1:18: Husband & Wife.. again

“I just have to ask.. you are sure I don’t like need to follow some old rule about asking for your hand?”
“Yeah, we have been married before remember.. you already asked for my hand, more than once.”
“Soo, what you are saying is that I should ask again?”
“You really do overthink these kinda things don’t you?”
“Sorry..”

She could understand him though, I mean, he was marrying Death’s daughter, and if it made him feel any calmer to ask for her hand, for god know’s what time, then she was fine with it.

“So how about this, I ask him over, you decided if you feel you need to ask for my hand huh?”
“Sure..”

“So.. before I call up the old man, is there anyone you would like to innvite?”
“Hmh… Not really.. I mean.. I asume Chris and Hayle are coming, my mom is with her new husband somewhere far off..”
“So no one at work or anything like it?”
“Nah.. I am fine with a small one.”
“You sure about your mom though?”
“Yeah.. I told her I was getting married, she told me great and that she hoped to see the pictures.”

She shook her head a little. She remembered his mother quite differently, but it would seem the older Ilari got, the less his mother had wanted him around. As soon as he moved out, she pretty much moved on.

“So, just us, them and my dad then.. small but nice.”
“Yeah, honestly, that is all I need.”

“So… he asked you?”
“Yep.”
“Well, that is another sign.”
“Sure dad.”
“What?”
“Well he was supposed to be home to meet you, but well, work.”
“I know, but it gives us time to talk.”

It was often her that did this, but for once, it was Ilari’s work that had him work overtime.

“So small wedding, just the closest?”
“Yeah, you, the boys and us.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Oddly, that is just what he said too.”
“I am surprised though, I would have asumed he would want at least his mom to be there.”
“He did ask, but she had no time for him.”
“I see.”

Sometimes her father was a hard man to read.

“I though we were going to talk?”
“Talk after I beat you at this kid!”
“Oh come one now..”

It was becoming something close to a family tradition by now, the three of them playing games whenever they were together. It had become something of a bonding thing for Ilari and her father.

“Besides, I’ll make it easy and say yes.”
“Wait what?”
“You want to marry my daughter, the answer is yes.. again!”

Ilari just blinked, and got kicked out of bounds in the game they were playing at the same time.

“Hah!”
“Oh that’s just not fair.”
“All is fair in love and games. I win the game, you get to marry my daughter.”

“So you two set a date yet?”
“Well.. no?”
“Soon I think.”
“And then…?”
“What, you know better than that dad?”
“Oh I just thought maybe you had…”

She noticed her father shake his head, deciding it was probably best to leave it. She knew what he was suggesting, but she simply was not sure it was something she wanted to bring up. He knew her story, he knew that adoption was the only way

“So.. does this mean you both have best men at your wedding?”
“Yep!”

Ilari just chuckled, he still remembered the look on Hayle’s face when he asked him to be best man, although it was beaten by the complete gobsmacked look on Chris’s face when she had jokingly said that she wanted him to be her’s.

“So… ?”
“Yeah..”
“Nervous?”
“Not really, are you?”
“A little..”

She was about to answer when the phone rang, at first she thought it was work, but then she noticed the phone number.

“Hayle?”
“Yeh.. he is worried about Chris.”
“Eh.. isn’t Chris like immortal?”
“Oh he is.. but Hayle is right, and I have a good idea what it might be.”
“But you didn’t tell him?”
“No, just that it wasn’t something to worry about, if it is what I think, it will happen regardless.”

She knew what Chris had once been. His choice when he became a reaper. It was strange though to imagine that meeting Hayle could undo what death had done.

“Oh come now.. you need to tell me!”
“Okay, but you keep it to yourself, okay?”
“Promise.”

After their talk, Nat had been called out to actual work. leaving Ilari home with just himself and his thoughts.

“I wonder… would she say yes..?”

He shook off the thought, and started thinking about what was to come, and some wedding vows he wanted to make sure felt just right

The had found pretty much the perfect little wedding venue close to where Chris & Hayle lived, and since it was just just those two on the guestlist along with Nat’s dad, it became just what they had wanted.

Richard Bach has said, “A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise.” You are my soulmate, you are the person who loves me for me, you reveal the best part of me. I love you and I love our paradise.

She had planned to say something, but after he had said what he did, she felt her own words just come short.

