There's Something Strange....
Cam Taylor

Authors Note: A little something for Halloween, more daft than scary. Hope you enjoy. Wanna share your thoughts?

Teaser: It's Halloween and all is not well for Hannah Mulqueen and her partner Devon Prince.



"Dev? You home, babe?" Hannah Mulqueen called out, as she walked through her front door after an unbearably long day.

"Front room."

Dropping her handbag and stepping out of her cruelly painful yet utterly gorgeous high heels, the strawberry-blonde walked into the living room and looked down at her girlfriend sprawled out on the sofa, looking like she had all the time in the world to pass by. "You're not even ready!"

Devon Prince looked up in confusion. "Ready for what?"

"Ruby's Halloween party!"

"I thought we weren't going?"

Hannah rolled her eyes. "Of course we're going. She's a dear friend of ours."

"I distinctly remember you slagging her off and saying there was no way we would grace her with our presence after you fell out with her over the fact she was throwing a party." Devon wiggled her toes, feeling the tension of the day drifting away. She didn't know what it was about Halloween, but it seemed to cause all sorts of chaos and brought out numerous crazy people.

"Well, we made up. It's not like I wanted the grief of throwing a party here, the decorating, spending hundreds of pounds on booze and snack food...."

"The cleaning up afterwards," Devon muttered.

"So we're going. Get up, you have to get ready."

"Can't. Haven't got a costume."

"I knew you would forget, so I, your loving and ever patient girlfriend, got one for you," Hannah smiled.

Devon scowled at the love of her life. "I didn't forget. You said we weren't going." Knowing she wouldn't be left in peace until she did as was requested, Devon stood up and stretched out to her entire 5'9" length. "Can't we just stay in, babe?"


"It's going to be the same old drama from the same old faces," Devon sighed. "Leah will be inappropriate as she tries to make Chelsea jealous. Georgina will be on the spirits and will get drunk far too quickly. And Amber..." she shook her head. "Let's not get into the drama that is Amber!"

"They are our friends, Devon."

"Maybe we need new friends," she muttered, as she followed Hannah through to the bedroom to discover what monstrosity of a costume awaited her. She crossed her fingers in hope that it was at least half decent and not embarrassing like last year's costume of Peppa Pig. She still hadn't lived that down. "Please tell me you've at least got me a decent costume. It's bad enough I have to go to this stupid party, I don't want to spend the whole night miserable as well."

Inside their bedroom, she sat on the end of the bed while Hannah opened the wardrobe and pulled out two costumes.

"I'm not being a cheerleader!" Devon protested.

"That's my costume, goof ball. You're going to be the deceased jock."

"Deceased jock?"

"Yeah," Hannah smiled. "Your choice. Basketball player, footballer, you pick whatever you're comfortable with. We were on our way to a game when we were tragically run off the road and killed. Ooh, I brought fake blood." She looked around, trying to remember where she had put the bottle.

"Well, at least I'm not Peppa Pig."

Hannah put the two costumes down. "I know you still haven't forgiven me for last year, but I've apologised enough. Surely this makes it up to you, baby?" she asked in her low, sexy voice. "You'll be in a costume you're comfortable with, splattered with fake blood. Can't get much more Halloween than that."

Smiling, Devon pulled her girlfriend to her. "Totally forgiven, sweetheart."

"Liar." Hannah stepped back. "I'm gonna shower real quick. Get ready."

"You don't want company?"

"I said real quick," she called back over her shoulder.

Left alone, Devon puffed out her cheeks and looked down at the costume. "Oh, all right. I can make nice for a few hours."

In the bathroom, Hannah turned on the water, then turned her attention to undressing. She knew Devon was right. Their friends were becoming a nightmare to be around. And even though she had recently fallen out with Ruby, she wanted to go to the party because she was happy. She, Hannah Mulqueen, had found her one and was living the life she had always hoped for. She wanted everyone in her life to know it.

Stepping towards the shower to test the water, the mat slipped beneath her feet and she skidded towards the tub. Yelping in surprise, she didn't have time to throw up her arms as her forward momentum sent her tumbling into the bathtub, head hitting the shelf that held the soap, shower gel and bubble bath.

Hearing all the noise of tumbling bottles, Devon hurried into the bathroom and lost her footing on a bottle of shampoo. She skidded halfway across the floor before falling backwards and landing hard on her back. All of the air rushed out of her lungs and her head hit the floor. Hard. "Owww! Jesus!" Scrunching her eyes up tight, she remembered why she had rushed into the bathroom to begin with. "Babe? You all right?"

Lifting herself from where she had landed awkwardly in the tub, Hannah rubbed her forehead, finding the stickiness of blood and a lump the size of a golf ball. "Fine. I think. I slipped on the mat." Standing up straight, she looked down at her girlfriend. "What are you doing?"

