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by: Orion
June 11, 2012
St. George's Cathedral

The white marbles of the cathedral sang out with the echoes of Father Donahue's melodic voice as he finished the closing prayer for his absent parishioner.

"...in nomine Patri, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancti, amen."

The small-oh so small-gathering of family and friends mumbled there replies. The Father surveyed the crowd and wondered how'm many of them knew the truth that he held. Matthew Cox wasn't dead. How could he be, when the man had come in to take confession the previous night? In fact, it was at Matt's insistence that the service wasn't a funeral mass as his parents had requested, but a memorial mass instead. Father Donahue was reluctant to lie like this, but Matt had given him the utmost trust in sharing his reasoning. The man was a vigilante. Beyond human, and stuck in the shadows of one world and the next, Matt had reasoned that allowing his parents the grieving process was easier than trying to keep his secret from spilling over into public knowledge.

Still, the small sobs coming from his mother were pitiful and heart wrenching. Necessary, the Father reminded himself as he kept looking over the crowd. Several hard expressions made him think that Matt's secret wasn't as secret as he'd wanted.
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by: Cole Callaway
Agent Callaway sat at the back of the cathedral, and the few who had gathered were scattered somewhere towards the front which was fine by him.

He hated funerals. No one, no one sane that is, would actually like attending these, but since he'd already been to another service this week, this was beginning to eat away at him, for all of the guilt and grief already grating on his emotions. The difference between the one that came before and the service happening now? Agent Tava Bashar, whose name was actually Tadros Jahvari Bashar, was actually dead, survived by his wife and young children. The service he came to today was all a setup, a sham memorial for the sake of consequence and resolution, for Matthew Cox. Well, not for him. For his family.

As promised, Cole came to the service this morning, despite the way things roller-coastered in conversation with the former agent as of yesterday. He would sit through the words of the Father who stood at his pulpit running through the Catholic prayer in its native Latin. Matt's mother crying in the front row pulled at his heart, as he kept his steely eyes straight ahead, his face a mold of stoic man who was burdened with the ugly truth. He was denied requests so far to push any sort of clearance to help clear him, as expected, but before he came down here today, he pushed another request to reverse the order to shoot on sight. He wouldn't stop with his requests until something turned around, for everyone's sake.

He propped his cane against the pew in front of him and folded his hands together, fingers entwined, and he held them in his lap. Cole sat very still throughout the service, observing everyone and everything in the room. He was even looking for signs that Matt had the gall to show up to his own service today, because of course he would. Would Cora? Would the other one in his and Donny's company show up today too? The stretch of the center aisle to the altar was long, but he was sure that from his end-seat, Father Donahue could see him, and they locked eyes briefly. He was in on it too, which made Cole sick to his stomach again.

They had to rig a damn funeral. How disappointing. Disgusting, even.
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by: Corrigan Ardagh
Muggle funerals were weird. Like real weird. They kept talking in random Latin like they might be about to cast some spell to bring the dead back to life. Well, Corrigan supposed in this one case that was kind of what was going to happen. Despite feeling woefully underdressed in their sunny pastel green dress, they had situated themself in the center of the church so they could look around the building. It wasn’t all white but it was still pretty bad. The colorful panes of glass in the windows were the only thing that had stopped their chest from constricting dangerously through the service.

The anxiety wasn't helped by the fact that there seemed to be others in the room with Corrigan’s disposition about the memorial. A funeral shouldn’t have a lingering cloud of anger. Yet the tumultuous feelings of the room slid over their skin as clearly as they felt the pulse of nervous electricity in their veins. Matt had warned them that his old coworkers and friends might attend. That Mi5 agents would be here. The spike of electricity arcing in their fingers had them glad the pews were wooden. They shifted anxiously, smoothing their blonde hair back to its braid as the static tried to make them do their best medusa impression. Corrigan had come for one purpose and that was to let Matt’s little brother know that his family wasn’t actually dead. They just needed to get that done and they could take off before, hopefully, anyone from Mi5 recognized who or what they were.
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by: Niklaus Schmidt
In all honesty, Klaus had almost not come. He had almost stayed sitting on the bed in his hotel room with the beer in the fridge, more than calling him for down them all until he was mentally no longer in this world at which point he probably would have found some way to dial room service for more alcohol regardless the exorbitant cost it would have tacked onto his bill but it would have been worth it, to be numb, to not feel for just a while until he woke up with a splitting headache later that day or the next morning for all he knew. Hell, never would almost be fine with him. What did he really have going for him in life these days? Yeah, Matt was alive but a bloody mess. Yeah, he would have a job to return to when he finished the leave he had taken. But what family did he have to go to? What real friends? Being alone and isolated had not been good for Klaus. It just made him realize how empty and pointless life felt. He'd never do anything about it, he figured, but it still was there, haunting him when he wasn't careful enough to guard his thoughts.