“I love you too.. “

“So… what number of time is this?”
“For us getting married?”
“Yeah.”
“Honestly I still don’t remember, but the only time that counts is the one right now.”

He smiled, before walking over to the three others to enjoy the rest of the evening. They had food and drinks for a small army, so at least no one would go home hungry.

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1:17: Before we go home

“Why do I have a feeling you know?”
“Know what?”
“Ohh no.. I know you, you knew!”
“Of course I knew, don’t you think he needed someone to talk to.. that’s like not death himself.”
“I guess that is a fair point..”

“How about you.. heard anything from Hayle yet?”
“No.”
“Worried?”
“Starting to get a little worried.”
“Just go get him then, like you promised you would.”
“I guess.. I just wanted to give him.. time?”
“You know.. the more time in that form, if he has forgotten.”
“I know, I just…”

She understood what it was that kept holding him back. She knew that him coming to get his husband didn’t actually bother him, it was something he would happily do, but he knew and she knew it would hurt a whole lot for Hayle.

“It will only hurt more.. the more you stall.”
“I’ll give him.. a few more days…”
“Okay.”
“Now..I have a small thing form me and said lost god.. it’s a photo session for you two before you head home.”

She just looked at him for a while, until he pretty much grabbed her and pulled both her and Ilari to the beach where a female waved at them, giving Chris a nod.

“There, you are in good hands.”

Ilari looked at her, with a bit of a half panicked look, this was clearly not something Chris had told him about.

“Just relax, you are in good hands.”

The woman nodded, and then put away her camera.

“I’ll send them to you as soon as they are ready. I think you will like them.”

“That was actually kinda fun.”
“It was.”
“Do we have to head home right away?”
“Nah.. I called and got one more day off work.. how about we just enjoy one last day here?”
“Deal. “

The next day, they spent at the beach, helping out with removing trash, and even got in some relaxing time on the floaty things they had seen many times already but never got around too

“Ehm.. you do know you can get a sunburn?”
“I did use lotion.”
“Still.. “

“So.. ?”
“Best vacation, no doubt!”

Neither off them wanted this day to end, but as the sun set and the time of their flight home was drawing closer, they knew they had to go.

“How about.. we go here again?”
“Yes!”
“We could.. you know get married here?”
“YES!”

She pulled him into one last kiss, before they left the waters of Sulani, and the Island itself, at least for now.

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1:16 – Marry me?

“Even on a holiday?”
“Of course I love playing this game.”

It had really become a thing of their to play chess together. It was just that it let them talk, as well as of course they both enjoying the little competition they had with who had won the most games.

“It has always been chess with us.. haven’t it?”
“Yeah..”
“Always?”
“Since they game was invented, yes.”
“What did we do before that?”
“Eh… I honestly don’t remember.”

They decided to go swimming when the sun was slowly going down, they had gotten a tip that there might be dolphins out there, and they were not let down by the tip.

“You know.. I think this has been the best vacation ever!”
“Have you actually had any more than this one?”
“Would it matter.. it would still be the best one ever”
“True..”

“I have one more place I would like to show you really..”
“Wait.. have you been there before?”
“Well.. I have asked Hayle and Chris for places..”
“Ah, coming prepared too.. I’m impressed.”

“Good, then so far I am doing good.”

They swam together to the beach, getting changed, before he took her hand and started walking together towards for her at least, somewhere unknown.

“Okay.. what is up?”
“What?”
“You are acting nervous.. I know you too well to ignore it.”
“I guess I am a little nervous.”
“For what?”

He turned around and pulled her a bit closer.

“Yes.. because I have decided that I am not going to wait.”
“…”
“I know you worry, I know your scared it might be something wrong with this dance. But I know the only thing that isn’t wrong right now.. is us.”

“So little lady death.. will you marry this old soul?”
“…. Yes.. dumbass, but yes!”

She had been really surprised by this action, but she had to admit, she was also really happy that it had been his choice and not something she had to push for.

“Do I need to ask your dad for your hand.. or something like it?”
“No.. I don’t think you do, you done it so many times.. I mean, unless you want to?”

“Now what?”
“Well.. I know Chris is home… I think he would apriciate the company, and the news.”
“Lets go visit then.”

