Kath opened her eyes. What she saw was a bright shining light in front of her, blurring her vision. Most of her body still ached. Is this heaven? Then her eyes slowly began to adjust, and the bright light faded into the dim illumination of the clinic’s ceiling lamps. Kath looked around confused as she observed the white walls and strange machines, still dizzy after a nightmare she had. Oh right, I’m in the clinic still.
After the accident at the rooftop, Kath was taken to the local clinic by Cassius and Christine. Thought she hated the idea of having to stay in there for several days, the doctors insisted she needed rest. She was promptly moved to a private clinic in the suburbs where she could still rest, but have access to some recreation facilities to keep her from getting bored (and rowdy).
And finally, one week of utter boredom has passed and according to yesterday’s evaluation by the doctor, she was free to go. Kath closed her eyes as she sat up, holder her head with her hands. “It feels like someone went over my head with a pneumatic drill.” She turned to the side, hanging her legs from the bed as she looked around the room. Several pots dotted the small table, all full of flowers as if she was seriously ill. She shook her head with a smile, remembering that most of them were from Cassius. Poor boy worried too much about her.
“As he should.” Said a bored voice in the back of her mind. “There’s no way you’d be able to defend yourself in this ragged state. It is fortunate for us that humans place so much value in healing their wounded. Were you to be so vulnerable where I am from you’d have been devoured, your strength added to another.”
Kath felt as if her veins froze and a chill ran down along her spine as she heard the voice. She thought the Demoness was just some bad dream, or maybe it was locked up tight. Why hasn’t she spoken to her since the accident? This was all wrong, why now? “I thought you were locked up! How are you speaking to me?”
“Of course I’m locked up, dear child.” the voice replied. “I’m locked up inside you. The prisoner and the warden have very different duties but they are still inhabiting the same prison. Is communication so out of the question?”
“With you?” Kath laughed weakly, both anxious and scared. “I would rather we never met. Or better yet, accepted your death. Now I’m trapped with YOU inside me.” Then Kath realised she has been speaking loudly all this time and looked at the door as if someone was to bust in any moment to check if she was fine. But nobody came. With a sigh of relief Kath turned her attention back to the Demoness. Wait, so that means you can...read my mind or something?
“No, no. Not quite. The fire keeps me quite hemmed in. It’s very dogged about that. The cage is solid, but sometimes strong emotions will rattle the bars and like the beating of a drum or the plucking of a string I can tell from the vibration what you’re feeling. Like with music. For example; the solid, monotone hum of sheer, excruciating boredom? I can empathize. All week I’ve been waiting for that sister of yours to take the opportunity to challenge you for dominance. I’ve formulated so many counter strategies for an attack I’m now unsure will ever come. I’m not sure what sort of mindgame she might be playing at this point. Perhaps I give her too much credit.”
What? You mean Christine? Why would she challenge me for dominance? I don’t understand how it works there for you, but I can assure you we don’t do that Kath pouted as she looked around the room trying to find something of interest.
“Really?” the voice said, actually surprised. “Then what do you call those tournaments you humans are so fond of throwing? What are those, if not battles for dominion? To show your strength and revel in the awe and envy of your peers as you stand above them? Are you saying that if you met her in battle you would submit rather than face your family? You did not strike me as the sort when you challenged me.”
Submit? Kath chuckled quietly in real life, the clear lack of knowledge about human traditions amusing her. No, I would never submit in a fight. You should know first hand. But you jest by calling the tournaments battles for dominion. Sure, we want to see who is the strongest, but the point is not to demolish our foes, but rather to test ourselves against our peers. Kath shook her head, dismissing the idea of any other reason for tournaments. Why, did you challenge your own sister for dominance?
“Not all of them. Some understood their place, devoting themselves to me as my useful furniture. Others sought to challenge me and in so doing only added to my strength.” Suddenly her tone changed, taking on a wistfulness that wasn’t there before, “They were true demons, clever and brimming with pride. If they could see me in this state they could only laugh. Reliant on a human for my life. I would laugh with them. Bah! I’m am glad your sister isn’t like mine were. No matter how much I planned I would not have been able to save you from her.”
