H-How many years had it been? Since the world all fell to shit for Mabel and her life was ruined? How long had it been since Dipper killed himself in that insane asylum?
How long had it been since she last smiled and fell in love?
The taste-this, this hunger was overwhelming. Overbearing. But he sat patiently. So-… so patiently as Mabel, his little Shooting Star, sat in a pretty red dress getting groomed by some creep in a business suit.
The guy traced his fingers delicately along her thigh while she grinned like a bandit that got the diamond. Only he saw her mischievous eyes.
And for a brief moment Bill felt proud.
It was a twisted thing, the sight in front of him being strangely erotic, but hey- he was a twisted multi-dimensional being- or demon, as he’s been called before.
The bruises on her arms only grew darker as she scrubbed her skin raw, the blood trickling from her neck one drop at a time.
Some jazz music echoed around in the empty apartment but she still sat in her red bath water.
Friends were nice, he had some once. Well, not really, but he considered them as such.
He floated high in the sky above her, watching her paint a scene that wasn’t in front of her.
The painting hung to dry on her terrace, and she leaned back against the railing looking at it with a glass of cheap wine and a cigarette in one hand. Debating how much she really hated it.
Mabel tipped the rest of the wine back, and went inside. Her cigarette forgotten on the railing and half burnt.
He picked it up, and sat where she just stood. He looked the drying piece over, and knew that by morning she would burn it.
Just like all her other works.
He took his own drag of the cigarette, and blew the smoke in the painting’s face. And watched with some sort of satisfaction as it tinted the faces grey.
A lost brother’s smile was no longer white.
The blood- oh god, all the blood. She coughed up more while holding her throat, her eyes blurry with tears but she could see the man in front of her move back slowly. Grinning largely.
He left her there, the knife wiped clean of finger prints as she was dying.
And before she knew it she could see him- Bill. Clearly. It was like looking at the sun and not being blinded.
He held is hand out to her, for her to shake.
“You don’t deserve to die like this. Alone, naked. With your throat cut by some smooth talking psycho.”
His hand waved in front of her.
“I’ll save your life, you can die on your terms when you’re ready, and you can get revenge on the guy.” His one eye lowered, like he was grinning mischievously. “I’ll collect what I want in return later. Do we have a deal?”
She couldn’t breathe. She knew he stopped time to talk to her. But they couldn’t stay in limbo forever.
She didn’t want to die, not like this- not yet.
She reached one of her bloody hands out and grasped his.
And then he truly grinned.
“I heard that you got attacked on Friday!” Mabel’s coworker, Elaine, said quickly and quietly as the two of them sat outside at a little café across the street from their office that Monday morning. Mabel just looked at her as she chewed.
“Just a misunderstanding. But it’s safe to say we’re done seeing each other.” Mabel patted her napkin against the corner of her mouth, making sure not to smear her lipstick.
“Well, what will you do? Will you call in a complaint to the police? File one against him and turn it into the boss?”
Mabel gave her coworker a smile that the other girl couldn’t quite place.
“Don’t worry about it.”
Her friend nodded slowly, glancing at the new choker the girl wore. “Oh, that’s really pretty! Where’d you get that?” She moved to touch the triangle pendant, but Mabel moved back a little bit and brushed hair out of her face, and adjusted the choker that covered the scar on her neck.
“A friend gave it to me over the weekend.” The triangle warmed against her neck, and she couldn’t help but touch it.
Her blood was on his hands- literally. Bill could see it still, he could smell it. He could taste it- because he already did. There was just so much- so much blood. It was everywhere, it was in her hair, in her teeth.
If he wasn’t the one who had given her life back to her, he would’ve suspected that she didn’t have any left in her body.
It was sweeter than he thought it would be- blood wasn’t supposed to be sweet. Blood was supposed to be sticky, kinda runny, and gross. It wasn’t supposed to taste, well, good. It wasn’t supposed to be intoxicating, invigorating- addictive. She wasn’t supposed to be addictive.
And a part of him vaguely wondered if it was worrisome that he wanted more.