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1:15 – The vacation

“So…I have to ask.. do you ever get a holiday?”
“Ehm.. I guess I could, but why?”
“I was just thinking.. now that Hayle and Chris have lived in Sulani for so long, maybe it would be fun to go visit?”

It was over a year now since Chris and Hayle had moved to the Island’s, and although they still came to visit, it was a little less than it had once been. For him though, the plan behind this was a little bit different, and although she would no doubt think him crazy for even thinking it, he knew it was right.

“So.. can you take like a week off?”
“I’ll check, although as you know I can never really promise.”
“I know, but trying is more than good enough for me.”

“So.. I do take this as a yes?”
“Yeah.. Chris will cover for me, Hayle is away at work for a while, so he didn’t mind the extra shifts.”
“Good.. I will enjoy some time away from the snow.”

She chuckled, she didn’t really mind the snow, but a trip away and a week off to just relax and enjoy the company was something she didn’t mind the thought off.

“So still no regrets?”
“None, I’m happy with this life so far.”
“Oh.. so far huh?”
“Yeah.. you know, I might hate you when I get old.”
“I can “grow old” with you..”
“What, and steal all my thunder of “look I am dating this hot young chick!” with all the oldies in the old persons home?”
“Oh.. I see how it is now, should I wear like a school costume to make it perfect?”
“Wait.. you have that?”
“No.. but hey, if you want, I can get.”

The amount of red that flushed over Ilari’s face had her giggle, yet also put in the back off her mind to actually get one for fun.

“Man…I wish Chris had told me it was this warm here.. how does Hayle manage..?”
“Abuse of the aircondition last I checked.”

She quite liked it though, heat and cold had never really affected her after all, but she did prefer sunshine and warm weather over say rain.

“Can I ask you something?”
“Sure?”
“You told me some off my lives.. I mean, like the one where I was female, and your presence confused me?”
“Heh, yeah.. sorry about that one..”
“But, has there ever been a life.. where I hurt you somehow?”
“Eh.. what do you mean?”
“Like not wanting to be with you, or not wanting you in my life?”
“No.. not that I can think off.”

She turned around and looked at him. Her eyes searching, as if wanting to see if they could figure out what he was actually talking about. Could it be he had some vague memory of a life she would rather not talk to him about.

“So… “
“Oh now you don’t.. where did that question come from?”
“I just wanted to know as much as I can.. I want to know everything.. you know, just in case this is out last dance.”

“I don’t think dwelling too much in the past will do you any good then.”
“Oh?”
“Yeah.. you need to think and move forwards, like you said, enjoy this life.”
“Oh.. and you will help me?”
“Always.”

For a second he wished they were anywhere but a public beach, but he did after all have plans for this trip, so he would just have to live with the fact that he might not want to move for a while.

“Thank you for the idea of this trip though.. I am enjoying a vacation.”
“Did you actually have one before?”
“Eh.. probably, but not in a very long time.”

They had spent a few days on Sulani now, and he knew where he wanted to do it, and how. Just needed to find the exact right time for it. For right now though, he just wanted to enjoy her looking so happy and carefree which he was not all to used too.

“Shame we can’t stay here forever like this huh?”
“Would be a bit boring after a while though?”
“I guess so, but we can try and have a vacation every now and then?”
“Oh definitely!”

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1:14 – Dinner with Death

They had ended with meeting up on her fathers favorite burger joint, only to be met with a closed sign that no one had expected.

“It happens on occasion, the owner does everything themseleves, so if there is illness it has to close.”
“Shoot.. well, I guess I can make something at home?”
“Sure.”

She looked over at Ilari, who just seemed to not know where to go or what to say.

“Now.. my daughter told me you were quite good in that Mario Kart game, how about while she cooks we play?”
“You play?”
“Yes, on occasion.”
“Ehm.. sure..”

He was really not comfortable around Nat’s father, as much as he tried not to think about it, he was death, the pale horseman and all that. But he tried to keep in mind what Nat had told him.

“I’ll see if Chris and Hayle wants to come too, that way I can finally use that turkey we keep saying is too big.”

Ilari nodded, having the two of them there would help, at least he wouldn’t be sitting there alone with him.”

When they got back, Nat started on dinner after having called Chris and Hayle, who were not hard to persuade into joining them.

At first Ilari had thought it would just be them talking while playing, but he soon found that when it came to games, Nat’s father was as seriouis about it as he was the natural order, and he had more than enough with keeping up and trying to pass.