Useful..Furniture? Kath shook her head to clear her thoughts and focus back on what interested her. Which was anything with which she could spend the next hour or so with. If I could beat you, I’m sure your servants would prove no difficulty either. Then they could all laugh along with you for a different reason; their pride cracking away under my will Speaking of which, Kath remembered her fight with Rurik. If only that damned Thobias wasn’t there, she would’ve teached him a lesson about using her sister as a wagering tool. Oh yes, she would’ve beat him up good. Kath clenched her fist at the thought of Rurik.
“Oooooh my, what is this?” the voice asked playfully. “This boy inspires even stronger tremors than the first one. What did this one do, to make your heart quake so?”
Kath crossed her arms in front of herself, even her face turning angry as if the Demoness was watching her from the outside. That’s none of your concern. I have damn good reasons to hate that arrogant, self centered prick and I can’t wait to get my hands on him again. He better wish Thobias will be around to save him again…
“This boy is your real enemy then? I simply wish to know who he is so I may begin plotting in the correct direction.”
Thanks, but I don’t need you plotting, or whatever. For all I know, you are just waiting for the moment to take control over me or something, and it’s goodnight for me then. Kath shook her head, her loose hair swinging around. No, I’m fine dealing with him by myself. If I ever need your help for whatever reason, I’ll ask. But don’t bet on it.
“You mistake my intentions, dear girl.” the voice said, suddenly incredibly serious. “I am bound here. You ensured that. I am hemmed in on all sides by the strength of your gifts and prodigious talent. You defeated me, branded me, claimed me for your own, and smashed my ambition. I am a demon without pride and incapable of ascent, my fate bound to yours. My every action only capable of adding to your glory. When I speak of furniture, that is what I mean. I am your furniture. You may make use of me at your leisure, as is your right, but if you wish to doubt my intentions ask yourself; who would be victorious in such a confrontation? You, a divine sliver of the heart of an inferno? Or I, whom you reduced from greatness to nothing?”
Kath took some time to think about what the Demoness had just said. Minutes passed as her mind turned the wheels processing the information given.
On one hand, it was great to know that whatever the Demoness was, would no longer be able to escape it’s cages. Thought Kath wasn’t sure exactly HOW she kept it locked up, it was a silver lining the outlook of the future. If the Demoness can help her fight better, then it is only a plus.
On the other hand, the thought of living with this freak forever wasn’t the most pleasant thing to imagine. Maybe it’s just a new experience, and Kath really will use it as a “furniture” once she gets accomodated. But however true the words of the Demoness rang, the sneaking suspicion always leaked in the back of Kath’s head: what reason would the beast have to reveal it’s intentions to the captor?
But finally, Kath made up her mind, the long silence broken by loud words once again. “Alright, I believe you. If you wish to aid me in my quest, whatever it will be, then I will not say no. But know this: I may yet be unable to fully control your leashes, but I’ll make sure that if you stand in my way that you’ll get burned again. Never forget the mark of my hand burned onto your cheeks.”
“I understand...my master.”
As if on cue to coincide with the conclusion of their conversation, the door to Kath’s room opened. It was nothing exciting, just the doctor coming to pay a visit- Oh wait, Cassius was right behind him. That was probably exciting.
“Hello, Katherine. Have a little visitor for you today-” The doctor tried to speak, but Cassius rushed right past him.
“Hey, Kath! How are you doing? Are the flowers helping? I didn’t send too many did I? I did, didn’t I... Probably getting pollen everywhere.” He didn’t even take a breath before continuing. “No, that’s probably not even the biggest problem. Was it it creepy? I was afraid sending that many flowers would be creepy, but they wouldn’t let me visit for long and I was afraid you’d get lonely!”
With Cassius and the doctor inside, Kath already forgot the Demoness. The company of real people was so much more enjoyable.
She chuckled as she looked at Cassius overreacting as usual. “No, it’s just fine Cassius, don’t worry about it. Your flowers helped me overcome the boring days of the clinic bed and reminded me that I am not gonna be stuck here for that long.”
She shot a somewhat upset glance at the doctor as she looked over at him. “So Doctor, I take it I am free to go now? I’ve been wasting around here for a whole week now, it’s time I got back to the ring again.”
The doctor pulled out a large clipboard from his coat, and flipped over a few papers after carefully examining them. He nodded with a small grunt and then looked up at Kath. “Well, you seem to be doing fine, but I would still not suggest going back into the ring so fast. When you were carried here, your body was extremely exhausted and overworked. You might feel the aftereffects of this if you do hard physical exercises, but unless you don’t mind the pain, I see no reason to keep you here.” He looked at Kath with blank expression and then scratched the back of his head. “Well, I’ll leave you two alone then. The nurses already know you are free to go.” With that he left the room, leaving the door open behind him.
