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June 13th, 2012
London, Jon's Safehouse

Jon's flat was a humble little nook in the city. What used to look like a rotting old, abandoned flat furnished only with a single bed and a few cabinets packed with medical supplies and healing tools, was renovated nicely, and actually looked like a home. Furnished, though minimalist, not too cluttered in the open area. Sconces along the wall were dimly lit as far as they stretched in the foyer down the hallway and even up the stairs. The living room was dark and that lead into the kitchen and dining area on the first floor. Jon had a place at his base of operations but this apartment was established to be not only his house in town but had a room deeper into the house and up the stairs that was tailored for use of a healer. The ticking of the clock he'd bought from the antique shop (because one of his apprentices said they thought it suited his humble abode) rang out, each click and tick of the metronomical rhythm was enough to drive someone insane if they'd have been subjected to this in silence for hours, as he had.

The folded copy of The Guardian sat on the kitchen table beside a cup of tea that was still warm with its hands-free stirrer still swirling about. The liquid would have cooled if it were any other muggle cup, but if he ever got the chance to return to it, Jon knew the temperature would be just right. However, the warmth or cool temps of his tea was not his main concern. That spot was reserved for what he'd just read in the headlines of that muggle newspaper. [AGENCY BUILDING ATTACKED] Keywords to note: Terrorist...The Devil of Judgment... Traitor... What irked him even more was the information that was released from the Wizarding side with a similar headline. The name that struck him so hard he felt like he'd been hit by a bus: The Dark Lady. The face of the woman who killed Elana Lenor...The witch who nearly paralyzed him.

Cora. She was alive...and working with Matt, of all people?!

It boiled his blood. He took deep breaths and waited there. He wasn't needed at home...The safehouse, that is. Kara had thrown them all out, or rather, he excused himself, since he didn't want to deal with any more reprimands for what he believed was doing the right thing--but he was going to show her that he could do right by her. He could even do right by Jace, even though he knew any sort of bridge of kinship between them was miles and miles away. Jon came here with the intent of scouting the city for any activity that might lead him toward the dangerous substance that poisoned the Alpha garou. Even though Jaleth was tasked to most of that research, the professor was confined to the walls of the compound for now, unable to speak with anyone who wasn't Gabe's contact with the agency because the public was still under the impression that Lenor was dead.

For the most part, Jon was free to roam about, so he used that to his advantage. Being distracted by this aggravating news did waste a little bit of time, but he would get up again momentarily, and head out.

He felt like pure hell. His jaw was definitely broken, his leg wasn't working because the femur was broken, too. Matt couldn't even look at the disgusting bend in his thigh without getting dizzy from the gory mess. Maeve had dropped him off here as requested while she went to keep the hunters off their trail. Where was here? Jon's safe house. Matt had very few friends left in his life and Jon was untouched by the drama of Mi5 and the imperius curse.

Matt groaned in misery and staggered, falling against the door to the safe house. He bashed a palm against the portal, unable to speak because of the broken jaw. On top of that, his radar was swimming from the concussion that Jace had given him. His skull was most definitely broken. If it wasn't destroyed from being slammed on the pavement, then the baseball bat to the head had done it.

Jace's daggers were bristling from him like a porcupine's quills and blood coated his body. His shirt was soaked...it had started the night white, but it was shredded and crimson from the Garou's attention. Matt hit the door one more time, then slumped into a heap in the doorway.
There was a banging at the door, followed by a loud thump as if someone heaved a sack of potatoes at the entrance. As expected, he had company.

Knowing what he knew now, it might have been best to stay away from this place as much as possible, but he wanted to drop in today to fetch some things before returning to the compound. Kara would have returned from wherever it was she ran off to after their spat, and despite their recent differences, Jon wanted to explain to her that they needed to be back on the same page. The reappearance of Coraline Larson was an important factor, one that would realign everything; His girlfriend's killer and the hitwoman who got away after injuring him to near paralysis made everything else seem so trivial. He used his wand to open the door, and when it creaked open, the shadows cast on the doorstep made him squint his eyes even with his glasses on. "Lumos." he whispered, and the orb of light traveled from the tip of the wand over to the man who was slumped over in the threshold. Smears of red and black looked like someone heaved a fresh road kill at his doorstep.

