all of this new information in his brain. "Around this time I normally get donuts anyways, so do you wanna go around the back? I can introduce you to Nila if she's there today, if not then definitely Jester."

"I'm assuming that Jester is your other friend that you mentioned earlier?"

"Oh yea, forgot to tell you about her. Basically,  she's just like you except blue and wayyy more innocent. I'm almost 95% sure you two will get along just fine."

"Wait, she's a Tiefling?" Molly's tail swayed behind him like an excited puppy. It's been a while since he has meet another Tiefling before. Sadly,  there are not many of them around these parts. "Well why didn't you say something earlier?!  I would've loved to meet her!"

"Yeah well, kinda only meet her a couple of months ago,  but I've been planning to introduce her to you guys sooner or later for a while now. So why not now?"

"Fair point."

By the time the conversation ended, they could see a sign on top of the building of what Molly assumed to be the Goodberry Cafe.  "Lead the way my dear ol' unpleasant one." He gave a small dramatic bow to Beauregard. 

Beau slapped him on the arm before giving the middle finger. "Come on, its this way."

Molly followed Beau into an alleyway. The smell of garbage and dead rats instantly filled his noise as he tried to not think about how the air tasted like shit. Thankfully, it was only for a few seconds before Beauregard found the back door of the building.

"The door should be unlocked so we can walk right into the building." The door was old and rusted due to years of neglect. If anything, Molly would've thought that this was a back door to a butcher's place or something not along the lines of a small and cute cafe.

With ease,  Beauregard opened the door. On the other side it seemed like the total opposite from the old rustic colors on the outside. It was as if Molly and Beau were stepping through a dimensional door.

The duo walked in, while Molly took in to see the beautiful painting on the wall of pastries and sweets, Beauregard was calling for her friend whose name is apparently "Jester". 

In the background, showed a magical land with hamsters that had unicorn horns on their foreheads as the land of pastries and sweets surrounded them. Molly gave out a small chuckle when it reminded of him the game Candy Land.

That was the only colorful thing on the wall in the small room as the rest of it was all plan white. On the opposite side of the wall there was an old brown two man leather couch.

"This is the break room for employees,  Jester likes to paint shit so she painted this." Beau pointed at the moral on the wall. 

"It's quite beautiful." Molly stepped closer to look at the more finer details in the painting. "How long did this take?  And-" He frowned and squinted at a tiny Easter egg. The closer he got, the more of his suspicion was confirmed, he laughed. "Is that a dick in the corner of the painting?"

"Yeah, she most likely- MOLLY!"

Before he could react, the last thing Molly turned around to see was a giant frypan flying at his face.

 

Chapter Text

It all happened so fast. Before Beauregard could react, Molly was hit in the face with a giant frying pan as he fell down on the ground unconscious.

She quickly went into her fighting position, putting on patience and defence as she turned to see who their attacker was. 

Who stood at the door seemed like a 25 year old man. His hand stretched out, shaking as he looked at Beau with sharp blue eyes. He had long red messy hair with a scruffy beard and was wearing the uniform that Jester always wears when she works here, without all the glitter or sparkles. 

"Who are you?" He had a thick zemnian accent, despite him sounding calm, cool, collected, and a little bit Intimidating, his hands shook ferociously. "You shouldn't be here, leave."

"I could say the same thing about you," Beau said with a snarky tone. She glanced down at Molly to see his chest rising and falling at a normal rate. At least he's okay

She looked back at Molly's attacker with a gritty expression. "Using magic huh? Pretty sure you can get arrested for that." 

"Ja well, your kinda breaking an entering, so I think it's safe to say it cancels out on this one. You didn't answer my question." Beau sees his hand slowly moving towards his back pocket. So he's a wizard... 

"Why are you here?" 

"I can say the same thing!" Beau responded quickly, trying to pull up any bullshit out of her ass to try and buy time. This only caused to be responded by a confused look on the zemnian dude. "What are you...doing..here? " She slowly realized on how stupid the question was and tried not to cringe on what she was doing right now. Of course he's knows, he works here

"...I work here...?" He said echoing Beau's thoughts, as if it were obvious. "That's...thats why...you.."Caleb shook his head, shoving the confusion to the side. "Whatever, you'll be going to jail anyways-"

"Wait!"

Before Caleb could bring out the molasses, Jester stood in front of him. Arms out wide to protect the intruder from Caleb. He couldn't help but slightly flinch. 

Caleb quickly dropped his arm down, looking at Jester in confusion. "J-jester.. ? Was- w-what are you doing? "

"She's a friend! Don't fight!"

 Beau slowly brought her hands down when she saw Caleb and Jester do the same. "I'm sooo sorry I didn't tell you earlier, but this is a friend, her name is Beau and she's like really cool. She can do, like really cool monk moves and other badass things." Jester walked to the side and did a little jazz hand motion as she introduced the muscular woman behind her. 

Caleb can now fully analyze her as he hesitantly walks into the room. He feels very awkward, half of it just being not good with people in general, and the other half is that he almost used magic against Jesters mysterious friend. He gives her an awkward wave and takes in information about the monk from her stance. 

Just by the way she stood, Caleb could diagnosed that she was fierce and abrasive. She was young which causes her to be confident, reacts without thinking just by her short dialouge and is very loyal to the people she cared about, which leads her to be very brash. 

"Beau, this is Caleb! He's my best friend and we are like, really close. Like, we could be considered as siblings, you know?" 

For a minute, Beau stared up at Caleb. He was confused for a second to why she was staring at him like she ate a sour lemon before he realized she's analyzing me too.

Suddenly feeling out in the open and naked, he looked away from her aggressive blue eyes and looked down at the colorful tiefling instead. 

"Do you know this man as well?" 

Jester looked down at the purple tiefling with furrowed eyebrows, her bottom lips pucker up into confusion. "No, never seen him before, though he is a very handsome tiefling. Beau, do you know him?"

Caleb looked down at the unconscious purple tiefling. The unconscious stranger looked like a literal peacock, but it wasn't just because of how he had a tattoo of Peacock feathers running all the way up from his neck to the edge of his cheek bones, the jewelry that the tiefling was wearing as almost blinding to look at. The colorful jacket that he also wore was as if he took it straight out of the circus. Colorful symbols and shapes were slapped onto the sweater sized jacket while the golden and silver rings on both of his fingers and horns strangely fit well with his choice of clothing. 

He felt his face heat up and looked down at his feet instead. Mentally cursing at himself for staring to long before getting his mind back on track and paying attention to what's around him. 

"Yeah, his names Mollymauk. He's my friend, I was going to introduce you to him until this hobo wizard came in and K.O'd him." Beau gestured towards Caleb, glaring at him while doing so. 

Caleb felt amused more than insulted, but doesn't show it. "I wasn't aware that you were Jester's friend, and for that I apologize for the inconvenience of what lead to your friend being unconscious on the floor right now." He pointed at the still unconscious Tiefling who was named Mollymauk. "Which, I might add, can we place him on the couch so Jester can check up and heal him to make sure he's alright?" 

Beau stared at him before looking down at Molly's unconscious form then looking back to Caleb, as if she was considering to actually to agree with him or not. 

"Fine."

When Caleb tried to help pick Molly up, Beau stepped in with an arm stretched out across his face. 

"I can do it."

For a second, Caleb had a doubtful look on his face until Beauregard picked up Molly's form effortlessly onto her shoulders, fireman style. He was impressed by how strong Beau was despite Molly being way teller than her. Caleb watched as she flopped Molly onto his back on the couch. 

Once Molly laid on the couch Jester swooped into action. She first checked for his pulse, then looked in his hair to find if any bumps formed from the impact of the pan. There was only a bruise on the side of Molly's face slowly forming into an ugly grayish brownish color on the right side of his cheekbone. Luckily, for the tiefling Jester had her own set of powers too and healed Molly quickly. Caleb watched as the bruise slowly started disappearing to be replaced by the lavender skin on Molly's face. 

Caleb couldn't help but feel slightly guilty that he got someone hurt from his magic, even if it was reasonable for his actions. 

Still...He thought, there were better ways to handle the situation other than to use magic. 

Again. A part of his mind reminded him, echoing truth. You've harmed someone again when you promised you wouldn't... That makes you a monster. 

"W-why did you go to the back and not the front of the counter?" Caleb try to push the thoughts to the back of his mind with something else. "I-i mean... This whole thing would have been avoided if you were to say you were one of Jester's friends. I would've been happy to retrieve her for you."

"Yeah well," Beau watched over Jester as she leaned against the wall on her side with her arms crossed. "Me and Molly aren't really normal people... To say at least."

Caleb raised his eyebrow as he looked up from the still unconscious Mollymauk. He didn't know what Beau meant but decided to not ask anymore questions. "That still doesn't explain why you did it."

"Normally Beau comes in from the back once in a while to eat all of our leftovers or our rejected batch." Jester explained, looking up at Beauregard as she smirked. "After when she actually tried to break in here."

"Was?" Caleb looked back at Beau with disbelief until Beau shrugged in conformation. 

"I was really hungry and it was late."

"B-but there are better ways to-"

"Ooh guys!" Jester squeaked, her eyes showing excitement as she looked at both of them with a smirk on her face. "I think our fancy friend is waking up!"

---

 

At first, Molly could only hear voices, his eyes we're swimming in the dark. He could feel the cold yet comfortable cushions of a comforter as he tries to remember where he was. 

"Guys! Hurry we should, like...do something before he wakes up!"

The voice was high pitch and laced with mischievous intentions. 

He doesn't know that voice, and quickly feels his heart rising. He started to feel himself slowly breathing in small short breaths. 

"Like what?" 

For a minute he holds his breath again, hearing another voice. He knows that voice, it's Beau. He felt himself quickly relax when he slowly unfold his hands from a tight drip on his jacket. So he's still in the bakery and not somewhere else where he doesn't remember, good. 

"Hmm... Maybe just a little... "

"Nein, Jester you are not going to draw a dick on this man's forehead." 

After everything that has happened for the past 10 seconds, the one emotion that Molly could finally settle on was confusion. This voice was also new. It was more heavy with an accent and sounded a lot deeper than the last two, a man

Finally, after deciding that the three voices waited long enough, he slowly opened his eyes. 

The first thing he sees other than the white blinding lights from above, we're two beautiful light blue crystallised eyes. 

"Ahh..." The man with the blue eyes said, awkwardly looked away as he fiddled with his sleeves. "Hallo."

Molly doesn't know whether to look away or not.

".. Hi." 

The man kneeling down to couch level had long messy red hair with a scruffy beard that was in between a peach fuzz and an actual beard, which strangely looked good on him. He looked like he had been out in the streets himself for years then decided to go to work. His eyes were bloodshot and baggy with dark folds of skin underneath his eyelids, as if he were a college student who hasn't slept for a week straight cause they were stressed over finals. His skin had a white pale icing tone with tiny red freckles dashed faintly across his cheeks and arms with dirty grime and sweat on them. If Molly were to be perfectly honest he would've thought that this man was an actual homeless person. 

Yet, despite everything that he just thought, he couldn't help but be charmed by the mysterious man with an accent. 

Huh... He has beautiful eyes. Molly thought, he continued to look up at the man who's checks started to burn red and looked away from him. Which was a pity to Molly, he rather enjoyed looking at them. 

"Uhhh...T-Thank you...? Beauregard, I think your friend still might be a little bit delusional... "

Molly's eyes widen as he felt his body go still. Quickly his face started to heat up in embarrassment. Shit, did I say that out loud? 

He stood straight up, looking down at the man trying to find rack up an excuse to only find none. "I...uh..." Molly was sure enough now that his face was on fire just by the smug look Beau was giving him. 

"Hi Molly!" A blue female tiefling took his attention away from the other man, Molly would have to thank her for that later. "I'm Jester." She pointed at herself with a smile before pointing at the man who also seemed to be uncomfortable with the whole situation. "And that's Caleb!" 

Caleb glanced up at him for a second before avoiding his gaze again, giving him a little smile. Molly tried his best not for feel that small punch in his gut. 

"Ah, so your the wonderful tiefling Beau has told me about." Molly turned his attention towards the energetic blue tiefling. Her hair was cut off an inch past her jawline with a small hair bun at the back of her head. Her purple eyes stared at Molly with a mischievous glance that he knows well enough that they were going to get along just fine. "Beauregard has told me so much about you. I was starting to think she was replacing me so I had to see if you were as amazing as Beau said. From what I can see now, I have a little competition ahead of me."

"Well, of course! I'm like, the best best friend to be around with. I mean, Caleb here," Caleb's head turn towards Jester at the sound of his name. 

"He's normally a quiet dick that stands in the corner at parties thinking can no one can see him. He said he has no emotions but I think he just really wants to be loved but he doesn't know how, so that's why we are like, really good friends and-"

"J-jester, n-nein... That's not... " Caleb, who's face was red out of embarrassment instead of flattery this time, covered his face with his hands. He tried to block out all of the eyes that were looking at him in the room. "T-thats not what it is... I.. I just don't... " He can see his voice going quieter and softer every minute as he tries to sputter something out. "....I'm just..Not..Good with people."

"You seemed fine when you were about to beat up Beau." Jester intervened, tilting her head to the side a little in confusion. 

"N-nein...thats not...thats not what I meant... Ah... " Caleb's attention was on the floor now, his hands away from his face when he noticed how badly he was shaking. 

"Caleb..?" Jesters voice was replaced with worry, she gently placed a hand on one of his shaking ones. "Caleb are you okay..? Your hands are like... Really clammy and gross." 

"I..." Caleb closed his eyes, he dared not to look up to see what the strangers were thinking of him. He felt this throat getting weaker. 

Weak, he thought of himself, you shouldn't be having a anxiety attack in front strangers already. This is unprofessional. 

"...ja." He manages to croak out after a few minutes. He takes a chance to look up and immediately regrets the decision when he sees the concern looks of Mollymauk and Beauregard. The spotlight is now on him and he feels like he's going to throw up with eyes surrounding him. "I'm going to go now... "

Before Jester could grab Caleb's hand and to tell him to wait, he was already out of the door. 

Both Molly and Beauregard has never seen someone rush out if the door has quickly as Caleb did before. Jester had a sad yet understanding look as her gaze lingered at the door for a few minutes. 

The room was silent, the air was so think Molly was starting to feel like he could choke in it too. 

"So... Uh... Is he okay? " Beau ask, her chest growing to be more concerned while Molly's ached out of sympathy. 

 Jester sighed as she looked back to the concerned duo. "He has...A lot of social anxiety and... He sometimes gets overwhelmed with things like this." She started to bite one of her nails, out of habit, perhaps. "I just really wish he can come out of his shell and accept that no one is going to judge him. He's a really sweet guy once you get to know him... Really, it just... Takes time." 

"I'm sure he is dear." Molly gently placed a hand on Jesters shoulder. "He'll warm up to us in no time. We're a pretty interesting bunch."

Jester smiled. "Do you guys want some donuts? It's almost 12 so you guys must be really hungry."

"Starving" Beau interjected, standing straight up from the wall. "Maybe you can also tell Molly about how you draw dicks everywhere you go while we eat too."

"Ah, so it was you who painted the dick on the painting." Molly stood up from the couch. "You draw wonderful dicks, by the way." 

"Thank you! I worked like, really hard on the painting. It was so hard." Jester stood up and begin to walk out of the door, she looked back at Molly and Beau with a smirk. "I have so many dicks drawn around here, Caleb doesn't even know all of them."

"Oh I am sure, you seem to be a very  adventurous troublemaker. Say, how many dicks have you-"

Jester shh'd Molly before he could say anything else. She giggled at Molly's confusion. "Don't tell Caleb, he'll get mad and try to make me wash all of the dicks off from the walls. Which would like, totally suck and I really don't want to search for all of them." 

"How about a deal?" 

Jester looked at Molly with a raised eyebrow. "I won't tell Caleb about there being more dicks... If you agree that this is now a partner in crime relationship and you and I shall reek havoc around the city by drawing dicks everywhere?"

He takes out a hand for Jester to shake, and she gladly accepts it. "Deal."

"I'm starting to realize that this was a bad idea... " Beau groaned, rubbing her forehead from the headache that was already forming in her head. "Shouldn't of mentioned that I had another chaotic friend as well."

"Oh you won't regret this dear, I'm sure if it." Molly promised, placing an arm around Jesters shoulders as she happily accepts it. She places a hand on her hip as she sassily looked at Beau, Molly smirked seeing how uncomfortable Beau was getting. "I actually think this is the best decision you've ever made, if I'm perfectly honest."

"Which makes this the worst decision I've ever made."

"Aww, but Beauuu." Jester whined, "think about all of the sleepovers we can have together, we can braid each other's hairrr, paint each other's naillllls..." Beau almost gagged on that. "..watch a scary moviiieee, prank call random peoplleeee..." Jester leaned forward and Molly quickly followed.

"Tell each other's deepest secrets... "

Beau wouldn't admit it but she was little disturbed to find the fact that both of her tiefling friends both have that mischievous smile that gives off energy that they were up to no good.

"I'm already starting to regret this decision."

"Darling, you should've seen the outcome the minute you thought of it." Molly laughed. "Look at the bright side here dear, you don't have to dwell on any more shopping trips anymore."

Jester gasped, her eyes in a stary gaze. "Ooohhhh! We can go shopping for some jewelryyyy, skirtsss, dressess-"

"Yeah yeah, ok this sounds great and all, but Im really fucking hungry right now so can we talk about this while I have a donut in my hand?" 

"Oh yeah sure! But we've got to do it while I'm working behind the counter. I'm like way past my break time and Caleb would be wondering where I am."

Jester lead Molly and Beau into the kitchen where she left them to their own devices. She quickly walked out to start working, but not before yelling a warning at the duo. "I'm going to be behind the cash register so don't screw anything up okay? Nila will get mad at me if she finds blueberry fillings all over the place again!"

"Yes mam!" Beau gave Jester a salute before the two of them started ravaging the piles of donuts in the corner of the kitchen. 

After a few minutes go by, Molly and Beau emerge from the kitchen with a handful of donuts and a mouthful of icing on their lips. They place all of the other donuts that were in their arms on the back counter where the coffee machines were and ate while watching Jester work. 

Beau kept trying to make Jester eat a donut by hovering it close to her face everytime she would try to talk to a costumer. Molly gave out a laugh when Jester tried to slap beau in the face with a Long John. "Stop trying to temp me with donuts!!"

The bickering of Beau and Jester slowly faded into the background as Molly found himself watching a certain red head walking around the cafe. Caleb was refilling drinks, picking up empty plates, cleaning tables, and taking orders like a normal waitress would do. His hair was now in a tight pony tail which made Molly wonder if he ever puts his hair up outside of work. 

He kept admiring Caleb from a far until he felt something pressing against his cheek. He turned around to see Jester looking at him with a smirk, holding out a donut which Molly happily accepted. "Mollllyyyy" Jester sang, causing Molly to look down at her with a playfully raised eyebrow. "Are you in love with Caleb...? "

Molly chuckles. "Well I've only just met him dear, you can't love someone you've just meet, it takes time." He looks back to see Caleb writing down an order for a female elf. He had a soft smile on his face which made Molly think that his smile looked nice with the sun beaming through the windows. "I do think he's rather attractive though, don't you think? But, to answer your question dear, no I do not."

Jesters lips formed into a slight pout and made a small disappointed noise, which caused Molly to look at her with a furrowed eyebrow. 

"Yeah, he is... "

"What, do you like him?" Molly ask, smirking as Jesters eyes widen in shock before making a lemon soured face. 

"What? eewwww, no I don't. Yeah, he may be attractive but he's always like, so smelly and not a touchy person. Plus, he's like a brother to me so that would be really weird if I liked him a lot. I just hopped that you liked him because he deserves happiness and you seem like a good guy...so..."

Molly's heart fluttered, feeling flattered that Jester already trusted him as if he were an old dear friend. He understands now why Beau said she was a big sweet heart. "Oh dear... That's the sweetest thing someone has ever said to me, but this isn't a fairy tale where it's love at first sight. I'm not going to force someone into a relationship, have you seen those movies? Always ended in horrible ways, really." 

Jester laughed, her smile bright. She opened her mouth to say something until she looked past Molly. Her faced formed into a slight frowned as she gave out an annoyed groan. "Not these stupid people again, they always come here and terrorise costumers."

Molly turned around to see what Jester was talking about, his demeter changed as well when he notices the trio who walked through the door. 

The group that stood by the door looked like a group of stereotypical high school biker boys from the 1980's. Black leather jackets, ripped blue jeans and white shirts. Their black hiking boots make heavy sounds as each foot takes another step towards a table, as if they didn't already had the attention of most of the people in the cafe. It was as if their boots show off an aura of "don't fuck with us."

It was pitiful, to Molly really, and highly annoying. 

"Hey, what's-" Realizing the mood around the area has changed, Beau looked at where both Jester and Molly were looking before giving out an annoyed grunt. "Aw, goddammit really? These assholes?"

Jester looked between Beau and Molly in surprise. "Wait, you guys know them?"

"Sadly enough, yes." Molly sighed, being in a Mob where your mom is the boss makes you take notes on who leads and what kind of gangs live around here. "That's the Azure gang. Highly dramatic around everything and everyone, and they all can't seem to find out that it's the 20th century. They're a small group, depending on which parts of the city though. They're like the coyotes around these parts, scavenge for things here and there. Treating everyone with disrespect, threat people at gun point, steal from the poor. You know, those normal 'hey kid, give me all of your money' Kind of guys. So basically, children thinking like they rule over everyone else."

Jester looked up at Molly with a bewildered state. "You certainly know a lot about this gang... "

Molly couldn't see but he can tell that Beau was looking straight at him. "Oh, I've lived on the streets for a while before I picked myself back up again." Lying to Molly was almost as easy as breathing for him, but that doesn't stop him from feeling slightly guilty. "They were one of the gangs that would normally... You know... " He sighs. "There are reasons why you don't normally see homeless down around where gangs are normally at."

Jester nodded, looking at Molly with a expression full on sympathy, he could've sworn he saw tears in her eyes. "Molly thats-"

A clash of empty trays and dishes fell into the floor as the whole cafe stopped to look at the destruction of the sound. 

"Hey! Watch where your going! "

"I-im sorry."

Molly's head instantly turned towards the sound of Caleb's voice. What he saw was Caleb standing over a couple of broken plates and glasses as he held one arm in his hand. One of the gang members was towering over him like a angry bull. The human was bald and had scorching fiery brown eyes that could almost be considered red. He was big and round but strong as Molly saw Caleb stumble backwards onto the floor. 

"You better be...hey... " The gang member nudged Caleb roughly with his boot on his shoulder. 

Caleb stumbled a bit, his right arm landing into the sharp shards of broken glass as he winced in pain. He still dared not to look up at the intimidating man as he tried his best to clean up the mess with his shaking hands. 

"Hey, I'm talking to you!"

Caleb still didn't dare to look up at his offenders. Molly felt his chest tighten with a feeling that he never felt before when he saw something sticking out from the wraps on Caleb's arm. Something red was slowly peaking up from the white wraps around what it seemed to be like a glass shard sticking up from his skin. He's bleeding. 

Molly couldn't contain a growl from under his throat as he watched what was happening. Beau tried to restrain him by grabbing his arm but he quickly shrugged it off, walking towards Caleb and the Azure gang members.

"You know, it's rude for someone to not look at them when they're talking." 

The Azure member picked Caleb up roughly by his left arm. Caleb gave out a small panic gasp as he tried to break free from the gang members iron grip. The broken glass pieces that Caleb held in his hands were now back on the floor, some if them broke into even more smaller shards. 

Caleb can feel the hot musty smell of the gang members breath as the Azure leaned in close to his face. 

"Next time, look where you're going."

Caleb's whole body started to shake, he looked around frantically to see if anyone was around him. The feeling of a rock weighing down his heart felt strong when he realized the other customers who were there now left. All there was only now were the man in front of him and the two side kicks by his side. 

"I said..Do you understand...?"

Before Caleb could speak, a voice came from behind him. 

"I think this kind gentleman had enough trouble from you for one day. Let him go." 

 

Chapter Text

 

"Let him go."

 

The azure gang members looked to see Molly standing behind Caleb. His hands were in the pockets of his jacket. Trying to act as if he was unfazed by these burly people. "I mean, the boy did apologize to you, why don't you just... Let him go and be on your merry way?" His voice was calm and collective. He even had a slight smirk on his lips as he notices Caleb looking back at him in bewilderment. Molly may sound like he doesn't care in the world, but his tail betrays him as it swishes side to side nervously behind him. 

The man, who still held Caleb by the arm, chuckled. "Or what...?"

"Well, me and my lovely friends here will most likely call the cops on you for disrupting peace and threatening a poor citizen, who was just minding their own business I might add. So my dear friend, I think it's only fair that you hand over the man to me and just walk away like this thing never happened.

The words on Molly's mouth was smooth and warm like honey, he felt his tongue linger out of his mouth like a snake for a few minutes before he felt the effect taking over the azure member that was holding Caleb.

At first, Molly saw the azure gang members eyes slowly gleam. The man's body relaxed as the grip on Caleb loosened a bit. He watches at the man grunts in conformation before throwing Caleb into Mollymauk's arms. "Fine, but if I see him anywhere around here again... "

"Oh, I'm sure we can find a compromise for that." Once Caleb was out of the Azures grip, Molly quickly moved him behind his back. "Now with our deal being settled, I highly suggest that you walk out of this facility." 

The azure member nodded, leaving the two behind him speechless. They looked at each other but said nothing, glaring down Mollymauk as their leader calmly walked out of the cafe. 

"Well go on! Don't want to keep your buddy waiting." Molly made a shooing motion with his hands, a smirk on his lips. 

He felt his jacket tighten by Caleb's grip. His hand started to slowly hover over to Caleb's side in a slight protective stance. Molly's heart was pounding and made a silent plea that the two other azure gang members would follow their leaders orders. 

They both whispered to each other for a few minutes while staring at Mollymauk. Beau and Jester looked like they were ready to fight if anything went wrong. Despite the air being so thick with tension that it could be sliced with a knife, Molly stood tall. He held his ground as much as he could, despite wanting to take themselves far away from the sudden danger. 

"Oh for fuck sakes, just GO!" Using a bit of Infernal seemed to do the trick. Their eyes widen in fear and quickly they both rushed out if the door. 

The cafe was silent after that. It didn't feel good or bad it just felt...empty, as if any signs of life have seen sucked right out of this place. 

