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SUMMARY: Giles and Ethan, the electric Kool-Aid funky Satan groove year, in the early seventies. Rated M. Spoilers to Band Candy. Acknowledgements and disclaimers.

92.

Rupert walked home. It had ceased to be night some time ago and was now becoming properly morning. He passed postmen and milkmen on early rounds. He walked past a frowning woman at a bus-stop and realised he hadn't done up his shirt. His arm ached with the force of the blows he'd given. He was so tired that at one point, he just sat on a park bench and watched the sky lighten until he realised he was in danger of falling asleep.

Back at the house, Diedre was pouring herself a very large gin and tonic with shaking hands. Her makeup had run halfway down her face and dried there, blue and black. She cleared enough room on a kitchen counter for her to sit.

Rupert poured himself a drink and sat on a stool. Neither of them said anything. After a while, Ethan came back. He also had a gin and sat there silently. Tom came to the hall doorway at one point, looked at them all, then went back upstairs.

Ethan made toast that nobody ate. Deirdre poured them all more gin.

At nine o'clock, the Germans came down the stairs. Adrienne came out of her room to greet them. "We're away," she said. "We're meeting someone at the train station and then they'll be gone. Say auf Weidersehn."

Nobody did, although one the Germans gave a small wave and said, "Danke." Rupert could not tell if he was being sincere.

By ten o'clock, Diedre was weeping silently. Ethan looked as if he was about to pass out. Rupert's arm had ceased to be an ache and was turning into a searing pain.

He was going through Stan's kitchen cupboard, looking for painkillers, when Adrienne came back.

"Well, that's them away," she said. "Now tell me what the hell happened to all of you."

"Randall's dead," said Ethan.

"Rupert smashed his head in," said Diedre.

"The demon Eyghon possessed him and we were unable to get the demon out," said Rupert.

Adrienne stared at them all. Eventually, she said, "Who else knows this?"

"Philip next door," said Rupert. "Tom."

"Where's the body?"

"Deliquesced," said Ethan. "I dealt with it."

"Stay here," said Adrienne, as if anyone were moving.

They watched and listened as she went upstairs to fetch Tom. He came back down, carrying a bag.

"I've packed for us," he said to Diedre. "We can go and stay with my father for a week or two, if we have to."

Meanwhile, Adrienne had stepped outside. They could faintly hear her knocking on Philip's door. When she came back with him, he was wearing dark blue pyjamas and a dressing gown. His hair was wet.

"Do we call the police and tell them the truth?" asked Adrienne.

"Demons are little recognised under modern English law," said Ethan.

"That it was an accident?"

"It's culpable homicide," said Tom.

"We should just report him missing," Rupert heard himself say.

"Then they'll want to find him," said Tom.

Rupert said, "People go missing all the time. They're rarely found. It happens much more often than most people think, especially here in London."

"He just walked out and never came back?" said Adrienne.

The back door opened again. This time it was Stan. It was getting quite crowded there in the kitchen.

"So," he said, "is that the Krauts gone? Hooray. Now everything can get back to normal." He took in everyone's expressions. "What's happened?"

For a moment, no-one said anything. Then Diedre stood.

"Randall and I had an argument," she said, very calmly and firmly, "about Tom. He hasn't come back to the house since."

"Oh," said Stan. "Should we look for him?"

"We'll give him a day," she said. "If he isn't back by then, I will call his family and see if he is with them." Her voice wavered a little. "I'll call Paul."

"OK then," said Stan. "I'm sure he's all right."

With that, the compulsion to stay in the kitchen finally evaporated. Rupert took some more painkillers and went to bed.

He woke in the dark, unknown hours later, to the sound of screaming. He ran downstairs and found it was Diedre. She was throwing everything in the house that belonged to Tom out of the first-floor window.

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