It was, without a doubt, the Devil.

Jon wasn't alone in his safehouse tonight, drafting one of the apprentices to come along and put in some extra credit work by tidying up and organizing the inventory of his infirmary, and it was a good thing for the Devil, otherwise, he might have let his anger get the best of him. "Gregor." He called out to the boy, who was maybe eighteen or nineteen, one of the new recruits picked up before the March rally.

A raven-haired boy with pale skin as white as snow peeked out from the foot of the stairs and looked up at Jon with curious blue eyes. "Yes?"

"Help me get him inside, would you?"

Thank Merlin for magic. Together, they pulled the man onto the gurney and it hovered up the stairs and into the vacant room that Gregor had just finished cleaning, scrubbed floors, lined up medicines with labels facing out and there were fresh linens on the bed. Jon looked over the Devil with cold, grey eyes and nodded at the boy, as they began to reassemble the man once more.
The Devil flirted with consciousness. As he flitted in and out of awareness, he caught glimpses of two men, had a sense of movement up the stairwell, and barely caught the sound of his body hitting a bed. Everything was made out of pain, and Matt thought he couldn't be in anymore pain.

He thought wrong.

As Jon and his assistant got to work on removing Jace's blades and stitching up the stabs and cuts, Matt drew back into full awareness. It hurt...bad. At first, he held back his whines and groans of agony. Matt tried sinking into the place where he went during the cruciatus curse. It worked for a while, and then attention was turned to his leg. From what Matt parsed from the medical speak, it was a spiral break with a lot of shattering from the abuses he faced and forced himself to endure. Resetting it broke his soul, he would later claim.

Matt cried out in a wordless wail of agony and desperation when the two healers manipulated the break. Life became white hot, merciless, unending agony. A palsy overtook his limbs; the seizure pushed him into full unconsciousness once more.
Some time passed as Jon and the boy worked on the Devil for his injuries. He removed the daggers from his shoulder, three of them, each with a familiar leather binding on the handle of the shining fangs. They were without a doubt, Jace's knives. Jon knew them all too well, having come too close to the man and his precious bandolier one too many times to his liking. Gregor set them aside and cleaned them. Jon said he'd have to return them to their owner later, but for now, the man laying before them would have their full attention. The patch of skin was repaired without using the muggle technique of grafting--instead using a magical application to mend it. It would scar, no doubt. Skull fracture was the ugliest of the bunch and the wound on his leg wasn't unlike the one Jon had seen before, after he fell into his care post fight with that 7-foot cat. Or so he said. Truth was hard to come by these days, and when it hit you, it was ugly. The truth here was that this vigilante had an accomplice in that muggle bombing and Jon was oh-so-curious to get an answer from him. Perhaps that's why he decided to heal him instead of interrogate a bag of meat and broken bones, as he couldn't stand on his own to feet, let alone come up with the proper words he was looking to hear.

When all was said and done, Jon was left alone. Had to have been an hour or so he put humpty-dumpty mutant hybrid freak of nature back together again...but he wasn't worried about time. At this point, he could have run. Maybe he should have. The Devil of Judgment was making everyone in the neighborhood fold, leaving bodies injured in his wake. His leg might have healed but it still caused him a lot of pain to flex, twist and stretch. He trained physically prior to his injuries but he knew he was no match for the man and as much as he wanted to refrain from using magic against a muggle, the healing factor he'd seen with his own eyes--or rather, the injuries he sustained made him something more than a mere human. Jon clung to that fact to justify what he was doing. He wasn't casting in a blind rage, but boy he was angry. Matthew, the man once heralded by Jon as a saint was clearly mad, his own judgment compromised by Jon's worst enemy.

He pulled a heavy drag from his freshly lit cigarette and waited for the Devil to wake.
Matt woke reluctantly. A deep, pervasive ache echoed in his bones. How long had he been out? Gingerly, Matt reached up to his head to probe the injury there. That wound worried him the most. It felt like Jon had stitched the abrasion closed and stabilized the underlying fracture. He'd done well, Matt thought, even though there was no anesthetic. Maybe there was and his healing factor had burned through it...his jaw was swollen and opened with difficulty

"Ughh...what...what time...?"

