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Maggie eased into the booth, couldn't hide the wince. Got centered, quick check of the bandages wrapped around her stomach.

"No secret, love, you look rough," Crow said.

Maggie smiled wryly. "I didn't know this place had a 'no tact' policy."

Crow shrugged apologetically, put on that sweet face, instantly child-like. Mags could never resist it. Crow knew every bit of her and how to trick it out of the water and onto the shore; angel, warrior, idol, mother, monster. "I worry, is all."

Mags rested her elbows on the table. Crow poured her some tea. Another cafe, another city, another meeting, another wound.

"Is this it?" she asked.

Crow sighed. "I don't know, love. I hope it isn't."

"It feels like the same thing but at the same time so much has changed."

Crow sipped some tea. "Level X."

Maggie sighed. "I know, I know."

"You still miss him," Crow said.

Maggie sipped her tea. Didn't reply, didn't acknowledge but didn't ignore either. Music played from the speakers. Acoustic guitar. A novel got read, a debate was had, plans were made to attend a concert, a teacher was complained about. The wound in her side itched and ached, kept her from really understanding all those  exchanges around them, and she hated it and loved it for that.

"I was thinking about Angst last night," she said.

"The cheerleader? Hey, isn't that weird?" Crow looked excited. "How that Slayer on TV started out as a cheerleader, and you used to run with one, way back when."

Maggie wondered how long ago it had been exactly. "That's what trips your weird-meter these days? The multidimensional demonic conspiracy is nothing special but a minor synchronicity on a TV show..." She arched her eyebrow in mock judgement.

Crow put on a defeated look. "What about her?"

"I dream of her a lot. She's yelling at me... It's not quite her exactly. Or maybe it's what she turned into, after..."

Crow didn't press the question. Things were tense lately. Felt on the verge. If Maggie was being haunted, well, it was nothing new for her. The work still needed to get done.

"So, Maggie my dear, we need to have a conversation about this Simon Light fellow."