He floated by, examining his stick like fingers, as she stared at the blood on the walls and wondered what she had just done.
Her eyes glowed blue but the man’s on the floor bled red.
“Fascinating,” he hummed. Figuratively walking through the red stream as it ran down the drain in the floor. She dried her hands and looked at him from over her shoulder with a raised eyebrow.
“What is?” She folded the towel and put it back on the counter.
“You are, of course.” He was in front of her suddenly, his eye lowered as he stared at her. “My little Shooting Star.”
She frowned at him, “don’t call me that.”
But he only grinned- she couldn’t see it, but she could tell he was.
“So, what? Your brother died in a mental asylum when you guys were 16 and now you run around with your own demons and try to make up for the fact that it was really you?”
She walked through him.
“I didn’t kill my brother,”
“Oh yeah, you’re right. It’s just your memory that drove him to madness. What about that Kent fellow? Ya’ know, the one that just drove you too far over the edge so you did the same thing to him?”
“I only spent the night in jail for suspected involvement, I was written off.”
“Oh right-right. Faulty brakes and wet leaves on the corner, and you just happened to be walking in the middle of the night down the same back road?”
She crossed her arms, starting to look a bit uncomfortable.
“Walking helped clear my head, so I did it a lot at night when I couldn’t sleep.”
“Nightmares?” he inquired, and she knew he was grinning maliciously.
She frowned at him. “Like you don’t know,” she pouted before she gave him a smug smile. “Face it, the only demon here is you.”
“I wouldn’t be too sure about that, Shooting Star.” Bill dragged her head around to the mirror and then disappeared. And in his place in the reflection was her. Glowing blue eyes, pointed teeth, and even little horns sprouting out through her hair.
She gasped, touching her head but no horns were there.
“You want me to… what?” her nose scrunched up in disgust as she stared at him.
“I want you to be my apprentice and then cause chaos among the worlds by my side. Making deals, having sex, feeling like you’re on ecstasy all the time-“
She had a revolted look on her face.
“Fine, fine.” He waved his hand. “Ditch that last part, but- follow me on this one, yeah? I do want you to take my place one day, I’m old- you get tired of the same drama every other eon or so,” he rolled his hand. “But I want you to find me a suitable body to inhabit while you’re still mortal. Preferably around your age. Ya’ know, grow old together since you sold me your soul and junk and I literally own you.”
She crossed her arms and frowned at him. “Gee, at least buy a woman a drink first or something before you make her find you a slave to inhabit and then take her soul when she dies so you can train her to become the next what-ever you are.”
“Incubus I think sums you up better.” She raised an eyebrow at him, and he narrowed his own.
“Mine sounds cooler, but whatever.”
She sauntered into her new apartment, it was grand. White tiled floors of marble, a view over the city lights, gilded accessories around the apartment. Her dress was a classic, modestly sexy as it showed off her curves and some cleavage, but not enough to be trashy. It was long, flowing, it dragged behind her enticingly. She was draped in it, her pale flesh stark against the inky blackness.
Her choker’s pendant sat perched above her bosom.
“I hope this is adequate for you,” she said aloud to the room, and the young man who followed behind her undid his tie.
He assumed she was talking to him, so he answered as he walked towards the large windowed wall. His tie undone and laid crinkled around his neck.
“Yeah, yeah. It’s great.” He murmured, scratching at the beard on his face. He glanced up when a reflection joined his in the window, but it wasn’t hers.
He turned around quickly to search for the glowing eye he saw. She was at the bar in her kitchen, mixing them a drink. She looked up at him curiously.
“Are you alright, Stephen?”
“Yeah, yeah.” He glanced back out the large windows. “I’m fine,” he turned back to her and jumped when she was right in front of him.
She batted her eyelashes innocently and held out his drink to him, “Really? You seem kind of jumpy to me.”
“Maybe I just still have chills from seeing your art work show cased,” he purred, taking a sip from the amber liquid and square glass. “I finally get to meet the Shooting Star, and low and behold she wants to take me home.” He grinned wolfishly, finishing off his glass. “Your Little Dipper and the Stars piece is quite unusual, what was your muse?”