No one reacted until Jester quickly ran up to the door and turned the sign from 'OPEN' to 'CLOSED'. 

Molly took a huge sigh of relief once he knew for sure that they were gone. "Hey." He turned around, looking at Caleb with concern. "You alright?"

He went to grab Caleb's injured hand but Caleb pulled back before Molly could even do it. "J-ja... I'm fine..Danke Mollymauk."

"Are you sure?" Molly raised an eyebrow, the concern in his chest only grew. "There's kinda glass embedded into your skin.. "

Caleb looked down at his arm, his body froze at the sight of it. Molly assumed that the shock must've made Caleb not think of the injury. He kept staring at the sharp glass puncturing his arm.

"Oh..." Caleb's voice was hollow, his face holding no emotion as the blood slowly spread through the bandages. Molly felt himself froze up for a second when he heard Caleb's words in an empty tone. It reminded him too much of what happened long ago that he so desperately tried to bury and leave behind. He quickly pulled himself out of his thoughts when he noticed that Caleb was slightly swaying. 

Molly quickly grabbed him by the shoulders, gently placing him on a chair that was left opened by a fleeing costumer. "Hey! You still there buddy?"

He places the back of his palm on Caleb's forehead, and his heart quickens when he feels how cold and clammy Caleb's skin felt. 

He tries to shake Caleb out of his daze. Molly only received a small faint sound in the back of Caleb's throat while he continues to stare at his bleeding arm, his body stiff as a board. 

Quickly, Jester steps beside Molly to see the damage. She shoos Molly away so she could deal with the injury, with gentle care she grabs and held Caleb's arm. 

Molly and Beau stood in the background, watching Jester slowly unwrap the wraps that was secured tightly around Caleb's injured arm. Caleb mumbled something under his breath that formed into a small whine, trying to pull his grip away from Jester. Molly couldn't hear what she said but she seemed to be trying her best to comfort him, she looked back at the two of them. "I got it from here, I think it would be best for you guys to go." 

"Are you sure..? I mean.. Is there any way that we can help? Maybe get some new bandages?" Beau tilts to the side to see the torn up bandage loosely hanging on Caleb's arm. "His arm looks pretty fucked up."

"Yeah, don't worry, I can use with my special powers." Jester wiggles her fingers at Beau and Molly as if she were casting a spell. "We also got plenty of bandages here for him, he normally gets hurt on accident almost all the time so this won't be difficult. He's just like, a really clumsy guy to begin with." 

"Okay...you'll be sure to call us when we he's alright?"

Jester nodded. "Of course, which reminds me!" She turns around to fish out her phone and hands it over to Molly. "Put your number in my phone, so we can text each other! Maybe even discuss a few shopping trips?"

"Oh that would be lovely dear, but would you also mind telling me when Caleb is alright? I'll probably return here to check up on him." Molly looks back at the messy red head in the chair, who was still in a shell sock stage. "Tell me, does he often get in a... state like this?"

Jester fiddled with her fingers. "Sometimes... When there's a gun shot or fire. I'm just not sure of why or how but... He's trying his best to try and get some professional help. Me and Cad are trying to get him to see a therapist to help him with his anxiety and panic attacks."

"I'm assuming Cad is another friend?"

Jester nodded, then pointed at the bookstore across from the cafe. "Cad works voluntarily at the bookstore over there. You can probably talk to him if he's still there."

"I'm sure we'll cross paths sometime, but thank you dear." Molly hands back jesters phone one they were done exchanging numbers. "Well, I think me and Beau sadly have to leave anyways. It was wonderful meeting you Jester."

Molly opened up his arms out for a hug which Jester happily accepted. He couldn't help but let out a tiny squeak as he felt jester give him the tightest hug in the world. She lifted him up from the ground for a few seconds and Molly was for sure that he felt is back break when he heard a pop. He was surprised to feel how strong jester given that she looks like a damsel in distress. 

After a few minutes of trying to not get his ribs crushed by the strength of jesters hugs, she broke the connection and moved on to Beau. 

"Ow...So.. " Beau tried to take in a few breaths on after being squished by Jester. "We'll see you later? " 

Jester nodded, saying their goodbyes before Beau and Molly started to walk out. 

"Oh! Before we go... " Molly walks up over to Jester, who had just retrieved a medical kit from the bottom of the drawer where the cash register sits on. He quickly fishes out 4 gold pieces from his pocket and hands them to Jester, who stares at him with eyes the size of large dinner plates. "Two for you and two for Caleb. Try not to work yourself too hard, alright?" 

Jester stared at the 4 gold pieces in her hand before placing them into one of her pockets. "Of course."

"Wonderful, oh and make sure to tell the poor lad to get some rest. Maybe take a day off from work hm?"

"Yeah, if he ever agrees to it." Jester grumbled. "One time he was like, really sick and he still went to work! He kept saying he was fine until Caduceus and Nila both convinced him to go home early." 

"Hmm, well I'll be back to check up on you two then sometime. I'll see you later Jester."

"You too!"

____

 

When Caleb slowly crawled back to reality, Jester was already wrapping a new bandage on his arm. The bloody glass shard laid right next to him on a table that jester pulled up. 

"You were really lucky that you've had the bandage on Caleb." Jester spoke, still focusing on her task. She made sure the wrapping was tight and secured before cleaning up. "You probably would've had like, a lot more cuts and you would probably had to go to the ER if you didn't had the wraps."

Caleb stayed silent, his throat clogged by the swarming fear inside of him. His ears still ring the sounds of himself pleading and the sound of the man's voice. Cold, calculating, and to when Caleb thought of it at first sugar to the tongue was really salt to a wound. 

"Sie sind besser als das, diese ist nichts, es ist zu eurem eigenen gut.. "

"N-nein, nein, b-bitte hör auf, lass es aufhören es tut weh!"

"Das wolltest diese, bist das schwach?"

"E-es tut weh... B-itte vater, erbarme dich bitte! Hol es raus!"

"Nein...das ist jetzt eine Strafe, lerne aus deinen Fehlern, Junge."

"Nein... Nein nein nein vater, es tut mir so leid, ich werde es machen! Ich kann es schaffen! Bitte!"

"Platz in mehr, er muss gelehrt werden eine Lektion." 

"N-nein, NEIN! VERGEBUNG VATER BITTE VERGEBUNG!" 

 

"HOL ES RAUS! HOL ES RAUS!"

Caleb flinches when Jester gently places a hand on his shoulder. The echos of his scream were slowly dissipating away but his heart was still beating wildly like prey being hunted. He quickly grabbed his newly bandage arm and pulled it close to his chest, his breathing irregular as he clumsy tries to scratch the phantom pains away. Trying to rip away the nonexistent shards in his arm, his mind screamed for the pain to go away. 

Get them out. 

Get them out. 

"Oh... Caleb." Jester carefully brings Caleb's scratching to a stop from his arm, she held his hand. "Shhhh... It's okay, slow down, take deep breaths"

For a few minutes, Jester being ever so patiently, helps Caleb slowly gain his breath. He was still in the water, just not drowning at the moment. 

"That's it Caleb, now breath in... "

He takes in a shaky breath. 

"Hold it, slowly count to 10."

Holding his breath, his brain was slowly calming down. He looked down at Jesters feet to help himself stay grounded.

"Good, now slowly breath out, still counting to 10."

Caleb exhales. 

This lasted for 20 minutes, Jester helping Caleb into a normal heart rate, with each inhale and exhale Caleb slowly regains control again. 

Within the next few minutes Caleb was able to breath on his own. 

Jester and Caleb now sat in silence. 

"You really need to get help, Caleb"

Caleb forced out a light chuckle, his arms instinctively wrapping around his own torso. "Danke..Jester... "

"Do you know what time it is? You don't have to say it out loud."

He looked at the clock near the door to the right.

3:40...fast Zeit zu gehen...(almost time to go..) 

"Est drei vierzing" (It's three forty) 

"I don't know what that means Caleb, but I'm going to assume you said the time."

Caleb nodded, swallowing down air as if it were a giant pill. "J-ja -I-i mean... " He shook his head, squeezing his eyes shut for a couple of seconds. A fragile sigh escaped from his lips as Jester gently patted his knee in assurance. "I mean...yeah... Thank you, Jester."

"Of course, but...you know I was being serious Caleb."

"Ja, I know... "

"It's not all bad Caleb." Jesters voice was still soft, and now firmed, as if a teacher was talking to a student. "I know a lot of friends who go to therapy, and they say it helps a lot!"

"I know, I know... I just... " Caleb sighs again, but this one was more concrete, grounded. "I can't trust them...I don't... I can't.. "

"...Maybe Caduceus can help you out...?" 

Caleb looked up at Jester as if she grew a second head. 

"I mean... He's going to school to become a professional therapist so maybe he can help you out? You also gotta admit he's like... Really wise and perspective."

"I didn't know he going to school to be a therapist, when was this?"

"Two weeks ago when we were all hanging out and drinking a new flavor a tea Caduceus made. You know, you should really put down a book once in a while and pay attention Caleb."

Caleb blushed and looked back down to the floor. Now interested with the designs and patterns as he mumbles a pretty lame excuse before looking back up at the snarky Jester.

"We should probably clean up the mess... Did you tell Nila about what happened?"

"No, not yet, had to make sure you were okay doofus." Jester pats Caleb's on the shoulder, he gives her a small smile in return. 

"Thank you, Jester... You are... a very good friend to me."

"I know." She grinned. "Oh! That reminds me, before Molly and Beau left, Molly gave this for us." Jester pulls out the two Gold coins and places them into Caleb's palms, who was starring at the two shinny coins in disbelief. "Two for you and two for me!"

"I... I... I can't...this Jester i-its-"

"Well, Molly said that he wanted you to have it so you got to have it. He also said that you needed some time off!"

"I... How are we ever going to pay him back Jester? I mean, four gold that's-"

"I don't think he wants to be payed back Caleb." She said softly. "I think he's just really worried about you and wants to see you be okay again."

"We've only just meet him, Jester." Caleb gave out a hollow chuckle. "And now we know he's rich? No one who has money just wants to see people okay, they want something else..."

"Is that what you believe Caleb? You know, there are actual people within the world who are rich and use their money to help people just because they can. Not all rich people are snobby showoffs that hide their true potential in money."

He didn't say anything, he rubs the two gold pieces under his thumb. This was enough to pay for rent for a few weeks with a decent meal. "You always seem to surprise me with your wisdom jester...maybe you should consider to be come a therapist?"

"Ppfffttt, no way, I would like...totally spill out everyone's secrets that they would tell me. Plus listening to people's problems all the time can be so draining and I really don't want to like...have that drama all the time."

 "Jester most of the time you see me I'm either having an anxiety or panic attack."

He tried to sound light hearted but the words held the gut wrenching guilt that Caleb's now feels when he looks at Jester with a tiny wavering smile. He shouldn't keep bringing Jester into all of his crap, and yet he does it everytime. 

"That's not what I meant Caleb, and you don't do it all the time. Your problem is that you don't even talk about your problems. Which it sucks." 

"...So your saying that I should talk about my feelings more...?"

"Yes!" Caleb jumped in surprise as Jester stood up and placed both of her hands each one his shoulders. "Go talk to Caduceus after this, this will be good practice for you and him! I'm going to call Nila and tell her what happened. I'll clean up the mess, you can go home."

Caleb opened his mouth to protest but the look from Jester made him stay silent, and instead started to fiddle with his fingers. "Danke Jester...again."

"I know, now shoo! Get out of her and sleep for once! You look dead with the bags under your eyes."

After going into the bathroom to change back into his normal clothes, he saids one last goodbye to Jester before walking out of the cafe. The bell chimed when the door opened and closed as he walks into the slightly crowed streets. People normally try to get home around 3:30 so it would be near the end of rush time. The sun was now stubbornly still in the sky where it would've been sunset if it wasn't for daylight savings time. 

Caleb looked back at his bookstore across from the street. From the window he could see Caduceus talking to a customer. He smiled, Caduceus is such a friendly giant. Caleb would always used to try and pay Caduceus for helping him around the store, but Cad would've always declined the offer and say, "You are already paying for letting me stay here, and for that I am grateful."

When Caleb meet Caduceus the 27 year old was looking for a place to stay. Luckily, the bookstore had a second floor above with a small apartment in an addition of the place. Caleb offered it to Caduceus in return for helping him work at the bookstore and he happily accepted it, which was why now Caleb lives in another apartment rather than in his bookstore. 

He pulls out his phone to call Caduceus. Sure, he could've walked over there and talked to him face to face like a normal person should, but he was to damn tired and emotionally drained to go through another emotional roller coaster again. Besides, he needs to go home to see Frumpkin again so he can fulfill the urge to poof his lovable cat on his shoulders for comfort. 

Familiars can be used as support animals or therapeutic, but you'd had to have special papers and a special collar to show that you are allowed to summon and own one. Caleb had none of these in which would be considered using magic illegally, and that can get him killed. 

For a few seconds his phone rang. "Ah, hello Caleb, I was just about to call you when i've noticed how everyone seemed to rush out of the Cafe a couple of minutes ago. I was worried that something went wrong, is everything alright?"

"Ja everything is okay Cad, just a couple of guys being jerks..." 

"Ah, that good. I was worried I might've had to close the store early to check up on you kids." Cad seemed to chuckle at his own joke, Caleb smiled. "Are you and Jester okay? Must've been pretty bad for everyone to rush out of the door like that, maybe have a small cup of tea? I've been experimenting on this new flavor that I am very proud to see it turning out well."

"Eh... Not to today I am afraid Cad, I'm sorry... It's... It's been a rough day and I just want to get some rest."

"Oh that's perfectly fine. I'm sure that sometime this week we'll have some tea. Just make sure you get a good nights rest Mr Caleb, Jester seems to be worried about your health recently." 

Caleb puffed air out heavily through his noise. "Ja I noticed. I'm... I'm trying Caduceus, really, I am."

"Ah, well that's good news. Just keep doing what your doing and maybe drink some tea once in a while. I've heard tea helps you relax, It really helps me sometimes when im stressed."

"I'll think about it, maybe we can set up for some cookies and tea this weekend again ja? With jester and Nila?"

"I think that would be rather lovely, though I'll have to see if I got more cup sets...I think I only have two." 

It seemed like only 5 minutes before he stood in front of a building, realizing that he was now at his apartment. "Great, I'll call you later then, oh and also, thank you for watching over the store for me all day. Sorry, it's just... You know... Like a said a lot of things happened."

"Its no problem Caleb, I'm glad that I can help, have a good night."

"Gute Nacht" (Good night) 

Once Caleb entered in his apartment and closed the door behind him, Frumpkin immediately ran up to Caleb, giving him affection. He rubbed his body through Caleb's legs looking up at him with big yellow eyes and gave out a small meow. 

"Ja ja, it's good to see you too."

Caleb picked Frumpkin up like a baby, cradling him as he buried his face into the soft warm fur of Frumpkins coat. 

 A few cat toys laid around in the apartment, Caleb played with Frumpkin for the rest of the evening. He then ate a bowl of cereal for dinner and cleaned up the dishes once he was finished. After that he picked up his phone to call Nott for the rest of the night until he was too tired to tell what time it was. All he knew that there was a full moon tonight when the moonlight shined brightly through his window. 

"You seem very exhausted Caleb, you should go to sleep. I'm glad you're okay, but I'm probably keeping you from getting a good night sleep."

"Nein... I'm... " He yarns, trying to fight the falling eyelids that were trying to rebel against him at the moment. ".... Im gut." (Good) 

"Cay-Cay you are slowly talking into zemenin, you need to get some sleep. I'll talk to you in the morning, okay?"

".. Ja...ok...sicher..." Calebs words started to blur into sluggish syllables, his head started to drift off into the darkness that was trying to consume him. He had already given up fighting his falling eyelids as the only thing keeping him awake was his fingers feeling the texture of the phone. He head was already deep into the fluffy cloud like pillows and he can't seem to know when he covered himself with the think warm wool blanket that Nott gave him last year for Christmas. 

"...Ich werdemorgendieMilchbekommen..."

"...Yeah okay, I'm going to hang up now, night Caleb!"

He couldn't register a word that Nott was saying before his head barred itself deeply into the pillows, allowing for the darkness to finally consume him. 

Caleb felt like he was sleeping peacefully for 20 minutes before he heard the sounds of something crashing down on the floor. 

Sluggishly, Caleb starts to sit up. He doesn't know how long he slept but he felt like it wasn't long enough. His eyes were still droopy, his brain was still fizzled by the comfortable rest. "... Fr...Frumpkin?" He calls out, his voice now thick with his ancient, the air now felt quietly still. 

For a few minutes he stays up in a sitting position, hearing nothing but silence until sleep was quickly trying to drag Caleb back into bed again. He laid back down trying to cocoon himself in blankets again, thinking that it was only Frumpkin accidentally knocking things over from high places again. "Gott, er ist so eine unbeholfene Katze..." (God, he's such a clumsy cat...) 

He starts to close his eyes again, getting comfortable in his sleeping position before taking a deep breath through his noise. Sleep never felt so good right now as it starts to sallow him whole again... 

CRASH 

merYOOOOWWWLLLLL HIISSSSSSSSSSSSS

"shit!"

Caleb sits straight back up, his body now on high alert as his heart freezes in fear. He can feel the adrenaline sweeping into his veins to do something, but he couldn't. 

His body was on lock down, staying there on the bed in fear as one thought ran through his mind. 

Someone's in my home. 

With shaking feet, Caleb hastily uncovered himself moved out from the bed. His fingers as quietly possible slowly formed a spell of a small flame in his hand to defend himself. Each floorboard creaked with each step Caleb hesitantly took, his shoulders were getting tensed by the minute as he slowly edged closer to the door. 

The closer he gets to the door the more he hears the sound of Frumpkin hissing and meowing with the sounds of a strange voice of quietly cursing the cat.

With one hand ready to throw the fireball and the other one trembling, Caleb slowly opened the door and revealed a shadow like figure standing on the kitchen counter and Frumpkin puffing out of existence. The shadow like figure turned their head at the sound of the door and the flame lighting up the living room partly. 

The intruder and Caleb stared at each other in stunned silence. 

For a few awkward minutes the two stared at each other for what it felt like seemed for eternity, Caleb couldn't see what his Intruder looked like from this far, but that didn't stop him to realize what just happened. 

His cat is now gone from this plane, and Caleb has no way to get him back.

He stares back at his intruder with a cold gaze, his chest flamed with fury, and the fireball in his hands only grew more angry for vengeance. 

"You kicked my cat..."

Chapter Text

 

9 hours ago

 

Once Molly and Beau got into the car, they looked back at each other. 

"Fuck man." Beau sighed, turning on the engine, the car roared to life. "I thought we've just dealt with those dudes a few weeks ago when they tried to steal our bar."

"It seems like they're getting more confident.." Molly sighed, bitting the knuckles of his clenched fist. Whenever a gang gets cocky, it means something bad is following close behind. "I'll have Keg and Bryce to look out for any suspicious activity then, near where most of the Azure gang members are to see if they can pick up on anything." 

"That'll be good...what if the Azures really are planning something big?"

"Then we have a much bigger problem in our hands." With a deep sigh, Molly turns his attention towards Beau. He really wanted to have a couple of beers or a nice joint at the moment. "But, time for that later! Scanlan has given me these strange herbs that were from another country. Do you want to try them out?"

"Man, getting stoned sounds like the best idea I've heard today. We should go to the Ball Eater first, just to see if everything is alright there before we do something stupid."

"Well then, let's not waste anymore time shall we? "

Beau drives deeper into the city as Molly thinks about what the Azure Gang was planning. Sure, they had these flukes before and the police would always stop them, but something about this time feels more off. Just about a few days ago Molly had caught word at a bar about a man who was from the Azure gang going into a store to try and hold hostage of the whole place. Of course, the news spread like wildfire, and Yasha's gang had warned Molly's to keep being in each other's touch a little time later. They both agreed to have one person from each gang to watch out for each other while this was going on.  

In this gang, it was made out of people who were sinking in deep shit that needed to find a way out. Molly has brought in people who were homeless, in debt, or running away form something into his little fun group. All they needed to do was accept that they don't work for anyone else but the Moonweaver. Most of the time people -for those who did accepted- were desperate for a way out, and happily accepted, those were the type of people get along quickly with their family. The other ones who are skeptical and do betray are usually heavily punished or even executed in front of their peers. 

That was the only thing that Molly hated, even in this small dysfunctional family his mother is behind the scenes pulling the strings. He could still feel her influence on him everytime someone does indeed need to get back in line.

Leave so whiteness, show no mercy. 

"Hey, I think Yasha's here."

Molly's head perked up at the sound of Yasha's name, he looked to ahead to see the car parked in across the abandoned Bar that was now home to Molly's gang. Standing across the road, leaning against the door, stood a well muscled woman. Her hair was black with faded white tips on the end. She had multiple difference sizes of braids in her hair while most of it hung loosely on her shoulders. She wore a black biker jacket that had skeletal wings on the back with lighting in the background and a single white tank top with black ripped jeans, complementing well with the dark brown military boots. Her skin pale with two different colors eyes that pop out with her eyeshadow made people usually intimidated by her cold stare and tensed muscles. 

"Yasha!" Molly was out of the car before Beau could even fully park it. He could hear Beau's curses behind him but didn't care. he ran into Yasha's arms, feeling her stiffen up for a few seconds from the unexpected impact. She develops him into a big hug once she processed what was going on. "Hi Molly, are you alright?"

"Better with you now that you're here dear." Molly reaches up to kiss Yasha's cheek, she gives him a small smile. "So what's going on in the city? I thought you were going to leave for some sort of mission with your godfather."

"I was, until something else happened. I've decided to let Vax take the role instead."

"Good enough, now how about we go and get ourselves a drink? It's been far too long and I'm dying to catch up on some things."

Before Yasha could reply, her attention went past him as Beau walked up to them. Molly smirked when he noticed that Beau already had a nervous expression on her face, she was fiddling with her jacket but didn't seemed to notice it. "Hey Yasha, surprised to see you here. Finally got time for yourself?"

"Hello Beauregard." Yasha's voice has grown softer and a warm smile on her face, which was only reserved for Beau. Molly slowly stepped into the background to watch things start happening. "And ah...no not really... I uh... When I heard about the other gang members getting reckless I had to send someone else to do my mission."

"Oh... Ok.. " Beau had a slight disappointment in her tone, she stopped fiddling with her jacket. She tried to get rid of the slight frown on her lips. "So... You won't be here for long?" 

"No, no, no! That's not what I meant, I... " Yasha's gave out a small nervous chuckle. "I mean... I still got things to do...but I have time now."

"Oh! Uhh... Well okay! Do you uh... Wanna talk then...? Maybe a couple of drinks..?"

"Well.. I-i mean... Molly-"

"I think that's a wonderful idea, Beau." Molly stepex in and places a hand on each of the girls shoulder.before they could do anymore damage. Beau smacked Molly's hand off of hers as he pushes both of them inside of the Ball Eater. "You guys go and catch up on a couple of drinks! I have to do something anyways so have fun!" 

"B-but Molly, I have to-"

"Nope! You said it yourself dear, you have lots to do! I'll have Keg or someone watch the entrance while you're taking a break." 

Yasha looked at Molly like she was about to say something else. He gives her a stern look. Go, make a move. We'll talk later. She gave him a small smile, a silent thanks before she leads Beau to the Bar. 

Beau looks back when Yasha wasn't looking and gives Molly a nervous but exited thumbs up. Molly mouthed 'your welcome' with a little shooing motion of his hands before going to the other side of the bar table and sitting down, ordering a beer. 

For a few minutes, waiting for his drink to arrive, he scrolls through his phone until a new message popped up from Jester. 

Jester: Heeyyyyy this is Jester! :D Caleb is alright now and went home to rest! I made sure he took the money. 

Molly" Wonderful ❤ Glad that he's alright. Say, I might come by tomorrow to get a couple of donuts, they where absolutely divine by the way. 

Jester: OOOOOO that would be great! Maybe after my shift we can go shopping? I've heard that a new foundation kit for Teflings recently came out and i'm dying to get one. 

Molly was typing his reply when his beer was served. "Thank you Dear, really appreciate it." He hands Claudia a gold piece before picking up the bottle. He replied to Jester saying how it would be great for them hang out for tomorrow before getting ready to take a swing. 

Sadly, he didn't have time to drink one sip as the sound of the door busted wide open. 

The music stopped and everyone froze. 

 

Shit, forgot to send someone out there... 

 

Gently placing the bottle down, Molly sighed dramatically from his seat. He turned around with a little flare when he stood up to his feet. 

"So, what made you decide to bust through my doors and expect us to be afraid of you?"

He stood up from the bar to face the intruders. Two men now stood at the doorway, large, black leather jacket, Azure members. Molly instantly notices the man on the right was the man who assaulted Caleb from the Cafe. He felt his tail start swishing out of agitation. 

A left hand was placed gently on his shoulder, he turned to see Yasha standing right next to him. Her eyes never leaving the two azure gang members. Her hand lingering on the dagger that was tucked away under her belt. 

"Well then, isn't this a surprise? Just when I thought I wouldn't have to deal with you again. What makes you think that you can just walts into my territory without getting a few cuts yourself my friend?"

With the subtle line, Molly's family slowly started to stand up from their seats. Expecting a fight as some even bought out their guns, clearly sending out a message that the new intruders are not welcome here. 

The bald man chuckled, Molly had to twitch a sneer away from his face to keep him from already looking agitated, trying to not seem like this guy was slowly itching against his skin, his tail was twitching slightly in annoyance. 

"I would tell your people to stand down if I were you..."

"Oh?" Molly raised an eyebrow. "Getting cocky now? Is it cause you felt good about bullying that poor waitress earlier today? Say, where are your other friends?" He tilts his head to see if there was anyone else. It was only them, good. "Hmm, shame, we could've had a nice reunion, were they too intimated to see me again? That's pitiful, I've barely even opened my mouth before they ran off."

The Azure members face turned into a sneer, even with the dull lighting in the room Molly could tell that the man's face was slowly getting red. "...You really don't know how to shut the fuck up do you..? "

"Nope!" Molly gave him a shit eating grin. "It's a gift, but really, why would we listen to you?" His tail starts to slowly trail behind him into his coat pocket that was hidden away on the inside. He puts his hands in the outside pockets of his jacket. 