"What am I doing?" Devon asked incredulously. "Rushing to rescue you. Only a bloody bottle of something sent me flying." Sitting up, she lifted a hand to the back of her head and felt the lump that was now there. "Bad omen," she muttered. "I'm not going to the party."

"Don't be ridiculous," Hannah scoffed. "It was just a mishap."

"A mishap on Halloween night. It's a sign, babe. I'm not going."

"It's not sign and you are going. Go finish getting ready."

*  *  *  *  *

Dressed in a strategically torn basketball vest, knee-length shorts and an old pair of scuffed trainers, Devon looked like a basketball player. Next to her, Hannah had opted out of wearing her cheerleader costume. Instead, she still had on her work outfit, now rumpled and soaking wet. Her shirt was untucked and half unbuttoned, her hair messily tied up, and with the golf ball size lump on her forehead she looked worse off than Devon did.

"Of course, I'm going to have to explain my outfit to everyone," Hannah said. "They won't get it."

"Deranged office worker. What's not to get?"

Hannah huffed. "That's how you think of me? A deranged office worker?"

"No. That's how you look, babe. It's great, a great idea." Green eyes trailed down then back up the strawberry-blonde's body. "Though, I think I would have preferred you in the cheerleader get-up."

For reasons that Devon was putting down to it being Halloween, their car wouldn't start, so they had to walk to Ruby's. Much to Devon's amusement, Hannah had been disappointed that heads didn't turn their way as they made their way through the streets. Their costumes were tame compared to some it seemed.

"It's Halloween, Hannah. We don't exactly look out of place."

"Yes, but I am totally rocking this costume. And, I have a huge bump on my head. A real bump," she pointed.

"Guess it takes a lot to scare people these days. Sinister clown outfits for example."

Hannah pouted. "I don't necessarily want people to be scared of me. I would just like some appreciation. Perhaps a wolf whistle or two."

Devon gave her girlfriend a funny look. "You hate it when you get whistled at. You told me...."

Hannah waved away what she knew Devon was about to say. "A girl likes to know she's appreciated every now and then."

"You can't have it both ways. Either you want to be whistled at or you don't."

"I obviously don't look truly impressive," the strawberry-blonde complained. "Otherwise heads would turn. Not all heads, but one or two at least. Next year, I'm going to have to come up with something truly horrifying."

"The clown fad has people spooked."

"That's not spooky, it's just plain creepy."

"And horrifying," Devon shivered. "Some of them look downright sinister."

Hannah shook her head. "No clown outfits for us, babe. I don't like clowns as it is."

Reaching Ruby Cabot's smart London home, they found the front door standing open, music blaring, laughter and chatter drifting out into the night air.

"Okay, let's do this," Devon muttered, hating large gatherings. "The sooner we get home, the sooner I can ravish you." She grinned at her girlfriend and wiggled her eyebrows.

"Jocks, you're all the same!" Hannah teased.

"Oh, yeah? How many jocks you been involved with?"

Laughing, Hannah pushed Devon away from her and marched into the house.

Their friend's home was crammed wall-to-wall with people, a wide variety of costumes on display, ranging from Playboy bunny to a blood-soaked chef. People had really made an effort to get into the Halloween spirit. Fake cobwebs and silly string hang above their heads, and cackling, light-up decorations came to life whenever someone moved passed them. Ruby had done a good job.

Taking Devon's hand, Hannah led her girlfriend through the house and towards the kitchen, knowing Devon would want a drink more than anything. In the bustling kitchen, they found their friend Georgina dressed as Wonder Woman and engaged in a fast-paced drinking game against the Incredible Hulk. Hannah waved but didn't go over and interrupt. There would be plenty of time to catch up later on. Or maybe the next day, if Devon's prediction of Georgina getting off her face came true.

People were standing at or near the kitchen counters where numerous bottles of drink were sitting and Hannah puffed out her cheeks in frustration. She looked at Devon, who was watching the drinking game in amusement, and nudged the brunette's arm. "It's a bit busy in here. Should we mingle first and come back in awhile?"


Hannah led them into the living room, wanting to say hello to their host. "Oh, look, Leah's a sexy maid," she pointed out.

"Of course she is!" Devon replied, rolling her eyes. "Flash the flesh and try and make Chelsea jealous." Dark green eyes scanned the room until she found Chelsea Beam seated not too far from where Leah was loudly laughing at something her date for the evening had said. "There's CB," she pointed out to Hannah. "Dressed as a bloodied doctor."

"Oh. She told me she was going to come as Darth Vadar."

"Why?" Devon scoffed. "She always told me she hated Star Wars."

"So Leah wouldn't know she was here, so she could actually relax and enjoy herself."

Devon rolled her eyes. "Jesus, why don't they just get back together and put everyone out of their misery?"

