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Fenrir hadn't slept in two days. A forty hour drive from the ass-end of Montana, made in a single straight trip; then he'd gotten caught in traffic on his way into the city. An hour's worth. His eyes felt gummy. Heavy. He'd nearly passed out in the elevator coming down from the penthouse apartment where he used to live, and was only awake by virtue of Shepard whining and licking his face until he finally got himself off the floor and standing again.
Their apartment had smelled stale. There were only traces of Seirasam; in the sheets most prominently, like he'd been there to sleep but not for long and not for much else.
Traces of Seirasam and traces of blood. Copper stains in the shower. A smudge of red on the doorknob. A hollow ache in Fenrir's chest.
He tossed the apartment methodically, mechanically. Shepard waited at the door and watched as he tore clothes out of closets and stale food out of pantries and rummaged through the stash of guns he'd stored in a safe behind the dresser they'd shared in their bedroom. Everything was accounted for.
Clothes were strewn about the floor of their bedroom. Some had rips, bloodstains. Others were singed. Fenrir found the cleanest shirt that would come close to fitting him and shrugged into it, sniffed at the collar. He stuck one pistol in the waistband of his pants and another in a holster he strapped onto his thigh.
They had one of those single-cup coffee machines. He made himself a cup, put some kibble in a bowl for Shepard. She stayed at the door. Fenrir chugged his coffee, sniffed the shirt he was wearing. Sniffed. Inhaled deep, and felt a torrent of bile rise in his throat, and sent his coffee cup crashing to the floor and grabbed Shepard's leash and stormed out of the apartment, got in the elevator to go down and out.
Shepard got him standing again when he slumped to the ground. She licked the tears away from his cheek and nudged her cold nose against his neck until he dragged himself up.
"Let's get some answers," he told her once he was on his feet. Shepard blinked.
Club Ambrose had been owned by Fellox Ambrose and frequented by Seirasam Grimms for the past ten years at least. It wasn't too far off from their apartment building, either, so it wouldn't be a bad place to check in. Fenrir didn't know where else to start. He couldn't think. His jaw ached and he wasn't sure why.
The bouncer tried to stop him from going in with the dog, but Fenrir ignored her. He might have growled at her; she had that look on her face people got when he was a hound and about to rip them apart. He wasn't certain.
He walked to the bar, stumbled, sat down hard on a stool. He'd dropped Shepard's leash at some point but she held the end of it in her mouth, sitting patiently at his side. The bartender stared at him with a mixture of recognition and apprehension.
"Get me the owner," he said. "Now."
another round of papers, this time a bill from the funeral home. they were never-ending, it seemed. and she'd felt her throat close when the bill had come in. it had taken all her effort not to cry at that point, but they were opening in two hours, and a mess she didn't want to be when they opened. she was the bartender for the night, and hell if she was going to be crying all the damn night. teeth clenching together, she grabbed the set of checks that still had her father's name on them, her name underneath. there was no way in hell she was going to pay for more check when these still worked.
a small commotion outside had fenix glancing up, a brow raising as the knock came at her office door. she blinked. "uhm.. you have a visitor, fen" it wasn't apollo, reide was still at work. zephyr... who the hell knew where her cousin was right now. who else did she know that would barge in before opening? pulling the elastic out of her hair, she combed a hand through it as she adjusted the short dress she'd chosen. walking towards the door, she wasn't expecting someone she hadn't seen in six months.
she didn't even see the white-haired man sitting at the bar at first, just the animal beside him. dark eyes blinked as she paused on the stairs. "shepard?" was the single word that came from her lips, before sliding to the dog's owner. she wasn't sure what sound escaped, her, a mixture of pain and anger. fenrir grimms. fenrir grimms. her godfather whom she hadn't seen for six months. her feet, no longer glued to the stairs, rushed down the flight, through the club, and threw herself onto his body, arms wrapping around him.
"i thought you were dead too, you bastard"
fenrir grimms // okay so fenx2 gives muse apparently?