She held onto her glass a little tighter.
“Just a trip the summer I turned 13, it’s been with me for years.”
“Yes, but a demon with the Little Dipper constellation in his form and little demons following him also holding other famous stars constellations. Why is the Little Dipper one the leader? I’d figure it would be Leo or Orion.”
“I figured I would give some recognition to the little guys.”
She led him to her bedroom.
They laid in her Californian king bed, a sheet covering her top as she laid on her side, facing him. A cigarette hung limp from her mouth.
There were lipstick stains along his jaw line, and down his body that disappeared under the covers.
They didn’t get down to his legs.
His eyes were dropping, the drug now taking effect.
She breathed smoke in his face, and he breathed it in deeply.
“What’s your real name?” He laid his head down on the pillow, his eyes heavy. Her breathing stopped, her heart dropped, and her stomach tied itself into knots.
“You don’t want to know,” she whispered hoarsely, moving to close his eyelids.
And he let her.
Blue fire crept along the edges of Stephen’s mind, and the voice came from everywhere at once but he didn’t know where. He didn’t recognize it.
“It looks like you enjoy living the high life,” flashes from Stephen’s 23rd birthday came across, he was drunk with his brothers at a strip club, an attractive girl sitting in his lap. A large house came into view, with nice cars sitting in front of it.
“I do,” he chuckled, “the finest of liquors from all over the world are mine in my cellar.”
“Wouldn’t you like to ensure you kept it all? Have a different woman every night to keep you warm?” the voice concentrated into a single, triangular, being.
Stephen took a step away from the being, taken aback by how quickly he showed up.
“I won’t lose it.”
The house had gone up in flames, his cars stolen.
“I still have money-“
“Relax, relax.” Bill eased the nervous man, leading him from the carnage. “It’s just a dream after all, but a woman every night? That’s a bit far-fetched, even for you.”
“No it’s not, I’m a good looking man-“
“Who’s working himself into an early grave.” Bill pointed out. “Come on, come on. You’re like, what? 30? 35?”
“My point exactly, you’re not getting any younger. And soon you won’t have your looks or money to fall back on.”
A mirror appeared and Stephen’s skin got ashen gray, his brown hair turned white, and he slumped over so far he could rest his elbows on his knees.
“Wanna know the worst part?” Bill asked with an insinuated raised eyebrow.
“What is it?” Stephen’s voice was shaky and weak, and he gasped at how old he now sounded.
“This is what you’re going to be like when you’re 50.”
“50?!” The old man grasped his heart.
“50,” Bill nodded solemnly. “Wouldn’t you like to keep your youthful appearance, your money, your job?”
“Great, all you gotta do is shake my hand and we got a deal. All I need from you is some head space for a little while.”
“Head space?” Stephen was no longer bent over and old, he rolled his neck at his suddenly stiff joints.
“To ensure that none of that happens to you. Don’t worry too much on it, though. This is a dream, after all.” Bill held out his hand.
“Just a dream.” Stephen murmured.
She wore a plush purple robe when she felt arms wrap around her midriff, she jumped slightly at the contact.
“Oh, Stephen. Hello, good morning. How did you sleep?” she conversed politely, a deep chuckle rumbled through her back,
“Call me Bill, Shooting Star.”
“I take it you find that form satisfactory?” She turned around in his arms, and his grin was tantalizing.
“It’s adequate.” He trapped her against the counter, hovering over her with his clean shaven face.
“His eyes were blue-“
“And now they’re yellow, terrible.” He faked a pout.
“And his hair was brown-“ she ran a trembling hand through his hair, even his skin felt different.
He grasped her wrist, “and now it’s not.” He kissed the smooth skin of the underside of her wrist, his eyes low lidded.
The two of them were out and about around the town, shopping of course.
“Doesn’t it feel incredible?” he spoke up suddenly from behind her, she turned around and looked at him curiously. “Being mortal?”
Ice filled her veins as she stared at him suspiciously.
