“What do you want?”

“Let’s just say I saw what happened last night. The First kill is always the toughest, the most emotional which is what brought you back, but next time it will be easier and you’ll remain as you’re meant to be.”

“I am as I’m meant to be now and there won’t be a next time. Where’s Lydia?”

“Oh, Anna.” He brought his hand up to my neck loosely and trailed it around, sweeping my hair back, as he walked behind me and placed both hands on either one of my shoulders. “It’s only a matter of time. You’ve only pushed it back temporarily. All it needs is a little shove in the right direction and you’ll be back to normal.” He said, ignoring my question completely. He leant in closer and whispered in my ear, “Derek’s upstairs.”

He removed his hands from my shoulder and I spun around to face him, but he was gone. What did he mean Derek was upstairs? Did he hurt him? I panicked and ran up to the loft’s front door, pulling it wide open.

“Derek!” I yelled.

“Anna?”

“You’re okay? The Nogitsune… he was…” I stopped. The sunlight caught Derek’s eyes and they gleamed that wonderful green colour.

Green.

Jake.

Blood.

Death.

No, don’t think about it. I shook my head and looked away from Derek.

“Anna… is this you or is this a trick.”

“It’s me.”

“Then look at me.”

“I can’t.” I sobbed. A tear escaped and Derek walked forward to stand in front of me and grabbed my hands. On reflex my eyes met his. All the memories came flooding back. What I did. Jake’s face was replaced by Derek’s suddenly in my mind and I ripped my hands back out of his and took a few retreating steps back, shaking my head. “Please Derek… make it stop…”

“Make what stop? Anna?”

It flashed through my mind again and again and again, alternating between Jake and Derek. The tears kept coming. “Peter… I need Peter.” I said. I looked down at my hands as they shook and saw the blood. “No, no, no… it’s not real… this isn’t real.”

“Anna! Look at me! What’s happening? What are you seeing?”

Derek took another step forward and then the thought of jumping at him and ripping out his heart played out in my head. I screamed. “Peter! Ring Peter! I need Peter!” Derek took another step. “No! Don’t! Stay back!” More sobs escaped and my visioned blurred to red. The next words came out as a begging whisper. “Please… Peter…” The room begun to spin and next I was falling.

I hit the ground and my eyes stayed open, staring up at the ceiling. Derek came running next to me and was about to crouch down when he was startled and took a step back. I could feel my eyes glowing. I squeezed them shut and when I opened them again everything was back to normal. I stood up with no dizziness, no redness, and no visions.

“Anna…”

My lips curled into a one sided smirk and Derek took another step back. “Derek… tell me… how’s Chris? I assume you went after him, after all everyone else you could possibly have beef with is dead, except Peter of course.” I said with another smirk.

He narrowed his eyebrows together and then something clicked, “You’re not you right now are you? Okay, listen to me…”

“I swear to god if you tell me to breathe, I will rip out your tongue.” I said, still with a slight smile on my lips.

“Is this because of the Nix or the flies?” he asked taking another step back.

“Oh, Honey, it’s the Nix. Hell, the flies were my idea.” I said with a chuckle.

“What?”

“Mmhmm. I mean the Nogitsune is cunning and all, but he could turn it up a couple of nonches.” I said and gave him a quick wink. Derek stood there shocked and looking slightly hurt. “Aaaw, don’t frown Derek, you’ll get wrinkles.”

“I’m not going to fight you.”

“No? I think you are.”

“I’m not. This isn’t you.”

“Well if it isn’t me then what’s the problem?”

“You know what I mean.”

“I think I can come up with a couple of truths to get your blood boiling. Hmm, where to start. Bringing up your families unfortunate, tragic and horribly brutal death etcetera, excetera, isn’t enough – that would just get you mad at Peter. I know! Last night when I threw that party… I slept with Isaac. I’m thinking about testing Deputy Parrish next, aka Jordan. Maybe even Peter. Or maybe Aiden, what do you think?” I could see Derek’s teeth clench and he closed his eyes. When he opened them again I was still smiling.

“This isn’t you.” He repeated again.

“You know what my favourite quote is at the moment, Derek? Well, actually there’s two. We stopped checking for monsters under our bed when we realised they were inside us. That’s the first one, but the second, also by the same character and my all-time favourite one at that. Madness, as you know, is a lot like gravity, all it takes is a little… push. The Joker – Heath Ledger. Now his death, truly was a tragedy. Still young, so much to live for, really hot and an all-round good guy. Kind of like you.”

“Your favourite character is Chandler Bing.” Was all he said.

“From friends? Yeah he’s up there, but not diabolical enough. Sorry to disappoint you. So how are we going to go about this? Continue talking for a while as you try and bring back my humanity? Or should we skip the drum roll and go straight to the theatrics? Personally I’d rather get straight to kicking your ass.”

“You know what I think?”

“No and I don’t really want to.”

“I think you still care. Deep down, I know you’re in there and I know you won’t hurt me.”

“See you’re wrong, Derek. You will be hurt, but not killed, I need you to deliver a message.”

“What message?”

A smile crossed my face as I stepped closer to him. “Game on.”

I lunged forward with my claws and teeth bared. Derek didn’t shift. He blocked a few of my shots at his chest, but I was too quick and too strong for him now. My claws found their way to his flesh and I extended my right arm so my palm slammed into the same spot where his wound was and sent him flying back, hitting the ground hard.

I crouched down beside him and whispered another Joker Quote in his ear, “I don’t want to kill you… you’re just too much fun.” I leant in and gave him a kiss before saying, “Sweet dreams.” I slammed his head hard into the ground and left the loft leaving Derek unconscious on the floor.

I stepped outside the building and the sun shone down on me. First thing I had to do was change my clothes. I was about to start walking when a figure caught my attention. Across the road was a man, about Peter’s age with dark hair and a vacant expression. What caught my attention where his clothes. They weren’t something you see every day. They weren’t completely unusual yet still… odd and old. He just stared at me with big sad eyes. He took a step back and disappeared into the shadows behind him.

I shrugged and kept walking. 

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