"I don't think Chelsea's alone tonight," Hannah mentioned, watching their friend slip a hand onto Wilma Flintstone's knee. "Ooh, there's Ruby!" she announced, sticking up a hand and waving at the redhead dressed as a German beer maiden. Her shoulders slumped when she wasn't acknowledged. "Don't think she saw me."

"Wouldn't surprise me. This place is packed." Looking around for somewhere she could lean and be out of the way of swaying people and spilling drink, Devon spotted two older gentlemen looking at herself and Hannah in interest. "God, just what I need!" she grumbled. "To be leered at all bloody night!"

"What?" Hannah looked around, trying to determine what had her girlfriend so upset already.

"Those two old boys over there watching us in interest."

Hannah looked, but couldn't see who Devon was talking about. "I'm sure they're harmless," she shrugged.

"You can't know that. The front door is standing wide open, they may be a couple of loonies who have wandered in and are looking for a victim," Devon said completely seriously.

"Don't be ridiculous!" Hannah scoffed.

"It's not ridiculous. It's Halloween. Weird stuff happens on Halloween."


The two women turned around and came face to face with the two older gentlemen who Devon had spotted across the room.

"See," Devon muttered. She eyed the two strangers and decided they really were crazy. One was dressed in trousers, shirt and a dark green cardigan, slippers on his feet. The other, much the same, only he was wearing shoes. Devon thought perhaps they had escaped from their home for the evening.

"Hi," Hannah greeted with a smile.

"You're new, aren't you?" the one on the left with the slippers on asked. "I can always tell the newbies. Spot 'em a mile away."

"Excuse me?"

"How did it happen?" he asked.

"Really, Woodrow!" the one on the right scolded. "Introduce yourself first. I'm always telling you, you can't just launch into it."

"How did what happen?" Devon questioned, frowning at the pair now. "Launch into what?"

"Forgive us," the one on the right smiled kindly. "I'm Melvin and this is my friend Woodrow."

"Nice to meet you both," Hannah smiled, always polite to her elders, no matter how odd they came across.

"We're not new to being gay," Devon said, thinking that was what Woodrow had been implying. "Not that it's any of your business."

"Devon!" Hannah scolded, wishing her girlfriend had some patience.

Devon ignored her. "How do you two know Ruby?" she asked, suspecting they had wandered in because they could. "Grandfathers?"

"Oh, we don't know her," Woodrow happily confirmed. "We were just drifting around and came across this shindig." He looked around. "Melvin doesn't like scaring the children, so a party is always a good place to start."

"Start what?" Devon asked, pulling Hannah a little closer to her side, ready to protect her if the need arose.

"Scaring people," Woodrow said simply. He looked at Melvin. "You see, they are new."

"You keep saying new, what the hell are you talking about?" Devon demanded.

Smiling sympathetically, Melvin took a step closer. "You're dead, dear."

Devon laughed from the absurdity of it. "Right. Of course. Silly me. Are you on medication that you forgot to take today?"

"It happened to me," Melvin said, like this was the most normal conversation in the world. "I was up a ladder trying to get the Christmas decorations down from my loft and fell. Thought I'd had a lucky escape," he chuckled.

"Until I told him different!" Woodrow laughed.

"Will you excuse us." Devon started dragging Hannah away from the two crazy old men.

"Devon! Slow down," Hannah pleaded.

"Slow down? I can't slow down. Those two have wandered in off the street and are quite obviously crazy!" Devon replied, heading for the kitchen. She was more than ready for a strong drink right about now. "I don't want anything happening to you, sweetheart. They could turn violent or something, so we're walking away."

In the kitchen, they found Woodrow and Melvin waiting for them. Woodrow grinned and wiggled his fingers at a bewildered Devon.

"How did you...?" She looked back over her shoulder, knowing they couldn't possibly have got into the kitchen without walking past herself and Hannah.

"Walls and doors are easy," Woodrow replied. "Zip-zap, you're through. You'll learn."

Melvin nodded in agreement. "The first time is always the hardest. You think it's not possible, you see. Think you're still alive and certain rules apply to you."

"You two are insane!" Devon exclaimed.

"See, Melvin. They haven't even realised they're dead," Woodrow said sadly. "They're just babies to this."

"We are not dead!" Devon insisted. "And your parlour tricks aren't impressive."

"Has anything happened lately?" Melvin asked. "Like..." he tried to think of a scenario, "a car accident you somehow survived against all the odds? A fall down the stairs that didn't even result in a bruise?"

"I slipped in the bathroom," Hannah confessed.

"Hannah, don't encourage them!" Devon hissed.

