"Pat, be careful!" Jeanne said as she anxiously watched him lower Daniel onto the guest bed. Her house had been closest to the scene, and so the trio had headed there. It had been interesting getting Dan up the stairs to Jeanne's room.

But no matter how "interesting" it had been, it would have been near impossible to pull off had it not been for Pat's inhuman strength.

Jeanne had spread towels all over the bed in hopes that they would keep the sheets clean. She did not want to have to explain that much blood to her mother and father after all, and blood had a distinctive odor. Female problems would only work as an excuse for small quantities of blood.

Pat and Jeanne settled Dan onto the bed, and stood back. He definitely looked out of place on the old cream bedspread covered in towels and surrounded by dainty girl's decorations Jeanne had never bothered to get rid of.

Jeanne went go fill a basin with warm water and grabbed a towel while she was at it. When she returned to the room, she put the basin on the floor, kneeling dipped a rag into the bowl of warm water beside her and started to clean the crusted blood off of Daniel's chest. But with every bit of blood that was cleaned away, more and more of the wound came to the light. Jeanne winced at what must have been a truly painful wound. The bullet hole looked weeks old around the edges, and it was already oozing pus. Jeanne supposed that was the result of those silver bullets. Her face went a little green at the thought of digging a bullet out of someone's body, much less through all that disgusting pus.

Pat was hovering like a mother hen, his actions at odds with his long red hair and ethereal beauty. Jeanne found that the longer he stayed like that, the less and less unusual it seemed. She almost didn't notice how truly unearthly he looked in his natural state. It fit more with his personality than his blonde persona ever had.

"Pat, do you have anything that would clean this wound? Digging out a bullet is going to be nasty work to begin with. I don't really fancy working in all that pus, and besides, it can't be good for the wound."

Pat's eyes widened, and he hit his forehead with his hand with a painful-sounding thwacking noise. "Of course! You're such an idiot," he told himself in annoyance. He loosely clenched a fist and shook it for a moment.

"Here," he said, shoving the handful of dust towards her. "Take this. Sprinkle some of it on his wound, and it should clean the blood of the silver's poison. We'll still have to dig the bullet out, but this should help."

Jeanne eyed the handful of glitter dubiously. "Are you sure Pat? That really just looks like glitter to me, and last time I checked, glitter belonged on those macaroni necklaces, not bullet wounds."
Pat grinned, his pointy teeth showing as he did.

"I'm sure hon. This stuff is pretty powerful, take it from me."

Jeanne sighed. She'd made the decision to trust Pat a while ago when it came to all matters sidhe. It made no sense to stop trusting him now of all times.
She reached over and took a pinch of the dust. It was silky and cool, and it felt almost like powdered sugar. She sprinkled it onto Daniel's bullet wound, and watched doubtfully.
Her mouth dropped open as the wound, inflamed and red, began to clear almost immediately. The skin faded from angry red to a faint pink color, and Jeanne could have sworn she saw the skin begin to knit back together.

"Quick now," Pat said, his voice urgent. "Take out the bullet. He can't feel it- the dust is numbing his pain."

Jeanne felt her stomach clench and heave at the thought of sticking her finger in the wound, but she steeled herself and reached into Daniel's body anyway. It felt a bit squishy, and Jeanne tried to suppress her nausea as she probed around for the bullet. When she found it, she grabbed the base of it, turning to Pat in panic.

"How do I get it out," she asked frantically.
"Just pull it Jeanne. The dust will take care of the rest."

Jeanne braced herself, tightening her nails around the groove on the base of the bullet and pulled. Hard.

The bullet slipped out easily, almost as if greased, and Jeanne fell onto her bottom, skidding a few feet from the excess force. She stared in awe, forgetting the bloody bullet in her hand, as the wound closed up immediately, leaving no sign behind it. Even Daniel's bruises healed, revealing his smooth coffee-brown skin beneath that had previously been covered in small cuts and bruises.

Jeanne turned to Pat slowly, almost unable to believe her eyes.

"Does it always do that," she asked softly.

Pat shrugged. "Well, it depends on the strength and age of the fae that generated the dust really."

"It seems like that stuff would be pretty sought after. I've never heard of that dust before, so it must be a pretty well-kept secret."

A frown crossed Pat's face, and pain filled his eyes. "Yes," he said quietly. "Quite a few of us ended up trusting humans too much, and ended up being captured and eventually killed when we no longer could produce the dust."

Jeanne looked at Pat's expression. New appearance or not, he was still her best friend. She slipped her hand into his and squeezed it reassuringly.

"It's alright Pat. You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to."

The sidhe shook his head. "Nae, it's alright Jeanne-girl. I guess it's something you should know about. After all, you're about the only person they could use to get to me. And they probably will. I'm too old for them to go after directly."

Pat's face seemed to age, and he felt his eyes grow wet.

It was ridiculous really. His sister had died centuries ago. She would have hated that he was still devastated over her death. But that didn't stop him from leaning tiredly on Jeanne's shoulder as he took shaky breaths. She was the only one who would ever see this side of Patrick. The only one who would ever see the true measure of his sorrow at his sister's death.

