A friendly visit
And so, days have passed and Rose began spending more and more time with Bell and her father.
Bell felt like the little sister Rose never had.
So playfull and cute, willing to make everyone happy.
She tried to avoid encountering Jhon and the girls as much as she could, a job that she thought to be quite easy in a large place like Townsville.
Yet she could have sowrn on time that she heard Jhon and Blossom argue around a street corner, other time they nearly tripped into Buttercup that beatened some thugs nearby, but she left them for the police and left just before they popped.
Most of Roses family was having fun too, going around the city, shopping, scaring people at nights.
The only one who didnt smile even once during the entire week was Mandy.
Mandy seemed to forget any of her romantic relations to Grim, she treated him in tyranny and evil (Not much of a difference then before when you think about it).
Deep inside, she was still hurt by Dicks words and wanted nothing more then to show him whose Boss.
In the night before the fatefull day, Rose was having fun with Bell and Dr. X in a nearby luna park and Him was attending some buisness out of town, and so Mandy, Grim, Grim Jr. and Her were at home, watching TV, trying to keep off concernes from their hearts.
After a long numb watching, Jr. finally opened his mouth and said:
I cant stand it any more, this place is giving me the creeps! Your father creeps me out!
He pointed at Her and then looked at Mandy
Mom! Youre scaring me more then you do usually! And I didnt even start talking about this Dick guy! I want Rose to come back!
Mandy thrown an angry look at him and said:
Stop acting like a baby! You remind me of your Grandparents!
You know, I always wanted to meet your parents Mandy! said Her
I mean, they are probably still alive and well in here aren't they?
Mandy got up and looked threatening, Grim and Jr. backed to the edge of the room.
Theres one good reason why we dont go to Endsville and it has a big nose and a red hat!
A gentle knock was heard on the door, Jr. ran to open it, saying to himself:
This time it must be Rose!
This time he managed to hug, but it was someone a little too tall to be Rose.
Jr. did not dare to open his eyes, he felt a warm hand gently and politly pushing him away.
"It's not like I don't want to be a friend of yours or anything like that mate, I just don't know you well enough to exchange such a gesture!"
Jhon Leaderkill stepped into the room with a friendly smile upon his face, he was slowly followed by Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup who seemed a little reluctant to enter.
They then looked around the room and Bubbles asked:
"And the psycho!" added Buttercup
"Not here!" answered Mandy who left the couch to see who was it.
"Hello Mandy! Long time no seen!" said Jhon cheerfully as he reached his hand forward to shake Mandy's
"You know this guy mom?!" Asked Junior in a surprised tone.
"My local version does, we are both members of a nice little web community" said Mandy and slowly shook Jhon's hand.
"INTER-ROGATION.COM, good tips! Buttercup likes it too right?!" Said Jhon.
Buttercup nodded and a sudden lurch came from her stomach, Mandy looked at her and at Jhon and said reluctantly:
"I guess you can stay for dinner if you leave before "Him" comes back"
"Oh! I wouldn't be worried about that anytime soon!" Said Blossom from the back with a smile on her face.
After going through all the introductions, Jhon, the girls and the present members of the family sat at the beautiful red dinner table.
"Rose have already told us about your little meeting so you know already most of the details, but if that's the case then what is the purpouse of this visit?"
"Her" was very suspicious of the weird bunch of guests ever since they arrived and now she finally got the courage to speak.
"You must be "Her" your'e a female copy your father I swear!"
"Now! now! Buttercup! She asked us a decent question, we should answer" said Jhon.
"Although your father has indeed a lot to do with this!" said Blossom in a with her usuall patronizing tone.
"Her" gave her a questioning look and all the other conversations around the table stopped.
Blossom began explaining:
"So anyway, earlier today the Mayor invited us to his house so that Jhon could teach him a new game he made up!"
"A funny game!" Added Bubbles
"And he sucked of course!" Said Buttercup in a mean tone
"Get on with it!" whispered Mandy through her teeth and Blossom continued:
"So! when we were about ot leave we noticed a shadowy figure carrying one of the mayor's old vases across the lawn, away from the mayor's mansion, after making sure the mayor wasn't moving anything, we went to check things out..."