“I never thought I’d play this with..”
“Death?”
“Yeah..”
“Well.. you can cross that off your bucket list then.”

“Oh come on..”

Ilari looked a little worried for a secound, but he slowly started to realize that the man next to him was perhaps not as scary as he would have thought. He probably could be, but not today.

Their alone playing time didn’t last long, as Hayle and Chris joined them until Nat finally called them for dinner.

“Well, I am impressed.”
“Oh come now, you knew I could cook.”
“You gotten better since last time.”
“It’s been a thousand year, so one would think I should have.”

“Hayle doesn’t eat human food?”
“He does, but he just just finnished eating when you called, so I guess he feels bad he did.”
“Ah yes, the dragon god in human skin.”
“Pretty much.”

There was a smile on Deaths face that only Nat knew how to interpit, making both Chris and Ilari look between them wondering what that was all about.

“Dad thinks it’s kinda cute that a dragon god fell in love with a agent of death.”
“Ah..”
“Eh. why?”
“Because he fell in love with one of the very few that can..”

She stopped, looking over at Chris incase he hadn’t actually mentined this to Hayle yet, knowing Hayle could easily hear them over his game running in the living room.

“That I can kill gods? He knows, I may have mentioned I would do it to his brother if he didn’t play nice.”
“Agent of Death huh..?”
“Well.. you techcnically are.. reapers is just a different name for it.”

Ilari just looked at them while they talked, this was most deffinatly on the top of wierd dinner conversations he had ever heard and been a part of.

“But I will leave you kids alone now, duty calls.”

Nat walked her father to the door, before joining them at the table again.

“So even he has.. work?”
“Of course.”
“I see..”

Hayle came to sit with them as they were pretty much done eating and just chatting, having finnished his game finally.

“How about a movie to end the evening?”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“By the way Ilari.. how are you dealing with all this?”
“One thing at the time.. or trying too. I admit it is a lot. But hey, I just had dinner with death, it’s going to be hard to beat.”

They helped with cleaning up before all finding places infront of the tv for a movie night. Snacks had been made, drinks had been serverd, the only thing missing now, was the movie of choice.

“A horror movie.. why am I not surprised..”
“You know me and Hayle too well by now?”
“So it seems.”

He didn’t mind horror movies, but he wasn’t the biggest fan, but with Hayle and Nat choosing it became what they both liked the most. Ilari and Chris quietly talking through some of it, when they both just found it a little bit to over the top, being shushed by both their respective others.

“We better head back home or we have a very grumpy cat on our hands.”
“Thanks for coming though.”
“Anytime!”

She sat herself down next to Ilari for another movie after they had left, wondering a little how he was doing with it all.

“Long day?”
“Very.”
“But?”
“Not as bad as I imagined.”
“Good, want to keep watching this, or would you rather get some sleep?”
“Honestly.. sleep sounds just fine.”

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1-13: My father

“Hey you.”
Hey..
“You should wake up, it’s half an hour until you head to work.”
Already?
“Yep.”
Odd.. how long have I been asleep here.”
“Some hours.”
Some huh.. and I promised I wasn’t one of them..

She just smirked, after last evening she wasn’t really all to surprised that he had ended up asleep after a while.. even though he had remembered to change for work, but after a while of talking he had simply fallen asleep.

I’d say I’d make it up to you, but as you allready pointed out.. I have half an hour.”
“There will be other times, you can pay me back then.”
Deal.”

She smiled, pushing him up to a sitting position, watching him stretch and try and wake up a little bit more.

So.. when do I meet your dad?
“I asked him to come over later, so I can set that up.”
So not here then?
“Nah, he mentioned going out for food.”
I still can’t get over that death loves fast food.
“I know.. but it’s just how it is.”

hmh.. I better go.”
“Yep..”
I am afraid I am going to end up sounding like Hayle.. but your not making it easy to go.
“Sorry.”

She released him from her grip, and gave him a light push instead.

“See you when you get home.”

“I didn’t invite you over to have another fight with you dad.”
“But you refuse to listen.”
“Listen to what, you rave about things we already talked about god know’s how many times.”
“Yes, because I am afraid that this round will make it happen again.”
“It’s not going to happen again, I learned.”