"Well, you really don't want to start having to deal with Lorenzo's gang again right? I've heard things have been tense for a while..."

The room, which was already silenced, now has a dark heavy weight in the air. The name of Lorenzo made everyone tense. Yasha placed a firm hand on Molly, squeezing tight. Beau fist clenched, she looked like she wanted to beat the fucker up at the moment. In the back room he could hear the sounds of guns getting ready to be used and unloaded on the two people who claimed to be Lorenzo's boys. 

Molly only stared at him. The smile on his lips faded into a motionless expression as he felt his heart froze in fear, then anger, and then a feeling something that he couldn't describe. His tail now has a hold on the gun that was securely hidden away. It sadly wasn't Bad News but it will do for now. "Yes, it has... a Azure gang member surrendering into another gang. Huh," Molly gave an empty chuckle, a malicious grin quickly appearing on his face as he saw the bald man's flatter. "And here I thought that azure members were just small rats around the city, but now I see that you guys we're just strays to become someone's lapdog."

"Like you can talk, poodle. Don't you have to report back to your master for something after this? I'm sure I can hear your dog whistle calling by now."

Molly's jaw clenched for few seconds. "Hmm, still." The sound of a gun clicked behind Mollymauk, but it wasn't pointed at him. "All dogs must be put down at some point."

With a loud bang, the gun being held by Molly's tail shoots the azure guys hand. A couple of fingers fly off as the bald man screamed in pain, kneeling on the ground holding his bleeding hand that was flowing like a river into the floor boards. The man next to him instantly pulls out his gun, pointing at Molly to shoot, but before the man could pull the trigger the other gang members got to it first. Bullets quickly flying towards the man filling his body with bullet holes.

On the back of the man's head bits and pieces of his brain splatter on the walls behind him. The body seized up as if it were shocked before stumbling back a few inches, grabbing his neck as if to prevent the blood to stop flowing down his neck. He fell down to the ground, going limp, a pool of crimson red started to quickly spread all over the floor. The man who had once life in is eyes, were now dull and cross-eyed by the one of the bullets that had left a gaping hole in the back of his head. 

The bald headed man turned to look at his dead friend. Molly slowly walk towards him, he grined when he could feel the fear radiating off from the man as he turned around with fear in his eyes. 

"L-lorenzo won't be h-happy about this!"

"Oh, I'm sure. We just don't need two messengers for this." He kneels down to eye level of the man. "Now," With the gun in Molly's hand, he places the gun onto the man's arm, where it was now bathed in blood. "Tell me, what made you think Lorenzo was going to protect you from me?"

The man stayed silent, Molly could see that his eyes were starting to get droopy. "Hey! Wake up! Don't sleep on us now buddy." He nudged the gun a little bit under the man's chin so he could stay up for a little longer. 

"There... There's..More..Of Us.." Molly could tell how the man was trying hard to stay up now, trying not to pass out even though he was failing. Blood was flowing freely from the partly missing fingers. 

The man's ring finger was now long gone but his middle finger and index finger were partly there, either now a stump with bone protruding out of it or a finger nail completely blown off. With his head now pale and light headed, the man was now barely paying attention to the blood squirting freely out of his hand. 

"Lorenzo, He..People..more... " The man's eyes rolled on the back of his head. He body slumped forward like a wind-up toy that had been irrupted and stopped. He went unconscious before he could say anymore. 

Molly sighs, he glances at the dead body before looking back to his peers. Everyone stood there, now waiting for his orders. People who had guns were now putting them away, the room now felt less dense than it did before. 

"Make sure the hand stops bleeding, then take him into the lounge. Tie him up so when he wakes up he doesn't escape. When he gets back from his dream land he'll have to tell us more of his secrets. Clean up the mess while you're at it as well, please."

Molly stood up, he felt something wet below his knees. He looked down to notice that some blood had gotten onto his pants, he made a sound of disgust. "Ugh, well that's a pity. I quite liked these jeans. Good thing they're red though." He stepped to the side while his other fellow friends clean up the mess behind them. 

"Dude... How the fuck did you do that?" Beau pointed at the gun in his hand. Yasha stood a next to Beau, her arms still crossed but this time in a calm demeter rather than a tense one that was shown a second ago. 

"You know, with your tail?"

Molly's tail slithered up to his hand to drab the gun from his hand. "It takes a lot of practice, I have to make sure it's aimed correctly but I can hold it and shoot with it." He grinned at Beau whose eyes widen in fascination. "Just think of it..Like a monkey tail, I suppose...? They can grapple onto trees with it but that's the only thing it's good for. Oh and balance, of course."

"That's pretty cool man."

"Why thank you." He gives a dramatic bow as he grabs the gun from his tail again. "I'll be here all week." He places it back into his jacket as he watches the large unconscious man get dragged across the floor from the interrogation room. 

Well... It was more of like a sex room, but that's mostly cause people get to go in there and get loose sometimes. Molly has used that room before multiple times and all he can say is that no one should ever walk in there with a black light, ever

It was really disgusting when Molly thinks about it. His noise scrunchies up from the thought of it, he could practically smell sweat and other humanely fluids in there. "Man...we should probably clean that whole room at some point." 

"Huh?" Beau turned back to see Grog and a tall half-orc that she doesn't know dragging the unconscious man into the room with quickly trailing behind was a chair being carried by a male halfling. "Oh, you mean the sex dungeon?"

Molly's eyebrows furrowed. "What? No, w-well I mean yes, but no, It's not a sex dungeon."

"But people go in there to fuck, right?"

"..Yes...?" Molly felt hesitant to answer the question, his eyebrows now raised. Yasha looked at Beau with a raised eyebrow. 

"And now we're tying someone up to in there to get tortured to get information, right? You know, with a bunch of riding crops or whips and shit like that."

"Oh for the love of- It's not a sex dungeon!!" 

"Hey man, me and Keg did it once in there, and it was weird as fuck. I found that were a lot of kinky shit in that closest in there"

"Wait... You had sex with Keg?" Molly stared at Beau in disbelief with a slight smirk on his face while doing so. 

"Yeah, I mean it was fun." Beau stood there for a second until her eyes widen at the realization that Yasha was still there. Who was now awkwardly standing behind her, looking around wanting to leave the conversation. "W-which was only a one time thing!" Beau quickly tried to catch herself but she ends up stammering over her words. "I-I mean we were drunk and-"

"I.. Ah... I should get back to watch so... You know..." Yasha awkwardly pointed at the door. ".. No one can get in.. Again..."

"Oh, ok.. " Beau's face slightly fell but caught herself to keep a smile on her face, trying to fight the urge to not to slam her forehead on the bar table. "Yeah, cool. So uh...talk to you later then..?"

"Yeah, sure... "

They awkwardly stood there for a few minutes. Molly had to hold in a bit of laughter bubbling up into his chest as he sat down in a seat, his beer back into his hand. 

"I'll be going now." 

"Y-yeah, okay. See you later Yasha."

Yasha awkwardly walked out of the bar. Molly couldn't hold it for much longer, he laughed out loud when Beau finally smacks her forehead on the table a couple of times. 

"...I fucked up."

It took a few minutes for Molly to calm down, whipping a tear away from his eyes as he patted Beau's shoulder. "Dear, that was probably the worst thing you could've done."

Beau flips him the bird. "You're an asshole." She finally pulls up her head from the table, earning a headache. "Ugh...Fuck... " She holds her forehead for a few minutes. "The next time I start saying dumb shit slap me before I can say it." 

"Ah, wouldn't count on it, with you drooling at hot every woman you see, not even the gods can save you now my friend."

"Hmph," Claudia hands Beau a beer, she said her thanks before drinking up half of the bottle in one sitting. "Cheers to that."

"You should talk to Yasha, Beauregard." 

Beau looks at Molly who had a serious face on, her attention fully on him. It's not normal to have Molly sound or look so serious, it's weird and honestly disturbing on how fast Molly can change his mood. 

"I've been told by Yasha a few weeks ago that she's going to be out of the city for a few weeks. Maybe take her out to coffee for a day or something like that. I know she'll enjoy it. She's not really...ecstatic to leave the city for a long time, plus it would be good for both you and her." 

"I... I don't know man." Beau sighs, taking another swing from her bottle. "I mean, I've already fucked it up before... Wouldn't it be just awkward?"

"Beau, look at me."

Beau looks at Molly, she raises an eyebrow to see him just standing there doing nothing. "Yeah?"

"Yasha has been friends with me for as long as I can remember. Me, Mollymauk Tealeaf. Do you really think that yasha cares about sex?"

Beau tried to find a reply for that. "W-well... I mean.. She seemed really awkward and I thought-"

"Oh my god, you are hopeless." Molly face palmed, breathing a heavy sigh while he pinched the bridge of his noise. He tried to clear the forming headache of how disastrous his friends were. He took a long swing from his beer. "Both of you, absolutely ridiculous. You two are probably the most dense lesbians I have ever meet in my life."

"Oh like you have a right to say that!" Beau snapped. "Tell me, when was the last time you've actually liked someone other than for sex? 8th grade? Did they cheat on you during a dance or something? Just wait until it's your turn, and don't come back crying to me when it does. Cause it will!"

"I'm sorry Beau but I'm not into much of that settled down life with a white picket fence kind of person." Molly laughed. "That's a fate worse than death!"

Beau looked at him on the side. Her eyebrows raised before taking a sip of her beer. "Hmm, we'll see about that in the future."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing, maybe you should just talk to a certain waiter that you've meet at the cafe first before you stare at him and looking like a creep."

Molly opened his mouth to argue back that they were getting off topic until the Half-orc that Beau had seen before walked up to them.

He was green with yellow cat like eyes and a scar under his lip. He must've been one the of the new critters that recently joined. His hair was slick back and short with both of the sides shaven. For an half orc Beau doesn't see any tusks on the man, maybe some half-orcs don't get tusks? 

 "Hey uh, Mollymauk i don't mean to interrupt but the man's awake." The man had a country accent, Beau is going to assume he's from Texas. "We stabilized him and everything while a few others are putting his friend in the dumpster a few blocks away from here."

"Wonderful, thank you for your help Fjord."

With a nod of confirmation, the Fjord guy walked away. Beau looked at the half-orc for a few minutes before looking back at Molly. "New recruits I see. Is he alright?"

"Oh yeah perfectly fine." Molly weaved it off with a hand. "Nothing to worry about, just the usual running away scenario from some deal he made with a guy, came here for protection."

"Alright." Beau placed down two sliver pieces next to the empty beer bottle now laying on the counter. "Let's go see about that the fucker was talking about." She stood up from the stool to walk over to the room that their captive was in but was interrupted by Molly stepping in front of her way. 

"I'm going to interrogate him. You talk to Yasha and fix the big mess that you've just made a few minutes ago."

"But-" 

"No butts! You need to fix whatever is going on now between you two so I don't have to deal with all the awkwardness. I can scene in the future it's going to be awkward when you guys see each other again."

Molly turns Beau around towards the door where Yasha walked out of, pushing her towards it. "Go on! Shoo! You guys are alone, this is the perfect time to communicate."

He turned his back before Beau could say anything and walked towards the room. 

"You're an asshole you know that?!" Beau called out. Molly looked back once his hand was on the doorknob of the room. He smirked when he saw Beau's small smile on her lips. "I try my best dear." 

Without hesitation he walked right in. 

 

_______

 

Beau peaked out of the door to see Yasha standing out in the cold. The wind had picked up throughout the past hour as the afternoon sun slowly disappeared into the night. The stars were now trying to sparkle above the city, but the lights from the buildings itself glowed brighter than the sky. Still, Beauregard probably wouldn't have even noticed anyways cause of Yasha standing there. 

People say that the lights of the city were beautiful but Beau would disagree. She couldn't go to sleep without a second of piece and quiet. For the past 25 years all that she could hear before she slept were the sounds of cars and blocked up traffic, it gotten to be pretty damn annoying. 

 Beau hated everything about this city until she met Yasha, who just looked so happy to be there. She had asked her before on why Yasha liked the damn city so much, she could almost smell the coffee beans in the coffee shop where they hung out in while they drank on that autumn morning. 

She remembered the soft smile on Yasha's lips, how relaxed her poster was when she looked at Beau with her beautiful heterochromia eyes. She noticed at that point how Yasha's small smile made her chest flutter with butterflies, how her own smile grew brighter when Yasha gave out a soft chuckle that made Beau's heart pause before it reminded itself to beat again. 

God since when did she became such a sap? If it were 3 months ago Beau would've slapped herself at the thought of it. 

"I don't really understand why you like this city so damn much. There are other places that are ten times better than this dump."

"Hmmm.... I don't think so." 

Her voice was so soft and fragile, it would've sometimes disappeared into the crowd of the people around them that ate in the cafe as well. Beau remembered how she thought it was cute for Yasha to look so shy and timid around other people, even though at first glance she looked like she could hurl you across the room with one arm. 

"My friends, they're here... And I care for them deeply. They're like...My home. When you have friends they seem to make everything a little bit less hurtful...you know what I mean?"

"Hmm? Oh, yeah."

Beau, being naive at the time, wasn't really listening to Yasha on the first part. She just kept staring at the muscles that were on Yasha's biceps and ignored how much of her heart was squeezing from something else. 

The feeling that Beau felt towards Yasha at first were terrifying to her. She tried to ignore the new emotions sprouted in her chest, saying how it was only a 'one time thing' or 'You'll get over it' type of scenario but she just simply couldn't. 

She hated yet loved the feeling of longing in her heart for the need to feel the warmth of Yasha's hands on hers, to desire having and wanting someone that she can actually love and care for. Wanting the feeling of warmth of Yasha's lips against hers, to feel the comfort and the reassuring sounds of her voice when Beau is not feeling right, cuddling close on the couch in Yasha's home, warm and quickly falling asleep into each other's arms. 

It was only then, when the blindfold was suddenly pulled off from her eyes, that she realized she was absolutely fucked. 

Shit

"I know you're there, you can come out."

It was only then by Yasha's voice that Beau was yanked back into the present. She wasn't looking at Beauregard for a moment, she was looking up at the sky. 

Slowly, Beauregard came out, she closed the door to the Bar softly. The noises from the inside were now muffled and replaced by the echos of cars in the city and the lingering smell of trash or gasoline from the streets. "It's pretty chilly out tonight."

Yasha just shrugged. "I'm used to it." She turns to look at Beau, the old yet welcoming feeling of her heart fluttering filled her chest. "It's nice to see the stars out again."

"Huh?" Beau looks up at the sky, she leaned next to Yasha on the wall. The warmth of Yasha radiates towards Beau's as she instinctively scooting closer towards her... for warmth of course. "Oh, yeah. Huh. It's really pretty."

"Yeah."

Beauregard stared up at the sky for a few minutes before looking back at Yasha. Her eyes widen a little in surprise when she noticed Yasha's eyes staring back at her. Beau had to swallow something down her throat.

Yasha spoke up before Beau could. "What did you want to talk about? Or did Molly sent you out here?"

"No, uh.. I decided to do it myself cause... " She took a deep breath, and prayed to anyone out there in the hopes of not fucking this up. "I wanted to uh... apologize... About the whole... Sex thing...You seemed uncomfortable with that kind of shit." She crossed her arms, trying to act cool without looking very awkward talking about the conversation that they were about to have. Instead of looking at Yasha she decided to look at the concrete ground instead, and noticed how she needed to get some new shoes soon. 

"Oh." 

"Yeah... "

She waited for Yasha to awkwardly shift away, the feeling of nervousness settled into Beau's veins, but was quickly washed away when she felt an arm touching hers. She was surprised to feel that Yasha was doing the exact opposite. She could feel their arms touching when Yasha scooted closer, which causes her to fight off the blush that was slowly creeping up towards her neck. 

"I'm not... I'm not uncomfortable with that stuff, if that's what your wondering..." 

Beau looked back at Yasha with a raised eyebrow, now it was her turn to avoid Beau's gaze. Yasha looked straight ahead, as if she were slowly disappearing into her own thoughts. Beau wanted to desperately grab her hand and gently rub a finger over for reassurance and encouragement. "I... I didn't leave cause of that... "

"Then why did you..?"

There was another silence, Yasha shifted her feet a little. Beau did what she thought she would never do, she waited patiently for Yasha to say something. The noise and the wind from outside where starting to get the better of Beauregard as she slipped into her warm hoodie. 

"It was... It was cause... Uh... You know...your my friend and...and I care about you and...Y-you know what, it doesn't matter. I-it's.. It's stupid, you'll probably won't care...it was stupid for me to say it in the first place."

"Hey, coming from you, it most likely isn't stupid," Beau gently places an arm on Yasha's shoulder. She turned back to look at Beau, giving her a gratifying smile. 

"You.. You don't even have to talk about it right now If you want Yash... Maybe we can talk about it over a cup of coffee sometime...?" Beauregard could feel her heart beating through her ears. Her body filling up with adrenaline and all that she could do was nervously tap her fingers on her lap. Yasha looked at her with a confusing glance and something else that Beau couldn't describe.

"Y-you know...Just for old times sake... It's.. It's been a while."

"I would like that, sure."  Yasha smiled, and Beau found herself smiling a bigger one. "Tomorrow or..? "

"Uh... I- I mean, Yeah!" Beau's voice moved up a higher pitch at the last word and she had to stop from slapping herself in the face for a second. She clears her throat, her chest felt light with her breath being taken away when she heard Yasha's small chuckle. "Yeah, that would be good, really good." She tries to fight off the smile on her lips, but she couldn't even when it started to hurt. She hasn't smiled like this in a long time. "Around lunch?"

"Yeah, okay."

"Great!"

They stayed there for a few minutes, starring at each other while the moon hung brightly above them. Beau would've laughed and commented how this was like a cheesy romantic movie if it she didn't noticed how beautiful the moon shown on Yasha. The moon made it seemed like her pale skin glowed as if the moon was giving it's power to her. It remind of Beau of an angel about to spread their wings and fly off into the stars until the sound of a door  opened behind them. 

"Oh! Am I intruding something...?" 

Beau had to fight back a groan of annoyance as Yasha gave out an awkward cough. She didn't notice how close they have gotten until they actually pulled away. Both had a slightly light blush dashed over their faces while Mollymauk Tealeaf leaned against the wall and smirked. 

"Ah no, Molly. You were not intruding anything." Yasha raised an eyebrow at Molly. "I'm guessing the interrogation went well?"

Molly looked down at his clothes, they were spattered with blood. "You can say that." He chuckled. 

"Is he alive or...?" Beau trailed off, she knew that Molly's mom didn't like it when he leaves people like that. 

"Poor bastard passed out when we dumped him in some alleyway, don't know if he'll survive or not."

"Huh... What did you learn then?"

Molly sighed as he leaned against the wall next to them. "More gang members that are small have been taken over by force are joining Lorenzo's gang, promising them a "utopia" Of control and revenge of fucked up sorts. Some gang members are even willingly to move into Lorenzo's gang. Soon enough Lorenzo would have most control over this part of the city."

The comfortable silence that laid still in the background was blown away from the gust of the cold wind that blew through the night. 

"Shit man."

"Yup"

"What are we going to do then?"

"There's a gang near the cafe shop that's not in Lorenzo's control, yet. There are plains to ambush them." Molly casted glimmer on himself.

 Where Molly once stood now stands a tall handsome Dark elf with short white hair, his eyes bright golden. His clothing changed into black ripped jeans and a grey hoodie. 

"We're going to have a nice chat before they do."

 

Chapter Text

11:30 pm

 

Molly waited in an edge of a Alleyway, he fiddled with his coat while he waits for Beau and Keg to return. 

Yasha stood by his side, arms crossed, her eyes scanning everything around them. Turning her head once in a while when a sound of a few cars drive by. 

Fjord slowly kept walking back and forth in a line, Molly had a little bit of sympathy for the guy. He's only been here for about 3 days and this was the first time where he's ever joining in a meeting with another gang, which was rare to begin with cause normally these types of things end with bloodshed unless you know them well. 

"I don't like it how they're taking a while... " Fjord comments, looking out to where Beau and Keg both disappeared. "It's almost been 30 minutes, they should be back by now."

"Give them time." Molly said, trying to push down the same thought in his mind. He fiddled with his gun that was hidden away in his pocket. "They're smart and could handle themselves. Plus, this gang might've heard what's going around and be very couscous. The last thing we need right now is another gang rivalry." 

Fjord nodded, mumbling some reassurance under his breath as he leaned to the other side of the wall. Looking from both sides of the Alleyways to notice if something or someone would appear there. 

"Hey, they're here." Molly and Fjord both turned their attention towards the end of the Alleyway where Yasha was looking. What slowly came out of the shadows were Beau and Keg, followed by an Elvish man walking following behind as well with two other people. One big sized human and one small yet beefy gnome. 

"Your leader wanted to talk?"

It's show time. Molly thought. He stepped forward in front of everybody, giving out his famous smirk and charm. "Yes, it's great that you agree to meet with us tonight, especially with everything going around which I apologize for this meeting to be so sudden."

The elvish guy gave out a slight chuckle, crossing his arms over his chest. "No shit, one of my alliances has been taken over by this other gang that's been getting pretty hungry recently. They killed anyone who wouldn't go with them the first time. It was a massacre."

"Which is why I think it would be a good idea if we team up together for protection." Molly proclaimed, "To keep each other in touch to see if anything gets anymore tense, just for the a short period of time."

"And how do we know we can trust you guys as well? We've heard a lot about you, Lucien." 

"You don't." Molly said simply, the Elvish man raised an eyebrow at his words. "You have a choice to forget that this even happen, and we'll let you be on your merry way. I just hope you notice that there's also a reason why we're here other than negotiating." 

The man seems to tense, his men behind him slowly reach for their knives and guns. "And that would be...?"

"The gang that has been expanding and killing off anyone around you is Lorenzo's gang." Molly started to explain. "Anyone who joins without being forced into it are both disgusting and revolting. A bunch of them are wolves that hunt for fun, most of the time the gang deals with the black market and underground slavery." His tongue tasted sour at the words he spat out, he could feel the ghost of the old rusted chains around his wrists when remembering the time when they kidnapped him. "They're not to be trusted with, if you think that they won't kill you just for enjoyment, they will."

The leader of the other gang stayed silent for a few minutes, everyone in the small group had their eyes on them. Molly's foot instinctively tapped impatiently while time passed for what it seemed to be antagonizing slow. He could hear the clock in the back of his mind ticking slowly, counting down to zero, they were running out of time. The bastard needs to think fast so they can take action before Lorenzo does first. 

"... I don't want any of my men to die by the faults of your people carelessly messing with these bastards, I would rather not get the police involved in us as well."

Molly's eyes glowed bright even in the shadows. "Of course, though, I can't guarantee that the police will ignore this I'm afraid, but we'll try as much as we can. What is your name again...?"

"Tebros Alym, and we're called the Armanas"

He wasn't afraid of showing his fangs as Molly grinned at the moment. He reached his hand out to shake Tebros's. "Then you've got yourself a deal, Mr. Alym."

"TEBROS-"

A loud bang echoed through the alleyway. One of Tebros's men (who was the tall human) ran up to the stunned elf and tackled him when a bullet grazed on the left side of his shoulder. 

Their hands, now no where close to sealing off the deal, were on their guns. Shouts and smoke started to spread throughout the area as people dodged for cover. 

Molly quickly ducked behind a city garbage disposal for cover as bullets whizzed past by. Tebros followed him and slumped against the wall on his right side, cursing out  words in both Common and Elvish as he checks his shoulder where the bullet grazed. Small streaks of blood started to roll down his arm, Tebros leaned his head back against the cold brick wall and hissed at his sudden pain in anger. "Son of a bitch! Who the hell are they?!"

"Those are Lorenzo's men." Molly quickly fished out his gun, he checked to see if he had enough bullets before peaking over the dumpster to see how many if Lorenzo's men were there.

One already laid dead on the ground, a bullet in the stomach and arm as three others poke their heads out from some other objects in the alley to aim and shoot. 

Molly felt a bullet fly past his face before he ducked back down into cover. He looked back at Tebros's injured arm. "Can you still fight?"

"Lucien!" 

Molly's attention swerved to the voice of his other name. Beau stood across from them, choking a guy under her arm before knocking him unconscious with the butt of her gun. She had a cut over her eyebrow that looked deep enough to leave a permanent scar. "What the hell do you want us to do now?!"

A hand was placed on Molly's right shoulder, he turned his head to see Tebros holding a wicked dagger in his other hand. "Help me fight off these bastards, then you'll have a deal. I hear gun shots from where our base is, I'm sure they're attacking from there too."

Molly nodded, looking back at Beau who waited for his orders. "Go! Grab Yasha and Keg and go with Tebros to help his gang! Me and fjord will deal with this!"

 Beau nodded, understanding the situation before calling out to Yasha and Keg as the three of them quickly ran away from the fight. Molly felt Tebros patting him in the shoulder again. "Good luck, and may what ever god you pray bless you."

With a flash the Elvish man disappeared with Molly's friends, their figurines quickly disappearing into the night when they turned a corner in an alleyway. 

Now that his friends are gone, he noticed by the sounds of gun fire that the bullets flying through the air were quickly depleting. He looked to the side from behind the garbage bin to see the last of the remaining members of Lorenzo's gang fleeing. 

"Like hell you are... " Molly growled, standing straight up. Quickly, he using one of his sharp nails to cut through his skin. He grimace at the pain for a second before stretching out his hand towards the last 2 fleeing men. His arm stretched out like he's going to cast of a spell, drips of blood slowly dripped down his arm that held a sun tattooed around his palm. 

For a second he closed his eyes, concentrating on his power before opening his eyes. His snake like tongue spoke forbidden words of temptation, a fly attracted to honey his voice was calm and controlling. 

"Stop."

The Infernal words rolling out of his mouth spoke out in a harsh yet sweet demeter. His voice was now a siren to these criminals as one of them slowly stopped running and stood where they were. They turned back to look at him, face blank from any emotion, the body swayed like a soft breeze going over a field of long grass. 

Molly pulled his hand into a fist, squeezing his palm as more blood ran through his fingers. "Kill him."

One man, who held a gun in his hand, pointed the gun at his friend. With a swift pull from the trigger his friend now laid dead on the ground, half of their head now gone. Bits and pieces of the head stuck to the bricks of the building as the body dropped onto the back of the floor, showing only half of a face of who they were. 

The puppet Molly now controlled slowly turned his head towards him. There was one more shot from behind Molly as the body fell on the ground with pieces of his head splattered all over the floor. 