"Well, I did." Brown eyes settled on Melvin. "I was about to jump in the shower, when the mat slipped beneath me and I fell into the tub. But I did hurt myself, I got this," she said, reaching up to her forehead where her golf ball sized bump was. Only her fingers found nothing. "Wait. Where's it...?" She rubbed a hand across her entire forehead and found nothing. "Devon, my bump has gone!"

"What?" Green eyes lifted to her girlfriend's forehead and saw nothing, not a mark, lump, or bruising. "Maybe it healed," she shrugged.

"In an hour?" Hannah shrieked, beginning to feel slightly freaked out.

"You imagined your injury," Melvin said. "Like anyone would after a fall."

"That would do it," Woodrow nodded. "A fall into the tub, hitting your head," he shrugged. "Lights out."

"It was not lights out," Devon scowled. "She's perfectly fine. Stop trying to scare her."

"Maybe it wasn't the bump to her head. Maybe she broke her neck. And she's fine because she hasn't realised she's...." Woodrow started, only for Melvin to interrupt him.

"You didn't have your own mishap?" Melvin asked.

"No, I didn't have a mishap. So there goes your theory!"

"Actually..." Hannah started, looking a little closer at her girlfriend, "you did, Dev. You came to my rescue, remember? And fell and hit your head."

"Hannah, don't start buying into this rubbish! We're fine! We fell over, but we got back up and came to this stupid party! You two," she glared at the two older gentleman. "Stop freaking my girlfriend out!"

"Maybe you should get yourself a drink," Melvin suggested.

"That is the first sensible thing you've said to me so far tonight!" Devon growled. Stomping past Melvin and Woodrow, she walked over to the counter where the alcohol was and reached out for the bottle of gin, fingertips pushing it over rather than grabbing it. "God damn it!" she snapped unhappily, while the room cheered at her clumsiness. "Yes, thank you, thank you. I'm here all night!"

"She's all worked up," Woodrow said simply.

"Of course," Melvin nodded. "Should have waited until she'd calmed down."

"What do you mean?" Hannah asked.

"A build up of energy makes it possible for a ghost to move things," Melvin explained. "You concentrate all your energy and... ping, there goes a bottle across a counter."

Devon walked back over to the trio, scowled at Woodrow and Melvin then looked pleadingly at her girlfriend. "Can we go home now, Hannah? Tonight is just not my night. We both fell over, the car wouldn't start, these two nutters are following us around and now I can't even have a gin and tonic!"

"You could have a beer," Woodrow said helpfully. "You young girls these days like to be one of the boys, from what I can gather. What do they call them, Melvin? There's a name."


"I don't like beer. And I'm not a ladette."

Knowing Devon hated large gatherings as it was and that she was now worked up over everything that had gone wrong that evening, Hannah nodded. "Sure, baby. We can go home." She smiled as Devon kissed her cheek and took her hand.

"When you realise your situation and you want some answers, we can be found at the park most days," Melvin called out to the couple as they left. Shaking his head, he looked at Woodrow. "You freaked them out."

"I told them the truth," Woodrow replied defensively.

"You could have been more delicate about it."

"No one was delicate with me. Ooh, look, the host has those little puff pastry things I used to love!"

"Yes. If I remember correctly, that's what did you in!"

*  *  *  *  *


"Sweetheart, whatever you're about to say, please do not let it be about anything those crazy old men said," Devon sighed, just knowing it would be playing on her girlfriend's mind.

"But, Dev, what if they're right? What if my fall broke my neck? Or cracked my skull open?"

"It didn't, you're fine."

"Too fine, don't you think? I mean, even the bump on my head is gone!"

"You got lucky," Devon insisted. "Hannah, it's Halloween. Crazy people come out of the woodwork on Halloween. Forget what those crazy old farts said. They were probably off their medication!"

"Devon, don't be rude about them," Hannah scolded. "They were harmless."

"They freaked you out with this nonsense."

Taking Devon's arm, Hannah snuggled into her girlfriend's side. "I like how you're so protective of me."

"I like how you always see the good in people," Devon admitted. "Even if it does get you into trouble!"

They walked in silence for awhile, listening to the night sounds of the city. The music blaring from sound systems, traffic on the roads, the squeak of a gate opening or closing somewhere nearby.

"I've been thinking," Hannah started slowly.

"That isn't always a good thing, is it, babe?"

Rolling her eyes, unamused by Devon's teasing, Hannah swotted her girlfriend's belly. "I'm being serious."

"All right," Devon sighed, knowing she wouldn't get any peace until Hannah had spoken about what Woodrow had told them. "What have you been thinking about?"

"Do you remember us leaving the house earlier?"

Green eyes blinked. Of all the things she thought Hannah was going to say, that hadn't been on the list. "Of course I do."

"Do you?" Hannah pressed. "Which one of us shut the front door?"

A frown slowly appeared on Devon's brow as she thought about it. Annoyed that she couldn't seem to recall and frustrated Hannah was insisting on entertaining the thought that they were dead, Devon huffed. "This is stupid. What sort of question is that?"

