In which Jack does something unexpected.

Lizabeth was in no rush to return to where she'd left Jack. She walked down the hallway in the direction she'd come, hiding her hands in the baggy pockets of the sentry's coat.

She felt a little dizzy. Her thoughts were whirling around in her head--too much information had been revealed in the past hour, and she felt helpless in a world that had just begun to change.

Jack is a half-breed. Lucifer never left, but hid in disguise to find out who was truly loyal to him, and he plans to kill the half-breeds for some unknown reason. He knows I have consorted with humans and considers me a traitor now. He has the power to return me to life and kill me for good.

Numbness, her default emotion, began to trickle away, leaving raw edges of fear and anger. She scrubbed at her eyes with the back of her hand, feeling the soot smear across her face as tears pooled in the corners of her eyes. Foolish.

She rounded a corner and saw Jack sitting on the ground, gun in hand, head resting against a column. His eyes were closed, but he turned his head towards her.

"I didn't think yah'd come back," he said simply, opening one eye. "I figured yah'd leave elsewhere--to get away from me."

"Why would I do that?" Lizabeth stood awkwardly, feeling incredibly out of place. Jack opened his other eye and raised an eyebrow.

"Yah know why. He's back."

Lizabeth raised her gaze just a bit, but it was enough. There they were--the two deep, glassy pools of light, sucking her into them.

"Lizabeth, yah listen to me," Jack said urgently, standing, not breaking his gaze. "I'm different from what the rest of us would have you believe. They may tell yah I'm a sinner, because I know the underground, they may tell yah I'm a bastard, but you listen. I'm a good man. And I'm not a demon."

"They--" Lizabeth struggled to open her mouth. Her thoughts were drifting. It occurred to her that the two perfect globes she was lost in were void, and she suddenly wanted to fill that void however she could. She wanted to see wholeness in the beauty in front of her. Her body longed to hold his, to take away the pain the void must cause.

Then he blinked, and she jerked back.

"How dare you, Jack!" she snarled. "I know what you were doing! Trying to convince me to..."

"To what?" Jack crossed his arms. "To what?"

Lizabeth didn't answer.

"I'm trying to convince yah to let me protect you, Elizabeth. You can't fight off this demon alone, and I will not leave you. Yah didn't desert me when I was in trouble."

She was silent for a moment, staring at the floor. Her mind wasn't moving anywhere. It sat on the memory of her death.

"Did I ever tell you how I died?" she asked, quietly.

He shook his head.

"It was a normal day. Lucifer had ordered the covert spies to assemble in the graveyard a few miles outside of the City--our usual meeting place. He came to me before the meeting and we...well, we--"

"I get the idea." Jack scowled at the ground.

"After that, he stayed a moment and asked me what I wanted the most in the world. I told him a world without sin, and that it was a lovely idea, but unless he killed off all the evil doers in the world he would never obtain it. He asked me what evil was, and I couldn't answer him. I still can't. He kissed me before he left and told me he loved me, and then he drove a knife through my heart and I died."

She paused, closing her eyes, trying to block out the images.

"When I woke up, I was in his bed. The house was empty. I couldn't believe I was still alive. As I lay there, I realized my skin was freezing. I got under the covers but I couldn't get warm."

It didn't take me long to realize I was dead. Lucifer was gone, but he'd killed all the others as well, and we had nowhere to go. The city dwellers couldn't know we existed, and as it was fairly obvious something was abnormal about us, we moved to the sewers. What you know as the underground."

She knelt down next to him, grabbed his arm, and said, softly, "What he is doing to this world, he's doing for me. A world without sin? It was my wish. The guilt...and I'm afraid of him, Jack. He has the ability to kill me once and for all. Please don't let that happen."

She knew he was looking at her downturned eyes. He touched her cheek with one finger.

"I'll protect you."

She stood up suddenly, her heart pounding.

"We should go."

The End

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