The groggy words were thick and muddy sounding. He needed a drink. Matt sat up slowly and explored his busted leg. It was stabilized in a cast, neatly and tightly wrapped. It took quite a bit of effort, but he was able to swing himself out of the bed and stand. Well, lean heavily on the bed and against the wall and anything else that would support his weight as he headed down stairs to where he could hear Jon's heartbeat.

The Devil drug himself into one of the sitting chairs, drained and looking broken.

"Thanks, Jon...sorry...sorry for dropping in unannounced..."

Matt leaned against the chair's supportive side and let his eyes drop closed. Healing factor must be kicking in, he thought. He was exhausted and limp feeling.
June 14th, 2012. 02:05

His conscience was starting to get the best of him. Should he have used anesthetic? Something to ease the pain of the man who's name was seen beside the woman who caused him loss, injury, and years worth of pain and suffering? His free hand clenched tight at the thought. He'd read that article over and over again, each time growing more irate. She was a ghost; She vanished after Elana died, only to resurface now alongside the name of someone he considered an ally. Hm.

Jon heard the Devil stir, getting himself out of slumber and into consciousness once again. By the sound of the thud and dragging steps, Jon assumed he managed to get out of bed. As Matt struggled in his march down the creaking steps, Jon took another drag of his cigarette, pulling it damn near past the midway point. He tilted his head to blow the exhaust into the air. Courtesy, right? At least he thought to keep the pungent stench of his smoke away from the sensitive nose of the mutant vigilante who'd plopped down in the chair across the way. Jon eyed the clock. "Five past two." He responded, quietly.

The healer narrowed his eyes. Strong? Skilled? Powerful? Sure. But a mind-reader, he wasn't. At least the Devil had limitations on his abilities, otherwise he'd have been able to see the morbid depths of Jon's currently darkened state of mind. He sat there and let the ticking of the clock fill the void of silence before taking the last long drag of his cigarette run to the filter and he flicked away the ashes before crushing the filter and chucking it into the ashtray beside him. He sat back in his chair, resting his elbow on the arm of it and remaining very still as he gave Matt another once-over. His healing was kicking in by the looks of it. Magic was one hell of a thing, but there was no way he'd remedied all of his breaks and cuts to get him up in running in this short of a time.

"You've got a lot of nerve coming here. Devil."
Jon's irate temper wasn't lost on Matt, but the reason behind it sure was. The shift in the healer's expression when he looked at him made Matt wary. He wasn't quite to defensive yet. After all, this was his friend. Right? Without betraying that he was searching, Matt cast his attention around the room to try and find a clue as to why Jon was so angry. There was a newspaper...he must have read about Day Zero.

Jon's whipcrack accusation, using his street name instead of 'Matt' or 'Matthew' like he used to do, seemed to confirm the bad press influencing Jon's mood. Matt's expression betrayed the hurt at the harshness.

"I...Jon, what...? I just...I needed help from a friend. I don't...don't have many of those left..." The confession came with a small voice, pleading for understanding and mercy. Matt licked his chapped lips, feeling very dry and dehydrated indeed now that it seemed that he had fewer friends than he'd initially tallied.
The healer huffed a chuckle, more amused than thrilled that the man he'd spent hours healing had another request of him. One that would be deemed simple, if only things were that easy. "So you come to me, of all people..." He smirked. "It's funny how small the world really is. Of all people. You need me. But why, when I understand you've been keeping company with someone just like me?"

He pulled one of the blades he tucked away in his waistband and twirled it between his fingers. It had a delicate weight to it. Cut the air quite nicely and the steel held up nicely considering the use it'd seen tonight. Filleted the Devil in no time, it looked like. Without a doubt, this was Jace's handiwork. Jon recognized the fang as soon as he saw them pulled from the flesh of the Devil of Judgment and only now that it was clean and void of his blood that it could be seen he was dealing with an enemy. He sent the other two blades with Gregor to be returned to Bryden at some point in time, but wanted to be left this one in case he needed it, another means of protection from the mutant vigilante that couldn't be remedied with magic.