“Feeling everything so very intensely?” His eyes shimmered, and she shifted nervously in her coat.
“I suppose; there are moments where I wish I didn’t feel at all.”
“The sooner you die the sooner you’ll experience it.”
Her heart froze as she looked at him wide eyed.
“Does sex feel as great as others say it does? Does smoking relax you like they say it can? What’s it like to be addicted- truly addicted to something? What’s it like when you kill someone?”
“Let’s not talk about this here,” she said through gritted teeth, her cheeks flaming as she walked ahead of him.
“What’s it like to fall in love?”
The question burned at the forefront of her mind as she lay naked next to him. He was asleep, taking a liking to the activity (just as much as sex) that he did it quite often.
“I don’t know.”
And she didn’t.
Sirens wailed behind them both as they escaped from the apartment complex that caught up in flames.
Blankets wrapped around them both later when the carnage was done and over with. They looked up at the tall building, and Mabel was thinking about how she should’ve died in there.
But she didn’t.
“How can I die?” She asked him suddenly, in Stephen’s own house. Bill looked at her with a spoon full of cereal in his mouth.
“Well, that depends.” He said once his food was done. He lifted the bowl and drank the milk from it, and Mabel watched his Adam’s apple bob with each swallow.
“You will either die of old age, or you will die in the way that you tell me you wish to die.” He stared at her, and she shrunk back from his hypnotic stare unknowingly.
“Otherwise nothing can kill you.”
Pink lips barely parted in a desperate gasp of air before a
long, low moan echoed out. A grunt followed in response.
The bed rocked wickedly against the wall, the moans that washed through the house were loud and sensual.
After words, both were smoking. The air in the room heavy with the nicotine smell.
“What is this heaviness in my lungs?”
She looked over at him, her hair sprawled out around her. He turned his head to look at her.
“Your lungs aren’t used to the smoke.”
“Will they ever be?”
Her own lungs burned.
Sirens wailed as they approached the crime scene, a robbery-turned-murder of a couple in their home. As a signature the victims ring fingers were cut off and a single triangular pendant across the man’s chest.
And there was just so much blood everywhere, the culprits long gone with no other trace they were even there.
Mabel washed the blood off of her skin once again, no bruises showing through this time on her pale skin.
“Is this what it’s like to be living dead? I am dead, aren’t I? I have no soul, I can’t die unless I say I want too. Injuries no longer last on me.”
“What am I?” she voiced aloud, looking at her reflection.
“You’re being turned into a demon.”
She looked at him, him leaning against the door frame, a rolled up button downed sleeved shirt accentuating his arms. Her eyes shining with unshed tears
“I’m not sure I want to.” She said weakly.
“Sorry Shooting Star, you don’t really have a choice.”
The body was disposed of in acid, like they all were.
He wiped his hands clean, and wondered who their next victim would be.
Mabel sat against the bed, looking out over the large estate they now lived in. Lights in the distance and sirens to follow.
“I don’t wish to do this anymore,” she told him.
“Why the sudden change in heart, you human or something?”
She looked back at him, a single tear slid down her cheek.
The voices, there were so many voices. They were everywhere. Whispering to her. Coaxing her to kill again. But she didn’t want too. No- no no no, she didn’t want to kill again.
Her fingers burned, they itched to wrap around someone’s neck. To feel their pulse fade under her finger tips.
She could taste their blood on her lips.
“Bill,” she said urgently, turning on her side to wake the demon up.
He sat up in bed quickly, sweat dripping down his bare chest.
“W-what is it?” He looked at her, and he almost looked worried. But it was gone as quickly as it showed up.
She blinked at him, suddenly feeling small.
He stared at her.
Her bottom lip trembled as she nodded softly, tears sliding down her cheeks.
“I don’t want to do this anymore.”
Bill swallowed thickly, holding her against him tightly, securely.
She was his, and his alone.
At least that’s what he told himself.
He hissed in pain when bacon grease splashed up on his wrist, and he stared incredulously at her when she reached into the oven and took the biscuits out with her bare hands.
