"And there were these bright lights, very bright lights." The old lady across from me nodded her head solemnly, her eyes completely glazed over.

"Bright lights?" A small voice snorted skeptically next to me. I aimed a swift kick under the table, which was followed by a strangled cry. I turned to smirk at Damien, who was hunched over as he clutched his nether regions.

"Bright lights and a - a noise. Something like –" The old lady paused, pupils dilating. She opened her mouth and emitted a warbled sort of cry, which only intensified in pitch.

"Uh, Mrs. Lowell," I raised my voice slightly, reaching out to place a hand on the old lady. God, she had a pair of lungs. "I think –"

Mrs. Lowell threw her head back, erupting in what was probably the most sickening note ever known to mankind. It made your eyes water and somehow, it even managed to irritate your sinuses.

Or maybe that was just me.

"Mrs. Lowell," I screamed, waving a hand in front of her blank eyes. "We get the fucking picture."

I threw Damien a helpless look. The guy was completely still, in a state of zen which quite contrasted the background music of horrible screaming. I gave him a nudge. Finally, he let out a sigh, shooting me disgruntled looks as he stood up to lean over the schizophrenic woman.

"Estre nominadus deskhiazel." He murmured, placing his hand on the pulse of the woman's neck. The screaming abruptly stopped, leaving a strange, sort of hollow ringing in my ears.

She gave one last shudder before her head snapped over the back of the chair, her mouth agape as drool slowly dribbled it's way down her chin. A small, beaming, blue light promptly made it's way out of her bosom.

"Hah," it squeaked. "You boobs won't be able to get –"

Irritated, I flicked my wrists, a block of ice immediately encasing the damn thing. The shimmering blue light instantly died out, replaced by an almost skeletal-looking figure.

"Screw you."

"Where," I murmured, picking up the pixie by the frozen blocks of it's feet. "Did these things learn such language?"

"Urbanization." Damien shrugged, giving the briefest of glances to the struggling creature.

"You know," My face was only inches away from the pixie's, so close that I could make out the two tiny orbs of piercing blue eyes squinting angrily at me. "Back in the good old days, pixies were nice little things that picked blueberries and sang songs while getting drunk on aged grapes. You know, the Fae were nice too. They didn't kill people – okay, well they did, but not as much as they did now. I mean, did you know that every nine out of ten missing person's report is due to a Fae? And –"

"Shut up." The wriggling creature screamed before cleverly spitting in my face. I was about to use another favorite element of mine – fire; oh boy, was that fun – before Damien gripped my hand in warning.

"We're to relocate them; not kill them." He reminded me, nodding pointedly towards the twitching bastard.

"I'm sure the Ministry wouldn't mind the loss of one insignificant, aggravating pixie. As it is, the world would be a much better place."

"Cassidy," He warned, his eyes instantly changing to the color of tidal waves. Groaning, I threw my hands up in defeat.

"Fine, fine. But when these things –" I shook the pixie emphatically. "— posses you one day, and I don't know, make you stream naked through the whole city, let's see how you take that."

Damien simply rolled his eyes at me. Making a face, I walked over to the back of the room. Tapping the fingers of my other hand against my chin, I examined the large shelf standing before me.

"Ah, here we go." I murmured, reaching up to grab an unusually large orb. Turning around, I met Damien, who was clutching a various assortment of herbs and a few rather suspicious-looking items.

"What's with the skull?" I peered at the skull poking out of his arm. He snatched it away protectively.

"Shut up. I'm the alchemist."

"Right. And the resident pussy."

The pixie let out a cackle. "Nice."

"Shut up, you." I frowned, jabbing its side. "I hate pixie spit. The afterglow lasts a week. A full week with this glowing, blue spot on my face. Do you –"

"Cassidy, shut up." I shot a look at Damien, the pixie now completely howling with laughter. "Let's just send this thing off and close up for the day."

I nodded mutely. It had been a long day, with a cluster of people coming to the shop claiming an assortment of magical disarray; poltergeists wrecking the new home, gnomes digging up the yards, and we even had a case of a supposed dragon attack.

All, which by the way, was complete bullshit.

You see, once upon a time, there was a barrier separating the monsters of human fairytales from said humans. As time went on, the barrier gradually weakened, and little holes started forming – much like the current state of the ozone layer, if you were to put it from a more scientific standpoint – which allowed the various creatures to run the other realm amok.

At first, everything was fine and dandy; the fairy folk behaved as the ruling class of all creatures, allowing peace and harmony and blah. Until the other classes felt belittled and power-hungry, like all fairies tend to be. Soon, the fairy folk divided themselves into factions – elves, fae, pixies and such – leaving the previous peace and harmony completely disrupted.

That's where we come in. The fairies had previously – and rather stupidly – blessed a clan of humans with certain skills, convinced that the humans would just die and all would be forgotten. What they didn't know was that their skills would be passed on genetically, from father to son, daughter to mother, et cetera, et cetera.

These humans soon established themselves as the next ruling class, killing the more rebellious creatures as a show of their power. And lo and behold, all the creatures started bending their asses towards these humans. A Ministry of sorts was then formed to ensure the continuous happiness of the creatures and eternal blindness and skepticisms of the humans.

And said Ministry has dictated we – the descendants of the aforementioned blessed humans and exterminators of said magical annoyances – could only collect wages upon each creature sent back to it's proper realm; false accusations by delusional people did not secure anything.

And that roughly explained the sullen mood which had suddenly befallen Damien and I. A pixie couldn't even buy you a fucking loaf of bread. A pixie bought you probably three quarters of a grapefruit.

I watched as Damien struggled to mash the herbs together with a grinder. His nose was practically touching the edge of the mashing bowl as he stared intently at the more stubborn, sturdier herbs.