With both if the gang members now lying dead in their own blood. The power that surged through Molly's veins had quickly vanished. He can feel the sweat running down of the side of face, his head feeling light and dizzy as he felt someone grabbing him by the arm before he could fall down on the ground face first. 

"Woah there." Fjord held him up for a second before dragging him towards a wall and settled him gently against the cold brick building. He knelt in front of him, Fjord dared to look back on the two bodies. He looked back at Molly with wide eyes. "H-how...How hell the did you do that?"

He opened his mouth to speak, but was again interrupted by the sounds of sirens echoing throughout the city. 

Shit

Trying to clear out the exhaustion from his mind, he tries to stand up quickly before feeling the whole world shifting around him again. He leaned against the wall, feeling his stomach doing all sorts of flips and turns. "I.. I never tried that before... " He feels himself gagging and coughs up mucus as he spits it out on the ground. The pounding beat of his heart drums loudly in his ears, making it feel like the worse hangover ever. "Fuck!"

"Dammit." Fjord looked back out in the streets then back at Molly, hearing the sirens of the Police getting closer by the minute. "Molly, we have to go now!"

The pounding in his head stopped, he took a few more breaths before standing back up right, though Molly was sure that his body was still shaking like a leaf. "I'm fine, you go towards the others, tell them to leave the area and go uptown to the Licking Shaft. Tell everyone to go there."

Fjord eyes grew the size of dinner plates. "But what about-" 

The sounds of dogs barking and people yelling made both of the boys blood freeze over. At the edge of the corner of the alleyway Molly and Fjord could see the bright flashing lights of a police car, more policemen were coming their way. 

"Shit, they got dogs too." Molly quickly hid his gun away. "Is my glamor still on?"

"W-what?"

"Do I still look different?"

"..Yeah?"

"Good, then I still have time. Go to the others, I'll try distract the police from here."

Fjord looked like he was about to protest until the sounds of dogs barking grew louder. 

"Go!"

"I hope you know what you're doing." Fjord glanced behind one last time before fleeing into the shadows. 

Molly stood against the wall for a minute, making sure Fjord was actually gone before pushing himself away from the cold brick wall. His legs still slightly shake but he was good enough to get ready and run like hell. For a second, he looks down at his palm. Luckily, it has stopped bleeding but now there was another scar across his hand. 

 He hears the sound of foot steps and takes a deep breath. 

One... 

"Who's there?!"

Two.. 

"Put your hands up, this is the police!"

Three

With all the energy that Molly could muster, he sprinted past the police man. Shoving him towards the ground. The dog next to the police man's side snapped and nipped at Molly's ankles as he stumbled on the ground before picking up the pace again. 

Behind him the more dogs were barking savagely, waiting to be unleashed as bullets fly past Mollymauk's ears. He could hear the police yelling out out orders and gives a hard turn at a right corner of a random alleyway.

The dogs behind where now unleashed and getting into the chase. The sounds of their ferocious barking have only made Molly have a reason to keep on running. 

The adrenaline was starting to kick in through his veins as he ran deeper into the back alley.  

His legs ached and his heart pounded wildly under his ribs. It felt like his heart was about to burst outside of his chest until he could hear another gunshot that ricochets off of the wall behind him. Molly instinctively flinched and ran faster, that felt too close for comfort. He rounded another corner that lead out into an open street. 

Looking to his right, he could see the Goodberry Cafe in the distance. In a few yards to the right of him, down the road he could hear the sounds and the flashing lights of other police cars roaring down to the street. He instantly ran towards the other way, ducking into another alleyway before the dogs could bite him from behind. 

The feeling of as if prey that's being hunted clinged onto Molly like a life jacket. Quickly feeling desperate, he jumped across fences or knocking over trash cans behind him in the hopes of slowing them down. 

Left, right, right, over the fence, right, left, turn after turn Molly didn't dare to look back while he ran for his life. His lungs heaved out a great force of air and his legs shook, screaming in agony. Despite his body pleading to stop and give out from under him, he continued to run in what it seemed like a maze that never ends. For a minute his lungs and legs finally give out all together and stumbled, falling on the ground when he rounded another corner. 

Molly started to stand up again for him to  trip on his own feet and land on the ground, arms stinging from the sudden impact on the cold concrete. He was too busy trying to get back up and start running again when he felt an instant shock of pain on his ankle. A strangled cry came out of his throat when he looked back at his feet to see one of the dogs biting down harshly on his ankle, trying to drag him away. A need of desperately to escape, he started to kick the dog in the face with his other foot. 

"LET ME GO!"

Words of Infernal spilled out unintentionally from Mollymauk's mouth, more harsher than he has ever spoke out before. Instantly the dog let out a shriek, whimpering in pain as it lets go of his now ripped ankle. The dog was too busy trying to get it's own blood away from their eyes when Molly quickly stood up and ran for his life with an injured foot. The noises of the other dogs and police were now starting to get fainter. 

Faster than Molly has ever gone before, he kept running through anything that he can think of to try and loose the dogs and police. The pain on his ankle was slowing him down by the minute as the pain grew more and more intense. Feeling exhausted and seeing that he couldn't run much longer, he quickly looked around. 

I have to go on higher ground. Molly thought, frantically searching for a window, stairs, or anything that lead onto the ceiling or house. 

Almost weeping in joy, he spots a window opened with a small metal patio handing on the side of the building. It had a ladder but it was pulled up and away from Molly reach. 

Oh thank gods he thought, looking around to see if there was anything that he could climb on. 

Next to where the ladder would've been there stood a large garbage disposal, he would have to make a leap up towards the ladder but at this point he was going to take the risks. Quickly he scrambles on the top of the garbage can, the sounds of dogs barking and police men shouting gets louder and louder. He positions himself to parkour his way up to the patio. 

By the fates please let this work..

Molly prayed to whatever god was out there before taking a leap of fate. One if his hands barley manages to grab the last bar of the ladder as his legs dangle in the air. 

He could hear the voices of the police getting closer, quickly he grabbed the bottom ladder with his other arm and starts to pull himself up. 

His arms started to tremble while he pulled himself up, mentally cursing for not accepting any of Beau's upper body strength classes in the gym when he finally manages to catch his feet on the bar where his hand was. 

With a shaky breath Molly quickly started to pull the rest of his body up, from up where the patio was he could see the shadows of the dogs and policemen around the corner of the alley ways. 

Quickly he turned around, seeing a window that was opened, without thinking twice he climbed in. Stealthy as he can, he tries his best to avoid knocking stuff over from drawers and scoots to the wall right next to the window and hid, waiting. 

For a few minutes Molly let himself to quietly gain some air back, looking around the fairly small living room. He hears the sound of dogs barking and police men running past by. He slumps against the wall, notes how even in a small living room that connects to the kitchen felt empty with very little stuff decorated around the room. The only thing that the living room had was a couch, a coffee table, two small bookshelves with even more piles of books right beside them, and a small square TV box that looked like it came straight out of the garbage. The kitchen was no better, it had the basic essentials that are needed for a kitchen with a small round table and two chairs on each side. Other than that, nothing else was there. No blenders, coffee markers, toasters, hell Molly can't even see a microwave in this place. 

Man, hate to live in this shit hole. Molly thought, feeling sorry for whoever has to live like this for the rest of their life. He assumes a druggy stays here but quickly pushes that thought away as he waits for any more sound coming from the bottom of the alleyway. 

He waits for 5 minutes and all he could hear were the sounds of cars honking in the distance. 

Nothing. 

For a second he dares himself to peak his head out to look at the window. He looks around to see no one there, the night was silent now and the only thing that Molly could here were the sounds of his own breathing and his heart thumping wildly in his chest. 

With a quiet sigh of relief he slumped down on the ground against the wall. At the corner of his eye something brown came into view. Molly, being startled, jerked his arms up in a defence position before he feels a sharp pain on his right elbow. 

His eyes widen in fear for a second, he hears something that was on the small table top next to him shake and tilt sideways. He sees a glass pot holding some type of plant in it fall down to the ground and shatter. 

"Mmmmmrrreeeeeewwwww

Molly whipped his head towards the sound of the creature. He prayed that the owner wasn't home at the moment when he turns to see a Bengal cat standing right across from him.

For at least 5 minutes straight the cat and him stared at each other in silence while Molly's brain had to process what was in front of him. 

He blinked for a few minutes before chuckling quietly to himself, feeling stupid for a second. Oh... It's just a cat

The yellow eyes stared back at him intensively. Molly never thought a cat could glare at a person with such intimidating energy until now. The cat meowed, it didn't sound happy. 

"Uh.. Hey.. " Molly whispered, watching the cats ears flicker when hearing his voice. "Sorry about all of this uh... Sort of an inconvenience. I'll be out of your hair shortly."

The cat only stared at him, Molly could strangely feel the sweat appearing on his forehead again. He awkwardly stared back at the feline creature while trying to scoot away from it. Blinking only once for a full minute, the cat slowly starts to advance towards him. 

"Hey," He hisses quietly, making a shooting motion towards the cat. "Shoo! Get out of here."

As a reply, the cat hissed and swiped its sharp claws at his hand. Molly had to bite back a curse on his tongue as he instantly pulled his hand. He looked at his hand and back to the cat in shock, the damn cat scratched him on his finger and now he's bleeding! 

"Ow! fucking.. " He tried to stop the bleeding by sucking on his injured finger. 

"HHHHiiisssss"  The cat meowed loudly, it's back arching up to make it look scarier and tried to attack Molly again. This time he was wise enough to dodge away from the next attack. He starts to stand from from his spot, trying his best to avoid the fucker. 

"Don't make me do it." Molly warned, finding himself trapped when his back bumped into the counter. He quietly climbed on to it as the cat tried to rush in and attack his ankles. "I will blind you if you keep attacking me and don't keep quiet!"

The cat only replied with a loud meow again as it jumped on the counter. Quickly advancing towards Molly's legs. 

"Shit!"

He took another step backwards before freezing again with the feeling of something behind his foot. He hears another crash on the floor as the cat replied with a hiss and yowl. Molly looked back behind him for a second to see broken shards of what it seemed to be remains of a coffee cup behind him that has fallen off of the kitchen counter. 

"Ok, cat" Molly harshly whispered shouted. The temptation for using infernal was burning under his skin at the moment. "I've had a long day today and I just want to go home. Now be a good kitty and go away!" 

With a reply of a loud war cry the cat pounced on him, claws unsheathed and ready to tear off flesh. The fierce bengal  quickly leaps towards Molly. 

As a reaction, Molly brings his leg up and kicks the cat. He wasn't expecting for the cat to puff out into smoke when his foot collided to the cats face after it gave out a painful yowl. 

What the hell?! 

The sound of a door opening and light flickering at the edge of his vision beings Molly in a frozen stance. He stares at the resident living here holding a fucking fire ball in his hands. 

Staying frozen on the counter, they both stare at each other for an awkwardly amount of time. He was a deer on headlights when Molly instantly recognized the face of the man he saved at the cafe. Caleb. 

Oh fuck... 

Molly hopped that he still had his glamour on. 

___

 

"You kicked my cat.."

With Caleb's eyes now adjusted to the darkness, he could see the silhouette of a drow standing on top of his counter staring at him as if he'd just seen a ghost. 

"Uh..." The man said awkwardly, his voice deep yet felt strangely familiar. "To be fair your cat attacked first, I was just defending myself."

"Ja..and? You've broke into my house, I say that's  justifiable."

Today this considered to be the worst day of Caleb's life. First he pulled an all nighter and ran late again. Second, he almost fought and have successfully attacked some strangers who broke into the cafe and apparently were Jesters friends, then proceeded to almost be a punching bag for some bikers, and now this

He was seriously considering for a minute if he had unintentionally signed up for something that he didn't know about. 

"I assume you don't usually get visitors often?"

Caleb stared at him in confusion, the flame in his hand was slowly dying out. "Wh-... Was?"

"I mean, like you said I literally broke into your house and you're just standing there talking to me, not even attempting to call the police."

He stayed silent, thinking the same thing to what the dark elf was thinking. Why hasn't he attempted to move towards the phone? 

"We'll... " The man pipped up, cutting Caleb out of his own thoughts. "This was rather an enjoyable experience, but I can't just let you watch me leave."

For a second, Caleb hesitates before seeing the world around him go black. His brain erupts into pain for a moment. He stumbled and tripped and fell into one of his bookshelves, hearing the sounds of things falling on the ground around. He falls on the floor and yells out of shock and fear, scratching his eyes to clear away the sudden dense liquefied substance that ran down his face like tears. His arms were already starting to feel bruised, he stretched out his hands in front of him helplessly feeling his way across the floor. 

Not knowing where he was or what was happening, he backed himself into what it feels like to be the book shelf or the piles of books right next to it. Silently, he shook like a leaf until a few minutes pass by with his own clear tears washing away the bloodstained ones. 

Frantically, Caleb looked around the room, not daring to move. He noticed that the strange drow figure was gone, the window that lead outside to the patio was closed. 

Caleb looked down at his now blood streaked hands and mentally cursed at himself. He felt so stupid at the moment, not bothered on why his eyes bleed or how the guy did that. If he would've just called the police like any other person would've done, the guy would've been in handcuffs in by now. Not adding the fact that he also almost burned the whole fucking apartment to the ground.

Yet, he didn't, but that still didn't top the cake of feeling like a disappointment. Caleb has forgotten the number one rule that he's been taught since birth. 

Never hesitate

Trained through blood, sweat, and tears. He was forcibly taught to never take risks, or else someone will take advantage of you. 

He wished Frumpkin was here, rubbing his body across Caleb's shaking form. He longed for the distraction of the soft fur and the sounds of the deep purrs and rumbles from the cat that keep him grounded when he's in one of his bad moments. His stomach feels empty but felt like throwing up again. He misses him already, he wants Frumpkin back right now. 

His heart twists in pain when his logical side reminds him on the fact that he can't. To summon a familiar without a license is highly illegal. Another challenge that Caleb knows its impossible to get the supplies from the black market, which was already expensive as hell in the first place. 

For the first time of not knowing what to do, Caleb could feel himself tremble again. His heart pounding and his head feeling stuffed in cotton, he leaned his head against the wall. Tears ran furiously down his face as his body shook with sorrow. The dark corners of the walls now felt like a cold stranger to Caleb, feeling as if someone was watching him in the shadows, waiting. It was unwelcoming and the cold air that swept in from the vents now chilled Caleb to the bone. His eyes darts to the right corner, his breathing picked up at the thought of seeing something move. He wants Nott or Frumpkin to be here, not trusting himself to be alone. 

The realization dawned on him and his heart froze in fear, he was alone

He hasn't been alone in a while now. The last time he was alone... 

Caleb instinctively rubbed his wrapped arms, cold sweat formed against his forehead and wondered what was going to happen. He was alone with his thoughts, and felt terrified of thinking how long it would take before he destroys himself again. Before he undos everything that his friends built up on, to just throw it away. 

That night, Caleb Widowgast did not sleep. Throughout the whole night he stayed up and stared at the shadows, knowing well that the nightmares would be waiting for him in his dream anyways. The earliest recognition of light started to rise up the horizon of the city and shine through the living room window, Caleb was still awake. 

The birds sung their song outside of his window, Caleb watched a pigeon fly up to his window for a few minutes. The bird pecked at the window once or twice before flying away. Caleb's eyes were heavy and his body felt exhausted. He rested his head on the pile of books, the floor feeling more comfortable than the bed at the moment. Letting his eyes close shut, he didn't care about having night terrors as he was lead into an unconscious state. 

 

Chapter Text

 

Jester turns around after refilling a shelf full of blueberry muffins. "Wow, you look like shit."

Molly stood in front of the cash register. There were bags under his eyes, which fits well with his plain purple hoodie and black leggings with plain white converse. He looked like an exhausted college student that crawled out of their dorm rooms after finishing finals. 

"Thanks, I've noticed." 

"What happened?"

After he ran off from Caleb's apartment, Molly retreated back into his home to cure his wounds. He was pretty sure that the bite from the dog wouldn't get infected and give him rabies but wasn't the reason why he stayed up late. He couldn't sleep all night from the guilt and worry of Caleb Widogast. All night he would just twist and turn under the bed sheets, wondering what happened. Was he alright? He hasn't seen him yet so far, maybe he was just too tired to work today? Was he in the back of the kitchen? Molly had expected to see the awkward waiter taking orders at some tables when he walked into the cafe this morning. His stomach turned when he saw no one but Jester at the counter restocking, maybe he was just in the bathroom?  

"Well...lets just say last night at work had been rough."

"Really?" Jester raised an eyebrow. "Where do you work?"

"At the Louvé Shatoe, it can get very rough there at sometimes, you know how drunk people can get."

"Woah..." Jesters eyes widen, her tail swayed behind her out of curiosity. "What so you work as? Stripper? Entertainer? Bartender? Don't feel flustered to tell about your job description, my momma is the Ruby of the Sea so I already know things."

Now it was Molly's turn to be surprised, he felt like he knows the person personally of that name. "Your mom is the Ruby of the Sea?! I swear I've heard that name before..."

"Well duh," Jester giggled. "She has like, the best voice ever. People always say she has the best appointments, if ya know what I'm saying..." She wiggled her eyebrows. "She's pretty famous but she's not from around here. I've heard stories of many people traveling down to the Nicodranas just to see her perform though." 

"Huh, interesting..Do you see your mother normally or..?"

"Oh" Jesters face slightly feel and Molly felt another small punch of guilt in his chest. 

"I'm sorry, that was probably a sore subject-"

"No no! It's fine." Jester chuckled, Molly raised an eyebrow. "Really, my mamma loves me very much and we facetime all the time. I talk to her everyday it's just... " She sighs, her tail now slowly started to curl around her own ankle. "I miss seeing her, you know? Like... Being there, and hugging her. She would always give the best hugs..." A warm smile formed on Jesters lips. "I just wanna be there for my mamma, we really only have each other."

"What makes you not fly over there to visit?" Molly leaned against the table, elbows prompted up under his head, tail swaying lazily. Luckily, today was a slow morning and there seemed to be no one in the cafe. "Did you get into trouble or something...?"

"I mean... Technicallyyyyy.." a small smirk appears on Jesters lips. Molly raises an eyebrow. Oh this was going to be good. "I uh... Kinda, maybe possibly... Have someone trying to track me down..?" 

Molly did not expect that, out of all things. "What?" He felt his jaw drop. "Well, I didn't not expect that, what did you do to make you flee from the city?" A normal person would be freaking out by now, with a disapproval on their face. Molly however had a shit eating grin instead, he never expected for Jester, a seemingly sweet angel, to do something that bad. Pride flowed through in his chest with a little bit of jealousy if anything else. 

Jesters snorted which lead into a fit of giggles. "Oh, it was just a really rich man that didn't know how to be fun. I did this prank on one of my mom's clients, cause the traveler thought it would be really funny, which it was! It basically ended up with him being naked standing outside my mother's balcony in public. He was like really embarrassed and angry. My mother thought I was in danger so she sent me away."

"Oh my stars... " Molly laughed, tears forming in his eyes. "That sounded absolutely grand, If only I was there to see it." He wipes a tear away from his face. 

"You're welcome." Jester gave a small bow. "You still haven't answered by question though." She crossed her arms and puffed out her chest a bit more try to make herself more intimidating, forcing a frown on her face, which gave more a pufferfish look on her cheeks than a stern one. 

"Of course darling, I'm an entertainer. I may not look much at first, but I can make your night unforgettable."

Molly reaches his hand out towards jesters ears, pulling out a small copper coin from behind. Her eyes widen in wonder and excitement, her face in awe. He places the coin into her hands, setting his hand over hers for a few seconds before he lifting them up, revealing nothing there. Jester gasped, looking down at her hands in amazement. Molly raised both of his hands up in surrender, showing that they were bare. "I have more where that came from."

"That was amazing! How did you do that?!"

"Nuh uh," Molly smirked, enjoying the amazement in jesters eyes. "Haven't you heard a magician never spills their secrets?"

"Alright then, keep your secrets." Jester pouted. "I wish Caleb could've seen it..." Her gaze moved onto the door for a few minutes, and Molly followed. The feeling of guilt started to claw it's way into his stomach again, reminding him of the real reason to why he was here. 

"You mean...He's not here?" Molly looked back at Jester. She shook her head, he could feel something stuck in his throat, he felt his stomach drop. Sure, he already had suspected that he wasn't here, but that doesn't mean it makes it any less difficult to confirm it. "I mean... You did tell him to get some rest from work, right? Maybe he's just sleeping in?" 

He taps his fingernails against the counter out of nerves, his tail swishing behind him in a twitching motion. His voice was study and calm, acting like it couldn't have possibly been his fault when he feels like an utter trashy person.

"He shouldn't be..." Jester frowned, looking at her phone. "It's 8:30...he always wakes up at 7...i'll try to call him."

Molly nodded, his anxiety starting to claw it's way into his throat. He silently tries to gulp down the tension. "Sure..." 

Many scenarios flood through his mind. Okay, so after he blinded Caleb he may or may not have heard the sound of something crashing down on the floor. At that time he didn't care if Caleb ran himself into something or accidentally injured his leg, but now with the thought of him bleeding on the floor by a head injury gives Molly heart a surprisingly painful squeeze for someone who he had just met yesterday. 

Molly had to bite down his bottom lip to prevent him from cursing out loud while waiting for the phone to be answered. Jester held up the phone to one of her ears. They waited, both of their breaths held, not daring to break the silence as Jesters phone rang loudly in the space between them. 

After a few more seconds the phone went to voicemail, Jesters face creased with worry and Molly felt his heart sank just a little bit more. "Caleb always answers his phone..." 

"Maybe he... " Molly's voice trailed off as Jester shook her head. 

"Caleb always has his phone near him, and if he doesn't reply he would always send a text after a few minutes later...its just...this is so unexpected, I'm just worried."

"But you told him to take a break from yesterday day, did you?"

"Of course! " Her face in full assurance before a small frown formed her lips when she started to think a little longer. "...I think"

Molly fought the urge to smack Jester on the back of her head. "Jester..."

"Which still doesn't explain why he couldn't pick up his phone." She said defensively, crossing her arms, giving a slight pout. "Besides, Caleb is like, really stubborn so it doesn't make sense for him to just agree without a fight. You know?"

"Maybe he's just tired today, he doesn't have to always answer his phone whenever he receives a call or a text."

"Yeah, I know but...have you seen the news this morning?"

Molly raised an eyebrow, his shoulders tensed. "No, I uh..was kinda busy re cooperating from last night's events, why? Did something happen?"

"There was a shooting near Caleb's apartment." Jesters voice was full of worry, Molly had to mentally curse at himself. Why was he surprised? He should've expected this to be on the news. "They said that two men were killed during a fight and one ran off. The police said that they tried to chase a man down who they think was responsible for the crime but end up getting away. They say he disappeared on Caleb's street, I'm worried that the bad guy had gotten inside the building. Wait," Jesters eyes widen in fear. "Oh god what if the guy went into Caleb's apartment and killed him in his sleep?!"

"Woah woah, okay slow down." Molly nervously chuckled, "I'm sure that he's fine." I hope so. "If anything, the guy probably hid in a garbage disposal or something. Besides, if they had murdered somebody in the apartment then it would've been on the news a well."

Jester fiddled with her phone. "Maybe..." She mumbled, "Im probably overreacting, but can you check up on him while I'm watching over the cafe?"

Molly made a face, Jester prompted her elbows onto the table and gave him the biggest puppy dog eyes that he has ever seen. "Please..? I wouldn't be asking you to do it if I could, but someone's gotta watch over the cafe since Nila isn't here for the whole week."

He gave a sigh, though he wouldn't like to admit that he would've said yes anyways in the first place without Jesters pleading. "Alright, I'll do it. I'm telling you Jester, he's probably just sleeping in."

"I hope you're right...but thank you!" Jester gave him a relieved smile. "I promise I'll pay you back!" She goes back into the kitchen to fetch a pen and paper. 

"Oh, I'm sure you will." Molly chuckled, watching Jester returning and writing the address and door number on a piece of napkin before handing it over to him. 

"You'll call me if anything does happen, right?"

"If course." Molly ruffles Jesters hair, she swats his hand away with a laugh. "Don't want you to start getting grey hairs this early."

Jester gives him a stern look before shooing him towards the door. "Now go! You're distracting me from working."

"Love you darling!" He walks out of the cafe, it took a few minutes but finally manages to catch a taxi. He gives the address to the driver before leaning back in his seat waiting to arrive at Caleb's apartment. Molly tried his best to keep all of the negative thoughts In the back of his mind, though the guilt was eating him from the inside out. He didn't realize that his tail was kept thumping on the seat out of nerves until the driver asked if he was alright. 

"Im fine, just nerves. " He had to hold on to his tail for the rest of the ride. 

_____

 

Molly stands in front of the building as the Taxi drives off, leaving the smell of gas behind. 

The apartment complex was small, only two stories up from the first floor. The environment around the building was dead with pitiful bushes on the side of the walkway next to the front doors of the entrance, litter and cigarettes scatter around the parking lot. Molly speedwalks inside, It was windy outside today. Despite being the beginning of spring the cold air blows harshly against his hot skin, but that wasn't the cause of him shaking. 

Calm down. Molly scolded himself, going to the second floor in the elevator. He pulls out the crumpled up napkin from his pocket, realizing that his hands were slightly shaking. Everything is alright, Jester is just getting into your head. Caleb is just sleeping.. 

Molly hoped that was the case. 

For a few minutes of listening to crappy dying elevator music, Molly quickly walks down the halls, looking for the number that matches the napkin. He mutters the apartment door number under his breath, briefly strolling past the other doors. 

"31b, 31b, 31b....ah!"

Molly had to backtrack a few steps before finding himself standing in front of the door. He takes a deep breath, trying to ease down his heart rate that was growing rapidly in his chest. 

Alright, this is getting ridiculous. Molly raised his hand to knock the door. Just knock on his door, stop acting like he's dying or something.

He knocks three times before he waits. 

Molly looks around for a few minutes in silence, looking down at the end of the hall before whistling a small tune, anything to not pay attention that his tail swishes nervously behind him. After waiting outside of Caleb's door for 5 minutes now, Molly knocks on his door again, his heart rate slowly rising back up. 