“I know you think that, but just try and keep it in the back of your head?”
“It’s always in the back of my head dad.. I am trying to enjoy this round, probably the last.”
“Well.. with that I won’t argue.”
“So you think?”
“Yeah, I am fairly sure by now.”

She nodded, a part of her happy the other one not sure how to feel. She knew her father meant well, and she knew that him moving on was right, for all of them. It would hurt though, but would it hurt more than what she had been doing all these years.

“I found something the other day.. I thought you might want it.”

She watched as a book materialized in his hands, holding it out to her. It felt oddly familiar, like if she had seen it before.

“What is it?”
“I thought it had been lost.. millennia ago, but the other day I was going through some stuff and there it was.”
“Wait.. is this?”
“Yes.”

“Your mother.. and you.”

The figures moved across the pages, showing her something she no longer had any memory off.

“And you too…”

It was odd seeing it, they were a happy normal ish looking family, apart form her mothers appearance changing every so often. Unlike her daughter, she could never stick to one form at any length of time.

“You look so happy together.”
“We were.”
“But then…”
“Time.. and I had to let her go.”
“As I do, when it’s time.”
“Yes.”
“Do you still miss her?”
“Yes, and I will until the end of time.”

It was odd hearing her father speak off this, but she also understood why he was doing it. But this was the first time she had seen them all together, and it was something she could not take her eyes off.

“You keep it, so I don’t misplace it again.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, and just tell me where to meet you two okay?”
“Okay”

He vanished as fast as he appeared. Knowing him there was work to do somewhere, but she didn’t mind, it gave her more time to sit and look into a past she no longer remembered.

“Hmh..”

“I guess something drained you off your energy.”

He had noticed the book on the table, so his guess was that it had something to do with it.

“Well come on then, I don’t mind getting some sleep.”

He tossed one last look at the book before walking to their bedroom, he wold just have to ask her about that one later.

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1.12 – The things I remember.

Her plan to have it wait a while until Ilari moved in failed, or well, it just didn’t end that way. He in the end spent so much time there, that he had effectively moved it, without really making it into something official. That had now been a few years ago, and neither off them had mentioned the moving in thing again.

“What’s on your mind?”
A lot of stuff.
“Like?”
The things you still won’t talk to me about.”
“Ah..”

She still held back a bit on telling him about their previous lives together, it almost felt like she could break the magic of this odd round if she did. On the other hand, she knew he deserved to know. She even had a rather long fight with her father about it.. that and other things.

Nono, don’t go into wherever your head was slipping.
“Sorry..”
How about.. I take you somewhere?
“Oh?”
Yeah, just out, a date if you want to call it that.
“Okay?”

He just smiled, before taking her hand and dragging her with him. He had after these years with her realized there was a lot of sorrow hidden under that smile she almost always had up, he just had to find a way to get her to open up about it.. and he had a plan.

“How did you know about this place.”
Well.. we have been here before, haven’t we.. just not this round?
“Well.. you aren’t wrong.. but this place has changed a little since then.”
I just remembered something was here.

And I am not sure.. but I think I remember one of the things you are not telling me.. or not wanting too.
“Okay?”
We never had kids.. in any life did we?
“Ehm.. no.”

She could see him thinking, as working so hard to remember just why, and as little as she wanted to have to go through this part again, the fact that he knew, made it a lot easier.

“Part of my punishment was the loss of any ability to have children.. and well.. having to tell you every time that it was a no go.”
Dam.. that is harsh..
“At first it didn’t seem that way to me, until I understood the actual effect.”

Did I get angry with you?
“Sometimes.. or sad, honestly the sad was worse..”
Well, I won’t be either this time.. I understand. But.. odd question, did you ever adopt?
“No.. it tended to never come up.”

She looked at him, wondering if he was actually suggesting it, or if he was just thinking out loud.

“I mean.. how do you explain that I don’t age to a child.. ?”
Do you let death be granddad and so on?
“Yeah..”

How about we think about it?
“About what?”
Well.. someday down the line, we adopt a kid?
“You’d want to?”
Of course.. I think it would be.. different, from anything else we have done.
“True…”

He noticed the slight hesitation but decided not to push that for just now. He had pushed quite a bit allready

Don’t worry, I’ll do the right thing before that.”
“The right thing?”
Yeah.. you’ll see when we get to it.