After a few moments he sat back up on the bed, Jeanne's hands holding his reassuringly. "It was during the Italian Renaissance," he said tiredly. "Maria was performing as a model for a popular painter. She loved to show off her beauty, and took great pride in becoming the muse for as many painters as possible. She never was very good at keeping her glamour up all the way, and she was prone to… leaking when she got excited. But this was never an issue, since none of the painters ever actually touched her. Hell, most of them thought she was a mirage. An illusion sent to them by the gods to inspire them. But one man, one man thought that she should be only his muse. And being the soft-hearted fool she was, Maria couldn't resist his offer of love and companionship. Maria wasn't my blood sister, so I didn't have as much of a hold over her actions as her mother would have, but her mother had abandoned her with me when she was young."

Pat's face was bleak, and his eyes were dead. "She was more like a daughter to me than a sister, but it was easier to live among humans as brother and sister than father and daughter, especially considering we look so alike in age. Maybe if she had seen me as more of a father she would have paid more attention to me when I warned her."

Jeanne frowned. Pat had a habit of being quite protective of those he was close to, but still. If he had warned her, it wasn't his fault that she didn't listen.

"The reason she didn't listen to me was because she thought I was jealous. Jealous of her artist and the work he created. So she agreed to be only his muse. And she fell in love with him eventually. She was so excited when he said he returned her love that she… she started making the dust without realizing it. When that dust fell onto his leg and healed a cut on his arm, well... It didn't take him long to realize that she could make him rich. Rich in more ways than most mortals dream of." He lapsed silent for a moment, his eyes flicking to her face to see her reaction. Jeanne stayed silent, petting his hand gently. She was a little disappointed that he thought that would change the way she acted around him. And she was upset that he half expected her to ask what kind of riches.

"She had been coming home less and less and seeing him more and more… I didn't think it was odd when she didn't contact me for months. I thought she would appreciate her freedom more than me playing the overprotective father. But I should have checked on her! Damn it, I should have checked!"

He pulled his hand from Jeanne's, and started wringing them in his distress just as he did in human form. That familiar gesture was the hint of the old Patrick that Jeanne needed. She put her arms around him and patted him on the back awkwardly as he sniffled.

The blanket stirred as the shifter moved restlessly.

"When I finally checked on her, it'd been six months… And he'd… tortured her Jeannie," Pat said brokenly. "He'd tortured my little Maria. When her love for him had died from his obsession with the dust, she couldn't produce it any more. And he had cut off her wings and ground them to a powder, thinking it would give him eternal life… When I found him, he had slit her throat and was mixing her blood into his paints."

Jeanne went pale. Dear gods, she was surprised that Pat even tolerated humans after that. Hell, even she was feeling some pretty extreme disgust towards the human race in general right now.

But she didn't say any of that. She just rubbed Pat's back for a few moments more. He dropped his head onto her shoulder tiredly and gave a huge sigh. They sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes until a deep voice interrupted them.

"Hate to interrupt you two, but you're kind of sitting on my leg."

Jeanne jumped up with a curse. "God, I'm sorry!"

He gave a weak chuckle. "That's okay sweetheart, I don't think I'm brave enough to go up against your friend here even if you decided you wanted to tapdance on my shins."

Pat rolled his eyes, and suddenly his human disguise was back into place as if he had never changed. Jeanne looked at him with a raised eyebrow.

"You do know that it doesn't freak me out to see you like that Pat, right? I don't care if you want to leave the disguise off a little longer. It can't be comfortable."

"Even if you're okay with it Jeannie-girl, it's not safe for me to stay like that for long,"

Jeanne raised her other brow as well, but didn't pry.

"I still think the red hair suits you. You should try leaving it."

Pat paused for a moment then shrugged and ran a hand through his hair, turning the blond to red as it passed.

"Ta-da," he said with a careless grin and a flourish. Jeanne rolled her eyes at Pat's flamboyant acting as she always did. She reached up and ruffled his new red hair affectionately, only to stop suddenly. Her mouth opened, and she stared at Pat for a moment before speaking delicately.

"Ah, Pat? Don't take this the wrong way, but do you have horns?"

A smirk spread across Pat's face and Jeanne started laughing.

"Your habit of laughing every time my mom called you a 'handsome devil' makes so much more sense now."

Pat wriggled his eyebrows. Daniel, still laying in Jeanne's bed, watched this exchange with disbelief. The two, sidhe and human, clearly shared the sort of comfortable banter that only old friends have. Patrick, despite his age and experience, didn't talk down to Jeanne. And Jeanne, despite her young age and humanity, didn't look at Patrick with anything other than affection when most humans would have been terrified of him or falling over themselves in lust after he showed his true self.

Hell, Daniel had lost plenty of friends after they had discovered he was a shifter, and shifters were one of the most human of the supes. Sidhe were… different. They were all different. Even with the glamours and the facades of humanity that some of them put on, they were fundamentally different than humans. They had never been human, and never would be.

Patrick looked at Daniel suddenly, an odd expression on his face. Daniel stared back, his curiosity so strong that the wariness ingrained into his being was almost completely absent. Jeanne looked at them both oddly, then rolled her eyes.

"Come on you two. Stop with the posturing. Daniel, why don't you tell us how you came to be chased by that idiotic excuse for a hunter. To be honest, you don't seem stupid enough to be caught by such an incompetent man."