“So you’re all better! Err, mostly, anyway.” Cassius the on the biggest smile he could manage to try and be reassuring. “I imagine for you, even a few days stuck in bed would feel like a long time, huh?” He noticed one of the flower pots were beginning to wilt. Apparently it hadn’t been watered all that well. He gently nudged it behind a healthier pot to try and hide it. “So, I don’t suppose they’ve been feeding you well?”
“Hah! You kidding me? This might be a fancy clinic, but hospital food is gross, and low in proteins.” To reinforce her already solid claim, Kath’s stomach grumbled loudly. “I could really go for some beef curry right now.”
She slid off the side of the bed, and put on her shoes. She was already wearing her normal clothing provided to her by Christine, so she was pretty much ready to go at a moment’s notice. “Anyways, give me a big hug you doofus. I barely saw you, should’ve been more forceful with the nurses.” Kath walked over to Cassius, and hugged the boy about as gently as she could; which still wasn’t exactly a soft one.
“HNGK!?” Cassius was soon caught up in one of Kath’s “gentler” hugs. [color=slategray“Doc doesn’t know what he’s talking about…”[/color] he wheezed, “you’re definitely good to go…” He knew he only had one hope of survival -- a counterattack! He hugged her back… nope, she was too strong, he was still suffocating. Hope was lost…
Just before Cassius would suffocate to her “gentle” hug, Kath let go of the boy and took a step back. “So, what do you say we grab a chow firebuddy? I’m sure you are just as hungry as me after a long day.” Kath said without even acknowledging the fact that it was barely 11 AM. But some people can just chow down every time of the day.
[color=slategray“Grab a chow…”[/color] Cassius chuckled. “It’s funny, I always forget you’re a rich girl.” She didn’t talk like it, and just as rarely acted like it. Considering the mental image he had of a typical “rich person” he was grateful for that. “Sure! Anywhere but here, right?” Obviously Kath was ready to leave the little clinic as of two days ago.
“You bet buddy.” Kath turned towards the flowers on the table and then looked back at Cassius with a smile. “I’ll get someone to pick those up later for me.” It is true that Kath wasn’t like what you’d expect a rich girl to be, or any fancy girl, there were a lot a feelings behind her tomboyish nature.
Kath walked out the door and waved for Cass to follow. She didn’t yet know where they would go, but the outlooks seemed great. Cassius was always great company to have around, even if he was rather shy around her. But that shouldn’t be a problem anymore, now that she made peace with her inner demon.
Cassius escorted the less-than-ladylike lady to a place to eat. Everything was going just great until Kath insisted she pay, being that she was the “rich girl.” His own fault for saying that he supposed. That in itself wasn’t the problem, though. The problem was how awkward things got when she realized that she had no money… as it had all gone up in smoke when she’d incinerated her outfit. No one had thought to drop off a wallet for her in the clinic.
After assuring her it was fine, Cassius paid and made sure she got home safely.
“Well, here we are!” He sort of figured they’d be parting ways here, not that he wanted to. Kath had obviously been absent from school over the last week, so they’d had no time to hang out whatsoever. That said, now that she was free from the hospital, he was sure everyone else wanted to makeup for lost time too. Even so, he just sort lingered at the front door with her…
Kath looked over at Cass as he idled by the door like someone who doesn’t know what to do with themselves. He was actually kinda cute whenever he was like that. Kath walked up closer to Cass, closing the distance with a step. “I am glad you came to pick me up from the clinic Cassius. For that, a reward.” Kath leaned forward, planting a soft kiss on Cassius’s cheeks. “Well, see you later firebuddy.” With that, she walked through the door to the mansion, and disappeared from view.
“Oh…” She was practically gone by the time his mental facilities finished rebooting. “Uhhh, n-no problem!” he called after her. “Bye…” He sighed, shoved his hands in his pockets, and then promptly tripped and fell down the long, painfully so, flight of steps leading up to their front door.
Damn rich people…
Oh well, at least they’d given him Katherine. She was cool. And pretty… and… “Ow…” Well he’d sort out all that once he was sure he wasn’t concussed.