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Just a touch of Necromancy

Chapter Text

The strong wind shook the trees outside, causing branches to rattle against the glass windows behind him ominously. Luckily the actual rainstorm was east and supposed to miss them entirely. The sickeningly sweet smell of grave sugarplum engulfed the room, culminating to create a pinkish purple mist that swirled at the ceiling above the cauldron at the center of the room. Virgil adjusted one of his many rings absentmindedly as he slowly stirred the mixture in front of him, bobbing his head gently to the beat of the song that was currently blasting from the earbuds in his ears. He glanced over to the recipe book on the adjacent lectern before letting go of the giant ladle in his hand and making his way over to one of his many cupboards. 

"Giant's bone meal..., skeleton lotus..., ash seed..., demon blood..., mock rose...," he muttered to himself as he dug through the many, many potion ingredients, picking up the corresponding jars as he went. 

He went back to the cauldron and began adding the ingredients when a small fireball hit the rim of the cauldron in front of him and exploded, making him jump. He pulled out his earbuds to glare at the fireball's owner, who was leaned against the old wood of the now open door of his alchemy room, a smug smirk on his face and black eyes gleaming from over the rim of his sunglasses.

"You couldn't find a less explosive way to get my attention? Your turning into Remus," Virgil said in an unimpressed tone with crossed arms, causing the figure at the door to laugh. 

"You flatter me babes, but you know Remus would have either thrown something at you, or thrown something random into the pot hoping it would explode" 

Virgil huffed out a laugh before replying "True. What do you need Remy?" 

"Remus and Janus are here, Remus is about to leave for another hunt, needs to stock up, thought you'd want to say hello" He replied, nodding behind him. 

"Oh! yeah, gimmie a sec I'll be right down" The necromancer replied. He finished putting the needed ingredients into the pot in front of him before heading out towards the store counter. 

"Hey Reems, Jan, " He said as he approached, nodding his head slightly in greeting. 

Janus simply nodded his head in return.

"Hey Vee! You wouldn't happen to have any tracking charms in stock by any chance, would you? I'm all out" 

"Uh... I think I'm all out as well actually but it will only take a couple minutes to make some. How many you need?" Virgil replied, gesturing for them to follow him back to his workshop. Alchemy room, potion room, witch room; whatever you want to call it. 

"Only need one, Jannie here needs another of his potions though"

"it's already worn off?" Virgil asked in a confused tone as they entered the room. The 3 guests were immediately overpowered by the incredibly sweet stench coming from the cauldron. The demon had wisely stayed in the doorway, but the other two quickly began coughing.

"Jesus *cough* christ Vee, what the *cough* hell *cough* is that smell?" Remus asked looking back and forth between the with and the pot with wide eyes.

"Grave sugarplum, my bad" Virgil replied, his eyes began glowing a bright purple as he threw his hand out toward the window, causing it to fling open. He waved his hand in the air in some vague gesture and the purplish smoke that had been circling around the ceiling flowed out through the window. Once most of the smoke had cleared, Virgil's eye's faded back to their normal deep purple.

It took a moment, but finally, Remus and Janus seemed able to breathe again. 

"Curse these strong noses of ours huh snake?" Remus laughed slightly. 

The Naga spoke for the first time.
"Sometimes I just *love* being a naga" Janus hissed, his voice was gravelly and rough yet melodic; Reverberating in his throat as it seemed to echo and overlap with itself slightly.

One of the problems with being a naga, they are usually the opposite of fae. Everything must be spoken as a lie, unless they can get a very powerful witch to make them a potion. 

Virgil pulled open a drawer and pulled out a small green vial, tossing it to the snake, who caught it and drank it immediately. 

"Thank god" Janus coughed, his voice shifting from the hissing back to his normal voice again. 

"I think Virgil is the one you need to thank sunshine" Remus cut in, causing him and Remy to laugh and the witch in question to snort quietly. 

Janus just rolled his eyes. Watching as Virgil dug through a drawer and pulled out a blank rune stone.

"So where are you headed this time?" Virgil asked as he began drawing the rune into the small stone. 

"Chicago. Some local drug dealer they've been trying to corner fled and was recently spotted around the area. Need anything picked up while I'm out there?" Remus replied, amusing himself by looking at the multitude of things in the room. 

"I'm running low on shifter blood actually. Lot's of em out in the Chicago area. I also wouldn't turn down any ethow or some dried marsh ginger" the witch replied. "You sure your target is human?"

"Fairly certain. Most local supernaturals have to come to you for glamours and he's never been here. I've narrowed it down to either human or a weak-ass mage" Remus hummed in contemplation as he looked through a shelf of glowing liquids and multiple bones of varying shapes and sizes.

"or I guess he could be elf too, that's a possibility, but I could make mash potatoes out of any of those so it doesn't matter." he mused as he picked up a harpy bone and turned it between his fingers.

Janus turned away from what he swore was a jar of dirt on another shelf.
"He's just happy to be getting out of town again" Janus laughed "He was so bored yesterday he spent the day climbing and jumping from tree to tree until he caught a squirrel to eat."

Virgil and Remy just laughed.

"That's rich coming from someone who spent all of yesterday WATCHING someone jump from tree to tree to catch a squirrel to eat" Remus argued with a smirk, causing his boyfriend to blush. The others only laughed harder.

"Don't you work part-time at 'The Wooden Steak'?" Remy mused.

"well, yeah, but-"

The others kept bickering while Virgil finished carving the rune.

Virgil closed his eyes, holding the rune in his hand and chanting something under his breath quickly. The rune in his palm began to glow brightly, before fading again. He put a drop from a navy blue vile onto it and then dipped it into his bowl of moon water. He then tossed it to the Vampire across the room who was currently gawking at a dragon embryo that was floating in a jar, only catching the rune thanks to his vampire reflexes. 

"Sweet, thanks. How much do we owe you?" Remus joked.

The two friends in question were almost never asked to pay for something from Virgil's store unless it was exceedingly rare or expensive. They got free stuff from him, just like he got free ingredients or drinks from Remus and free plants or info from Janus.

The 4 friends made quite an excellent team when taking care of the little town that sprung up in the middle of the Spellwood forest. It was a place for all supernaturals to live normal lives. Virgil provided potions and glamours and almost all witch services in between.  Janus worked at the local greenhouse because he enjoyed the heat but also because his naga blood meant he was a fantastic gardener. Gardening was enjoyable but not the snake's main passion so he also served as the diplomat between the town and local nature sprites and fae, who preferred to deal with another forest creature. If there were any problems in town, they almost always went to Janus, who would either take care of it himself or reach out to Remy or Virgil, depending on the situation. Virgil was the one most people went to in the rare case that someone or something dared to threaten the town. Virgil and Remy would easily wipe the floor with anything that tried to harm their Villiage. 

"it's on the house if you can convince your boyfriend to give up a couple of scales" Virgil replied with a smirk. "I'm all out"

Remus and Janus exchanged a look, but the naga never stood a chance against those vampire puppy eyes. He rolled his eyes fondly before walking over the witch 

"The things I do for you" he muttered, causing Remus to burst out laughing. He lifted his sleeve, wincing slightly as he plucked a few scales that were close to falling off and handed them over.

"Thank youuu" Virgil replied, dragging out the 'you' playfully.

"what do you even use my scales for anyways?" Janus asked, raising an eyebrow as he watched Virgil stash them away in a small box. 

"If I told you, I'd probably have to find another supplier" He replied with a smirk

They continued to chat and banter for a few more minutes as they made their way back out to the front of the store.

"Alright, I need to head out or I'll be late for my plane"

"Good luck" Virgil and Remy both said, watching as Remus hooked an arm around Janus' waist, pulling him forward into a kiss. Janus rested his gloved hands on the vampire's shoulders while they kissed, ignoring the red in his cheeks or the friends that were watching. 

"see ya snake," Remus said quietly when they parted.
"stay safe" Janus replied, patting Remus' shoulder. 

Remus began to walk toward the entrance when Remy called out. 

"hey wheres mine?!" Remy cried in mock hurt, the smirk on his face betraying him.

Remus turned and blew a dramatic kiss to the demon, who pretended to catch it, before finally leaving. 

"Aww Dee, I didn't know the scale side of your face could blush too!" Remy teased, referring to Janus by the name he gave the fae, and Remy himself at first: Deceit. In fact, everyone knew him as Deceit, except for the 3 people he trusted with his real name.

"Shut up" He grumbled, crossing his arms and causing the other two to laugh. "Anyway, Vee, the local fae were hoping to meet with you tomorrow to make a deal for you to purify one of their gardens that got corrupted" 

"What do you mean deal?" Virgil asked with an eyebrow raised "The deal was, they let us stay in their forest, we protect the forest and help keep it healthy. Of course, I'll do it but why do they need me? Why not have a nature imp do it? And why would they ask to make a deal for it?"

"It's not normal unholy corruption..." 

"you're kidding me... don't tell me..." 

"yep. one of their rituals went wrong. Trying to heal a dying pandemonium bloom tree by the sounds of it. Went for the ritual after the purity spring water failed. Got that corrupt too by the way."

Virgil groaned and slapped a hand to his forehead. "Why didn't they call me to do that part instead of waiting until they let the shade in?"

"you know fae, they don't like to ask for help" Janus shrugged, not bothering to mention that the local fae were also scared of the necromancer. 

"ain't that the truth" Virgil huffed before looking over at the clock. 

"I'm going to go start that potion then, how bout you guys pick out a movie and make some snacks while I do that?" Virgil asked, noticing it was closing time anyway. They nodded.

Virgil finished the potion within 20 minutes, which must be close to a new record for him considering the complexity of the elixir, but once it was done he bottled it and set it aside, going to join the others in the living room. The 3 of them watched movies late into the night until they all fell asleep right there in the living room.


The next morning Virgil had sent Janus off with the potion and told him if it didn't work to call him again. Remy was at the counter helping any customers and Virgil was back in his alchemy room. 

The necromancer dug through his shelves. He swore he had a hellhound tooth back here somewhere! He stood up and turned to look at another shelf when Remy burst through the door.

"Virge!"

The witch was about to joke that this was a big improvement from the way he got his attention yesterday, but he stopped himself when he heard the slight panic in his friend's voice. He looked up to see Remy stood in the door with his knees bent in a fight or flight, high alert kind of way.

"What's wrong?" 

"Human police are here! they wanna talk to the owner!"

Chapter Text

Virgil's eyes widened. Humans...? What were humans doing here? I mean sure they got the odd 'explorer' or 'lost' human but, what were the police doing here? 

He flicked his wrist at the cauldron, causing the ladle to stir the mixture on its own while he took off his cloak. He hung it up by the door, revealing the black, green and purple patchwork hoodie underneath. He brushed his fingers through his purple-tipped hair as he took a deep breath.

"Hello, uh, welcome to Shades and Shadows... can I help you?" Virgil asked hesitantly as he walked out to the store counter. 

Two police officers were currently looking through the various 'for sale' shelves and baskets. One of them was well dressed and handsome and reminded Virgil of some Disney prince. He stood straight with a red sash over his uniform. His golden hair was swept back perfectly, and his chocolate brown eyes were focused and bright. He was very well built and fit, and looked like he certainly worked out regularly. 

The other officer was much leaner, though not skinny. He wore a blue tie over his wrinkle-free uniform, standing with perfect posture, hands clasped behind his back. He had round black-rimmed glasses that framed his deep blue eyes. 

Both of them immediately turned to look at him. 

"Hello! Are you the owner here?" The sashed one asked.

"Uhm, yes? Can I help you with anything?" 

"My name is Roman, and this is Logan; we have some questions for you." 

The officer didn't say anything else as he approached the counter, holding a piece of paper in his hand. Before Virgil even saw it, he reminded himself to keep a neutral face. If this involved supernaturals, they were going to have to deal with it, and he couldn't give any hints.

When the paper hit the table, Virgil immediately recognized the girl as Miriam Adams, a local young vampire. She was always kind-hearted and worked at the local boutique. Virgil kept his face as neutral as possible and simply raised an eyebrow.

"Do you recognize this lady?" Logan asked, stepping forward from behind Roman.

"Yes." Virgil replied plainly.

"Can you account for your whereabouts yesterday evening?" 

"I was here at the shop, like always."

"Can you tell me what you know about this girl?"

"Her name is Miriam; she lived here in town. Came by regularly," Virgil decided to leave out the whole *shes a vampire* thing, for obvious reasons.

The two detectives exchanged a look, before Roman took over. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this but, Miriam is dead."

Virgil swallowed thickly before speaking again, "what happened?" 

"that is what we are trying to figure out. Witnesses say this store was her last known location," Roman continued.

"What type of retailor is your establishment exactly?" Logan interrupted. 

"It's a...." Virgil hesitated. "herbal remedy shop..." 

"ah, another scam," Logan replied matter of factly. Virgil didn't mean to, but he snorted a quiet laugh before quickly covering his mouth, smirking as he listened to Remy, who was leaning on the wall behind him, chuckling under his breath. The officer simply raised an eyebrow at Virgil as if in challenge, causing the witch to simply look away. 

"Would you mind coming down to the station to answer a few questions?" Roman asked, and although he was trying to sound friendly, Virgil could hear the obvious suspicion in his voice. "We could really use any help we can get," He added when he noticed Virgil's hesitance. 

The witch glanced back to his friend, "Think you can hold down the fort for a while?" 

"you got it, babes," Remy nodded.

 

____________________

 

Virgil was surprised he wasn't lead into an interrogation room, but rather what looked like a little board room. It had a large table in the center surrounded by chairs. There was a whiteboard on one wall and a corkboard on the other, both of which were currently empty. There was a small coffee and snack area in the corner with a vending machine. There was a large glass door on one side that showed stairs going down behind it. There was a desk and computer/office set up in one corner, and what looked like a door to another office by the wall. All in all, it was a pretty cozy little room, complete with fake plants and a large window.

 

Roman gestured for Virgil to take a seat across the table as he and Logan sat down. He did so, sitting down in a chair and immediately tipping it back slightly. Before they could start, however, he heard footsteps coming up the stairs behind them and the glass door swung open.

 

"you guys are back! How did it- oh! Hello! Who's this? My name is Patton! What's yours?"

 

Virgil took in the newcomer's appearance. His hair was a golden brown and full of fluffy curls. He didn't wear a police uniform, but a simple blue polo shirt and what looked like a lab coat tied around his shoulders loosely. He had large round glasses with thick black rims. His cheeks were pink and his face was open and friendly. 

 

After living with a demon for a few years, Virgil felt like he was going to need sunglasses to deal with this man.

 

"V-virgil..." 

 

"Hello Patton, yes Virgil here runs the shop witnesses say was Miriam's last known location. I also believe he may have a relation to the small vile we found in Miriam's pocket"

 

"Oh this?" Patton asked as he pulled out a plastic bag with a small glass vile in it. He handed it to across the table for the witch to examine.

 

"Yes, that one. Virgil, can you identify it?"

 

Obviously,  the witch thought to himself. He recognized the bottle immediately by the gold string tied around the cork. It was a potion to help decrease a vampire's sensitivity to the sun. Unlike most fiction, vampires didn't burst into flames, they just got sunburnt very badly and easily. The sun also irritated their eyes quite a lot, which was a side effect of their natural night vision. 

 

The thing that was strange about the vile was that it was empty.

 

"yep," Virgil replied plainly, rolling the vile back and forth in his fingers idly. "This was her usual, got a refill once a week. She picked it up yesterday, but it's already empty?"

 

He watched Roman scribbling down notes. He glanced over at Patton who nodded "It popped open at some point, was spilled in her pocket"

 

"And what exactly was this 'herbal remedy' advertised to help with" Logan interrupted.

 

Virgil glared at the other detective "you must really have something against herbal remedies don't you?" He asked, leaning forward on his elbows on the table, smirking at the slightly shocked look on the nerd's face. Logan quickly recovered though, straightening his tie. 

 

"None of your business. Answer the question."

 

The witch just rolled his eyes, knowing he could easily prove the detective  so  wrong. It wasn't worth the risk though. "This helped protect her against sunburns. She got burnt real easy" Virgil replied, flopping back in the chair again.

 

"Would you say she avoided sunny area's then?" 

 

Virgil  almost  let himself laugh, barely managing to keep his straight face "Like the plague as far as I know. Carried a parasol with her usually"

 

The detective nodded before all 3 of them turned and huddled together, facing away from him and whispering. A quick spell was all it took to be able to hear what they were saying. 

 

"So that supports our theory that she wasn't killed where we found her, the clearing was quite sunny"

"There was no parasol found at the scene was there?"

"No, although yesterday was a cloudy day" 

 

"She had it with her yesterday if I remember right" Virgil commented, startling the 3 officers who didn't know he could hear them. "You think she was killed and then moved to where she was found huh? Why's that? How was she killed?" 

 

"I'm afraid your not privileged to that information" Logan replied, standing up from the table. 

 

Virgil just shrugged carelessly and tipped the chair back, setting his feet up on the chair beside him "m'whatever, won't be much help if I don't know though..." 

 

"She was stabbed" Patton replied abruptly. 

 

"Patton!" Logan scolded, but the medical examiner just shook his head.

 

"It's couldn't hurt Lo!" He replied before turning back to their guest "She was found dead in a clearing. It looks like she was stabbed-"

 

"Through the heart"

"Through the heart" 

 

All 3 detectives looked at him startled when he said the ending in unison with Patton, but the witch was just as surprised it seemed. He hadn't meant to say that out loud. 

 

"You left a file open on the table when we first came in," Virgil said quickly. That was a complete lie though, he knew she was a vampire, the only way to kill her would have been stabbed through the heart or head. That seemed to be enough for Patton though, who nodded before continuing. 

 

"There wasn't any blood at the scene though, so she must have been moved there. We don't know where she was killed" 

 

"No blood at all?" Virgil asked with an eyebrow raised. It would be normal to find a lot less blood because vampires don't bleed nearly as much as humans. But no blood at all? She must have been moved. 

 

Patton just nodded and continued to tell Virgil small pointless details, but the witch had tuned him out. He was going to regret this, he knew he was, but he could figure out where she was killed. He had something that had belonged to her in his hands. One quick spell and he would know. 

 

Fuck it. This was one of his own they were dealing with. 

 

He closed his eyes so they wouldn't be able to see them glowing and quickly chanting something as quietly as he could. The location hit him like a train.

 

He had to be smart about this, if he didn't play it off well, they would surely be suspicious of him... maybe he could-

 

"She was killed at the shore of arrowhead lake, a short drive deeper into the forest from town," Virgil said abruptly, mentally slapping himself. So much for playing it off.

 

The 3 humans across the table just stared at him in shock for a moment, before Roman spoke. 

 

"And you know this... how exactly?" 

 

"Just a hunch" Virgil replied with a shrug, looking away awkwardly.

 

"Pretty specific hunch" Roman replied, the suspicion was clear in his voice. The air around them was tense, and Virgil could feel his fight or flight alarms ringing in his head.

 

"Why don't we go check it out kiddos?" Patton asked, cheery as ever. 

 

They were shocked when Roman responded: "That sounds like a good idea Pat, why don't we  all  go check it out?" 

 

"Does that mean I can go home now?" Virgil asked hesitantly, not realizing what Roman meant.

 

"Not so fast emo nightmare, you're coming with us" 

Chapter Text

"Excuse me?" Logan and Virgil asked at the same time.

 

"It's your hunch, you should show us where you think it happened" Roman replied simply as he slipped on his jacket. 

 

And for some unknown reason, Virgil  agreed

 

 

During the drive there, the car was filled with an awkward and tense silence, broken only by Patton's few attempts to get a conversation going. Virgil simply stared out the window, watching the trees whip by when suddenly the sound of his phone ringing startled him. He pulled it out of his pocket and looked at the screen to see it was Remy who was calling him.

 

"Hey Rem"

 

"Hey babes! Everything goin' okay?"

 

"Peachy" Virgil replied vaguely "What's up?"

 

"Dee says the potion worked on the Fae's spring but the tree"

 

"Seriously?" The witch groaned and rubbed his forehead "Alright, tell 'em I'll see them as soon as I can later tonight, I've got a feeling I'm gonna be stuck here a while longer" 

 

"Roger that! By the way, is your potion supposed to still be boiling because it's starting to spark some red electricity..." 

 

"oh fuck, no, shit, uhh" He hesitated, remembering there were humans around him. "Do you remember what Dee gave me last night?"

 

"yeah" 

 

"do you remember where I put it?"

 

"I think so..."

 

"Toss one in then remove the heat. I'll deal with it when I get home" 

 

"Okie Dokie babes!" Remy replied before hanging up. 

 

Virgil groaned, rubbing his face slightly. He was not looking forward to dealing with the fae later tonight, or well,  ever . If the potion he gave Janus earlier didn't work on the tree it meant he was either going to have to clean out the shade himself which was not going to be fun, or deal with limbo. Hopefully, he wouldn't have to-

 

"Kiddo?" A voice next to him called and brought him back to reality. 

 

"huh?" Virgil replied.

 

"I asked if everything was alright?" Patton, who was sitting in the back seat alongside him asked.

 

"Peachy" Virgil replied sarcastically, giving him the same response he gave Remy.

 

Luckily before Patton could respond, the car slowed to a stop.

 

All four climbed out of the car to look around. Virgil Immediately began walking down the path by the edge of the lake, heading toward a bunch of large rocks at the water's edge. As soon as he approached he could see the bits of red that dashed the edges of the rock. 

 

When he got closer, he noticed the floral parasol sticking out from between two rocks. This was definitely the spot she was killed.

 

What confused him though, was that there was no ghost in sight. Almost all murder victims are left as ghosts, given that they didn't exactly pass peacefully. Most had unfinished business, wanted justice or revenge on their killers, etc. Ghosts can't move far from where they are killed (unless magic was involved) and looking around there wasn't a ghost in sight. 

 

This crime scene, however, didn't exactly scream suicide or peaceful passing though. So what happened to her ghost? Was her soul somehow able to actually pass on?

 

He sighed, knowing he was going to have to call the others over but also knowing that this was also going to throw even more suspicion on him.

 

"Guys!" He called, causing the 3 detectives, who were looking around in different areas, to turn toward him. 

 

He bent down and picked up the parasol from between the two rocks, holding it up for them to see. They all immediately made their way over.

 

"This certainly seems like the place..." Roman muttered as they as surveyed the scene. Logan had pulled out his phone and was comparing information. After a few minutes of silence, Patton spoke up.

 

"This doesn't make any sense," Patton said, confusion clear on his face and in his tone. 

 

"What are you referring to Patton?" Logan asked, looking up from whatever calculations he was doing.

 

"Well, the scuffle and ultimate stabbing happened here" He explained, pointing to the rocks "She was probably sitting watching the water or something and the person snuck up on her. The super uneven terrain of all these big rocks makes it hard to determine what happened exactly, but then look over here" He continued walking away from the rocks toward the gravel path right beside them. "Look at these footprints in the gravel, they match the shoes she was wearing, and then there's a separate set of footprints next to them. There's blood on the gravel, so she must have been stabbed before she tried to get away. She took a few steps before she tripped and hit the ground" He continued as he pointed to a spot in the gavel that looked like a massive skid mark that went across the path up to a tree. "It looks like she went far enough to hit this tree, and if she did, that would also explain the small fracture in her spine that I found"

 

"All that seems to make sense to me" Roman replied, causing Patton to nod.

 

"Yeah, what doesn't make sense, is look at how far apart her footsteps are compared to his. Think about how fast she must have been moving to skid this far, and then still hit this tree with enough force to fracture her spine. That is like, professional racer speed or more, yet she was going this fast  after  she had been  stabbed through the heart . I would be impressed if someone was able to make it a few steps after that, nevermind sprint at racer speed. It makes no sense"

 

*yes it does, she was a vampire, and got an adrenaline boost for a split second before she died*  Virgil thought in his head. 

 

"Could she have been stabbed right as she started running? While she was in motion?" Logan asked.

 

Patton shook his head. "I dunno but that seems unlikely, there's way less blood then I would expect already, but most of it is around the rocks and then the base of the tree. Not only that but if she was that fast of a runner, she would run away from them and be out of their reach in a second. For her to be stabbed while running she would have had to run towards them"

 

*Obviously the vampire tried to attack him, that's why she ran back toward the tree in the first place*  Virgil's mind screamed. He bit his lip to ensure he wouldn't say anything out loud by accident. 

 

"And I haven't seen any security cameras since we first entered the forest. There doesn't seem to be any private residence around that would be close enough in the case they had their own." Logan, being the tech expert of the team, pointed out.

 

There was a moment of silence while the detectives contemplated everything when suddenly it felt like something was tapping on the back of Virgil's brain. It just felt like something wasn't right. Like something was buzzing on the edge of his hearing, flashing in his peripheral vision and changing the direction of the wind all at once. 

 

Apparently, it showed on his face that something was wrong.

 

"Virgil?" Roman asked.

 

"huh?" The witch replied, shaking his head as if trying to dislodge the cobwebs in his mind. The sensation didn't stop though, in fact, it continued to get slightly more apparent. 

 

"I asked how you knew this is where she was murdered. I want the truth." Roman replied in a stern tone, but Virgil barely heard him. 

 

He glanced over to the tree line, behind the tree Miriam hit, slowly turning to face it as he looked back and forth through the trees. 

 

"Hey, kiddo is everything okay?" Patton asked, taking a step closer. Virgil simply held up a finger, gesturing for him to wait a second. 

 

Roman, however, was getting quite frustrated with what he didn't understand. Virgil was way too suspicious! "No were not waiting! Tell us the truth about-" 

 

"Shut up" Virgil hissed, squinting as he looked at the trees.

 

"Excuse me? I don't think-"

 

" Shut. Up." Virgil whisper yelled in a harsh and serious tone. Roman stopped and crossed his arms, glaring at the witch-like if he stared hard enough, he could see the answers he wanted in Virgil's brain for himself. There was silence for a second, before Virgil spoke again.

 

"Miriam wasn't the only one killed here yesterday"

Chapter Text

 

Once the sensation had become a bit stronger, Virgil had figured out pretty quickly what it was. This is what it felt like when a nearby ghost was reaching out for help, sending out waves of its energy or whatever. 

 

The thing to know about ghosts is that the longer they've been dead, the... steadier... their essence becomes. That was the best way for Virgil to describe it. Now that's not saying the ghost's  mood  becomes steadier or calmer or anything like that, simply that their essence becomes more... solidified. The fibres that make up their being become less chaotic and frantic.  

 

Think about when you drop a ping pong ball. When you first drop it, it bounces all over the place really quickly and will bounce pretty high up into the air. As it bounces though, it will start to slow down and bounce lower and lower the longer it goes. That's exactly what a ghost's energy was like.

 

This doesn't affect the ghost's ability to communicate or manifest itself, however, just the energy the ghost gives off. Virgil remembered one day when he told Remy that new ghosts had heavy metal music for energy and old ghosts had violin.

 

This spirit, however, was so spastic that it took Virgil a few seconds to even identify the energy as a ghost, which meant this soul couldn't have died more than 42h ago. What caught Virgil off guard, however, was that this wasn't Miriam, because this essence was decidedly... very  human .

 

"Miriam wasn't the only one killed here yesterday" 

 

Virgil didn't even wait for a response, and if they said one, he didn't hear it as he approached the tree and began walking through the foliage behind it. Almost immediately, about 3 feet behind the tree he saw blood.  A lot  of it. 

 

"what the...?" Came a voice from over his shoulder. Seems the detectives were right behind him. 

 

He followed the trail of blood, seeing the obvious bent and flattened foliage around it. It went on for about 15 feet before Virgil finally pulled back a branch to reveal another body, a single ghost hovering above it. 

 

He immediately recognized the girl. Her name was jane, and she was Miriam's best friend as far as he knew. He saw them together all the time. She was one of the very select few humans that knew the truth. 

 

On instinct, he made eye contact with her, and her face lit up with the realization that he could see her. 

 

"Oh thank goodness! You've-"

 

She was cut off by Virgil swiftly putting a finger to his lips, nodding his head toward the 3 humans behind him who were all making their way into the small clearing now. Jane mouthed an 'oh' in return. 

 

"Oh my gosh! Poor girl!" Patton cried as he came into the clearing, walking around the girl's body and kneeling down next to her. 

 

"Do we know who she is?" Logan questioned. 

 

"I believe her name is Jane." Virgil replied. "Jane uh...." He stumbled for the last name, glancing up at the ghost, who no one else could hear or see. 

 

"Willow" She replied.

"Willow. Jane Willow." Virgil finished, crossing his arms and leaning back against a tree. 

 

"Do you know if they were friends?" Roman questioned.

 

"Yeah, close friends" 

 

"best friends!" The ghost corrected, causing Virgil to just roll his eyes. 

 

"what?" Roman asked, having caught the gesture.

 

"Nothing" 

 

"What do you think happened?" Patton asked, turning to Roman, and all 3 detectives started conversing. Virgil however, was tuned out, listening to the ghost tell him  exactly  what happened. Once she was done, Virgil tuned back into the conversation.

 

"Yes but if that's the case why did the blood start behind the tree and not on the path?"

 

"Because she was in the tree" Virgil interjected.

 

"What?" Logan asked.

 

"She was in the tree taking photos of Miriam by the lake," he explaining, pointing to a high-quality camera that had gone previously unnoticed under a nearby bush. 

 

"I'm guessing.." Virgil continued, trying to word it to sound like he was theorizing instead of recounting what he was told. "That when the killer emerged she was frozen in fear, but when Miriam hit the tree she was in it knocked her out of it. That's when the killer probably realized she was there in the first place. Look at her leg, he cut the back of her calf down deep enough to sever the artery so she would bleed out. She crawled away and made it to here where she finally fell unconscious."

 

"If the killer just left her to die though, maybe during this time is when he was moving Miriam to the clearing, but if he left her alone, why did she crawl away from the road and not towards it?" Roman asked.

 

Luckily Patton chimed in "Well with all the blood she had already lost and after witnessing what she did she probably wasn't thinking straight to begin with. She may have been scared and just wanted to get away from him. She just picked a direction and went with it" 

 

Unfortunately, Patton had come to the wrong conclusion, leaving Virgil to have to speak up after all. 

 

"Or she was trying to get to something..." Virgil offered, before pulling out his phone. He glanced up at Jane, who got the hint, and told him her phone number. Quickly typing it in, he called it. Immediately, a bush a few feet in front of Jane began ringing. 

 

Logan walked over and pulled a phone out, holding it up for the others to see. 

 

"She was trying to call for help" Logan concluded. 

 

"Poor baby, they took it from her and threw it into the woods..." Patton commented quietly. 

 

Logan looked over the phone in his hand, trying to unlock it only to be stopped by a passcode.

 

"Darn. locked. I'll have to crack it so we can check if-"

 

"87431" Virgil interrupted, repeating what the ghost had just told him. Virgil's eyes widened when he realized and slapped a hand over his mouth. Logan gave him a startled look before typing it in and sure enough, the phone unlocked. All 3 detectives looked at him in shock.

 

"Just a hunch..." He muttered, shrugging as he continued to lean against a tree. Usually, he was much better at not saying things. Usually, his anxiety kept his mouth shut for him. Not saying things wasn't a problem he was used to facing. He was used to struggling to say things! But this was 2 people who were close to his town. These were his people. He wanted to find who was responsible to make sure no one else got hurt! It's just who he was. He was a protector.

 

"No, no more of that shit, nobody here is doing anything else until you start talking" Roman snapped at him "How do you know these things? How did you know she was even here?" He asked, stepping infront of the witch. 

 

"I uh.. well"

 

Shit. Protector of everyone except himself!

 

"I'm psychic!" He blurted out. It was the best thing he could come up with at the moment. The response he got first was not at  all  what he expected. 

 

"Whoa really?! That's so cool kiddo!" Patton beamed, throwing his arms up into the air. 

 

"Patton he's full of shit. Those things don't exist!" Roman snapped, causing Patton to deflate slightly.

 

"It's true!" Virgil argued.  This was bad, this was bad, this was bad.

 

"I'm with Roman on this one, such things don't exist. They are merely scams for-" Logan began before Virgil cut him off.

 

"I can prove it!"

 

"Okay, what am I thinking then emo nightmare?" Roman replied.

 

Virgil rolled his eyes. "I said I'm a psychic, not a mind reader. I don't even need to be a mind reader to tell your thinking I'm suspicious as hell. I'm not even a good psychic because I can only see things in the past instead of the future. But it's the truth!" Virgil was really digging himself a hole here and he knew it. The problem was he was in so deep now he didn't know how to get out.

 

Roman rolled his eyes before surprisingly Logan spoke up. 

 

"Very well then. You said you can prove it? Do so. Tell me the date Roman and I's mothers died" 

 

Virgil sighed. "Fine" 

 

He closed his eyes, reaching out to the afterlife for answers. He just needed to get the information started. Once it began flowing, he would have no problems.

 

"Logan, what's your last name?" 

 

"Berry" 

 

"Logan this is ridiculous-" 

 

"Shh" Patton hushed him. "Give him a chance!" 

 

Relation to Logan Berry... Virgil searched. He didn't think he could put what he was doing into words. What or who he was reaching out to, how he was looking, what it felt like, what it looked like. It was just something his brain knew how to do, knew how to connect with the dead. It was a sensation, an action he couldn't explain to someone else.

 

"Logan your mother died 6 years ago on August 27th in hospital after losing a fight with pneumonia." Virgil began "Her name was Oliva Berry and she was only 47 years old. Roman your mother Mary Prince is still with us, but she did die for a total of 5 minutes 2 years ago on June 3rd when she went into cardiac arrest caused by her multiple different health problems. Like me, both of Patton's parents have also passed away. They were killed in a plane crash 17 years ago. Your father, William Heart, died in the crash. Your mother Lola, however, lived in the hospital before passing away from complications of giving birth to your sister Emma 3 months-" 

 

A sound caused him to stop, and he opened his eyes to see Patton had started crying. All 3 of them were looking at him, completely stunned.

 

Oopsie.

 

"Sorry..." Virgil muttered, before stepping forward slightly. "Look I'm going home, I'm only here because you asked me to help you" He pointed at Roman "And against my better judgment I did, and what was the thankyou I got? Becoming a suspect for murder. So I'm done. Solve it yourselves, good luck, I'm leaving" He gave a two-finger salute and turned around.

 

The 3 detectives simply watched him leave in stunned silence. 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

As soon as the door slammed closed behind him, Virgil slumped back against it and sunk to the floor before thumping his head back against the hard wood. He let out a huff/sigh of both annoyance at today's events and relief from being home.

 

"I take it you've had a  wonderful  day," Janus said sarcastically, standing behind the counter with a smirk next to Remy. Despite the fact he had his potion and didn't need to, he still enjoyed talking backwards, both out of habit and for his own amusement.

 

Virgil groaned before getting to his feet. He forgot he had to see the fae tonight. 

 

"Yep, it was amazing. Might just give up this necromancy stuff to become a detective," Virgil muttered sarcastically as he made he way over, waving his hand in the process to turn off one of the main, brighter lights above him and instead cause all the candles on the many shelves to come to life. 

 

"Do you know who they think killed Miriam?" Remy asked.

 

"I'm probably their main suspect now," Virgil replied in a joking tone, but there was an underlying seriousness. 

 

"What?" Janus snapped, eyes wide. 

 

"They are human. I knew things I wasn't supposed to, like where Miriam was killed." 

 

"You idiot," Janus groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose.

 

"Yep, not one of my finer moments. But thanks to me, we found out Miriam wasn't the only one killed yesterday."

 

"What?" Janus cried for the second time. "Who else?"

 

"Jane, Miriam's human friend," Virgil muttered, before turning and making his way into the kitchen. His friends following behind him. He waved his hands, and various cupboards and drawers opened. A mug flew across the room into the coffee machine, Milk and sugar landing on the counter next to it along with a spoon. The coffee machine lit up and turned on as Virgil slumped in a chair in the adjacent living room. 

 

"well, you found where they were killed, right? Did their ghosts have anything to say?" Janus asked. 