"Three gusess who was it!" Jhon interrrupted
"Jhon! If your'e gonna' keep preaching about manners, the least you can do is set a damn example!"
"Sorry" he said in a chilidish apollogizing tone.
"So who was it really?" asked Grim, which needed quite a long time to adjust to the guests.
"Him" said Mandy and bended beneath the table.
"How did you know?" wondered Bubbles.
Mandy got back up and held something in her hand
"Because I see that someone kept her promise!"
She shown them what she was holding was a tooth.
"It got stuck in your shoe" she said to Buttercup.
"Cleaver as ever, I see!" said Jhon while cleaning his sunglasses.
""Him" also asked us in writing, since he wouldn't be able to speak for a while to tell you that you may stay here for as long as you like and that you should go visiting him!" added Blossom
"Unusually kind of him, but were' just the messangers"
"So..." said Mandy
"What game exactly were you trying to teach the mayor?"
Blossom gave a "Hummph!", Jhon smiled at her then at Mandy and said:
"Oh! I think this is something just for you Mandy"
Two houres later, a few streets away from there Rose, Bell and Dr. X were walking back home.
"The rides were so awsome! and you saw it when I hit the target and my dad fell in the water! haha! it made my chest hurt out of laugh!"
Bell was recalling the things they did and Dr. X was keenly listening to her, but Rose's mind was drifting to other places, she knew that by this time the day after, no matter how things with Dick turn up, they will probably be over, but for who?
"Excuse me darling have you seen a ball around here by chance?"
A person who judging by his outfit was clearly a baseball coach just shouted to her from a nearby court.
"Damn" said the coach "Were' losing them on a very high rate tonight, soon we'll run out!" and he walked away.
Rose looked at Bell and Dr. X and pulled her shoulders.
They reached into the house and first of all noticed strange sounds from the roof.
"Theyr'e probably trying to distract themselves from thinking of tomorrow!" said Dr. X
"Oh! I wonder how they do that!"
"And you'll keep wondering young lady! were' off to bed!"
Dr. X took the annoyed Bell to their room while Rose climbed upstaires to find her family, Jhon and the girls all standing on the roof.
"No Mandy, d'is is absurd!"
Mandy was holding Grim's head and seemed like she is about to throw it.
"He's right Mandy, and besides he could hit someone, we must use only precised projectiles! like this!"
Jhon pulled his sub-machine gun and aimed somewhere, he then noticed Rose and said:
"Hello again, I was just showing your'e family how to make watching baseball interesting, I can't see how people can simply sit and watch this dull thing any other way! don't worry they home and don't explode under certain hight, now look!"
"what are you talking abou...?"
BANG! Jhon shot before she could complete her sentence and hit a ball from the nearby court, which exploded in a light white puff.
"Hey! that was my turn!" shouted Bubbles
"No! it was mine!" said Buttercup
"That's such a mean game!"
"Shut up Blossom! you blown most of them"
While the girls were arguing, "Her" and Jr. were viewing the city and Mandy had grim work as her spotter while she aimed one of his extracted hands at the court's direction, Rose decided that it's time to continue her conversation with Jhon.
"So, Mr. Leaderkill do you have any tips for me for tomorrow?"
Jhon looked at her for a few moments and said:
"Yeah, keep him at medium distance, this way it's less likely he'll manage to kill you before he nutrelizes you, let the little psycho fight him off, she's got a better chance at knocking him off"
"As predictable as she is Rose, your'e predictable even more, I don't need to fight you to know that, Dick's whole battle strategy goes around knowing what will the enemy do next"
"And does Bell have a chance?"
Jhon looked down in stead of answering and Rose have made up her mind.
"So that's it isn't it? Tomorrow, it's either I or Dick, I'm not going to let Bell die for nothing"
"It is a noble deed I admit, blind justice, but we mock blind justice here!"
Rose became angry
"I'm not doing this only for her Jhon! I'm doing this for me too, and for you!"
Jhon looked up to her.
"For me?! what do you mean?"