"A question neither of us knows the answer to," Hannah said simply. "I cannot for the life of me remember leaving the house. I can't remember if I opened the car door or you did."

Devon gave it some thought and found that she too couldn't remember either. She shook her head. "What does it matter who shut the front door and whether or not I opened the car door for you or not? Here we are out in the street. Someone opened the front door, right?"

"But how did we get here? Doesn't it bother you that neither of us can remember?"

"Are you serious!" Devon exclaimed, exasperated.

"Yes, Devon! Yes, I am very serious!" Hannah pulled her girlfriend to a stop and looked into her eyes. "Do you remember that film with the bald guy? He's in that action movie you make us watch every Christmas."

"Not every Christmas," Devon muttered, knowing who Hannah meant. "Yeah. What about him?"

"He did that other film which creeped me out. Devon, I think we're dead and we just don't realise it."

"You see!" Devon groaned, throwing her hands up. "I knew those two old fools would freak you out!" She tenderly grasped Hannah's shoulders. "Sweetheart, you're just over thinking everything. We're fine, baby. I promise."

They started walking again, heading for the home they had brought together, the home where they planned to live for many years to come.

"The bump on my forehead disappeared, Devon," Hannah said quietly, still bothered by that discovery. "What if I just imagined it because I hit my head?"

"Did I imagine it too?"

"You saw it then?" Hannah asked hopefully. "You actually, clearly, remember seeing a bump on my head?" There was a long pause as Devon thought about it. Too long a pause. "You didn't, did you? You didn't see a lump on my head."

"Well... not that I remember actually and clearly. But, in my defense, I did get the wind knocked out of me, babe. I was a little distracted by the fact that I was suddenly flat on my back."

"Do you... remember seeing me in the tub?"

"Yes," Devon gleefully replied, happy that she did finally remember something. "I saw your legs as I hurried into the bathroom."

"Was I moving? Trying to get out of the bathtub?"

And again her frown was back.

"Was I groaning in pain?" Hannah continued with her questions. "Making any sound at all?"


Hannah looked at her girlfriend, looked closely at her girlfriend. "You're lying!"

"I am not!" Devon protested in a high-pitch voice which gave away the fact she actually was lying.

"You are. You know I can always tell when you're lying."

"I'm not lying lying," Devon insisted. "You probably were making some sort of pained noise, I just...."

"You can't remember," Hannah filled in. She blinked and looked around, suddenly realising they were standing in their kitchen. "What? Devon, we're indoors! How did we get indoors?"

Looking around their kitchen, Devon couldn't seem to recall. "We walked in, babe. We were so deep in conversation, we just didn't notice."

Hannah looked at her girlfriend incredulously. "Who opened the front door?"

"Oh, don't start that nonsense again!" Turning around, Devon left the kitchen and walked along the hallway.

"It's not nonsense, Devon. I'm starting to think...."

Spotting her door keys sitting on the side table, where she always put them after entering the house, Devon pointed and smiled smugly. "There! You see? My door keys, Hannah. I must have opened the door to let us in."

Not convinced, Hannah folded her arms. "Do you remember taking your keys out of your pocket?"

"No, I was so engrossed in listening to you work through the mad possibility of us being dead, I didn't notice." Stepping up to her girlfriend, she wrapped her arms around Hannah's waist. "Baby, we're fine. There's nothing more going on here than the fact Halloween has you freaked out." She kissed Hannah's forehead. "Tomorrow is a new day, a new month. We can put all this behind us."

*  *  *  *  *

Hannah led the way to the local park, a woman on a mission, while Devon walked as slowly as she could get away with, dragging her feet in petulance. "Will you hurry up?" Hannah snapped back at her, not impressed by her girlfriend's pouting.

"Why? If we're all dead, it's not like we don't have time on our hands."

"Hey, Melvin, look who it is," Woodrow announced their arrival to his friend with a bright smile. "A whole lot sooner than I thought we'd see you. Woke up and realised the sad truth did you?"

"No, not exactly," Hannah replied honestly. "I've just... I've been thinking about the conversation all night and I... well, some things are worrying me."

"Come take a seat," Melvin patted the space next to him. "And we shall try and answer any questions you have."

Hannah sat between the two older gentlemen, rather liking them if the truth be told. "Well, I was thinking about leaving our house last night and I couldn't remember which one of us shut the front door," she explained. "And when we got home from the party, we were talking and I suddenly realised we were in our kitchen and I can't remember opening the front door. I can't even remember which one of us got our keys out."

"We were deep in conversation about this stupid subject," Devon spoke up. "People forget simple things all the time," she said dismissively. "Look at my uncle Evan. Couldn't remember a name if his life depended on it!"