"Caleb?" He calls out, wincing how his voice carries through the hallway. "Hey, it's me Mollymauk! Jesters friend, we've met yesterday, uh..." Molly cringed, Caleb already knows that. "She's was worried about how you didn't arrive at work today. I don't know if you were told to take a day off but Jester sent me here to see if you were alright." He waits for a response. "Caleb..?" He calls out again, the anxious thoughts that he tried to keep in the back of his mind were slowly consuming him. He curses under his breath, "Caleb, I need you to say that you are alright, you don't even have to open the door, just tell me and I'll tell jester you are okay."

He waits, ten, fifteen, twenty minutes go by...nothing.

He starts to feel a bit of panic rushing up in the back of his throat. Molly's lungs felt like they were about to combust, the sound of his heart beat wildly in his ears. He grabs the door knob, his grip getting tighter by the minute as he waits for a reply. 

There was still no answer when ten more minutes passed by. 

Molly curses in infernal. He fishes out a set of lock picking tools from his back pockets. Trespassing into someone's house be damned, Caleb might be hurt or worse in there. 

"Caleb I'm coming in." Molly yells, cursing at himself as his hands shook while trying to pick the lock on the door. Calm down, everything is fine, everything is going to be fine

"Don't freak out! It's just me!" He really wish that he could follow his own advice at the moment. 

Through the many times of braking into an entering with the skills of having dexterous hands, Molly had no trouble unlocking the door within a few seconds, the lock giving out a small satisfying click. 

Molly doesn't think twice before turning the handle and pushing the door open. He walks in to scout the place. "Caleb?"

It wasn't hard to spot Caleb lying on the floor. Molly's eyes widen, seeing a pile of books surrounding Caleb's body. Molly could only assume that he was lying in a fetal position when he sees the dry blood on his cheeks and hands from the spell. 

Fuck

"CALEB!" 

Molly quickly swoops into action, rushing towards him while cursing a thousand words a second in both infernal and common. He kneels down to get a closer look to see how bad the damage was. 

Fuck, fuck fuck fuck. He thought, not knowing what to do, he reaches out to grab Caleb's shoulders. Fuck, please let him be alive please let him be alive... 

"Caleb! Are you-" He goes to check on Caleb's pulse but gives out a startled yell when the man laying down in front of him suddenly opens their eyes with shock and fear. Caleb screams out something in Zeminan, slapping Molly across the face, attempting to escape from the sudden intruder. 

Molly gives out a sound of surprise and pain, pushing himself away from Caleb as he summons a small flame in his hands. 

Caleb scoots back frantically towards the bookshelf until he hits his head on the back of the bottom self. He cries out in shock, the flame disappearing when his hands clench his head in pain. 

"Scheiße!" Caleb sits like that for a few minutes, mumbling curse words under his breath, rubbing the back of his head. He looks up to see Molly kneeling down in front of him, looking at him as if he was trying to calm a wild animal. "M-mollymauk? W-wh... Where- how-"

"You're still in your house, don't worry." Molly raised his hands up in a calm motion. "Are you okay? You didn't answer when I knocked on the door, I was worried that something had happened to you...Which I see something did." 

Caleb turns to look at the door which hung wide open. He looks back at the tiefling with a flabbergasted expression. "How... How did you get in here..?"

"I uh...sorta picked the lock on your door to get in here, w-which I would've never done in the first place if I thought you weren't in danger!" 

He blinks, trying to process the information that Molly said. "Why would I be in danger...?"

Molly would've thought that Caleb's head tilt was cute if it wasn't for the dry blood on his hands and cheeks. 

"Long story short, there was a police chase near your street, the man ended up escaping around your apartment and has yet to be found. Jester wanted me to check up on you to see if you were alright. I've waited outside of your door for a long time, you didn't answer when I knocked a couple of times." Slowly, Molly reaches out for one of his shoulders, pausing to see if Caleb was uncomfortable with human contact at the moment. He seems to be alright with it at the small permission, giving Molly a small nod of approval.

"I was getting pretty worried when you didn't answer for a while, the next thing I knew when I walked through the door was seeing you on the floor with blood on your face and hands, which let me tell you, does not look good on people, dear." 

Like a lioness with a cub Molly gently picks up Caleb from the floor, wrapping his arms securely around Caleb's shoulders and waist. He feels Caleb leaning on to him as he pushes himself back up to his feet, stumbling like a fawn in the process. "So, I thought you were in danger. You gave me quite a scare, I thought I was going to have to take you to the hospital and call Jester about it."

"I'm sorry..." Caleb mumbled, looking down to his feet as if he was a child being scolded by their mother. Molly settles him down gently on the couch, he frowns when he notices how cold and clammy the humans skin felt. "It's uh... It's been a rough night."

"I can see that." Molly turns to look at the kitchen. "Do you have any rags or medical kits that I can use?"

Caleb blinks for a moment. "Oh, uh..ja, bottom left cabinet under the sink...Danke, Molly."

Molly gives out a humm of acknowledgement when he walks away from the couch, giving glances towards Caleb every few minutes or so to see if there were any signs of him passing out anytime soon. He felt relieved that Caleb was alright but he can still feel the heavy weight of guilt on his chest, Molly reminded himself that the only reason Caleb was in this mess was because of him

He pushes those thoughts aside, reminding himself to pay more attention to the task in front of him. Molly opens the cabinet under the sink, not expecting to see piles of Medical kits stashed in there. "Hey uh...not judging you or anything, it's just that..why do you have so many health kits? Are you preparing for the apocalypse or something?" 

Molly can hear Caleb giving out a small chuckle, he smiles at the sound, his tail starts to swing happily in response. He starts searching through the mountain of medical kits, he only manages to find an old dirty rag that was buried underneath the pile of medical supplies. He frowns, reminding himself to give Caleb more wash rags next Christmas. 

"Ah.. Ja, you can blame my friend for those." Molly starts to wash the old grime off of the rag, looking up every now and then to see Celebs lips form a small smile at the mention of his friend, his hands stopped fiddling with each other for a moment. He looked relaxed, his poster slightly slouching. "She uh... She's a mom friend if you know what I'm saying."

"Oh totally, I have a friend like that as well, Her name's Yasha." Wringing the extra water off the rag, Molly walks back towards Caleb, bringing one of the medical kits just in case there was something else he needed to fix up. 

He sits down right next to Caleb, placing the medical kit on the coffee table. 

"At least we'll know who to go to when someone's hurt. Now, hold still." He brings the wet cloth close to Caleb's face, but hesitates. "Is this okay?"

"W-would.." Caleb clears his throat, licking his chapped lips before preparing himself to speak again, more clearly this time. His eyes avoiding the bright red pupilless eyes that were staring right back at him. "Would you mind...Closing the door..? It's still open.." 

"What?" Molly looks back at the door, realizing that he hasn't closed it yet since he broke in. "Oh yeah, sorry about that."

He stands up from the couch, walking towards the door and closing it shut, locking it when the door closes with a soft click. "Should've closed the door once I walked inside, I apologize."

"It's fine."

They both end in an awkward silence. Molly noticed as he walks back that Caleb didn't seem to be relaxed anymore. His shoulders looked tense once again, his poster straightening as if there was a board nailed to his back, he avoided Molly's gaze the whole time while he started to fiddle with his hands again, this time they were slightly shaking. 

"You okay? You seem tense again, if you want me to unlock the door I can-"

"No, its fine." Caleb nervously licked his lips, scratching his face a few times to try to get the blood off of his face. "I-i actually feel better with the door being locked again." 

"Scratching your face off is not going to make the blood go away." Molly's sits back down on the couch, grabbing the wet cloth from the coffee table. He gave a small smile, "if anything, it'll just make your face be redder than it already is."

Molly didn't know if Caleb was blushing or not. "Well, it wasn't really my intention to do that."

"Then thank your lucky stars that I'm here." He lifts up the wet rag and slightly brings it towards Caleb's face, who slightly pulls his head back from it once the coldness of the rag touches his skin. Molly retracts the wet rag away from him. "You know, if you want to wash your own face then I am more than-"

"N-nien." Molly raises an eyebrow, his eyes not leaving Caleb's even though the same cannot be the same for Widogast. "I..its fine.. I just need to think for a minute." 

"Alright, just... Make sure you don't squirm like a child, yeah?"

Caleb mumbled something in his mother tongue, crossing his arms in a childish way. Molly wondered what he said but it sounded like Caleb was pouting at him, he smirked. "Now, I didn't say to act like one." With gentle care he presses the wet cloth against Caleb's cheeks. 

Caleb tries not to squirm under the feeling of the rough and cold wet touch on his skin. He shifts a bit and made an unsatisfied noise. Molly mumbled an apology, pausing at his cleaning before going at it again with lighter pressure, slowly but surely getting rid of the blood stained tears. 

"So...What happened?" Molly turns his acting skills up to a 10. He wants to know Caleb's side of the story, plus he's dying to get a conversation out of him to escape the possibility of another awkward silence between them. "Must've been terrifying."

"Ah.. Well.. Someone broke into my house, then proceeds to blind me. I uh.." Caleb looks down at his hands, rubbing the dry blood that was on his fingers. It makes Molly pause on cleaning his face again. "I tried to defend myself, but as you can see that didn't work out so well." 

"Well I can see that dear." Molly chuckles, and Caleb blushes in embarrassment. "Strange, You would think that a lot people would be afraid of seeing magic."

"Yeah.." 

A small frown forms on Molly's lips, there was something in Caleb's tone that was suggesting that there was more to the story than he was letting on. He didn't pry for information, so instead he continues to clean. 

"Speaking of which, I don't know if it was just a coincidence or an accident, but am I the only one who knows that you can summon fire?"

Caleb's heart stops for a minute, he feels his stomach twist and turn. "N-no." He manages to speak, the air around him started to taste like ash. "Jester and Nott, my friend who I spoke to you about, they know."

"Hm, and now me." 

He nodded, avoiding to look at Molly's face, his hands started to shake as he tried to still them. Doing magic without a license is highly illegal, anyone who gets caught in the act of using it will be severely punished or get thrown in jail for life unless you have permission or reason to do so. People who are born with magic are sent to a special school to train and control their powers so they won't have the urge to use it. The only times that you are allowed to use magic are if you join the military or a curtain organization to control and watch over the city with or for magic.

If Jester's purple friend here decides to turn in Caleb to the police for magic, then he would be done for. 

"You aren't..." His mouth felt dry. "You're not going to tell anyone...Are you?"

Molly chuckled, "If I was going to do that then I would be pretty much turning myself in as well."

Caleb blinked, not expecting that answer and unaware that Mollymauk himself had magic. "You..you have magic? Born with it or...?"

"Born and breed." He grins, his pearly white fangs showing. " Though, I don't know how to control them well. I didn't even know I had powers until...well, let me show you."

Placing the bloody rag down, Molly pulls up one of his sleeves to reveal the tiny scars that scatter all over his arm. Caleb's eyes widen in supreme as he looks up at Molly with a concerned gaze. 

"How..." 

"My uh...power kinda needs some activation of some sorts to allow me to use it."

"You mean you have to cut yourself?"

Yeah..It's a long story to explain." 

This was strange to Caleb, he has heard stories of people using blood magic before but that normally didn't deal with hurting oneself. Besides, blood magic deals with wizards and as much as Caleb knows about Molly, the tiefling doesn't seem to be the type of person to be reading books until 3 am in the morning. 

"May I..?" Caleb reaches out a hand towards Molly's arm. 

"Of course."

 Caleb gently holds Molly's arm in his hands, as if he was afraid of hurting Molly. He lightly trails his fingers over the scarred skin, reminding him on his own. "We're these..?" He trailed off, allowing Molly to speak if he wanted to say anything about this, he wouldn't push. 

Molly feels a tingling sensation as Caleb's fingers gently brush over the small bumps that are marked on his arm, his tail starts to sway a little besides him. "From trying to cut myself? Some of them...Others... Well.." He tries to give out a light chuckle, "Maybe some other time I'll tell you, it's not that I trust you or anything but we've only just met. Plus I'm a little too sober for this conversation if you know what I mean."

"I understand..I apologize if I'm pushing any buttons. I know what it's like to have a few scars myself and...sometimes feeling about them.." 

"How do you feel about them, Mr Caleb?" He slips his arm away from Caleb's grasp to retrieve the wet cloth again. "Turn your head slightly to the left please." 

Caleb follows Molly's orders, tilting his head to the side with furrowed eyebrows, confused about the question. "I...don't understand, what do you mean by that?"

"Do you feel ashamed of your scars? You don't have to answer, but you've said that you know how I feel about them."

He turned his head to look back at Molly, looking at him with something that Molly could not place. "Is that what you feel?"

Molly shrugs, avoiding Caleb's gaze while he tires to read Molly's expression. "It just depends on what kind of day it is, you as well?"

He nods in return, his expression continues to be unreadable. Caleb turns his head back to where Molly wanted it to be so he could continue to clean off the rest of the blood.

They both fall into a comfortable silence, Molly sest the bloody rag on the coffee table besides them once he was finished. He looks into the blue eyes of Caleb Widogast, looking to see if there was any cuts or brushes on his face. He ends up staring back into Caleb's eyes once he was finished. "Hm, there's no cuts on you..."

A slight blush appeared on the man's cheeks. "The guy must've blinded me or something to escape then." 

"With your blood?" Molly raises an eyebrow, not sure on why Caleb seemed so calm about that. "Could.someone do that?"

"Ja, it takes time to master it, but it's considered to be a very dark art. Most of the time, people who can wield blood magic are considered crazy or very dangerous people."

"Ah," Molly tries to ignore the feeling of his stomach plummeting into a bottomless pit, he turns his eyes away to start cleaning up the mess he made. "Charming, you seem to know a lot about magic."

"Im- was a wizard."

"Wait, really?" He takes a double look back at Caleb. 

Molly wondered if he was joking for a second, but nervous look on the human's face said otherwise. 

A wizard, who works at a cafe, is never heard of and if so really rare. Adding to all the anxiety and type of lifestyle this man in living in, this was considered to be the weirdest thing that Molly has ever discovered, and that was saying something. 

"Well, there must be quite a story behind all of that if you're living like this, but of course we can always talk about that later."

Caleb looks at him as if he had grown another eye. "You..you are not interested in it..? "

"Oh no, I definitely am." He stands up, grabbing the medical kit and dirty rag before walking back to the kitchen sink. Caleb's eyes never left him, like a hawk he stares down at Mollymauk.

"You can't just say that and not have someone wanting to know, but everyone has their stories, if you know what I mean, and it's your decision to decide to tell me or not." He walks over to the kitchen sink to wash off the blood from the rag. "Besides,Im not going to force you to spill your whole life story to a person you've just met yesterday, that's just rude."

Molly was too busy cleaning the rag to notice how the wizard took a small shaky sigh of relief, his shoulder went slightly relaxed from the tension slowly bleeding out of him. "Danke, Molly."

"How's your head, by the way?" Molly hung the wet rag on the faucet to let it dry. "Does it hurt? Any headaches? Pain?"

Caleb touches the back of his head where a small point of pain lingered. He winced when he feels a slight shock of fresh pulsing pain wave through him, the pressure on his head starts to become more intense. "Scheisse...The back of my head still slightly hurts I guess, but it will probably be fine."

"I'll be the judge of that, hold on."

Hastily, Molly throws the medical kit under the sink, not caring if the neatly stacked up medical kits all fall down when he throws it in there. He walks back over to the couch, sitting down right next to Caleb "Here, let me see." 

Hesitantly, Caleb scoots closer to Molly, waiting to see what he was going to do. He watches Molly gently placing his hands on his cheeks, which causes his face to grow warm. "I'm just going to check if have a bump on your head or not, you might have a concussion."

Caleb gives a small smile in amusement. "I am not going to have a concussion by accidentally hitting my head on the wall, Mollymauk."

Molly smiles back. "You can never be sure."

He tilts Caleb's head down so that he could check to see if he could spot any bumps on Caleb's head. "So, where was the spot you said that your head still hurts?"

Caleb points at the back of his head. "There, it's still sore so please be gentle."

"Alright, and sorry if I mess up your hair a bit." He starts to dig his fingers into the red heads hair, for a second he was starting to regret the decision when he feels the oils on Caleb's hair starts to collect on his hands. 

"Ja, I just normally let my hair do whatever it wants."

"I can see that." Molly can feel the oil and grime under his fingers, he was fighting the urge to pull away and gag. Since when was the last time this man has taken a shower

Molly frowns when he manages to find the spot where Caleb said it hurt. Luckily, there was no bumps or cuts but there was a bruise already starting to form. 

"Good news." He pulls away from Caleb, who looks up and waits to see what Molly had diagnosed. "No bump, or cuts. Bad news is that you will have a pretty bad bruise and maybe headache from it." 

"I would've assumed, I can already feel the headache starting." Caleb sighed, the pain that lingered in the back of his head was slowly growing more tense. He looks at the piles of books that now lay all over the floor, which makes him have a more intense headache to think about it. "I should start cleaning up the books..."

"Well, good thing that I'm around to help you clean it up!" Molly stands up from his spot, looking down at Caleb with a considerable gaze. "Mr. Caleb do you like drinking tea?"

He blinks, trying to process the man's quick change of the topic. "Uh…yeah, sometimes."

"Wonderful! In that case, why don't you lay down and rest your head? I'll make a warm cup for you while you rest."

"That's thoughtful of you Molly, but I got to-"

Caleb stands up to walk over towards the books to only be gently pushed back down on the couch again by Mollymauk. "Nope! Like I said, you need rest and tea is the best thing to drink when something is on your mind." He stays on the couch, stunned as he watches Molly walking over to the kitchen, searching through many other cabinets. He pulls out a small pot, pouring in some water to boil. "Do you have any honey?"

Caleb looked at him with his eyes wide and mouth opened, flustered. "Y-yes, in one of the cabinets on top of the kitchen counter, the middle one. I appreciate the gesture that you are trying to do, really I do. It's just that I am more than capable of-"

"I know you are, but I just really want to fix things okay?"

They both fall into an unpleasant silence, Molly had to bite back a curse as he turns his head away from Caleb, looking down at the pot in his hands instead. 

"What do you mean by that Molly?"

 Molly places the pot full of water on the burner, turning the knob on the stove. He avoids Caleb's gaze while doing so, trying to quickly make up an excuse for his unintentional mistake. "I mean...I kinda broke into your house, I want to fix it. Please?"

Caleb says nothing, he only gave out a small grunt before laying back down on the couch. Molly was pretty sure he was mad at him, but was too stubborn to look back and see. 

They fall back into an awkward silence, Molly starts grabbing the supplies to make the tea as the water slowly boils in the pot. He searches in the cabinets to find more components to put into the tea other than honey. It takes a few minutes for Molly to prepare the tea before it was ready to be served. Despite the brooding mood choking the air out of the apartment at the moment, he was quite excited to share his famous homemade tea that Yasha helped him brew a few months ago. 

He brings the mug to Caleb, it slightly burns his hands as he quickly walks back over to the couch. He hands the hot beverage towards him. 

"Here you go, don't try to burn yourself."

Molly watches as Caleb's face slowly starts to match to his auburn hair. He grabs the mug, muttering a thank you, looking down at the tea for a moment before taking a small whiff, a slight frown formed on his lips. 

"This a...smells very interesting."

"Thank you, my friends would always tell me that I have an interesting taste." His smile flatters a bit when Caleb still looked like he smelled something unpleasant. "I didn't poison it, if that's what you're wondering."

"N-no! It's just..." Caleb avoided Molly's gaze, his face becoming more red from embarrassment, his fingers tightened around the mug. "I apologize if I'm being rude, it's just... I've never had this type of tea before. Where did you get this?"

Molly grinned. "It's a family specialty, it's been our family recipe for many generations."

"Hm," Caleb glances down at the tea once more, "It smells nice, what's in it?"

"Just peppermint, caramel, ginger, and a dash of sugar."

"Huh, it certainly tastes like it." He takes a full drink of it this time. "Where did you find the other ingredients?"

"Oh, I just searched through most of the cabinets and they were normally just laying around in the kitchen. Which, I will say Mr. Caleb, why the hell do you have so many ingredients for tea? I mean, I love tea as much as my last name's sake but wouldn't be nice to have a coffee marker or something?"

Caleb shrugs. "I don't drink much coffee"

He watches Caleb hesitantly take one last look at the cup before taking a drink. His eyes widened in surprise as the sweet and sharp pinch of sugar and peppermint catch his tongue. He quickly finishes his drink after a few more minutes, his head and belly feeling warm. 

"I see you like it" Molly laughed, watching Caleb blush again, which was becoming a normal thing to see. 

"Ja.. I uh.. Actually didn't expect it to be really good." Caleb places the mug on the coffee table. "Danke Molly, you didn't have to do this, really."

"It's not a problem, really." Molly felt surprised himself when he realized it was true, he really did enjoy hanging out with Caleb. "I mean... I kinda broke into your house and scared you, it's only fair if I clean up the mess I made." He turns towards the pile of books, picking up each one before placing them back on the shelf. 

Caleb gives out a small chuckle. "Well, I slapped you across the face. We can call it even." He looks back down at his tea again, mumbling some words in his mother tongue while his cheeks flushed a light shade of red. "I uh..want to thank you as well, for the gold. I'll pay back when I have the money, I promise."

Molly picks up 3 more books off from the floor, stacking all of them back on the self as he gives out a hum. "I told Jester that it was a gift, you don't have to repay."

"I-i know, but-"

"Caleb," He looks back towards the red head, who was avoiding Molly's gaze, fiddling with the mug in his hands. "I don't mind. Honestly, it's just two gold. I won't miss it. Besides, you need it more than I do."

He replies back in something again, what was it? Zeminan? Either way Molly was not understanding what Caleb saying. "You know, I really like it when hear you speak your mother tongue." Molly bends down to pick up a couple of more books from the ground. "But I can't understand a word you are saying." 

"O-oh," For a moment Caleb was happy that Molly was facing his back towards him, for if he were to turn around now he would see a very flustered wizard. "Sorry... Sometimes it comes out naturally when I think about things."

"Would you like to speak about your problems in English then? It might be able to help you, I know it helps me when I have someone to talk too."

"Nein, I-I mean-" He placed one of his hands on his forehead, giving out a frustrated sigh. 

Molly gave out a light chuckle. "Ok, I may not know a lot of Zeminan but I know what Nein and Ja is. I'm not saying to never speak your language around me, if anything I would love to hear more." He turns around just in time to see Celebs blush grow a deeper shade of red , his freckles quickly disappearing under the deep red blush. "Just expect me to be very confused if you do manage to accidentally speak out in Zeminan."

"I wouldn't expect anything else." The blush was now starting to disappear from his cheeks. "I-if I make that mistake again please remind me, sometimes when I'm lost in thought I revert back to my mother tongue."

"Of course." Molly places more of books back on the shelf. They both fall back into a comfortable silence while Molly picks up the rest of the books. He picks up the last stack of books before seeing a small red ball that was hidden under the books. The ball gives out a small jingle when he picks it up, he quickly realizes that it was a cat toy. 

Shit

To be fair, the cat asked for it when they attacked first, so Mollys doesn't really feel guilty for the cat. He places the books that he was holding back on the shelf. "You have a cat." It wasn't a question, it was a statement.

"Hm?" Caleb looks up from his empty mug, his eyes trailing down and locking onto the small object in Molly's hand. His expression went from being warm and content to saddened eyes, almost looking like a kicked puppy. "Oh..."

Fuck. Molly thought, the last punch of guilt was now settling in. Just when I thought I didn't feel a thing for that damn cat.

"Is your cat okay?" He was curious on what the hell happened and wanted answers. He puts the toy on the bookshelf with the pile of books that scattered all over the self. 

"Uh... Nein.." Caleb says slowly, his fingers delicately brushing over the rim of the mug. "No, he uh..." He quickly finds himself finding it difficult to talk again. 

"Has he passed?" Molly walks back to the couch, his eyes full of sympathy before sitting down next to Caleb. 

"Ah..no? B-but yes..? Ahh..." Calev nervously fiddles with the wraps on his arm. He places the mug down on the coffee table, his hands were slightly shaking again. ".. It's..its hard to explain, my uh cat, Frumpkin. He is a familiar, you know what they are ja?" 

Molly nodded, "Magical animals, right?" 

Caleb lets out a forced chuckle. "They're not really magical animals, more like..." He paused, "A-anyways, we're getting off track, you probably don't want to listen to me ramble about magic anymore, b-but uh yeah, he was one of those. He ah... He was with me for a very long time, and uh.. Well..there's a thing you need, to legally have a familiar by your side, you need to have a license with a paper that confirms about your disability or something that allows you to have a familiar, but they're mostly for special services, like police dogs or therapeutic animals."

"Makes since, but why do you need a licence?"

"Like I said, they are not really magical animals, they are more of spirit. You are required to get a license with a collar to prove that you are the owner of the familiar for them to be with you." 

"What happens if you don't have those things?"

"Like they would to anyone who's done magic illegally, throw them in a jail cell for life."

"Oh."

The space between them went still and quiet, Molly couldn't help it but slightly flinch at the sound of a loud horn honking outside of the apartment. "Well...That's a bit harsh isn't it?"

Caleb snorted, "Ja..A little bit..." 

"If I can ask, Why don't you just go to therapy and get a license from there? Surely you can-"

"No," He snaps, which causes Molly to be taken back slightly. "It's.. It's too much.. Last time I went there, let's just say it wasn't what anyone wanted." 

"Understandable, I don't like going into therapy myself either. Why don't you try to-"

"But the supplies that I need?" Molly falls silent as Caleb gives him a stern look. "Don't you think I would've tried that already if I had the money?"

He falls silent, not knowing what to say. Instead Molly gives in a tired sigh, mumbling out an apology. 

"It's okay.." Caleb mumbles back, sounding exhausted as well. "I'm sorry that I snapped at you, I'm just stressed at the moment."

"Your fine."

They sit in silence for a minute after that, before Molly wondered about something. "Did you love him? Frumpkin, I mean."

Caleb gave him a small smile. "That might be an understatement." He looks at the cat toy on the book shelf. "He was there from day one, when I first summoned him. I knew what I did was dangerous so I hid him for most of the time so he wouldn't be seen. Frumpkin helped me a lot during some hard times, he was very soothing for me when I felt low."

"Would you do anything to get him back?"

"Yes, I would" Caleb gives Molly a raised eyebrow with hesitation to answer his question. "Mollymauk, what do you have in mind?"

"Oh, nothing too serious" Molly smiled, showing his fangs in a flashy style. An idea had just popped into his mind that will hopefully fix all of this mess. "I just wanted to know, actually there is one thing that I want to know."