"They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions...but I'm curious to know..." Jon leaned forward to put his elbows on his knees and in that same, smooth motion, set the knife on the coffee table. He could have slammed it. Maybe with that keen sense of his he could hear how heavy the metal hit the wood as it cut through at the point. He could have thrown it across the way. Jon wasn't as good of a blade thrower as his friend Kara, but it would have gotten the point across.

No, instead he went for a more peaceful approach. The calm, before the storm. "What are yours?"
He'd heard it said once that the best horror films weren't full of action and gore. Instead they relied on the slow turning of a psychological screw that pulled you in, trapped you, and mangled you all in one little twist. Jon's anger, his words, and that damned knife were all little twists for Matt. The growing dread in him threatened to spill over into full fledged panic when Jon mentioned that he knew that Matt was spending time with another wizard.

Just what had Tristan done to get so many enemies?

That question had to wait for another time. Matt needed to survive this before he could go asking questions of his brother. The blade made Matt nervous. Not only had it been an instrument of his very recent and still very painful torture, but it represented a continuing threat against his person. The cast on his leg, the stitches in his flesh, and the exhaustion in his bones all added up to one clear fact: he wasn't going to be fighting anyone anytime soon.

Then there was the question of his intentions. What was it that Matt had intended by coming here? The mutant shifted in his seat, pulling away from the blade in a very clear signal of his fear and dread. Worry steeped his being; it was a very bitter brew, Matt reflected.

"Survival, Jon. I didn't want to die, and I trust you. Was I wrong in thinking I could lean on our friendship when I was in trouble?"

The little challenge wasn't nearly as strong in tone as the words had the potential of being. Instead, it was once more pleading, appealing to a relationship that Matt didn't understand how he had broken.
Guilt? Jonathan scoffed. Oh that was rich.

His fingers twitched, a tick that indicated frustration, the need for another cigarette, or the desire to pull his wand and hit him with an amped up Confringo to the chest. In his mind, it was all of the above, but after accelerating the healing process of the mutant vigilante, Jon didn't want to immediately undo all of the hard work he and his apprentice did on him...not yet. Then there was the knife, Jace's precious blade on the table, the shimmering steel calling to him. It'd drawn a reaction from the Devil, fear, anxiety by the looks of it. So the man wanted a friend. Someone to talk to, maybe bargain, or reason with them--or even himself--for what had happened, everything he'd done.

There were also two glasses of water on the table. One by Jon, the other by Matt, but Jon wasn't thirsty at the moment. He was too angry...

"Friend." He echoed. Jonathan considered Matt's words for a moment, before sitting back against the chair. His jaw clenched and his hands slowly closed into fists as they hung over the armrests. Recalling the events in the alleyway two years ago made him hot with vengeance. On one hand, he wanted to sympathise for the man, but oh, what the other hand held--well...he couldn't find the energy to care because there was another factor in play, bidding him against his acquaintance who was seeking confidence. A shoulder to lean on. "You've come to me a few times now, part-dead, half-dead, whatever. Come in off the streets you're supposed to keep safe, and I stitch you up and you're on your way. That's not a friend. That's a service. If you're looking for someone to talk to? I'm not that kind of doctor."

The flashback of the alleyway came to him again. She was there. The woman who killed his girlfriend--and she left him hanging on a shoestring of life. To this day, it was a mystery how he even got away from her. His leg was busted in every way possible--nearly irreparable. How long was he at Mungos before he was able to travel to Australia again? He needed to get out of sight if the hit-witch wanted to confirm her kill and spent the better part of that year healing, living with his family back home. Jon hoped after all this time he would never hear, read or have anyone so-much as breathe that woman's name again, yet...here they were.

"How long have you been acquainted with someone like me, old friend? Hm?" He licked his lips an shifted in his seat.

Jon waited patiently to pose the real questions, if only Matt would take a drink.
Matt opened his mouth to reply, but got stuck on silence. Newspaper. It was just hitting gonna why Jon would be so upset. Day Zero knocked loose information that the Devil had an accomplice. A female accomplice who was an assassin witch. Had she and Jon had a run in the past? Oh...his leg. Had Cora done that? Matt paled and felt an overwhelming amount of panic. His next words were whispered, shrunken syllables that betrayed the cowardly fear and anxiety in a man who used to be fearless. They eventually built up into a defiance, but Matt knew that, as broken as he was, he was still easy prey.