 

"That's one of the things that's not sitting well with me... Jane was a ghost but Miriam... there was no Miriam in sight..." 

 

"Really? You think she was able to pass?" Remy asked, sitting down in an adjacent seat, sipping from the coffee he had made earlier. 

 

"You sure she was murdered then?" Janus commented, sitting down as well.

 

"She was definitely murdered, I can't wrap my head around how she would have been able to pass..." 

 

"Then what happened to her essence?" Remy asked.

 

"I've no idea," Virgil shrugged, raising his hand to grab the fresh steaming cup of coffee that was now floating above him out of the air. "And I can't go back to the crime scene to investigate unless I want to end up behind bars. Her soul would already be in the afterlife, but without the piece of her soul that's her 'consciousness' or 'essence,' the part that should have been left behind as a ghost, I can't ask her what happened."

 

"usually the essence splits from the soul in limbo though; before the soul gets to the afterlife. It's altogether right after you die, so how do we know her soul even made it?" Remy asked.

 

"Unless there's magic involved, nothing is going to stop a soul from getting to the afterlife," Virgil replied

 

"Who's to say magic wasn't involved?" Janus asked, realizing where Remy was going. "We  are  dealing with supernaturals here. It isn't outside the realm of possibility." 

 

"Because only the most powerful creatures would be able to do that, and the idea of something like that killing someone right outside my house is a terrifying idea I don't want to think about right now," Virgil replied.

 

The truth was that Virgil's mind  was  racing with possibilities. None of which he liked, but none of which he could take the time to really ponder right now. The sun was already just beginning to set, and he still had the fae to deal with.

 

He finished his cup of coffee and stood up. "Alright, I'll be ready to go in a few." 

 

Janus just nodded. 

 

With that, Virgil walked into his alchemy room, slipping on his long black cloak over his hoodie and pulling out a few viles he would need. Once he had what he needed in his bag, he slung it over his shoulder and went back into the living room.

 

"You look so good in your work uniform," Remy teased with a smirk, causing Virgil to roll his eyes. 

 

"Let's get going, Dee, I don't want to be too long," 

 

Janus just nodded and, they headed out, getting in their car and driving off down the road, leaving Remy home alone. 

 

Remy was okay with that; while he was definitely more of a social person, he didn't mind being alone. He began scrolling through Netflix, picking out a movie when suddenly there was a knock on the door. The demon slipped his shades down from his forehead onto his nose to cover his black eyes and went to the door. He was shocked to find a single police officer on the other side.

 

-----------------------------------------

 

Virgil groaned as closed the front door behind him. He was beyond ready to hop into bed. Healing the Fae tree took way more energy then he had anticipated, and he felt ready to collapse. 

 

"Vee! Welcome back!" Remy cheered, a little too excitedly for this late at night as he stood in the doorway to the kitchen/living room. "We have  company !" 

 

Virgil immediately noticed the shades on Remy's face, which the demon never wore when they were alone. That mixed with the weird way he said 'company,' and Virgil caught on that something was off. Before he had time to ask, though, a familiar face popped out from behind the demon, a huge, bubbly smile on his face. 

 

"Hey kiddo!"

 

"Oh, uh, hey Patton..." Virgil replied, shocked to see the detective. 

 

"You look exhausted, kiddo!" Patton exclaimed as Virgil made his way over to them. "Also, I like your... uh, coat?" 

 

He heard Remy snort a quite laugh behind them. 

 

"I am pretty tired, yeah, and Uhm, thanks," Virgil replied hesitantly as he put his bag down on the counter, blushing slightly at the compliment. 

 

"I hope you don't mind that I waited for you, me and Remy just watched a movie after he invited me to wait so-" 

 

"no, no, it's okay. Did you uh... need something?"

 

For the first time tonight, Patton looked unsure of himself as he fidgeted with the edge of his sleeve. "I just wanted to say thank you for helping us out today and apologize on behalf of the others for being suspicious. You really did help us out. Logan is currently looking through that camera you found to see if he can find any photos of the killer. Sadly nothing turned up on the phone you helped unlock." 

 

"Yeah, no problem. Glad I could help." Virgil replied awkwardly.

 

Patton shifted on his feet, somehow looking even more uncomfortable now. "I also wanted to thank you for uhm... well... I was raised in foster care and barely remember my parents. Until today I never actually knew what happened to them..." 

 

Oh.

 

"Oh..." Virgil replied quietly. "I'm so sorry I-" 

 

"no, no!" Patton cut him off. "Are you... sure?" He hesitated, "Sure about... everything you said...?" 

 

Virgil could only nod.

 

"I see..." Patton swallowed, " I... also never knew I had a sister..." 

 

OH.

 

There was a second of stunned silence, but Patton spoke before Virgil managed to gather his thoughts. 

 

"Thank you, though, really! Without you, I may never have found out. so..." Patton reached out, taking Virgil's hand in his "Thank you." 

 

Virgil, however, flinched back from the touch like he had just touched fire. His eyes were wide as he stared at Patton.  

 

"Oh! I am so sorry! I should have asked first!" 

 

"no, it's okay; you just startled me," Virgil replied, forcing a smile through his shock. "I'm glad I was able to help." 

 

Patton nodded, "Okay, well, I should probably head out. Thanks again, kiddo! And thank you for the movie, Remy!" Patton said as he made his way to the front door. 

 

"Any time, babes," Remy replied. 

 

"See ya!" Patton waved with a huge smile before leaving, closing the door quietly behind him. 

 

As soon as the door was closed, Remy turned to Virgil.

 

"Okay, what the hell was that? I know you don't like contact with strangers and all, but I've never seen you flinch like that. It looked like he electrocuted you for crying out loud!" 

 

Virgil seemed a little dazed out as he continued to stare at the front door. "I know I just... I don't know how I didn't realize it before, that's just the first time we've had physical contact, but still, I should have seen it!" 

 

"Seen what?" Remy asked in confusion. 

 

Virgil didn't seem to hear him as he just kept rambling. "It's just, I mean, I thought they were nearly extinct!" The witch threw his hands up in the air for emphasis. "I wasn't-" 

 

"VEE!" Remy said loudly, snapping Virgil out of it and bringing him back to reality. "What? What is it?" 

 

"It's Patton," Virgil replied, turning to the demon next to him with wide eyes. "I'm not sure if he even  knows  or not, but... he's half pixie." 

Chapter Text

 

The next few days were simultaneously too loud and too quiet for Virgil. The store wasn't getting too many customers, leaving it more peaceful than usual during the day. Virgil's brain, however, was anything but.

 

He had a lot to think about, and his anxiety was having a fantastic time causing his thoughts to race nearly 24/7.

 

The first thing on his mind was what happened to Miriam and Jane. He still didn't know who was responsible, and no matter how desperately he wanted to revisit the crime scene to try and found out, he was too worried about the risk of being caught. He didn't want to end up behind bars. Not that they would be able to actually keep him behind bars for more than a few minutes, but the fallout of that was something he didn't want to deal with. 

 

Whoever was responsible for killing them somehow knew Miriam was a vampire because they knew they needed to stab her through the heart. Unfortunately, Jane was most likely just in the wrong place at the wrong time, which also meant the killer didn't mind taking someone else's life like it was nothing.

 

The looming problem around Miriam's ghost also didn't slip his mind. The possibility of something strong enough to be doing soul magic living close by (other than him, of course) was a thought that lurked in the back of his mind, just one of the many things that kept him up at night.

 

Another one of those things was Patton and the question about what to do with the realization that he was half pixie. 

 

Virgil hadn't seen any of the three detectives over the past few days, and at this point, wasn't sure if he ever would again. He was okay with that, but the question was still there because he was almost 99% sure Patton had absolutely no idea.

 

On one hand, because Patton didn't know, that meant nothing had ever triggered or activated his magic. Right now, it was dormant within him. If Patton knew about it, he could prepare for if it ever activated. Or he could choose to waken it if he wanted. 

 

On the other hand, Virgil wouldn't wish this life on anyone. Most supernaturals lived in varying levels of constant fear. Not only the fear of being discovered but hunted. Hunters did exist, and there were two kinds. The first kind were supernaturals like Virgil, who only acted when they had to, like when a dragon moved too close to a human city or a vampire lost control. Killing was always a last resort in these cases if the threat couldn't be reasoned with.

 

That wasn't what most supernaturals thought of when you said hunter, though. Most thought of the human hunters. The ones who killed them indiscriminately just for the sake of being different, something they didn't understand. 

 

The constant fear of being found and hunted wasn't something Virgil would wish on anyone, not that supernaturals usually got a choice. 

Patton, however, could pass as human to everyone, including himself. With his magic inactive, he was as good as human anyway. 

 

Who was Virgil to flip his entire world upside down when he didn't need to?

 

Who was Virgil to take away his humanity?

 

A humanity so many supernaturals wished they could have.

 

Virgil groaned, running his fingers through his hair with a huff. Remy was currently out getting groceries, so he couldn't even listen to music because he had to be able to hear the bell that rang when the front door opened and signified a new customer entering. 

 

Suddenly, as if on cue, he heard the bell jingle. Maybe he was psychic, after all.

 

He put down the rune he was working on and walked out to the counter. 

 

"Hello, welcome to-... Oh," Virgil began before deadpanning when he saw who had walked in.

 

"Jeez, you don't have to sound that excited to see us," Roman teased with a smirk.

 

Patton elbowed the other detective before turning back to Virgil.

 

"Hey kiddo!" He cheered, bubbly as ever as he made his way over to the counter. Roman kept his distance a few steps behind him.

 

"Evening," He replied casually as he wiped some of the leftover ground rosemary from his hands with a rag. Virgil glanced over his guests once more, noticing one was missing. "Wheres the nerd?" 

 

"Logan is still at the station working on some stuff," Patton replied. "How's it going?" 

 

Virgil looked at Patton suspiciously for a second before replying, "it's going... good. I guess... Uhm," He had to choose his next words carefully. He wasn't going to take the bait and ask about Miriam, no matter how bad he wanted to. He also wasn't really interested in a conversation, at least with Roman. He didn't mind Patton, though. "What about you, Patton?" He asked, leaning on the counter. 

 

"We're good!" He replied, grouping Roman in with himself, much to Virgil's dismay. 

 

Virgil nodded before sighing in slight annoyance. "I'm not going to take the bait," He said plainly. 

 

"What do you mean?" Patton asked in confusion, but Roman seemed to know.

 

"Your curious." He said flatly.

 

"Of course I am," Virgil replied, pushing himself up from the counter and crossing his arms. "She was a friend, client and neighbour. Not that any of those would matter from  your  perspective, huh?" 

 

Roman made an offended noise. "Hey! Gimmie some more credit than that!" Virgil just rolled his eyes. 

 

"Okay, I don't know what's happening right now, but I don't like it because it seems like fighting, and that's not why we're here," Patton said sternly. 

 

"Then, why  are  you here?" Virgil asked, his tone coming out a bit more annoyed and icy then he intended. He regretted it when he saw Patton shrink in on himself slightly. The detectives exchanged a glance before Patton replied. 

 

"We came to ask for your help." 

 

Virgil  almost  snorted at that. Had it just been Roman, he would have, but he held it back for Patton's sake. Instead, he opted to give Patton a look between disbelieving and amused.

 

"We could really use it," Patton added.

 

"Mmmhmm," Virgil hummed, almost mockingly, before leaning on the counter and looking directly over Patton's shoulder at Roman. "And why do  you  want  my  help. What caused your opinion of me to flip like a coin?" 

 

What he  wasn't  expecting was for Roman to  blush  slightly and look away.

 

Before Roman could reply, Patton chimed in. "You really helped us out last time. We wouldn't have even found Jane if it weren't for you. We were hoping you could lend a hand again." 

 

"I tried that," Virgil pointed out, "And while I'm glad it helped, last time it almost got me arrested. Why would I want to help you guys again?" 

 

This time, Roman spoke up. "We knew you wouldn't want to, but we were hoping we could change your mind." 

 

"By doing what? Asking me nicely?" Virgil replied sarcastically while raising an eyebrow. 

 

"That was plan A," Roman joked. 

 

"And what was plan B?" 

 

"Telling you that somebody else from Spellwood turned up dead and it looks like they were killed by the same person," 

Chapter Text

The new information hung in the air around them, causing it to feel heavier and somehow denser then it did before. Clearly, this wasn't a once-off occurrence anymore, which meant that most likely more people were in danger. The detectives had no idea what they were dealing with and didn't have any hope of solving this without Virgil's help. The witch also didn't think he could solve it without the help of the detectives, much to his dismay.

 

Virgil gave a defeated sigh, which caused Patton's eyes to light up and a self-satisfied smirk to grace Roman's face. 

 

"And how does the nerd who thinks my store is a scam feel about me joining the team?" Virgil asked. 

 

"Does that mean your joining!?" Patton cheered excitedly. 

 

Virgil merely raised an eyebrow, forcing Patton to answer. 

 

"He doesn't mind! Anything that will help solve the case!"

 

Virgil had serious doubts about that.

 

Suddenly, the jingle of the doorbell rang behind the detectives as Remy came in holding a  lot  of bags. 

 

"Hey Rem!" Virgil called, subtly getting his attention, so he realized the humans, or well, human and half-human, were here.

 

"Hey, babes! Oh look! We have company again! Hey Patsy! To what do we owe the pleasure?" 

 

Before either of the detectives could speak up, Virgil answered for them. "They came to ask for my help again."

 

"Oh yeah?" Remy replied in an amused tone as he laid the grocery bags down behind the counter. "And how's that going?" He asked sarcastically.

 

"Pretty good, I think...?" Patton replied. "I think we've convinced him?" 

 

"Wait what!?" Remy replied in shock, turning to the witch next to him. "Is that..." he hesitated, picking his following words wisely "...wise? ...of  you ?" He asked.

 

"I highly doubt it," Virgil replied, conveying a multitude of unspoken messages to the demon next to him. "but someone else is dead Rem," He added. slightly quieter

 

"Wait, why don't you think helping us is a good idea?!" Patton replied, in shock, and Virgil could  hear  the slight hurt in his voice. He didn't get a response, however, because Virgil and Remy were simply staring at each other, having some sort of silent argument for a moment until Remy finally caved and looked away with a defeated sigh. 

 

"Fine, but be careful, babes." 

 

"You remember who you're talking to, right?" Virgil joked in an amused tone, causing Remy to hit him playfully. 

 

"I mean it," he replied in a fond but serious tone. 

 

"I know, I know, I will be, I promise," Virgil countered with a smile, "think you can hold down the fort?" 

 

"Of course," Remy replied as if to say ' duh .' "And when you get back, we can start decorating because the store just started stocking Halloween stuff, and given it's your favourite holiday, I bought one of everything for you" Remy added, with a smile that was sly but also fond and happy at the same time. Virgil knew that the local store owners would order a couple of things just for Virgil every Halloween as a thank you for all the glamours and potions and such he provided. Despite how many times he told them it really wasn't necessary. He had serious doubt's that the owners even let Remy pay for the 'one of everything'-else he got.

 

Virgil smiled, "You're the best, Rem," Before slipping off his cloak to reveal the hoodie underneath and tossing it onto a nearby hook. Once the cloak was hung up, he turned to the detectives, "Alright, I'll help you, don't make me regret giving you guys a second chance." 

 

"We won't!" Patton cheered. 

 

"Where to first, then?" Virgil asked. 

 

"Perhaps we should go to the crime scene first? See if that inspires any uh...  otherworldly  communications?" Roman replied, which caused Remy to snort behind the emo at the counter.

 

Virgil also seemed to struggle to bite back a smile, "Sounds good to me, princey, 

 

"Princey?"

 

--------------------------------------

 

The crime scene was only a short walk from Virgil's store, down one of the back roads deeper in the forest, so they opted to walk and use the time to share the details of the case with Virgil. 

 

"Okay, so, we don't really know much yet. The guy's name was Rhys Reed, and he worked at the local car repair shop; poor guy was only 21 years old. Based on the autopsy, he was drunk but not completely intoxicated when it happened. It doesn't look like anything was slipped in his drink though, all his lab results came back clean. The cause of death was being stabbed in the heart with some short blade. It appears to be the same weapon that killed Miriam." Roman explained as they walked.

 

The gravel crunched under their feet as they went, the autumn wind blowing and rustling through the trees around them as Virgil listened to the detective. Once he finished, Virgil hummed in thought as he went over all he had been told. 

 

Rhys was an elf, which meant he would have been much easier to kill then Miriam. If they were able to take down a vampire, they wouldn't have needed to get Rhys drunk to kill him, so the drinking probably wasn't a part of the killer's plan. It would have messed with Rhys' magic, though, which made the killer's job easier at least. 

 

"I didn't know Rhys as well as Miriam or Jane. He wasn't a regular at the store or anything." Virgil commented after a few minutes of silently walking and thinking.

 

What little he did know of Rhys was that he wasn't very proficient in magic, and he only ever came to the store a few times. The first time was to get a charm to help with the headaches he got as a consequence of working with the loud machinery in the shop all day. He saw him a few other times afterwards, coming into the store to buy protection runes or other charms that he said were gifts to others. 

 

"But, just to clarify," Virgil continued, fiddling with some of the loose seams on the inside of his hoodie pockets, "You're telling me all of that, without asking me if I recognize a photo of him or asking where I was at whatever time he was murdered, or anything like that?" He asked, glancing over at Roman next to him with a raised eyebrow. 

 

Before Patton could speak, Roman gave a resigning sigh and closed the folder he had been reading from in his hands. "Want me to be honest with you?" 

 

"Yes, because I don't trust that people change that quickly," Virgil replied. 

 

"I still don't fully trust you," He replied, getting cut off by Patton, who whispered his name in a concerned, fatherly tone. "Hold on a sec Pat," Roman reassured him. 

 

"but-"

 

"m'it's okay Patton, I won't run off just for him being honest." 

 

They both nodded in understanding before Roman continued. "I still don't fully trust you," He repeated, "there is still a lot of things that don't line up with your facial expressions and body language. I believe you when you say you've got some sort of psychic ability. I still think that there's something else you're not telling us though..." He explained.

 

Virgil hummed in acknowledgment. 

 

"Having said that," Roman continued, "I don't think you're a murderer. I do think you're still hiding  something , but you are not a suspect in this case." 

 

Virgil thought over the other's words for a moment in silence as they walked. That was actually... a  very reasonable  response. Given that Virgil  WAS  hiding... quite a lot from them. Thinking back on their last time together, Virgil didn't do an outstanding job hiding his facial expressions to a lot of what was happening. His body language probably hadn't been much better, and for someone who is  trained  to look at that kind of stuff, it made sense Roman would notice something was off.

 

"That's..." he hesitated, deciding on his words in his head," ...pretty fair to be honest," Virgil replied. 

 

However, the conversation didn't get a chance to continue because they rounded a corner, and Virgil immediately saw the blood all over the gravel at his feet. 

 

"We're here." 

 

Chapter Text

"I know you didn't know him well," Roman began, "But do you have any idea why he would be way out here in the middle of nowhere at night?" 

 

"I'm not sure how he even got all the way out here." Patton commented, "It may only be a half an hour walk from the tavern in town, but its uneven terrain and he was pretty drunk, yet he still walked this far because there's no fresh tire tracks." 

 

Virgil, however, was barely listening to them because he was off in his own spiralling thoughts as he glanced around the area. How was this even possible? 

 

There was no ghost in sight. He could hear the alarm bells ringing in his head.

 

"Virgil?" 

 

"huh? oh, yeah, no, I dunno, this road leads..." He hesitated as he looked down the road before finally realizing where exactly they were, causing his face to pale slightly. The detective seemed to notice.

 

"What is it? Maps say this road doesn't lead anywhere. It looks like it goes deep into the forest and then just stops."

 

Virgil couldn't exactly tell the detectives that this road led to the fae village, which is why it wasn't on any maps. A village that humans couldn't see without a spell from the fae themselves. 

 

"Exactly," Virgil replied. "It doesn't lead anywhere, which is what shocked me, because this is a long road to  nowhere . So clearly, he was drunk enough to not realize where he was going." 

 

Except for the fact, elves aren't as affected by alcohol as humans are, which means he was probably less inebriated than they already thought, nevermind drunk enough to not realize where he was going. 

 

"May I ask who found him?" 

 

"The lovely girl who owns the local greenhouse, Camilla, I think her name was?" Patton replied. "She said she was walking her dog when the dog freaked out and led her here."

 

"ah, that makes sense," Virgil replied, feeling a slight relief that nobody else was going to see the fae. 

 

It wasn't that Virgil didn't trust the fae, or, at least,  these  fae. They weren't dark fae, and even though light fae was still known to be mischievous tricksters, the ones in Spellwood had been particularly nice to keep their distance and to themselves. They were polite and straightforward whenever Virgil spoke to them, even though they seemed a bit flighty around him. That didn't mean he didn't have his slight worries, though. 

 

"Why does that make sense?" Roman asked. 

 

"because Camilla always walks her dog along this road," Virgil replies, leaving out that she also traded herbs with the fae regularly. The question was, what was  Rhys  doing on this road? Why was he going to talk to the fae?

 

Roman just hummed in thought before Patton spoke up.

 

"Hey guys! What's this?" The detective asked as he bent down to pick something up off the road. 

 

Virgil walked over to see he was holding one of Virgil's protection runes in his hands. He picked it up out of Patton's hand and looked at it. 

 

"I remember this," Virgil mused. "He came and bought one after a car jack gave out and almost crushed him" 

 

"What is it?" Roman asked, walking up behind him.

 

"It's..." Virgil hesitated, before caving "A protection rune."

 

"Protection, huh? Seems like maybe he needed a few more." 

 

Roman's response shocked Virgil. It wasn't what he said that surprised him; in fact, he very much expected that response. No, what shocked him was the tone he said it in. It wasn't mocking, judgmental, teasing or even doubtful. His tone was almost... playful... like friends joking around with each other, and their words hold no real malice in them. 

 

Virgil just smirked and turned to face him, flipping the rune in his hand like a coin. "Yeah, well, it's more like a good luck charm, to be honest. Nothing much could have protected him from being stabbed in the chest, short of a kevlar vest." 

 

Both Roman and Patton laughed at that.

 

"here," Virgil said, flipping the rune to Patton, who barely managed to catch it. Oops. Guess he was too used to supernatural reflexes. "Keep you safe," Virgil added, though quietly. 

 

"Awe, thanks, kiddo!" Patton said, throwing his arms open to hug the other, just managing to catch himself before he did. "Oh, whoops, sorry, I forgot." 

 

"It's okay," Virgil replied quietly, offering a small smile. "I don't mind; you can." 

 

The way Patton's eyes lit up, Virgil could have sworn he had given Patton the best Christmas gift ever. The half-pixie threw his arms around the other and hugged him snuggly as Virgil returned the hug awkwardly. 

 

"aww, wheres my good luck charm?" Roman teased in a mock offended/disappointed tone. 

 

"I don't have one on me, but I can get you one back at the store if you want," Virgil replied as the hug broke. 

 

"no, no, it's okay I was just kidding," Roman replied, blushing slightly.

 

"I know, but your welcome to one anyway," Virgil replied before looking around the area again. "Either way, I'm not getting much of anything here, so, what next?" 

 

"Well, I should probably head back and check in with Logan at the station. We talked to a few people at the bar before we came to see you and found out Rhys had a girlfriend named Rose, so why don't you and Roman go and try talking with her?" Patton offered 

 

Both of them nodded in agreement as they all began walking back to town. 

 

 

Chapter Text

"we're here," Roman said as he and Virgil pulled up to a small house. "This is where those at the bar said his girlfriend Rose lived" 

 

"Okay," Virgil replied as they got out of the car and began to walk toward the front door. Virgil tried to think about what he knew about Rose. Rose was a dryad who came to him regularly for glamours and the occasional potion or two. She was a shy, well-mannered girl as far as Virgil could tell from their brief interactions. She worked at the local greenhouse with Janus and Camilla and was really good at plant-based magic based on what Jan told him about working with her. 

 

As they approached the door, Virgil noticed that it was starting to get pretty cold for early fall. He was going to have to start making potions for the supernaturals like Janus and Rose, who didn't do well in the cold.

 

Roman knocked on the door, and a few minutes later, a young lady with bright red hair and emerald eyes peaked her head out. 

 

"Hello?" She asked nervously, glancing at Roman before her eyes found Virgil, and she seemed to relax ever so slightly. The witch wouldn't have been surprised if Roman had caught it. 

 

The detective held up his badge, "Hello, are you, Rose?" 

 

"Yes"  

 

"My name is detective Roman, and this is..." He hesitated, not knowing what to call Virgil. He wasn't a detective. An assistant? Friend? He didn't end up having to finish, though, because Rose's eyes flickered over to the other, and she smiled. 

 

Virgil gave a small smile back. "Hey Rosie," He greeted, using the affectionate nickname he and Remy used for her after Remus had come up with it. 

 

"Hey V," She replied with a smile.

 

"oh! you two know each other?" Roman asked, glancing between them. 

 

"uhh," Rose replied, glancing at Virgil with an almost panicked expression. 

 

"She comes by the store regularly," Virgil answered for her. "You can also thank her for the flower garden out in the front by the door," he added, shooting the dryad a smile. He remembered when he had come home one day to find Remy and Rosie in front of the house, putting the finishing touches on the garden. Apparently, Remy had made an off-handed comment to her about wanting to decorate the place, and she insisted he let her make a garden in the front to thank them for everything. The memory brought a smile to his face. 

 

"oh, alright," Roman replied. "We're here to talk about Rhys."

 

Immediately you could see Rose's face fall slightly, but she nodded. "Sure," she said, and she shifted so that she was standing in the gap between the door and the door frame instead of just sticking her head out. 

 

"great," Roman replied as he pulled out a notepad and pen, flipping to a new page. "Witnesses say you were at the bar with Rhys last night?" 

 

"Yes," She replied. "We were out celebrating a friend's new promotion." 

 

"Alright. Firstly did Rhys have any enemies? Anyone who might want to hurt him?" 

 

"Uhm, no. Not that I can think of," She replied, glancing at Virgil. 

 

"What time did Rhys leave the bar? Did you leave with him?"

 

"He left at about 9 pm? N-no, I stayed behind. He got in an argument with some of his friends and left." She muttered.

 

"And what was this argument about?" Roman asked, scribbling in his notepad. 

 

"It was about... uh... well..." She looked at Virgil; her eyes flicked to Roman for a second before going back to the witch. She looked slightly panicked, and her gaze seemed to beg Virgil to do something. Virgil very quickly caught on. 

 

"Ma'am?" Roman prompted before Virgil stepped in. 

 

"Would you be more comfortable if you and I talked one on one, Rose? Just the two of us?" Virgil asked, giving Rose a knowing look. 

 

She quickly nodded, giving a sigh of relief, "yes, please." 

 

Roman glanced between the two of them in confusion. "Uh, okay? I guess I'll go talk to the witnesses at the bar again then?" He asked.

 

"Sounds good." Virgil replied with a nod, sidestepping to be in front of Rose slightly, "Meet back at my shop when we're done?" 

 

Roman nodded. "Sounds like a plan," He replied before turning and heading down toward his car. 

 

Virgil turned back, and Rose opened the door slightly, just wide enough for the witch to slip in past her. As soon as he steps foot inside, Virgil understood why she had been blocking Romans' view of the house. There were plants  everywhere.  Not only that, there were a couple of colourful butterflies flying around the house. Virgil watched as a large purple one flew towards him and landed on his head. He sputtered as he waved it off his head, being careful not to hurt it. He heard Rose giggle behind him, watching the butterfly land on her now extended hand. 

 

"Damn, I knew you were good with forest magic but like, wow," Virgil said in slight awe as he looked around at all the different plants and flowers. 

 

Rose laughed before her face fell slightly. "Sorry for shooing your friend off. I just-" she trailed off. 

 

"no, no, don't worry, I get it," Virgil reassured her. 

 

"Does he...?" 

 

"no, he has no idea. He thinks I'm a psychic" They both laughed. 

 

"Rhys got in an argument with his friends over how poor Rhys was with his magic," Rose explained. "They were drinking faery vodka, so they were all pretty drunk." 

 

Ah, faery vodka, that explains it. That stuff was incredibly potent and could get anyone, including elves, completely smashed. 

 

Virgil nodded, prompting Rose to continue. 

 

"Rhys decided he had enough and told everyone he was going to go get the local fae to teach him magic. I told him it was an insane idea, but obviously, he was too out of it to listen. I just let him go so that things didn't get any more out of hand. I thought he would be okay because luckily, the local fae are nice enough not to make deals with anyone who isn't of sound mind at the time." 

 

Virgil nodded again, remember that the local fae had, in fact, sent a couple of people away because they had been drunk when trying to make deals. Janus said something about not wanting to make certain people angry, but he wasn't sure who. Not that he really cared at the time. 

 

"But I guess I was wrong..." Rose finished, chocking on her words slightly. 

 

"I'm so sorry for your loss, Rose," Virgil replied. He didn't get a chance to brace himself before Rose came crashing into his arms, crying. What was it with people hugging him today? Not that he minded all that much, or ever admit that out loud. 

 

"shhh," Virgil soothed as he ran his hand over her back gently. Slowly guiding them over, so they were sitting on the couch. They sat there quietly, Virgil simply running his hand over her back as she cried into his shoulder, clinging to him like a lifeline. 

 

It took a few minutes, but finally, she calmed down enough for her to pull back from him. "s-sorry," she whimpered between tears as she tried to calm herself down. 

 

"Hey, hey, it's okay; it's no problem," He replied softly. Who knows how many tears he had cried into this hoodie already, he didn't mind adding a few more. "would you like me too...?" 

 

"w-what?" she asked in confusion, wiping more tears. 

 

Virgil let his eyes glow, and she quickly understood what he was offering. She nodded. 

 

"y-yes, please." She managed.

 

Virgil nodded and quietly chanted a calming spell under his breath. A couple of small blue sparkling particles danced from his hands into the air and over to Rose, who watched them land and seemingly absorb into her skin. Immediately she could feel the calming effect starting. 

 

"Th-thank you," She said after a few seconds. 

 

"Of course," Virgil reassured her. "I know this can't be easy to talk about."

 

"Do you have any idea who...?"

 

Virgil shook his head. "we're pretty sure it's the same person who killed Miriam and Jane." 

 

Rose nodded. "Well, with your help, I might actually have a chance to get justice after all. Did you...?" 

 

"What?" 

 

"well, did you go to where... did you..." She chocked on her words slightly, struggling to say them.

 

Oh.  

 

"No, that's the problem," Virgil explained. "Neither Rhys nor Miriam were left as ghosts." 

 

"Oh, I see," Rose replied, taking a deep breath before looking at Virgil with slight mischief in her eyes. "So, how did you end up working as a psychic for the detectives?" She asked with a smirk. 

 

"Oh, god." 

Chapter Text

The jingle of the doorbell rang overhead as Virgil entered the store. He was shocked that Roman's car wasn't out front, meaning he had gotten here first.

 

"Hey, Vee!"

 

"Hey, Rem," Virgil replied as he made his way over to the counter.

 

"How was your first day of playing detective?"

 

"Weird... and it's not even over yet."

 

"Oh?"

 

"Rhys wasn't a ghost either, Rem... it makes no sense..." Virgil groaned.

 

"Speaking of Rhys, there's a memorial at the bar for him tonight. You mind if I close up early to head over?"

 

"Of course not," Virgil replied as if that was the most obvious thing ever. "You head out; I can close up shop."

 

"Your the best babes!" Remy cheered before running out the front door.

 

 

Virgil just smiled to himself and began closing up the shop. It was about 10 minutes later when Virgil heard the sound of a car pulling up out front, Roman walking in the front door a few seconds later. 

 

"Hey, princey, any luck?"

 

"Nothing useful," Roman huffed as he made his way over to the counter, leaning on it with his elbows. "Everyone at the bar was pretty much too drunk to remember much from that night, and although some of the guys did have a fight with Rhys, they were all still in the bar at the time of death. Talked to his boss at the car shop as well and still got nothing but dead ends."

 

"that's a shame." 

 

"Yeah, what about you doom and gloom? Seemed like Rose had something to say, given she wanted to talk in private and all" 

 

"Nah, she's just really shy. She was afraid she would be in trouble for not being able to remeber what the fight Rhys and his friends had was about," Virgil explained. Roman nodded and hummed in thought for a moment. He then opened his mouth to reply but was cut off by the sound of his phone ringing. 

 

"Hello? Oh, hey, Pat. Mhm. Yep. He's right here in front of me, actually... Sure, I'll ask..." Roman spoke before twisting the phone away from his mouth and looking at Virgil. "Patton invited us both to come over for supper at his place. We can eat and talk about the case. Is that okay with you?" The detective asked, looking at the witch with hopeful eyes. 

 

"O-oh! Uhm, y-yeah, of course, sounds good."

 

Roman nodded with a smile. "Yep, he says that sounds good, Patton. What? Oh-" Roman moved the phone away again. "Patton wants to make sure you don't have any allergies?" 

 

Virgil just shook his head. 

 

"Nope, he's all good, Pat. Alright, see you soon." Roman replied before hanging up the phone. "Alright, I'm basically ready to go whenever you are so..." 

 

"Alright, give me a minute to close up shop and then we'll-" 

 

Suddenly Virgil was cut off by the loud clang noise from the doorbell as the front door is swung open with force. 

 

"Virgie!!!! Rem-yster! Guess who's back!" A new voice yelled. 

 

A voice that made Roman feel like he suddenly had a bucket of ice water dumped on him. He knew that voice. Despite how long it had been since he heard it, he knew that voice like the back of his hand. The detective felt so many emotions swirling into a storm inside of him. He spun around to look, and sure enough, there in the doorway, was his twin brother. 

 

"Remus...?" Roman managed to choke out, all other words dying in his throat, getting caught on the lump that had formed in it. He simply stared wide-eyed at the silhouette in the doorway. 

 

Remus' eyes flicked to the detective for a split second, his face flashing some unreadable emotion before a twisted smile graced his features again, and he looked back at Virgil, ignoring the other altogether.

 

Remus was a terrific actor. The glance at his twin had been so quick; one may have second-guessed whether it happened at all. 

 

"Hey Reems!" Virgil called with a fond smile, side-stepping farther down behind the counter as to not be hidden behind the detective. "Back from your hunt already?"

 

"Yeppers!" Remus replied enthusiastically, prancing up to the counter. "Here's the stuff I got-cha!" He said, handing Virgil a brown bag.

 

"Oh awesome, thank you," Virgil replied, taking the bag and laying it under the counter to be dealt with later. "How did it go?" He asked, leaning on the counter. 

 

"Slick as blood! Like always!" Remus replied, standing proudly. "Honestly, did you expect any different?" 

 

Virgil just laughed, "I'm not sure that's a saying, but sure, and your right; why do I even ask anymore?" He asked, looking at Remus with an amused smirk. 

 

"Honestly, you think you'd learn," Remus joked, rolling his eyes before looking around. "Where's Remrem at?"

 

"You just missed him; he's gone to Rhys' memorial at the Tavern." 

 

Remus' face fell slightly, going from a manic smile to a more serious one. "Oh yeah, I heard. Dee's kept me up to date." 

 

"Yeah," Virgil replied solemnly.

 

"Funny enough, though, the tavern is where I'm headed after this anyway! What a co-inky-dink!" Remus laughed. "I'll give him and Snake their gifts there," he added as he pushed himself away from the counter, taking a few steps backwards towards the door. 

 

"Alright, I'll see you later then," Virgil replied. 

 

"Bye-bye, Vee!" Remus replied, giving an over-enthusiastic wave before skipping to the door. He opened it, and just before taking a step out, he hesitated and turned back towards the counter again, locking eyes with the detective that was still standing there. His face held a smirk that was both very satisfied and amused. There was a hint of something shining in the other's eyes that Roman couldn't quite make out. Suddenly Remus flashed him a smile that was a bit too wide and a bit too forced looking. "Later, Romano," He waved. "It was nice to see that mug of yours again, bro." 

 

And just like that, he was gone. 