"We should invest in a blender." I placed pixie on the floor, watching curiously as it rolled to and fro in a desperate attempt to escape.

"No, we shouldn't." Damien panted, eyes never leaving the gooey mess which was now forming. "This grinder is made from special limestone, deep within the Malayan caves of –"

"Stubborn traditionalist." I muttered darkly, instantly tuning out. Damien was always like this, refusing to listen to any advice which threatened to revolutionize his pathetic conventional teachings of magic.

I, on the other hand, was slightly more realistic. I'd say screw it to mashing herbs in some stupid stone bowl when there were perfectly good things that could get the job done faster and more efficiently. Like, for example, the blender I was so keen on getting.

Damien finally managed to grind the herbs into some sort of runny, green liquid. Picking up the pixie, he dropped the squirming thing into the orb. Fick's Law of Diffusion demanded that the pixie bounce off the orb, but magic has a tendency to overlook such scientific rules. The pixie slid right in, settling into a huddled mass on the bottom. I was pleased to note that the glass orb insulated the screaming the idiot thing was making.

Damien gingerly picked up the stone bowl, his stick arms wobbling under the weight. I snorted as he started to assiduously pour the liquid onto the orb. I watched with morbid fascination as the liquid passed right through, filling up the orb and consequently, almost drowning the pixie inside.

"You know, it'd be easier with a plastic funnel."

"Shut up, Cassidy."

With the bowl empty, Damien leaned back and clasped his hands together. Wisps of smoke suddenly formed around the bowl, it's tendrils hiding the pixie from sight. A strong, prickly smell of something not quite unlike a very strong spice hit me. Wheezing, I ineffectually flapped my hands in front of me.

" – Can't breathe." I gagged.

Damien rolled his eyes at me, waving a hand as he did so. The smoke instantly cleared, leaving behind an empty orb. I hopped up, picking up the orb and whirling around to place it back on the shelf as Damien walked over to the old lady, who seemed to be stirring awake.

"Ma'm, how do you feel now?" He asked politely. I rolled my eyes.

"Wonderful." She murmured, handing him a small coin. "So the damn thing's finally gone?"

"Yes, it is. We sent it back to it's natural realm. It shouldn't bother you again." Damien patted her arm reassuringly, his facial expression the epitome of sympathy. "There is one last thing we have to do, though."

Damien gently took Mrs. Lowell's hand in his, inconspicuously making contact with the little pulse in the hollow of her wrist. "You will forget the preceding happenings in this room. You came to us to fix a termite infestation."

"You're a cow in heat!" I screamed from the backroom where I was precariously piling Damien's bottles of herbs back to their places.

I could practically hear the clink of Damien's jaw clicking shut. "You are not a cow in heat, you are an old lady with a very bad termite problem. You may leave now."

"Wonderful job on the termites." The lady said bluntly, flinging the frontdoor open. The little bell attached to its top tingled slightly. "Have a good night."

"No we won't," I snarled, poking my head out from the backroom as the lady disappeared through the door. "Because some people just don't bother to tip well."

Damien ignored me, quickly sliding the coin into an old, wooden box with a slit made at it's top. I glared sullenly at it. For years now, I've wanted to replace that rotting wooden thing with a proper cash till.

"It's still money, Cassidy." Damien, the patron saint of patience, murmured patronizingly. He shook the box slightly to emphasize his point. I grimaced, not in the least impressed with the hollow clinking sound it made.

"At least it'll get us through the week," I sighed, running my fingers along the edge of the counter. Damien walked over to sit himself in one of the rickety old chairs Mrs. Lowell had previously sat in. He rested his head against the giant table in front of him, letting his cheek rest against the corroded velvet cloth.

The sudden tinkle of the door, however, immediately brought him to sit upright, a bright smile plastered on his face. "Welcome to the Dahlia, how may we –" He trailed off, recognizing the figure standing in the doorway. Puzzled, I turned around. A figure swathed in purple robes stood before us, his hood down. My eyes trailed along the fine sculpture of his face, wondering how it'd look after I've bashed the best of it back in.

"What, do I not receive a proper greeting?" He teased.

"Jacques," Damien murmured tentatively. "What are you doing here?"

Jacques laughed and shook his head at Damien, like he was telling a small kid that pigs don't fall from the skies. "What I always come for, taxes."

"Bug off," I growled. "It's not due for another month."

"Not by my calendar it doesn't," Jacques murmured, making his way over to me. He leaned an elbow casually against the counter, his face inches away from mine.

"Your calendar," I murmured, letting my breath blow in his face. I saw a momentary glint in his eyes. Smirking, I pulled back. "is mucked up. Goodbye."

Jacques's face darkened noticeably. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Damien smack his head despondently.

"You, a low ranking G-classed magic – no," Jacques shook his head. "Magician doesn't even come close; cleric, dare say I'm wrong?"

"I," I gritted my teeth together, letting my words come out as sharp hisses. "am an Elementalist."

Jacques barked out a laugh. "Society will never see you as one, whatever you try to believe."

I was about to lean over and snap his neck, but I froze, arm mid-poised, as I heard a sharp jingle. Disbelievingly, I turned my gaze to the rotten, wooden box Jacques had snuck through my temporary distraction.

"Bastard, that's ours."

"Take it, then." Jacques placed the wooden box back on the counter, smirking as he quickly turned heel and disappeared on the spot.

"Fucking illusionists." I screamed, watching the air ripple slightly as the door opened and closed itself.

A hand made it's way to the small of my back. I raised my hand to knock it away, pissed beyond anything. Damien retracted it immediately before any further damage was done. Sighing, he picked up the box and shook it. "So much for lasting the week."