He can see Caleb starting tense up, his whole poster straighten up a bit more, preparing himself for what was about to happen. "...Alright."

"When does your work shift end? Cause I would love for us to hang out with each other under better circumstances sometime."

"Oh," Caleb begins eased up again. "Uh..yeah, sure we can do that. My lunch break starts at 2:00 and then my shift ends at 4:30 everyday but on weekends."

"Wonderful!" Molly gives a small clap, "We can decide when we can have our date then!"

"Wait, what? Y-you are joking...r-right?" Caleb looked over at Molly with wide eyes, worried that he might've misunderstood the tieflings intentions. 

"Of course, I'm not going to make you go on a date with someone you just met." Molly laughed, a smirk falling on his lips. "Unless you like things to go very quick." 

"No, no! I'm..I'm good with just friends hanging out."

"Then it's settled, just a friendly hang out."

Molly looks over towards the bookshelf, surprised that none of the books had fallen off of the bookshelves yet. 

 "It might not be as well organized from the first time, I apologize for not being a good organizer."

"It's fine, danke Molly, for helping me." Caleb stands up from the couch, his head feeling more clearly now. He grabs the empty mug from the coffee table. "If you need anything that I can do, then please let me know so I can repay you."

"Anything..?" Molly raises an eyebrow, a smirk on his lips as his tail sways like a mischievous cat. "That's a dangerous game to play, Caleb."

Caleb turns around to glare at Molly. "You know what I mean, Mr. Mollymauk." He turns around but pauses, his blood turning cold for a minute. "You won't ask for that…right?"

"What?" His playful behavior dropped, his expression turning grave. "Of course not, I'm not one of those people."

"... Okay…" Caleb pauses once more, looking at Mollymauk once more before walking back to the kitchen sink. "Good...that's Good"

His eyebrow furrows, "Are you okay Caleb? Did I make you feel uncomfortable?"

"Uh…no." A lie, his hands were slightly shaking as he sets his mug in the sink. "Just…making sure."

Mollymauk can be an idiot at times, but not stupid enough to believe that Caleb was alright. "Caleb…" He gives out a small sigh, "I can see that your hands are shaking." He doesn't know what to do, so he stands in the same spot. "I can 

leave if that's what you want, I don't mind-."

"N-no!" Molly paused when he turned around to walk towards the door, he turns back to look at Caleb. "No..?" He was confused. "But I made you uncomfortable."

"You did…" Caleb admitted, he bites the bottom of his lip, looking back towards Molly. "But..I also trust you when you say that you're only joking." He walks back to him, avoiding his gaze while doing so. "I'm just really bad at knowing when someone is serious or not, you can say that im a bit of… Ah.. "

"Deadpan?"

"Yeah, that word." Caleb tries to give a smile, which turns out to be a wince. "Let's just say that I uh...had a bad experience about knowing who to trust."

"Then why trust me?" 

Caleb looks back up to stare at Mollymauk, as if he was searching for his answer, racking up his brain to find any explanation but couldn't find a thing. He doesn't know why he trusts Mollymauk as much as he does, maybe it was because he saved him from those men yesterday? Or was it because Jester has known him from sometime? Whatever it was, the aura that radiates from the tiefling seems to be luring the wizard in. "I don't know," He can see Molly giving him a mild look. "I don't trust you as much as I trust Jester or Nott…but can I trust you enough to know that you won't do anything harmful to me, you seem like a good enough person."

"I mean…" Molly protested weakly, "You shouldn't.." He avoids Caleb's gaze. "I've done things in my life that I'm not proud of Caleb." 

There was a pause before a response. "Everyone has done something that they're not proud of doing before, it's how you move on will determine who you will become."

A small smile appears on Molly's lips as the words sink into his chest. "Well, you really know how to sway people with words don't you Mr. Caleb?"

Caleb tries to fight off the small smile appearing upon his lips. "Then I suppose you wouldn't mind me swaying you into a cup of coffee with me tomorrow at 2?" 

Mollymauk blinks, trying to process what was happening. "What are you-...oh.." Oh. A small blush quickly formed on his cheeks when he realized what had just happened. "Did you just..use a pick up line on me?" He tries to ignore the feeling of his heart soaring through his chest. 

 "I.. Uh.." Caleb's small stretch of confidence quickly fell as it came, he fumbles a bunch of words in Zeminian while he spoke, flustered at his own attempt to try inviting Molly for a cup of coffee. Molly couldn't help but find it being cute as Caleb spoke in his mother tongue, flustered with his bright rosy cheeks, even though he couldn't understand a thing. 

"Caleb, you're adorable, but I can't understand a word you're saying." Molly places a hand on his shoulder to stop him from rambling for too long. "I would love to get to know you better as well, at the cafe?"

Caleb looks into Molly's eyes, he was surprised to notice how blue they were. "Y-yeah..that would be good."

"Great! I'll see you tomorrow then."

He walks towards the door, his hand reaching out for the handle. "Wait."

Mollymauk paused, looking back at the flustered wizard. "Yes?"

"Ah.." Caleb hastily fished out his phone from his pocket, his hands slightly shaking. "Do you want my number..? To keep in contact in case something happens, of course."

Something appeared on Mollymauk's face, in which Caleb had noticed it was smile, small and soft with something else that he couldn't quite name, but it was there. The smile was more wholehearted than any other smiles that Molly gave. "Sure, let me just grab my phone."

Once they switched numbers, Caleb gave his final goodbyes to Mollymauk before closing the door behind him. He stood in front of the door for a few minutes, processing what the hell just happened. Did I just ask out someone to get coffee with him

"Ficken," Caleb cursed, placing his forehead against the cool door, wondering what kind of spell Mollymauk had casted on him. "Fuck."

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Caleb was cleaning a table before a curtain flamboyant purple tiefling walked through the door. 

It was not hard to spot Molly, for one he was the only purple tiefling that Caleb ever saw, not to mention he wore clothing like he was celebrating Mardi Gras. Today, he looked more like a disco ball than anything. He wore a white glittering diamond tank top with pink flower lace summer shorts that showed off some curves. His flip flops were no better, they are also rimmed with diamonds and sparkles. The jewelry on his horns and fingers stand out with gold and silver. 

Molly, was figuratively and literally lighting up the whole room. Caleb wasn't sure if he was comfortable with it, not that he's discouraged by the way he dressed, far from it actually, it was the attention that makes Caleb so nervous. The way that Molly was being stared down by a few pedestrians as he walks by makes Caleb's heart go into a rollercoaster of emotions. For the past 5 years he's been careful to know where to step around. He likes the protection of the shadows that hide him from the people out there who are looking for him. He thrives on being undetected, ignored, and even looked down upon. No one pays attention to beggars, unless a flashy purple tiefling comes up your way. 

The worst part is, he likes that Molly is interested him, not in an interested in a partner kind of way, but as a person who sees him as worth in their eyes. Caleb feels wanted around Molly's presence, which is strange because he never felt that around someone except when Nott is around. He feels like a moth flying towards a light, a character from one of Jesters badly written smutty romance books, it feels ridiculous. 

No matter how hard he tries he just can't just stop thinking about the tiefling. The man could cast charm person on anyone without even trying a damn trying. It scared Caleb, he hasn't felt this way in a very long time. 

Still, there was something that Mollymauk was hiding, another reason to why Caleb was so interested in him as well. Under the glitter and money the wizard knows something else is going on underneath the gold and silver, the visit at his apartment only confirms it. It's only a matter of time before Caleb finds his true intentions, but for now, he will play along. Molly seems nice enough, but Caleb hasn't found anything to trust him just yet. 

"Caleb?" 

The voice shakes him out of his thoughts. He blinks for a minute to realize that Molly was standing right in front of him, he returns an awkward smile, blush rushing to his cheeks. "Hello Mollymauk." He mentally kicks himself for spacing out like that. 

 He picks up the dirty rag from the table, picking up the rest of the dishes. "I see you've arrived a bit earlier, did something happen?" Caleb swiftly maneuvers away from Molly and walks back into the kitchen. He hears Mollymauk quickly following behind as they enter in the back. 

"You." Molly grins, his pearly white teeth showing. Caleb turns around to see his sparkling white teeth, realizing that Molly has two little fangs for his canines. Huh, cute

"What?"

"What?" Did I just say that out loud? Caleb's eyes widen, his face instantly turning red, he tears his eyes away from Molly's face, looking at anything that wasn't him. "N-nothing! I was just thinking about something." Nice job making things awkward, unanständig. 

He quickly shuffles to the sink, not even glancing towards Molly as he starts washing dishes. 

"Was that something have to do with my teeth maybe…? "

Caleb could practically hear the smirk in Molly's voice from behind him, reminding him too much of Jester during one of her mischievous adventures. He lets his hair fall in front of his face, his face going into a deeper shade of red as he grumbles out a curse in Zeminan. He scrubs the plate in his hands harder before settling it down to the side. 

"Don't worry about it dear, to be truthful I am flattered that you think my teeth are adorable."

"Great," He allows every drip of sarcasm through his words, still ignoring Mollymauks gaze as he grabs a rag to dry off a plate. "It's nice to know that I'm feeding your igo."

Molly gives out a dramatic gasp, "Mr. Caleb, is that how you talk to a customer? I'm hurt, truly. You know, Jester didn't say you were this grumpy." 

"I'm not grumpy." He turns around, a frown on his lips, the blush finally gone from his face. 

"Your frowning like I just insulted your whole family." 

"Do you want me to be grumpy?" 

Molly raises his hands up in surrender. "Nope! Would much rather be with happy Caleb, kinda enjoy that side."

"Then I'm afraid you'll be disappointed then." He muttered, finishing up the dishes that were in the sink. "I'm not a happy person."

"Nonsense, you just need to stop worrying so much, that's all."

Caleb scuffs, he dries off the last plate before setting them on the side, he figures Jester will take care of it. "You make it sound like it's easy." He turns around, crossing his arms as he leans behind the counter. 

The tiefling shrugs. "Fair enough."

"I still have 20 minutes before my break starts," Caleb sighs, looking at the clock over the kitchen sink. "So be patient and just...please don't touch anything that could potentially blow up the place, okay?" He leans his head towards the employment room when he hears a door close. "Jester, Mollymauk's here!"

There was a loud gasp before a quick blur motion of blue rams Molly into a hug. Molly gives out a small squeak when Jester practically throws herself onto him, giving a tight hug. "Molly!!" 

He let out a wheeze when he feels his bones break from Jesters death grip, his back popping in some places. "Jester!" He laughs, wincing when Jester squeezes harder in return. "Love you too dear but can you please loosen up the hug a bit? You're killing me here." 

"Ops, sorry!" Jester giggles, finally letting Molly free. He takes a deep breath of fresh air, leaning against the table for support. 

"Kinda get carried away sometimes, but thank you so much for checking up on Caleb yesterday for me!"

"No problem," Mollymauk gives a pained smile before returning his attention back to Caleb, who was still avoiding his gaze. "Gave me quite a scare though, he looked dead when I arrived."

"I was sleeping on the floor," Caleb grumbled, hanging the rag on a drying rack. "It wasn't like I was dying."

"If I recall, I tried to get your attention a couple of times before breaking in and seeing you laying on the floor with blood on your face. You've nearly gave me a heart attack." 

Caleb gives him the stink eye but Molly just laughs, Jester gives a small snicker in response to that as well. Caleb mumbles something under his breath about his friends being assholes before walking out of the kitchen. "I need to work, try not to burn down the building ja?"

"Of course we won't," Jester grabs Molly's hand, a smirk on her lips as her tail intertwining with Molly's. "We would never do a thing like that, right Molly?"

"Dear, you are covered in paint." Molly tries to wipe the green paint off of Jesters face, it flakes off of her skin from being on her face for too long. "What happened?" He looks down at her clothes, noticing that she was wearing a plain white shirt with short jeans that was covered with paint from head to toe. 

Jester smirks, "it's a surprise" . She starts tugging him towards the employee room. "Come on! I'm working on something cool and I'm like, really proud of it so far." 

"Ah, so it's an art piece." He allows Jester to drag him towards the room. Molly looks back to see if Caleb was still hanging out in the doorway, he was surprisingly disappointed to see no one there. 

They stop in front of the door, Jester reaches out for the doorknob but stops mid way, glaring at Molly as if she was expecting something. "I'm working on a very important project, a really big one. It's very delicate and I don't want to mess it up, so no touching!"

Molly raises a hand up. "I solemnly swear that I will be good."

She nods in approval before unwrapping their tails together and slipping past the door. Molly follows her into the room, she raises her hands up with excitement. "Surpiissseee! I've decided to paint the whole room now!"

The bags and newspapers crinkle and crunch under Molly's feet as he takes in the whole scenery. Of course, most of the walls and ceiling were still white and bland but across from the other beautiful moral now stands another beautiful painting of a base for a forest with a small cabin in the woods that leads into a field of what it will seem to be wildflowers sprouting all over. It wasn't much at the moment, but it still left Molly's mouth agape. 

"Jester..." Molly gasped, astounded by the beautiful colors forming together into a wonderful scenery. "This is going to be marvelous once you finish it. Do you have any other ideas for the rest of the room?" 

Jester nodded, a grin creeping onto her face. "It's a surprise though, so you'll just have to suffer until I finish it!" She walks over to the nearest bucket of paint, picking up one of the medium sized brushes that laid on the floor. Molly watches in confusion as Jester talks up to him with the paint brush in hand. "Would you like to help? It'll be fun!" 

"Oh, " He blinks, looking at the brush then back up towards the unfinished mural. "I..don't think it'll be wise to give me a brush." Molly lets out a nervous chuckle, awkwardly putting his hands behind his back as an excuse to not take the paintbrush, Jester gives him a slight frown. "I'm not as an amazing artist as you are and I don't want to-" 

"You won't destroy it, if that's what your worried about." Jester huffs, sitting down in front of the wall as she grabs her own paintbrush. She turns around to see Molly still standing there like a sore thumb. "Come on, It's not like I'm not going to kill you if you mess up or anything. I'll help you!" She smiles with encouragement, patting down a seat next to her as she scoots to the side a little bit for room. "Sit."

Hesitantly, Molly sits down next to Jester. She hooks her tail around Molly's once he was close enough, he looks back at her with a comforting smile. "Will I get to draw a dick somewhere if I help?" 

"Of course." Jester laughed, she leans in to Molly ear as if she were about to tell a secret. "I'll even show you the best places to put a dick around here, not even Caleb will know." 

He barks out a laugh, a smirk appeared on his lips once she pulls away. "Wonderful! I am looking very forward to see how this new partnership works." Molly takes the medium sized brush from Jesters hand. 

"Me too, now!" Jester clapped her hands together excitedly "For the flowers you need the pink paint."

_____

 

"Hey Molly, I apologize-" Caleb paused at the sight in front of him. The two tieflings sat on the floor, giggling like they were sharing secrets at a slumber party. Molly was hovering over Jester with a paintbrush in his hand, both of their limbs tangled together in weird twisted angles, their arms and faces painted all over. "...H-how did this happened?"

Mollymauk looks up from their awkward position, a mischievous grin on his lips as Jester kept giggling under him. "Kinda got carried away with some painting." He lifts up the paintbrush for evidence. 

"I can see that." Caleb struggles to keep a straight face as Jester and Molly tries to untangle themselves from the mess they made. "Can someone please explain why...?"

Molly had yellow paint splattered across his face with other decorations of attempted art work. Jester sat up with half of her face painted with ridiculous small pictures of dicks smeared on her cheek and forehead.

He opens his mouth to say something once they were untangled but Jester got to it first, pointing at Molly accusingly. "Molly was distracting me from work by painting some swirls on my arm instead of the flowers on the mural." She lifts her right arm to prove it, there were indeed different types of yellow shapes and lines on her arm. Caleb can also see a tiny dick on the back of her palm. "So I decided to make him pay."

"You know, you could've just told me to stop and I would've done so." Molly shrugs, a smile on his face with not a single regret. "But you had decided to declare war between us."

"And here I thought we were partners in crime." Jester crossed her arms, trying hard to hold back a smile but failing miserably. 

"And nothing is going to change that." Molly leans towards Jesters side, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and giving her a big hug. "Let's not have paint wars come between us ever again, shall we?" He takes out a hand for her to shake. "Truce?"

Jester ponders for a moment. "Give me a bag of candy and we'll call it even."

"Deal."

Both tieflings shake hands, Caleb rolls his eyes at his two ridiculous friends, he leans against the door. "Sometimes I think you guys are actually children. Now come on, " He opens the door wider for Jester and Molly to walk through. "There are rags in the bottom sink that you guys can use to clean up. Mollymauk, would you like to have some of that coffee after you clean up the mess?"

Molly stands up from his spot, stretching his arms out and popping his back. "Hm, is there any chance that I could have some tea instead?"

"Sweet or unsweetened?" 

"Sweet will be great, thank you dear." 

Caleb feels strange when Mollymauk calls him "Dear." His chest would always feel breathless whenever he hears those words escape from the tieflings lips. Normally, Caleb would quickly shoot it down if anyone called him that, but this was Molly. He knows how Molly normally calls everyone 'Dear', which was even more strange to Caleb when he tells himself to not trust the man, maybe he was warming up a little bit too much...

A small frown forms on his face as he mutters back a "You're welcome." Whatever's going on with him blushing everytime Molly spoke, needs to stop. It's becoming annoyingly pleasant to feel his chest fluttering again, maybe it's just a bunch of cooped up hormones that has been dormant we're now coming back? 

No, that's ridiculous, your not a teenager anymore Caleb. 

"Ohhhh, Caleb I would like to have some coffee!"

The frown on his lips only grows deeper, but not from Jesters question. 

"Jester, you have work, plus you can make your own." 

She gives out a small whine, "fine" and dramatically stands up. Caleb rolled his eyes, wondering if Tieflings were just dramatic in general or he has unfortunately made friends with two of the most dramatic people in the world.  

"Come on, we don't want the paint to dry." 

"Wait, wait...wait." Jester stares down at Molly and Caleb, who were now standing at the doorway, both confused. "Wait, " A smirk creeps on her lips as she watches Caleb shuffle his feet uncomfortably. He looks down at his shoes to avoid her face, Jester knew what that meant. "Are you two.." Her grin only grows wider as Caleb's cheeks slowly turn into a shade of red, confirming her suspicion. "...Going on a date?"

Before Caleb could even to sputter out a word, a warm hand is gently placed on his shoulder. He looks up to see it was Molly glancing down him with a smile before going back to jesters sparkling eyes. "If only it were true, but no. Just two guys hanging out and enjoying some time together." 

"Ja.." He clears his throat before speaking again, the feeling of Molly's hand felt like heavy fire on his shoulder. "I just want to talk with him about magic anyways, so you'll probably not be interested in it. You wouldn't like it..its..you'll probably be bored from it within the first 5 minutes." 

Jester crosses her arms, her tail swaying behind her out of disbelief. "Mmmhmm." She stares at Caleb who was looking at her horn, not daring to glance up into her eyes. Her gaze then trails down to Mollymauks hand, which causes the tieflings to draw his hand back down. "Alright then, if you say soo..." Trailing off, she walks past them, sticking out her tongue towards Molly in a childish way when she passes by. He does the same thing which earns Caleb letting kit small light hearted scuff. "You two are unbelievable."

Jester goes back to work once they finished cleaning up. Caleb tells Molly to find a seat so he can go and make the beverages. It takes a couple of minutes before Caleb walks back towards a booth with two drinks in his hands. He sits down across the table from Molly, glancing out the window that shows his bookstore before giving Molly his tea. 

Molly takes a drink out of his freshly made sweet tea, it tasted like honey and flowers. "This taste wonderful." He sets down his cup, "Thank you for the drink, Caleb." 

 "I uh..." Caleb places his cup on top of the table, fiddling with his fingers as he watches Molly take another sip of his tea. "The thing that I told to Jester about... I-It wasn't just an excuse, I uh...it's actually part of what I want to talk to you about."

 "You mean talking about some magic stuff?" Well then, straight to business. Molly raised an eyebrow. "I may not be the best person to speak about that topic, but continue." He sets the cup aside, propping his chin on his hands, leaning forward on the table, his tail sways lazily under it. "About what?" 

"It's uh...about your powers." Caleb watches Molly's shoulders slowly tense up. Interesting…

"I understand if you don't want to talk about it, it's just that...I'd-"

"Well, that seems like more of a personal question now."

Molly gives out a forced chuckle, he shifts in his seat, feeling a bit on the spot at the moment. Sure, he does like to have the center of attention most of the time but at the moment all he wants to do is to hide under the table to get away from the blue eyes staring down at him. 

 He brings back the cup from his side, his back definitely more stiff now. "Didn't expect this friendly hangout to be so business like."

"No, it's just magic." Caleb lips turn into a frown, something was up, he can see that Molly was trying to hide his discomfort. "Don't you know the origins of your magic?" 

"I would not like to talk about it," Molly snapped, causing Caleb to be taken back in surprise. For a minute, Molly felt a little bit guilty about his outburst, but then again, he didn't plain on being interrogated by an ex Wizard today. "Sorry..just..let's just say it was something else." 

"Okay, right...Sorry." Caleb glances at Mollymauk's arms, the small scars that scatter all over his skin. Some of them were clean and short as if they were a cat scratch, others looked jagged and deep. "... You said that you can only activate your powers when you cut yourself, right?"

"Yeah.." Molly was uncomfortable that this quiet and anxious man was now suddenly poking and prodding into his past. "Dear, if you would've just told me that all you wanted to talk about my 'Abilities', " He puts air quotes on that word. "Then maybe next time, try not to cover it up as a friendly hang out okay? For a tip for the next time as well, maybe place it in a more private areas next time? " He starts to get up from his spot to-

"Wait!" Caleb erupts from his seat, the table gives out a loud squeak like nails on a chalkboard board. Molly stands there stunned, not really expecting that reaction to just put away the empty tea cup. "Ah- shit." Caleb bit the bottom of his lip, his stomach dropping to a bottomless pit from the scene he just caused. "I-i am sorry, I didn't mean it like that, I was-"

"Not thinking straight?" Molly gives a small smile of forgiveness, trying to let out some tension between them, he felt bad to see the poor wizard in front of him go very pale. " It's okay," Molly looks at the cup in his hands, Instead of going back into the kitchen he sits back down in his spot. He places his empty cup at the end of the table. "I know what it's like, I mean, did you see how I reacted a few minutes ago?" He gives out a nervous chuckle out of habit, a heavy weight filled his stomach when he continues to speak. "My uh…emotions can get a bit uncontrollable at times when there are some things that I can't process well, so I understand what it's like, it's not your fault." 

It took a few minutes before Caleb finally gave in, he sits back down across from Molly. "Thank you.."he returns a shaky smile out of gratitude. "For understanding, at least."

"Of course." He returns the small smile towards the wizard. 

They sit in silence for a couple of more minutes, both sides feeling awkward and nervous on different levels. Molly doesn't know if Caleb would like to speak at the moment, given by his stuff poster, he was afraid to scare the poor man off. Where on the other side, the wizard was wondering if he pushed too far on asking questions, making Molly uncomfortable for the rest of the evening. 

"I'm sorry that I made you uncomfortable, but I didn't ask you to hang out with me just to discuss about your powers."

Molly looks back to see Caleb nervously biting the bottom of his lip. "Hm? Then what else if not that?"

"Ah... Actually..." Caleb scratches the bottom his chin. "It is about your powers again, b-but!" Molly raises an eyebrow. "I-if you need help.. I... Ah..." Caleb looks down at Molly's hands, which was better than looking at his face for a moment. "I can try my best to help you...I-if you want, maybe as a tutor? I-i may not be the best teacher in the world but I can-"

"Caleb..." Molly leans forwards towards the table, a big smile creeping upon on his lips. "Are you offering me to help me with my magic?" 

"J-ja, that's what I'm offering." Caleb fiddles with his hands, still avoiding Molly's gaze. "You've said you don't really much about your magic a-and I want to help you, Mollymauk. I want to help you understand more, you've already done so much for me. So at least let me pay back by doing this, please."

A warm chuckle came from Molly throat. The sound rumbles through Caleb's chest with such warmth that almost startles him. "Careful, Mr. Caleb or else I might fall in love with you."

"That would be a stupid thing to do, Mr. Mollymauk." Caleb muttered, he can feel his face burning, he was a blushing mess. 

"I beg to differ," Molly's smile only grew wider. "You're an alluring person, I would like to get to know you better."

"großartig," The blushing wizard lets out a small squeak, he clears up his throat. "Ah, I mean great. Sorry, w-when and where would you like to have the meeting?"

"Any time is good, I prefer we do my magic at my place, If that's okay with you? I don't want you to feel uncomfortable or anything."

"Nein, that's fine, If we want to...experiment-" Caleb winces at the word, "-with your magic, it'll be best to be at a place you are most comfortable with. I-I've found out that really helps a lot when I was young, besides Jester won't stop bugging me about making new friends until I come over." 

"Oh? So we're friends now?"

"Acquaintances." A small smile escapes from Caleb lips, despite trying to keep his face stern. "We've only just meet."

"Shame," Molly gives out a dramatic sigh. "I'll just have to warm my way into your heart, huh?"

Caleb ignores the feeling of his chest slowly melting. "I will tell you that it will not be easy, Mr. Mollymauk."

"Well, like I said, I always enjoy having a challenge once in a while."

"Molly?"

Both of the boys turn their heads to a tall woman standing in front of them. Caleb instantly feels intimidated by her size and blank stare. She has black hair with white tips, looking very much like a person who you would not want to mess with. He was going to ask if Mollymauk knew her until he sees Beau poking her head out behind the tall woman's frame.  

"Yasha!" Molly's quickly stands up to hug the tall beefy woman. Caleb awkwardly looks around and looks at Beau, he gives an awkward wave before taking a drink of the cold coffee that was long forgotten. 

"Hi Molly." Yasha hugs Molly back before pulling away, she looks back at Caleb sheepishly. "Oh, are we interrupting something?" 

"No, not at all dear!" A big smile stretches across Molly's face, he grabs her by the hand and drags her into the seat with him. "Just hanging out with a new friend, this is Caleb by the way; Caleb, this is my friend I mentioned to you yesterday. I think you two will get along well, since you two act very similar. "

Yasha eyes scans Caleb, as if she was evaluating him before a small awkward smile appears on her lips. 