“I think that sounds good.”
Deal.
“Oh yeah.. my dad came by.. he wants to talk to you.”
Oh dear…
“I told him he had to wait a little longer, he decided after a bit of an argument to listen.”
Phew..I admit.. that still worries me.
“His bark is worse than his bite.. he does follow the natural order of things, unlike me.”

Still.. he is a touch scary to meet.. what if I say something wrong?
“He just wants to… eh.. make sure you understand..”
I guess I’ll just have to prove that I do.

To her, he allready had, but she knew that her father would have to be the final judge off that.

“I know this is the last thing you want to hear now..”
You have to go?
“Yes.. “
No phone though?
“No.. not all need a phone.. some you just know so well that you know.”
Oh..

He remembered her telling him this, that when someone had been very sick for a long time, they met their reaper several times, so they in the end got to know each other so well that they simply knew when they were needed.

“Go, I’ll meet you back home.”

He stole a quick kiss before she vanished, leaving him sitting there alone, that part he still needed to get used too. He shook his head a bit, before heading home on his own.

Talk to death huh… right.. best start practicing asking for a hand at the same time..”

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1.11 – Meeting a god

While Nat was watching their still alive one upstairs, Chris had the downstairs one. She was in an even worse state, having been shot three times.

I don’t want to die..
“I know, and if you keep on fighting, you might just get your wish.”

She did just that, this wasn’t her first encounter with Chris, they had met when she was a child and her parents were killed in a car crash. She had been called miracle child by the newspapers and the doctors, and here he was again, sitting with her keeping her hopes up.

I’m scared.”
“I know.. but as I said back then, there is nothing to be scared off.”
I’d still prefer not to leave..
“I’d prefer that too.. your not on my list until your old and gray.”

They both heard the sound of the siren’s telling them with a bit of luck, this might all be over soon.

“So how about you hang in there, just a little longer, and we can have our date later?”
Deal.

It didn’t take the police long to get an overview of the situation, so the negotiations could start. Luckily the two were easily talked into letting the hurt go, leaving Nat and Chris to just wait on the outside, while the rest unfolded.

Oh yeah. Hayle wanted to invite you two for dinner.. if you feel up to it.
“Well.. I can ask, I mean.. he knows Hayle is a god.. and well, he knows what you are..”
But?
“Well he is here isn’t he, working, so not sure he would feel up to dealing with all.. that?”
But you will still ask?
“Yes dumb-ass I will still ask.”

Good, and I think that’s our call.

The negotiations had ended, luckily avoiding any further bloodshed, leaving them to head off.

“I’ll ask, and message you, deal?”
Deal!

“Dinner you say?”
“Yeah, Hayle wants to meet you, Chris too.”
“I guess it would be rude to turn down a god.”
“Nah, he’ll understand.”
“Meh, let’s go.”
“Okay.. but you might want to wear a thicker sweater, it’s kinda cold at their place.”

He remembered that Hayle could control ice and snow, so a part of him wasn’t all to surprised it might be cold where he lived. But he had to admit, he was a little nervous, meeting a god was just not your everyday run of the mill thing.

“I would appreciate it if you moved Felix… I don’t want cat hair in the dinner.”

Of course though, Felix was more interested in what was outside the window than listening to Hayle and moving. So once again, it became easier to just move himself and what he was doing.

Chris knew that Hayle had been a little nervous. Mostly about making at least a decent impression on Ilari, who he had heard a lot about, but was still to meet. Luckily for all of them, they got along just fine.

“I have to ask this.. have you ever frozen someone, without really wanting too.”
“No.. not yet, I could always try on you though.”
“Eh… I ehm..”
“Just kidding, I don’t want Nat to kill me, and I prefer not freezing people.”

It was wierd having such a random conversation with a god, but it was just something he had to get off his chest.

“Nat told me you play chess.”
“Yep, still learning though.”
“Up for a game with me?”
“Sure, if I loose, I can always freeze a toe.”

“I think I’d prefer my toe as it is really.”

Hayle just chuckled, focusing on the game while Nat and Chris were sitting in the sofa nearby talking. Ilari soon found Hayle was fairly modest with his skills in chess, so their talking died down as they both focused on winning the game.

“Well.. no toe freezing then, this time.”