Too busy rubbing insistently at the bridge of his nose to try to soothe the throbbing ache behind his eyes, Fenrir didn't notice Shepard stand up, her tail thumping erratically against his stool as she looked to the stairs. He didn't hear footsteps, didn't even realize anyone else was in the room until a small soft thing crashed bodily into him.
Fenrir reacted instinctively, yanking his arms up to break the person's grasp and letting out a guttural snarl. If he had been better rested, he might even had succeeded in gaining his freedom and frightening his assailant into a heart attack; but as things stood he was still restrained, and his growl sounded more akin to an exhausted, alarmed groan.
His thoughts were sluggish, slow and sharp and stabbing like his mind was being dragged over broken glass. It took a long moment to recognize the godly scent wrapped around him, process the voice that called him a bastard in such a fragile, angry tone.
"Fenix," he said, after a minute, and tentatively reached around her to return the embrace. His goddaughter. It'd only been some six months since he'd last seen her - since he'd left town - but she seemed different, somehow. He couldn't place it. "Hi. It's been a while."
Shepard leaned hard against Fenix's leg, tail now wagging into a blur. Fenrir just held her for a long moment, until his brain finally caught up with the words he'd registered as a jumbled mess and bastard, and he grabbed her by the shoulders and stared at her, mouth a thin grim line, tired eyes watering from exhaustion and grief.
I thought you were dead too. It was one thing to know by the vacancy that'd taken roost in his chest that Seirasam was dead; another thing still to hear the word dead spill from her lips. To hear it apply to Seirasam. To know it wasn't just his own paranoia, that other people knew he was dead -
it hurt. It hurt so much he couldn't breathe.
"What do you know? he demanded, fingers tightening in his grip on her shoulder. "I wasn't here, I need- I need to know what happened. He- he wasn't at the apartment. I need to get his body, Fenix, please. What happened to him?"
fenix ambrose // SAME THO
it's been a while was a god damn understatement. once she actually heard his voice, she pulled back, eyes narrowing down at him. she felt shepard rubbing against her, her hand patting the canine on the head as her thoughts tried catching up with everything that was going on. two out of four beings were back. two of the four she thought she'd never see. she knew fellox wasn't coming back, salem she hadn't seen in months, fenrir... he'd disappeared six months ago, though fenix hadn't been around either. she'd been traveling with the band, before she'd heard the news four months ago. she hadn't spoken to him in six months...
her mind was distracted before she suddenly felt pressure on her shoulders, eyes widening as she saw not her godfather, but a man on a mission. wait, apartment? fellox's apartment had been emptied out of his things, and he hadn't seen fenrir go through there. a frown graced her features as she glanced down at fenrir's canine companion, as if she had the answers to her own questions. of course, she only felt the wave of shepard's tail as it threatened to turn into a wind mill.
"fenrir... what are you talking about? he died of cancer, cancer he never told me about" the club owner responded after a moment, her mind trying to figure out what was going through the hellhound's head. "fellox is dead, fen. you would have known that if you'd been here" she all but snapped, but stopped herself. there had to be a reason fenrir had left. she'd known the hellhound for most of her life, which hurt even more when she couldn't find him after coming back. though, a thought occurred to her at that moment.
"wait, where's salem?"
fenrir grimms // her powers of observation are amazing
Shepard's eyes squinted and her tongue lolled out in a doggy smile as Fenix patted her head. Her leash fell to the ground, abandoned. Fenrir made no move to pick it up; he didn't even notice that it'd left his grasp at all.
Cancer? That wasn't possible. Demon's bodies were immortal, immune to disease. He supposed maybe it was possible for a mutation of cells to occur, but he didn't understand how that would lead to death - unless it somehow disabled the body's immortality? But Fenrir would have smelled the corruption, sensed it, felt it. Seirasam being felled by something so common as cancer was unthinkable, unless-
Unless it wasn't him.