He wasn't sure that this well muscled strong woman was similar to a scrawny dirty hermit like him. "Uh...hello." He fiddles with the cuffs of his sleeves. "I'm Caleb."

"Nice to meet you," Her voice was small and soft, something that he didn't expect to hear from an intimidating woman. "I'm Molly's friend."

Caleb blinked, maybe Molly was right. "Uh..Ja, he told me that you were very protective of him." 

"I am." Her tone was soft but firm, the emotion of her loyalty and bond with Mollymauk swept through her words. "I would do anything for him."

"And I as well!" Molly stretches up to kiss Yasha on the cheek, she gives him a warm smile and ruffles his hair. "You can say we've been through a lot of shit together." He wraps himself on her arm as he places his head on her bicep, careful to avoid the horns. 

"Oh," Caleb looks at both of them, trying to ignore the feeling of his chest dropping. "Are you two in a relationship?"

A snort came from Beau, trying to hold in her laughter, Molly tries to stuff in a laugh but fails. Caleb looks at the both of them, his shoulders tensing and feeling his cheeks growing warm from embarrassment rising up in his throat. "What? Have I said something wrong?" 

"No, not at all dear." Molly chuckles, pulling away from Yashas arm. "It's just that me and Yasha have been together for a long time, as long as I can remember! We're just really good friends." Molly grins, Yasha nods in agreement. "She helped me sort out a lot of shit back then, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for her."

"Besides, she's a lesbian." Beau found a spot to sit right next to Caleb, who is forced to scoot down more to have room in between them. "Just..letting you know."

"Ah..." He looks at Beau with a raised eyebrow, ignoring the look that she was giving him. "I apologize if I offended you over assumptions, it's just that you two seemed very affectionate towards each other." 

Yasha just shrugs, "It's okay, It's not uncommon for other people to think we're together. Molly is just a very loveable person, he likes human contact."

"Human contact doesn't bother you at all?"

She shrugs again, Caleb can see she wasn't really a talkative person like he is. "I'm used to it, he's a very...physical person." 

"Ja, I noticed." Caleb mumbled, blushing at the thought of what cuddling Molly would be like. 

"Well, you seem to be fond of Molly's affection too."

"I don't know what you're implying." Caleb turns to look back at Beau, the blush on his cheeks not dying down any time soon. 

"Nothing," Beau shrugs, leaning her back against the seat, trying to look cool for Yasha no doubt. "For a guy who doesn't like people you sure like hanging around in Molly's space."

Caleb blushed a deeper shade of red, before he could respond, Jester walks over to their table. She had a pen and notepad in her hands with the biggest grin that Caleb has ever seen on her face. "Hi Beau and Yasha! It's nice to see you two again!"

"Wait, Jester you know Yasha?" Molly's eyes widen in surprise, Jester nodded. "Yup! Beau and Yasha came over here yesterday during the afternoon to grab some pastries and coffee, but that's not the point!"

She glances at all of them, a smirk appearing on her face that only meant trouble. "You guys didn't tell me that you were going on a double date, I would've totally invited Fjord over! You would like him Caleb."

Beau gives out a strangled cough while Caleb blushed a deeper shade of red. "N-nein Jester..." He avoids the fact that everyone's attention was on him. "None of us our dating each other..." He glances back and forth between Beau and Yasha. "...Right?"

"Uh..." Beau looks over to Yasha and blushes. "Yeah," She clears her throat, looking away from Yasha who was also avoiding eye contact. She is awkwardly fiddling with a few strands of their hair. "Yeah, just friends hanging out, nothing more."

"Jester, aren't you supposed to be working right now?" Caleb grumbles, trying to make her go away, he didn't feel like hearing embarrassing stories about him from Jester again. 

"But I am!" She protests, way to innocently for her mischief behavior. "I'm just taking orders like any normal waiter would!" She sticks her tongue out towards him. "Now! How may I serve you on this wonderful day?"

Everyone orders some sweets and drinks except for Caleb, who just orders a small glass of water. Jester tries to coax him into eating something but he stubbornly refused, feeling too stressed to eat anything at the moment. In the end, when the food arrives, Caleb is faced with a small blueberry muffin in front of him. 

He sets it aside once Jester left. "So Beau, I'm assuming that you and Yasha we're hanging out with each other before this?"

"Humpf?" Beau looks back at Caleb at the sound of her name, her voice muffled from a cupcake halfway into her mouth, she doesn't wait until she chews her food all the way "What? Oh, yeah." She chews for a few more seconds before swallowing the rest down. "We decided to grab some coffee. Aren't you supposed to be working right now?"

"I'm on break." Caleb mutters, picking at the crumbs of the muffin that had fallen onto the plate. "I was just talking to Molly about something."

"Hm, was looking totally smitten towards Molly part of that package too or...?"

He looks at Beau with confusion but says nothing, taking a drink of his water instead. 

For the rest of the evening the group ate and talked about things that they were planning later on during the day, later on they told each other stories and laughed at silly jokes. Most of the time, it was Molly and Beau cursing at each other and trying to fight across the table while Yasha and Caleb silently watched, it was still enjoyable to see nevertheless. During this time Caleb has learned a lot about Yasha and Beau through the conversations. Yasha was intimidating but polite and quiet, her gaze would occasionally look around, seemingly to feel awkward. Caleb knew what she was feeling at the moment and had an instant connection to her, it was nice to know that someone who was awkward like him can have outgoing friends that care for them. 

Beau was the exact opposite, she was loud and brash, willing to pull up a fist at any rude word that's thrown towards her. Caleb felt very overwhelmed by her energy for the first few minutes, he felt as if he were close to a bomb that was about to explode. She was a hot head as well, glaring at anyone and threatening to throw a punch at them if they say anything bad at something she enjoyed. Caleb had also found out that she wasn't too big on the government either, talking about how the government is fucked up in many ways and why the whole system is stupid and falling apart. It was until about 20 minutes into the conversation that Caleb sees the loyalty and boldness that he almost loathes inside of her veins. She holds her friends on a high standard, ready to pull in a punch when needed to stand up for a friend. It makes Caleb's heart ache out of wanting to have that much determination, knowing well that he'll never have that much bravery to stand up to someone for a friend. He knows that deep down in his heart, he was a coward and forever will be. 

Before they knew it, it was time for Caleb get back to work. 

"It was nice meeting you Yasha and good seeing you again too, Beauregard." Caleb stands up from his spot, Beau follows in suit to let Caleb escape from the booth as he collects the finished plates and drinks. "But I gotta get back to work."

"So soon Mr. Caleb?" Mollymauk leaned forward on the table, propping his hands under his chin. "Shame, if only you could spare a few more minutes..."

Caleb, feels his cheeks starting to burn red again. He almost glares at Mollymauk for making him feeling this way, but catches himself before he could, settling down to a small frown settled on his lips instead. 

He tries to ignore everyone around him, Beau was trying to hold in a laugh towards him. "I'll see you again sometime, Mollymauk." He turns away, walking back to the kitchen. 

"Hopefully soon!"

A small smile escapes from Caleb's lips before he could do anything about it. 

 

 

Chapter Text

"Calebbb, do you have a minute?" 

He turns around to see Jester looking at him with a dazzling smile, her hands prompt under her chin to make her look innocent. Her tail casually sways from side to side as she leans across the counter. "No."

"You don't even know what I was about to say!" She pouts, watching Caleb clean up tables one by one. She moves over to sit on one of the newly clean booths. It's almost around closing time. The sign above the door has already been flipped with the blinds being closed on the windows. Jester's shift has already ended an hour ago but she decided to stay put and help around. She hopes that she could gain favor to ask Caleb a very important question. 

"You want me to take over your shift for something." Caleb finishes whipping off the last table, turning around to see Jester sitting on one of the tables. He gives out a tired sigh, "And please, don't make the table dirty again." 

Jester grudgingly stands back up with a protested groan. She follows Caleb while he cleans the rest of the tables, ignoring all of her protests. "Okay, yes, but it will only be for a couple of hours! There's this really cute guy that I've been talking to, His name is Fjord and he's really sweet. He asked me out on a date so I had to say yes! We've already made reservations and everything-"

"When?" With a tired sigh he turns around to look at Jester in a daze. All he wants is to get this conversation over with so he could take care of the library soon and possibly arrive home around a reasonable time. "When's the date?"

She grins, her tail swinging behind her excitedly. "It's only for tomorrow! I would ask the new girl but-"

"The what?"

"Oh," Jester raises an eyebrow at Caleb's look of confusion. "Didn't Nala text you on the group chat?" 

"I…" Caleb hesitates, fishing out his phone from his pocket once he throws the wet rag in the kitchen sink. 

"Well, Nala said that we have a new employee coming in next week, her names Calianna, I think."

"Huh, it seems that I turned my notifications off." The thought of someone else working here other than Jester or Nala was weird, and if not jarring to say at least. "You said tomorrow, right?"

"Yup!' Jester nods vigorously, her hands clamping together as she leans to the side of Caleb. "So…is that a yes?" 

"I…" He sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose tiredly. Everything around him has seemingly become a bit overwhelming these past few days. All he wants to do right now is to go home and not worry about people beating him up. The stress of also trying to figure out a way to bring Frumpkin back was not helping the added anxiety as well. Without him, Caleb has been getting less sleep throughout the night with the nightmares becoming worse. It's even starting to affect his work and the people around him. Today he almost snapped at a customer who politely asked for a spoon earlier today. He felt guilty for the rest of the day after that. "I don't know Jester…" 

"I mean you don't have too." Caleb looks back to see Jester having a small frown on her face, her tail drooping slightly to the side. Guilt starts to crawl it's way up into his stomach again as he watches her fiddle with her work clothes. "I know how stressed you are recently, with Frumpkin and all, and I know how the past few days have been rough on you. I don't want to make you feel like you have to say yes. I can cancel the date or maybe find someone else to take my shift-"

"I'll do it." 

Jester pauses, looking back up at Caleb with suspicion. "Are you sure..? Caleb, you don't have to do this if you really don't want to." 

"Ja, I'm sure." He really didn't want to take over Jester's shift, but she had already sacrificed most of her time with Caleb when he needed her the most. Hell, she had even taken over some of his shifts when his anxiety didn't allow him to go to work. She's kind and hard working despite her mischievous behavior with painting dicks on the wall every once in a while. Jester deserves the small break date. "You've already done a lot of shifts for me anyways, I need to pay back somehow."

Plus, if this guy is as great as she makes him to be…

"That's true…" She continues to stare at Caleb with concern. "You're not doing this because I made you feel bad, right? Cause I don't want it to make it seem like I'm guilt tripping you."

"No," A lie, partly, the guilt of not wanting to help Jester when she asked him still clings onto his skin like a parasite. "I'm doing this because I need to make up for the lost time from last week. We can call this even once you've return."

Jester stares down at Caleb like a hawk, trying to find any evidence of him lying. He awkwardly shifts in place, avoiding eye contact. 

Caleb didn't expect the sudden feeling of arms wrapping around his body into a hug. Luckily, Jester doesn't squeeze him as hard as she has done to Molly, but it still pops his back nevertheless. "Thank you Caleb! I promise I'll have someone come over and hang out with you so you won't get lonely."

"That won't be necessary." He awkwardly patted her on the back. It wasn't really a hug in return, but when she pulls away Caleb could see tears in Jesters eyes, she looked up at him with such pride and joy. "I see your getting comfortable with affection." A smirk forms on her lips with a quirk on her brow. Celebs eyebrows furrow at the sudden change of topic.

 "I'll have to bring Molly over more so he can melt the rest of your old cranky heart."

Caleb ignores the sudden small jump his heart felt. "I don't understand what you're talking about." He walks through the kitchen, his face expressionless but cheeks blushing a light shade of red as he steps aside her. 

"I think you do~" She teases, following him into the employee room, poking his shoulder with her finger. Jester watches as Caleb tries to bury himself deeper into his hair, letting it fall over his face so she couldn't see his expression. "You know, it's cute to see you two together, I've never seen you so flustered in my life before!" 

Her lips form into a grin when Caleb turns around with a sour look at the comment. He puffs out his cheeks as if to get rid of a small smile forming on his lips. It was cute seeing her friend struggling as his face becomes redder by the minute. Finally, he lets out a sigh of defeat, "I… where is this going Jester?"

Caleb had a feeling that he was going to regret that question, the grin on Jester's face slowly grows wider with each minute only confirms it. This tiefling was going to be the death of him, whether if its Molly just being Molly or Jester pestering him with his love life. 

"I'm just saying that for someone who doesn't like to be around people, you sure enjoy being with Molly." 

"He is…very alluring." Caleb mutters, grabbing his coat from the coat rack that they recently placed on the side of the door. "You know how he is. There's something about him that… I don't know." He sighs, turning around to see a halfway smirk on Jesters face, as if she knew something that he didn't. "He's strange, he attracts people in weird ways." Jester lets out a small snicker before she could hold it back, going into a fit of giggles as Caleb's checks burn red.

 "That's not what I mean jester...T-There's something that he wants, no one gives anyone money willingly to a stranger that they just met. Not only that, he knows how to pick locks, which by the way, is suspicious on its own."

"I don't understand?" Jester raised an eyebrow, once she was finished with her giggling fit. "What do you mean? I gave him permission to check up on you."

"Ja, but normally you would've just call the police right? Not just..break in a place and pick the lock! I'm thankful for him, really, I am, it was strangely..okay..but that still doesn't mean that I trust him fully." 

"Yeah, I can understand how that can be weird, but Beau is his friend so maybe she taught him a couple of tricks? She normally does stuff that you wouldn't do legally..." Jester awkwardly mutters the last sentence, Caleb raises his eyebrow. "Plus, Molly's weird in general, but at least he's not weird like that."

"For all we know he could've robbed me before waking me up." He grumbles, seeing Jester placing her hands on her hips is a disapprove frown on her lips.

"Caleb, I love you, but do you really think that Molly is that type of person?"

He thinks for a minute and tries to ignore remembering the feeling of surprise and awe when Molly first stepped in front of him, protecting him from the burly men, or the time where Molly gave him tea and cleaned up his mess for him. Plus, he was fucking rich."...no."

"Then you have nothing to worry about." A confident smile appears on her lips. "Honestly Caleb, there are people in this world who really do just want to make others happy." 

He says nothing, his throat starts to feel heavy again. There are many reasons to why Caleb disagrees to what Jester was saying. Mostly because of his knowledge of how cold the world really is, knowing well of the fact that there are always more things hidden in the shadows that people cast. "I hope you are right about him, Jester..."

"Oh, I know I'm right." She smiles, straightening her shoulders with boldness. It reminds Caleb of his old confidence that he had a long time ago. 

"I do have one question though.

He sighs, looking at the time on his phone. It's 4:50. "I suppose we can talk for a few more minutes.."

"Okay! So, I was hanging out with Beau one day and she told me a story about how Molly once painted his dick-"

"I'll see you tomorrow Jester." He swiftly moves away before Jester could speak anymore. His face turning completely red as he walks out of the room. 

"Its okay to free your imagination Caleb!" Jester calls out from behind, cackling. He imagines flipping her the bird, but doesn't do it anyways. He doesn't look back to see her reaction as he continues to walk out of the cafe. 

He tries his best not to imagine what Molly had painted his dick to be like, much less think of what his dick looks like, his face turns beet red just at the thought of it. 

Stop it. He scolds himself, waiting along the sidewalk to cross the road when no cars pass by. You'll become obsessed if you continue thinking like that, it's dangerous. 

It takes a couple of minutes before he enters into his bookstore across the street, The Zemnain das Buch. He smiles, happiness filling into his veins again when he sees Caduceus tending some of the plants that he bought a couple of days ago. 

The bell rings once Caleb steps inside, the cool air conditioning with the smell of new books refills his lungs. A calm sensation takes over his body as he takes a deep breath. it's been a while since he's been surrounded by this place with the smell of fresh books. 

"Ah, Mr. Caleb, I didn't expect you to be here, I thought you've retired to home early."

"Hello Caduceus." Caleb gives the tall firbolg a small smile. He was watering the plants that were hung on the side of the window near the counter. "And no, I actually got off a bit early today, I assume it was a slow day for you as well?"

"Actually, it was quite busy during rush hour, but it's nice to change pace once in a while." Caduceus places down the green spray bottle next to the cash register. A warm smile is on his face despite his eyes looking a bit exhausted at the moment. "Someone has complimented on the plants easier today as well, I think they enjoy it as much as I do." 

"Ja, it really makes the place look better." Caleb shrugs off his coat and places it on the coat rack near the counter. "You seem tired, take the rest of the day off, I can take over the store."

"Oh no, I certainly can't let you do that, it's fine-"

"Go," He stares firmly at the firbolg, whose ears perk in surprise at the sudden command. "I'm still the boss of this place, you know." A small jovial smile places on Caleb's lips. "I could kick you out and you'll end up being homeless. Go and take a break, you've earned it."

The surprise on Caduceus face slowly moves from relief to happiness then to being grateful, his shoulders sag from being released. "Thank you, Caleb. At least let me make some tea for you before I go and do my other studies." 

"Alright."

Caduceus takes his time to walk upstairs into his room to make the tea. While that was happening, Caleb walks around the back room to check up on storage, mentally noting what books they needed to restock. Once that was finished, he returns to the main room to see Caduceus placing down a tea set on the counter. 

"Thank you, Caduceus." Caleb graciously takes a tea up from the cherry blossom designed tea-tray. Steam pours out of his warm cup as he cools it down for a couple of minutes. 

"Ah, it's certainly no problem."

They stay like that for a few minutes, enjoying each other's company in silence as they drink their tea. The old grandfather clock that Caduceus found ticks in the background. 

Caleb's brow furrows, now that he thinks about it, most (and if not all) of the decorations that's scattered around the bookstore was bought or founded by Caduceus himself. 

"So, Mr Caleb, I assume everything at the cafe is rather busy at the moment, it's been a while since you've returned here."

"Huh? Oh, yeah." He fiddles the rim of his cup sheepishly. "I apologize about everything going on recently, I didn't mean for you to run the shop all by yourself."

"It's alright, I'm actually quite happy that you're more than willing to go out and make friends. It can be lonely sometimes, when you're alone for a certain amount of time." Caduceus eyebrows furrow when he sees Caleb's expression to that statement. "Don't mean it in a way like you think, I don't feel lonely at all. I actually rather like being alone most of the time to be frank. I'm just happy you have more friends now, you seemed to need more kind hands."

"I'm sorry if you feel bored here." Caleb looks around the bookstore. The small pit of guilt starts sweeping into his chest again. He looks at the piles of books in the back corner that he has to restock as an excuse. "I guess it can get a little maddening here if you stay alone for sometime..."

"Well, the plants certainly help." Caduceus chuckles jokingly, drinking his cup of tea. "Like I said, I'm not mad at all. I'm just upset that you haven't introduced me to them yet." He lets a playful smirk be hidden behind with his cup, he takes another sip. 

"I wouldn't say we're friends..." Caleb places down his empty tea cup back down on the tray. He fiddles with his fingers as he thinks about the past few days. "We haven't really talked much since we've all had coffee together a week ago. Other than Mollymauk liking pretty things, I don't know anything about them." He tries not to bite the bottom of his lip, his fingers drum against the counter in deep thought. Even with the knowledge that Molly has his phone number, there hasn't been much word on when Molly wanted to have the magic lessons. There has only been a very short amount of texts in their digital conversation, saying 'hello' and more awkward introductions but other than that, nothing. 

It worries him that maybe the sudden outburst in the cafe before the girls came in had scared the poor tiefling away. The thought of it makes him nauseous. 

"Hm, you seem to want to hang out with him more. How long have you two known each other?" 

 "Ah..about..two weeks?" Caleb cringes at the realization coming out of his lips. "Gott, I sound so clingy." He buries his face into his hands. "I barely even know this man."

Buried under his hands, Caleb could practically hear the smile with the small chuckle escaping from Caduceus lips. "It's quite alright to feel that way. I don't want to assume anything but Molly is the Purple tiefling that Jester has been talking about yes? I've only seen him a couple of times or so outside." 

Caleb could only nod firmly, he removes his hands away from his face. He sees Caduceus giving out those damn smiles that always makes you feel everything us going to be alright on the inside. 

"I must say I wouldn't blame you for wanting to hang out with him as well, he seems like a decent fellow." 

"Ja, he is.."

"Hm…" 

He watches as Caduceus starts to clean up the empty tea cups and set them back on the tray. "I'm going to go outside and have a smoke, if you need anything just give out a holler."

"Thank you Caduceus, once again."

The firbolg returns with a small nod and smile before he heads back up stairs, but not before pausing at the first step to turn around and look at Caleb Intensively. 

For a few moments they both stand there awkwardly in silence. 

A warm calm smile creeps back into Caduceus features again. "Yeah, he'll be good for you. Have a nice day, Mr. Caleb."

To Caleb's bafflement, the pink hair firbolg turns back around and continues up the stairs. It was as if he never said anything in the first place. 

Chapter Text

*Trigger Warning at the end, Be safe my friends :)*

 

* * * * * * 

 

It was almost midnight when Caleb finished checking out the books and dealing with the bills he needed to pay by the end of the month. The only thing that was stopping him from staying up until 5 am again was the fact that he had to work extra hours tomorrow for Jester. 

He sludges towards the coat rack, turning off lights in the rooms he passes by. Caleb pauses at the stairway, which leads to Caduceus room. "I'm going to be closing up shop now!” He calls out, “Goodnight Caduceus"

He stands and waits for a response. 

The silence only welcomes him when a few more minutes pass by, Caleb's eyebrows crease with confusion. "Caduceus?" He climbs halfway up the stairs, calling out again a bit louder. "I'm going to close up the shop now."

 The grandfather clock rings in the background to replace no sound coming from Caduceus's voice. 

Caleb sucks in a small breath, he can feel his anxiety starting to rise. It was strange to not hear Caduceus reply, normally the poor college student would be up studying by now, even in this late at night. Maybe he just fell asleep? 

With each calculated step, he carefully makes his way up the stairs. The wood creaks slightly below his feet as he makes his way to Caduceus small apartment. 

"Caduceus?"

Without worrying about trespassing into Caduceus's room, he walks right in.

Caleb always feels uncomfortable barging into other people's business whenever he wants, but his tall friend wasn't the same as any other individual. Over time and time again Caduceus has told him plenty of times that he doesn't mind him barging into his small apartment whenever he pleases.

"It's your home as well, in a way." Caduceus once told him, a calm smile on his face despite catching Caleb sneaking through his kitchen. "You're more than welcome to come in even without my permission."

 He walks into the small apartment and noticed the lights in the kitchen were still on. The cabinets where Caduceus kept all of his drugs (medical or otherwise) was still opened agar, only a couple of joints missing. 

With a swift pace Caleb heads back down the stairs, knowing that his friend might be out in the back of the alleyway. Caduceus normally takes his time off in doing these things, to take away the stress of everything else going on around him. 

He walks to the back door, preparing himself for the smell of trash and marijuana before opening the door. 

"Caduceus? Are you here?" He pokes his head out of the door, the foul smell instantly makes Caleb wrinkle his nose. In the corner of his peripheral vision, he sees a large figure slumped on the ground sitting on a wooden crate. "Ah, there you are, I'm going to be closing up shop soon, will you be alright out here?" He waits for a reply, his eyes squinting when he notices that Caduceus hasn't responded to his voice yet. As far as he could tell, there was no smoke coming from the big silhouette. "Cad? Are you alright?"

He steps out of the door, letting it close behind him as he takes another hesitant step further. His worry for Caduceus's wellbeing stubbornly takes hold despite his heart beating wildly in his chest. "Caduceus?"

No response. 

Caleb tries not to panic as anxiety surges through his veins, he creeps closer. "Hello?" He squints to see if he’d accidentally misinterpreted a homeless person. It was only the bright hot pink that made it confirm it was Caduceus when Caleb stepped closer. He walks around to see the firbolgs face, his breath is cut short with a small audible gasp. 

"Scheisse."

 Caduceus body slumps against the brick wall, face battered and bruised almost into an unrecognizable shape. Bloodied with his nose broken, one of his eyes was swollen with a deep black puff circle of a horrific bruise. Blood drips from the nose and his forehead, his hairline matted with his own blood. The joint that Caduceus must've been smoking was stomped out on the ground below his feet. 

He rushes to his friend's aid, quickly checking his vitals to see if he was alive. A pulse beats steadily when Caleb finds it

Caleb manages to breathe out a sigh of relief, his heart still racing as he looks around the area. He curses when he sees nothing, probably because it was in the middle of the night and no one was around.  

"Cad? Are you okay?" He slaps him gently on the face to get a response, prompting his hands under Caduceus head so he could get a better angle. "Caduceus?"

There was still no response, someone must have been really strong to knocked him out to be unconscious at the moment…

For all he knows, they could still be here, hiding. 

With shaking fingers, Caleb quickly fishes out his phone to call 911. His gaze shifting to each side of the alleyway, mostly towards the dark end where it leads to many other passage ways. The sooner they get Caduceus to the hospital and out of here, the better. 

"Hello, 911 what's your emergency?"

"Yes, Hello." Caleb had to swallow down the sudden panic creeping up into his voice, his gaze landing on Caduceus;s unconscious state. "M-my friend here, he's badly hurt. I-i don't know what happened but-" He freezes midway into speaking, feeling like a deer in headlights. His breath caught by fear when he thinks he sees something shifting out of the corner of his eye. 

He dares himself to walk towards the end of the alley, the shadows that creep up from the depths of the abyss seems to beacon him, shifting slightly with each movement. 

"Sir?"

The voice shakes him out of his hypnosis daze. "S-sorry...I.. just thought I saw something."

"Do you know where you are?"

Caleb gives the receiver the address of the bookstore, telling them they’re in the back alleyway. 

"We'll be right away sir, please remain calm and go inside. It's not safe to be out in the open at the moment."

The call hangs up before Caleb could even stutter out a word, he glances back at Caduceus before glancing back down at his phone. Maybe he should call over Jester, or maybe even Molly, to help him watch over Caduceus until the ambulance comes by. 

He starts to call Jester before a sound from the dark gives out a deep moaning sound of pain. His whole body tenses as he scoot closer to the unconscious form of his friend, willing to protect despite his legs trembling beneath him. 

Someone else was here. 