 

Roman heard Virgil say something to him but couldn't make out what it was as he ran and threw the front door open. He stepped out onto the small porch and was baffled to see  nothing . Remus had  just  been here! He looked up and down the road, but there was no sign of him, walking or driving or  anything

 

Roman mentally scolded himself for being surprised. This was what Remus  did,  after all. He just vanished, just like last time. 

 

Roman let out a breath of air he hadn't realized he was holding as he ran his fingers through his hair. There were so many emotions thrashing around inside of him that he couldn't even identify them anymore. He knew there was rage, pain, hurt, bitterness and resentment, but he couldn't distinguish any of it. He sighed again before turning and re-entering the store. 

 

He glanced up at the counter to see Virgil giving him a sympathetic smile.

 

"Sorry, it's just-" Roman hesitated. How was he supposed to explain what just happened? Fortunately, it seemed he didn't have to. 

 

"No, no, don't worry about it. I forgot he was your brother." 

 

Roman's eyes widened and snapped up to look at the witch, sucking in a quick breath of air in shock. "W-wait what? How did you know?" 

 

Virgil gave him an amused smile before tapping his temple with his finger as if to say ' psychic.' 

 

"Oh, right," Roman replied quietly. 

 

In truth, Virgil had put the pieces together after looking into when Roman's mother died. In the cobwebs of connections and in information, he realized Mary Prince was also Remus's brother. Virgil had his suspicions long before that as well, given they were basically a spitting image of each other. 

 

"I don't know all that much, but I know there's some bad history there," Virgil explained. He watched Roman's face twist as he looked away and seemed to glare at the floor. 

 

"Yeah, sure," Roman scoffed. "If by bad history you mean he up and left the family, including his very sick mother, right when we all needed him the most? Then yeah, 'bad history'" Roman replied, crossing his arms, his tone full of resentment and venom as he seemed to spit every word like it was poison. 

 

Virgil just stood quietly, watching the detective who seemed to be having some kind of internal debate. Finally, Roman gave a defeated sigh. 

 

"We should head out," He said, gesturing to the door with his head. "We don't wanna be late; Patton will be worried sick." 

Chapter Text

 

They got in the car in silence as Virgil climbed into the passenger seat. Something in his stomach twisted at the realization that getting into this car was becoming normal to him. Virgil rested his forehead against the cold glass as he watched the world whip by. 

 

After a few minutes, a sigh broke the silence around them. "I'm sorry for lashing out at you back there. There's just so many emotions around this topic. That doesn't make taking them out on you okay, though, so I'm sorry." 

 

"Hey, it's alright, Roman, I understand," Virgil replied softly. 

 

"I'm just so... shocked," Roman replied.

 

"Why?"

 

"Well..." Roman sighed. "The last thing we ever heard from Remus was when he left a note saying it was 'safer' for him to stay away from us and that he was sorry, but he had to leave. He just vanished, and that was the only thing he left. We never had any idea where he was or where he was going. I can't believe he's been right outside the city the whole time! How have I never seen him?" 

 

"He travels a lot for work," Virgil explained. "When he's not travelling, he stays in town. He rarely goes to the city." 

 

"And yet," Roman continued, "Despite how much I tell myself I hate him, hate him for what he did; I still can't help but feel relieved to know he's okay. That he's safe and has a job, not living on the streets... or worse." 

 

"I don't want to say much without his permission," Virgil replied, "But for what it's worth, Remus is doing pretty well. He makes an impressive amount of money at work and currently lives with his boyfriend." 

 

"Boyfriend?" Roman replied, "I knew it! I so called that he was gay!" The detective laughed and did a small fist bump in the air. 

 

"Is... that a problem...?" Virgil asks warily. 

 

Roman's head snaps over to look at him. His face was full of shock that slowly morphed into confusion and ended with amusement. 

 

"Uhm, have you  met  me? I am  the  gay agenda, thank you very much." Roman stated in an over-the-top offended and dramatic tone. 

 

Virgil laughed at that. "I guessed as much, but ya know, I didn't want to assume." 

 

"that's fair," Roman mused as they turned a corner. "What about you, then doom and gloom?"

 

"What about me?"

 

Roman blushed slightly, "Well, since we aren't assuming, and I just told you mine, what about you? What's your orientation?" 

 

"Oh," Virgil smirked, leaning back into his seat. "Yeah, I'm about as gay as they come." 

 

"I appreciate the sentiment, but I think you'll find  I  am the true king of being a gay disaster," Roman teased. Virgil glanced over at him with a raised eyebrow. 

 

"King of disaster? Yeah, I'd buy that," Virgil retorted with a smirk. 

 

"Hey!" Roman replied in mock offence and shock.

 

There was a moment of silence where they simply stared at each other before they both burst out laughing. 


They fell into a comfortable silence for a few minutes afterward before Virgil broke it.

 

"Oh, by the way," Virgil began. Roman glanced over to see the emo rooting around in his hoodie pocket for a moment before he found whatever it was he was looking for. "Here" 

 

Roman opened his hand, and a second later, a small flat stone was dropped into his palm. After looking at it for a second, he realized what it was. 

 

"It's the same as Patton's," Virgil said with a small smile, "since you wanted one." 

 

Roman felt a slight heat in his cheeks. "You really didn't need to, but thank you," He said sincerely before his voice morphed into an overdramatic one. "I shall treasure it forever," He declared playfully. 

 

Virgil just rolled his eyes and laughed.

 

 


-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

There was an orchestra of soft sounds in the kitchen as Patton continued cooking; the gentle repetitive tapping of logans pen against the counter, the bubbling of the soup on the stove, the quiet indistinguishable mummers created by the TV in the other room combined around him. It was a pleasant steady white noise in the background that kept the air around him from feeling too... stagnant. 

 

The harmony was broken, however, when Logan stopped tapping and let out a defeated sigh. Patton glanced over to see him set the pen down on the counter and lift his glasses momentarily to rub his eyes. 

 

"What's the matter, Lo?" Patton asked as he put the last of the needed vegetables into the pot. 

 

"I've just finished going over all the footage from the bar and car shop security cameras, and there's nothing that stands out. Jane's camera showed nothing but a figure in a black hood. Jane's phone came up empty, and for reasons I can't identify, I can't manage to hack into Miriam and Rhys's phones. I was able to trace the GPS location of Janes's phone and reverse it, but no other devices ping the site where he was murdered at the appropriate time. I can't attempt to do the same with the other phones without access to them. I searched the web for anyone making threats against residents in Spellwood as a whole, and again came up empty. This case is nothing but dead ends." Logan replied, flattening his tie as he spoke. 

 

"Aw Lo! Don't worry! I'm sure we will find something soon! Besides, Virgil is on his way over; maybe he will be able to help unlock the phones for you!" Patton reassured him, stirring the pot on the stove to avoid it boiling over. 

 

"Yes, I suppose... Although, as you are aware, I am uncertain about what to think of the entire 'psychic' thing." Logan replied as he closed his laptop. 

 

"I know, but you know there is no other explanation! Besides, why would he lie about something like that? He even agreed to help us again; that has to count for something, right?" Patton replied, grabbing bowls from the cupboard and laying them on the counter. 

 

"I suppose." Logan conceded, putting his laptop and papers into his bag so he could help Patton finish getting dinner ready. 

 

Just as the timer went off to signify the soup was ready, there was a knock at the door. 

Chapter Text

 

As they walked up the stairs to Patton's floor, Virgil was, to put it lightly, panicking. The witch always got nervous around strangers, but at least that was on neutral territory. Now he was going to be at Patton's house, in Patton's space. He was going to be eating Patton's food, sitting on Patton's furniture. All of which was unknown to him.

 

To make matters worse, if he didn't get ahold of himself, his magic was going to start lashing out. He wouldn't have been surprised if his eyes seemed slightly brighter than usual, which is why he was walking behind Roman as they went up the stairs. 

 

Why had he even agreed to this? He could have so easily made the excuse he was going to Rhys memorial tonight! But the 'yes' had come out of his mouth so easily and quickly; he didn't have time to think. That alone was unlike him, yet here he was, now approaching Patton's door. 

 

Internally Virgil found himself wishing he could use a calming spell on himself as he did with Rose, but sadly, he couldn't use those types of spells on himself. The way the spells work is the caster is basically sharing their emotion with the one being spelled. Virgil couldn't share with himself what he didn't have.  

 

He watched Roman knock on the door, and a few seconds later, it was swung open, a huge bubbly smile greeting them. 

 

 

"Hey kiddos! You're just in time! The soup just came off the stove!" Patton exclaimed excitedly, hugging Roman as he entered. Once the hug broke, Patton turned to Virgil and opened his arms, silently asking for permission. Virgil simply nodded. 

 

The witch knew he should have said no, but he couldn't bring himself to turn the pixie down. However, he really should have because, even though Patton's magic was dormant,  his  magic still detected it. And because Patton was still a semi stranger, his magic, in his panicked state, went:  threat

 

All 4 of them jumped as the window across the living room swung open with a bang, causing the now broken latch to sail across the room. 

 

"Whoa, we must be getting really strong wind all of a sudden!" Patton said in shock. 

 

"Sorry..." Virgil muttered under his breath. That caused Patton to laugh. 

 

"What are you apologizing for kiddo? There's no way you had anything to do with that"

 

"Right..." the witch replied awkwardly. Logan went to pick up the latch off the floor as Roman went to close the window. He reached up about to close it, but before he could, he yelped and stumbled back. Everyone immediately turned to look, only to see a raven now perched on the window sill. 

 

"What the hell?!" Roman exclaimed, putting a hand to his chest in an attempt to slow his racing heart. 

 

"What is a raven doing in the middle of the city?" Logan pondered to Patton before Virgil moving caught their eyes. 

 

Virgil took a few steps forward, staring in disbelief for a moment. "Seriously, Lucky!?" 

 

"Lucky?" The other three asked in unison.

 

The raven on the window let out a happy caw and flew forward, landing on the hand Virgil extended for him. As soon as he landed, he let out another caw, causing Virgil to laugh. 

 

"Yes, I know, your an idiot, now go home!" Virgil replied in a tone that was somehow both amused and unamused. 

 

Perks of being a witch, you can understand animals to a certain degree. You couldn't talk to them like Janus or any other forest spirits could, but you could get a general sense of what they were saying. It wasn't so much they were talking in words, as it was something closer to feeling. It was another one of the sensations Virgil simply couldn't describe to anyone else.  

 

Unfortunately, specializing in necromancy meant most animals were afraid of you. Ravens were one of the few exceptions. 

 

"Uhm..." Suddenly Virgil froze; he had completely forgotten the others were there for a moment. And here he was, talking to a bird. What a great, normal house guest.

 

Virgil spun to look at the others, who were now standing all together near the door, staring at him with varying levels of shock and confusion. 

 

"I am so sorry! I-I can make him leave!" Virgil exclaimed, ignoring the "caw" of protest and quickly making his way toward the window, intent on quite literally throwing this lovable idiot of a bird out of it. (Not that it would hurt Lucky in any way. In fact, Virgil throwing Lucky up into the air and then flying back down to the witch was one of Lucky's favourite games) But Patton's voice made him stop.

 

"Don't you dare!" Patton cried, rushing towards the two but stopping a few feet back as not to scare the bird. "What are you even apologizing for!? This is the coolest thing I've ever seen!" The half pixie cheered, his eyes full of wonder. "He's so cute and sweet! What did you say his name was? His feathers are so pretty! Please don't make him leave!" he begged.

 

Virgil looked between Lucky and Patton for a moment before forcing out an "o-okay..." and lifting lucky up so he could hop onto his shoulder. 

 

"yay!" Patton squealed, "What's his name?" 

 

"Oh! Right, uh... him names Lucky." 

 

"Lucky?" Roman asked, taking a step forward. 

 

Virgil nodded, "I found him when he was a hatchling, took care of him until he was strong enough to survive on his own and released him. He never went far, though, lives in the tree behind the house. I named him lucky because ravens are thought to be bad omens or whatever, so I spun that on its head and named him Lucky." 

 

"Okay..." Roman replied, "Then what in the world is he doing here?" 

 

"He has a  very bad habit  of following me around and an even  worse  habit of  inviting himself into where ever he pleases ." Virgil explained while glaring at the bird on his shoulder and crossing his arms, "Remy used to love leaving the back window open because while I make my- uhm- herbal remedies... they sometimes have a strong smell. Now we have to keep all the windows closed because this idiot just kept flying in whenever he felt like saying hi" 

 

Lucky let out an annoyed sounding caw.

 

"Aww, don't call him that! He's super smart and just wants to spend time with you!" Patton giggled. 

 

"Indeed, it appears he is incredibly intelligent," Logan commented. 

 

Virgil knew that Lucky following him here because he wanted to wasn't the full story, however. He knew that he was panicking when he left the shop, and Lucky probably sensed it and went after him to make sure he was okay. Once the window was open, he took the opportunity. Lucky was adorably stubborn; Virgil would give him that. 

 

Suddenly Lucky did a little hop on Virgil's shoulder, fidgeting with his pitch-black wings restlessly and tilting his head toward Patton. 

 

"What's he doing?" Patton asked curiously. Virgil looked at the raven and rolled his eyes. 

 

"He's asking for permission to fly over to you." 

 

Patton's eyes lit up like fireworks. "Ohmygoodness, of course he can!!!" 

 

"While it's obvious he is intelligent, I highly doubt he is able to comprehend the concept of questions; nevermind is then able to form them and ask them," Logan replied. 

 

Virgil smirked in amusement. He was seriously getting a little tired of this nerd and his doubting. He really wanted to show him just how wrong he was. This was the perfect opportunity. 

 

"You wanna bet?" Virgil replied, raising an eyebrow. 

 

"Pardon?" Logan asked, seemingly shocked that someone would challenge him. 

 

"I'll answer his question without giving him any details about what he was asking. We'll see what he does." 

 

"Very well," Logan replied. 

 

Virgil looked over and the raven, who did his little hop and gesture again. 

 

"Yes." Virgil replied plainly.

 

Lucky cawed happily and immediately jumped from Virgil's shoulder into the air, flapping only twice before gliding over and landing on Patton's shoulder. 

 

"Oh my goodness, hello! My name is Patton! It's nice to meet you, Lucky!" Patton chirped happily, which was a little ironic considering he was talking to a bird. Lucky cawed in reply, causing Patton to giggle. 

 

Virgil smirked at the nerd over Patton's shoulder, feeling very satisfied with the utterly baffled look on his face. The witch could almost see the gears turning in his head. 

 

"There is no way I could have instructed him to do that," Virgil said plainly. "He asked me if he could. All I gave him was permission." 

 

"Impressive," Logan replied, "I still doubt he is able to fully grasp the idea of asking a question. It's more likely he knows the action gets him something he wants." 

 

"agree to disagree," Virgil replied with a shrug. 

 

"Yeah," Patton agreed, "It doesn't matter. What does matter is that the soup is getting cold!" 

Chapter Text

 

While Lucky stayed happily perched on Patton's shoulder, he walked over to the counter and began filling the bowls with soup. He instructed everyone to take a bowl and utensils and find a seat in the living room, as his table was too small for five people. He then went to the cupboard, got a plate, then strained some of the soup's solids and put them on the plate for Lucky to enjoy. Once everyone was situated, Patton broke the silence. 

 

"So, did you guys learn anything useful by talking to Rose?"

 

Luckily for Virgil, Roman went on the explain everything that had happened. Once he was done, Logan spoke up.

 

"I see. That's unfortunate, as we have also hit a bit of a dead-end. I managed to get into Jane's phone with Virgil's help, but I'm unable to crack into Miriam's or Rhy's." He explained before turning to Virgil, "I was hoping to ask if you could use your... ah... third eye to potentially help crack them."

 

Virgil's eyes widened. Of course, Logan couldn't crack Miriam's and Rhy's phones; they had spells on them. Spells  he  put there in case any humans were to find the phones. Reading through Miriam or Rhy's phones could completely expose what they were! Obviously, supernatural's texted others in the village about magic and such. 

 

"Uhm, I can try..." Virgil replied, shifting in his seat. "But we aren't where they died, so it's gunna be a lot harder. Also, it doesn't just work on command." He explained. 

 

Logan just nodded his head and handed Virgil the two phones. The witch looked at them in his hands, anxiously. He closed his eyes, pretending he was focusing on trying to get a 'vision' or whatever it was they thought happened. In reality, his mind was racing, trying to figure out some way out of this! Suddenly an idea hit him. It wasn't the best, but it might work. 

 

Virgil shook his head, opening his eyes and handing the phones back to Logan, "I got nothing for passwords, sorry," Virgil said sheepishly.

 

"I see. That's a shame." Logan replied, and Virgil shrunk in on himself slightly. 

 

"That's okay, kiddo! You tried your best!" Patton commented with a smile. 

 

Virgil nodded, "Uhm, yeah, well, I did feel something, I guess?"

 

Immediately the three detectives sat straighter, leaning toward him with 

Interest. Virgil felt himself tugging on his sleeve in the anxiety of being in the spotlight. 

 

"Uhm, I can't really explain  why  exactly, or like put the feeling into words, just uh, psychic's intuition, I guess? But Miriam and Rhys were the targets. Jane was only in the wrong place at the wrong time." The witch explained, trying to sound as vague as possible while still pushing them in the right direction. He couldn't exactly say they were targeted for being supernaturals. 

 

"hmmm," Logan hummed in thought, "That would make sense. Jane was the only victim not stabbed through the heart. It seems that Jane was only killed when the killer realized she was there and had killed Miriam first, making her the target..." 

 

'Please make the connection; please make the connection,' Virgil's brain screamed. 

 

"Wait," Roman interrupted, "Where did Jane live? Was she from town?" 

 

Virgil smiled slightly. Roman was a good detective; he would give him that. 

 

"No, she lived alone in the city," Patton replied. 

 

"Then what if the killer is targeting people from Spellwood?" 

 

Virgil looked at the floor to hide the smile that grew. Thank you, Roman. He glanced up to see Logan looking at him and quickly made his face go neutral.  

 

"That would make sense," Logan replied, " Serial killers often choose small towns to pray on in hopes of drawing less attention from the media and police."

 

The detectives sat in silent contemplation for a moment before Virgil spoke up. "Is everyone done their soup? I can do the dishes." 

 

"Nonsense, kiddo!" Patton replied, jumping to his feet after Virgil stood up. "You're a guest! I can't let you do the dishes!" 

 

"Please, Patton? You've already invited me, a stranger, over to your house for supper and not only put up with that goof-" He gestured to Lucky, who had just finished his plate of veggies "-but spoiled him as well. The dishes are the least I can do to thank you. Please? If anything, just so my anxiety doesn't make me feel bad later?" 

 

Patton pouted, "Okay, if your sure, kiddo... But, your not a stranger! You're a friend!" 

 

Virgil blushed and gave a small smile, feeling some warm sensation swirling in his chest. Then he felt his stomach fall as he remembered that this was only temporary. He was only here to help with the investigation, and once it was over, so would this 'friendship.' It had to be; it was safer. He couldn't have human friends; he couldn't risk them finding out the truth. 

 

Quickly, he gathered all the dishes and made his way into the kitchen to begin washing them in the sink. Obviously, he could use magic to do this, but he wanted to take the time alone to calm himself.

 

So he stayed in the kitchen, cleaning the dishes one by one in the sink as he listened to the three detectives in the living room discussing the case. It stayed this way for about 20 minutes until his magic sensed a figure approaching behind him. He glanced over his shoulder to see Logan walking up to him. 

 

"What's up?" Virgil forced himself to ask as he began working on cleaning the last dish. 

 

"I was hoping to speak with you," Logan replied, which did nothing to soothe Virgil's rising anxiety. 

 

"Sure?" Virgil replied uncertainly, watching as Logan nodded, and began putting the dishes he was done with away into cupboards. 

 

"It... occurred to me that when we first met, we may have... 'gotten off on the wrong foot,' as some would say." Logan began. Virgil had to force himself not to roll his eyes at that. 

 

"I realized," he continued, "That I never explained or gave a reason behind my behaviour." 

 

"You don't have to if you don't want to," Virgil replied, hearing the slight apprehension in the detective's voice, but Logan shook his head.

 

"I do not feel forced. I wish to do this, as I feel it is only fair, but I also wish to vanquish any distrust between us. Now that we are working together, I hope this can also act as a way to 'start over' in our relationship." 

 

Virgil simply nodded, completely unsure how else to respond to the weird way this guy spoke. 

 

"As you already know," Logan began, "My mother passed away due to pneumonia. When her symptoms first appeared, she went to a herbal remedy store in town for medication. She continued to get worse, however, but was still convinced that the 'herbal remedies' she was buying would cure her. By the time we convinced her to go to the hospital, it was too late. They did everything they could to try to save her, but she was too far gone." he explained. 

 

Virgil swallowed thickly.

 

"It is my belief," Logan continued, "That had she trusted in modern medicine from the start, she would still be with us." 

 

There were a few moments of tense silence between them before Virgil finally replied. 

 

"I am so fucking sorry, Logan. That's horrible. I hate scammers who fake it and are just in it for the money; they give us such a bad name. Any real herbal remedy shop would have told her to go to a doctor," 

 

"Pardon?" Logan asked, his voice uncharacteristically surprised. 

 

The witch turned to face the detective. While he focused much more on potions and magic, he did make the occasional herbal remedy. Despite this, he knew many witches and dryads and more who made plenty of them, and the idea of anyone letting a person, who clearly wasn't getting better, die just to make some money made his blood boil. 

 

"Herbal remedies can help with a lot of things," Virgil explained. "But they aren't magic" He hadn't meant to say that, but luckily, Logan wouldn't take it the literal way. "When she first came into the shop, I can see someone giving her something to help her cough or sore throat or whatever. But if she came back the next time, clearly worse than she was before, any real herbal remedy shop owner would tell her to go to a doctor. The idea that someone was so selfish that they just kept selling her stuff makes me sick." 

 

Logan didn't say anything for a moment as he processed the information before finally nodding and continuing to put the dishes away. 

 

"I admit I am... surprised to hear you say such things but am also relieved that not all herbal remedy shops are the same way. Luckily the one my mother had gone to close down shortly after. Regardless I hope you can understand my... strong reactions towards you when we first met" 

 

"All is forgiven, don't worry about it," Virgil replied, watching as Logan closed the cupboard door and began massaging his wrist. "You okay?"

 

"Carpel tunnel, consequences of working at a computer all day." 

 

Virgil just nodded. 

 

"Another thing I wish to clarify," Logan continued. "Is that I struggle with emotions and social cues, especially when conversing with others. I've been told this can make me come off as 'cold' or even 'aggressive,' but this is not my intention. I was not attempting to argue with you earlier, merely debate. I do not claim to know everything, and not only enjoy learning, but enjoy being proven wrong." 

 

"Really?" Virgil interrupted in shock before slamming a hand over his mouth and muttering an apology. Logan, however, just chuckled. 

 

"I'm aware it's supposedly surprising, but yes. Being proven wrong not only means the result was unexpected, but it opens an opportunity to learn. I should have explained this before I began debating with you, but my curiosity got the best of me, and for that, I apologize." 

 

"No worries," Virgil replied, seemingly deep in thought about something. 

 

Logan let him think for a moment before prompting him. "Is something on your mind?" 

 

"Huh? Yes, well. You really like being proven wrong?" 

 

Logan nodded. 

 

"Then let me prove you wrong. I can make you something to help with your wrist. Free of charge, of course. Just let me prove that not all of us are scams." Virgil asked, fidgeting with his sleeve nervously. This was probably a bad idea. 

 

After a moment of contemplation, Logan nodded. "Very well." 

 

"Awesome," Virgil replied with a smile when suddenly his phone went off. He pulled it out to see Remy asking him where he was and- holy crap; it was already 7:30. 

 

He quickly made his way into the living room.

 

"Hey Patton, thank you again for supper. I hate to leave abruptly, but I lost track of time and promised I'd be at the end of Rhys memorial tonight." 

 

"Oh! Don't worry about it, kiddo! Thank you for coming!" Patton replied with a smile, standing up from the sofa. 

 

Suddenly Lucky made a "caw!" 

 

"Yes, I know. I'll see you later, okay? Now go home!" Virgil replied, trying to sound stern by failing to hide the fondness in his voice. Lucky cawed in response before jumping up and taking off, flying out the still open window. 

 

"Bye, Lucky! Come back any time!" Patton cheered with a wave, closing the window before making his way over to the witch to give him a goodbye hug. 

 

"I can give you a ride home," Roman offered, standing up and pulling his keys out of his pocket. 

 

"Thanks, but it's okay; Remy is coming to get me," Virgil replied, making his way to the door. 

 

"It may be wise to get your phone number before you leave; that way, we can contact you without going all the way to your store," Logan commented. 

 

"Oh yeah, sure!" However, before anyone could pull out a phone, Virgil pulled a pen and scrap of paper out of his pocket and began to scribble his number. 

 

Had Logan stopped to think about it, he would have realized that the pen was surely larger than the pocket. Luckily, Logan didn't stop to think about it. 

 

"Wow, what else do you have in those pockets of yours?" Roman joked. 

 

"Jeez, princey," Virgil replied with a large smirk, handing the scrap of paper to the other, "You're already getting my number; at least take me out to dinner first before you start asking about what's in my clothes."

 

The witch relished in just how red the detectives face got as he sputtered. Patton just laughed, and even Logan chuckled.  

 

"Alright, see ya," Virgil replied, giving a two-finger salute, listening to all 3 of the goodbyes before leaving and closing the door behind him. 

Chapter Text

As soon as Virgil was out of the apartment, he pulled his hood up and put his head down, quickly making his way into the back alley. He heard the fall leaves blowing down the street behind him. Once he was sure no-one was around, he pulled out his phone to text Remy. 

"Need you to come get me; I need my energy." 

"You mean with the car?" 

"No, no ones around."

"Roger that" 


He slipped his phone into his pocket, and a few seconds later, there was a bright flash of deep red and orange next to him. 

"Hello, sugar," Remy purred with a smirk, causing Virgil to roll his eyes.

"I know your like, 1/8th succubus or whatever, but seriously shut up," Virgil replied in mock annoyance. 

Remy laughed as he extended a hand. "Awe, you're no fun." 

"mhm," Virgil replied as he took the extended hand and closed his eyes. After a moment, he opened them to see the bar around him. 

"Virgil!" He heard multiple cheers, causing a smile to break out on his face. 

"Hey, everyone, sorry I'm late." 

"Don't worry about it!" Rose said as she walked up to him. "You're here now, and after everything, I think you've earned a drink" She laughed.

Virgil gave a sympathetic smile. "As much as I agree with you, Rosie, I can't. I need my magic to cooperate with me tonight." 

"Why's that?" 

"Gunna put up some protection spells around town once the moon comes up," Virgil replied, causing Rose to smile. 

"Of course. You've always been our protector," She replied, causing Virgil to blush slightly. 

"Just doing what I can." 

"Exactly!" Rose cheered, getting a mischievous look in her eyes. "And the least you can do is party with us until the moon comes up!" 

Virgil laughed, "Fine." he replied before letting Rose drag him off into the crowd. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

As soon as the door to Patton's apartment was closed, Logan spoke up. 

"I still don't fully trust him." 

"Me neither," Roman agreed.

"Guys!" Patton cried, "You promised me he wasn't going to be a suspect!" 

"He isn't Patton, but he is lying about something. Roman and I are trained in interrogation and how to tell when someone is lying. For example, a sign of lying is when someone won't look you in the eyes. Now I'm aware he clearly has anxiety, but during our talk in the kitchen, he was able to keep eye contact the entire time he was telling me he was sorry about what happened with my mother and that the idea of someone doing such made him sick. That was the complete truth. He also offered to prove to me herbal remedies do work by giving me something for my wrist and kept eye contact most of that time as well. Along with that, his body language and tone all line up with it. However, when we were out here, he only met our eyes about half the time, and his body language and facial expressions were all over the place. He is only telling us the half-truth at best." 

"I know you like him, Patton, but you have to admit something seems off," Roman commented. 

Patton shook his head, "I trust him, and I think you guys are judging someone who is willingly helping us too quickly." 

Roman went to argue, but Logan spoke first, "That is a fair opinion, Patton. That is why I accepted his offer for something to help with my Carpel tunnel. Its effectiveness will give me more insight into the situation."

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Virgil said hi to the many of the different supernaturals, having to turn down yet another free drink offered from Alonzo, the vampire who owned the bar.
He had to answer many questions about his involvement with the police and how the investigation was going, until finally, after about an hour and a half, he checked his phone. 

"Alright, it's time; I gotta fly, guys." 

"I'm coming with you," Rose said, setting her drink down at the bar. 

"Thanks for the offer Rosie but-"

"Nobody is going out alone after dark," She replied, giving him a look that said he didn't have a choice.  

"Alright, fine, just-"

"Okay, great. Remy!" She called. Suddenly, Remy, Remus and Janus appeared out of the crowd. 

"Oh, are we going already?" Remus asked. 

"Whoa, whoa, whoa sense when is every going?" Virgil asked in shock. 

"Since we heard you were going out to cast protections," Janus replied as if that was obvious. 

"Guy's I'll be fin-"

"Don't you even try me, babes."
"There's no way you're going alone." 
"It's better to be safe." 

Remy, Remus, and Rose all spoke at the same time before Janus sighed. 

"Virgil, trust me, I feel bad for whatever moron tries to stab you," Janus said, causing the group to laugh before he continued, "But a stab wound takes a long time to heal, which is just better to avoid, don't you think?" 

Virgil laughed. "Alright, you got me there, but we're stopping at the store first."

They all nodded. 

After saying goodbye to everyone, Virgil, Remus, Janus, Remy and Rose all left the bar and walked over to the store. 

"Alright, everyone stay here; I'll be back in a minute," Virgil said once they arrived 5 minutes later. He went into his workshop and slipped on his cloak before digging around through the various bins and shelves. After another 10 minutes, he came back. 

"Alright, everyone is wearing one of these," He explained, holding up a handful of necklaces with perfectly circular jewels hanging from them. 

"What are those?" 

"Whatever is doing this is messing with the souls," The witch said, causing everyone's eye's to go wide. "These are a backup. If something were to happen, they would store your soul in the jewel for an hour, which ensures I'd be able to bring you back." 

"Good idea," Rose commented as she took hers first, followed by the others. 

"They will also place a tracking spell on anyone that attacks the wearer, meaning no play fighting." Virgil continued, rolling his eyes at Remus, disappointed 'aweeee.' 

"alright. Here's the plan. Remus, Remy and Dee, I need you 3 to do something at the main road for me, while-" 

He was interrupted by a slurry of disapproving comments, overlapping each other till he couldn't make them out. He rolled his eyes before clapping his hands loudly, using a spell to amplify the noise and causing his friends to jump.

"Enough," He said flatly. "Remus and Remy are the strongest after me when it comes to fighting. Rose and Janus are forest spirits, meaning they are the most in touch with the forest and should be able to sense someone approaching nearby. You three are only going to place these runes on either side of the main road," Virgil explained, holding his hand up to reveal 2 runestones. "All of these protections spells will cause a lot of light, so we need to be alerted if any humans decide to make an unexpected stop. After that, you guys are going to meet back up with me and Rose by the lake." 

The others looked between each other for a moment before Janus sighed, "You can't argue with his logic."

Everyone nodded, and Janus took the two runes from Virgil's hands. 

"Thank you," Virgil replied. "alright, let's go." 

After splitting up, He and Rose made their way toward the lake where Miriam was killed. 

Chapter Text

"Are you sure splitting up was... the right way to go about this?" Rose questioned as she and Virgil made their way towards the lake. The gravel of the road crunched under their feet, and leaves rustled all around them. The sky and forest encompassing them was dark and only getting darker as clouds came rolling across the sky to block out the moonlight. 

 

"No," Virgil conceded, giving a defeated sigh, "I'm not sure what the right thing to do anymore is. We have so many questions and so few answers. My mind has constantly been racing, making me second guess everything around me, every action I've made. I question over and over whether there was some way I could have saved Miriam, Jane or Rhys-"

 

"You know there wasn't." Rose interrupted. 

 

"I know" Virgil sighed again, "At the end of the day, the only thing I can't let myself second guess is  them ." 

 

"What do you mean?" 

 

"I can't be here 24/7 to protect them; I know that. I already stress about the fact Remy is left alone in the shop all day now. I realized before this started, I would have  never  second-guessed whether Remy could protect himself, and I can't start to now. "

 

"So then why did you send them to place the runes if you could be protecting them now?"

 

"I sent them away to re-prove to myself that they can handle themselves, just as a way to remind myself that they will be fine without my protection 24/7" 

 

Rose nodded, thinking over the other's words slowly. It did make sense but also went to show just how worried this soul magic thing had the witch in question. She didn't know much about soul magic, but she knew it was bad news. Remy and Remus had practice fighting, Remy especially, so if something was making Virgil worry about them... 

 

"So, what kind of spells are you planning to do?" Rose asked, deciding to change the subject. 

 

"There's not many I can cast without disrupting the area." 

 

"What do you mean?" 

 

"well, for example, I could cast a spell that would freeze anything that walks through its perimeter, making it unable to move. The problem is it would affect everyone and everything. "

 

"yeah, I can see that being a problem. What about something that lets you know if someone dies within a certain area?" 

 

Virgil shook his head. "Also not that simple. Spells are designed for either everything or something specific. I could cast a spell to tell me if anything dies, but I don't need an alert every time an ant gets stepped on. On the other side, I could cast a spell to tell me if a Siren, for example, gets killed in the woods. But there are a dozen or more different supernaturals in the village, all of which would need their own spell."

 

"Darn" 

 

Soon enough, they arrived at the lake. Virgil picked up a stick and started drawing a complicated rune into the gravel. 

 

"So, what  are  you casting?" 

 

"One spell will... record things, in a sense. It will let me look at the ground and show me where people have been walking. The second spell makes it so anything that dies in the area; their soul will get the equivalent of a tracking tag put on it. I need to find out what's happening to all these souls and figure out where they are going. The last spell will alert me to anything super powerful in the area. Whatever is doing this has to be powerful enough to do soul magic. That's our best bet to detect it. " 

 

Finally, the first rune was drawn, and Virgil muttered the spell under his breath, watching the symbol light up a bright blue before all the light faded. After a second of nothing, there was an eruption of light and the sound of electricity crackling through the air. 

 

"Holy crap," Rose said, "I knew you were... but... seeing it is something else." 

 

Virgil looked at her in confusion, squinting his eyes and tilting his head, "I don't know what you heard, I know the locals like to talk me up or whatever, but I'm nothing special." 

 

Rose just smiled, "I know." 

 

Suddenly there was a crunch of gravel behind them, and they both spun around. Virgil's eyes lit up a bright purple, and Rose's began glowing a bright emerald green, which was how most supernatural's reacted when threatened, like a bird ruffling their feathers. Virgil remembered the first time he accidentally startled a group of supernaturals in town and was rewarded with a rave of multicoloured glowing eyes looking at him. 

 

"Whoa, calm down, put the light show away," A voice exclaimed. A voice Virgil immediately recognized. 

 

"Jesus, guys, don't give us a heart attack like that," Virgil replied, releasing the breath he had been holding and watching the three silhouettes getting closer. He ran his fingers through his hair.

 

See? They were fine. They can take care of themselves. 

Virgil would be lying if he said he wasn't a bit relieved, but it had done what it was meant to. It reassured him. That was all he needed right now. 

 

Virgil opened his hand, and a ball of purple began forming, growing bigger and bigger until he gently cast it up into the air. The group watched as the purple sphere of swirling magic changed and shifted into a whiter colour, emitting light around them. 

 

"Now we can actually see shit," Virgil muttered. 

 

"How's it going?" Janus asked, the glow of Virgil's magic shimmering off the scales on the one side of his face, reflecting the light in a way that made them look as if they were glowing as well. 

 

"Got one done, still got more to do." 

 

"I like your light source," Rose commented with a smirk, pushing her long bright red hair back over her shoulder. "But, I like mine better." 