"Your'e smart Jhon, and I know you must have dealt with Dick for years! But however he hurt you it can't be as bad as he hurt me! You are not the type that makes sacrafices!"
All of a sudden, Rose felt a huge soaring pain in her left cheek, A sound of slapping thuded all around, Jhon just slapped her so hard she nearly fell to the floor.
"Never make assumptions of this kind again girl! Sacrafice! It is the farthest of noble as it gets!"
Rose was still bending while saying:
"There's no greater loss then the one he caused me! It's between me and him!"
The look that Jhon gave her was worse then any slap, he said:
"You don't really know what loss is girl! He cut away from you merely a part of your world, try to lose another part, try to lose all the parts! try to feel the scaring pain of losing what defines you as a human being! The lonliness that never stops untill you go mad!"
He suddenly looked so misserable and inoccent, like a lost child, tears were slipping on his cheeks, what a horrible thing was done to this man?
Rose stood and said:
"I'll make him pay for what he did to you!"
Jhon walked to the roof's side, looking at Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup who were already curled, sleeping at a corner.
"Most people don't really know how to take vengence! they think that killing is the only option! Killing is for those too weak to pick up the pieces! I already took my vengence, and the one that deserves it, feels it all the time!"
He gently woke the girls up and before Rose could slip another word, they left.
Mandy now came at Rose's side.
"He's right you know, vengence is sweet, but it distracts! Don't let things go personal tomorrow, if you can't fight, let Bell in!"
Rose became so angry so transformed into her devil form.
"Yeah, she doesn't own her life, that makes them less preciuos!"
Mandy didn't look surprised but deep inside she was.
"Who told you you about that?!"
"It doesn't make a difference, your'e willing to sacrafice inoccent life for us! she had nothing to do with all this mess!"
Rose's parents came to calm her down but she thrown them away from her.
Her mother said:
"Rose, why all the commotion? one way or another we get a bigger chance to see Dick getting what he deserves!"
Rose looked at her with eyes full of tears.
"You don't understand! If he killes her it would be like with Alex again! I will not let that bastard take another one of my friends in front of my eyes!"
Mandy felt she should give the girl a better understanding of the situation, she took a chair, stood on it and gave Rose her second slap for this evening.
"Perhaps you don't get it Rose! If Dick does kill you, you can't reap yourself! and all the other reapers in this world are your family and will never agree to reap you! If Dick finds that out after finishing you off, wer'e all becoming the eternal playmates of a sadistic giant, and he doesn't look stupid like his kind is usually, which makes things only worse!"
"So you think reaping Bell is less of a crime?"
Grim and Grim Jr. came to her with upset looks, Grim began to say:
"Look Rose, da' choice between da' life of a close beloved relative and between reaping someone 'ose life isn't hers to begin wit' ..."
"Is no choice at all!" completed Mandy.
"And you know that if all the reapers will be at the realm of darkness our earth will fall into chaos!"
Rose turned to leave, just before she went down the stairwall, she said:
"Then I guess that tomorrow, my will isn't going to be the only one put to a test"
She went down, followed by her parents and Grim.
Mandy remaind on the roof a little longer, sinking into deep dark thoughts untill a bunch of trash cans fell down at the alley, she thought she saw a shadow moving around.
"Must be a cat!"
She stayed there for one more minute, wondering if tomorrow is the last time she will get to see the darkness of the night.
The following day went quietly, they left to scotland early however because they were not sure as to what time zone did Dick refer to.
They waited there for a while in silence, the sky were pitch black and from time to time thounders were heard.
A lightning which hitted close revealed a for a moment a shadow that resembled Dick, but when they looked again there was only a dark sphere of smoke and shadow, a portal.
"Where's Bell?" asked Rose who now noticed the girl's absence.
"I t'ink she went doing da' smelly buisness if ya' know what I mean!" said her grandfather, she looked at him in disgust and said:
"Okeeeey... I'll just wait for her here then!"
"You can say your'e afraid girl!" shouted Mandy "Let me show you what guts is!"
Mandy entered the portal, expecting the worse, it was too dark to see anything but it was cold, very cold.