"Fellox is dead?" he whispered, pulling away from his circular, cyclical thoughts long enough to actually look at Fenix for the first time. To see the bags under her eyes, smeared over with makeup; hear the exhaustion in her voice, parallel to his own. He pulled her close, wrapping his arms tight around her, hugging her as if he could hug her tight enough to bring her into himself, take her suffering as his own.
Fellox had been a good friend. One of his best. He'd thought it had only been ten years since he'd known the man, but once Fenrir set to math, he realized it had been longer; he'd looked after Fenix since she was a baby, and now she stood before him a woman grown, and he wondered when that had happened. He watched her learn to walk, learn to talk, start her career, fall in love, get engaged.
Six months he'd been gone and she'd grown, harshly, irreparably, since then.
"I'm sorry," he said softly. "I'm so sorry I wasn't here. I should've been here."
If Fen had been here, if he had been paying attention, maybe he could've caught Fellox's sickness. Maybe he would be alive. At the very least he would've been here for Fenix. He would know what happened to Seirasam; Seirasam would still be here.
If. If if if.
"Seirasam is dead." Dispassionate, detached. Clinical. "For almost two days. I felt it happen. I can't find his body." His voice cracked. He held Fenix tighter. "I can't find his body."
the bone-crushing hug she had been thrown into made her melt. she hadn't been hugged like this in the longest time, hadn't been held like she meant something. not since between she left apollo, or before the tour started. she desperately missed the hugs that smelled like leather and home. it smelled like home. she hadn't felt like home in the longest time. a slow breath escaped her as single tear slipped down her cheek, disappearing as soon as fenrir pulled her back, to look at her face. she knew she looked like a mess, fenix ambrose always looked like this right before opening. it wasn't a new look for her employees.
"you're here now" her voice cracked, and fenix pulled herself away from him. her hands came up to wipe her cheeks, smearing the little makeup she actually wore. she rubbed her hands over the short black dress that clung to her thin frame. she needed to compose herself before she looked back towards the man who was a second parent to her. "you're here now and that's all that matters" the demigod turned towards him, her hand reaching out to pet shepard on the head more.
her eyes then shot towards him as he spoke. salem was dead, too? wait... how. how the hell had they both been taken? "salem? that can't be possible" but she knew it was, if fenrir said as much. they had a bond that couldn't be broken, and now that it was... "i'm so sorry, fen" fenix said, stepping forwards, this time wrapping her arms around him. she wanted to cry. "what killed him? and why would they take his body?"
Forgiveness. She gave it freely, and Fenrir took it gratefully, though he knew he didn't deserve it. He wasn't worth it. So wrapped up in his own petty bullshit, his wheels spinning on and on and on, he didn't notice the deteriorating health of one of his closest friends, didn't think to say goodbye to his own goddaughter, or anyone else in this godforsaken city that he knew and loved - he just vanished. Gone. And how long would he have stayed gone, if not for the hole blown wide in his chest? How long would he have stayed with that lean dark man whose name he was already struggling to remember?
Worthless. In the face of all this, worthless. Fenrir was a coward.
But Fenix needed him not to be; and so he would try.
"I won't be leaving again," he said. His voice was hardly louder than a whisper. "As long as you'll have me, I'm here. I'm just sorry I wasn't here sooner." If I'd been here, then he'd be here. If I hadn't fucked off, then he'd be here. If I wasn't me, you'd be happy. If, then. If, then. "Whatever you need, I'm with you."
Fenix held him, now, and he felt so brittle and so sore that he feared she might break him if she squeezed him too hard. Already his breath was coming in short, shuddering gasps. His hands were shaking. His body was shaking. He felt like an earthquake trapped in human skin. Fenrir pressed his face into her shoulder, and the fabric of her dress became damp, and he realized, distantly, that he was crying.
"I don't know," he said, and his voice was a breath, weightless, nothing. "I'm trying to figure that out. He was here so much, I thought maybe- Fellox would know- work he'd been doing." Acid swelled in his throat. "People he'd been seeing. Something. Anything. Anyone."
His eyes felt sore. He wished he could sleep. He wished he could not wake up.
