Toasty Prologue

September 5th, 2010

She fidgeted and stretched against the hard pew under her.  There was so much to get used to, and less time than she would have preferred to adjust.  The college church was empty at the moment, since it was a Friday night and most of the other students were taking care of personal rather than spiritual matters.  Not to mention it was still the start of the year; once grades started falling, more might try lingering in the chapel.  She had come to the church seeking guidance, answers as to how she was supposed to proceed with the rest of her life.

The first thing she needed to do was find her partner.  It had been so long since they had seen each other, and she wondered if he would be able to recognize her.  A brief glimpse would not be enough, and she had no idea what he looked like.  They were running out of time, and they needed to get started as soon as possible.  There would be no time for the regular college experience for her, and certainly no partying.  Not that she was complaining.  A hormone-charged drinking fest was not her idea of a good time.

With one final look at the altar, she used the pew in front of her and pushed herself to her feet.  She wobbled as she made her way out into the center aisle, steadying herself on the pews on the other side.  There were some students studying in a side room she passed on her way towards the back door, but they paid her no mind.  The wind was crisp as she stepped outside, and she pulled her jacket tighter around her.  They said it rained nearly constantly in the small college town, but she had only seen it rain once so far.  Most of the time it was just cold.

She felt wobbly on her feet as she walked down the sidewalk, not knowing where to look.  They had neglected to pick a spot to meet, or even a time.  She would just have to trust that he would be willing to find her.  The clothes she was wearing were uncomfortable; why had she ever thought they would be a good idea?  She stumbled down the hill, walking away from campus.  He would not let her down now, not when they needed to be working together the most.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t the only one looking for her, and she soon became aware of small black creatures trailing her, most of them sticking to the trees.  They wouldn’t dare show themselves in a public place, but at the current hour, most of the other students were hiding inside.  This was the last thing she needed, on her birthday of all things.

“You can follow me all you want,” she told them as she stopped in the middle of the street, “but I don’t even know where he is to lead you to him.”

Unluckily, the demons following her decided to attack her, flinging themselves out of the trees.  She whispered a quick chant, spinning on her heels and exorcising them before they could touch her.  The demons were sent back to Hell, but her lack of stability in the heels sent her falling to her rump on the cold sidewalk.  A graceful display if there ever was one.

“It looks like you need some adjustments.”  The speaker was male, the voice crisp, and the individual obviously amused by her predicament.

“You came late, as always,” she said.  She rose back to her feet and dusted off the front of her skirt, taking a discreet look at him.  He looked different, perhaps a little younger, a little untrimmed around the edges, but still with a certain charm that would have had half the girls on campus following him around.  His blue eyes were sparkling with mirth at her discomfort, and the smile he flashed her could have charmed the habit off a nun and probably had.

“You seem quite capable of taking care of yourself.  You look different, Angel.”  He made a great point of looking up and down her body, gaze lingering slightly longer than necessary on her breasts.  Granted, they weren’t used to this particular arrangement, but they were just going to have to deal with it.  And he needed to stop staring before she decided she would be much better working on her own.

“An unfortunate necessity.”  Besides, she was certain she would adjust eventually.  People ran around in those bodies and clothes all the time.  “Besides, it’s a mite more attractive than yours.” Which wasn’t true in the slightest, but she was hardly going to admit that to him.  She could hardly control how chemicals in her body reacted. She knew she shouldn’t have snapped at him in such a low manner, but she would do penance for it later.  She was still getting used to this body, and all the differing emotions that came with it.

“Have you decided what you’re going to call the new suit?” he asked as they started as they down the sidewalk.  He had a car waiting a short distance down the road, and she wondered why she had not thought of something as simple as a car.  She had never owned a car before in her life.  She really hadn’t had much time to think of a name for herself either.

“I rather like the sound of Angel,” she said, remembering the endearment he had called her only seconds before.  She had liked the warm feeling the sound of it produced, and would be rather pleased to hear it some more.  Apparently, he had been lucky enough to receive an enchanting voice to match the charming smile.

“This one goes by Eric.”  He opened the door for her, and she slipped into the front seat.  They had business to attend to; after all, the fate of the world would be determined by how well they could manage to get along.

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