Hayle nodded after having to accept he was check mate. He did hate loosing, but he hadn’t played chess for that long and knew he had much to learn.

After some more talking, movie watching and several cookies and cakes that Hayle wanted them to test, they decided it was time to leave. Ilari had work in the morning, and it was a lot of paperwork with what had happened earlier that day.

“Nat?”
“Yeah?”
“Have you ever seen Hayle’s actual form?”
“Yeah.. a couple of times.”
“And?”
“Oh no, you can ask him to show you one day if you want the details!”

“Meh fine..”

He had intended to go find a bed to sleep in, but he was tired, the couch was comfy, and he didn’t want to loose his blanket. It was an odd life he had stepped into, but he had to admit, he was kinda enjoying it. At least he could say it wasn’t boring.

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1:10 – Relearning things

“I thought you said you wanted to take it slow.”
This is slow?
“You are here every day, I mean as long as I am home.”
I know..
“That’s not slow Ilari.. “
It just feels right hang here, like I’m home.

It was a statement she found hard to fight, it did feel like home when he was around, like she had a calm that she normally didn’t have.

“It’s still not slow.”
So screw slow then.

“Sorry, but no, you are not moving in here with me just yet.”
Awww, how come?
“There are a couple of more things you need to know.. and understand.”
Apart from your job being reaping, your death’s daughter, and your like million years old?
“Yes, on top of all that, there is more.”
Your best friend is married to a god.. hmh.. no.. I think that’s all I can think off right now.

She wasn’t quite sure why she held off on letting him move in. Maybe it was because it felt fast.. or because she knew what would eventually happen, one way or the other.

Until your ready to let me move in… can I ask you something?
“You can ask me anything.”
You mentioned the other reapers.. how come they never come along with Chris and Hayle?
“Ah… well Mark is busy with his wife most the time, and I think he is kinda scared off me.. the rest hate me and are scared of my dad.”

I can kinda understand them being afraid of death himself.. I mean.. I am kinda scared to meet him.
“You met him several times already though, he knows you, and you know him.”
Well.. okay, this round then.
“It’s because of what I can do.. and of course what I almost caused.”
The whole world ending thing?
“Yes.”

They shunned her most the time. Of course when needed they would work with her, but other than that, they kept away from her and quite often Chris as well after he chose to stay her friend. Talking to Ilari about it, she realized though that most repears didn’t really hang out, they just worked together.

“Mostly, reapers work as a team, but other than that, I guess were all kinda solo flyers. Well, apart form me, Chris and now Mark who have touched more on the human side of life, with finding someone to share it with.”
Isn’t it hard to handle alone though?
“I think some prefer it that way, to just work, and then be alone. They were probably “loners” before they died.”
So.. you need to tell me how that works, the whole becoming a reaper.
“You won’t get that choice though.. remember?”
Oh.. yeah, I remember, I just want to know.

“So… reaper is a choice you get, if the one doing the job feels you might want to?”
“Yeah, those that have such a will to live.. that you can feel it.”
“Do all of them say yes?”
“No, not all, and even if they do, there are tests to pass.”

She was about to keep on going when she heard a beep from her phone.

Work?
“Yeah.. you.. well I am just going to say you should head to work.”
Oh?
“Yeah.. and be careful later okay, no doing stupid things.”
Stupid things…?
“You know… risk of dying from being shot by crazy people in a bank.”
So… see you at work then.. or well.. eh.
“Hopefully not dumb-ass, that would mean you did something stupid.”

He was almost at work when his phone went off, telling him to come in as soon as he could. Hostage situation in the bank, several people hurt, and the people behind it threatening to kill even more if they weren’t given free passage.

It was quite a mess she arrived at. The two that were there had shot fairly wildly around them to make a point. She quickly helped those that had no chance to live, noticing Chris’s presence in the building, telling her that she had backup for the ones that might still live.

I was just… taking out money for my daughter..
“Wrong place, wrong time I’m sorry.”
Will she be okay?
“Kids are resilient, I am sure she will be.”

She wanted to tell her that everything would be okay, but she also hated lying. Having guided her on, she turned to the one on this floor, that still stood a chance.

“I’m screwed aren’t I?”
“Jury is still out on that, there might be time still.”
“With those people still in here?
“Well.”

They both heard the sirens coming closer, the young man looking up at him. She knew who he was, he was a up and coming model, who had several big contracts incoming.