"I'm so tired, Fenix. I just want him back."
as long as she'd have him? hell, she'd take him if he were bloody in broken, if he'd barely been himself. even if he came in and tore her club apart as a hellhound. she'd always take her godfather in. fenix was a fool, but at least she cared enough to take people in. "i'll chain you do the damn club and sell my soul for you to stay" the club owner stated. "you're here now. that's all i care about" her eyes turned towards dog that was still by their side. the dog that she'd known for the longest time, a canine she'd thought she'd never see again.
pulling back, fenix turned her eyes up towards her godfather once more, as he explained his partner's death. seirasam had been in here just as much as fenrir had, and the two of them had helped out when needed, even if it was a bit more unsavory. "i hadn't seem seirisam since i came back, i thought he'd gone with you. the apartment was always empty whenever i tried going over" she continued, pulling away from him after a moment.
she didn't drink usually, but seeing fenrir back from the dead made fenix want to drink. pulling out the good stuff, the stuff that both seirisam and fellox had liked. she poured two glasses, taking her own and tossing back the drink. "i want him back, too. i wish fellox and him were back" she continued, wiping her mouth with her arm before her eyes glanced around the club.
"it's not the same here anymore"
A wry smile, the first he'd had in days. "Your soul is worth a better man than me," he said. Shepard curled up at Fenix's feet, satisfied with the pats she'd been given and now laying down for a hard-earned nap. This was a safe place, she knew; she didn't have to guard her master as vigorously here.
So Seirasam had been gone a while, then; not at home, not as his usual haunts. Fenrir wondered what he'd been doing. He hated that he didn't have an answer. Even when he despised the answer, he'd always had an answer. "We fought," Fenrir said, knuckling the spot between his eyes as if that would make his headache go away. "I picked a fight with him and I left for a few days to make him sweat, and I was gonna go back, but when I did, I-" A deep breath. "I made assumptions. Stupid assumptions. I should've talked to him or picked another fight or something and I left to make him sweat and I was gonna go back but I didn't and now he's dead. It's my fault." It's my fault. A personal failure, and a professional one - it occurred to him that he might very well have a Knight of Hell on his ass, failure that he was. He wasn't sure he'd be able to handle a fight like that.
He took the drink Fenix offered, held it to his lips, but didn't drink. He sniffed at it, and it made him smile, and it made another surge of tears push with the ache behind his eyes. He put the glass down.
"Would you think I was crazy if I said I wanted to bring him back?" he asked softly. He didn't make eye contact. "If I can get his body maybe I can bring him back. Maybe him and Fellox both. Magic can do all sorts of weird shit if you get the right witch for the job. It's not impossible." Fenrir ran his finger around the rim of his glass. A sad note rang into the air. "Maybe I could make it go back to the way it was."
his words made her heart ache. no, she wasn't worth much. she'd broken the heart of the only man she'd loved, and hadn't been there for her father when he needed her most, though truth be told, fellox had had reide here, which was better than fenix could ever be. all she knew how to do was play music and bartend. her adoptive brother had done more with his life, even if she didn't want to admit it. her head shook again as she glanced down at shepherd once more, giving the dog a scratch over the ears. she was sure if she'd voiced her thoughts, there'd be an outrage from the white-haired man.
a frown crossed over fenix's lips as he started speaking once more. a fight? she'd seen them fight in the past, but nothing that would drive a wedge between them like fenrir apparently said. her godfathers fighting was nothing new for her, though fenrir not returning to seirisam was something entirely different. "picking fights is nothing new, he would have still been there if something hadn't happened" she could only hope her words helped him at all, and wouldn't turn into him guilting himself more. that wasn't her intentions at all, to be perfectly honest. "it's not your fault, fenrir. fate has a funny way of fucking good people over" her voice came out harsher than she intended, though it wasn't aimed at him. she watched the range of emotions cross his features as he took the drink, not missing the well of tears that started in his eyes.