"You're seeing without really seeing," Melvin said to Hannah, realising she was more open to what was going than Devon was. "You remember life how it was. You know that to get outside or inside you need to open a door, you've spent your whole life doing that. Now that you're..." he looked up and met Devon's gaze, finding her scowling at him. " the situation you are in, you don't need to open and close doors any more. You can't remember opening your front door because it didn't happen."

"That's ridiculous," Devon huffed.

"What's ridiculous is you still wearing that costume," Woodrow grinned. "What are you supposed to be anyway?"

Devon scowled down at her Halloween costume. "Hannah wouldn't let me change. She insisted we come and find you two crazy fools." She levelled a glare at Woodrow. "And for the record, I'm a deceased basketball player."

"How fitting!" Woodrow chuckled. "Of course, you're now stuck wearing that for the rest of your days."

"Woodrow, you're not helping matters," Melvin scolded.

"If she stopped for a moment and thought about it, she'd wonder why she didn't get changed last night," Woodrow replied.

"How do we see the truth?" Hannah asked, wanting to get back to the point. "How did you see the truth?"

"I told him he was dead," Woodrow replied. "It rather helped that he knew I too was dead. Punched my ticket a few months previous to him, you see."

"Yes," Melvin nodded. "You two going together is causing a problem. Neither one of you realises you're dead or that the other is dead."

"Will you stop saying dead!" Devon snapped. "Hannah, why are you entertaining this madness?"

Melvin stood up. "Come on, let's take a little walk." He smiled as Hannah fell into step with him. "I think a little show might just convince your partner of the truth."

"What sort of show?"

"One which she won't be able to pass off as a parlour trick." Heading for the main gates of the park, where he knew there would be plenty of foot traffic, Melvin pointed out a man dressed in exercise gear jogging towards them. "A man in a hurry," he said.

Hannah watched as Melvin stood directly in the approaching man's path, stared wide-eyed as the jogger trotted straight through Melvin, stopped and looked back in confusion before carrying on towards his destination. "Oh, my... God!" she breathed, glancing over at Devon who looked bewildered and slightly queasy.

"Feels strange when it happens," Melvin explained. "And can leave you feeling drained."

"Oh, my God, he... he..." Hannah couldn't get her mind around it, couldn't believe it had happened, didn't want to believe it had happened. Instead of over thinking it, she turned her attention to her girlfriend. "Devon? Honey, are you all right?"

The brunette was now bent over at the waist taking in deep lungfuls of air she no longer needed. "Woo, boy!" she puffed, trying to get her head around what she had witnessed. "No, sweetheart. I am so far from being all right it's ridiculous!" She stood up straight. "That guy... he just," she made a trail with her hand, "jogged straight through Melvin like he wasn't there." She looked at Melvin. "You're a magician, right? This is all..." She shook her head, stubbornly refusing to believe. "A trick. It's a trick. You're a couple of con men and this is all serving some sort of purpose to you."

"Bit extravagant for a con," Woodrow muttered.

Melvin waved Hannah forward to the spot he had been standing in. "You try. Maybe that will convince young Devon of the truth."

Hannah sucked in a quick breath and released it, watching two women walking towards her deep in humorous conversation. This was dumb. The two women were going to look up and see her and manoeuvre around and she'd feel like a complete lemon for believing Melvin. Any second now. Any moment. With an unhappy yelp, she jumped out of the way. "I can't! I can't do it! I don't want to be dead! I don't want people walking through me!"

Melvin smiled sympathetically as he moved over to her. "It's all right. It took me awhile to get used to."

"So, I... I'm really...?" Brown eyes filled with tears.

"At the moment, you still haven't realised the truth. You still think you're alive," he said softly. "That will change. It will sink in. The good news is you're not alone. You have Devon to help you through it, to help you come to terms with it." He smiled. "It helped me to have Woodrow. He was a good friend in life and when I died, he explained some things and was around to guide me through my new existence. For you, Devon was your partner in life. Now, she can be that for you in death."

"When I said we'd be together forever, I didn't actually think it would be forever!" The crushing weight of her situation was catching up with her, the horrible truth that life as she had known it was now over sinking in. She looked over at Devon, the woman she loved, the woman she had wanted to build a future with, and wondered if she could spend the rest of eternity with her. There were days when she just wanted to throttle the brunette. She started sobbing.

Swallowing down her hurt at Hannah's reaction to the thought of them spending eternity together, Devon took a step towards her girlfriend. "Sweetheart, if this uhh... if this is our fate, you don't have to spend it with me. I'm sure there's uhh... no rule that says we have to spend every minute of every day together." She looked at Woodrow who shook his head.

"Every now and then, Melvin and myself go our separate ways for awhile. Sometimes you just need some space," Woodrow said, not sure if he was helping or not. He looked from Hannah to Devon and back again. "I personally like to ride the trains. It's a great way to find out what's going on in the world."

