Stocking was walking the empty hallways to her next class. She wasn't hungry, she never was anymore. She had left the cafeteria to go to her next class early. It had been eight days since Brief had left and three since Stocking started going to school again. Stocking knew they worried about her but they shouldn't. She was fine. So she didn't eat or sleep much, she kept herself busy with school or ghost hunting and every day the wall around her emotions grew bigger.
Suddenly she stopped walking. This was because her path was blocked. The massive form of Dwayne Davo looked down at her with small angry eyes. Stocking stared back with eyes that held no emotion.
"I need to get to my next class Dwayne." She said, her voice held no emotion.
"I don't think so. You see Scanty is pretty pissed at you and your friends. My reputation has dropped a little the past few weeks." He said with a smug grin on his face. Stocking continued to stare.
"None of your little buddy's are here to help you so when you see that little four-eyed loser tell him to…"
Panty walked through the empty hallway assuming Stocking had left to go to class early as she had done the days before. Muttering about how unfair it was that she had to give up her lunch time to go after stocking she didn't notice the commotion. Until Dwayne came barrelling down the hallway, skidding and scraping over the floor. She saw Stocking walking calmly to her next class.
"You know what your problem is Dwayne?" Panty Said to Dwayne's unmoving shape.
"You're too stupid to understand when you have lost and too arrogant to realize when someone is stronger than you." Panty walked after Stocking.
Rowdy was getting nervous. Panty was once again telling how she saw Dwayne getting ass-kicked by Stocking but he wasn't paying attention. Lacey had gone when Rowdy was at school and she still wasn't back even though it was already getting dark. He couldn't take it anymore and decided to go search for her.
"Panty, I'm going to find Lacey. Keep an eye out for Stocking."
"Why the fuck would I do that?" she said clearly annoyed he had interrupted her. Rowdy knew arguing would only make her more annoyed so he glared at her and walked out the church.
After an hour and a half he had found her at the park. "Who the hell goes to the park at...," Rowdy looked at his watch, "One thirty at night?!" But then Lacey had always been a bit weird. There was another person with her and Rowdy approached carefully. The park was poorly lit and Rowdy could not see who the figure beside Lacey was. They moved closer and Rowdy watched rooted to the spot where he hid. They wrapped their arms around one another and kissed.
The two apparently said their goodbyes and Lacey started walking in Rowdy's direction. He was released from his paralysed state and ran back to the church.
Lacey had snuck back inside and into her room. She closed the door as quietly as she could and turned on the light. She had to suppress a yelp as she suddenly saw Rowdy sitting on her bed.
"Hi sis, fun night?" Rowdy said angrily. She wasn't really surprised to see him but she hadn't expected him to wait in her bedroom.
"Uh…I…I was with a friend." She replied weakly.
"And you couldn't call or text or leave a god-damn note to let me know?" Rowdy was mad but he was being so unreasonable and Lacey felt her own temper rising.
"Look, you have me locked inside this church for days. I'm grateful I can stay here but I'm sick of feeling like a fuckin' prisoner!" Rowdy started to protest but Lacey cut him off.
"No listen, I know you just want me to be safe but I can take care of myself," her tone softened, "I was just with a friend Rowdy, I promise I'll let you know from now on but you can't keep me locked up." Despite how ditzy and naïve Lacey sometimes acted Rowdy knew she was tough and smart. Lacey had been his partner for years and often underestimated her. Rowdy sighed and agreed.
"Rowdy" Panty said quietly. Panty and Stocking had just come back from another mission and Panty had been fuming. After a while she had calmed down and slumped down next to Rowdy.
"I'm worried about Stocking and I don't know what the fuck to do. I'm not good with feelings and stuff. I don't know how to fix this." Rowdy listened to her, Panty rarely opened up like this and it was best not to interrupt her.
"It's not just that she doesn't talk. It's…it's the fighting. It's like she goes into a frenzy. She takes it all on her own, I try to help but she doesn't let me. She'll die like this Rowdy. What do I do?"
"I don't think there is much we can do. You can talk to her but if she doesn't listen…" Rowdy once again glanced at his phone. Ever since Brief had called it had become a habit. Brief never called or texted and when Rowdy had tried a couple of days before but he could reach Brief's phone.
