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Surprises

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Fandom: Canaria 

 

Adjani never thought she’d see Vim again. She’d held his pale, shaking form in her arms and watched him slip away into unseeing delirium before falling silent completely, and the moment was burned into her heart forever. She’d hardly slept for days. 

 

They hadn’t been able to arrange a proper funeral, of course; Vim had no kind of identification or legal record of his existence, but Father Roblow had quietly arranged to bury him in a little corner of (ironically enough, Adjani thought with a snort) the churchyard, and they’d held a small “memorial service” for him. Adjani hadn’t spoken all that time. She had a thousand things she wanted to say, but where would she begin? What do you say about someone you knew so little yet so well? What should you say about a demon who was as much a force of lawless evil as he was your friend? 

 

That was it in the end, wasn’t it? He was her friend. Her best friend, though they’d only known each other for a few months. She’d been alone all her life, but somehow this demon sent to torment her had broken through her walls with such ease she hardly realized it happened. He was strange, sure, she knew that from the start, but he felt like home. 

 

One day a week after the funeral she left her apartment for a listless evening walk. She’d never been one for walking just to be walking, but it felt better than lying on the couch. She was rounding a corner in the park when a resounding BANG! that sounded like a miniature clap of thunder made her nearly jump out of her skin. She sputtered and stumbled as a cloud of fog sprung up from thin air around her. 

 

“Adjani,”

 

That voice... great, she thought, feeling a sudden urge to laugh, hallucinating now, are we? That’s a new one. 

 

“Adjani—!”

 

Startled by the voice’s closeness she whirled around—and promptly crashed violently into whoever was stumbling through the fog behind her. 

 

“Ow—dammit—get OFF me!” She wrenched herself away from them violently and scrambled to her feet. “The hell are you doi…” 

 

She knew those eyes. She’d last seen them fluttering and cloudy with tears, saying goodbye in a thousand unspoken words...and here they were...here they were…

 

Vim was sprawled on the ground and groaned as he got to his feet. “Couldn’t you be a LITTLE gentler, I don’t need to die again .”

 

She cut him off with a slap. “Holy canary, Vim, what the HELL?” She couldn’t have kept from crying if she tried. “What are you DOING back here, you died, we buried you, you bastard, was that some kind of trick? Why are you here—” she cut herself off with a sob “—can demons even die? I swear to GOD, Vim, if that was all a lie—”

 

“It wasn’t! It wasn’t, I swear, I was...the graduation assignment was time-sensitive, and I refused to finish it, and...well...it doesn’t matter, really...I…”

 

“Then how are you BACK? Get set back a grade in demon school or...or whatever the fuck?”

 

He floundered. “I’m not a demon anymore, I don’t think.”

 

“Oh?” She looked at him suspiciously. He was dressed all in white, a startling contrast from his usual black. His wide eyes seemed far away. 

 

“I’m...well, I guess right now I’m in-between or...something.” He shook his head. “In any case, I’m alright, I just...wanted to see you.

 

Adjani felt all her anger die in her throat, and stepped forward to take his arms in both hands carefully, half expecting him to dissolve into mist again. “Will you stay?” 

 

“I can’t.”

 

“Will I see you again?” 

 

He paused a moment as if making up his mind about something, then reached quickly into his pocket. He drew out a silver stopwatch. “This should still work, in a way, at least. If you ever need me, wind it up and let it go; I’ll only be able to stay as long as it’s ticking but I’ll come.”

 

She gasped as he handed it to her. “Anytime?”

 

“Long as it‘s not broken.”

 

“Isn’t it magic or some shit? It can’t...stop completely, right?”

 

He dropped the slight smile. “I’m not sure. I don’t think I’m supposed to give something like this to a mortal, really, but if they let me come back now they sure as hell better let me come back more.” He sent a glare in the direction of the sky. 

 

She narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “Are you saying you could get in trouble for this? Haven’t you already gotten expelled from hell?”

 

He shrugged and let a twisted smile cross his face. “What are they gonna do, kill me?” 

 

He flickered a little and winced. She noticed wisps of mist curling off his clothes. 

 

“I have to go, I think.” He took her hand almost shyly and pressed the watch into her palm. “Don’t use it too lightly, I’ll see you again.”

 

“Wait—Vim!”

 

She was too slow; he vanished into a folding cloud of light and fog. 

 

Adjani’s mind was reeling so much it took a moment for her to unfreeze. She gazed at the watch in her hand and snapped upright suddenly. Surely a test run…

 

She wound it up (only a few seconds) and let it run. The crack of electricity and fog repeated and Vim stumbled out of it wildly. “Adjani! The he—” 

 

She cut him off with a tight hug and a kiss on the cheek and snickered as he faded again with a hilariously stunned expression. 

 

There. He deserved that.