She was beginning to think fate was laughing at her. Ever since Zemud found out about her mom and Kali, he had gotten into the habit of hunting her down - it was mostly to rant because laying a hand on her was a big no-no. It was times like these that she forgets he isn't a hell hound with the way he chased after her. Mrs. Zamora said it was part of being a teenager, but she was certain that threatening to dismember and burn another tenant was criminal and let her know so. That, of course, led to a shouting match involving fire which she made sure to be as far away from as possible. Mr. Zamora ended up being the one to apologize and seeing a full grown Ifrit apologize was disturbing no matter how many times she saw it.
It was on her way back home with groceries when she spotted him on the prowl once again. Wanting to avoid another confrontation, she turned down another path just as she saw him turn in her direction. She wasn't sure if he saw, but she wasn't going to take the chance and hurried faster. In her desire to make a quick getaway, she didn't see what she was getting into until she found herself surrounded by people she could only describe as gangsters. They had been in the middle of an argument when she barged in. Now all their attention was solely on her.
Backing away slowly, she prayed that they would let her go, but when her back collided with something, she internally cried.
"Close your eyes."
Too afraid to disobey, she closed her eyes shut. Now devoid of her sight, she could only listen with bated breath. Suddenly, all around her there was screaming and shouting, but she didn't dare open her eyes. Something wet splashed across her front and she flinched. When the alley grew silent, she dared to crack open one eye only to wish she hadn't. Bodies surrounded her with their innards spilling to the ground. Faintly, she realized she was covered in blood and the only ones left standing were her and a complete stranger.
"Are you alright young lady?"
She dumbly nodded - oh god, he was holding a sword - and watched with fearful eyes as he reached out to her. Fingers brushed strands of brown hair covered in blood splatters out of her face. He slipped the sword back into its sheath and got down on his knees. His pupilless, black eyes seemed to peer into the very depths of her soul and she desperately wanted to look the other way, but couldn't.
"It's alright now. You're safe."
If she wasn't currently worried for her own life, she would have thrown a comment about how it was definitely safe being near a killer. Instead, she chose to give him a shaky smile. "Thank you Mr..."
"Phrynosoma. Call me Phrynosoma."
"Of course Mr. Phrynosoma. Thank you."
"No need. I only do what must be done. Shall I escort you back you your home?"
This would be the time where she would scream no, but she found herself telling him yes. She didn't know what he would do if she said no even if it was a bad idea to let him know where she lived.
With surprising strength, he lifted her and her groceries with ease - he must have super strength, but she had a feeling it was something else - and bounded off while following her directions. In no time flat, they were in front of her apartment and he set her down. Then, with a slight tilt of his head, he was gone, leaving her alone in front of the door. Her hands shook as they forced the key into the lock and stumbled inside. She should call the police, but what if he found out and decided to take her out? Something like this never happened when her mother was around.
Unsure what to do, she decided to pretend the incident didn't happen. It ended up being mentioned in the news and the police had vowed to find the culprit, but she continued to act as if she hadn't been a part of it though she had been terrified to leaving her apartment for several days. Kali - he rarely came over anymore for some reason - had rushed by to see if she was okay and had commented about her strange behavior which she blamed on her finals. She wasn't sure if he had believed her, but didn't push the issues. When many more days passed and there were no signs of Phrynosoma, she allowed herself to relax.
That was a mistake.
Munching on a piece of toast and reading her textbook, she perked up at the sound of knocking. Peeking through the peephole, she froze at the familiar sight of the Silent Killer. There had been several reports about his killing spree and a warning for all citizens to stay alert. So far he hadn't killed any innocents, but no one wanted to test that. Now he was calmly standing outside her door, waiting for her to answer. She seriously wanted to break down and cry, hoping he would just leave her alone. He didn't.
Cracking open the door slightly, she peered up at him. "H-h-hello?"
"W-w-would you like to come inside?"
"I would appreciate that."
Tentatively opening her door, she stepped aside to allow him entry. Once he was inside, she shut the door closed and guided him to the living room. The moment they both sat down, she felt a sense of déjà vu. The last time she sat down to talk to a stranger had been Kali and she was certain he was not a crazed serial killer. Still, with said killer right in front of her, she didn't want to be anything less than hospitable.
"Is there a particular reason you're here for?"
"I would like to live here. Is that amendable?"
Despite the smile she was wearing, she was not happy to hear that. Why did have to come to her to rent an apartment? "Of course. I would have preferred an appointment, but let me get the form for you to fill out."
He gave a nod as she went through the stack of papers she had on the table. It was a good thing she kept some copies with her at all times. Even if she didn't want to be in the same room as him, she didn't dare think what would happen if she did let him out of her sight. Accepting the form and pen, he silently filled out the spaces. Sipping her tea - she was going to have to buy more at this rate - she studied her guest.
His green Mohawk was what drew her attention first. At first glance, it looked normal, but when she looked closely, she could see the resemblance to a lizard's spines. She would have thought they were horns if it weren't for the fact that there were already horns growing out on either side of the back of his head. That wasn't the only thing unusual. Where his nose should be, there were only two small holes which assumed were his nostrils. A strange mark, perhaps it was a tattoo, wrapped around his throat to cover half his face.