Still, in the end, he had pulled on the black suit the last possible second and threw it on before walking out to his car and taking off for the damned church. He'd walked in and sat in a secluded corner and wasn't overly participatory. He wasn't religious, never had been, and the repetitive ceremonies of Catholicism the few times he'd attended mass with Matt and his family had seemed void and empty, mindless even, pointless overall. Perhaps it was the language, perhaps it was just that it wasn't his cup of tea, perhaps it was that it was boring as all get out. He didn't know, didn't care. He barely felt engaged or present here at this sham of a funeral. He figured he didn't have to bother being engaged to be convincing enough for those following him. He was supposed to sell and buy into the sham. He'd do his part and leave as soon as he possibly could.
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by: Katarina Bauer
Why did she come here?

/You knew better./
[Would he have shown up to yours?]
/Of course not./

Katarina stood outside of the church, at the foot of the steps. Her hands were on her hips, her fingers pressed against the itchy cloth of her only black dress appropriate for the occasion. She had been out here for a few minutes now, contemplating whether or not she should attend this fake funeral service, leaning heavily on not. It was all a bloody sham anyway and she was here to drive for Cole, since he said his leg had been bothering him this morning.

That was that. She was a driver, nothing more.

Deciding to sit outside and wait, Katarina felt it appropriate not to attend the facade as not to disturb his family or anyone else who might fall into the trap of believing this government issued lie. Plus, it would be bad form for her, right? The crazy bitch ex-girlfriend, showing up to "pay her respects"? As if this facade wasnt bad enough...

She turned her back to the door and sat at the far edge of the stone steps to stay out of everyone's way, and pulled out her smokes. Wayne and Will were trying so hard to break her of the habit she picked up in the last two months, even though Will secretly bummed one from her every now and again.

It would hopefully pass the time, as she sat there fiddling with her phone to check her emails and social media. Unfortunately for Kat, she still had a picture of her and Matt on her phone, as she forgot it was posted up on her main page.

/Delete that shit./
(No...leave it.)

Katarina stared at the photo for a moment longer, getting lost in the bitrersweet memory of who they once were... in the photo taken at the pub for his birthday.

(ooc: Kat will post sporadically since she's outside, so feel free to skip her in rotation.)
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by: Orion
This didn't feel right, Tom considered. Not that he was burying an empty coffin with his brother's picture on it (Although the fact that there was no body was suspicious enough), but the fact that the mood was just...off. He'd given several surreptitious glances around the room and nobody seemed to actually be mourning. They were guarded, angry, nervous, or frustrated. But sad? Not a single tear except from the Cox family. Suspicious.

Tom stood when the service ended and helped his mother up. Something just wasn't sitting right. He was a lawyer by day, so he was used to reading the mood of a room and the mood was angry. His eyes sought familiar faces and tried to draw them into conversation as his parents left the chapel.
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by: Cole Callaway
He peeked behind him to see if Katarina decided to walk up, even if it was to stand in the doorway. He noted the large church doors were void of anyone standing near the threshold, so he sighed in relief and turned back around. She was already debating whether or not she wanted to, all the way over, but they both agreed it would be best if she kept her distance.