 

Suddenly her eyes began to glow, and small, glowing butterflies started to appear in the air around them, flapping slowly and gently through the air. They watched as more and more appeared, lighting up the clearing around the like a night sky, with stars made of butterflies. Immediately, Remus ran to catch one, causing his boyfriend to sigh and facepalm, but he betrayed his mock annoyance by watching the other with a fond smile. 

 

"Show off," Virgil teased.

 

"You need your energy, don't waste it on something we can do," Rose replied. The witch just nodded, and the glowing ball above them faded. 

 

"Then, does one of you want to enchant the area to protect the spells I'm casting?" 

 

"On it," Rose replied, kneeling down and beginning to draw symbols into the gravel around her with her finger. 

 

"What about you, guys? Anything out of the ordinary?" 

 

"Nothing other than Remus," Remy joked, tilting his head toward the other, who was still chasing butterflies.

 

"Well..." Janus interuptted. 

 

"What?" Virgil asked.

 

"I got a call from the fae earlier today..." 

 

"Oh, wonderful." Remy replied, throwing his hands up into the air.

 

"What did they want?" Virgil asked. 

 

"They said something has been disturbing the magic balance in the area. They are sensing some form of corruption but can't tell where it's coming from," 

 

"Great, one more piece to add to the puzzle," Virgil replied, running his fingers through his hair again before crossing his arms, "Let me guess, they wanted to check it wasn't me?" He asked with a raised eyebrow.

 

"No, they just said they were hoping you could look into it. Although, if what you're saying about whoever is doing this is true and they are also doing soul magic, I'd place bets on who our culprit is. "

 

"Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised," Virgil replied, slightly under his breath. 

 

Virgil turned toward the lake and began making motions in the air, focusing on the spell and oblivious to the others behind him, who started to wander. Remus and Janus went to sit on the rocks. Remy stood next to him; arm's crossed as he gazed out across the lake. Sunglasses long abandoned and clipped on his shirt. Rose stood behind them once she was finished her spell, watching Virgil from over his shoulder. 

 

About 20 minutes had passed, and Virgil just finished casting the last spell when a sharp groan of pain made them spin around. What they saw was Rose, stood there with a knife wound in her stomach and a hooded figure stumbling back behind her, hand over his face from where Rose had head-butted him with the back of her head. Blood ran down over his mouth and chin from his nose. 

 

Suddenly there was an explosion of purple, and the hooded figure was sent cascading backwards through the air, poetically slamming into the same tree Miriam had. Then there was a blur of black, green and brown, and Remus was at the tree, holding the guy against it by the throat. 

 

"You fucked with the wrong crowd," Remus growled. 

 

The figure was about 5'9 and an average build. Based on the low growl of pain, it was a male. He wore a thick black hoodie and had a black mask over his nose and mouth, along with dark blue jeans and black sneakers. What they could see of the top of his face showed he had lightly tanned skin and brown eyes. He was pinned against the tree by his throat, elevated off the ground. 

 

Suddenly, the figure's free hand jerked, and there was an explosion of electricity, sending Remus flying backwards. 

 

"I wouldn't be so sure," A low, growling voice replied. 

 

"Then allow me to clarify," Virgil said, stepping in front of Rose protectively and letting his eyes change to a solid, bright glowing purple. Suddenly black swirls of smoke crawled down his arms and danced around his clenched fists. The hooded figure's eyes widened, and he stumbled backwards.

 

"You fucked with the wrong  shadow witch ." 

 

Suddenly the figure was thrown to the ground, then launched back against the tree once more. 

 

Virgil heard Remy struggling behind him, and he knew he would have to apologize later. He began walking toward the figure, who was thrashing against the tree. Then something in the killer seemed to cave, and he stopped struggling, almost relaxing his body limply back against the tree. Before anyone could react, the figure brought the knife to his wrist, and in one, confident slash, cut it deeply. 

 

For a brief moment, the figure had a manic wildness in his eyes as his gaze met Virgil's. Despite the mask over his nose and mouth, Virgil knew the cloth hid a manic smile insane enough to match the eyes above it. 

 

Suddenly, the figure vanished. Completly into thin air, gone. No portal, no fading away, no poof of smoke or magic. Just gone, in the blink of an eye. One moment he was there; the next, there was nothing.

 

Virgil's eyes scanned the area rapidly, looking back and forth between the trees, before closing his eyes and reaching out with his magic. He felt his shadows leech forward, wrapping and curling around surfaces, like snakes over the ground and ivy on walls; They made their way out in search, twisting and turning into every crevice they could find. 

 

"V-Vee!" Remy coughed, which snapped him back to reality. In a second, all the shadows faded. The killer wasn't close by; that's all that mattered. 

 

Immediately Virgil spun around, seeing Remus still laying in the gravel where he had been thrown; Janus crouched beside him. He watched Remus groan as he sat up, his boyfriend helping him do so. Based on that, he assumed Remus was okay and made his way to Remy and Rose. 

 

"I'm so sorry, Rem," Virgil said as he ran to his friend's side.

 

"It's okay; It was just hard to keep-" 

 

"I know, I know," Virgil cut him off, helping the demon to his feet before turning to rose, who was kneeling on the ground, clutching her stomach. 

 

"Remind me never to get on your bad side," Virgil joked as he and Remy helped her to her feet. 

 

"So much for you being nothing special, huh?" she teased, wincing as her hand flew to the bleeding wound in her abdomen. 

 

"I know, I'm sorry; you know I couldn't-" 

 

"I get it, you're fine," She replied with a smile as she slumped into Remy, releasing her hold on Virgil so he could help Remus over to them. 

 

"Vee, I can't," Remy said once the other 3 made it over. 

 

"I know I'm going to have to," Virgil replied. 

 

"Are you sure? That's five people." 

 

"I have to Rem, release some of my magic for me." 

 

"Wait what?!"

 

"It's the only way I'll be able to Rem; I'll be fine, promise." 

 

"Okay..." Remy replied before snapping his fingers. Immediately Virgil felt the surge coarse through him. He winced, grappling for control of it, taking a step back away from his friends as he clenched his fists. It felt like drinking 100 cups of coffee; that was the closest thing he could try to compare it to. Like there was electricity in his veins that willed his muscles to twitch, and he was fighting it. After a minute, he finally managed to wrangle with the magic in him enough to force it to calm down. 

 

"Everyone hold hands," He grit out through his teeth. Everyone obeyed, linking hands in a circle. As soon as it was complete, there was a crack of what sounded like lightning and a flash of light, and everyone found themselves in Virgil's living room. 

 

As soon as the ground was back under his feet, Virgil collapsed to his knees, letting out a massive sigh of relief. Janus helped his boyfriend over to the couch, and Remy and Rose simply flopped backwards onto the other sofa. 

 

"You good?" Janus asked, couching next to the witch. 

 

"Yep," Virgil replied as he stood up. "Now, can you follow me to the workshop? Were gunna need some potions and stuff." 

 

Chapter Text

It was about an hour later when everyone had settled back down into the living room. Remus had been okay, simply got the air knocked out of him. Remy also recovered quickly with a cup of coffee. Rose was in the worst shape of all but was healing quickly thanks to both her own magic, one of Virgil's potion, and a bit of Janus's healing spells. 

 

Remy was now laid back on the couch; Rose sat back against him, his arm over her shoulders along the back of the sofa. This was both for comfort and so Remy could help her replace her bandages. Remy and Rose were very close friends, and without Rhys, they both needed the presence of the other more than they would admit. Rose always joked that Remy was her "Gay best friend who could take her shopping."; A title Remy was more than happy to accept. 

 

Remus and Janus had just returned and were now cuddled on the other couch. They had gone into the other room because Remus was hungry, but Janus didn't want to get a bit in front of everyone, which caused everyone to laugh and subsequently only made the snake blush more. Remy had made a few teasing comments once they had returned but was too tired to put much thought into them. It wasn't like a vampire feeding was something they weren't  very  used to; plus, no one could deny how much better Remus looked now. 

 

Virgil, however, was looking anything but. He was pacing back and forth in front of the fireplace, doing all of his nervous ticks, mainly fidgeting as he went. His eyes seemed to dart everywhere and nowhere at the same time, going back and forth like he was reading something in front of him, yet his eyes were distant, staring off into space. 

 

"You're going to run a rut in the floor there, babes." 

 

Suddenly Virgil seemed to snap back to earth. "I- right, s-sorry." He replied, fidgeting with the hem of his cloak. It was clear his breathing was slightly faster. 

 

"Vee, breath, everyone's okay," Rose said, extending her hand and gesturing for Virgil to sit down in the armchair. The witch obliged, sitting down and immediately pulling his feet up and turning, so his back was against the arm of the chair, and he was facing Rose. 

 

"so, am I allowed to ask?"

 

"There isn't much to it really; it's not like I'm lying... I am a witch; I do specialize in necromancy..." 

 

"Except your a special kind thought to be extinct for over 2000 years?" 

 

Virgil didn't say anything, staring into the distance at nothing, lost in his own mind and deep his own thoughts, but he physically flinched at Rose's words. Rose glanced over to Janus, to see him making a slicing motion with his hand in front of his throat, and she got the message. 

 

"What about you then?" she asked, tipping her head back to look at Remy, "what happened to you? You just kind of collapsed. Had me worried." 

 

"I'm sorry, I had YOU worried?" Remy teased, looking at her like she was crazy.

 

"My magic is hard to control, and I have way too much of it," Virgil muttered, still staring off into space. "Remy helped me by locking some of my magic away; he acts as kind of a... dam, to control the magic flow and prevent any floods. If I start using a lot of magic, like I did back there, he has to put a lot of energy into keeping the dam from breaking." 

 

"Basically," Remus joined in, "You can thank Remrem here for there still being buildings standing within a 10-kilometre radius." 

 

"Jesus," Rose replied, sounding completely baffled. 

 

"Please don't be scared of me," Virgil all but whispered. His voice sounded so desperate, broken and pleading; Like he was at the edge of tears, and every word he spoke was a struggle. It broke Rose's heart.

 

"Vee, if it weren't for the hole in my stomach, I would tackle hug you right now, you loveable idiot. You keep this whole town safe, and I trust you with my life; I could never be afraid of you, not for a second." 

 

Virgil nodded, seeming to wipe something from his eye in his cloak sleeve before abruptly standing up, seemingly shoving his emotions down his throat. "Okay, I'm assuming everyone is staying the night then? Considering I don't think any of us want any of the others going out there again tonight?" 

 

The group glanced between themselves before nodding. 

 

"Great, I'm going to go get some blankets and pillows, and then we can all head to bed. We're gunna need our energy for tomorrow." 

 

With that, Virgil almost ran out of the room. Once he was gone, Remy spoke.

 

"Somethings not right. I've seen him worry; I know when he's anxious about trivial things. This isn't one of them; something is seriously off." 

 

"I should have known you'd be able to tell," Virgil spoke as he came back in, apparently getting blankets way quicker than anyone expected. 

 

"Virge," Janus said, standing up and putting a gloved hand onto the witch's shoulder and giving him a look that was both encouraging and pleading. Virgil gave a defeated sigh. 

 

"I'm going to have to tell the detectives the truth." 

 

"WHAT!?"

"Your joking, right?" 

"I think you hit your head in that fight." 

"Your right, you will." 

 

Everyone turned to Rose, the only one to agree with him, but she just nodded her head toward Virgil, prompting him to go on. 

 

"This case isn't just going to go away... they are going to keep investigating... and that's good. But what happens if they find him? I mean, you saw what just happened! They wouldn't stand a chance! I can't just stand by and let them walk right into their deaths!" 

 

Janus took one of the blankets and wrapped it around him and Remus on the couch while the witch spoke. Remy had also spread one out over Rose and himself, leaving Virgil with one of his own. 

 

"Veevee, breath," Remus muttered, noticing that the witch was beginning to breath faster again. 

 

"Yeah, come join the cuddle pile," Rose said, and Remy extended his other arm enough for a Virgil sized witch to curl up against his other side. Virgil gave them a lopsided smile but didn't move. When Remy just continued to wait, however, he caved, rolling his eyes with a fond smile and plopping himself down next to the demon and dryad, immediately feeling calmer when Remy's arm wrapped around him. He felt Rose affectionately ruffle his hair gently. 

 

Virgil would have to remind himself that sometimes, platonic cuddles were better than any calming spell. 

 

"we'll figure it out, Vee; if they get too close, we'll have to tell them," Rose said. 

 

"Yeah, we don't have to decide right this minute," Janus commented.

 

"The idea of my brother finding out the truth about me makes my stomach feel like its being pulled out of my throat and-" 

 

"Okay, I think they get the idea, dear," Janus interrupted his boyfriend. 

 

Everyone laughed, and Virgil let out a shaky sigh, leaning back into the demon but continuing to fidget with his hands.

 

Remy caught the motion. 

 

"That's not all there is to it, is it?" Remy stated more than asked. Virgil gave yet another defeated sigh, thumping his head back against the demon in defeat before looking at the others again. 

 

"I've just never seen magic like that before or even heard of it. Slitting your own wrist to vanish? I think I've figured out the electric shockwave; I think he was wearing an enchant ring, and by pressing it, it set the spell off. But the vanishing thing? I-... I don't have any idea..." 

 

"Well, I'm not surprised," Janus replied, "If whatever he is is powerful enough to do soul magic, who knows what else he can do." 

 

"That... that's the thing..." Virgil stuttered. 

 

"What do you mean?" Rose asked. 

 

"The killer... he's-..., well based on what I sensed-... it's... he's..." 

 

"Vee, breath, what is it?" Remy asked, combing his fingers through the anxious's witches' hair in an attempt to soothe him. After a moment, Virgil finally seemed to gain enough composure to speak. 

 

"He's  human ." 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

" Sir, tonight was a success, but I came across something... unexpected. A shadow witch." 

 

"Ah, yes, I know the one; I've had my eye on him for a while." 

 

"Why's that, Sir?"

 

"Because he is powerful, you fool! He's stronger than you or I could ever hope to be" 

 

"What are my orders then, sir?" 

 

"Continue as instructed, but keep an eye on the witch." 

 

"What am I to do if I cross paths with him again?" 

 

"Do not fret. He may be strong, but he has a weakness." 

 

"What is it?"

 

" His strength ."

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

 

Virgil, being a light sleeper, was the first to wake up. Instead of being woken up by the sun or the birds singing, he was woken by what sounded like anxious knocking on the front door. 

 

He yawned, pulling himself up off the sofa as he slipped out from under Remy's arm. He paused for a moment, looking over his friends with a soft smile. The sight of them all sleeping peacefully was a mental image he would want to keep forever. 

 

That quick rapping of a fist against the door started up again; however, and Virgil sighed, running a hand through his hair as he trudged out and past the counter toward the door. As soon as he opened it, he didn't even have the time to register who was in front of him before the figure leapt at him, throwing their arms around his neck. 

 

Thankfully, he managed to recognize the person's aura just before his magic lashed out, and barely at that. He was lucky, though, because he would never have forgiven himself if he sent Patton flying across the road. 

 

"Oh, thank GOD you're okay! Don't you EVER scare me like that again! Ohmygoodness, I was so worried, oh, I'm so glad you're okay!" The half pixie rambled as Virgil tried to get his brain to catch up, his body having barely managed to catch  himself  from falling when the detective collided with him. He was still recovering from  that .

 

"I- Patton, s-slow down..." Virgil replied, rubbing his forehead and squinting from the sunlight in his eyes. It was too early for this. 

 

That was when he realized; the sun didn't hit the front of the shop in the mornings and-  holy crap; it was past noon .

 

Finally, Virgil's body and brain seemed to wake up, and he focused enough to see Roman, a distressed yet now relieved look on his face, was standing behind Patton on the front porch. 

 

Patton was still hugging him

 

Gently but swiftly, Virgil guided Patton back a few steps by the shoulders so he could look at his face. It was then he realized Patton had been  crying .

 

"I-" Virgil shook his head, trying to free his brain of the cobwebs so he could think straight, "What the  hell  is going on?" he asked, glancing between Patton and Roman in confusion. 

 

"We've been trying to get ahold of you for  hours ," Patton shouted, though it wasn't out of anger, Virgil could hear the fear and desperation in his voice. "We were calling your phone, and neither you nor Remy was picking up, t-then we went to the bar, where you said you were going to the memorial last night, cuz we were worried, and they said you guys had gone out late last night a-and-" 

 

Oh.

 

"Patton? Patton- hey, look at me," Virgil said, meeting eyes with the other softly, who was now almost hyperventilating, "Everyone's okay. I'm okay." he reassured.

 

Immediately another tear ran down Patton's cheek, and he launched himself back at the witch. Luckily, Virgil was more prepared this time, and he managed to grab the door frame with one hand to keep them from toppling over. Patton's hugs were usually soft, warm and cuddly, but this one felt like an anaconda death grip, like if Patton let go, he could lose Virgil forever. 

 

Virgil ran his hand back and forth on Patton's back to try and soothe him as he looked up to Roman in bewilderment. Was Patton really that worried about him? 

 

"In case it wasn't obvious," Roman said, crossing his arms, smirking slightly and leaning against the wooden deck post as he took in the scene in front of him. "He's already adopted you, and there isn't much you can do about it." 

 

Suddenly that warm fuzzy feeling was back, swirling around in Virgil's chest, and this time, he just let himself enjoy it. He didn't  want  to do anything about it right now. The warmth curled around his lungs, and suddenly the air seemed easier to breathe. He glanced back down at Patton, who finally seemed to be calming down now that he had accepted the witch was okay. He let his body and muscles, which he didn't realize, were tensed, relax into the hug.

 

"I was  so worried  I was going to find you waiting for me in a drawer in the morgue," Patton whimpered, sniffling quietly. 

 

Virgil just looked down at him with a fond smile, despite the detective being unable to see it. "We were out late, so everyone stayed over for a sleepover. We must have fallen asleep before plugging in our phones. Everyone's fine. I'm sorry for scaring you." 

 

The witch may have appeared calm and happy, but in truth, he was masterfully hiding the rising levels of panic as the events of the night prior came back to him. 

 

Before anyone said anything else, the sound of gravel against car tires getting closer made everyone turn to look at the road, watching as Logan's car pulled up. As soon as he was parked, he stepped out and turned toward them.

 

"I see we have found him," he stated, though there was a small smile on his face at sight in front of him. 

 

"Wait," Virgil asked as his brain seemed to piece the situation together, "What had you guys so worried? I mean, I'm flattered to know you care so much but, surely you don't go check on everyone you know whenever they don't respond to their phone for a few hours?" 

 

Roman's eyebrows raised, an impressed expression on his face. "Damn, you should have been a detective." 

 

In his arms, Patton finally stepped back away from the hug, wiping the remaining wetness on his cheeks away into his sleeve. He glanced back at the others, exchanging a glance that did nothing to calm Virgil's rising nerves. 

 

"What?" He asked anxiously.

 

"We have some... unpleasant news," Logan said as he approached, stopping before stepping up onto the porch stair behind Roman. 

 

"Yeah, this suspense really isn't helping my anxiety right now," Virgil deadpanned, crossing his arms and leaning on the doorframe next to him.

 

"There was another victim last night," Patton replied. 

 

There were a couple of moments of silence as the words settled in Virgil's head. 

 

"Fuck..." He huffed under his breath.

 

After another moment of silence, the witch spoke again "Do we know who...?"

 

"Not yet; we're in the process of identifying the victim, though he is a male in his mid-30s." 

 

"Do we have an approximate time of death yet?" 

 

The three detectives shared confused glances at each other before Patton spoke up. 

 

"The body is currently on it's way to the morgue for me to do an autopsy, but based on what I saw earlier, we're guessing the time of death was somewhere between 7 and 8 o'clock last night." 

 

'Damn it. That would have been before the spells were in place.'  Virgil thought to himself before he became even angrier at the realization that: ' That mother fucker had already killed someone that night, yet wasn't satisfied and still made a go at us.'

 

Suddenly the noise of footsteps jogging up behind him made Virgil glace over his shoulder. 

 

"There you are, Veevee! We were wondering where you scampered off too! What's happening out her-... oh." Remus said, appearing right behind Virgil and trailing off when he locked eyes with his brother, who he could now see over Virgil's shoulder. 

 

There was a sharp inhale of breath from one or more of them as there was a second of tense silence. Remus, of course, couldn't let that last longer than a second and was able to quickly recover like nothing had happened. 

 

He glanced over to the other two detectives and gave them a manic smile. 

 

"Oh! These must be your new detective buddies! Duty calls, huh? Alright, well, don't let me hold you up! Me and Deedee will be in our bed if you need us!" 

 

With that, he gave a wave and turned to begin walking away. Virgil made a confused face, deep in thought for a second, before he realized something. He turned his head to call over his shoulder, "What do you mean,  your  bed? You don't live here!" 

 

"Moving truck will be here tomorrow, Virgie!" Remus called back.

 

"That  bed  is a  couch !" Virgil called back in confusion. 

 

"Life is what you make it, Virgin!" He called back, voice now distant. The witch simply huffed and rolled his eyes in frustration but still wore a small fond smile on his lips. That was until he met eyes with Roman again, and his face immediately neutralized before he looked away. 

 

"Uhh, anyway..." Virgil said awkwardly, "What's the plan of attack then?" 

 

"We were planning on have you join Roman and I as we survey the crime scene. Afterwhich we can speak with any witnesses. Meanwhile, Patton will be heading back to the station to perform the autopsy." 

 

Virgil nodded quietly as he thought. The truth was, there wasn't going to be anything at the crime scene for him to see. The murder happened before his spells, and if prior scenes were anything to go by, there wasn't likely going to be a ghost if...

 

"Was he stabbed through the heart?" 

 

The detectives all nodded. 

 

"Then do you guys mind if I tag along with Patton and see the body? I have a feeling I might have better chances." 

 

"That's okay with me, kiddo!" Patton replied excitedly. 

 

"Very well then, Roman and I should head to the crime scene," Logan replied, giving a nod of goodbye and turning to walk toward his car.

 

"Oh! Logan! Hold up a minute!" Virgil called after him.

 

The detective spun around in confusion. "Yes?" 

 

"I've got something for you and Patton; stay here one second..." Virgil explained, ducking back inside quickly. A minute later, Virgil appeared at the door again, holding a glass jar full of a blueish green substance and a green string tied around it. He extended it out toward the nerd, who stepped forward to take it. He held the jar up and examined it in confusion." 

 

"For your wrist," Virgil explained, blushing ever so slightly and fidgeting with another much smaller item in his hands. "Rub a small amount onto the top and bottom of your wrist up to 3 times a day. You should see an improvement fairly quickly." 

 

Virgil couldn't exactly say he should see the results instantly, given he may have cheated a little and given the nerd a remedy infused with a spell, but. 

 

"Stop using it if you have any kind of allergic reaction or anything like that," Virgil finished, forcing a bit of a sheepish smile. 

 

Logan nodded, "Very well, my thanks, Virgil." 

 

Virgil nodded as well before turning and extending his hand in front of Patton, showing a necklace dangling from his fingers. It was a long black string with a perfectly circular blue jewel hanging from it. 

 

Patton's eyes lit up, looking between the necklace and Virgil curiously.

 

"As a thank you..." Virgil said sheepishly, ignoring the red in his face, "For... for supper yesterday..." 

 

"Awe, kiddo! You didn't have to do that!" Patton replied, taking the necklace from the witch and immediately tying it around his neck. 

 

"I wanted to," Virgil muttered, "Do you like it?" 

 

"I love it!" Patton cheered. 

 

How the witch was caught off guard again when the detective came crashing into him, Virgil would never know. 

 

"Thank you!"

 

"N-no problem," Virgil replied, awkwardly hugging back before they parted again. 

 

"Alright, we should get going," Roman said, speaking for the first time since Remus had appeared. 

 

"Yeah! Do you want to ride with me, kiddo?" Patton asked. 

 

"Uhm, sure, that would be great. Do you mind waiting for a few minutes before we go? I have... a few things to sort out in  there  first," He explained, gesturing behind him with his thumb and a nod of his head. 

 

"No problem!" 

Chapter Text

Once the other two detectives were gone, Virgil led Patton into the shop. 

 

"Okay, you stay out here because they might still be asleep," Virgil said, omitting the fact that Rose also had a stab wound in her stomach. "I'll only be a few minutes; then we can get going." 

 

"Sounds good, kiddo!" Patton chirped. 

 

Virgil nodded and left Patton sitting in a chair by the shop door, heading back past the counter and into the living room. He slipped in quietly to avoid waking anyone, only to see almost everyone was awake. Janus was still asleep, curled up between Remus's legs and snuggled against his chest, a blanket over the both of them while Remus played with his hair, looking down at the other with the most sickeningly lovestruck smile Virgil had ever seen. Remy was in the kitchen, brewing coffee and humming something under his breath. Rose was still on the couch, leaning against the arm of it, wrapped up in a blanket watching the demon in the kitchen. 

 

"Hey, there he is," Rose said quietly when she saw the witch walk in. 

 

"Morning, how ya feelin'?" Virgil asked, leaning on the back of the couch from behind it. 

 

"Better, not bleeding anymore. Will probably be completely healed by tomorrow," 

 

"Your welcome to stay here until then, ya know," Virgil offered, "I'm sure Remy wouldn't mind taking care of you and would probably love having the company since I'm gone now usually." 

 

Rose looked like she was about to brush it off with some form of 'no-no, I don't want to be a burden,' but Remy spoke first.

 

"Amen to that," He said, pulling out a frying pan to start on breakfast, "I'm all alone in the store all day, your not gunna leave me all alone, are you, Rosie?" He asked in an overdramatically sad voice, pouting at her. 

 

"Fine, fine" She resigned, "Only until lunch; I'll be fine to look after myself then, and I have to get home and feed the cat." 

 

"Fine," Remy agreed, "Virge, you want some coffee and bacon?" 

 

"As amazing as that sounds, I don't have time; Patton is waiting for me by the door to head out with-" 

 

"WAIT, PATSY IS HERE!?" Remy cried, quickly slipping his shades down onto his nose and pushing the frying pan onto an unlit burner. "Why didn't you tell me my Patty was here!?" 

 

Virgil didn't even get a chance to respond to the question because Remy was already gone, having zipped out into the store front. Virgil could hear a "Patton!" followed by a "Remy!" before the conversation trailed off. 

 

Virgil just rolled his eyes as Rose laughed. 

 

"Anyway, you guys can take care of yourselves," Virgil said, looking at the vampire and naga on the couch. "I've gotta get a couple of things before I go." 

 

With that settled, the witch left the living room, glancing at the demon and medical examiner, who were chatting by the door, before slipping into his workshop. 

 

He started pulling things off one of the shelves, digging into the back for a rune he hadn't used in a very, very long time. He hated having to do this, but at this point, he didn't feel they had a choice.

 

Once he found one in the back, he went to another shelf and pulled out some wisp essence, ent bark, ethow, onyx bite and dried skeletal lotus, grinding the dry ingredients in his mortar and pestle before adding the wisp essence and casting the spell. The finished product was a reflective light blue liquid with swirls of pink. Quickly, he poured the substance into a small vial, taking a moment to stare at it before slipping it into his pocket along with the rune. 

 

He couldn't let himself stop and question things because he knew this was wrong. He knew this was dangerous and not just for him, but he also knew he was out of options and couldn't let anyone else be killed. He huffed before opening the door and heading out to join Patton and Remy in the front. 

 

"Are you sure you can't stay for coffee?" Remy asked as he approached. 

 

"We need to get going, Rem," Virgil replied. "You should make sure you have some, though; you might need your energy today," Virgil said, sending Remy the silent message. Remy gave him a confused and slightly worried look but shrugged. 

 

"You know it, babes! Call me if you need anything, got it?" He asked, replying to Virgil's secret message with his own. Virgil nodded.

 

"Always," He replied. 

 

With that, they said their goodbyes, and he and Patton headed out. 

 

As soon as they were in the car, Patton spoke up. 

 

"I could have waited if you wanted coffee, you know? I'm more of a herbal tea guy myself, so I had to turn Remy down, but I wouldn't have minded waiting." 

 

Of course Patton was a herbal tea guy...

 

"It's okay, I made you wait long enough; I'll survive" He yawned, "Hopefully." 

 

In retrospect, he probably really should have gotten coffee, but if worst came to worst, he could boost his energy with a spell and deal with the energy crash he'd have later that night because of it. 

 

"You know, there's this awesome coffee shop a door down from the police station! Logan and Roman love their coffee, and their herbal tea is delicious too. I should take you some time! On me, of course!" 

 

Virgil laughed, "Awe, Pat, you don't-" 

 

"I know," He interrupted, shooting the other a quick smile before looking back at the road, "I want to!" 

 

"Well, I'll have to take you up on that sometime then." 

 

"Please do!" 

 

With that, Patton continued to tell Virgil about his favourite bakery in town, the nicest picnic places nearby and everything in between. Virgil would respond with a simple 'uh-huh' or 'really?', just to keep him going. Virgil was never much of a talker. He was much more of a listener. 

 

"And that's why bumble bee's are my favourite insect! They are just so cute with their fuzzy little butts and- Oh! We're here already!" Patton said when they finally pulled into the police station. 

 

Once they were parked, Patton led him through the station and back into the small conference room he remembered from when he was here last time. However, this time he noticed the sign on the door that read 'unordinary crime division.'

 

"Unordinary Crime division?"

 

"Yep! That's our team, me, Logan and Roman, and now you!" Patton replied happily, "We get all the weird cases, mostly homicides, that don't fit the everyday cookie-cutter crimes the other divisions cover, like Theft, Violent crime, Special victims, missing persons, etc." Patton explained. Virgil had a very difficult time not laughing at that because 'unordinary'? They had no clue how right they were. 

 

Instead of sitting at the large table like last time, Virgil followed Patton over to the glass doors, watching the medical examiner scan his badge, before following him down the stairs. They walked down into a large room with walls of large white painted brick. There was a small kitchen and office area to the left, and two large metal doors on the right wall. Next to the door was a grid of large metal drawers Virgil guessed was for the bodies. There were two examining tables in the middle, with all the equipment around them, two chairs per table and a bright white light overhead. One of the tables was empty, but the other clearly had a body on it that was covered with a white sheet.  

 

"Welcome to the morgue!" Patton exclaimed. 

 

That has to be the happiest anyone has ever said that sentence Virgil thought.

 

"Whoa, are you the only medical examiner that works here?" Virgil asked.

 

"Nope! There is another girl named Iris, but she usually works at the main station in the center of town and rarely works in this building, as we don't have a homicide department, so this place is usually all mine!" 

 

Virgil nodded, watching as Patton threw his coat up onto the coat rack and walked over to the examination table. 

 

Thank god nobody else works here. That makes having everyone else leave a lot easier.

 

Patton gently pulled the sheet off the body and revealed a man in his mid 30's with dark tanned skin and short black hair, who Virgil immediately recognized. 

 

 

"Oh, Clive..." Virgil muttered, looking over the man in front of him. He still wore the Dark green polo shirt he had been stabbed in and his dark blue jeans and sneakers. 

 

"You recognize him?" Patton asked solemnly, to which Virgil nodded.

 

"His name is Clive Diaz. He only moved here about three years ago. His parents and the rest of his family were from Ecuador, so he used to teach Spanish at a school until he decided to move here." 

 

"Oh, do you know why he moved?"

 

"No idea." Virgil lied, unable to say the real reason was that he became a vampire. 

 

"Well, let's see what we can find out then," Patton said as he walked over to the table covered in tools and picking up a pair of gloves. Virgil panicked. 

 

"W-wait!" Virgil muttered. 

 

"What's wrong?" Patton asked, tilting his head to the side slightly, "Are you squeamish? You don't have to watch if you don't want to!" 

 

Virgil shook his head, "No, no, it's not that, I uh..." He wracked his brain, trying to come up with some reason for Patton to leave him alone with the body for a while when suddenly the conversation they had on the drive here came back to him. 

 

"What is it, kiddo?" 

 

"I was actually thinking I could maybe cash in that free coffee offer..." Virgil replied awkwardly, "I'm a lot more tired than I thought, and I think I might have better luck with the, uh, psychic stuff if I've got more energy..." 

 

Patton's face lit up, "Of course, kiddo! Do you want to stay here or...?"

 

"I'll stay here, just in case I get any visions or anything," Virgil replied. 

 

Patton nodded, "Okay, I'll be back in a jiffy! Make sure you don't touch anything, kiddo! Some of these tools are really sharp!" 

 

Virgil nodded, "Yeah, of course." 

 

He watched as Patton grab his coat and take off up the stairs. He felt a bit bad for lying to the other like this, but it was for the best. Right?

 

He shook his head. He needed to do this, and the clock was ticking. He didn't have time to think about such existential questions right now. 

 

The witch quickly made his way over to the body and pulled out the few items from his pockets. He placed the rune on Clive's chest, pulled out the vial and popped the cork before hesitating. Patton was going to notice this is the stab wound, as it probably wouldn't be fully absorbed by the time he was done, but it was too late to turn back now. With that, he poured the liquid into the stab wound until the vile was empty.

 

He took a deep breath. He hated doing this, forcing souls back into bodies like this. It usually meant ripping the soul out of the afterlife and putting it back into the body, interrupting a peaceful rest and risking corrupting the soul in the process. It was his only option, though, to detect whether the soul was, in fact, going to come from the afterlife, or somewhere else. He also had to talk to Clive, even if he only got a short time, because any clues would be better than nothing. 

 

He let his eyes glow and locked them on the rune, which lit up in response before he began speaking, " Once full, this vessel now sits vacant, here I call upon its last known occupant. Against the will of nature's law, bend to my command and live once more."  

 

He wrestled with the soul, dragging it to him. It was taking a lot more energy than he anticipated, and he was struggling to figure out where it was coming from. He was sure that wherever this soul had been, it certainly wasn't the afterlife. He was also sure that Remy could probably feel the slightest sensation of something from him using so much magic. 

 

Finally, the rune lit up with a blinding white light until it quickly faded. There was a second of silence before a loud gasp. 

 

Clive bolted upright, gasping for air and eyes flying open, looking around frantically. 

 

"Hey, hey, it's okay, Clive, remember me? I'm Virgil, the witch who owns 'Shades and Shadows'? I give you your sun potions," He explained, holding his hands up to show he wasn't a threat as he tried to get Clive to relax. He didn't have much time. 

 

Clive's eyes locked on him for a moment before recognition appeared on his face. "Virgil! W-what's... where..." 

 

"Clive, I need you to focus on me, okay? I need you to try and tell me the last thing you remember." 

 

"I was... I was running... I-... oh," His face fell, "I'm... aren't I?" 

 

"Clive, focus, what happened," Virgil said, not answering his question because he knew saying 'yep, you're dead' usually only caused them to panic more.

 

Clive seemed to think hard for a moment before his face lit up. "Dimitri!" He cried in panic, "I was running after Dimitri! I told her it was too late to go and play, but she wouldn't listen and- You have to find Dimitri!" 

 

It took the witch a moment, but the realization hit him like a truck. How could he have forgotten about Dimitri, the 6-year-old dragoni Clive had adopted once he moved here as a way to give his life meaning once more. 

 

"Promise me!" Clive cried, reaching for Virgil frantically and causing the witch to flinch back, "Promise me, you'll find her! He got me from behind when I went out to go after her; you've got to find her first!" 

 

"Okay, okay, I'll do my best to find her, I promise," Virgil replied calmly; he didn't have much time left. "Is there anything else you can remember?" 

 

"I..." Clive began, before he was cut off by a loud clatter from behind Virgil. The witch spun around the see brown liquid spilled all over the floor and two paper cups floating in the mess. He looked up to meet eyes with the drink's original owner, meeting eyes with...  Patton!?! 

 

Silence fell over the room as Patton and Virgil just stared at each other for a second.

 

Oh no...

 

Before the witch could even react, Clive spoke again, looking at their new guest in confusion. "Whos that?" 

 

That seemed to break Virgil out of his frozen trance, and he immediately snapped his fingers, causing the vampire's body to drain of life and collapse back onto the table with a bang. 