"no" a simple response. it wasn't crazy, honestly. if there was a way for her to bring back fellox, she would in a heartbeat. "dad's not possible.... he always said he wanted to be cremated and put on display" she commented, pointing towards the bar where the dark purple and black urn was. "but seirisam... he might be able to come back. isn't it impossible to kill a demon?" she asked. it was funny, really. fenix knew entirely too much about the supernatural world, but for her life, she couldn't figure out where her maternal genes came from. "i don't think it'll ever go back to the way things were, fenrir. there's no fellox, reide's off doing his own thing. and there's no apo-...." she paused, her jaw snapping closed before she glanced away and downed her glass. "it might not be normal, but we can make things work"
fenrir grimms;; hi guess who's back-ish?
We're not good people, Fenrir thought, but he knew voicing the sentiment would only upset Fenix. She was trying hard to be supportive, even while shouldering her own grief - and it was working, to an extent. He felt calmer. Centered. Exhausted, still, but even that fell to the back burner in the same way that searing pain begins to feel normal when it hurts you long enough.
If he was focused on Fenix he wasn't thinking about other things. Keeping his head from splitting open was support enough.
His gaze flicked to the urn Fenix pointed out, and a flicker of hope inside him died. One of his oldest friends, dead and put to rest, and Fenrir hadn't been to the funeral. Hadn't known he died. Fenix said it didn't matter that he was gone, only that he was here now, but... it did matter. The failure raked at him. The fuckups just kept piling on, and on, and on. All he could do now was pay his respects.
"It's difficult," Fenrir said eventually, "but not impossible. I could kill a demon, if I tried hard enough." He began tallying the list he knew of, the things he'd watched so carefully for: "Angelsruin. Demonsruin. The sickles of reapers. Iron, if you strike the heart. An exorcism, if it's powerful enough." He looked at his hands, callused and scarred. He wondered what it had been. How brutal the killing blow. "Seirasam never moved from his true body. Destroy a demon's true body and they're dead."
The soul, brutalized as it was, would still be out there. Somewhere. Fen just needed the body and a witch powerful enough to stuff Seirasam's soul back into it.
It could work. Fenix was right, it wouldn't be the same - no Fellox, no Reide, no Apollo - but it could work.
"What do you mean, no Apollo?" Fen asked. His voice was soft. Dangerous. Apollo, to him, had always been too much. Too bright, too irreverent, too free. Too much, he thought, like Seirasam. He loved Fenix, and she deserved better, but he was knew better than to interfere.
He just tried to keep a close eye on the man. "What happened?"
fenix ambrose // press f to pay respects
her head tilted to the side a bit as he spoke. things were so different now. her father was gone, one of her godfathers were missing in action. it was hard to comprehend, though she had assumed the pair had gone off to who knows where. she'd been on tour when the last contact had come, at least with her father. she leaned her elbows on the bar, chin resting on her hands as she turned her eyes around, then landing on he urn. she hadn't a clue where to place the urn incasing her father, though she knew that he belonged in the club, his pride and joy.
"wait, his demon body was the body he used in every day life?" she asked, not entirely sure how it all worked. she knew about the demons and angels, but most other supernaturals were foreign to her. even her own species was unknown to her, her father never telling her and swearing everyone to secrecy. she reached her hand over, squeezing his arm. it was them against the world now. but, little by little, they'd get their family back together. seriasam in his human form, fellox in his urn. all they needed was reide, but he was easy to come by, if only his phone was on and wasn't being bothered by a certain traveler that breezed through.
fenix's mind had wandered for a moment, snapping back to attention when fenrir spoke the name she'd cut herself off on. her hand dropped from his arm as she shoved both hands into her pockets. now, that was something she hadn't wanted to tell him about. "we broke up" the demigoddess commented, biting down on her lip. "when i got the call from reide... i needed to come back. and well.. we didn't officially break up i sorta just ran away from the tour bus" the girl admitted, though honestly it felt weird to actually voice it. "it was uh... pretty bad'
OOC: poor apollo. about to have an angry hellhound on his ass
He's been spinning like a top all his fucking life, Fen thinks, so of course the woman he practically helped raise would be the one to make him feel just a little more anchored. A hand on his arm, near repulsive from anyone else, is a comfort now. He lays his own hand on top of hers, squeezes it lightly. He stifles a yawn.