"A m-m-month. But the Dark Lady is dead, Jon!"

And that was the truth. Cora was left, but she wasn't the assassin. Maybe he could get Jon to believe she was dead and he'd let Matt go. To that note, Matt addressed the other points Jon had brought up.

"And s-service? If I kn-new you f-felt that way, I'd have st-t-opped doing extra n-neighb-borgood watches here. Or g-gone somewhere else..."

He hadn't meant to be a burden, and now Jon thought he was an enemy? God, could this night get any worse? Matt carefully reached down and took the glass of water before him and drank deeply, draining the cup in one go. He set the empty glass back down and considered running. With his busted leg, he wouldn't get very far, he concluded.
Jon wasn't sure if his stammering was all an act or if it was legitimate. "Alright, so you want a friend. Fine. If you want me to listen, then maybe it's best if you ehear me out first." When he picked up the glass and drank down the water, Jon smirked. Good.

"The Dark Lady and Cora are one in the same--Do you know what I went through?" He laughed, though there was very little humor to be found in the situation now or even before... Jon slammed his fist on the armrest of his chair, the thud shaking the wood flooring beneath them. "Five." He was breathing a bit harder now, his temper flaring in the heat of the moment. "Five torture curses. In a row...in succession, and I couldn't dodge. I couldn't run. At one point, she immobilized me, I just had to stand there and endure the pain. That was before she took a blade to my gut. Then she made me feel like she set my blood on fire. Broke my leg from the inside, but she might as well have run me over a couple of times because that's what it felt like. I don't know what spell she's got you under--what she's done, but hey, I'm not you. I don't have special healing powers and at the time I wasn't a healer--otherwise maybe my girlfriend would still be alive too."

Jon witnessed the death of Elana Lenor and the scene played out before him in slow motion. She fought Cora hand to hand before getting sliced and even flayed... He will never forget seeing the light fade out of Elana's eyes when her neck was broken. Replaying all of this in his head made him sick.

There was a small part of him, a small bit of conscience tucked away in the back of his mind that hated this. Interrogations, playing bad cop? This wasn't his thing. Kara and Markus did this, not him. But in a few moments, he would be able to get down to the truth...with a little help.
Rather than make him feel more clear and stable, the water made Matt feel dizzy and...drunk? Was his sense of smell off and he'd accidentally drank a glass of vodka? Even if he had, a single glass wouldn't make him feel like a frat boy after an all night bender. Had Jon poisoned him?

Matt tried to stand to leave, but dropped heavily back into his seat, uncoordinated and weak feeling.

"Whu...what dih you do...?"

He slurred the words and swayed drunkenly. He wound up slumped forward, panting heavily and trying to regain what shreds of control that were just stripped from him.
"Imperius. Cruciatus. Avada…” Jon couldn’t bring himself to say it out loud but he knew the incantation. He had heard countless other wizards, Death Eaters, use it.

He blinked, and in that milisecond, he saw her again. Elana was killed at close range, her life ripped away before the Dark Lady's blade was turned on him. Hot tears like molten lava streamed down his reddened cheeks as he blinked them away. He said through his teeth: “They. Are. Unforgivable."

Jon’s face hardened and the tears dried quickly. He stared at the Devil, and even though the man couldn’t stare back, he had to know Jon’s gaze were fixed on him. Unfortunately, this is where his moral compass was spinning out of control. He insisted Matt needed to be shaken, not coddled, to understand the negative impact of his actions. Consequence, not reward. Yet, he refused to be anything like that witch. Jon wouldn't torture Matt. He just needed discipline…some sort of wake-up call. But were the lines blurred between those two? “I need to know that you are you. I need to know if I’m talking to a friend...or if he's lost to the Devil. Or if he's been brainwashed by my worst enemy."

A colorless, odorless potion was in that glass, and he drank it down without a second thought. All part of the plan. He reached into his pocket for a moment, and then removed it, to hold onto his wand yet again.

“Can you hear me?” It was a standard question, one he thought might sound out of place for someone who just emotionally unloaded on with a history lesson, but there was a method to this madness. "Tell me...what is your name?"
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