Chapter Text

The loud bang of the body hitting the table was what snapped Patton out of his own trance. He ran over, nearly slipping in the spilled drinks in the process as he made his way to the table. 

 

"Oh my god! Is he-" 

 

"Dead," Virgil cut him off, holding up a hand, "He's dead. Like soul has already passed into the afterlife kind of dead." 

 

"I- But- He-" Patton sputtered in confusion, "What was that!?!?"

 

Virgil was at the point where he was  so  panicked he was actually kind of calm. Like his body had just come to terms with the chaos or something. 

He knew he couldn't wipe Patton's memory because not only would he never forgive himself, he would risk triggering Patton's magic. There was no way he could deny what had just happened either, which left him with telling the truth. 

 

Virgil sighed and held his hands up, unaware of just how bad they were shaking. "Patton, hey- listen to me. I'll explain everything, okay? But- just-... I need you to sit down for a second first, alright?" 

 

Patton just nodded as he let the other guide him down by the shoulders to sit on an office chair that the medical examiner swore was a couple feet away a few seconds ago. He was too stunned to do anything. 

He stared up at Virgil with wide eyes, which caused the other to exhale a deep, shaky breath, gaze falling to the floor. 

 

"Okay, so, uh... I guess I'll start with the fact that... I'm not... actually a psychic..." Virgil started, shifting his weight back and forth onto either foot awkwardly. He would look up at Patton as he spoke but then look down again, unable to keep the eye contact. 

 

Patton gasped. "What!? What do you mea-" 

 

"Shhh, let me explain," Virgil cut him off; he needed to just spit this out. Rip the bandaid off, as some would say, "I'm not a psychic... the truth is..." He took a deep breath, "I'm a witch." 

 

The following silence, while in reality only lasted half a second, felt like an eternity. 

 

"Wait, like, with magic and stuff?" Patton asked, eyes now full of curiosity and excitement, which wasn't exactly the reaction Virgil was expecting. Not that he was about to complain.

 

"Yes, exactly like that. I'm a witch who specializes in necromancy, which is just a fancy word for magic... envolving the dead..." He fidgeted with his sleeve nervously. 

 

"Necromancy..." Patton replied, thinking over the word for a second, "Yeah... I watched a movie that had a necromancer in it once, I think... he raised an army of dead zombies or something..." 

 

Virgil couldn't help but chuckle, "Okay, well, I can promise you it isn't like what you see in the movies." 

 

For a second, Virgil tried to imagine himself raising an army of undead to take over the world. Yeah, no, he couldn't even imagine it. All the eyes on him, all the people he would hurt? He would never see the appeal that it seemed to have to witches and other supernaturals in movies. He and Remy loved watching movies with supernaturals in them, breaking down in tears laughing at all the incorrect misconceptions. If you wanted to get Remus either really mad or annoyed quickly, try asking him what he thought of  'Twilight.'

 

"Can you fly on a broom!? Do you have a black cat!?" 

 

Virgil smiled fondly but rolled his eyes, "No, and no." 

 

Patton seemed to think over this new information for a second before something in his face shifted.

"wait, I don't believe you!" Patton huffed in defiance, crossing his arms like an argumentative toddler, "You lied about being a psychic; how do I know you're telling the truth now?" 

 

In all honesty, Virgil should have maybe been offended at that, but in truth, he couldn't blame him. That was until he realized distrust wasn't like Patton, and the real reason for the other's words hit him. Virgil suspected the truth was Patton just wanted to see him do magic. Who was he to say no?

 

Virgil couldn't help but smirk as he let his eyes begin to glow, "I'd like to see some other explanation for this," he said as he waved his hand toward the spilled drinks. Patton watched in awe as time seemed to reverse, and the liquid raised up into the air, going back into the now floating cups. Once all the tea and coffee were back in their cups, the lids closed on them, and Virgil walked over and plucked them out of the air where they levitated in the exact same place Patton had been holding them before they dropped.

 

He walked back over and extended the cup of now steaming tea to Patton with a smile, relishing in the gaping expression he was receiving. 

 

"Whoa! That was amazing! Did you just reverse time!?" He blurted out, looking back and forth between the witch and the tea in his hand so fast he nearly went cross-eyed. 

 

"No, no," Virgil replied, waving a dismissive hand in the air and sipping his coffee, "Time travel isn't a thing; it was merely a reversal spell, doesn't work on living animals and people and stuff." 

 

"Oh..." Patton replied, before thinking again, "Okay, wait, I have so many questions!" He threw his hands up into the air in excitement, nearly spilling his tea for a second time, "Why didn't you tell us the truth the first time? What else can you do? Why was Clive sitting up and talking again!?! What-" 

 

Virgil laughed, "Patton, Pat, hey, Pat, slow down. I couldn't tell you I was a witch because it was too dangerous, there... there are people who hunt supernaturals like us, and-"

 

"Wait supernaturals!?! There's  more  of you?!"

 

"Patton, just slow down and let me explain, okay?" Virgil laughed. Patton gave him an apologetic and sheepish look, "Sorry.." 

 

"no, no! It's okay; I appreciate your enthusiasm. It's... a little overwhelming, to be honest, but I appreciate it anyway... I couldn't tell you because I didn't know if I could trust you or not. You weren't even really meant to find out- not that I don't trust you now! "He hurriedly reassured the other," But it kinda flips your whole world on its head, and I-... You have to promise me you won't tell anyone else." 

 

"Not even Roman and Logan?"

 

"Not even them," Virgil confirmed, "I might tell them eventually but, I'm not ready yet, okay? Promise?"

 

Patton nodded. 

 

"Okay, because more people finding out doesn't just put me in danger; the truth is Patton,  everyone  in Spellwood is a supernatural of some kind. Vampires, witches, sirens, dryads and elves, we've got it all."  

 

"All of those things exist?" Patton asked, and Virgil swore he could almost see stars in his eyes, before suddenly his face fell. "I-.." He hesitated, "I don't need to be scared of any of you, do I?" 

 

Virgil would be lying if he said that question didn't hurt, but he shook his head, "No, of course not, not at all, I promise. Please don't be afraid of us." 

 

Patton nodded, and suddenly the stars were back in his eyes. "Were any of the victim's supernaturals?"

 

"Yep, I mean, take Clive here, for example, he's a vampire, same as Miriam was. Jane was human, but Rhys was an elf." 

 

Patton's' eyes widened as he looked at the victim on the table. Seeing Clive seemed to remind him of what happened earlier, "Wait! How was he sitting up and talking to you!?" 

 

"I... brought him back to life for a short time." 

 

"YOU CAN DO THAT?!" Patton erupted, leaping from his chair in excitement, oblivious to Virgil flinching away from the abrupt movement and loud noise. "Can you do it again?!" 

 

The witch shook his head, "No, there are rules and limits, and a lot of risks. When somebody first dies, their soul travels to limbo. During this time, the person can be brought back to life with either magic or CPR, with minimal consequences. However, the soul only stays in limbo for about 5-15 minutes, after which the soul goes to its final location: The afterlife, so if you want to bring someone back, you have to do it quickly. Once a soul passes into the afterlife, there are risks to bringing them back, and they can't be brought back permanently. If you force someone to come back to life with necromancy, you risk corrupting their soul with something. It goes by many names, but most people call it shade or darkness. The longer someone who has passed onto the afterlife is alive again, the more and more corrupted their soul becomes. If you don't send them back in time, and the soul gets completely corrupted, they turn into a monster known as a 'shade.' It's a vicious shadowy creature whose only goal is to cause pain and wreak havoc. At this point, the soul can't be saved and is sentenced to an eternity of suffering as a shade, and you have to send them back before anyone else gets hurt. The shade essence or darkness comes from the afterlife, you see. As long as something has never travelled there, it can come back, but as soon as something enters the afterlife, it is marked, and the darkness will creep out to reclaim anything that is stolen from it." 

 

Patton just stayed silent, taking in all this information slowly. 

 

"When you first bring a soul back from the afterlife, depending on how long they have been dead, there's a small chance they will be corrupted instantly. I already risked corrupting his soul once when I brought him back the first time; the risk is too high to do it again," Virgil explained, "I did learn something from him during our brief chat though" 

 

"really?" 

 

"Yep, he was going out to find his daughter Dimitri when he was stabbed in the back. He begged me to find her." 

 

Suddenly Patton's eyes widened. "Okay, I have a bunch more questions for you, but if someone is in danger, that needs to come first." He said, walking around the end of the table, "Let's see if we can find anything that might give us a clue as to where he was killed." 

 

 

Chapter Text

Virgil felt something in him settle as he watched Patton begin the autopsy. He didn't feel... good, that wasn't the word, he still felt sick to his stomach from the panic of earlier, but he felt... relieved. It felt like something was lifted off his chest slightly, and that made him feel a bit better at least. It was nice to have Patton know the truth, even if it was only part of it.

 

He also felt a little... sick from watching an autopsy. He never considered himself a squeamish person; you couldn't be when you worked with the dead a lot. But watching someone you knew be autopsied right in front of you was a completely different experience, and he found himself questioning how Patton was able to do this without so much as even blinking an eye. 

 

On the plus side... the coffee was good. So, silver linings, right?

 

It wasn't until Patton walked around the bottom of the table something seemed to catch his eye. 

 

"What's this?" He asked, picking up tweezers and plucking a smushed purple flower petal off the bottom of Clive's shoe. 

 

"May I see?" Virgil asked. Patton nodded, and he made his way over. As soon as he saw it, he knew what It was. Gods know how many times he'd seen this particular flower ground up. 

 

"That's a mage bite flower," Virgil explained, "They are grown out behind the greenhouse at the base of the mountain. There's a spell on the area, so humans can't see them..." 

 

"Are they grown anywhere else nearby?" 

 

Virgil shook his head, "Not that I know of no, aside from a few indoor planters I know a few people have" 

 

"Well, then I guess we know a good place to send Roman and Logan to start looking," Patton replied as he put the petal in a bag. 

 

"Wait, you can't send them!" Virgil cried in panic.

 

"What? Why not?" 

 

"Because how are you going to explain the fact that you know he was there because of a flower on his shoe, only they can't  see  the flower?" The witch questioned, "Besides, chances are if Dimitri is still alive, she is close by. If she is, she's probably alone and scared. Dimitri is not someone you want to sneak up on, even by accident. Shes a dragoni, which is what we call half-dragons. If you were to startle her, she could roast you in seconds. We can't risk Logan and Roman running into her." 

 

 

Patton nodded for a second, "Alright, we will have to go check it out then. We can take my car, and Roman and Logan should be on the other side of town. But Virge, we can't keep this from them forever."

 

"I know, I know," Virgil replied, running his fingers through his hair, "Just give me some time, and I'll think of something, okay?"

 

Patton nodded, "alright, let's get going then," 

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

As soon as they were in the car, Virgil pulled out his phone and began dialling. 

 

 

"Hello?" 

 

"Hey Dee, are you and Remus still at the house?" 

 

"Uhm, yeah, we  weren't  just thinking of heading out..."

 

"Don't! If you don't mind, I mean... can you stay there? We might need Remus's help with this one." 

 

"Uhm, okay, I'm  so   glad  you decided to call me and not him." 

 

"Because I need you to put out an alert to the other supernaturals. The newest victim was Clive Diaz, and Dimitri is missing." 

 

"On it." Janus replied in a serious tone, stoping his backwards talk, despite how much fun he found it when it wasn't forced, "Anything else?" 

 

"That's it, just let people know to call me directly if they see her, but not to go out looking yet. Also, if people see her, make sure they don't approach her, we don't want to risk her having another one of her... episodes..."

 

"Got it,"

 

"Is Rose still there?"

 

"No, she went home an hour ago,"

 

"Alright, thanks, talk to you soon," With that, Virgil hung up the phone, but as soon as he did, he was typing in another phone number. 

 

"Hey" 

 

"Hey, Rose, are you at work?" 

 

"Yes..." She said guiltily, expecting Virgil to scold her for not resting. 

 

"For once, I'm glad you didn't listen to me," He laughed.

 

"Wait; what?" Rose asked in confusion.

 

"The mage bite out back, I don't have time to explain, but I need you to lift the spell and allow humans to see them." 

 

"Uhm... Alright, consider it done." 

 

"Thanks, your the best. I'll explain as soon as I can, okay?" 

 

"You better," She teased.

 

"I'll talk to you soon," 

 

"See ya," 

 

With that, he hung up the phone again, just in time for the alert about Dimitri that Janus sent out to pop up on his screen. He huffed, exhaling a breath he didn't realize he had been holding and flopped back into the chair before giving a deep sigh. He turned his head to watch the brightly coloured leaves of the autumn forest whip by. 

 

"Everything alright, kiddo?" 

 

"Dimitri is only six years old, Patton... What if...?" 

 

Patton reached over and patted his arm reassuringly, "We'll find her, kiddo, don't worry." 

 

Virgil just nodded, letting them drive in silence for the next few minutes until they arrived at their destination. As soon as they pulled up, they both jumped out of the car.

 

"This way," Virgil instructed, jogging down the path as Patton followed after him. The greenhouse was just a little further down the road, and this path went off behind it and into the woods. After a minute, the trees began to open up into a large clearing, and purple flowers appeared everywhere.

 

"There," Virgil pointed, jogging over to them. As soon as they approached, they could see a patch of flowers that were flatted in the rough shape of a person, blood pooling in the center. 

 

"Should we spread out and look for her?" Patton asked as surveyed the scene.

 

"No, we can't risk scaring her if she's hiding..." Virgil replied, looking around the treeline. 

 

'Wait... Patton already knows about my magic, so I can use it to try to help find her...' Virgil realized. 

 

"Hey, Pat?" 

 

"What's up, kiddo?" 

 

"I'm going to use some magic to try and find her, so don't... freak out, okay?" 

 

"I'll do my best!" Patton replied excitedly. 

 

"Okay, can you sit down on the ground for me?"

 

Patton obliged, sitting down in the mass of flowers. 

 

"Alright, now try to stay as still as you can, okay?"

 

Patton nodded.

 

Now that Patton wouldn't be moving, it would be easier to ignore his aura and look for Dimitri. 

 

Virgil's eyes began glowing brightly as he kneeled down and put both of his hands flat on the ground. Slowly, he felt his magic leech away from him, flowing in ripples across the ground around him and spreading through the grass and trees. 

 

Patton watched in wonder as a thin purple mist seemed to dance out of Virgil's hands and spread all around them. It reminded him of those Halloween smoke machines, but instead of white smoke, it was a bright, slightly sparkily or reflective purple colour. 

 

Still nothing...

 

Virgil, however, was nothing if not stubborn. He closed his eyes in focus, pulsing more magic out around them. 

 

Patton watched the mist begin to seemingly condense, becoming darker and darker in colour. The slow swirling motions seemed to become slightly more violent, turning into an almost twisting motion around him. 

 

Soon enough, the smoke was now a thick, opaque black colour. The detective glanced over at the witch, just in time to see flowers were beginning to wilt at his feet. 

 

He was pretty sure that wasn't supposed to happen...

 

"Hey... Uhm... kiddo...?" Patton said quietly, but the witch didn't react at all. 

Chapter Text

"Do you think she's alright?"

 

"Dimitri? Oh yeah, she's not only smart, she's quick, and if she did get cornered, then I feel bad for whoever cornered her." 

 

Remy sighed, "Yeah, yeah, your probably right; I'm just worried..." He shifted in his chair, running a hand up and down his arm nervously, a bad habit he had picked up from Virgil. 

 

"I know you and her are close, Remrem, don't worry, we'll find her quicker than a goat eats underwear!" 

 

Remy's face scrunched slightly in both disgust and confusion, "Thanks... I think?" 

 

They all laughed before Remy stood up, holding his now empty coffee mug, "It looks like we're waiting on V to find out our next move, so why don't we watch tv while we wait? You guys pick a channel. Do you either of you want some coffee?" 

 

"No, we're good," Janus replied, picking up the remote.

 

"Hey!" Remus pouted, "What if I wanted more coffee?"

 

"You still wouldn't be getting it," Janus challenged, "Your  definitely  the one who has to deal with you at 3 am." 

 

Remus rolled his eyes, "You act like you don't like every minute we spend awake together past 3 am," He purred, crawling across the couch toward his boyfriend slowly. 

 

Deceit blushed but quickly recovered and raised an eyebrow, "Oh yeah? In order to do anything after 3 am, you  wouldn't  have to make it to 3 am first." 

 

Remus raised his eyebrows in shock before an almost impressed look settled on his face, "Ohhh, is that a challenge snake?" Remus asked, slinking forward until he sat on his boyfriend's lap, knees resting right next to each of Janus's hips, so they faced each other. He reached forward and pulled on the others bowtie slightly, relishing in how red the naga had become. 

 

"Alright, alright, not on the couch, you two," Remy scolded as he made his way toward the kitchen, "Virgil would kill me. My bed is downstairs, though, as long as I'm invited~." 

 

"Obviously~" Remus replied, putting both his hands on Janus's shoulders to anchor himself so he could lean backwards off the couch to see the demon in the kitchen. 

 

Luckily, before things could develop any further, there was a loud crash and high pitched shattering noise from the kitchen. Remus and Janus jumped up to see Remy's mug smashed on the kitchen tile and the demon in question gripping the edge of the counter where he had stopped himself from falling after stumbling. He looked disoriented, but just as shocked by what had happened as they were. 

 

"Whoa Rem, you okay?" Remus asked as they crept closer, making sure to avoid stepping on any of the mug's broken porcelain that now littered the floor. 

 

"I-... I think?" Remy replied in confusion as he glanced up at them and stood straight again.

 

"What happened?" Janus questioned.

 

"I-ah!" Remy winced slightly as he put a hand to his head, grabbing the counter with his other hand to steady himself once again. It felt like someone was squeezing his head from both of his temples. He felt the vertigo that followed hit him like a train, and suddenly his body couldn't tell up from down, causing him to wobble slightly in place despite his grip on the counter. 

 

 

Suddenly he felt something underneath him before his world blurred for a second. He blinked and realized Remus had carried him to the couch and both of his friends now stood slightly bend down in front of him. 

 

"Remy, what's happening? You're  not  worrying us here." Janus asked, looking over the other.

 

"Yeah, you'll never last till 3 am like this" 

 

Janus smacked Remus's arm lightly. 

 

"What!?" Remus replied innocently, "You can't just get me excited about an offer like that and then start dying on me!" 

 

Janus pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed, but looked up again when he heard Remy laughing. The demon was looking at them with an amused and fond smirk. 

 

"Raincheck babes, Virgil is up to something." 

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Patton was, if he were to be honest, a little scared. 

 

He knew Virgil said there was no reason to be afraid of him or any of the other supernaturals, and he believed him! Of course he did! If Virgil said there was nothing to be scared of, then surely, Patton had nothing to fear. Obviously, Virgil would have way more experience with these things than he would. 

 

The problem, was as much as Patton trusted Virgil; he also trusted his own eyes. His own eyes were telling him that flowers were wilting and dying around Virgil's hands, and whatever was happening to them was spreading and coming closer to him. He wasn't sure what was even happening, but all he knew was that whatever it was doing to those flowers, likely wouldn't be beneficial for him. When he looked at the spreading black, all he could hear was his brain telling him:  danger!

 

It may have been slow, but it was spreading nonetheless, and yet he told Virgil he wouldn't move. He didn't know anything about magic; if he got up and moved, would something bad happen? 

 

"K-kiddo?" He tried again a bit louder, but still got no response. 

 

He felt his heart start to beat slightly faster as he watched the wilting come closer.

 

"Kiddo!" 

 

Suddenly Virgil's eyes shot open, and Patton would swear they were a solid purple for a second before only his iris's were glowing again, and a moment later that too faded. The witch quickly stood up, turning toward the base of the mountain slightly. 

 

"I think I might have found something." 

 

"C-can I move now?" Patton asked.

 

Virgil turned to look at him in confusion when he heard the stutter of the detective's voice. 

 

"Of course? Is... everything okay?" He asked, becoming even more confused at the way Patton seemed to jump up and immediately take a few steps back. "Patton? What's wrong?" 

 

"Was that supposed to happen?" The detective questioned, pointing to the wilted flowers at Virgil's feet with a wary and uncertain expression. 

 

"Huh?" The witch asked in question before he looked down, "Oh, shit-" 

 

Suddenly his phone went off. 

 

"Hello?"

 

"What the hell are you doing? Cuz, whatever it is, Remy can feel it!" 

 

"I know, I know, I'm sorry, I was using my magic to look for Dimitri; I'm still not used to having the extra that Remy released last night now that it's regenerated. Accidentally started using my shadows. Tell him I'm sorry,"

 

"Okay... just be careful, alright?" 

 

"I know, I just have to make sure I keep myself constantly drained enough. I gotta go, but I'll talk soon, okay?"

 

"Yep, see ya." 

 

As soon as the phone was hung up and back in his pocket, Virgil knelt down into the grass again. Patton subconsciously took a wary step backwards when Virgil closed his eyes. 

 

Black smoke began whirling around Virgil's hand violently, and Patton watched the witch scrunch his face in concentration. 

 

Patton had no idea how long the following moment of  nothing  lasted. In reality, it could have only been a second, but it felt like an eternity that time stopped, and nothing happened. 

 

Finally, the wilted black began to recede back towards Virgil's hand. Patton watched in awe as what looked like shrivelled dead flowers sprung back to life. 

 

Virgil, however, seemed to be struggling; he was flinching slightly and tensed all over. His hand had gone from laying gently on the ground to gripping the grass and dirt. Patton could no longer see his face, as the witch had his head tucked in toward his chest. Patton looked back down at Virgil's hand and noticed what looked like black veins forming around his fingers. As soon as all the black was gone from the flowers, the witch made a soft noise of pain and exhaled in relief, letting his entire body relax again. 

 

Virgil took a deep breath before standing up again, rubbing his forehead with a hand. 

 

"That was a lot more than I was used to, especially without a potion," He muttered to himself. Mentally, he wondered if doing what he just did was going to bite him in the ass later, just like purifying corruption usually did. This was... his corruption, though, wasn't it? Or at least corruption he had caused, so surely he should be able to undo it easier? As much as the witch hoped that were true, the amount he had just struggled was pretty damning evidence to the contrary. 

 

"Huh?" Patton asked, stepping closer in an attempt to hear what the other was saying. 

 

"What? Oh, it's nothing. Look, they are all better," Virgil said with a smile as he made a vague gesture to the plants around them. "Anyway, I think I sensed something over this way," He explained, turning and beginning to walk into the woods, making a motion for Patton to follow after him.

Chapter Text

Virgil was immediately walking off into the woods, causing Patton to have to jog a bit to catch up to him. If Patton didn't know better, he would think the witch was almost running away. 

 

"Hey, kiddo, slow down!" 

 

Virgil seemed to almost flinch slightly at the noise, but he obeyed, slowing down to barely a walk until Patton was caught up to him. 

 

"What's wrong?" the detective asked once he had caught up to the other. 

 

"Nothing... I'm fine." Virgil replied, turning his head away to look at the ground. For a moment, he watched the fall leaves blow across the ground around them. 

 

Suddenly the witch felt a gentle hand on his shoulder, causing him to look up and turn towards Patton. 

 

"Listen," Patton began, moving his hand down to the side of Virgil's arm gently. His touch was feather-light, but caring and calming at the same time, which caused Virgil to try and steel himself. "I know we aren't super close, but I can tell something's up, and I don't like seeing you upset. You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but I'm always here to lend an ear, kiddo," he finished, giving Virgil a soft, reassuring smile and gently squeezing his arm.  

 

Virgil had been doing a pretty good job keeping his walls up, but that smile at the end broke him. There was so much concern and genuine care in it. His face shifted into a sad and defeated expression as he looked away, gaze falling to the floor. 

 

"I..." He hesitated for a moment until he felt the medical examiner take his hand, prompting him to continue, "I'm sorry for scaring you.." 

 

His voice sounded so... broken to Patton, which made his heart break. The problem was he was so new to this world, he wasn't sure what to do. There was no way he could lie and say he wasn't at all scared because he was pretty sure it was all over his face and his voice at the time. 

 

"That..." Patton took a moment to think over his words carefully, "That wasn't supposed to happen... was it?" 

 

Virgil shook his head, "no," 

 

Patton tilted his head to the side slightly in confusion, forcing the witch to elaborate. 

 

"I was trying to use too much magic and was losing control of it." 

 

Patton hesitated, but he decided he had to know, "Would it have... I mean- If it had touched me, would it have hurt me?" 

 

The lie was already on Virgil's lips. The no was so tempting to simply dismiss the other so he wouldn't be afraid of him. He couldn't bring himself to say it; he couldn't lie to Patton. The other deserved the truth; even if it caused him to run away from Virgil, he deserved it. 

 

"I'm not sure," Virgil admitted quietly, "It's never come in contact with anyone before," 

 

Patton nodded, and Virgil realized he was still holding his hand, which caused a blush to settle on his face. The detective didn't notice, thankfully. 

 

"We'll have to make sure that never happens then, alright?" He replied, giving the witch's hand a reassuring squeeze. 

 

Virgil simply nodded.

 

"Good," Patton replied, giving him a reassuring smile and letting go of his hand, "Now, what did you sense?" 

 

"I'm not sure exactly," Virgil replied, beginning to walk into the woods again, "I just sensed something in this bush up here. It's not alive, but whatever it is has a magic signature."  

 

They stepped up to the bush in question and began picking through the many branches. 

 

"Hey, what's this?" Patton asked, standing up and turning to the witch. Virgil looked over to see a long pink silk ribbon he recognized. 

 

"That's one of her hair ribbons; she always wears them," 

 

"What are these?" Patton asked, pointing to black shapes squiggled along the edge. 

 

"Runes I put on it when I enchanted it to be fireproof." Virgil replied, giving Patton an amused smile, "She kept burning them," 

 

Patton gave a little laugh as he looked down to examine the Ribbon in his hands, "Sadly, I don't think there's any way this is going to help us find her; we already knew she was around here." 

 

Virgil actually laughed at that, and only laughed harder when Patton gave him a confused look. When he finally composed himself, he explained, "Pat, your not in the normal world anymore," he said with amusement, holding up his hand and showing him a small glowing purple mist dancing from it, "There isn't much magic can't do." The light in his palm faded before he continued, "Unfortunately, I've never been good at tracking magic. If anyone has a chance at tracking Dimitri with this, it's Remus." 

 

Patton's eyes nearly popped out of his head at that, "REMUS IS A WITCH TOO!?!" 

 

Virgil laughed as he shook his head, "No, no-no-no, Remus is a vampire." 

 

"WHAT!?!" 

 

Virgil only laughed harder. This was such a stark contrast to how humans usually reacted when finding out supernaturals existed. It was refreshing, but he knew he couldn't let himself get used to it. 

 

"hehe, yes, Patton, and he is the best at tracking things that I have ever seen."

 

"Okay, well, what do we do next then? Logan and Roman will-" 

 

Suddenly Patton's phone began ringing.

 

"Speak of the devils..." Patton said when he read the caller ID, Virgil gave him an almost panicked look as Patton went to answer, but the detective held up a hand as if to say 'it's okay' before holding the phone to his ear. 

 

"Hey, Lo! What's up?" Patton spoke before suddenly his hand dropped to hold the phone out screen up in front of his chest.

 

"Salutations, Patton. Roman and I just arrived back at the station and realized you and Virgil weren't present. Whereabouts are you?" 

 

Virgil realized Patton had put it on speaker. He looked up to see the detective put a finger to his lips in a silent message to the witch. 

 

"Oh! Me and Virge found a flower on the victim's shoe, and V recognized it. We just slipped out so we could check where he remembers they grow." 

 

Virgil gave a nervous glance to the detective, who smiled. 

 

"Oh? Why didn't you have Roman and I investigate, as we were already in town?" 

 

Virgil's nervous glance turned to panicked, but Patton just gave him an amused look. 

 

"I wanted to see the pretty flowers..." Patton replied, putting forth a perfectly sheepish sounding voice, like a kid who had been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. A tone of voice that was a stark contrast to the sly, knowing smirk he was shooting the witch. Virgil was actually kind of impressed. 

 

There was laughter on the other end before Logan spoke once more. "Of course. Alright, did you find anything?" 

 

"We're still searching," Patton offered, "Did you guys find anything?" 

 

"We learned the victim's name is Clive Diaz, but other than that, we uncovered nothing of value, unfortunately. I'm going to start looking at any surveillance footage I can find" 

 

"Awesome! Alright, I'll let you know if we find anything okay?"

 

"Of course, good luck," 

 

"Bye, Lo!"  

 

"Farewell Patton" 

 

With that, Patton hung up the phone. The detective looked up and giggled at the bewildered look on the witch's face. 

 

"I'm not...  always  as ditzy as I seem," Patton mused, rolling his eyes before giving the other a sly smile, which caused both of them to fall into laughter. 

 

"I gotta hand it to you, that was well played," Virgil giggled as they began walking back to Patton's car.

 

"Thank you!" Patton replied happily, before his tone fell slightly, "On a serious note, though, that excuse isn't going to keep them convinced long. They will expect to hear from us soon about whether or not we find anything." 

 

"I know," Virgil said as they approached the car. "My house is only a half an hour walk from here; 25 minutes if you take Tanglewood trail. If you don't mind me taking your car, I can head to the station and try to keep them distracted while you go talk to Remus and see if he can find Dimitri," 

 

"Sounds like a plan!" Patton cheered before his face fell as he seemed to consider something, "I... does he-? I mean, how do I-, since he doesn't know I know...?" 

 

Virgil chuckled, "Just tell him you learned the truth, and I told you to ask him for help." 

Chapter Text

The short drive to the police station was far too quiet for Virgil, which left his anxiety to fill the silence. The witch tried to distract himself by looking at all the beautiful fall colours, but in the end, his thoughts were just too loud.

 

What a mess this entire situation was.

 

Patton knew the truth... 

 

That fact alone hadn't fully processed in his brain yet. 

 

Should he tell Roman and Logan the truth now? Patton may have taken the news well, but that didn't mean the other two would.

 

Now, however, the dynamic had changed. It wasn't one supernatural hiding the truth from 3 humans. Now one human knew the truth, which meant navigating what was already a thin line just became even more challenging. 

 

There was also the question of what this meant for their friendship. Virgil had sworn that once the case was solved, he would distance himself from the humans to avoid them learning the truth. Deep down, he had a feeling distancing himself from Patton wouldn't have been possible, to begin with, but now it was even less so. 

 

It wasn't just limited to Patton, though. He could lie to himself all he wanted, but the other two detectives had grown on him as well. 

 

All of which just made this situation that much more complicated than it already was. 

 

He pulled into the police station and parked. Once the vehicle was off, he fell back against the chair with a sign, putting a hand to his forehead as he let out another exhausted/frustrated and exasperated groan. 

 

There was also the problem of Dimitri...

 

He prayed to whoever would listen that Dimitri was okay. He knew if anyone could hold their own, it would be her, but she was still only six years old. 

 

With one last sigh, he forced himself to get out of the car and headed into the station. 

 

He did his best to keep his head down as he walked in, but right when he got to the 'unordinary department' door, someone spoke behind him. 

 

"Excuse me, sir, can we help you with anything?" 

 

The unexpected noise made him jump, which didn't exactly help him look 'non-suspicious.'

 

"O-oh, no, I'm just heading in here..." He replied, gesturing with his thumb vaguely to the door that was now over his shoulder. 

 

"I'm sorry, sir, only authorized personnel are allowed through. I won't be able to let you pass without a badge or authorized card." 

 

Now, Virgil wouldn't describe himself as someone who was...  patient , per se. However, he also wouldn't describe himself as someone who was impatient; that was Remus's department. 

 

After the day he had already had so far, though? He was one wrong word away from spelling this guy to leave him alone.

 

Virgil opened his mouth but was luckily cut off by the door in question opening. 

 

"Virgil?" Roman asked as he poked his head out, before glancing at the other officer, "Oh, I see, we really need to get you your own pass around here, don't we?" 

 

Virgil rolled his eyes, "Thank you, captain obvious." 

 

"Don't worry; he's assisting us in the investigation of the Spellwood killer." 

 

"I see, my apologies, have a good day." The officer replied, bowing his head before turning and walking away. 

 

"Where's Patton?" Roman asked as he led Virgil into the department, holding the door open for the other as he passed. Virgil saw Logan glance up at him from his spot at his desk. 

 

"He decided to look for a few witnesses to talk to since we didn't find much; he sent me back here in case you guys needed any help." 

 

"We appreciate it, Virgil, but unfortunately, we are at another figurative dead end." 

 

"Really?" Virgil asked in surprise, "All the witnesses you talked to, nobody said anything? The way you said 'witnesses' it made it sound like there were a lot." 

 

"Everyone said they hadn't seen anything suspicious, and they all have solid alibis. The only interesting report we got was from some drunk guy outside the bar." 

 

It wasn't easy to get a supernatural drunk, though...

 

"Oh yeah? What did they say?" 

 

"It was ridiculous! They went on and on about how they saw some guy in a black hoodie prowling around in the woods. We thought it might be a lead until he went on to tell us he was looking at people through a broken shard of glass and that his shoes were glowing."

 

Virgil suddenly felt sick. Of course! He was using a  truth shard!  That's how he knew who was supernatural and who wasn't! His glowing shoes much have a silencing spell on them, which is how he's been able to sneak up on so many supernaturals! 

 

All he had to do was look at someone through the truth shard, and he'd be able to see their true nature! Then all he would have to do is sneak up on them with his silenced shoes! 

 

"Wait-" Virgil said, spinning around to look at Roman, "Did he say where and when he saw this?" 

 

The desperation in the other's voice caught the detective off guard, "Uhm, yeah, why? He said he saw them earlier today near some trail to the north. Why?" 

 

Virgil's heart was suddenly pounding rapidly in his ears. If the killer was stalking the northern trail right now, and he could see if someone had any supernatural in them then-

 

"PATTON!"

 

Chapter Text

As a kid, Virgil always imagined how much fun it would be to sit in a police car as it raced through the city with it's siren's blaring. Getting to speed through the roads as others cleared a path for you. The reality was much less enjoyable. 

 

Logan was driving; Roman was in the passenger seat while Virgil sat in the back. 

 

He told them it was a psychic's intuition that Patton was in danger. Thankfully, they didn't ask any more questions before they were on their way. 

 

Warmth and the tase of iron struck his tastebuds and flooded his mouth. 

 

The witch always bit his lip when he was nervous, anxious or tense. He couldn't remember the last time the action had drawn blood, however. He couldn't bring himself to care at the moment.

 

 

Panic.

 

 

His thoughts were so loud he could barely hear the blaring of the car's sirens. The world around him was out of focus; everything outside the windows was reduced to a blur of colours as the world shot by. 

 

His veins were  screaming  with electricity. The magic in his bloodstream felt like it was  burning.  As if it wasn't blood, but magma coursing through his veins. 

 

 

Something was wrong. Something was wrong, and he  could feel it

 

 

Panic .

 

 

Virgil clenched his fists, ignoring the pounding of his heart in his ears as he wrestled to keep his magic from lashing out. He forced himself to take a deep breath.  Calm. He had to stay calm .

 

"Still no answer," Roman said, hanging up the phone after trying to call Patton for the fourth time, "Something's wrong; this isn't like him to go radio silent on us." 

 

 

Panic.  panicpanicpanic panicPANICPANIC-

 

 

The bitter taste of iron hit him again.

 

"I've got his last known location plugged into the GPS. We will find him, Roman." Logan reassured as he made a sharp turn, semi skidding on the gravel of the road beneath them. 

 

Virgil noticed his fingernails were embedded deep into the flesh of his arm, but he was barely able to register the burning sensation of it. Once again, he couldn't bring himself to care. 

 

He could feel the buzz of his magic across his skin.

 

 

Stay  CALM , damn it!

 

 

"The GPS shows he is only a dozen or so meter's down the road from Virgil's store. He probably-" 

 

Virgil tuned the detective out, only able to hear the throbbing palpitations in his ears. Dread was rising in his throat, making a home in his esophagus as a swelling ball that was beginning to restrict his airflow. 

