It was Halloween.
As my William would say, 'All the meals are gift-wrapped in fun patterns...' As it was the one night of the year supernatural evil generally calls in sick for, Miss Emma, Miss Cassandra and I were out shopping. The last time I had been at one of these immense malls, missiles were launched, so I was fervently hoping there would not be a re-enactment of the Blonde Slayer's destructive tendencies.
"Is that my favourite I see?" the voice carried in a manner that only those it mattered to could hear, but they would hear it even over a raging din.
Miss Emma snapped around to face the inquirer and I laid a hand on a shoulder to hold her back, "Careful my dear, she is far more than either you or I could ever be."
I recognized my interrogator at once. She was quite short, and thin, and looked no older than a fourteen year-old human girl. One of her eyes was blue, and the other green. Next to her stood a large German Shepherd with a service dog bib.
"It is my favourite! You took the sun and spun it into wine with the birds crying for black cliffs!"
"Hello Dell...It has been a while hasn't it," I could feel my control slipping simply from her presence, "The wind did say hello this evening, was that missive from you?"
"I spoke not to wind...merely kissed a breeze and watched it smoke and coil while night things danced and gibbered."
"Dru, who is this? And why does she talk like you used to?" my Slayer sotto voiced to me.
"My dears, you are in grave danger. Not from Dell, but from those she attracts," I whispered back, "Keep eyes open, but be prepared not to believe anything you see!"
We were standing in the food court with a fairly large group of costumed normal humans surrounding us. I slowly began moving towards some sort of service corridor.
"This my Miss Emma and Miss Cassandra is Dell, more formally known as Delerium. She is one on the Endless. Spirits that were here before the first Old One and will remain until all life in the universe is dust and beyond. Dell this is my protege Miss Emma and a friend Miss Cassandra."
"I know them through their actions upon the sphere. They make music of pain and fly like upside-down raindrops."
"Dru is she mad?"
"No Miss Cassandra, she isn't mad, she is Madness
"I am you know. I start to think and kittens fall from my tear ducts. Claws extended, they rip and rend so only blood not sea water flows."
"Well you have Barnabas to look after you at least."
The dog looked over at me and nodded and woofed in agreement.
"Dell, though it is truly grand to she you again. Is this an accidental meeting?"
"At one time you were me made flesh, now the flesh is there, but the me is fading...I can feel kittens."
"You mean Dru's getting saner so she isn't in touch with you more?"
"That makes goldfish bark in truth."
"I'm so terribly terribly sorry Dell, I didn't know you had missed me," I stepped up and embraced her. As usual she smelled of seaweed and old leather and sour wine. After a moments hesitation she hugged me back.
I looked over Dell's shoulder and saw her big sister, "Dee!"
"You're on the side of angels now Drusilla?" The dark haired pale skinned woman was smiling as she spoke. Dell spun and rushed over to her, hugging her tightly.
"As if you didn't know, you fraud you. I take it you're minding Dell today?"
"Until Ophelos returns, Barnabas helps of course, as does Morpheus when he can stop moping around."
"Well at least she's being well looked after. It really is wonderful to see both of you Dee!"
"Likewise...Drusilla, could you do me a large favour?"
"On my day...could you take me around your city?"
"It would be an honour."
Thank you so much," she turned and faced my companions, "You'll see me again when your time is right."
With that the two Endless and the dog, turned an invisible corner and vanished.
"Who was that?" Emma was nearly exploding with curiosity.
"The kindest and cruelest being that exists...Death. She's an old companion of mine and is a very pleasant conversationalist. But enough of that, we have shopping to do..."
The Endless Property of Neil Gaiman and DC. Dru Property of Mutant Enemy. Cassandra Cain Property of DC.