The sound of the phone picks up with Jesters yawns, she sounded as if she was awoken erruptly from her sleep. "Caleb?..What's going on..? Why-

"Jester," Caleb couldn't control the small weavering in his voice anymore, not when he knows something is out there. "Something happened to Caduceus, I-I don't know what happened, but I found him beaten up and-" 

The sounds of something hitting against the wall echoes through the alleyway, the low moan causing a cold shiver to soak into Caleb's bones. 

"What?!" Jester sounds more alert now. "Caleb, what happened again?"

"I just…I need you to come over at the bookstore right away, there's..There's something here and I don't know what-"

Caleb jumps when a bunch of boxes and glass get toppled and kicked over a few feet away from him. Multiple shards of glass slide out of the shadows before slowly stopping under his feet. 

"Who's there?!" He calls out into the darkness, his small burst of confidence quickly fades when there's a pause of the scuffling sounds. Luckily, his eyes has now grown used to the dark. A few feet ahead of them he could see a huge figure, his body bulky and shoulders slumped, the body mass wide and and almost familiar to Caleb. There was something in his brain screaming at him that he had seen this man before. He freezes in horror as the man watches him intensively, a rabid animal getting off on a high, hysterically scratching his skin. His arm raw and bleeding, it seemed like the man can barely feel the pain when Caleb arm practically tangles from the sight of seeing him peel his own skin off with ease. 

Caleb could hear the sirens and dogs barking in the distance with the quiet mutterings of nonsense from the other man. 

"Caleb?! Caleb please answer me, are you alright? If you don't answer right now I'll.. I'll… I'll call Molly!"

He doesn't register Jesters words as his other hand quickly reaches for his emergency pouch. It's been a while since he's actually tried to cast something, he prays to someone in the high heavens that he can remember the motions to cast it. 

"Sir, are you alright?" 

The figure stops midway of picking up his blooded torn skin that stick to his skin. For a moment, the man stands there, then ever so slowly, tilts his head up to look at him. Caleb can see part of his forehead was almost flattened by the sheer force of the impact of something. Blood oozes down in front of his face, but it seems to not bother the man at all. 

He smiles. 

"What the hell..?"

"Caleb?!?

The man starts to step towards them in a limping gate, a crazed smile on his lips as he points his nubbed fingers towards Caleb. 

"You."

Caleb almost dropped his phone by just the sound of the man's voice alone, he remembers that voice. He should’ve known by the look of his sheer size, the biker looked like he was beaten to death before being thrown in a dumpster of a back alleyway. His fingers, half of them blown off with bones protruding out of them, were blown off by something. Another piece of a bone protrudes out of the man's skin when he limps at an impressive speed. Despite everything that would've made a normal human die or be in a state of shock within minutes, the man continues to move as if he was an undead fiend. 

Caleb starts to feel the same icy fear from a week ago and takes a startling step backwards. 

"I-"

His phone beeps, Caleb looks down for a second to see that the call has ended. He lets out another curse in Zeminan before shoving his phone back into his pocket, pulling out molasses instead. 

"Don't come any closer..." His hand felt heavy as some of the sticky substance slowly drips off of his fingers, which were trembling tramensly. "I'm warning you!"

"You." The Azure gang member snarled, his teeth being mostly gone and bleeding, foam dripping down with the saliva like a rabid animal. "I've been searching you for so long..." His pace of walking quickly turns into running, his body twitching and arms jerking sporadically as he hurls his way towards Caleb's direction. "COME HERE!"

Out of instinct, Caleb shouts out the words of the spell, pointing his hand full of molasses towards the man. He stumbles backwards a few feet and lands on the ground when he accidentally trips on Caduceus’s feet. 

The mans pace quickly turns sluggish, his face slowly catorting from confusion to anger as he slowly slumps his whole body towards Caleb. Caleb takes this advantage to frantically pull himself up and try to carry Caduceus out to safety, 

Caleb was never really the type of guy you would see lifting weights every other weekend like Beau does. He has always preferred the strengths of the mind rather than the body, that was until right now. His whole body felt like it was on fire just by the weight of Caduceus draping over him. He imagined that this is what Atlas felt with the world on his shoulders when Caleb keeps swaying from side to side, dragging Caduceus on the ground rather than picking him up.

Despite his instincts screaming at him to forget his friend so he can bolt and run, he marches on.  

"Come on, come on…" He grunts, his teeth gritting from his heart pounding out of seer adrenaline and fear as he manages to make it to the door. Caleb leans Caduceus against the wall, making sure that he was alright. The spell was starting to fade away now, he could feel it. He glances back towards the man, his pace seemed a bit quicker. 

He goes to open the door, his hands shaking and full of sweat while he does. 

The door wouldn't open. 

Maybe it's because of how badly he's trembling, or how his hands couldn't get a good grip on the door. Caleb curses as he tries to stop his trembling hands while his fingers started to feel clammy. 

Caleb shouldn't have closed the door. 

"No no no, not right now, please…" He whispered, frantically trying to twist the doorknob with all of his strength. The spell has worn off now, he can feel the sudden dread filling in his stomach. The sound of a blood haunting scream echoes from behind him. Out of all the times the damn door knob wanted to get stuck, it had to be this. 

A sudden force tears him away from the door and pins him to a wall. He can feel the wind knocked out of him as a large hand clamps over his mouth. His back pressed against the wall by someone large leaning in very close. A cold realization of fear surge through his veins when he tries to struggle free. Kicking and screaming until the crushing weight makes him grow silent. Soon enough, he finds himself in the hands of the beaten Azure member. 

"Now, that wasn't nice." The man snarled, grinning like he just caught a prize. Caleb can smell the stench of death from the Azure's teeth.

The man's eyes craved with something that Caleb has never seen before. His pupils were pinpointed, yet he seemed so far away with everything around him. There was no gleam in the man's eyes, even with the small light outside behind them. The thought of wondering what happened to this man makes Caleb's bones jitter. 

Using his body weight to pin Caleb to the wall, the Azure member's hand slowly disappears from his mouth. Caleb tries to hold down a whimper as tears form in his eyes. His broken thick bloody fingers starts to trail down Caleb's sides as if he was inspecting his prize, despite Caleb's struggle to keep them at bay. The man's eyes stare him down with almost a hungry look onto Caleb's body. A vulture just waiting until their food was complete. 

"I can see why your friend has an interest in you, beautiful...slim..."

The man leans in closer to Caleb's ear, his hot breath of stench filling up his senses. He tries to struggle against the large zombified human but his twigged arms were no match compared to a crazed man’s superman’s strength. The large hands slowly trail down his sides, trying to find a place to bury his hands beneath Caleb's shirt. A deep feeling of abhorrence washes over Caleb when his stomach drops at the feeling of something poking him in the thigh. He can feel himself growing nauseous from the feeling of the man's fingers finding their way onto his skin. He tries to push the man's arms away from the revolting touches of the man's seductions.

"Lets see what Lucien thinks of when I start messing with his little pet..."

Caleb's whole body stiffens, thoughts running a million miles per minute as he tries to digest the sentence he just received. 

"...who are you talking about?" His voice flatters in the end from seer fear. His throat grew heavy as he tries to clear out the terror in his throat. "Whose Lucien?"

The man opens his mouth, his face slowly inching forward, too close for Caleb's comfort. He tries to turn his head away from the look of the man's crusted teeth, his whole body starts to tremble.  

"You know who..."

Then blood erupts from the man's back with the sound of gun fire. 

 

Chapter Text

 

BANG

The ringing in Caleb's ears suppresses everything around him, his body numb and clammy. He drops to the ground like a stone when the extra weight on top of him disappears. He feels startled, confused, and overall terrified. There's something on his face that feels wet, he whips it away from his cheek. Assuming it was just his tears until he pulls away, finding a smear of blood instead. 

Everything feels surreal to him, stuck in a twisted version of wonderland. His mind static, almost in a haze, his knees curled up and tucked in protectively close to his chest. The only thing that feels real at the moment is the numbing sensation of the man's hands on his skin. 

Those hands were the only thing that Caleb could think about, how vulgar they were. He desperately wants to cut himself open and wear a new skin to get rid of the leftover touches that linger on his body. He tries to breathe but can only feel the hot breath of rotten flesh. His breathing quickly turns rapid, trying to grasp any cold fresh air to make himself feel right again. 

He tries to not let his memories flood in as a panic attack starts to arise. He knows that he shouldn’t be acting like this, he's trained to deal with these things god dammit! Trained to move on with these small casualties, trained to not be shaken by a simple touch or wound if it means you get what you want. All for the empire, that's all you needed to believe and this is what it gets him.  

Something touches him and his whole body quickly crumplies away into fear. He wasn't sure if he even made a sound, his mouth agape but too afraid to scream. His body trembles uncontrollably as the touch flatters away. He always knew that he was a coward, even before years ago. Before he used to be punished for being the weakling of his classmates. Forced to take ‘special’ classes, he was a prime example of why you shouldn't be him. A coward, weakling, a liability...

The feeling of touch comes back to him, this time it doesn’t go away. It envelopes him into a sudden warmth, very different from the last touch he had received a few minutes ago. Someone tries to speak to him but their sounds are muffled by the thick static ringing in his ears, or was it because his head was being pressed against something? 

Caleb blinks, trying to clear his mind and focus on what was going on. With shaking fingers he hesitantly touches the wall of warmth that enveloped him in its embrace. The material in his hands felt soft and real, the feeling of safety quickly washes over him. He clings onto the clothing like a child with a blanket, tugging it closer in need of hiding away from the monsters around him. 

It surprises Caleb for a moment when the warmth accepts his need to be closer. He can feel the heat responding by pulling him tighter as if it wanted to merge and nurture him but physically couldn’t. A hand -from what Caleb had guessed- has made its way into his hair, gently grooming through his dirty locks. 

Shhh, You’re alright now.” They muttered, rocking him both back and forth like a mother with a child. “You’re safe.” 

His breath hitches at the sound of their voice. Mollymauk. Caleb thought, glancing at the material in his hands while still being burrowed in his chest. 

The purple tiefling had their arms wrapped around him. It felt almost protective in a way, his tail loosely wrapped around one of his ankles for comfort. He tries not to feel a burst of warmth rushing through his cheeks when he realizes it was Mollymauk’s jacket for the first time. He doesn't see it when Molly gives a small smile of relief but does notice when he starts gently pulling him closer to his chest, blocking out the sight of whatever was behind them. Caleb doesn’t mind, in fact, he burrows himself closer until his nose was buried beneath Mollymauk's coat. 

“There you are, you alright?”

Caleb doesn’t respond, not sure if he could even speak at the moment without slipping back into his tormenting thoughts again. He nods instead, the grip on Molly tightens. 

“I can’t understand that dear.” Caleb can feel him starting to pull away, for a moment he thought he’d made the tiefling uncomfortable before Molly’s hands place themselves on both sides of his face. He gives Caleb time to pull away at any moment when forcing him to look at his ruby eyes. "You alright? You're awfully quiet..." Mollymauk pauses, his eyes widen as if realizing the horrific thought behind on the words he was going to say. "..He didn't touch you did he?" Caleb could feel the anger radiating from him before pulling away and occupying himself with Molly’s shirt, feeling vulnerable under the tiefling’s stare.  

He opens his mouth to speak but hesitates on what to say. A part of him, the selfishly coward side, wants to tell Mollymauk. Caleb felt safe whenever he’s around, his personal guardian angel, if you would call it that. The memory of the man's repulsive hands scars the back of his mind like the burns on his body. He feels powerless, scared to do anything and Mollymauk seems perfectly capable enough to protect him from anymore harm. The other part, the toxic masculine side, wanted him to lock and hide his inner turmoil, worried that Mollymauk would laugh at him for being such a weakling or be pitiful of his boney frame. He wants to tell Molly that he’s alright, that everything would be okay after a few days. To be the man that everyone expects him to be but no matter how hard he tries, he was still a child with deep trama underneath the flaming skin. 

“I..” He feels tongue-tied, Caleb’s knuckles turn white from his tight grip on Mollymauk’s jacket. “It could’ve been worse.” was the only thing he could croak out. 

That must’ve been enough for Mollymauk because Caleb could hear his breath cutting short after that. “Caleb…” Caleb forces himself to glance up at Mollymauk, a little surprised to see tears glistening from their eyes. “Is that somehow supposed to make me feel better?”  

He flinches slightly and bites down on the bottom of his lip. “I'm sorry.” Caleb whispers. He didn't mean to make Molly feel this way, to almost cry because he was too weak to even defend himself. 

The ex-wizard forces his hands to detach from Mollymauk’s jacket, now trembling without anything to cling onto. He starts to retreat them back to himself until Mollymauk grabs them, gently rubbing his thumbs over Caleb’s pale knuckles. “Don’t.” He muttered softly, looking down at their conjoined hands. “Don’t apologize for something you didn’t have any control over.” 

Caleb didn’t know what to say after that, so he stays silent. Watching Molly continually smoothing out his trembling hands. They both sit there for a few minutes, soaking up each others presence to catch a break of safety for momentarily. 

“We should go.” Molly pipes up after a few seconds, pulling himself up with Caleb without letting go. “Best for you to not be here at the moment.” 

Ja…” His body still visibly shook when he stood up. If Mollymauk wasn’t there holding him with one arm around his shoulders for support then he would’ve trembled back down onto the ground. A quick reminder of his other friend runs a shock throughout Caleb’s body, he tries to look around for the tall firbolg. “...Caduceus?” He couldn’t see anything from Molly’s body blocking his view from behind. 

“He’s alright.” The tiefling starts to gently lead him out of the alleyway, wrapping his arms around Caleb’s waist to prevent him from collapsing onto the pavement again. “Yasha is taking him to the hospital as we speak, right now we just need you to get out of here.” 

By the time they’re back on the street, he gets escorted to a white camaro. The windows roll down to reveal someone in the driver's seat once they were close enough. “Where did Yasha drive off to? Is his friend alright?” Caleb instantly recognized the voice as Beauregard. 

“Caduceus was beaten up really bad so Yasha took him to the hospital. Just go to our place and lay low for a while.” Mollymauck opens the door, quickly settling Caleb down in the back of the seat. He glances back at the alleyway to make sure nothing else was there to surprise them before following in suite. “Caleb’s alright, just a bit shaken up.” Caleb flinches at the sound of Mollymauk slamming the door once he was settled in beside him. “Let’s get out of here.”

“Damn right.” Beauregard glances towards Caleb with the back mirror, a look of worry on her face before slamming on the gas pedal and quickly driving off. 

Everyone was silent at first, the tension in the car was so thick Caleb felt like he's suffocating in it. He huddles closer to the left side, leaning against the window watching the city lights pass by in a blur. Everything felt so surreal to him, as if he was in a fever dream. He would’ve considered it as a case if it weren't the numbing pain from his nails digging into his palm for so long. Keeping the mental breakdown at bay, he closes his eyes, counting to 10 under his breath in Zeminian, ignoring the hushed whispers that have sprawled between Beau and Molly. 

There were so many things he wanted to unpack and dwell upon on what happened. Caleb's head spins at the thought of having so many things to think and digest. A tornado of thoughts whirl inside of him chaotically while trying to decide on what to sort out what. He doesn't do well in situations like these, being thrown into a pit of chaos without any warning. It overwhelms his thoughts and process of thinking, stressing him out until he mentally breaks apart. He always feared of being dragged back into something that he couldn’t understand, something that he had no control over. Now that it's happening again, he feels himself quickly spiraling down into madness. 

Caleb flinches at a sudden touch again comes from his hand. He instinctively pulls away but pauses his action once he realizes it was just Mollymauk. He stares at him blankly, a bit of confusion and curiosity crossing his expression.  

 “Hey.” Molly spoke softly as if he were confronting a child. His hand over Caleb’s, not touching, only hovering over just in case he wanted to pull away. “You should really stop hurting yourself dear, it’s not good to make yourself bleed.” Caleb gave no indication of pulling away, so Molly continues on and gently grabs his hand. He slowly uncurls his fists to reveal the small bleeding crescent moons that Caleb embedded into his skin. 

Hm,” Molly frowned, gently brushing his thumb over the bleeding marks. Caleb lets out a small hiss, his cuts sting a bit. He pulls away from Molly’s touch, cradling his hands back into his chest but not curling them back in. “Sorry.” Molly sighed, turning his attention back to Beau and asking her for something before Caleb could speak a word. “Do we still have any bandages in here?”

“Yeah, it's in the glove compartment.” Beau reaches over on the other side to open up the compartment. 

The car swerves off the road as she leaned her body to the other side. Tires squeal from the sudden turn once Beau whips back into her own lane. Caleb let out a yelp as his whole body crashes into Mollymauk from the lack of a seatbelt. He reactivity clings onto Molly’s side when Beau shouts out a curse, the sound of multiple horns honk past them. Luckily, Molly manages to hold him still as both of their bodies jostle around like a bag of coins. 

“Fucking hell Beauregard!” Molly snapped, clinging onto Caleb as well once the car was back on the right lane. “I rather much not die in a car accident today, how many times do I have to tell you to not do that!?”  

“Well I’m sorry!” Beau hissed, not sounding apologetic in the slightest.”If you’re such a back seat driver then why don’t you drive?!” 

“You know why!” He hissed back, causing the frail human huddled close to him flinch. “Besides, I don't have a driver's license, you know that.” 

Beau grumbled something under her breath. Molly assumed that it was something offensive given by her knuckles turning white on the steering wheel. “There.” She throws the bandage in the back blindly, hitting Mollymauk square in the chest while doing so. “I don’t even know why I agreed to be your baby driver.” 

“No need to be salty over being a bad driver Beau.” He starts unwrapping the bandage as Caleb pushes himself back up into a sitting position, this time putting a seat belt on while doing so. He gives himself a mental note to hold onto something whenever he's in a car with Beauregard driving again. Luckily, the stinging in his palms had subsided a bit, bleeding had stopped, only leaving dry blood and small unnoticeable crescent scars. 

A small frown appeared on Caleb's lips. He picks off the dry blood that were embedded under his fingernails. He didn’t realize how much his palm had bled until Molly unfurled his fists.   

Caleb watches the bandages slowly cover up the cuts he made. Now holding his palm, Molly starts to tend to the wizards wounds. His hands still shake under the tiefling's gentle hold, though it wasn't as bad as it was a minute ago. Molly looks up occasionally to see Caleb watching him with a dumbfounded expression. It surprises him on how one person could make your heart wrench from a curtain look on their face. 

A small pained sound comes up from the back of Molly’s throat. He hates seeing someone like this, looking scared and lost. It reminds him of days where he didn't know who he was or what he remembered. Everything was dark, empty in a sort of way. It took a long time before he found a group of people to reform his soulless heart.

"There you go." He pulls away from his handy work, which for not being a cleric, he was extremely proud of. "We'll disinfect the wound once we're at my place, this is only temporary." 

"Danke." Caleb muttered, a small frown on his lips as he rubs the newly bandage on his palm. It was strange, the warmth of Mollymauk's hand still tingles through his finger tips. It felt electric, almost frightening for his weathered cold heart and yet he wants to feel it again. 

"It was the least I can do."

Nien, it isn't. Caleb desperately wanted to say, confused yet grateful for Mollymauk to be in his life for a short period of time. You’ve already done so much for me, Why? I’m just a poor bastard of a son who burns everything in their path. Why choose me to save? I have nothing, I am nothing. Words could not find their way to speak up, caged by his anxiety and self loathing. Instead, he gives out a small huff, muttering words of a half-ass ‘Thank you.’ before turning his head to look at the window. A small pint of guilt hits him when the reflection of Mollymauk frowns in a way that makes his heart choke with guilt before he too replies a ‘You’re welcome’ and turn away to look at his side of the window.

Most of the car ride was being stuck in traffic for 20 minutes. It was around 1 in the morning and Caleb feels exhausted. He imagined being in his apartment by now, Frumpkin happily curled up and purring his anxieties away for the next day to be less edering. Laying warm next to his stomach as Caleb pets his fur, reading a book until midnight. The thought of it was nice enough for Caleb's eyes to droop slightly, leaning his head against the cool window. He wishes that he could see the stars like he used to when he was younger before drifting off into slumber. 

 

-----------------------------

 

 

It's all a haze when he falls asleep in the car, not remembering resting his head against Molly's shoulder, or when the car parks in the parking garage. He doesn't remember Molly having to unbuckle his seatbelt for him, for his whole body was trembling too much for him to properly do it himself. The only thing he can remember was the ringing in his ears and the nightmare of his childhood home bursting into flames with his mother’s screams. He doesn't remember falling out of the car and Molly catching him, deciding it would be best to carry him inside as he subconsciously burrows his face into the tieflings chest while trembling. He can remember the scent of ginger and lavender calming him, but not enough for the shock to wear off with the phantom smell of burning flesh. His vision blurs with tears in his eyes, the lights from a building almost blinding him when they walk inside. He can hear a muffled voice from a concerned stranger which was quickly replied by a light vibration of Molly’s throat. 

The next thing Caleb knew, the hallways where white and grey with different bright lights that give him a headache. It reminds of another time in his old therapy sessions, the ones where they chain him to a chair and ask questions despite pleading them to stop while having a panic attack. Despite screaming and crying when they inject haloperidol into his body. Another shudder runs deeper through his bones, he curls in closer to the warmth that he has grown to cling onto. He closes his eyes, trying to block out those memories and concentrate on Molly’s voice that was vibrating against his chest, saying words that he can’t understand.

Light turns into darkness, the air now feels a bit warmer than the outside. A door closes behind them as he’s carried to a black couch, with the lights still off, the sounds of the city is muffled by large glass windows. Their lights give the room a low lit glow, calming Caleb in the slightest. 

“The guest room is ready right?”

“It should be.” Molly gently lays Caleb on the couch. The wizard lets out a small whimper as he forms into a small ball, lying on his side, staring at the wall blankly. “I’ll take care of him, you can go to sleep if you want.” 

“You sure?” Beau tries to hold back a yarn, but Molly could see the relief and exhaustion in her eyes from the idea of going to bed. “Don’t want me to fetch some pajamas or something for him to sleep in?”

“He'll be fine just for tonight, but if you want to put some on the side in the morning then that would be nice.” 

“Alright.” She turns around to walk down the small hallway but pauses before leaning out on the side of the archway, watching Molly whispering something to Caleb before picking him back up in bridal style again. “You sure he’s the one?”

Mollymauk turns around, a bit surprised to still see Beau standing there. “I’m positive, Anxel was there.” His voice was quiet, not wanting to disturb Caleb, he walks up towards Beau. 

“Anxel was most likely drugged with what-ever-the-fuck that thing is, what if he thought it was someone else?”

“I-” Molly sighs in frustration, he looks down at Caleb, who has now passed out from exhaustion and pure shock. His head leans comfortably against Molly’s chest with black bags under his eyes, he looked peaceful. “There’s something about Caleb, he’s strange. I just have a feeling it’s him.” 

“If you say so…” 

They both stand there in silence, soaking up the events that happened a few minutes ago.

“Dude,” Molly looks up at Beau, who already finished digesting on what they had just done, her expression grim. “Your mom’s going to kill you.” 

A lump forms in his throat, the consequences feeling heavy on his shoulders. “I know.” 

“If she finds out-”

“She won’t.” He was too tired to think about his actions. Right now, all he wants to do is to take care of Caleb, lock himself in his bedroom, grab some liquor, and drink until he passes out from alcohol. “We can leave in the morning.” 

“Then what? Where would you go Molly? Nicodranas!? How would you tell Caleb?” 

I don’t know!” He hisses, his patience for Beaureguard asking him what the next plan was is wearing thin. He doesn’t know shit as much as the next person who knows nothing about what to do next. Caleb lets out a dissatisfied sound before shuffling back into his sleep. Beau’s face is stone, not showing her true emotions of frustration and anger. “I’m sorry…” Molly takes a deep breath. “I just…” He lets out a humorless laugh, his terror sweeping through his words. “I’m fucking terrified. I don't know why my mother wants him, or why people are hunting him down...I-” 

“Hey.” Beau places a hand on his shoulder, giving a hard squeeze. It helps Mollymauk stay anchored down for a little bit. “I’m scared shitless too, I mean-” She chuckles, a bit of fear sweeping in her voice as well. “Fuck, we’re pratically on our own at this point. We’ll talk about this tommrow okay? When we explain everything to Caleb and how much shit we gotten ourselves in.” 

Molly could feel his throat loosening, his body almost sagging in relief. He nods in agreement. “Tomorrow.”

“Good,” She removes her hand, whipping the dry blood away from her hand. “You should take a shower too, you look like shit.”

Molly looked down at himself, other than the knife and bullet wounds that he sustained, the blood from Caleb’s face has also decided to cling onto his jacket. “After I take care of Caleb.” 

Beau glances down at Caleb before looking back at Molly. “You really care about him, don’t you?” It wasn’t hard to see the look on his face when he’s around him, how calm and tame he can be around with such a frail human. It’s weird, to say at least, seeing him already all coiled up for one person. Even if he doesn’t know it yet, she can tell that he was absolutely smitten.

“I..” He looks down at Caleb’s face, feelings are strange, ever since day one he’s been struggling to maintain and control them. Even though he gives advice to his friends who are dating, he doesn't know a rat's ass about anything. With little to none experience that he has in his "2 years" of life, the more Molly thought about it, the more he realizes that he has never actually liked someone. “I’m not sure..I barely know the guy, maybe later down the path.” 

Surely, if Molly liked him he would’ve felt something by now right? Maybe some kind of spark or flutter in his chest? Sure, he likes have sex with pretty people, but usually nothing comes out of it other than during the heat of the moment. At first, he expected it to feel like a fairy tail, his heart would feel flustered while wanting to sing and dance to the overly happy music after last night events. That one day he’ll find that feeling with someone that’s already in bed with him so they could stay like that forever. But that day never came, people came and went, he even cooked breakfast sometimes for people who do stay for a little while but even then they would end up leaving as well. So in the end, Mollymauk decided that it was best to toy with the idea instead, to become that bad boy who leads trails of broken hearts behind his path for everyone to see. 

Long story short, Mollymauk Tealeaf doesn’t know a damn thing about love. 

“Just...be careful alright?” Beau’s voice shakes him out of his thoughts, he looks up to see her giving him a look to where it almost seems sympathetic. “For both you and him.” 

“Oh Beauregard.” A smile appears on his lips. He proceeds to carry Caleb into the guest room, not looking back to see his friend. “You know me, always cautious about everything.” 

He almost has Caleb carefully laid on the bed when he hears Beau yelling down the hall. “Bullshit!”