 

Invisible hands seemed to wrench their fingers around his lungs when the vague shape of something appeared in the road.

 

 

No...

 

 

It didn't take long for the usual blue and beige to consume the shape, but what would have been familiar colours were thrown to chaos by the dark red splattered across them. The dark rusty red flowed between the gains of gravel like long tendrils escaping outward.

 

 

No. No. No. No-

 

 

The car hadn't even come to a full stop before all 3 of them were out, running toward the figure on the ground. 

 

 

NO!

 

 

Logan was the first to get to the body, kneeling to put a finger on Patton's neck to check his pulse. The following moment of silence stretched for what felt like an eternity. 

 

 

Is he...?

 

 

IS HE?!

 

 

Logan shook his head sadly. 

 

Roman knees immediately made contact with the gravel of the road below him, and Logan stood, turning and walking away a few paces. They were both crying, their frames shaking as the wept silently. 

 

Virgil however, breathed out a huge sigh of  relief

 

Patton's necklace was glowing.

 

The witch finally seemed to get his hearing and body movements back under his control as he ran up and knelt next to Patton, skidding across the gravel slightly from the speed of his running before he had dropped to the ground. He heard somebody call out something to him, but he wasn't listening. 

 

He waved a hand over Patton's lifeless body, revealing he had only been dead for 20 minutes. Good, he had time-

 

Suddenly he sensed a detective on either side of him and felt a hand of each land on his shoulders, attempting to pull him away. 

 

"- It's a crime scene now, Virgil, we can't-" 

 

Don't. Don't. Don't. Don-

 

His magic was still going haywire from his emotions. Unable to react quickly enough to stop himself, the witch sent both detectives cascading through the air, watching as they collided with the grass beside the road across from him.

 

"I'm sorry," Virgil said, looking at both of them, bright glowing purple eye's on full display, "I'll explain everything soon, but right now, we're running out of time." 

 

Virgil raised a hand, purple mist dancing between his fingers as he drew a symbol in the air. 

 

" subitis ," The witch announced loudly. The symbol in the air vanished and sent out a silent shockwave. 

 

Suddenly there was a blinding flash of red light next to them, which fading to reveal Remy. 

 

"Vee what's- oh no," He said when his eyes found the half pixie on the road, tone dropping from worried to horrified. 

 

Before the witch could respond, there was a green and black blur as Remus came to be standing next to them, "Oh fuck" 

 

"He has his necklace on, which means we have about half an hour. Remus, bring him inside and lay him on the couch, will you?" 

 

"Roger, copy!" Remus replied. After another sudden blur, both he and Patton were gone. 

 

The witch and demon then took off toward the house, leaving the two stunned detectives who were still sitting in the grass. They exchanged a look before opting to take off after the others.

 

Janus was standing in the doorway of the shop, having nearly gotten bulldozed by Remus when he sped by with Patton.

 

"What happened!?" He called as they approached. 

 

"Patton was attacked, but he was wearing his necklace. We have about 30 minutes." 

 

They made their way into the living room where Patton had been laid down on the couch. Remus was crouched next to him. Logan and Roman came in behind them, standing near the back wall, frozen in shock as their brains struggled to comprehend what was happening in front of them. 

 

"Remy, I need you to go into my workshop and grab me some ground daydream berry, powdered wisp essence, leviathan blood, fire aspen sap and a handful of void bark sawdust. I also need my mortar and pestle." Virgil instructed as he knelt down on the ground next to Patton.

 

"On it." The demon replied before taking off through the doorway.

 

"You two-" Virgil continued as he turned to the naga and vampire. He reached up, causing a flash of purple as he pulled two film-covered test tubes out of thin air. "- I'm going to need both of your venoms." 

 

"Venom?" Roman questioned quietly, staring at Remus as Virgil handed him and the other guy, whom he didn't recognize, a vile. 

 

Remus's eyes flickered up to meet Romans for a moment, an unreadable expression on his face, before suddenly those chocolate brown eyes Roman knew so well turned to a bright glowing blood red. 

 

Remus looked down to the vile as he opened his mouth, extending both of his fangs. Once they had descended, he pierced the film over the test tube's opening with one of his fangs, filling the bottom with a clear substance. 

 

Deceit did the same, eyes glowing a bright yellowish-green, fangs growing into existence as he pierced his own vile. His test tube was partially filled with a fluorescent neon yellow liquid that looked akin to highlighter ink. 

 

Once they were done, they both handed their tubes back to the witch, who poured them into a slightly larger vile he also pulled out of thin air. Virgil then corked the top and shook the two venoms together. 

 

Just then, Remy reappeared, coming into the living room with a mortar and pestle under one arm and a bundle of ingredients in the other. 

 

Virgil pulled the coffee table over next to him to use it as a floor-level work table, instructing Remy to put all the items on it. 

 

Virgil once again reached up and, in a flash of purple, pulled a large needle out of the air. He sprinkled a pinch of what looked like purple powder into the venom and shook it up again. Once it was mixed, he sucked the mixture up into the needle.

 

Seeing Virgil lean forward with that needle in his hand finally seemed to snap Roman out of whatever stupor he had fallen into. 

 

"HEY!" He barked, "What the hell do you think you're doing!? Don't touch him!" 

 

"Look, Roman," Virgil replied, trying his best to sound sympathetic but miserably failing to hide both the panic and slight exasperation in his voice. "I know this is hard to understand right now, but there is so much going on here that you don't understand-"

 

"You damn right!" Roman snapped, "I don't know what the  hell  is going on right now, but what I  do  know is you're not injecting him with whatever that is! This is the real world! There's no bringing back the dead!"

 

"Wake up and smell the flowers already, princey!" Virgil shot back, "Your standing in a room with a witch-" He pointed to himself, letting his eyes glow a bright purple, "A vampire!-" He pointed to Remus, his bright red eyes staring back at them, "a naga!-" his finger now aimed at Janus, whose eyes were also glowing, "and a demon!" he jerked his thumb over his shoulder towards Remy, who lifted his sunglasses for a moment to display his black eyes. "You're not in the  real  world anymore!" Virgil hissed as he continued, "And right now, we're running out of time, so either  shut up  or  get out !" 

 

Roman stumbled backwards, having hit the wall as his eyes darted to all their glowing counterparts around him. Without another word, he turned and left to go out onto the porch. 

 

"That goes for you too," Virgil warned as he met eyes with Logan. The detective simply held up his hands in a peaceful gesture, having gathered that he was in way over his head here. He was playing a new game without so much as a glance at the rulebook. 

 

With that, Virgil turned back to the half pixie on the couch and injected the mixture into his arm. 

 

 

Chapter Text

There was a tense few minutes of silence that fell between the group. The only sound was the light rain that had just started falling, hitting the window softly. In the end, Janus was the one to break the silence. 

 

"What's the plan here?" he asked, shifting on his feet nervously, which was an unusual emotion to see on the naga.  

 

"well..." Virgil began as he arranged some of the items on the table. They watched as he put the powdered wisp essence, powdered daydream berry and what looked like pitch-black sawdust into his mortar and began grinding it together with the pestle. "It's pointless to bring him back if this wound isn't healed. Once the magic holding the soul in his body wears off, he'd just die again. We can't risk corrupting his soul by letting it jump between planes more than it has to. The problem is his magic is going to reject any healing magic because it won't recognize it." 

 

"Like... like when the immune system attacks transplanted organs because it doesn't recognize it?" Logan asked hesitantly, trying to translate what was being said into words he could understand. He was unsure if speaking at all was going to break the 'shut up or get out' rule.  

 

Virgil hesitated for a second, thinking about it, before nodding, "Yeah... pretty much exactly like that actually."

 

Virgil reached over and picked up the jar of fire aspen sap, pouring a couple of spoonfuls worth in and mixing it into the other ingredients in the mortar. 

 

"Isn't his magic dormant? Actually, why didn't it protect him in the first place?" 

 

"The stabbing happened too fast; the magic didn't have a chance to react. It is dormant, but it's on high alert now; any little thing could set it off," The witch explained as he mixed. 

 

"I-if I may?" Logan asked quietly. Virgil looked over to him, showing no irritation with him speaking, which was relieving. 

 

"Hmm?" 

 

"Well, when people get an organ transplant, they suppress their immune system. Are we going to do something of a similar concept?"

 

"No, or- well..." the witch hesitated for a moment, furrowing his brows as he struggled to find the right words, "Ironically, I think we're doing the exact opposite, yet to get the same end result." 

 

"So then what's the plan?" Janus asked, repeating the original question.

 

"I'm going to force activate his magic." 

 

"What!?"  

 

"The magic surge of it activating should heal him a good amount. After that, he will be pretty much drained and won't have enough left to fight off any other healing spells. What I'm mixing here is a bunch of stuff that his magic should identify as a threat. In reality it's all harmless, but it should be enough to set it off" Virgil added the leviathan blood into the mortar, mixing it in with the rest. "Think of it like... pouring so much fuel on a fire it burns itself out,"

 

"And what happens when it goes off, exactly?" Janus asked, raising an eyebrow, "Because I'm dating this guy," He pointed at the vampire next to them, "and in my experience, there are consequences to pouring fuel on a fire before it dies out, usually an explosion." 

 

Virgil and Remy laughed, while Remus stuck his tongue out at the snake childishly. 

 

"Well, your right. When it goes off, we do our best to contain the blast," Virgil replied casually, "Or more accurately,  I  do my best to contain the blast," 

 

"What was the point of our venom?" Remus interrupted, sitting down on the couch past the detective's feet. 

 

"Your's will numb the pain and help heal the wound. Dee's will slow his heart rate to minimize any extra blood loss once his heart gets going again and will also help relax his muscles. Logan?" 

 

The detective flinched at the sound of his name, having been lost in his own mind. 

 

"Y-yes?" 

 

"Take two steps to your left." 

 

Logan didn't question him, sidestepping over. 

 

Virgil raised his hand, and what looked like a hole with a glowing purple edge appeared in the wall, giving a clear view through the wall into his workshop on the other side of it. Logan was lucky he didn't lean in front of the portal to look through it, as suddenly a large book shot through the hole and into the witch's hand, hitting his palm with a smack due to the speed.

 

Logan considered himself a reasonably intelligent man. There was scarcely a conversation, spoken in English, that he couldn't understand at minimal the basic strokes of what was being said. 

 

Right now, though, he may as well have been listening to a conversation in a different language, because he was absolutely, thoroughly disoriented and confused. 

 

He watched wide-eyed as Virgil opened the newly acquired book, holding both covers with either hand. Despite the fact both of the witch's hands were supporting the weight of the large leather book, the pages began flipping, coming to a stop after a few moments. Virgil took one of his hands off the bottom of the book, pointing at something on the page to help guide his gaze as he read. Despite this, the side of the book in question was aloft in the air as if still being held. 

 

Suddenly Logan felt something in his stomach turn uneasily. A strange sense of what the detective would describe as 'mental vertigo' hit him. It felt like he was in a carnival funhouse; everything was warped, distorted, and  wrong . His entire  world  was being turned upside down. The world was built on  physics  and  logic , and  mathematics.  It was these principles that helped him get through the day! It was these universal laws that allowed everything around him to make sense! They were the basis of his choices, beliefs, actions!! 

 

Yet here he was, watching something that defied every universal law he could think of, because Virgil removed both hands from the book, turning back to the mortar on the table, yet  the book stayed put

 

His trust in the very foundations of the world around him were shattering.

 

Oblivious to the mental crisis Logan was having, Virgil spoke again.

 

"Alright, everyone brace yourselves," he declared, holding the mortar over Patton's chest. He turned his head to the demon behind him, "Remy, sit down, just in case." 

 

The demon nodded and sat in the adjacent armchair. As soon as he was situated, Virgil poured the potion directly into Patton's stab wound. When the bowl was emptied, he dropped it to the ground with a loud clang and stumbled back, quickly holding his hands up, purple dancing around them, and eyes glowing bright. 

 

The hole in the medical examiner's chest began to emit a blinding light, and suddenly what looked like a purple forcefield surrounded him. The containment spell was just in time because not a second later, there was an explosion of pink erupting from the wound. 

 

Virgil dropped to his knees, seemingly struggling to contain the continuing blast. 

 

Janus was immediately at his side, everyone watching as what looked like a pink hurricane trapped in a balloon kept whirling. Suddenly all the lights and candles around them began flickering, throwing them into moments of darkness, room only illuminated by the almost blinding glow of the magic. Logan noticed the air in the room suddenly felt.. electric. All the hair on his body was standing up, and it felt like there was static electricity all over him. 

 

Finally, after what felt like hours, yet in reality was only a mere minutes, the pink light faded. 

 

Virgil let out a massive gasp of air like he had been drowning, coughing and sputtering as he tried to regain his breath, dropping his hands to the floor to support himself. 

 

"You good?" Deceit asked quietly, running a gloved hand up and down his back. 

 

"Yeah, now for the healing spells." 

 

"If everything is okay in here since it looks like we successfully contained the nuclear bomb, I'm gonna go check on my bro," Remus said as he made his way to the door.

 

"Sounds good." Janus nodded. 

 

"Wait, what do you mean  we  contained it?" Virgil asked incredulously, but the vampire was already gone. 

 

Chapter Text

Roman didn't even flinch when the chime of the front door opening behind him rang out. He was so deep in his mind, lost in a maze of his own thoughts. Of course, he  heard  the bell, but he couldn't bring himself to  care .

 

So he just stayed where he was, leaning both arms on the rail of the front porch, watching the rain hitting the gravel road in front of him steadily. The wind had picked up, blowing steadily. In the back of his head, he realized he had walked out without his coat and was  freezing;  but again, he couldn't bring himself to care. 

 

So when he saw Remus in his peripheral vision walk up and lean on the railing next to him, he, of course, couldn't bring himself to care. 

 

They stood there in silence, watching the rain, wind and trees for a few moments before Remus finally spoke. 

 

"So..." 

 

Remus wasn't one to struggle with conversation; in fact, he was quite the opposite. He rarely had trouble finding something to say; regardless of how weird or gross it would be, he could usually figure out his next words pretty quickly. Right now, though, he was blanking. He had absolutely no idea what he could possibly say. 

 

"Welcome to the world of the weird," he decided on finally. 

 

Roman gave a small humming noise to acknowledge he had heard him but made no effort to respond in any other way. They once again found themselves standing in silence for a few moments. 

 

Remus hated silence. It felt like looking at a blank piece of paper that was just  waiting  to be filled. The possibilities were endless, yet they appeared to have already reached this conversations end. 

 

Luckily, Remus didn't have to come up with something else to say because Roman finally spoke.

 

"That's why you left, isn't it?" He asked quietly, "all those years ago, that's why... you left because your a-" His breath hitched, choking on the word in his throat. 

 

"You can't even bring yourself to say it," Remus said bitterly, yet defeatedly at the same time. 

 

"Remus," Roman said in a somewhat desperate sounding tone, "What...? I mean, how..?" 

 

Remus gave a deep sigh, rolling his bottom lip between his teeth for a moment while he thought. 

 

"Do you remember that new year's party I went to a few years ago? The one in the abandoned train yard? The one that... you told me not to go to because you didn't trust the people there?" 

 

"You mean the one you went to and didn't come home for three days after because you apparently got laid for the first time?" Roman replied flatly. 

 

Remus couldn't help but chuckle a little, "Yeah, well, that was a big fat lie. For what it's worth, at the time, I was still a virgin, but anyway- yes, that one. The truth is, and I don't say this often, so don't get used to it, but: You were right. That party was terrible news. I had something slipped in my drink, don't remember anything from that night, really. The next morning, I woke up in one of the abandoned shipping containers missing my wallet, phone, and beaten to what really should have been death," 

 

"What!?" Roman cried, turning his head to look at his brother for the first time in shock. Remus just kept staring ahead of himself, unable to meet the other's gaze.

 

"I also had two holes in my neck." 

 

"Wait, you mean-" 

 

"Yep. It took me three days to get home because I was so disoriented. I couldn't remember anything at first. It took nearly two hours to even remember my own name. The only thing I knew was that I was  covered  in blood, yet was somehow not only alive but in no pain at all. I had injuries I didn't remember having before, but they were all almost fully healed. At the time, I blamed it on whatever I'd been drugged with. When I finally got home, I grabbed clothes from the clothesline outside, told you and mom I'd gotten laid for the first time and lost my phone in the train yard because I didn't want to worry you." 

 

"Remus, you didn't-" 

 

"I was  scared , Roman," Remus interrupted, turning to meet his brothers' eyes for the first time. "On the surface, maybe it was fear of disappointing you and mom. Maybe it was pride, not wanting to admit you were right, or that I was too weak to protect myself or whatever. But Something was happening to me, something was  wrong,  and deep down I knew it." 

 

Remus sighed, looking back towards the rain on the road, "I tried to lie to myself, tell myself everything that was happening was a result of the drug, but as the days went by, it became harder and harder to believe. The first few days weren't anything extreme; light's seemed brighter, noises seemed louder, smells seemed stronger. I could easily dismiss that as side effects of the drugs. But then one morning, we were getting up for breakfast, and you walked past me, and-" 

 

Remus stopped himself before his voice broke, biting his lip. He could see his brother look back at him out of the corner of his eye. If he was telling the truth, he couldn't just give some half-truth. If this was his chance, he had to say it, everything, and face the consequences. Even if those consequences were his brother being afraid of him. 

 

Remus's head fell, chin coming down to meet his chest as he sighed again, "As you walked by, I could  hear  your heartbeat. I could smell you, and I felt this hunger sensation that I couldn't understand. I didn't quite know  what  I was hungry for. All I knew in that moment was you weren't safe, so I booked it." 

 

"I remember that morning," Roman replied quietly after a moment of silence, "I accidentally slept in that morning. I had just gotten out of the shower and was hurrying to get breakfast. I walked into the kitchen, and suddenly you flew out the door like the fire alarm went off. I got to your door to ask you what was wrong, but you wouldn't even let me in and said you realized you had to do something you'd forgotten about. I was already late and didn't have time to push you. You avoided me like the plague for the rest of the week." 

 

"Mhm," Remus agreed, shifting on his feet uncomfortably, "The tipping point was that weekend. Mom was getting worse, so a nurse came in to take her blood. You called me in to help with something while it was happening. I walked in through the door and was immediately hit with the scent, and as soon as I saw the blood in the tubes, it was-" 

 

For the second time, Remus had to stop himself before he lost it. He took a deep breath, regrounding himself. 

 

"I'm not easily scared." Remus stated once he had composed himself, lifting his head to watch the rain again, "There hasn't been much I've actually been afraid of in my life, and I have never been more afraid of anything than I was of myself in that moment."

 

"You ran off. That was the last time either of us saw you," 

 

"Yeah," Remus replied quietly, "I don't even remember where I ran to. I just needed to get as far away from both of you as I could. I just kept going until I came across a drunk guy in an ally. He was bleeding after getting in a bar fight, and I-"

 

That time, his voice broke slightly. 

 

"You..." Roman replied in shock, unsure what to say. Remus just nodded. 

 

"I nearly killed him..." He said quietly. His voice sounded so broken suddenly, and it wasn't a voice Roman could ever remember hearing from his brother, "Thankfully, I wasn't starving; I didn't end up taking much in the end. It all happened so fast, I couldn't stop myself, and once I stepped back and realized what I had just done..." 

 

"Did he become...?" Roman asked quietly. 

 

Remus shook his head, "No, thank god it isn't that easy. It is passed down genetically, like if one of your parents is a vampire."

 

"Mhm"

 

 "but if your human...well...you already found out I have... venom... but usually, it only makes our victims more... compliant. It heals the wound, reduces the pain, makes them all dazed while we're feeding, etc. In order to turn, you have to have more vampire venom in your bloodstream than you do of your own blood. The night I turned, I was beaten so bad, I had lost so much blood... that the little amount of venom I had was enough," 

 

"God Remus..." Roman muttered in disbelief, at a loss for words. Suddenly Roman realized his cheeks were wet, and he wasn't sure if some of the rain had been blown into his face or if he was crying. 

 

"Anyway," Remus said, redirecting the conversation, "I don't know how, but I ended up in the forest outside spellwood. Some of the forest spirits saw me, and ended up telling Dee, who came to find me. He knew what I was and took me to Virgil and Remy, who helped and explained everything. I was still so afraid of myself and didn't trust myself; I couldn't go home. I wrote you the letter and slipped inside when I knew you were out with mom taking her to an appointment. I grabbed as much as I could of my stuff and left. I couldn't bear the thought of hurting one of you." 

 

There were a couple more moments of silence before Roman spoke again. 

 

"Remus, why didn't you just tell me the truth?" 

 

"Would you have believed me, Roman? Honestly?" Remus asked, looking at his brother, " I had no proof, I couldn't run super-fast, make my eyes glow or control my fangs yet. The only proof I had was that I nearly killed a man. Think about it, can you honestly look me in the eyes and say you would believe me?" 

 

Roman hesitated, holding eye contact for a moment before dropping his head to look away, "No... I can't..." He muttered. 

 

After another moment of silence, Remus spoke again, this time with a lighter, almost playful tone, "I mean, how would you even bring that up in conversation? Can you imagine? 'hey bro, I think I'm turning into a vampire. I nearly killed a man in an alley today; also, side note, you smell  delicious , is that a new cologne?'" 

 

Roman snorted before they both fell into laughter. The detective was shaking his head slightly with a small, fond smile on his face. 

 

When their laughter died out, silence once again fell, and the brothers watched the rain beginning to let up for a few minutes. 

 

Finally, Roman broke it. 

 

"I really missed you." He admitted.

 

Remus smiled, "I missed you too," 

 

Suddenly, the door chime rang, and both brothers turned to see Deceit poke his head out. 

 

"He's about to wake up; you guys might wanna come back in."  

 

Chapter Text

Logan was so deep in his own thoughts; he didn't notice when the man in the bowler hat, whom he didn't recognize, took over for Virgil in healing Patton. He didn't notice that this man's magic was lime green instead of purple, and it was much more sparkly or glittery than Virgil's. 

 

Logan's eyes were simply locked on the ground, staring into nothingness as he sat on the edge of a bench that Remy had pulled out for him and put in front of the bathroom door. If his brain were an ocean, he would be so deep in his thoughts; he would have been standing at the bottom of it. 

 

He was unaware that Virgil was looking at him, feeling pretty bad for the detective. Now that he had a chance to look at him, the witch could almost see smoke coming out of the detective's ears with how many thoughts must be swirling in his head. Virgil knew how much this information could flip your entire world upside down; he had seen it time and time again, with every newly turned vampire, werewolf or zombie and more. The fear, panic and ultimate distrust that settled about the world around them and of themselves. 

 

Ultimately, the only thing that brought Logan back to the surface was hearing his name being called. 

 

"Logan!" 

 

The detective's eyes seemed to lose the glaze that had come over them as he snapped his head up to the owner of the voice, meeting eyes with Virgil, who was now back kneeling next to Patton. 

 

"Huh? Yes?" 

 

"I asked if your gonna be okay," Virgil asked softly, the concern and sympathy evident in his voice. 

 

"Yes, I'm fine," Logan replied automatically, sitting up straight again and smoothing down his tie. 

 

The witch raised his eyebrows with a soft smile, "That's not what I asked," 

 

The detective blinked for a moment, thinking, before something in him seemed to cave, and he went back to slouching slightly. 

 

"I'll be fine; this is just... a lot." His brain was too scattered to think of a more intellectual sounding answer. 

 

"Yeah, I can imagine," Virgil replied, giving him a sympathetic smile. The detective just nodded, gaze falling to the floor once more. 

 

"Hey," The witch called softly, tilting his head a bit to catch the detective's gaze at it refound him, "If you ever need someone to talk to, I'm here, okay?" 

 

Logan gave a small grateful smile and nodded, opening his mouth to reply before getting cut off by Janus, Remus and Roman all re-entering the room. 

 

Remus and Janus went and sat down together on the other sofa, as Roman stayed in the doorway, leaning against the doorframe. 

 

"so... what now?" Roman asked quietly. 

 

"Now I put his soul back into his body," Virgil replied, as if it were a normal thing to say. Before Roman could respond, however, Virgil took a deep breath and clapped his hands. 

 

"Alright, in order to do this, I need everyone to be quiet, okay?" He explained, mostly to the two humans in the room, who nodded, "Also, once he wakes up, he is probably gonna be pretty disoriented. It's going to take him a moment to get his bearings, and then he is probably going to panic. Give me a chance to calm him down and tell him what's happening before you try to talk to him, alright? Coming back isn't always... a pleasant experience..." 

 

Logan stopped himself from mentioning that the witch sounded like he was talking from experience. 

 

Once again, everyone nodded. Virgil glanced at Remy, and tipped his head toward the armchair to tell him to sit down. 

 

Once everyone was situated, Virgil took another deep breath before his eyes lit up in their bright violet glow. He held his hand out over the medical examiner, right above the necklace, which was now glowing a bright swirling white. 

 

Slowly, the bright white ball of light that seemed to form at the center of the necklace began floating upwards toward the witch's hand. Once it was right underneath Virgil's palm, he spoke, though his voice was now echo-y and distorted. Like there were two of him speaking at once and overlapping each other.

 

"Against the will of nature's law, bend to my command and live once more." 

 

With that, Virgil raised his hand, the ball of light seemingly stuck to it, before throwing the orb back down and into Patton's chest, where it vanished. 

 

There was a second of silence before Patton's eyes shot open, and he let out a huge gasp, filling his empty lungs with air and jolting up into the sitting position. His hands immediately flew to the stab wound in his chest, before his eyes seemed to focus finally, and landed on the witch in front of him. 

 

"Patton, hey, Patton," Virgil said, holding his hands up to try to calm the other, "It's okay, you're okay," 

 

It took him a moment to process the words and for his brain to come up with the response before he replied, "Virgil...?" 

 

The witch just nodded before suddenly Patton's face paled.

 

"wait... am I..?" 

 

"No, no," Virgil shook his head before placing a reassuring hand on the other's shoulder, "I got to you in time; you're alright, you're alive." 

 

The medical examiner let out a massive sigh of relief. Before he could ask anything else, Virgil spoke again. 

 

"And there are others here with you as well," the witch explained with a smile, before tipping his head toward the door, where the other two detectives now stood behind the couch. 

 

Patton's eyes flickered over before a smile came to his face, "Oh, hi guys," 

 

"I can't believe it..." Roman muttered, staring at the other, completely stunned, while a silent tear ran down his cheek, "He actually... you're actually..." 

 

"Wait," Patton said as his mind seemed to register something before he looked back at the witch, "Does that mean- do they...?"

 

Virgil gave him an amused smile, "That secret didn't stay secret very long now, did it?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. 

 

Patton just giggled.

 

"Wait, how did he find out?!" Remy asked, pointing at the half-pixie on the couch in confusion. Virgil blushed, and Patton just giggled harder. 

 

"I may or may not have walked in on him, talking to our latest victim in the morgue." he laughed, which caused Remy, Janus, and Remus to all burst out laughing. Even Virgil, despite the red in his face, started chuckling until Patton winced, causing him to hold up his hands.

 

"Alright, alright, we can laugh later; you're still hurt." Virgil scolded, despite the small smile on his face. 

 

Suddenly a quiet voice came from behind the couch, "C-can we?" Roman asked, making a vague pointing gesture toward Patton.

 

Virgil smiled again, "Go for it," He replied, getting up to give the two detectives room, "Just be gentle." 

 

The witch barely got out of the way fast enough before Roman sat down behind Patton, and Logan sat on the edge of the sofa next to his legs. Immediately Roman pulled him backwards into a hug.

 

"Don't you ever scare us like that again!" He cried into Patton's shoulder, having given up on trying to hold his tears back. Even Logan had to push his glasses up to wipe tears away from his eyes. 

 

Virgil sat on the arm of the armchair next to Remy, watching the scene in front of him with the largest genuine smile the demon may have ever seen. 

 

The three detectives seemed to have completely forgotten anyone else was in the room, as they were all laughing, crying and hugging without restraint now. The witch would deny the tear that he quickly wiped away till the day he died, but he couldn't get the smile off his face as he watched the scene in front of him. 

 

He glanced over to the snake and vampire on the couch, who were cuddled up together, watching the display quietly with equally big yet soft smiles.

 

Suddenly, the witch heard a voice in his head.

 

"You know... without you; this wouldn't be happening right now... right?" 

 

Virgil looked down next to him to see a knowing yet happy smile and two black eyes peering over the rim of sunglasses, looking back at him. The demon raised his eyebrows slightly as if to drive home his point, and the witch resigned the smile on his face to somehow get bigger as he simply nodded and looked back at the detectives.  

 

It may have its ups and downs; it may be challenging and even painful. Sometimes things didn't work out; some people feared or hated him. Parts of him even feared or hated himself. But sometimes? Sometimes Virgil was one of the select few people ever who could bring that kind of happiness into the world.

 

The witch ignored the second tear that ran down his cheek, merely continuing to watch, hoping this memory would forever be ingrained into his head. 

 

Sometimes, maybe being a necromancer wasn't so bad. 

Chapter Text

Virgil was still watching the detectives when something in the back of his mind started screaming that he was forgetting something, and the realization hit him like a train. 

 

DIMITRI!

 

Immediately the witch jumped to his feet, the sound getting everyone's attention. 

 

"I'm really sorry to interrupt, and I'm sure you guys have like a billion questions, but I'm going to need you guys to stay confused for just a little bit longer. Patton, do you still have the ribbon?" 

 

"Oh! Yeah!" Patton replied, pulling the ribbon, which thankfully didn't have any of his own blood on it, out of his pocket and handing it to Virgil. 

 

"Before Patton walked in on me talking to Clive, he told me his daughter Dimitri was missing. He had gone out to try and find her when the killer jumped him. We found a mage bite flower on his shoe and went to look and found one of Dimitri's hair ribbons in a nearby bush. Patton was bringing it to Remus," Virgil explained, turning to the vampire on the couch and holding the ribbon out. "You're our best shot, Reems." 

 

"On it," Was the only reply he got before there was a sudden blur, and the ribbon in his hand was gone. The rush of wind blew out a couple of nearby candles.

 

"That's going to take some serious getting used to," Roman stated in a slightly dazed tone, staring at the spot on the couch where his brother had just been seconds before. 

 

Nobody got a chance to respond, though, because just like that, there was another blur, and Remus was back. 

 

"I think I found her, but we're gonna need Remy." 

 

"How are we going to do this exactly?" Remy asked, "I can't port' this many people, and Patton needs to stay close to Virgil. Remus needs to show us where she is, and I doubt the other two here will want to stay behind," he explained, nodding his head toward the other two detectives. He left Janus out, who probably wouldn't complain if he had to stay at the house. 

 

Virgil opened his mouth to reply, but Remus piped up, "Actually, she's pretty close, around the rocks at the base of the mountain out behind the house. Only a 5 minutes walk, I'd say" 

 

Virgil hummed in thought before turning to the medical examiner on the couch, "Do you think you can walk, Pat?"

 

"Uhm, I think so?" 

 

"Alright, just take it slow, and make sure someone is next to you in case you get dizzy, alright?"

 

"Sounds good kiddo!" 

 

On the walk there, they made sure to go slowly so that Patton could keep up, who was still a little wobbly and in a bit of pain. Janus also introduced himself, telling them his name was deceit, but they could call him Dee. Virgil went on to explain the very basics to the two detectives as they walked, telling them they could ask questions when they were back at the house. He explained how he brought clive back, why he couldn't do it permanently, unlike Patton, revealing to the half pixie the enchantment on his necklace. He explained that everyone in spellwood was a supernatural, including the victims aside from Jane. He explained why they were stabbed through the heart and admitted he wasn't psychic, telling them the truthful origins of all the info he'd given them. 

 

"So, the information you had regarding Jane's murder, such as her being in the tree, trying to get to her phone and her passcode, you acquired from speaking to her ghost?" Logan asked.

 

"Basically. I couldn't exactly talk back to her, since you guys were right there, but yeah, and none of the other victims have been left as ghosts, which is why I brought clive back," 

 

"This is... like a lot to process. There is so much to this case we had no idea about," Roman replied, leaves crunching under his feet. 

 

Virgil replied with a sympathetic hum, but in reality, his brain was screaming:  just wait until we get home, and I have to tell you the truth about Patton

 

The witch's stomach turned nervously as he thought about it. How would they react? How would  Patton  react? Despite how much of a coward he was, Virgil couldn't keep this from the medical examiner now because soon enough, his magic would begin to regenerate, and they needed to be prepared. 

 

He glanced over his shoulder to look at the half pixie in question just in time to see him nearly trip on a branch, causing Remy to catch him. Patton just giggled, using the demon's shoulder to re-steady himself. 

 

Virgil really didn't want to diminish that bubbly smile. 

 

Suddenly Remus's voice broke through his thoughts. 

 

"Up here!" 

 

Slowly, the group approached the steep base of the mountain that was littered with boulders and rocks of differing sizes. 

 

Remus held a finger to his lips, before pointing to what looked like the entrance of a cave in the rocks. 

 

"My nose tells me she's in there," Remus whispered. 

 

"So is someone just going to go in and try to talk her out?" Roman asked quietly, making Virgil chuckle quietly.

 

"Unless you wanna get burnt to a crisp, Remy's the only one going in" He laughed. 

 

"Excuse me?" Roman replied, eyes wide in shock. 

 

"She's a dragoni, aka half-dragon. If she gets scared, then it's flame on," Remus explained. 

 

"Alright, everyone back up," Remy said, getting the other two detectives to stand next to Patton in case he were to fall before going toward the entrance. Once everyone had stepped back a few feet, the demon hopped in, igniting a small flame on his finger to act as a light source. Unlike most supernaturals, a demon's night-vision wasn't all that much better than a human's. 

 

He crept through the small dark cave, hearing water dripping around him as the flame on his finger flickered. Suddenly, a pair of ruby red and gold eyes appeared in the dark, and the next thing Remy knew was an explosion of fire obscured his vision. 

 

Outside the cave, the group was waiting with bated breath, staring at the entrance, when it suddenly erupted in a blaze, flames licking the cold stone and shooting out into the air. All three humans let out various cries that ranged from panicked to horrified before Virgil made a 'calm down' gesture with one of his hands. 

 

There was a beat of silence before Remy's voice came echoing out of the cavern, "Jeez Louis hun! What are you trying to do; turn me into a s'more?" 

 

The voice that responded was the most comically adorable little girl's voice ever. "Remy! Don't scare me like that!" She replied before letting loose a playful, bubbly giggle that could rival Patton's for cuteness. 

 

The three detectives exchanged confused looks. Were they supposed to believe that hurricane of fire came from the same source as that giggling voice? 

 

There was another beat of silence before Remy emerged from the cave, holding hands with the most adorable little girl they had ever seen. 

 

She had long, rich mahogany hair with large bouncy curls and blunt bangs. The top part of her hair was done up in two pigtails, one of which was missing it's bow. Two small deep red horns could be seen poking through her hair from her temples. Her little pink dress fell to her knees, which had little heart bandages on them. She wore frilly mismatched pink stockings below her knees, one of which was stripes, the other was a heart pattern. 

Dimitri

Patton nearly squealed at how cute she was.

 

Logan was obviously more focused on her horns, but it was her eyes that stunned Roman the most. If molten blood were a colour, that's how he would describe them, littered with streaks of gold among the deep reds. 

 

Remy was holding her hand, but she let go of it to climb through the rocks, doing so with practiced ease and perfect balance before wobbling a bit when she hit the grass. 

 

The detectives had no clue what to make of this. She looked like a predator on the rocks, traversing them like some sort of mountain lion, but as soon as she stepped onto the grass, she stumbled like a toddler who lost their balance, looking anything but predatory. 

 

As soon as she saw the others, her eye's landed on Virgil. 

 

"Uncle Vee!" She cheered, running towards him. The witch crouched down just in time for her to throw her little arms around him. 

 

"Uncle?" Roman asked in an amused tone, which only earned him a glare. 

 

"What about me, you little wildfire?" Remus called out in a mock offended tone once the hug broke. She giggled again, before running over to give him a hug as well. Janus, who was standing next to the vampire, simply pat her head affectionately. 