Cole noticed Klaus a few pews up but he didn't want to disrupt the service by trying to make contact in any way. Getting up and moving would hurt his bones, texting would be disrespectful, and making any call across this distance would surely be heard no matter where they were, with these acoustics. He assumed they'd meet up at some point, especially if he was tasked to summon all agents to see if they're on board or jumping overboard with the team he was told to form up. How was he thinking about work? Well, if he focused on the emotion and energy seemingly radiating from the front of the church, he would become even more frustrated than he was when he walked in and sat down.

Cole, now addressed as the new Director of MI:5 Paranormal (pro tempore), sat quietly through the taxing and tedious service and remained seated when those up front rose to leave the church. He wouldn't move until he at least saw Klaus pass him, and if he made eye contact, he would pull him aside to talk.
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by: Corrigan Ardagh
Once the service drew to a close, Corrigan pushed themself to their feet smoothing down the edges of their green dress. Well actually they were trying to subtly discharge some of the static that had built up. They needed to get control over themself or else this would end poorly. Matt would be pissed if that happened, not to mention whatever would happen to them if their sparks made an unwelcome appearance. As much as it wouldn’t hurt, Corrigan definitely preferred being able to walk away from this whole mess without a bullet wound. Or worse. A slow breath entered and then was pushed from their chest before Corrigan moved from the pew. Stepping carefully, they managed a weak sympathetic smile towards the exiting older couple who could only be Matt’s parents from the way the woman was wailing. Pain shot through Corrigan’s chest at that and they pursed their lips against the words that wanted to tumble out to console the broken mother.

He’s alive. He’s safe. They chase him. It’s their fault.

Swallowing back the words into silence, their blue eyes darted away from the woman. As much as Corrigan wanted to shout the truth she was supposed to be handling this more delicately. Plus Matt had asked her not to involve his parents with his request. So their temper needed to stay on the back burner. For now at the very least. Turning, their eyes finally settled on the other man still hovering like he was waiting for someone to approach. That scowl and the brown eyes. Somehow Corrigan’s best friend’s face had been copied onto this stranger. Stunned momentarily all they could do was blink at the tall man. Finally Corrigan was able to force themself to approach him, clasping their hands behind their back to hide the slight sparks that were still thrumming on their fingertips.

”Hey. You’re Tom right? Matt’s brother?” Corrigan asked tentatively with a small anxious smile.
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by: Cole Callaway
His phone vibrated, and when he looked at it, it was Katarina, a bored selfie pic, and a gun emoji underneath it, followed by a text that read: "Can we go home, yet?"

Cal just smirked, huffing a soft chuckle through his nose and promptly responded, "Not yet. Standby." The place hadn't even emptied yet even though the service was over, and even though Cal knew he had a lot of folks waiting for him back at the office, he was trying to be polite and wait it out to pay respects, as it were. Truth be told, he was waiting to at least make eye contact with Klaus to silently call him over, but since he hadn't bothered to look over as he seemed to be in his own state of loss and grief, he didn't bother Schmidt just yet. Instead, the director turned his eyes to the family, and watched as a mysterious young woman addressed the family.

Tom, he noted, was the first one she'd walked up to. Cal wanted to approach the family. It was the director's job, after all, to give his official regards to the family for their loss. The Marines would present the flag and any other accolades given to him as a soldier maybe, if that was even an option. It would also showcase just how many strings needed to be pulled to coordinate this whole facade. Ugh, he shuddered at that thought.

Finally working up the nerve and energy to stand, he pulled his cane toward him and started to walk against the congregation, who were trying to make their way out. He came up with a whole spiel for the parents, and then to the brother if he would have him. But he wanted to make it brief, to let them grieve in peace, and he would be on his way.
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by: Niklaus Schmidt
Klaus stayed seated for a moment after the ceremony closed. He was sure by all means he'd be expected to attend the burial as well, having grown up Matt's best mate, yet it was hard to want to continue with this sham of a show. Bloody hell, how life had changed in a quick instant, all because Matt had decided to become involved with some bloody project then ended up apprehended by Witch Bitch. She had a name, yes, but he didn't care to use it. He had no reason to in the solace of his own mind. He snorted lightly at that thought. Solace. Right. Because he found so much solace in it right now. His best friend was fucked. Jones' incompetence had seen to that, and had they not replaced her, Klaus would have quit Paranormal outright. Instead, he'd taken a leave of absence. He had enough saved up to afford a bit of one, so why not? He was absolutely upset with how things had gone down and how quickly Paranormal had turned their backs on Matt and Matt on him. Maybe that's what hurt the most. Even after their encounter.

