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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.


Rupert put on his second-best set of clothes and picked up his guitar. He was going to go and beg for his job back, at the hotel. He was going to say that he had been very ill, hospitalised even, and he had been unable to call. He was better now and able to work and it would never happen again.

He rehearsed the speech in his head as he sat on the bus. He really wanted to keep the job. He had some money now from the ferry terminal fiasco, but a lump sum wouldn't last. He needed a regular income and it would be best if he could say on at the squat, so that he didn't have to pay rent. He hoped very much that Diedre would feel better soon, although he would quite understand if she didn't.

He found the hotel manager in the corridor leading to the kitchens. He straightened his jacket and assumed his most trustworthy expression.

"Feeling better?" asked the manager. "That's good. We had people asking after you last week. Go on in."

"Right," said Rupert, his speech unspoken, and feeling a little flustered.

He didn't play particularly well that afternoon.


Nothing had been wrong with the spell. Ethan went through the steps in his head as he spent the afternoon running errands for Mr Grey.

He came home along the canal path but there was no sign of Evelyn. He stood at the water's edge, looking along the line of moored boats. It was a warm day but there weren't that many people out. He struggled to remember what day of the week it was.

Had it been that they weren't drunk? The spell book indicated that Eyghon was to be summoned at bacchanals, but it hadn't explicitly said inebriation was required.

Maybe it was because they'd changed the order of possession. Rupert should have gone first. He always went first. If it had been Rupert rather than Randall who'd gone first, then things wouldn't have been so bad. Everyone would have been a bit sorry, but really he was a newcomer to the household, without close ties. Ethan, Randall and Deirdre might have found a way to stop Eyghon, or if not -- did it have to be their problem? A demon, rampaging around Camden Town, someone would have stopped it eventually, perhaps the police or the Watchers. Then Randall would still be alive and Deirdre wouldn't be upset and everything would have been fine. So it was Rupert who should have been turned into a demon.

The stain was still there on the concrete in the yard. It looked a different colour under full daylight, but it didn't look human at all.

So that was Randall now. What a pig's arse that was. That's what the universe did, though; it killed off perfectly good people and left the ones you didn't like behind.

He was there for a while, and when he next looked up, he realised it was getting dark. He didn't really want to go back to the house. Instead he went for a walk, over to a pub near the Tube station where he'd used to go with Randall, years ago. He hoped to get dinner there, but the kitchen was closed, so he had to settle for a packet of crisps and a beer.

The pub was a block away from where he and Randall had first met. Back then, Randall had worked in a head shop where Ethan would sometimes stop by to get candles, on his way to busk in the park. On Saturday afternoons, Randall was the only sales assistant and, if it was raining, Ethan was often the only customer. That's what Ethan remembered most clearly, those rainy afternoons, water bucketing down and the bright colours of the shop walls muted by the grey light, as he stood talking with Randall at the counter. It was the first time Ethan had really had the chance to talk properly with someone about magic, in a conversation in which he didn't feel patronised. And Randall had real contacts, people who were in touch with the scene in San Francisco that Randall had been part of. He knew people.

Ethan counted the number of empties in front of him and realised he might not be able to walk. He needed to sit there a while longer.

He wondered what had gone wrong.

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indri: (Default)

March 2013


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