 

"Look what I found," Remus said before holding up the pink silk that led them to her. 

 

"My ribbon!" She cheered happily, taking it into her small hands, before pouting slightly, "I don't know how to tie it though..." 

 

"Don't look at me," the vampire replied, making eye contact with Virgil, then Remy, and finally Janus, all of whom shook their heads. 

 

"I can tie it for you, kiddo!" Patton piped up, taking a few steps towards her. 

 

Dimitri turned, finally noticing the three detectives.

 

"Who are you?" She asked curiously, tilting her head. 

 

"These are our friends Patton, Logan and Roman," Remy explained, pointing as he spoke. 

 

"But..." she replied, uncertainly evident in her voice, before pointing to the two detectives behind Patton, "Those two are human..." 

 

The three detectives shared a confused glance whilst Virgil and Remy shared a panicked one. 

 

"These are our  three  human detective friends," Remy quickly cut in, "Don't worry, they can be trusted," 

 

"Huh, okay," She replied with a shrug, before the smile was back on her face, and she bounced over and handed her ribbon to Patton, who happily began tying it in her hair. 

 

"What are your horns doing out, Dimi?" Virgil asked, walking up and kneeling down to be eye level with her while Patton tied her bow, "Is your glamour wearing off already?" 

 

"No, I just hate hiding them!" She pouted. 

 

"All done!" Patton announced as he finished her bow.

 

"Yay! Thanks, uncle Patton!" she replied, doing a twirl as if to show off her appearance. 

 

Patton's face went bright red as he looked up towards Virgil, who swore he could see stars in the medical examiner's eyes.

 

"Why don't you want to hide them?" Virgil asked.

 

"Because I love my horns!" She answered. "Plus, they go with my dress!" she added like it was obvious. 

 

The witch just laughed and let it go. He decided he had to know when to pick his battles, and right now, he had more important questions to ask. 

 

"What were you doing in the cave, Dimitri?" 

 

Suddenly her face fell slightly. 

 

"Hiding from the bad man," She muttered quietly. 

 

"Bad man?"

 

"The one who stabbed daddy." She replied far too easily, leaving everyone shocked. Before anyone could respond, she continued, "Daddy... daddy's dead, isn't he?" she questioned quietly. 

 

Virgil just gave a sympathetic half-smile and nodded his head, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear gently. 

 

The dragoni let out a sad sigh, "I'm gonna miss him. He was my favourite daddy".

 

Virgil ignored the horrified looks the detectives were sharing, "Do you remember what happened after he hurt your dad?" the witch asked softly. 

 

Dimitri shifted on her feet, little fingers fidgeting with the bracelet on her arm as she looked at the ground. 

 

"After he stabbed daddy, he tried to stab me too. He ran at me, but I was too quick, and he missed. Then he grabbed my arm-" Suddenly she looked up at Virgil with a very satisfied expression, "-so I bit him," She explained, smiling to show off her fangs proudly. 

 

Virgil almost winced sympathetically. He wouldn't wish dragon venom on pretty much anyone. Luckily he had never experienced it, but most people said it was the most painful thing they ever experienced; it felt like lava coursing through their veins and scorching their skin. 

 

"Then he grabbed my bow and pulled it off when I tried to get away; then I turned around a burned him. Then I saw him jump through this pink portal, and then I ran away and hid" 

 

"Remind me never to get on your bad side," Virgil joked, which only caused her to pout. 

 

"Uncle Vee! You could never! I love you too much to burn you!" 

 

Virgil felt his face immediately light up like a Christmas tree as he chuckled, giving her a smile. 

 

"Alright, how about we head back home and get you something to eat?" Remy announced as he walked up beside them, lifting Dimitri by the waist to carry her like a toddler. 

 

Suddenly, Dimitri yawned, slumping against Remy's chest, and Patton would swear he saw a spark shoot out of her mouth as she did. 

 

"Yeah, okay," She replied. 

 

They were about halfway home when Virgil commented that they would need to figure out what to do with Dimitri while they talked. Before anyone else could respond, he heard Remy chuckle softly behind him. 

 

"I don't think that's gonna be a problem, babes," He replied, causing Virgil to turn and look at him. 

 

He smiled, realizing Dimitri was sound asleep in Remy's arms, head resting against his shoulder gently. 

 

Chapter Text

As soon as they got home, Remy put Dimitri to sleep in his bed downstairs while everyone else got situated. Virgil told Patton to sit back down in his previous spot on the couch to rest. 

 

"Vee, I'm fine," Patton giggled as he was basically forced down onto the sofa. 

 

"Yeah, but you won't be soon."

 

"What do you mean?" 

 

Suddenly Virgil waved his hands in the air, making a motion like a magician throwing a sheet over something, only for a blanket to appear out of thin air mid-throw and land across the medical examiner on the couch. "Our spells are going to wear off in about..." He trailed off, and Patton watched his eye's light up as he waved a glowing hand towards the other, "About 5-10 minutes, give or take. Think of it like pain killers wearing off, except we have to let your body do without for a while to heal fully. Unfortunately, the body can get reliant and addicted to healing spells, just like pain killers. It won't be too bad, but there are some other minor symptoms you're going to experience too, like nausea, dizziness, fatigue, etc." 

 

"So you're on sofa rest until further notice," Remus joked, causing everyone to chuckle slightly. 

 

Just then, Remy reappeared behind them at the top of the basement stairs, "yeah, she's out like a light. Poor thing is exhausted." 

 

"Yeah, I can imagine; she must have been so scared all alone in that cave!" 

 

"Yeah, she's a tough cookie though, already been through a lot." 

 

Virgil, who had slipped out into his workshop, appeared back in the doorway and walked into the kitchen, discreetly placing a small bag on the counter. While facing away from the group, he closed his eyes and focused. 

 

The three detectives were now listening to Remus tell them about Dimitri's history. He explained that hunters killed her birth parents, and she nearly killed her first foster parents after accidentally setting the house on fire. They decided she was too much to handle and found someone else to take her on, who also ended up passing her along, which was how she ended up with Clive. 

 

While they talked, Virgil reached out to Remy. 

 

"Hey, can you come make Patton some herbal tea with mock rose, grave sugarplum, par-snipe and bitterleaf? Our spells are going to wear off soon, so he is going to need it. You should also add some mimewart to suppress his magic and slow down its regeneration," 

 

Remy turned to look at the witch in the kitchen, who was now facing him and nodded. Having been the only one to hear the mental message, no one else reacted. 

 

"Oh, could you ask Janus to make coffee for everyone too? I'm sure the detectives could use it after the day they've had." 

 

Remy nodded again before reaching out to the naga on the couch. Unlike the demon, Virgil could only telepathically talk to him, thanks to their connection, whereas Remy could reach out to anybody that let him into their head. It also took the witch a lot of energy to do, unlike the demon.

 

Janus flinched slightly at the sudden voice in his head, causing Remus to look at him worriedly out of the corner of his eye. The snake looked over to meet eyes with Remy and nodded. He whispered to Remus, before slipping out from under the vampire's arm and quietly making his way into the kitchen. 

 

Virgil sighed; he could feel his brain and body shutting down on him. He wasn't used to being in this 'leader' position. He wasn't built for it; he wasn't able to live up to the expectations, responsibilities, or have the organization and communication skills leaders were meant to have. He was too anxious, had too much social anxiety, and more. 

 

He was pretty impressed with how well he had handled the day so far, though, but he also wasn't that surprised. When someone was in danger, his instincts took over, and he was on autopilot. He didn't have the time to stop and think about everything there was to be anxious or unsure about. The only thing that mattered was saving the person in trouble. But now that everyone was safe, he could feel the weight and emotions of the day crashing down on him like an avalanche. 

 

He couldn't let himself stop yet, though, because he still had an important conversation to have with the detectives. Once that was over, he could let himself relax.  

 

"You two are coffee drinkers, right?" the witch asked, gesturing to the two detectives as he walked back over towards the couches and flopped himself down into the single armchair clumsily. He was so tired; he could feel the added weight of his long cloak with its oversized sleeves. Regardless, he didn't want to take it off. He had grabbed it the second they came into the store with Patton; he would be a fool to go casting such big spells without it on. He didn't exactly need it now, but he was so used to wearing it, it was definitely a source of comfort. With all the long hanging extra fabric, it acted like a blanket he could curl up in. 

 

"Yeah- wait, how did you know that?" Roman asked in confusion. 

 

"Patton mentioned it while he was telling me about the coffee shop next to the station," Virgil replied casually.

 

"And... you bothered to remember?" he asked in shock, ignoring the feeling of...  something  fluttering in his stomach. 

 

The witch blushed, but shrugged, "yea, I guess," 

 

"Vee here has a really insane memory!-" Remus piped up excitedly.

 

"Reems..." Virgil muttered, blush still present on his cheeks. 

 

The vampire didn't falter, though, and just kept talking, "Just try asking him what ingredients are in used in a glamour spell." 

 

Immediately, all three detectives' heads snapped to look at the witch in the chair, who was steadily getting more red and was not-so discreetly sinking into his cloak. 

 

Virgil just crossed his arms. No one had actually  asked  him, so he wouldn't answer. 

 

Unfortunately, Roman quickly caught on.

 

"Hey Doom and Gloom, what ingredients are used in a glamour spell?" he asked, an irritatingly smug and happy smile on his face. He and Remus were definitely twins, alright. 

 

The witch huffed and rolled his eyes, sinking back into his chair farther, but if you looked closely enough, you could see the corners of his mouth were turned up. Suddenly he glanced back with his own smug smirk. 

 

"I don't know, I can't remember." 

 

"Ughhhh, Vee! Show off your super awesome amazing memory skills!" Remus whined. 

 

"I don't know what you're talking about Reems. It's something like shifter blood, a couple rain lilies, maybe some volcano moss?" Virgil replied, trying his best to sound innocent, but the sly, amused look on his face betrayed him. 

 

"Ugh, you no fun," the vampire complained, thumping his head back against the couch. 

 

Virgil just laughed, bringing a hand up to cover his mouth while he did so, only chuckling harder when Remus glared at him. 

 

After a moment, though, no one said anything, the detectives and vampire were just staring at him, waiting, and finally, he caved. Virgil groaned, tipping his head back to look at the ceiling for a moment. 

 

"Fine. To cast a glamour spell you need," Virgil began, tone like an annoyed toddler who was being forced to say sorry, holding up his hand to list the ingredients on his fingers as he went, "Dried witch's spearmint, one ground naga scale, satin oak bark ash, two jester leaf, three rain lily, volcano moss, tainted laceflower, a tablespoon of lunar sap, aircorn husk, black angel's trumpet, one phoenix feather and half a vial of shifter's blood."

 

Virgil, who'd been looking away while listing off ingredients, glanced up to see all three detectives were staring at him, eye's wide in shock. Remus was sitting on the adjacent couch, wearing a very satisfied smirk on his face. 

 

"Oh come on, I cast that one all the time; of course I have it memorized," The witch argued, blushing more, when suddenly Janus appeared behind him. 

 

"What does everyone take in their coffee?" he asked, before suddenly tensing up. The naga could feel all three humans staring at him, and more specifically, the snake side of his face. He had been careful to keep that side of his face turned away from them at all times, that plus the chaos of everything, they must not have truly  seen  it until now. 

 

Unlike most naga, who could look completely normal with a glamour, Janus had been cursed to be 'unable to hide the truth' by a fae he had crossed as a child. Trying to hide all his scales would cause him a lot of pain. Both Virgil and the local fae had offered to try and break the curse, but he turned them down, as a deal was a deal, and ultimately, the fae upheld their end. Usually, he didn't mind much, as he rarely interacted with anyone who found his features abnormal. On the odd occasion he did have to talk with humans, though, like right now, it was pretty uncomfortable. 

 

"Uhm, I'll have my coffee black, please," Logan replied

 

Janus nodded uncomfortably before his eyes flicked over to Roman.

 

"I- uh, two cream, two sugar, please," he replied. 

 

The naga nodded again, before looking at Patton, "Remy is making your tea," He explained, before turning and semi rushing back into the kitchen. 

 

"That's... what did he say, dee, right?" Roman asked quietly, unaware the naga could hear him in the kitchen. 

 

Virgil just nodded, before smirking slightly, "That's also, in case you haven't put it together yet, your brother's boyfriend, I was telling you about." 

 

Roman blinked for a second, seemingly thinking. In the anarchy of the day, he  hadn't  actually put that together. A small smile began to tug at his lips, "huh, neat," He whispered, meant only for him to hear. 

 

Suddenly Janus fumbled with something in the kitchen, and Virgil had to bite back a laugh, knowing the naga had heard him. 

 

Seconds later, Janus and Remy came back into the living room. Janus gave the two detectives their coffees before Remy came up behind them and asked them to move so he could sit with Patton, which they did. They stood awkwardly for a second, unsure of where to sit until suddenly, Remus's voice got everyone's attention. 

 

"Hey, Vee! Catch!" He called before effortlessly throwing the bench Remy had gotten for Logan across and over the two sofas. Virgil's eyes lit up as he caught it with his magic, just seconds before it would have crushed him. "Jesus Reems, warn a witch," he scolded, way calmer than the three detectives would have expected as he set the bench down in front of the fireplace.  

 

"That's no fun, though!" Remus replied as he hopped the back of the other couch, landing next to his boyfriend, whom he nearly caused to spill his coffee. 

 

Patton, who had been leaning on the arm of the chair, scooted forward so Remy could slip in behind him. He put a pillow on his lap and turned slightly so that the half pixie could lean back against him. 

 

"How're you feeling?" Remy asked, ruffling the other's hair gently. 

 

"Worse," Patton admitted, "I can for sure feel the magic wearing off. Things are starting to hurt a bit, not too bad, but I can feel it." 

 

Remy hummed, before moving to hold the tea he made in front of Patton, "Here, this should help you feel a lot better. It might not taste the best, but I promise it'll ease your symptoms," 

 

Patton nodded, reaching his hands up to take the mug from the other. The second it was in his hands; however, the pixie was too shaky and almost splashed himself. Remy quickly reached out, helping stabilize it before helping guide it to the medical examiner's mouth. 

 

"Thanks, Remy," Patton said before taking a sip. 

 

"Of course, Patsy," Remy replied, using one hand to play with the other's hair while the other helped guide the mug of tea, "Just make sure to drink slow, so you don't make yourself sick, babes."

 

As soon as Patton had taken a sip, he wrinkled his nose, causing a few others to laugh. 

 

"It's not that bad," Patton explained, looking down at the drink in his hands, "But... it's certainly not good," 

 

That got everyone laughing. 

 

Once it had died down, there was a second of silence as everyone drank either coffee or tea. Virgil hadn't realized just how much all that magic had drained him until he took a sip of his coffee. After a moment, he spoke up to break the silence, knowing he had to. 

 

"Alright, I promised you guys would be able to ask all the questions you wanted once we were back home, a-and you can!" He reassured quickly, "I explained a lot while we were walking, but there's still a couple things that are important to explain first, and then we'll answer everything we can, okay?" 

 

When everyone nodded, and no one objected, the witch continued. 

 

"Okay, let's get the most... shocking out of the way first..." he hesitated, swallowing the nerves in his throat and taking a deep breath, before forcing the words out of his mouth,

 

"The only people in this room who are completely human are Roman and Logan."

 

 

Chapter Text

What had been a comfortable atmosphere turned cold, words hanging in the air like daggers as the three detectives processed the information. 

 

Finally, it clicked, and Patton jolted into an upright position, staring at Virgil with wide eyes. Luckily, once Remy had realized where Virgil was going, he had pulled the tea away from the other, so he didn't burn himself. 

 

"w-what do you mean?" He asked, the fear evident in his voice. Virgil took another deep breath, setting his coffee on the table next to him. 

 

"Do you remember the night you watched a movie with Remy while you waited for me to get home? When you went to thank me for earlier that day, you grabbed my hand, and I flinched back like you burned me or something?" 

 

Patton just nodded shakily. 

 

"That was the first time we had physical contact, and my magic detected yours," He took another deep breath, forcing the words out of his mouth once more, "Your half pixie, and your magic was dormant, but in order to heal you, I had to force activate and basically tire it all out" He explained, trying to put it into words the other could understand. 

 

Virgil watched as the medical examiner looked down at his hands, which were now shaking.

 

"w-what?" Patton almost whimpered, but Roman piped up before the witch had a chance to respond. 

 

"There has to be some mistake; there's no way he's- I mean, we've known him since we were kids!"

 

Ah yes, denial, the first stage of grief. 

 

"His magic was dormant Roman; he was pretty much as human as everyone else,"

 

"but there surely would have been at least some signs!" The detective argued. 

 

Second stage; anger.

 

Virgil opened his mouth, but Patton spoke first.

 

"K-kiddo, you know I trust you, but are you sure there's no way your magic could have been picking up on something else?"

 

There was the bargaining. 

 

"Patton, you remember how mage bite had a spell cast on, so humans couldn't see it? Until I asked Rose to lift the spell on the phone while we were in the car?" 

 

Patton nodded slowly. 

 

"Who was it that noticed the mage bite on Clive's shoe,  before  I had Rose lift the spell?" 

 

Patton Froze. 

 

"Had Roman or Logan been there," Virgil continued, "They wouldn't have been able to see it, Pat..." 

 

The witch watched the colour suddenly drain from the half pixie's face as the realization struck him like a train. His hands began trembling, and his breathing increased.

 

Fourth stage; depression. 

 

Immediately, Virgil slipped out of his chair, and knelt down next to him, grabbing both of Patton's hands in his own, which was a weird action for him, but he knew the other would find it comforting. 

 

Virgil would say he was subpar at best when it came to comforting people normally. He was usually too anxious he'd say the wrong thing, not know what to say, or make it worse. This though? Comforting new supernaturals he was good at. This he had done a dozen or more times. 

 

He knew the five stages people went through, and while Remy was much better at dealing with the first three, the fourth was his strong suit. He understood all the anxious ideas a person's head could come up with and knew what they needed to hear. 

 

Using that logic, maybe he wasn't so bad at comforting people in general after all.

 

"Hey, look at me," The witch said softly, giving the other's hands a gentle, reassuring squeeze, continuing once Patton looked over at him. "Your okay." He stated matter-of-factly, leaving no room for Patton to think otherwise, "The only thing this means is you have some magic you didn't know about. You're not going to- no offence Remus- start drinking blood or anything like that, okay? And you have a room full of people who are gonna help you through it, alright? You're not alone." 

 

Patton felt Remy place a hand on his shoulder comfortingly at that, which did help. 

 

"And most importantly," Virgil added, squeezing the pixie's hands once again for emphasis, "You're still you," 

 

That last part seemed to be the thing every new supernatural he encountered needed to hear most, and by the way Patton relaxed, it seemed he had needed it to. 

 

Patton nodded, wiping a single tear away from his eye and leaning back into Remy's lap, who helped him take another sip of his tea and went back to playing with his hair to help calm him down. 

 

"Let's sit back and relax while I explain some more stuff, and we'll get into the details of this later, okay? We've all had a long day, and nothing is going to happen right away, I promise." 

 

Once again, Patton nodded, taking a deep breath before exhaling a slightly shaky, but still calmer than before, sigh. 

 

With the hardest part over with, Virgil breathed a sigh of relief, standing up, returning to his chair and turning toward the other two detectives.

 

"w-what else don't we know?" Roman asked, sounding more nervous and unsure of himself than Virgil was used to. 

 

"As I said, you two are the only full humans in this room, so-" 

 

"Wait-" Patton cut him off, eyes full of stars as he was now back in fairytale land. "I know about you-" He pointed at Virgil, "And you" He pointed at Remus, before tipping his head back to look at Remy, "what about you?" 

 

The demon in question seemed to instantly deflate slightly, face falling as he gave a defeated sounding sigh. "I'm a..." He hesitated, "demon," he finished quietly, looking away at the ground. 

 

He expected Patton to leap out of his lap; maybe if he was really unlucky, one of the detectives would pull a gun on him or something. What he wasn't expecting was:

 

"Really?" 

 

Remus's head snapped back toward the detective in his lap in shock at the unafraid but curious and almost fascinated tone. The two eyes that were looking up at him were shining with curiosity, which made him feel even worse, because he knew he was about to extinguish the flame. 

 

He sighed before slipping his shades up onto the top of his head, displaying his solid black eyes for all to see, face full of resignation as he twirled one of Patton's curls in his fingers nervously. 

 

"Whoaaaa," Patton replied, causing the demon to freeze. Though the oblivious detective simply continued, "Your eyes are so pretty..." He said in awe, "They look like deep space or something!" 

 

And just like that, Patton then lifted his head to look across at the man next to Remus, "What about you?"

 

Remy, however, barely heard him, head snapping to look at Virgil and giving him the most comically overdramatic and expressive ' did that just happen ' face the witch had ever seen. Virgil snorted at the demon's reaction before Janus could even respond, having to slam a hand over his mouth to keep himself from laughing anymore. However, it was too late, as Patton caught it. 

 

"What?" The half pixie asked, looking at Virgil, before following his gaze to look back at Remy. 

 

"I-" Remy started, before shaking his head and looking down at Patton, "That's it? You just found out your laying in the lap of a demon, who is playing with your hair, and you don't care?" 

 

Patton's eyebrows furrowed in confusion, "Of course I do! I think that's really neat! Of course I care about you!" 

 

Virgil couldn't help the small chuckle that escaped as he glanced over to Roman and Logan, who was also having a hard time not laughing at just how  Patton  this entire situation was. 

 

Remus and Janus seemed just as baffled. 

 

"I- no, I mean," 

 

"Most people are afraid of him when they find that out Patton," Virgil explained, "Even other supernaturals," 

 

Patton gave Virgil a baffled look before looking back at Remy, "No offence... but we're cuddled on the couch while you help me drink tea... you're not exactly very scary."

 

So many  emotions flashed through the demon's face like a flickering light before he simply crashed down, wrapping his arms around Patton and burying his face into the other's shoulder. 

 

"Virgil, I'm keeping him," Remy stated, voice damped by the pixie's shirt, causing everyone to laugh, including Patton, who reached up to ruffle the demon's hair affectionately. 

 

Chapter Text

 

"So, what about you?" Patton asked after a moment, looking back up at the man sitting next to Remus, "You're... deceit, right?" 

 

The other nodded, "Most people call me dee, though," 

 

"While I obviously have no inclinations into the naming habits of your kind, I find myself doubting the authenticity of your name," Logan piped up, adjusting his tie slightly.

 

The naga opened his mouth, but Remus spoke up first, "He deals with the fae in the forest a lot, so deceit is the name he goes by. Once he trusts you, you might get his real name." 

 

"Why?" Roman asked.

 

"Have you ever heard legends about creatures who could command you to do anything against your will if they learned your real name? That's a fae." 

 

"That sounds terrible!" Patton commented. 

 

"Wait, you said he deals with 'the fae in the forest,'" Roman said, pointing at his brother, before turning towards Virgil, "does that mean there are some in  this  forest?"

 

The witch nodded, unsure why Roman had to ask  him  this question, "The forest Spellwood is in  belongs  to the fae. We made a deal with them that we could build our town and live here, and in exchange, all the supernaturals in town would protect their forest. The local fae have admittedly been very good to keep to themselves and not do anything, but I'd still be wary if you ever meet one," 

 

"So why are you the one who deals with them?" Patton asked, looking over at Janus again.

 

"I'm a naga, which is a type of forest spirit, so they tend to trust me more," 

 

"A naga...? What's that?" 

 

Deceit opened his mouth to reply but hesitated, blinked, then closed it again, unsure of how to respond. Unfortunately, Remus piped up. 

 

"Think mermaid, but instead of half fish, he's half-snake." 

 

Deceit just facepalmed, causing everyone else to laugh. 

 

"Why am I dating you again?" He muttered under his breath while pinching the bridge of his nose. 

 

"I think it's the mustache," Remus teased, wiggling his eyebrows slightly as he leaned over closer to the other. 

 

Janus huffed and rolled his eyes despite the slight pink in his cheeks, "I can  assure  you that caterpillar has nothing to do with it," 

 

"huh, must be the bedroom skills then," Remus replied in a tone that was way too neutral, casual and normal-sounding for what was being said. 

 

"You've got the skill of a cat trying to play the violin," Janus deadpanned with a scoff though the small smirk betrayed the comment's joking nature. 

 

"I still hit all the right notes~" Remus purred in response, causing the snake to blush even more as the vampire leaned over closer. 

 

"Hey!" Remy interrupted, having covered Patton's ears, "There are children in the room, you two!" causing everyone to laugh.

 

The conversation progressed like this, with the three detectives asking many different questions about the others.

 

Logan, however, was having a difficult time focusing on the discussion. 

He kept getting distracted by the sight of Patton and Remy on the couch cuddled up together and the weird pang of jealousy it kept igniting in his chest. 

 

He knew the reason, not that he would ever admit it to anyone. There was no way he could admit he had  feelings for Patton . But the detective had already almost lost Patton once. What if he lost him again without ever at least confessing? There was no way the other would... reciprocate these feelings? 

 

No, he wasn't about to risk ruining such a meaningful friendship with these nonsensical  feelings  rattling around inside his head. 

 

He found his eyes had once again drifted over to the pair, and despite his best efforts, the flutter of different emotions once again swirled in his chest. 

 

Logan shook his head, grinding his teeth slightly at the annoyance of being unable to control his emotions before forcing himself to tune back into the conversation.

 

"So wait," Roman interrupted whatever they had been talking about before, "How many types of supernaturals are there, exactly?" 

 

The supernaturals in the room all shared glances between each other for a moment before the other three all landed back on the witch, leaving Virgil to have to speak. 

 

He didn't want to be the one to speak up, though. After the day he had, all he wanted to do was to go to bed. Now that the panic was over, he was reverting back to being the shy, socially anxious witch who didn't like being in the spotlight like this. He had gotten away with being relatively quiet up until now. 

 

Unfortunately, he had promised the detectives answers, and out of everyone, he knew the most about supernaturals. Remus was new to this world to begin with, Janus knew more than the average supernatural, but he mostly focused on plant and forest-based things. Remy knew a fair amount about hell and soul magic, a topic normal supernaturals, unlike demons or necromancers, wouldn't have a clue about. Virgil, on the other hand? He had studied both of these topics and just about everything in between. 

 

Being a shy loner left you with a lot of free time to read books. Combined with putting himself in charge of helping any supernatural that came to him in need, he knew quite a bit. 

 

"There isn't really a set, well-known, official number. Some supernaturals haven't been seen in decades or more that could be thriving in secret. I guess that also changes based on what your definition of a 'supernatural' even is." 

 

"Is there not an exact description?" Logan asked, 

 

 The witch shook his head, "Not at all; take dragons, for example, they could be considered an animal, but they possess magic. Vampires, werewolves and such are also tricky because they could be thought of as humans who've contracted diseases." 

 

"Fascinating"

 

"But-" Virgil continued, looking back at Roman with a knowing smirk, "I'm going to guess you're not very interested in the exact number and just wanted to know some of the different ones that do exist?" 

 

The detective blushed slightly and nodded. 

 

"Uhhh, off the top of my head?..." the witch thought for a moment, "Well, this town is home to witches, dryads, dragonis, naga, vampires, sirens, elves, satyrs, demons, werewolves, shapeshifters, zombies, and elementals...? Probably forgetting some," 

 

"Ents, giants, harpies," Remy joined.

 

"Forest spirits or animal hybrids," Janus added. 

 

All three humans had eyes the size of dinner plates, making the supernaturals laugh. 

 

"I- wow, that's, jeez, that's like a lot- wait, did you say zombies?" 

 

"Don't think walking dead," Remy explained, "They basically just need to eat a lot to regenerate their bodies, which are pretty much indestructible. Since their cells aren't alive, and they don't have a pulse, they don't need oxygen and stuff either, or even feel any pain. They are pretty cool." 

 

"Out of that whole list, there weren't even any psychics," 

 

That caused Virgil to laugh, "Psychics are... iffy, and hard to explain," 

 

"Wait," Roman interrupted, "I just realized something... If your not psychic," He turned to Virgil, "How did you know Patton was in trouble?" 

 

"Oh right," the witch replied, laying his coffee down on the side table next to him, "You said one of your witnesses was looking at people through a shard of glass, and it all clicked-" 

 

"Are you kidding me!?" 

"Well, that explains that" 

"Un-fucking-believable!" 

 

All three other supernaturals made comments over each other in frustration at the realization. 

 

"Yeah, I don't know how we didn't see that one coming, not that it helps us much anyway," Virgil sighed. 

 

"Uh, English, please?" Roman asked, making a few of them chuckle. 

 

The witch opened his mouth to reply, before blinking as he seemed to realize something, "Oh, we forgot to tell them about earlier, with Rose." 

 

"What?" all three detectives asked in unison. 

 

"The night after having supper at Patton's, we went to Rhys memorial, and then we all went out spellcasting, all of us plus Rose, we-" 

 

Suddenly Virgil seemed to realize something else as he quickly hopped to his feet. 

 

"Someone else continue; I just realized something," He said before rushing off into his workroom. 

 

"is he always this cryptic?" Roman huffed, crossing his arms slightly but watching the retreating witch with a small smile. 

 

"You get used to it," Remy replied before taking over where Virgil left off to tell them what had happened that night. He revealed that they learned the killer was human after their encounter and were confused as to how he knew who was supernatural or not. Remy explained that a truth shard was a shard of broken enchanted glass that revealed a person's true nature when you looked at them through it. 

 

Right as he finished, Virgil came back into the room. 

 

"Son of a bitch has an anti-tracking rune on him," He grumbled as he made his way back toward his chair. 

 

"Language!" 

 

"Sorry, Pat," the witch apologized.

 

"What was all that about?" Roman questioned. 

 

"The night we all went out, I cast a spell that put a tracking spell on any soul's that died and then left the area, but wherever they're going, they are too far away to track from here. Patton's necklace also had a spell on it that should have put a tracking spell on anything that attacked you, but it didn't work, meaning he has an anti-tracking rune on him," 

 

"Okay, back up, you still never answered my question. What does a truth shard have to do with knowing Patton was in danger?" 

 

"A truth shard reveals someone's true nature, meaning the killer would be able to see Patton's pixie blood. You said he had been seen near the area I knew Patton was in." 

 

"So, the killer is only targeting supernaturals?" 

 

The witch nodded.

 

"Why?" 

 

Virgil just sighed, "Who knows," 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Shortly after, the group realized it was well past midnight, and the detectives should be getting home, or at least, the two human ones. 

 

"Wait, why can't I go home?" Patton asked, his tone not irritated but curious. 

 

"Two reasons. One, when you bring a soul back from limbo, the soul is weakened from all the dimension-hopping, but it also has this... tether or connection to having been in limbo. Like there's a lingering scent of it or something. A scent that phantas will pick up on." 

 

"Phantas?" 

 

"One of the many names for these... parasitic entities that live in limbo. Until your soul regains it's strength; it's vulnerable to them." Virgil explained. 

 

"Why does staying near you make him safe?" Roman asked, the protectiveness he had for the pixie coming through in his tone. 

 

Before the witch could respond, Remy started laughing. 

 

"I feel bad for any phantas stupid enough to get near him" The demon laughed, pointing to the witch, who blushed. 

 

"Why...?" 

 

"I can sense them and... they can sense me... thanks to my connection to the afterlife and all. I have a lot of magic, so I give off a pretty big... uh... kinda, heat signature?" Virgil replied, struggling to find a way to explain it. 

 

"Basically, they can sense how powerful he is and know better than to fuck with him," Remus piped up from his spot on the couch next to Janus. The two of which had decided they would rather spend another night on the sofa than risk going out this late. 

 

"What's the second reason?" Patton asked.

 

"Your magic. Until you learn to control it a bit, it's not safe to be around humans, both for you and them. You don't want them to see anything," 

 

The witch purposefully left out the part about if Patton lost control of his magic, he could hurt someone. 

 

"Oh... okay then," Patton replied with a slightly nervous smile and nod. 

 

With that, the two detectives went home, and everyone got settled away for the night. Patton stayed on the couch while Remus and Janus shared the other, both of which were reclined back. Remy, having a dragoni in his bed, set up an air mattress on the floor where the coffee table had been. Once he was sure everyone else was good, Virgil went up to bed. He barely managed to pull the sheets over himself before he was sound asleep. 

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------

 

 

When the morning finally rolled around, the witch slowly blinked his eyes open. He went to stretch sleepily, before he quickly realized two things.

 

One was that he was  unusually  warm.

 

The second, was that he wasn't alone in bed. 

 

For a split second, he almost panicked before his magic woke up enough to recognize the aura. He could feel the weight of someone against his chest as he looked down and forced his eyes to focus. His gaze was met with a mass of mahogany curls. 

 

Dimitri was sound asleep, snuggled as close into him as she could get, forehead against his chest. Virgil thanked whatever god was listening that he hadn't rolled over in the middle of the night and caused his jugular to become acquainted with the two red horns that were aimed up at him. 

 

As Virgil's brain continued to process what was happening, he realized something else. Not only had she managed to crawl into bed with him, but she had,  somehow , managed to crawl  inside  of his hoodie with him. 

 

That explained why he was so warm, considering dragoni's had a much higher body temperature, but it also baffled him because he was usually a  very  light sleeper, so how had she managed to do this without waking him up? 

 

Maybe he'd been a lot more drained than he realized. 

 

It wasn't that he minded all that much, although he had no idea  why  she was here. He still felt slightly nervous, though, because what was he supposed to do now? Virgil had never been one for kids. 

 

It wasn't that the witch  disliked  kids; he just... wasn't good with them. He was a bad influence, and he didn't want to risk hurting them if his magic lashed out. 

 

So why was there a 6-year-old child curled up in bed with him?

 

Virgil felt a slight panic rise in his chest. What was he supposed to do? Was he supposed to go back to sleep? Did he wake her up? Should he try to slip out without disturbing her? What if she woke up while he was trying to leave? Would she be upset he was leaving her alone? 

 

The witch pinned his eyes shut and forced himself to breathe. This was stupid; he was getting worked up and anxious over something stupid again. Normal people wouldn't be having any problems in this situation. This was probably normal for kids. 

 

He was just being stupid again.

 

Stupid. StupidStupidStupid-

 

His thoughts were abruptly cut off by Dimitri moving against his chest. He froze, worried he had woken her up. 

 

She yawned, tipping her head back away from where it had been curled up, tucked against the witch, causing Virgil to have to tilt his head back to avoid the horns. 

 

She must have felt him move because she slowly blinked her eyes open, red and gold pupils glancing up at him sleepily. 

 

"Gud'mowrning uncle Vee" She muttered sleepily, which was quickly followed by another yawn. 

 

"Uh, morning," The witch replied uncertainly, "What... what are you doing up here? Weren't you in Remy's bed?" 

 

The dragoni nodded, causing Virgil to once again have to dodge her horns. He was not in the mood to lose an eyeball this morning. 

 

"I had a nightmare," She muttered, seeming to finally start actually waking up, "I didn't wanna be alone," 

 

"Why didn't you curl up with Remy in the living room?" Virgil asked curiously. Why him? Wasn't she closer to Remy anyway? 

 

"He was already cuddled with someone else," Dimitri explained, which was strange, considering the demon had been alone last time Virgil had seen him. 

 

"Plus, I don't know, I just wanted to snuggle with you instead," she added quietly. 

 

The witch felt his heart melt like a candle, and he immediately wrapped his arms around her back, pulling her into a hug before he even realized what he was doing. 

 

Okay, maybe  this  kid wasn't so bad. 

 

"Okay, well, I don't know about you, but I, for one, am hungry," Virgil replied after a moment, "Whaddaya say we go get some breakfast?" 

 

The witch heard her stomach growl at the mention of food, which made both of them laugh. 

 

"Yes, please," She replied, slipping out from his hoodie and wiggling her way out from the blankets. 

 

 

 -----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

They entered the living room to see everyone else was still sound asleep. Janus and Remus were cuddled up on the sofa, and it seems at some point last night Patton had joined Remy on the inflatable mattress. 