Klaus' eyes fell on Thomas from his seat, and he found himself wondering who the blonde was who was approaching him. Was that Witch Bitch? Somehow, he had his doubts. Nice body, probably a pretty face (He couldn't see from this angle). But somehow not quite Matt's tastes. Then again, maybe he was wrong. He had no clue, but he didn't like that there was some random woman here he couldn't categorize as a family member or a former acquaintance, friend, or work mate off the top of his head. Maybe he'd stay a while longer, despite the fact he wanted nothing more than to dodge any potential interaction with Thomas whenever he got away from the blonde. He'd dodged phone calls, after all. He hadn't made contact. The whole thing was bloody uncomfortable.
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by: Orion
This was a travesty. They should have been beyond this stage. Matt was retired, he was home and he was safe. Except he'd gone blind. And then the damned terrorists they'd captured had bombed the building in their escape attempts. Rumor was that they'd caught the Devil and that ass had done the deed that killed his brother. He'd driven separately from mum and dad, so Thomas wasn't going to be stranded as his parents left.

Matt's coworkers and Klaus had shown up. No friends, no girlfriend, no service members he had called family...no, it was bleak and empty in the chapel. Were there even ten people here? Thomas did a quick tally of those he could see. Mum and dad, himself, the blonde girl, Klaus, and another man. Including the priest, that was seven people to witness the last commemoration of his brother.

It made the lawyer mad. His brother was a decorated war hero, so why was he practically forgotten now that he'd given his life as a member of the government? Disgraceful, really. The blonde girl was coming up to him, wide blue eyes taking him like she recognized him, but then...her question. He didn't know her and she had to ask if he was Matt's brother. He smiled gently.

"I think he would have wanted me to say something like I'm not his sister, but that's not really appropriate for today's mood. I'm Thomas. You are...?"

He offered her his hand to shake in greeting.
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by: Corrigan Ardagh
Not shaking his hand would be rude. But nerves dictated that he was probably going to get a rude surprise from the touch. Still, had to keep up this idea of normal. Especially with others still lingering about. Who knew if they were just friends or more. Corrigan wouldn’t risk it for now. If they ended up being agents then they needed to get as much information to Thomas before those people realized what Corrigan was and intervened. Steeling themself, they took Thomas’s hand and shook it just once and rather awkwardly but still shocking him like a static discharge. Good enough.

”Name’s Corrigan. I’m a friend of Matt’s,” she grinned brightly.

A smile out of place, wrong tenses to use for a dead man, and a bright dress at a funeral. Out of place was the point for once. Little bread crumb hints to make Thomas start questioning what was going on, what was standing in front of him. Corrigan had considered passing him a note but an unfamiliar letter could get lost or in the wrong hands. Not to mention there was too much information to give. About Matt, what Mi5 had done to them, and what could be done to help his brother. Plus Matt didn’t want his parents to know yet and a letter certainly risked that.

This route was far more dangerous to them personally but was worth it if it worked out. Matt was smart but he had said his brother was smarter. Hopefully even with their double speak and odd behavior he would get the hint instead of writing Corrigan off as some mad person who got their kicks from crashing funerals.
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by: Cole Callaway
Cole had wandered over to Matt's parents, his mother who was still sobbing into his father's arms as she wept. His face hardened as he heard the comments of the others who had just left, mentioning something about Matt and his personal life, and 'what a shame'. Huh. Well, if they only knew. Cole let his eyes soften up bit once he reached the front of the line. The strange blond woman was with Matt's brother (undoubtedly as the looks were strikingly similar to Matt, himself), and he outstretched his hand to the father and offered his hand then to the mother if she wanted it.