I thought reapers only took people.. and well led them to the afterlife.
“We do, but as you are not dead yet, I’m not going to take you anywhere.. just yet.”
I guess.. if I live, I’ll have a nice couple of scars to show off.
“How will that work with your career?”
Wait.. you know?
“Yeah, I know all my customers.”

He tried to not laugh as it would hurt to much, but still a lite chuckle slipped out.

“Oh I can hear something about increased market value already.”
“Oddly, you don’t sound to happy about it.”
“It’s good money.. but it’s tiresome..”
“May I come with a suggestion?”
“Sure?”
“Find something else on the side, something you love, something that makes the world less tiresome.”

“Looks like you’ll be okay, I see an ambulance down there.”

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1:9 – You and I

She was surprised to get a message from him just a couple of days later, asking her to meet him at one of the cities best lounge bars. It had surprised her both to hear from him so soon, and where he wanted to go.

“This version of you.. it is different, yet familiar.”

She knew she had a couple of more stops along the way to get her work done, but she told him she would join him there soon.

“But… I…”
“I know..”

She hated having to reap them when it was sudden, and to make it even worse, when they were very young. No one had found this guys underlying heart condition, and now it was just to late.

“So where to now.”
“You’ll know when you get there, I promise its somewhere good.”

She watched him leave, before walking away, heading to what she really had no idea what to expect from.

I hope you don’t mind, I ordered you a drink, same as you ordered last.
“Nah, it’s fine.”
Busy day at work?”
“Not to bad, just a last minute customer that I had to help.”

She noticed the way he was looking at her, it made her slightly uncomfortable if she was honest.

Sorry.. I know I keep looking at you.”
“Why?”
Okay.. I was thinking I was insane, but I think I need to talk to you about this.

He motioned for them to move a bit away from everyone else, making her wonder what this would bring.

I’m sorry.. I know I am being all weird and creepy.”
“Eh.. kinda?”
But I need to know.. do I know you.. I mean..
“Know me?”
Yes.. from before.. sometime else, I don’t know how to explain..

She didn’t know what to say either. She knew the rules of this was clear, she was not to tell him much.. but this, he was pretty much asking her something she would normally try and tell him after a few years, to see how their time would be.

I am just messing all this up aren’t I.. I mean I sound like a rambling idiot.”
“Nah…”
Yeah I am, I can hear myself.. but I can’t get you out of my head ever since we met. And it feels.. familiar.”

She sighed, her mind racing to try and find a good way to answer him. Should she just blurt out the whole thing, that they had met in several lives.. or should she just let him wonder?

I should go.. I am not making any sense.”

As he was about to get up, she stopped him with pulling him back on the couch thing that had been sitting on.

“I normally don’t tell you this.. at least not this early..”

She sighed, and started telling her the things he normally told her after years of them being together.

How many times?
“I kinda lost count…”
This is.. insane.
“I know, I’m sorry… “
So in short.. you wait for me over and over and over..
“Yes.. “
Wow…

She let him think, she knew it was a lot to take in. She was kinda surprised though to how well he was handling it. Almost a little to well, as if he actually remembered being told this before. There was something about the acceptance off it all was a little scary.

“I’ll let you think for a bit, and just stand over there.. okay?”
Yeah.. okay.

She put a hand on his shoulder, before walking over to the side of the lounge, just looking out over the city. This round had really not been anything like how she expected, and she wasn’t quite sure how she should feel about it. She smiled when she realized that she felt like Hayle explained it the first time he told her about going home to his castle.. He called it scared happy, and it pretty much covered how she was feeling.

So…
“Yeah?”
Do I have a choice of my own?
“As in if you end up with me?”
Yes..?
“You do, sometimes we get married like the first time, other times I am just a friend.”

She skipped out on the part where he had been in love with someone else and had children. It was just a whole new can of worms she did not want to touch, at least not yet.

But you are always there?”
“Yes.. I tried not to be once… and lets just say it was a short life.”
Oh… Oooooh..
“Yeah, sorry about that.”
But it is my choice then if I want to be with you, in each life?
“Yes..”

But what about you?
“What do you mean?”
Do you ever get to choose not to be with me?”
“No, I always want to be with you.”
Every time?
“Yes.”

Then let’s make this round special?

“I’d like that.”

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