"But," Melvin spoke up, seeing his friend wasn't helping matters at all. "We always find our way back together. It's nice to have someone around who understands what you're going through. Someone who knew you in life and is used to your little quirks."

"And it's not like you have to be stuck here on Earth forever," Woodrow put in. "We've seen people move on. Once they cleared up their unfinished business."

"Excuse me." Hannah walked away from the trio, needing some time to digest everything. Needing space to come to terms with the fact that she was dead and that every dream she'd had for her life was now just that. The realisation that the life she had known was over hit her hard all of a sudden and as she took a seat on a low wall, she started to cry, thinking about all the places she would never go, the things she would never experience, the grand wedding she'd planned time and time again in her head that would now never come to fruition.

"Hey, baby," Devon said softly, taking a seat next to her distraught girlfriend. "You okay?"

Hannah looked at the brunette incredulously. "Am I okay? No, not really, Devon. I had a fall, thought I was okay, but it turns out not so much."

Devon shifted slightly. She wasn't good at this emotional stuff, being around crying people, especially a crying Hannah. She had always laughed at inappropriate moments, or run away when things got too deep. "Sorry. Stupid question."

Hannah exhaled heavily. "It was sweet of you to ask," she conceded. "I know this is a huge shock for you as well."

"I'm with you, that kinda makes it better." Devon smiled adoringly as brown eyes turned her way.

"You really are quite sweet when you want to be."

"Yeah. How do you think I got you to fall in love with me."

"I had forgotten my purse and you brought my morning coffee for me," Hannah recalled, smiling in memory. "Told me to pick up a muffin as well, because the day couldn't officially start without something super sugary."

Chuckling, Devon wrapped her arm around Hannah's shoulders and pulled the other woman closer to her. "I'm sorry I never took you to Italy."

"I'm sorry I wouldn't let you get a dog."

"Probably for the best. With both of us dying, who would look after him?"

"Him? You would have made us get a boy dog?"

"Yeah. If we got a St. Bernard...."

"There is no way I would have let you get a St. Bernard," Hannah interrupted.

"Why not? You loved that movie."

"Loving a movie about a large adorable dog and actually owning a large slobering dog are two entirely different things, sweetheart!"

"Well, it would have been a proper dog," Devon insisted. "Not one of those horrible little yappy things your grandmother's fond of."

"What's wrong with Pips?"

"What is right with Pips is the proper question," Devon scoffed. "In fact, now that we're dead, animals can sense our presence..."

"Where are you getting that information from?" Hannah asked in amusement.

"Film and television," Devon replied simply, like it was obvious. "We should go over to your grandmother's and scare Pips." She grinned, a plan in mind.

"Seriously? That's how you want to spend our days? Scaring my poor grandmother's dog?" Hannah asked, unimpressed.

"That and tormenting your mother," Devon muttered.


"Woodrow and Melvin said we have to learn the ropes."

"So you want to haunt my poor grieving mother?" Hannah shook her head. "You're terrible! Why do I put up with you?"

"Because I give you mult-...."

Hannah put up a hand. "Stop. Right there. Unless whatever you're about to say ends with I love you sweetheart, forgive me for being an idiot. I don't want to hear it."

"You're beautiful when you're angry."

Hannah burst out laughing. "You're impossible!"

"And I'm all yours," Devon grinned.

They sat quietly for a few moments, life still going on without them, people oblivious to their presence.

"I... I don't think I can go and see my family yet," Hannah said softly. "What if they're really upset about my death?" She pulled a face. "What if they're not? I can just see my mother surrounded by my aunts telling them she just knew I'd die in a clumsy way."

Devon laughed, thinking that was probably true. She had never really got on with Hannah's mother. Elaine Mulqueen had always thought her only daughter could do better. "I'm sure they will all be devastated. Though...."

"What?" Hannah questioned, not sure she wanted to know what Devon was thinking.

Devon shrugged. "They probably don't know we're dead yet," she said with about as much delicacy as an elephant in a china shop. "In fact, they're probably only just getting up to start the day. You dragged us out of the house at an insanely early time, sweetheart."

"Oh, God! We were supposed to have breakfast with my parents today," Hannah remembered, wide-eyed at the thought of her body being discovered by her mother. "Do you think we should warn them we're... you know, dead?"

"Sweetheart, I swear to God there are days when I cannot believe you're not a blonde!" Devon said, rolling her eyes. "How exactly would you like us to warn them?"

"I'll phone my mother, of course. I'll just tell her...." Hannah trailed off then, remembering why she couldn't do that, realising why Devon was giving her a funny look. "I can't call her, can I?"

"No, sweetheart," Devon said softly, shaking her head. She watched brown eyes fill with fresh tears. "It's gonna be okay, Hannah. I promise."

