A/N Oh boy. I wasn't going to post this until I had more of it written. I'm typing chapter three tonight, so hopefully I can keep ahead of the current chapters and avoid delays. Expect a new chapter every week or so (if I can wait that long. I get a bit excited when I write ). I've read over this a million times, but it hasn't been beta'd, so if there's something to fix, tell me please!

Also, if the quality of the story begins to deteriorate, point it out! It's been a while since I've set out to do a multi-chapter fic like this!

As always, I hope everyone enjoys this. Thanks so much for reading!

Things were going very badly. They were up against a low-class demon, a big one with no reasonable amount of intelligence. It seemed to be nothing more than a mass of random appendages, all squashed together into a long, wormlike body. Rosette had effectively avoided it for the past half-hour, dragging her partner behind her. They were on assignment, in a run down house in the middle of Nowhere, New York. She hadn't managed to get a clear shot at it as the house's small rooms limited their movements.

They skidded around a corner, crashing into the wall as their feet slid over the wet floor. The demon had been feeding, whatever group had summoned it was now spread gruesomely about the house. Rosette swore, spinning to unleash a few Sacreds at the worm's face (at least, she hoped it was a face).

"These aren't working! What else do we have?" they took off again, cutting through a knocked-out wall into a living room. Chrno took the lead, sprinting towards a descending stairway.

"Not much...another round of Sacreds and maybe a Gospel."

"What happened to the rest of it!?"

"We got caught in that traffic jam on the way! Anyway, Rosette, we should get out!" they thundered down the stairs, hopping the last few before turning into a kitchen. It's many limbs pulling it along, the demon thundered down after them. It took a moment for the exorcist to answer. She stopped, overturning a cluttered table, hoping that a few annoying bumps in it's path would deter the thing.

"No way, out on open ground that thing would catch up to us in no time!"

"We're just trapping ourselves by staying in here." she pulled ahead of him, as they pounded through a long hall lined with large, grimy windows. "We can't stay in here. If you used Gospel in such a closed space we'd both be caught in it!"

"Crap!" he was right, he always was. Skidding to a stop, Rosette seized his arm, hurling them both through the nearest window.

"What the heck?"

"You wanted to go outside, didn't you?"

They landed in a heap of tangled weed, struggling to right themselves as the demon followed. Chrno gave a sharp cry as it crashed down on top of them. For several moments, they were caught beneath it, smothered and confused. Painfully, Rosette clawed her way out from underneath it, looking wildly around for her partner. She dodged through the flailing appendages, her eyes falling across a familiar coat sleeve waving frantically at her. Cursing, she pulled Chrno clear, dragging him away from the demon as she set off at a run.

"Couldn't you have gotten yourself out of that mess? You're hopeless!"

"Sorry..." he stumbled beside her, suddenly going down. Surprised, the girl stopped, bending over the heap that was her friend.

"Come on, we need to go!" she glanced impatiently towards the other demon. It was waving what appeared to be its head, apparently trying to detect them in the pale moonlight. Annoyed, she turned back to Chrno, his pale face staring up at her. She started a little as he gasped. "What's wrong?"

"Back there, when it fell on us...the ammunition box..." she looked closer, seeing one tattered strap hanging over his shoulder. He clutched gingerly at his side. "It must have gotten me when it splintered..." he fished what was left of their ammunition out of his pocket, pushing them at her. "You should go."

"Chrno, don't start this!" Rosette pulled him to his feet, ignoring his attempts to push her away. The worm was starting to move toward them, much more quickly than it had inside the old house. She wrapped her arm around his waist, trying to support him. His coat was cold and very wet against her arm. She glanced down to see a splash of dark color on her skin. He was bleeding...

"...If you go on ahead you can probably get a couple shots at it."

"And leave you here? Not on your life." they broke into the best run they could manage. Rosette's mind was in a whirl, trying to sort out the situation. What Chrno said was true, if she left him she would be able to fight back. She was loath to do that, though, since he seemed to be in pretty bad shape. If she put him down, the worm would likely go for him. He be caught in the line of fire when she attacked. She could leave him with the car (or what was left of it), perhaps try to draw the demon away so she could take it out. They were close enough, maybe fifty yards away.

Chrno has gone quiet, his body weighing heavily on her as he tried to keep up. Worriedly, Rosette glanced over her shoulder.

The worm-like demon was nowhere to be seen.

'Where'd it go? It can't have given up so easily...' she slowed, giving Chrno a chance to catch his breath. Pausing to look around again, she felt him suddenly give a violent start.

"ROSETTE!" she spun er head at his cry. Before she could register the thing rearing up before her, a blinding pain tore through her stomach, and darkness overcame her.