Kneesocks paced her room. Scanty had been dealt with for now but she was still worried. Their father had heard what happened and was furious with Scanty for letting it get all out of control and especially for losing against the angels again. Kneesocks had been punished to of course but Scanty had been the one to go out of control.
Kneesocks sat down and sighed. She was tired, tired of her sister and her selfishness tired of her controlling father and tired of the person everybody forced her to be. She knew her sister had problems but she had enough of watching her destroy everything around her without realizing what she really wanted. Kneesocks grabbed her phone and left the mansion. There was one person who knew the real her.
Panty came in to her room. She hadn't knocked, no one did anymore she wouldn't answer anyway.
"Stocking, you need to stop." Panty had said.
"Stop what?" Stocking had replied confused.
"You need to stop ignoring everyone and trying to get yourself killed fighting." Panty said a bit of anger seeping in her voice.
"I'm fine Panty, you don't need to worry about me." Stocking didn't understand why no one believed her. She had stopped crying and hurting so why did they insist she wasn't alright.
"Brief fucking left! And you're acting like a motherfuckin' zombie! You're not fuckin' fine!"
"He left, I cried, and now I'm fine." Stocking replied emotionless. Panty turned around and opened the door.
"You're not the only fuckin' one that cares for Brief, did you ever think about that?" Panty said angrily but not yelling anymore. She slammed the door shut behind her.
The last seven days had been hard. Brief felt every minute of it as he took the last steps the door. Brief had rescued Lacey but at the same time Thumbscrew had escaped. He could use the shadows like no other so finding him had been hard. Brief had seen where the demons came from.
He spent seven days in the place that was as close to hell you could come without actually dying before he found him. He had almost laughed when he heard Thumbscrew was at a hotel right across from the mayor's house, the place where Scanty and Kneesocks lived. Brief opened the door, unsurprised that is wasn't locked, and stepped inside.
Lacey was nervous, she had been all day. She would come today and Lacey wasn't sure how Rowdy would react. It would have been easier not to tell Rowdy but they had both decided that they had to. He would find out eventually and she meant too much to Lacey to not tell him.
She sighed as she stood before the door working up the courage to ring the bell. "This won't work," she thought to herself trying to hold back the tears, "how could it after all I've done?" She knew it wouldn't work and it was breaking her heart. She took another deep breath and rang the bell.
Lacey suddenly realized she hadn't even told Rowdy that anyone would be coming. Lacey went a bit pale as disastrous situations raced through her mind and then the doorbell rang. Lacey almost fell down the stairs in her hurry and arrived just as her brother opened the door.
"What the fuck are you doing here?! Do you have a death-wish?!" Rowdy yelled at Kneesocks.
"She's here for me!" Lacey yelled before Kneesocks could reply and Lacey went to stand between Rowdy and Kneesocks.
"What!?" Rowdy roared.
"Kneesocks is who I've been seeing every time I went outside," Rowdy frowned confusion mixing with his anger, "Kneesocks is my girlfriend, Rowdy." Lacey awaited his reaction and didn't have to wait long.
Rowdy processed the information and his confusion disappeared being replaced by more anger. "What the hell! After all that bitch has done too us! How can you, did she threaten you?" by now Lacey was seething with anger and Kneesocks was nearly crying.
"I…I should go." Kneesocks chocked out between barely contained sobs.
"No say here! Rowdy, Shut up!" Lacey led Kneesocks to the sofa and grabbed Rowdy's arm. "Kneesocks, my brother and I need to have a talk. Please stay here for a moment." She led Rowdy out of the room.
"What the fuck Lacey!" Rowdy began but Lacey interrupted.
"No! You know nothing about her or what me and her. So shut up and listen for a fuckin' moment. Kneesocks has had a difficult life just as we. When I was held captive she was the only one that was nice, that cared about me." Rowdy opened his mouth to object but Lacey glared at him and he closed his mouth again.
"I know you fought and did everything you could for me and I'm grateful for that but you weren't there. You don't know how Kneesocks protected me from Scanty's rage. Comforted me when the loneliness became too much. She's the only reason I made it through those two years." Lacey's tone softened as she continued. "After you stood up to Scanty she was out of control with rage and she was going to kill me. Kneesocks nearly died protecting me against her sister, Rowdy. I love her and you can't stop me from seeing her."
Rowdy's anger had subsided but he was still unsure. "Rowdy do you trust me?"