"We're dead, Devon. My mother's probably going to be the one to discover our bodies, and she'll snoop through our stuff when the packing up process sets in." She groaned. "Wish we'd never brought all those films. She won't understand."

"Never mind innocent films, it's the handcuffs you should be worried about."

Brown eyes widened. "Oh, God! Bloody Amber and her joke gifts!" Watching a couple stroll pass hand in hand, Hannah sighed wistfully. "There's so much I wish I could have done, Dev. I should have quit my bloody job for starters!" She looked at her girlfriend sadly. "I wish I had married you."

"Really?" Devon asked in surprise. "Whenever I tried to bring up the possibility, you never wanted to discuss it."

"I didn't think we were ready."

"Seriously? We brought a house together, Hannah. Is that not pretty serious?"

Hannah shrugged. "I thought we had time."

"We dated for three years before moving in with each other together, then we brought a house. How much time do you think we needed?"

"Don't be angry."

"I'm not angry," Devon said angrily. She puffed out her cheeks. "You weren't sure about me, were you?" she asked softly, heart aching at the thought.

"I love you, Devon. You know that."

"That wasn't what I asked."

Hannah's shoulders sagged as she looked at the hurt etched on Devon's face. "We sometimes argued. There were days when I questioned why I was with you 'cause you drove me so crazy. My mother... I kept waiting for to her come around to the fact that I was in a relationship with you, that I loved you."

Devon stood up, wanting to run away, wanting to forget what she'd just been told. "Jesus," she muttered. "If you'd broken up with me maybe neither of us would be dead right now." She walked away. She had to. The love of her life had just confessed she didn't know why they had stayed together.

Jumping to her feet, Hannah hurried after her taller girlfriend. "Dev! Wait, Devon! At least slow down so I can catch up."

"The whole point of me walking away is to get away from you," Devon said over her shoulder.

"I love you, Devon. Don't you get that? That's why I stayed with you." She caught up with the brunette as Devon's pace slowed. "Ruby and Georgina were forever in your corner telling me what a great catch you were, that despite being occasionally difficult, you were loyal and loving and thought the world of me."

"So you stayed because our friends told you to."

"No, I stayed because I love you and they were right. It wasn't you with the problem, Devon. It was me. All couples argue every now and then, everyone in a relationship has pet hates about their partner, and of course my mother disliked you. You're lovely and she probably couldn't bare the thought that I no longer needed her as much as I used to." She wrapped her arms around Devon's waist. "I love you, Devon. I'll always love you. And if we could, I would marry you."

"You have to always love me, we died together."

"Not true. I could float away."

"We don't actually float," Devon frowned. "In fact, I distinctly remember walking everywhere since last night. Being dead is a rip off."

Knowing her partner was no longer as angry with her as she had been, Hannah laughed. "We could take the train, as suggested by Woodrow. Or the bus."

Devon shook her head. "No way am I getting on a bus, you know how crammed they get. I don't fancy all those people walking through me."


"And we could always get married."

"How? We're dead."

"There must be a couple of priests lingering around somewhere. Not all of them go to heaven you know."

"I don't know that. You don't know that. Besides," she sighed, "it won't be the same. I couldn't wear the dress I always imagined. We can't swap rings. Our families won't know."

"You know, I never realised how negative you are," Devon frowned.

"I'm not negative, I'm..." Hannah sought out a way to describe herself. "Practical."

"Practical," Devon chuckled. "Some people want passion, I get practical."

Hannah smiled. "So you're not going to leave me?"

"No, sweetheart. Think I'll stick around for awhile. But, for the record, if we meet any more ghosts, I am so telling them you are my wife. Can't have some frisky stranger trying to steal you away."

"Deal," Hannah laughed. "So, what now, wife of mine?"

"How about... we jump on a train, free of charge...."

"Bonus of being dead," Hannah put in.

"...and head for the West End. Catch an afternoon show, followed by some window shopping, before this evening we head for the opera or a big name musical we could never get tickets to."

"We want to take me to the opera? You never wanted to go to the opera, you always had some excuse."

"It was the dressing up," Devon admitted. "If I have to go and sit through however many hours worth of dramatic singing, I want to be comfortable in my old jeans and comfortable shoes. And," she grinned, "now that we're dead, I can do just that, so there."

Hannah laughed, heart swelling with love. There were many, many reasons why she loved Devon. And those far outweighed the reasons why she didn't. "Let's go ask Woodrow and Melvin if they want to come with us."

"Seriously? They ruined our lives, you know. We were blissfully unaware of our predicament."

"And now they have to teach us the ropes and put up with you. I think it's only fair." Hand in hand and smiling, the couple headed back in the direction of their two new friends, ready to embrace a new chapter in their existence.

The End.