 

Before Virgil could stop her, Dimitri had pounced onto the sleeping demon like a tiger catching prey. Remy let out a startled yelp, which woke everyone else up. 

 

"Good morning," Dimitri giggled shamelessly, a big, cheeky smile on her face.

 

"Good grief, you little rascal!"

 

"She's hungry; we should all get breakfast anyway," Virgil explained before his eyes drifted to the pixie, who was still clutching his chest from the fright. 

 

"How're you feeling, Pat?" 

 

"Hm? Oh, uh..." The pixie hesitated, seemingly thinking for a moment, "I'm okay, still a little sore, but better, and uh..." He glanced down, examining his hands, "a little... weird... feeling?"

 

"Weird feeling?" The witch asked, walking around the sofa to crouch down next to the other. 

 

"I don't know like... kinda all tingly?"

 

Then it clicked. 

 

"Ohhh,  that  would be you feeling your magic for the first time," The witch explained, extending his hand toward the other, "May I?" 

 

Patton nodded, taking the witch's hand. 

 

"This... may feel a little weird," Virgil warned, before closing his eyes. 

 

The sensation started softly, before slowly getting more intense. Patton watched as purple and pink magic swirled around both of their hands. It felt like he had dunked his hand in a bucket of soda; that was the best way to describe it. His hand felt like it was covered in static electricity and fizzing bubbles or something. 

 

It took a moment, but finally, Virgil let go, opening his eyes again, "Man, pixie magic regenerates fast good grief," he muttered to himself before meeting the other's eyes, "Is that better?" 

 

Patton thought for a moment, looking between the witch and his hand, "y-yes, actually, what did you do?" 

 

"I just tried it out again, that's all," He said before standing up, "Now let's get some breakfast, cuz-" 

 

"Yay! Finally! I'm starving! I'm so hungry I could eat a cow!" Dimitri cried before falling backwards off of Remy's lap dramatically. 

 

Virgil decided not to mention how her eating a cow was a real concern. 

 

Patton ended up making everyone pancakes, per Dimitri's request, as he was the only one who knew how to make them. The dragoni and Remy were eating together at the table, while the other four were sitting in the living room. 

 

"So, what's the plan for today?" Janus asked, "Cuz I was planning on going to ask the forest sprites for any help." 

 

"That sounds good to me, though you're not going alone, have Remus come with you-

 

"But he has work-" The naga interrupted before he was also cut off, 

 

"Alonzo won't have any problem with me taking the day off, especially if he knows I'm helping Vee with this case," Remus replied.

 

"You're not going alone, Dee," Virgil stated, leaving no room for argument, "Your both also wearing a soul necklace and a panic ring," 

 

"Panic ring?" Patton questioned.

 

"It's a little ring for their finger that they can use to send out a kinda distress signal of sorts that will let me know they're in danger," 

 

"Oh, neat!" 

 

"Then what is everyone else doing?" Remy asked as he and Dimitri came into the living room. The demon plopped himself down into the armchair before Dimitri climbed up and into his lap. 

 

"I'm taking Patton to meet Rose, who said she'd love to help teach him about his magic," Virgil replied, before turning to Patton, "She's a druid, so her magic similar to yours."

 

The pixie just nodded, taking another sip of his tea. 

 

"Then I have to get back and make potions for all the forest spirits in the village since winter is coming up. You think you two can hold down the fort for me?" The witch asked, meeting eyes with Dimitri. 

 

"You got it, uncle Vee!" 

 

Chapter Text

The car was unusually quiet as they drove to the greenhouse. Virgil was driving for a change, while Patton sat in the passenger seat, staring out the window and fidgeting with his hands slightly in his lap. 

 

While Virgil didn't mind the silence, he knew it was unusual for the pixie.

 

"Everything alright?" 

 

"Hm? Yeah, I guess... I'm just, a little anxious, I guess," 

 

"Hmmm?" Virgil replied with an encouraging hum, "Talk to me, Pat,"

 

"I dunno, I guess last night I was a little too shell shocked to really think about the whole pixie thing. It didn't even seem real. But then this morning..." He trailed off for a moment, eyes drifting from the window down to examine the palms of his hands, "The magic,  my  magic... I felt it, and I could feel it as it drained. It... just made it so much more real.  This...  is  real.  It's just a lot to process... being half pixie. And I- I don't even fully know what being half pixie even  means." 

 

"What do you mean?" 

 

"Well, I know it means I'm half-human, half-pixie, obviously." Patton continued, forcing a small chuckle, "But, I don't know what a pixie even  is ," 

 

He laughed again, "I'm probably making no sense-" 

 

"No, no," Virgil cut him off, "I understand. Pixies are a lot like the folklore version of fairies, except instead of being the size of a butterfly, pixies are actually the bigger of the two. Their pixie form is usually a foot or two tall? Once we get back to the shop, I can lend you a book so you can read about them if you'd like," 

 

"D-does that mean I'll be able to...?" Patton asked, looking over at the witch with wide eyes.

 

Virgil shrugged, "Only time will tell. Honestly, Pat, pixies have almost gone extinct as far as I know. I don't know all that much about them, nevermind which powers get transferred to a halfling child. But, we'll figure it out together, okay? Promise." 

 

Patton nodded, giving a small smile, "Yeah, thanks, kiddo,"

 

The medical examiner seemed to think for a moment before speaking again, "What about my magic though?" He asked as they approached the greenhouse. 

 

"What do you mean?" 

 

"Well... what happens if I lose control of it or something?"

 

Just as Virgil parked, it clicked in his head what Patton was worried about.

 

"Pat, listen to me," The witch started as he shut off the car and turning to face the other, "If you're talking about what happened with me and the flowers, that's not something you need to worry about. Don't ever use  me  as some sort of baseline for what is normal, cuz I promise you, me and my magic are the  farthest  thing from normal. Do you remember when I came over to your apartment for supper, and suddenly the window swung open?" 

 

Immediately something in Patton's eyes clicked as he realized, "That  was  you! That's why you said sorry!" 

 

"Yeah... I was nervous. But anyway," the witch continued, waving his hands half hazardly in the air for a second as if to shoo away the other thoughts, "That's the worst kind of thing you can expect to happen. Yes, you need to stay with us until you have your magic under control because when the latch flew off the window, it could have hurt someone, but that's about it. Most supernaturals couldn't do what I did to the flowers if they tried. I've never met another supernatural with magic like mine... it's... well, it's uncontrollable and way too powerful for my own good. I was probably the  worst  option for a first introduction to magic ever. It's nothing like yours will be," 

 

Patton sniffled slightly but nodded, "Okay, thanks kiddo," 

 

With that, they both got out of the car and started to walk toward the front door of the greenhouse, when Virgil noticed Patton still seemed to be a bit nervous. His stride was smaller, and he was still fidgeting with his hands. The witch took a deep breath. 

 

"Hey, Pat?" 

 

"Yeah?" Patton replied, turning to look at the witch behind him. 

 

Virgil forced a small sheepish smile onto his face as he limply opened his arms toward the other shyly in response. 

 

The pixie's eyes immediately lit up as a wide smile appeared on his face. A second later, he had crashed into the other, wrapping his arms around him and snuggling into his shoulder. 

 

The witch would never admit it out loud, but he may have been developing a certain fondness for these hugs. 

 

He could immediately feel the other relax in his arms, tension defusing as he sank into the hug and gave a soft sigh. Something in Virgil twisted uncertainly at the realization of just how  safe  Patton must feel with him. 

 

They stood there for a moment until Patton finally broke awake, looking up at the other with a small smile, seeming much more at ease now. 

 

"Thanks," 

 

The witch gave his own smile in return, pushing the uncertain feelings down his throat, "Come on; Rose is waiting for us,"  

 

With that, they headed into the greenhouse. 

 

 

 

 

As soon as they entered through the two large glass doors, Patton was immediately struck with the warm and humid air that accompanied the almost overwhelming blend of flowers and other plant scents. There were rows of tables with a multitude of plants the pixie didn't recognize. Above each plot was a sprinkler head, which explained why the concrete floor was slightly wet beneath them. The more he looked around, the more awestruck he became. There were giant navy blue leafy plants with purple veins, polka-dotted mushrooms and twiggy plants with silver moss hanging from their branches. There was a large dark green bush with pink tulips that looked like dragon heads, and little turquoise cactuses that grew in spirals topped with fluffy orange tuffs. 

 

"Whoa..." Patton muttered, looking around in awe. 

 

He heard Virgil chuckle quietly behind him, before the witch cupped his mouth with both hands. "Rosie!?" 

 

"Over here, Vee!" Came a voice from across the greenhouse. Patton followed the other as they weaved through the plants, having to duck under a hanging basket or branch a few times, before suddenly a head with bright red hair and emerald eyes popped out from behind what Patton would swear was a tree from the Lorax movie. 

 

"hey, guys! You must be Patton!" 

 

"Hello!" The medical examiner chirped, extending his hand, "It's nice to meet you!" 

 

Rose giggled and shook his hand, "Welcome to the greenhouse! Or well, the most exciting of the 3. The other two greenhouses next to this one contain all the normal human plants and herbs, most of the ones humans have a hard time growing, like truffles, that we sell. But this greenhouse has all the supernatural stuff!" 

 

"This place is so cool!" 

 

Rose giggled again, "Thanks! These plants are all kinda like my children," She explained, straightening up one of the branches on the Lorax-looking tree, which seemed to almost respond to her touch. Then she turned back to others, "So! I hear you want some help learning how to handle your magic?" 

 

Patton smiled, "Yes please," 

 

Rose nodded before turning to Virgil, "are you going to stay and watch us practice?" 

 

The witch shook his head, "Can't; I have to head home and make you and the other forest spirits their winter potions," 

 

"Wait!" Patton interrupted suddenly, "I thought I had to stay close to you to be safe!" 

 

"Don't worry, Pat, the greenhouse is heavily warded; you'll be safe in here. Plus, Rose is also powerful enough to scare any phantas away, and on top of that, they mainly hunt at night." 

 

The pixie nodded, "Okay then," 

 

"Then before you go, can I get you to enchant a few things in the back? Been meaning to get you to put an anti-breaking spell on the new pots for a while." Rose questioned.

 

Virgil opened his mouth to reply when suddenly his phone went off.

 

"Hello?"

 

"Morning doom and gloom!" 

 

"Oh, hey princey, what's up?" 

 

"Logan is heading back to the station to go back over all the evidence with his quote, 'new knowledge,' to see if we missed anything. I was hoping I could come over again to ask you some more questions?" 

 

"Uhm, sure? I'm at the greenhouse right now, and I have some potions to make when I get back-" 

 

"I'm sure I can lend a hand!" 

 

"Uh, alright then, I guess, see you soon," 

 

"Farewell!" 

 

With that, he hung up the phone. 

 

"Yeah, of course I can enchant them for you before I head out," 

 

"Perfect!" Rose replied with a smile before turning to Patton, "We'll only be a minute; why don't you explore and look around? There's a bunch of cool plants in here. Just stay away from that corner," She explained, pointing to one of the corners of the greenhouse, "That's where all our carnivorous plants are, and they aren't always the friendliest," She finished with a laugh. 

 

"Okay, kiddo!" 

 

The pixie watched the dryad and witch go before turning around and suddenly feeling much smaller in the vast jungle of plants around him. Despite this, all the nature around him did make him feel more relaxed. He began walking, weaving through the different flowers and bushes. He walked by a tall flowering plant labelled "Mime blight," and as he did, the entire plant seemed to lean toward him, catching him off guard but causing him to giggle. 

 

"Oh! Hello there!" The pixie laughed, patting the leaves gently before continuing down the aisle. 

 

He said hello to another plant, labelled "Echo sage," That also leaned toward him went suddenly, a plant in the corner caught his eye. It was a small couple of stalks that looked like flowers, but they were all wilted, shrivelled slightly with a dulled green colour. The pixie double checked he wasn't in the carnivorous plant corner before approaching. 

 

"Hey, little buddy, what's the matter?" Patton asked as he walked up to the planter, which didn't have a label on it, to his surprise. 

 

"Poor thing doesn't even have a name..." He muttered before looking over the plants again. They looked dehydrated, as the entire plant was slumped slightly. The edges of the leaves were wrinkled up, and all the flower buds were tightly pinned shut. He reached his hand forward to gently feel the soil, and was surprised to feel it was wet. Why wasn't this plant drinking the water?

 

Suddenly the plant closest to him lurched toward his hand, causing a startled laugh to escape the medical examiner. 

 

"Hey, little buddy! What's the matter? Why aren't you drinking your water?" Patton asked quietly, reaching forward to pat the closed flower bud gently. "Do you think you could try to drink some for me? I promise you'll feel better," 

 

Almost immediately, all the plants straightened up, colour flooding back into their stems and leaves. Patton noticed the soil below dry. 

 

"Yeah! There you go! That's it!" The pixie encouraged, "Now you just have to let your flowers bloom!" 

 

For a moment, nothing happened, but he just continued to wait.

 

"Come on; you can do it!"

 

Suddenly, one of the flower buds twitched and began blooming, petals stretching open and arching back, followed by the other buds. Patton gasped. Each petal looked like it was made of diamonds, light reflecting through them like crystals, leaving small rainbows all around the soil below. 

 

"Pat?" Came a voice from around the corner, startling the pixie slightly. 

 

"Over here, kiddos!" 

 

A moment later, Rose turned the corner, Virgil following behind her. 

 

"Hey! What are you doing all the way back-" Suddenly, her voice hitched, eyes widening as they landed on the now bloomed flowers, "No... freaking... way..." 

 

"What?" Both Patton and Virgil asked in unison. 

 

"What- what do you mean what!?" Rose asked, twirling around to look at the witch behind her, "Look!" she added, throwing her hand out toward the flowers. 

 

Patton shrunk in on himself slightly, suddenly worried he'd done something wrong. 

 

Virgil squinted his eyes as he examined the plants, before they suddenly went wide. 

 

"Wait, are those the-" 

 

"YES! Those are the prism lilies!" 

 

"I- I don't understand," Patton almost whimpered quietly, "Am I in trouble?" 

 

"What?" Rose asked in a baffled tone, turning back to face him, "No! no, no, no, no, you're not in trouble! We're just shocked! We've been trying to get these stubborn prism lilies to bloom for over a year!" 

 

Patton's eyes widened. 

 

"Yeah, almost every supernatural in town, including myself, have tried to get them to bloom with no luck," Virgil explained with a smile. 

 

"Oh," 

 

"Anyway," The witch continued, looking at Rose, "I've got to head out; I take it your okay here?" 

 

"Yep! 

"Sure thing kiddo!" 

 

With that, Virgil nodded and turned to head back to the shop. 

Chapter Text

As soon as Virgil walked through the front doors of the store, he heard a loud bang from the living room area. Before he could panic, though, it was swiftly accompanied by an over-dramatic voice followed by giggling. 

 

"Arrgghh! You've bested me again!" 

 

"hehehe!" 

 

As soon as the witch rounded the corner, he was confronted with the sight of Roman on the floor, pinned under Dimitri, who was sitting on top of him with a huge victorious grin. Remy was sitting on the couch, watching the two of them with a fond smirk. 

 

"What in the world..." 

 

"Uncle vee!" Dimitri cheered, launching off the detective beneath her like a trampoline, knocking the wind out of him and running up to throw her arms around the witch.

 

"Hey, babes! They were just having some fun while we waited for you to get home," 

 

Virgil glanced over to Roman, who was still lying on his back on the floor, catching his breath. 

 

"You alright over there, princey?" he chuckled. 

 

"All good! Man... she is... way stronger... then she looks," The detective replied in between breaths. 

 

The others laughed. 

 

"Anyway," Roman continued once he had caught his breath, sitting up on the floor, "Don't we have some potions to make?" 

 

"Wait, what!?" Remy interrupted in shock, "Why does he get to help!? You won't even let me help with your potions!" 

 

The witch rolled his eyes, "Nobody is helping! Your asking questions while sitting and watching, and I'm doing the potion making and the answering," 

 

"Aww, why can't I help?" Roman replied.

 

"Cuz we don't need to end up accidentally poisoning half the town?" Virgil replied with a smirk before turning and gesturing with his hand for the other to follow. 

 

"Hey!" 

 

 

-------------------

 

 

"Sit," Virgil instructed once they entered the workshop.

 

Reluctantly, the detective agreed, flopping down into a chair against the wall with an almost pout on his face.  

 

As the witch began rummaging through some of the cupboards, the other simply took in the room. There was a door in the far corner that presumably led to a small pantry of some kind. There was a large cauldron over hot embers in the center of the room. On one wall, there was a work table, littered with various things. There was a window across from him, and all the other walls were occupied by an abundance of shelves, cabinets and drawers. 

 

It was awe-inducing; the amount of things in this room. Almost every inch of the shelves were covered in vials, boxes, jars, bags, bottles and more. Even non-shelf space was taken up with hanging trinkets, baskets or tools. He could see an antler, a rainbow of different feathers and... wait- 

 

"Is that a dragon skull!?!" 

 

"hmmm?" Virgil hummed in response as he laid the ingredients he'd taken out onto the table, turning to Roman afterward and following his gaze to a nearby shelf, "Oh, no. At least, not in the way your thinking. That's a small kirin. Think dragon mixed with a Unicorn. Real dragons are  way  bigger."

 

Roman looked over at the witch, a completely stunned expression on his face as he struggled to process what he was hearing. 

 

Virgil gave him a soft smirk, amused at the other's shock. 

 

"I-" The detective shook his head, "Dragons are real!?" 

 

Virgil could only giggle at him before making his way over to a drawer and reaching in, rummaging around for a moment. Once he found what he was looking for, he walked over to Roman, holding it out in a closed fist. The detective put his hand out, and the witch dropped the item into his hand. 

 

The object was small, thin, almost tear-shaped and incredibly light. As soon as it hit his palm, Roman could feel how cold and hard it was. The part that caught him most off guard was the  colour , because wow, was it beautiful. It was an iridescent bluish-green that shifted with the light, alternating between emerald, cobalt blue, teal, and turquoise. It was as if someone had taken all the colours of a peacock feather and swirled them together. 

 

"What's this?" Roman asked, looking up at the man in front of him after realizing he had sat staring at it for what was probably too long. 

 

"That..." Virgil replied as he turned and made his way back to the table, "Is the scale of a  real  dragon." 

 

The detective's eyes went wide like saucers as he looked back down at the scale in his hand, an audible gasp escaping his mouth. 

 

The witch laughed as he began throwing some ingredients into the pot. 

"Jeez, if it makes you that happy princey, you can keep it," 

 

"Really!?"

 

Virgil gave a small smile, "It's all yours, Roman,

 

"Thank you..." He replied before trailing off, unsure how to respond. 

 

The witch blushed, not expecting such a sincere response. He waved it off, "It's not a big deal; I've got plenty of them," he lied. 

 

 

With that, the room fell into a comfortable silence as Virgil continued grinding, chopping and adding ingredients, and Roman watched while examining the scale in his hand. 

 

It wasn't that Virgil minded the silence, though it was bizarre to have someone else in the room with him while he was doing his potion-making. He'd glanced up a few times to see Roman continuing to watch with unwavering interest, which made something in his stomach do flips. 

 

He couldn't imagine what he was doing was  that  captivating.

 

"Not that I'm uncomfortable with the dumbstruck staring," The witch began after 10 minutes of silence, turning toward the detective and raising a teasing eyebrow once the potion was close to done, "But didn't you come here to ask questions?" 

 

Roman sputtered and blushed, scratching the back of his head and glancing away awkwardly, "Well, yeah... I mean, I don't have like, exact questions, I guess, but..." 

 

Virgil tilted his head and squinted slightly, "So... if questions were just an excuse to come over..." 

 

"They weren't an excuse!" The other replied indignantly, "I didn't want to distract you! I was being polite." 

 

Virgil simply fixed him with a deadpanned, unimpressed expression while crossing his arms. 

 

They had a stare off for a few seconds before Roman finally caved. 

 

"I just want to learn more, I guess, about this whole world. I have so many questions; I just don't even know where to begin or which ones to ask." 

 

The witch had to give him a small but soft and genuine smile at that. He simply nodded before going back to his potion and letting his eyes glow. He made a vague gesture toward the cauldron, and the ladle began stirring the mixture slowly. 

 

In his peripheral vision, he immediately saw the detective's eyes go wide, his body straightening slightly at sight. 

 

He was... that excited to see an over-sized spoon stir things in what was essentially a large bucket? 

 

One of the few silver linings of having social anxiety was that you were always watching other people, their body language, tone of voice, facial expressions etc, for any sign they might not like you. Even if you often overanalyzed it, you still picked up on things others didn't. 

 

Virgil thought hard for a moment while he finished grinding up the next ingredient. Roman's eye's hadn't lit up like that since the dragon scale, so what was so exciting about the spoon stirring-?

 

Oh.

 

Ohhhhhhhh. 

 

The witch smirked. It was the first time he'd used magic. 

 

This was going to be fun. 

 

It wasn't lost on the witch just how much he was thinking about this, about how much fun he found teasing the detective and bantering with him or just how much he wanted to see his eyes light up again. 

 

He felt a slight blush rise on his cheeks and shook his head. 

 

No. No. No.

 

Roman was a friend, he liked making his friends happy, and he playfought and bantered with all of them. Stop over-thinking this. 

 

He didn't have time to over-think because he had a theory to test. 

 

"Hey Princey, you said you wanted to help, right?" 

 

"Yeah?" Roman replied, eyes snapping to look at him hopefully. 

 

"Come here then," 

 

Virgil had to put a lot of effort into keeping his face neutral when Roman's lit up like a Christmas tree, and he basically leapt out of his seat. 

 

"Hold this," Virgil instructed, giving him an empty bowl. 

 

Roman watched as the witch poured in an oily-looking rust coloured substance before walking away to take something else out of a cupboard. 

 

"So, why are we mixing this separately?" The detective asked curiously as Virgil made his way back with another vial of something. 

 

"Oh, that's cuz if we don't mix these first..." He smirked, dipping a finger into the oily substance in the bowl and holding it over the cauldron. Roman watched as a single drop fell, and the second it hit the surface of the potion inside, there was a plume of orange smoke, "That happens." Virgil finished with a slight smirk. 

 

"Wow," 

 

The witch held the other vial over the bowl, hovering it in the air and looking at the detective, "Okay, now make sure you hold on to the bowl; it tends to shake or vibrate a bit as these react, so, just don't drop it." 

 

Once he got a nod, he poured it in. 

 

Roman saw the once rust coloured mixture turn a bright yellow, feeling the bowl begin to shake slightly as small bubbles started rising to the surface. 

 

He was too focused on the bubbling to notice the witch in the room, who was simply watching him with a small, almost charmed smile. 

 

"Okay, now let go of it," Virgil instructed once the bubbling stopped. 

 

Roman looked up at the witch, who was a good 3 feet away, with wide eyes, then glancing between him and the bowl. 

 

"What?" He asked in confusion.

 

"The bowl, let go of it." 

 

"Like, set it down on the table or...?" 

 

 Virgil gave a small laugh, shaking his head, "Just take your hands off it, princey, right where it is." 

 

Roman gave him a baffled look but did as he was told; he looked down at the bowl before taking his hands off it. Then he gasped because it didn't move. It stayed where it was, hovering in the air. Roman's head snapped up to look at the witch and was met with two glowing eyes and a very amused expression. 

 

Virgil made a vague gesture with one of his hands, and Roman watched the bowl in front of him began drifting toward the cauldron until tipping and pouring the mixture in with the rest. 

 

Virgil couldn't stop himself from laughing at the look he was now getting. 

 

"What?" Roman asked, "What's so funny?" 

 

" You ," the witch replied, still chuckling, "It just, your face is so full of wonder, you're like a kid meeting Santa for the first time," 

 

"Yeah, well, this is all new to me!" Roman argued, his face a deep shade of pink, "I literally just watched physics break! of course, it's going to be endearing to me!" 

 

Virgil just smiled, walking to put the bowl down on the table after plucking it from the air when-

 

wait-

 

"Wait," The witch stopped and turned to look at the other, " Endearing?

 

Roman sputtered, turning redder, " Exciting!  I meant  exciting!

 

Virgil smirked, tilting his head slightly, "Aw, have I bewitched you already, princey?" He teased.

 

"Idk, maybe you cast a spell on me or something," the detective joked as he walks back to sit down in his chair.

 

"wait-  what ?" 

 

Suddenly Roman sputtered again, realizing exactly what he said, "I- that's not what I meant! You know what- just, nevermind," 

 

Virgil laughed at that, beginning to put all his ingredients away until something in his brain clicked. 

 

"Wait, I just realized," He began, turning to look at the other, "You didn't have any specific questions to ask...," he gave Roman a knowing look, "You were  hoping  to see me use some magic, weren't you? That's what you wanted," 

 

Roman sputtered again, but before he could reply, Virgil held up both his hands, "It's okay, really, trust me, you wouldn't be the first person, and you certainly won't be the last," He said in a softer voice, attempting to reassure the other. He may have been teasing and playing around, but he didn't actually want Roman to feel embarrassed or humiliated, especially when he really didn't mind. 

 

It wasn't like the idea of someone coming just to hope to see him use magic was something he pulled out of thin air. It happened  a lot . Residence of the village having distant family or friends visit, and not so subtly bringing them along when they came to his shop. The witch knew there were a lot of rumours about him and how 'powerful' he was. Necromancy was already a very rare field to specialize in. Despite how much he hated feeling like some kind of sideshow freak in a circus, he would still come out and politely say hello, even if just to show them he was just another normal person- or, well, supernatural. 

 

He rarely entertained them by showing off some of his magic, even just little things. His anxiety couldn't handle being put in the spotlight like that; even worse was being put on a podium he defiantly didn't deserve. 

 

Right now, though? He was surprised he didn't mind at all. 

 

"I wasn't just hoping to see magic," Roman said defiantly, crossing his arms. 

 

Virgil almost pointed out the fact he said 'just,' meaning Roman wanted to see more than the magic, but he decided against it, "Oh, okay, well never mind then," He replied, trying his best to sound innocent as he continued putting ingredients away. 

 

"Wait... what do you mean?" Roman asked suspiciously, having picked up on the weird way the witch had replied. 

 

"I thought you wanted to see some magic, so I was gonna show you some, but if you're not interested..." 

 

Virgil turned around after putting something on a shelf just in time to see the detective's eyes light up before he looked away, crossing his arms and blushing while muttering something under his breath. 

 

"What was that?" The witch asked, attempting to sound innocent but knowing he was probably failing at hiding his amusement. 

 

"Your a jerk," Roman muttered louder, though it didn't sound like a genuine insult; it was a groan of annoyance, not of anger. 

 

Virgil laughed, "Okay, okay, I'll stop being mean, come here," he said as he walked over to the other, figuring he owed him now. 

 

The detective stood up but continued to look at him suspiciously. 

 

"I could cast a spell and do some magic for you, but I think I can do you one better," the witch explained, "Hold out your hand like this," 

 

Roman did as instructed, holding out his hand palm up, elbow bent. He felt the other's hand gently meet the underside of his elbow. 

 

"Okay, now close your eyes and think of something, like an animal or an object," 

 

"Okay..." Roman replied once he had one. As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he felt it—this weird surge of tingles up his forearm. 

 

"Alright, now picture it in your head... and open your eyes,"

 

The detective's eyes flickered open, and he immediately gasped, there on the palm of his hand was what looked like a small purple hologram of a dragon. 

 

"How did you-" Roman began, but his sentence was cut short when he felt Virgil's hand drop away from his arm. 

 

The dragon was still there. 

 

"I'm not doing anything," Virgil replied softly, "Well, other than being a glorified battery and providing the magic. You're the one shaping it." 

 

Somehow, Romans's eyes got even wider. He could feel the energy, magic, whatever it was swirling in his arm. He was suddenly acutely aware of just how hard and fast his heart was pounding. It felt relaxing and energizing all at once. 

 

Roman focused on the dragon in his hand, and just like that, it was changing into a sea serpent, followed by a bat, a pointed witch hat, and a small fairy. He couldn't describe the feeling, but whatever it was, it was intoxicating. It was a sparkling, buzzing feeling across his skin that sent shivers down his spine. 

 

Oh no. He could get addicted to this feeling. 

 

Unbeknownst to him, he wasn't the only one having a bit of a mental panic because,  god - it should be illegal to look at anything the way Roman was glancing between Virgil and his hand. 

 

On the rare occasion the witch did show off his magic, he often got an amazed expression, but it was never without undertones of fear, uncertainty or other emotions. Right now, Roman was watching the magic in his hand with pure awe, wonder, curiosity and just... euphoria. Nobody should ever look at something Virgil had done, had caused, like  that

 

He could feel his heart pounding in his chest. 

 

"Does this make up for earlier? Am I forgiven for teasing you?" Virgil joked. 

 

"Teasing? What teasing? I don't remember any teasing happening," Roman replied, turning to look at the witch next to him with a big elated smile. 

 

Virgil immediately felt his face heat up, and his heart began fluttering in his chest. 

 

Oh no, he was in so very much trouble here. 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Virgil had just finished bottling the last of the winter potions when Roman's phone went off. 

 

"Hello? Oh yeah? What is it? Uhm, yeah, he's right here in front of me? Sure, one moment," 

 

The detective covered the phone with his hand, "Logan wants to know if he can come over. He said he has some stuff to discuss, and apparently, he found something interesting," 

 

"Yeah, of course," Virgil replied awkwardly. His friends consisted of Janus, Remus and Remy; he wasn't used to the idea of people  asking  to come over. Is that what normal people did?

 

"He says that's no problem. Yep. Alright, see you soon," 

 

"He said he'll be here in about half an hour; he has to print off a couple files first. " Roman explained as he slipped his phone back into his pocket. 

 

"Sounds good; that means I'll have time to make Dimitri a nightmare charm," 

 

"What's that?" 

 

"It's a little stone or gem that, when close by, can help manage nightmares. We'll have to get her in here so she can choose which gem she wants us to use," the witch explained as he began rummaging through a nearby drawer. 

 

"How does a rock help nightmares?" 

 

Virgil laughed at that, rolling his eyes, "Watch and learn, princey," 

 

In the end, Dimitri ended up choosing a small pink crystal, to nobody's surprise.

 

 

---------------------

 

 

"I can't believe none of the forest sprites have seen anything! He's been stalking around in their neck of the woods! Literally!" Remus huffed in frustration as he and his boyfriend walked, gravel crunching under their feet and the wind whistling through the trees. The rainbow of autumn leaves blew across the ground, obscuring most of the green that was yet to change for the season. 

 

"Relax, darling; they said they would spread the word and keep an eye out. Even if they did see him, they would have no way of knowing he was dangerous unless they were witness to one of the murders themselves," 

 

"A random guy just walking around in the middle of the forest at pitch-black o'clock for no good reason?" 

 

"You do remember who, or rather, what kinds of whos live in this town, correct?" Janus asked, looking at the other in amusement. 

 

That was a glaringly obvious point. Many supernaturals, like vampires, werewolves, sirens, and other typically more nocturnal supernaturals, were often seen out at night. 

 

Remus huffed. 

 

After a few moments of silence, the only sounds coming from the gravel of the road, Janus spoke, "So, how are things with your brother?" he asked softly. He didn't want to push, but he knew how big of a deal this was to his boyfriend. Remus usually had no problem showing his emotions. Screw wearing his heart on his sleeve, Remus usually wore his heart on his  forehead . Thus, seeing the other acting normal, or at least as normal as Remus ever got, was a bit concerning. 

 

The vampire responded with a deep sigh, rubbing his hands over his face before brushing his hair back.

 

"Gods, just remembering the fact that he  knows  gives me the heebie-jeebies, and he knows everything mind you, like, every bone that makes up the beast," 

 

"Really? You told him everything?"

 

"Yeah, this was my one chance; maybe deep down I didn't want to have the conversation again. I just wanted to get it out and over with. I guess it went better than expected though, I mean, he didn't shoot me, so that's a plus, at least depending on how you look at it," 

 

"Do I even want to ask how not getting shot could be a  bad  thing?" 

 

"I've always wanted to know what it was like. Now I can," Remus shrugged, "Anyway, I just- I don't know where that leaves us?!" He threw his hands up into the air, "I guess right now we have kind of factory reset back to normal- or at least how it used to be before I left-," he explained, gesturing with his hands. 

 

Janus nodded, listening quietly as they walked. Remus had this almost ADHD way of talking, jumping back and forth between points and ideas. Luckily, having worked with the fae, and being a naga himself, Janus was well versed in rearranging, translating, and understanding people as they talked.

 

"And that's great, for now, I guess, but we can't keep acting like our relationship is okay, or that it can be the same as before because it can't!" 

 

"Why not?" 

 

"Because there's so much that's different! I mean, there's the obvious bloodsucker thing," He pointed to himself, "But we haven't even talked about  mom  yet, I don't-... I don't know if I can even have that conversation, like ever," 

 

The vampire took a deep breath, recomposing himself for a moment, "I can't look him in the eyes and tell him I'm sorry for  everything,  because I'm not. I'm sorry for hurting him and mom, but I met Vee and Rem and you because of it! Before this, I had no one other than him and mom. My life sucked, no pun intended, and I'm not going to be able to act like I want that life back if that's what Roman expects. At the same time, though, I can't lie to myself like I didn't want the relationship I had with him back. I still missed him like crazy." 

 

"You're afraid to get close to him now because you fear you'll either lose him again, or have to choose between that life and this one," Janus concluded, helping his boyfriend make sense of his own thoughts. 

 

"Yeah, I guess..." 

 

Janus hummed, thinking for a few moments as they walked. The naga knew how important Roman had been to Remus before his transition, and he was not about to try and get between the two. After a moment, he spoke again, "Well, I can promise you neither Virgil, Remy, nor I will make you choose, and I will be here for you. I may not be able to follow you into the city, if that's what you choose, but-" 

 

His words slammed to a halt as Remus grabbed his bowtie, using it to pull him into a searing, claiming, almost aggressive kiss. The snake's eyes closed as he melted into it, brain shutting off.

 

When they broke, Janus's looked at his boyfriend questioningly, cheeks tinted pink, searching the other's face for what  that  was about, but the eyes he met were serious.

 

"You're an idiot if you think I'm going anywhere. I told you when we started this you were stuck with me now," Remus said, lips curling to a smirk towards the end of his sentence, before his face turned soft, "Even if I go on trips for work, and maybe in the future family, I promised you I'd always come back home," 

 

Janus couldn't help himself, and he immediately found himself kissing the other again. His heart fluttered at the realization Remus has been able to pick up on his insecurity, especially because the vampire didn't tend to catch many details. 

 

"Noted," The snake replied with a smirk once the kiss broke for the second time, voice low and rumbling, almost like a purr, satisfaction evident in his tone. Remus gave him a mischievous smile, face only inches away. 

 

"Having said that," Janus continued as he began walking again, knowing that as much as they could stay there, kissing in the middle of the road, they did, in fact, need to get back to Virgil's shop, "from what I've seen, I don't think your brother is about to run off again, if anything, he seems pretty infatuated with the whole supernatural world," 

 

"Yeah, you're probably right," Remus shrugged, internally pouting at the abrupt change of pace, before he smirked again, "Either way, I think you've earned yourself a reward, having listened to all that rambling. Don't you think scales?" He asked with faux innocence. 

 

The snake side-eyed him, ignoring the red in his cheeks, "We have to get back, stop trying to seduce me; I won't give in," 

 

"I sure hope you don't," Remus hummed. 

 

Janus felt a shiver go down his spine because  that  mischievous tone? That always meant trouble, usually for him. He didn't get the chance to interrogate the other before his vision blurred. The next thing he knew, his back was against one of the nearby trees, Remus's hands on either side of his head, pinning him there. 

 

"The rest of the walk home would be  so boring  if you gave in now," 

 

The naga glanced over his boyfriend's shoulder, able to see the silhouette of Virgil's shop down the road. 

 

He had an extra 10 minutes to be kissed silly.

 

Not that he would be giving in that easily.