When his hand made contact with Matt's parents, he felt a jolt of static hit his fingertips. He narrowed his eyes. In here? Maybe if a storm was coming he would have felt that just before the off-chance of being struck by lightning. He hadn't worn anything that would create that friction either. Where did that come from?

"Age...Director Alaric Callaway." He said, solemnity in his voice and face, even though he was sour that his true, given name had come out. God, he hated that name, as old-world gothic as one could get. "Uh...but please call me Cole. I worked with your son at the agency and I just wanted to give my regards to you both, and to your family. He was a good man." That wasn't a lie. Cole thought there were some great things about Matt as he got to know him. This was just a formality, he had to remind himself. If this ever got turned around, he would explain it was a matter of national security, and that was the truth. "On behalf of the agency, you have our deepest condolences. While our words or any sort of assistance we provide won't be enough to cover what was lost, we are still here for you and your family in this time of mourning." That was all he needed to say, right? Even if it was partially scripted, Cole was sincere with his words, especially as he glanced down at Matt's mother. She was hurting the most... He sighed softly.

"...a friend of Matt's..."

Cole's ears perked up as the blond woman spoke, but he didn't turn his head to match that suspicion. His friend? The hell as this girl? He'd never seen her before...
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by: Niklaus Schmidt
This was all too odd to watch. Cole around Matt's parents, the colorfully-dressed blonde near his brother. Klaus buried his face in his hands for a moment, not sure what to feel or to think or to do at the moment or even sure he still needed or wanted to be here. He should probably check out the girl, but doing so meant interacting with Matt's parents and likely Cole. He had no bloody desire to do either thing. Missus C would want hugs and comfort and answers as to why he hadn't been in touch, why he had stormed out as he did that day in the attorney's office after seeing whatever the attorney had given him. Cole would probably want to know when he'd be coming back and also why he'd been out of touch despite their friendship. Well, fuck if he knew. Why would he want to be around anyone that reminded him of this ordeal? It just didn't make sense to him at this point. He still hadn't processed, and honestly, just no. Nope. He couldn't do or handle or whatever the more recent catch phrase was these days.

With a sigh, Klaus let his hands fall and clasp, watching the scene unfold. He'd watch Cole's face and posture. If he seemed to suspect anything of the girl, he'd make a move forward. Otherwise, he'd stay put for right now and hope Matt's parents didn't make their way over to him.
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by: Cole Callaway
(Prelude to this taken from "Spark of Enlightenment", and permission to NPC Mr. & Mrs. Cox via Megan)

"Thank you, sir." The older man, Matt's father, said with weary eyes. Matt's mother was still sobbing softly and couldn't find the words to respond, but that was okay in Cal's book. He'd lost family members too and knew what it was like to not feel like he had to respond in any way. The grief was all that needed to be expressed and he understood that clearly.

He was nodding to Mr. Cox with a thin smile to acknowledge the older man's thanks but he couldn't help but overhear the blond girl's parting words to the brother. She'd said: 'Hope that helped?' 'If you need anything I'm always around...' What a strange thing to say to a supposedly dead man's brother, and she was...a stranger. Who was this girl? Of course, Matt was entitled to have friends outside of work, but Callaway had never seen this one before, nor did he ever hear her name before. What did she say it was? Corrigan? Hm.

He tried not to express his confusion as his eyes remained on the older couple, but the girl was the subject of his focus now. He was trying not to have to work or bring his suspicion amongst the crowd but things like this drew out so many things to be suspicious about. A stranger with information about someone he'd worked closely with for months? Well, that did it. It was his cue to turn when the girl made her turn to leave. Callaway brought his hand to his hair and there it was again. A jolt. Static shock. What the hell?

"Please. Excuse me." When Callaway turned, he finally made eye-contact with Klaus. Before, he wanted to walk up to the man and have a quick chat about things, but right now there was something he needed to have done. He wanted Klaus to pursue the girl. With a subtle jerk of his head in the direction of the exit, he hoped Klaus would pick up that he wanted him to follow her. There was no time to lose. He pulled out his phone and shot a quick text to his operative outside, to be on the lookout.
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