"In his case, yes," Fenrir says, though it comes out as more of garbled mess. "I transform from hellbeast to man and back, and I live as a man more or less all the time these days, but the hellbeast is the natural state. So it is-" Is? He catches himself, and his expression darkens. Was? "Is. For Seirasam. The demon is the natural form, but he has a more assimilated form as well. If a demon is killed in his mortal form, it's his true body regardless. He dies." Fenrir swallows hard. "Some demons possess other bodies, be they living or death. The death of a possessed body doesn't necessarily mean the death of the demon." He needs to find the body. He's almost propelled out of his seat by that thought alone, but the world swims when he shifts himself, and he grips Fenix's hand tighter.
Then her hand is gone, and he's trying to blink away the haze. We broke up. Didn't officially. Ran away.
He blinks, again, slowly. Stretches his hands across the table, leaves them up and open like an offering. "Fellox has been dead for a while," he says quietly. He didn't catch how long, exactly, but - long enough for Fenix to be running the club, for his ashes to be stationed on the wall, for her composure to only barely slip when she says his name. "Why isn't Apollo here now?"
Why didn't he come after you?
Too much, Fenrir thinks. Too much like Seirasam.
The boy's a fucking idiot.
fenix ambrose // rip fen, boutta get his has handed to him by the dragon clan
compared to the beings she'd been around the majority of her life, she was young. but, she had a way about grounding those that needed it without even realizing it. or maybe she did unconsciously, somehow knowing right when to reach out to others. she'd become clouded for a time, traveling with the band for a bit. but her world had come crashing down when she'd heard about fellox. and thus, her return to the city came. dropping both pantheon and apollo in one swoop. she was slowly coming to terms with the fact that she might have lost some of her closest friends when she'd left the band. she still got occasional calls from macen, and currently had a conversation going with the other band members. but, she hadn't spoken to apollo since.
as he explained the whole true body situation, her head fell to the side. interesting. fenix hadn't really thought of it further than maybe shapeshifting, though she'd never understand the more supernatural side of the whole thing. but, she was slowly learning. reide was another creature of the mythical variety, though at the moment, she couldn't recall what he was. the girl nodded her head as her mind started working on putting the pieces into place. "are you sure his body's gone?" she asked, curious now. if they had his body, surely they would bring him back, right?
topic turning back to her break up, and returning to the club, her eyes watched as he extended his hands towards her. placing her hands in her godfather's, she watched him carefully. from what she could tell, fenrir had never liked apollo. and while she could see where he was coming from, she'd been blind. hell, she was still blind, not that apollo would take her back, even if she still had the ring. "six months.. i came back six months ago" her eyes closed as she thought back to the lost time. "i'm not sure where he is, but the band's broken up because of me"
ooc: rip in pieces both of them
"i don't know if he's been completely destroyed or if his body's just been moved somewhere," he admits. "honestly, if not for this-" he gestures vaguely to his chest, as if a tired hand movement could encapsulate how hollow he feels- "-i wouldn't even know that he's dead. he's just gone."
he folds his hands over hers, a thumb running gently over the fourth finger of her left hand. bare. he almost asks about it, then thinks better of the question, and lets it go.
six months, he thinks. fellox must have died only days after he left. not long enough for fenix to realize that her godfather wasn't just on a weekend jaunt. dead father, vanishing godfather, god only knew what seirasam was up to. guilt leans heavy on his shoulders, but he keeps his blame to himself. she'd only chastise him for the effort.
"six months," he repeats. his tone is harsh. "six months is long enough for him to get his shit together." never mind the hypocrisy; never mind the weight of his exhaustion, the burden of his guilt. indignation roils in his gut. "he'd rather break up the band then come after you? fenix, did he even try?"
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