“Doesn’t that hurt?” He asked, running cold water on the red spots that were splattered across the back of his hand. She looked at him curiously, then down at her own hands.
“Well, not really honestly.” She shrugged at him.
Her response left a sour taste in his mouth, and he couldn’t really pin point why.
“Is this what humanity is like?” He asked breathlessly, standing at the top of a mountain with her by his side. The wind was blowing, ruffling their hair as they watched the sunrise over the ocean. His cheeks were glowing with excitement, his eyes bright and shining. She looked out over the sight in front of her, her heart didn’t beat with joy or excitement anymore over the view. She glanced at him, and grabbed his hand tightly in her own. Her only way to feel anything these days.
“Is it lifting your heart? Making it beat faster?” He turned to look down at her, his smile bright and for a moment it made her own heart stop.
“Is it beautiful?”
He didn’t look at the sunrise when he answered her.
And she didn’t feel her heart beat again.
“Does Heaven and Hell truly exist?”
“Hmm?” He looked up from his orange slice and the book he was reading, he blinked at her tired appearance. “Oh, well yeah. Of course it does.”
She blinked, rubbed her eyes, and rested her cheek against her hand and drummed her free fingers against the table in front of her coffee.
“Why do you ask?”
She looked off at the window, not meeting his eyes for a while.
“Will I ever see Dipper again?”
Her voice was a hoarse whisper, and it cracked. He frowned, putting the book facing down so he didn’t lose his page.
“It’s a possibility, just not in the way you would like.”
She glanced at him again, so he sighed.
“As a dream demon you come into contact with the dead more often than you would like, and the souls. But also as a dream demon, you can never get into heaven.”
She looked at him, and he looked so serious.
“You’ll see him, but only if you can get him to see you first and on mutual ground.”
She didn’t say anything.
“And I don’t think he’ll want to see you again for a while.”
She nodded mutely, and Bill was starting to wonder where his Shooting Star was going.
He couldn’t help himself, he puked once he smelled the blood. Her wrists her cut length wise up her arms as she lay her head against the side of the bath tub, her eyes glazed over and turned to the doorway.
He stared in horror, as his little Shooting Star finally decided how she wanted to die.
But strangely enough he was the one who felt like dying.
She was floating, weightless. She breathed, but she didn’t need to. Everything was blurry when she opened her eyes, just one big glob of grey. Voices could be heard very- very faintly.
“-p-please, send her back. Knoll our agreement. Give her back her soul, send her back to when she was 12. She doesn’t deserve this.”
“She made the deal, Cipher. I’ve never seen you grovel like this before, especially for a human.”
“She just wanted to live and now she can, please. Do this-“
“And if I do? What do you have that is possibly worth her life?”
Everything was silent for so long, she started to believe she was asleep again.
“Then it shall be done.”
She breathed deeply again, and this time she needed it.
She sat up in bed, sweat beading down the side of her face. She gasped at air that she never knew she needed. She gulped, and her tongue ran over her braces.
“Mabes?” Dipper looked at his sister curiously, she stared at him, tears in her eyes.
“Dipper?” her voice was weak.
“You ok?” he shifted nervously, setting the journal he found not long ago under his pillow and moving to sit on his sister’s bed.
“Y-yeah, I’m fine.” She looked down at the pink quilt that covered her. “Just a… bad dream.” She frowned to herself. “Well, at least I think. I don’t really remember.”
“You’re probably just home sick, it’s ok.” He put an arm around her shoulders and brought her to him tightly. “It’s our first long-term time away from mom and dad. I was homesick a while ago too- but Mabes, look at this journal I found!” He got excited, jumping up and running over to his bed where he put the journal.
Mabel smiled softly.
Yeah, she was just homesick.
“What’s it like to fall in love?” Mabel repeated his question at him, her blood running down the side of the bath tub as she chose her way to die.
He swallowed the lump in his throat, and he spoke with a wavering voice:
“It’s the best kind of torture,” a tear fell down his cheek. She smiled weakly.
“I agree.” Her head lolled to the side to rest against the cool tub.