"Yes of course." Rowdy replied without hesitation.
"Then at least hear her out."
Scanty sat on the sofa next to Lacey facing Rowdy, Panty and Stocking. "Look I know you all hate me and I don't expect you to believe me but I'm going to be honest. I'm not like my sister. I don't really care about all the stuff between heaven and hell. I may dislike you two," Kneesocks gestured at Panty and Stocking, "But I never wanted to fight. My father forced me and my sister too. My sister started enjoying it while I never did. I had to pretend or face my father who would make every day hell. Pretending was only slightly better but then came Lacey."
Kneesocks looked at Lacey and her eyes brightened. "I couldn't pretend with her. She was true to herself and was the first to try to see the real me instead of expecting me to be something." Kneesocks turned her gaze back to the three across from her. "I know we will never be friends and maybe you will always hate me but I love Lacey. I would do anything for her even try to be friends but all I ask is a truce. Not for me but for her." Kneesocks waited for their decision and looked down.
Stocking was the first to react and she let out a sob. Everyone was shocked to see she was crying.
"I…I trust Lacey s…so if you…if you make her happy the…then let nothing sta…stand in your way." Stocking managed to say between sobs. She gave a quick hug to a perplexed Kneesocks and ran to her room.
Panty glared at her for a few moments more before she sighed and relaxed. "Fuck it. Everything is already weird as fuck, why not this. Just keep Scanty away and ease up on the rules fetish and we'll be fine." Kneesocks gave her a trembling smile and looked at Rowdy.
"Alright." He finally said. "I'm not going to go against this but if you fucking hurt her I swear there won't be enough to fucking bury you." Kneesocks gulped and nodded.
"I would never intentionally hurt her."
Once again Brief stepped from the shadows into Garterbelt's study. Garterbelt was Brief's last hope.
"Hi Brief." Garterbelt greeted him without looking up from the book he was studying.
"Hi Garterbelt, have you found a way to get rid of the Hells-Monkey?"
"No Brief I'm sorry. I don't think there is a way other than just killing you. I have found out some other things." Brief hadn't exacted that.
"First answer me this: how did your mother look?" this seemed like a weird question but Brief answered eager to know what Garterbelt had discovered.
"Uh. She had blonde hair, freckles, she was just a bit shorter than average and always smiling." Brief smiled remembering his mom, he missed her.
"And her eyes, were they the same as yours?"
"Yea, where is this going Garterbelt?"
"you know the Hells-Monkey is inherited through the male line of your family right?" Brief nodded, "Well just like the Hells-Monkey is the key to hell, there also exists a key to heaven. Sometimes called the Holy-Phoenix or the Emerald-Key it is inherited like the Hells-Monkey only through the female line."
Brief was now listening wide-eyed to Garterbelt. "A key to heaven?! Is it just as powerful as the Hells-Monkey? Who has it and what does it have to do with my mom…he's not saying that…"
"This was done so that no one person could ever have both keys." Garterbelt continued, "I suspect you inherited the Hells-Monkey from your father and the Holy-Phoenix from your mother. Although it should not become fully active I'm not actually sure. The keys should repel each other like angels and demons do. This has never happened before."
Brief was speechless for a moment. He needed to think about what this meant so he thanked Garterbelt and left.
"The key to heaven… That is the reason I can move through the shadows like that. But it doesn't help me get rid of the Hells-Monkey." Brief let out a frustrated sigh. Every time he thinks he understands everything, something else happens.
A/N: yeah so it's been a while since the last update. I was writing chapter by chapter before this but as I was nearing the end I found it best to write to the end. next chapter will be the last one, and I'll upload it in the next couple of days.
Enderkiller77: Thanks! I hope you liked this one too.
KML: Yes and this one too sorry about that but the next one will be very soon!
He, and believe me I had to dodge plenty, hehe.
Guest: I do try but this story doesn't have a Beta and within a large text it's easy to miss something. But if you, or anybody, see any mistakes I will correct them.
Guest: I do think she worries and would want to help. but I don't think she would unless there is danger on global of at least international scale. also Panty and Stocking were sent to earth as a punishment so any suffering they do would be part of that.
I'm as always grateful for everyone who took the time to write a review.
Please leave a review.
Only more chapter!, Desmond5tiny