"I have finished."
Startled, she looked down to see the papers being presented to her. It didn't take her long to look over, but she could already see some problems. One of them was most of it was illegible to her. It was written in another language, but it didn't appear to be any she recognized, not that she knew that many languages. Still, it didn't look like an Earth language and she briefly wondered if he was perhaps an alien. Another was income.
"Phrynosoma, sir, you haven't indicated anything about income."
"I have no currency to pay you."
Oh boy. This wasn't going to end well.
"Er, well, that's a problem. You can't rent a room without money."
"I have no need for material items. I wish to pay another way."
"Uh, I really can't accept-"
"I will work for you."
She blinked. Then she blinked again. For a second, she thought he said he would work for you. Waiting to hear the joke, she stared him in the face only to come to the horrifying realization he wasn't joking. He seriously wanted a job in return for the room and board.
"I don't have work for you."
"I will act as your bodyguard."
"I don't need a bodyguard."
"I have seen how dangerous the streets are and it would go against my morals to let someone like you to go unprotected."
But killing people is okay?
"I appreciate the offer, but I can't accept. It wouldn't be right to rent out a room to a nonpaying tenant."
"I will not need my own room. Staying in your apartment would be necessary to guard you."
What was her life? Did she do something wrong in her past life to deserve this? She had often wondered when she hadn't been born like everyone else, but this made her really wonder.
"I don't think that would be appropriate."
"I don't understand. My intentions are honorable. Why would it not be acceptable?"
The nagging suspicion she had early now returned at full force. "Phrynosoma, how long have you been on Earth?"
"The past cycle."
"Can you explain that in Earth terms?"
"I believe it would be a month."
"Have you gone to the Bureau of Interstellar Relations to file citizenship or obtain a visa?"
"I do not understand. What is this bureau and what is it for?"
That explained a lot.
I have an illegal alien in the same room as me. Literally.
"It is illegal for you to find a place of residence. You have to register with BIR before you can do anything here."
"Very well." He stood up. "I will go to this bureau and get permission to live with you."
"W-w-wait!" Why on earth was she telling him to stop? "You know you will have to hand over your weapons and you will most likely be arrested for all those murders."
"Why would they do such a thing? I was carrying out justice."
"You can't just decide that. That's what the police are for."
"They are inadequate." He sat back down. "Very well. What should I do?"
Why are you asking me?
"I can't really help you. I'm not an expert."
"This complicates things. I shall simply return to my previous accommodations for the time being."
She wasn't sure what to feel. While she was glad he was going to leave - anyone would if they were in her place - she was also worried, worried for him and everyone else. Despite being a serial killer, he had good intentions. That didn't mean she wanted him around no offense. Still, she wondered how he'd been living the past month if he hadn't spoken with BIR.
"If you don't mind me asking, but where have you been staying?"
She regretted asking. Staring at the cardboard box, she could only stare with shock as he settled down among the trash. It didn't look right to see someone so dangerous acting like a homeless person. There was some many things wrong with the picture that she couldn't even voice them all. How had he been eating? How had he stayed clean? Not only that, but he had chosen a place not too far from where she lived to make his home. When she asked about why he chose this particular place, he replied that it would allow him to get to her quickly if she needed help.
Now he was making her feel bad. Even if he was a murderer, how could she just leave him there when he was doing his best to protect her, not that she needed his protection, without anything in return? He had no one to help him.
With a sigh and knowing she would probably regret it, she said, "This is no good. You're coming with me."
"I thought you said you couldn't accommodate me."
"If it's not official, it should be fine."
Well, at least she hoped it would be. None of the books she got on being a landlord discussed about the ramifications of letting an illegal alien live with you and that wasn't taking the police into consideration. Oh god, she was an accomplice now. Even if she hadn't helped him in his killings, she hadn't reported him and she was now going to house him.
Maybe Kali could help. He seemed to be so knowledgeable when dealing with the law that she had thought he was a lawyer or at least studied it for a time. She could imagine him going to court to defend his clients. He dressed the part.
"Thank you." She was brought out of her musings as she gave him a small smile. "I shall tell the children."
Apparently, the children he was referring to were two kids he had found on the streets and picked up. Not only that, but they weren't young children. They were teens and she could only guess that they ran away from home. When she had invited Phrynosoma into her home, she hadn't thought she would be fitting a family instead. The idea of leaving them, however, wouldn't stick. She couldn't just leave them on the streets and Phrynosoma had taken them under his wing so she doubted he would have let her anyway.
"Okay, what are your names and ages?"
"Oh, oh, oh, I'm Amanda Davis and I'm fifteen."
Okay then. She had an alien serial killer, a (supposedly) hyperactive human girl, and an (supposedly) emo human boy. Well, it could be worse. They could all be serial killers, but what were the chances of that happening? Lisa pretended to not notice the knife the girl was swinging around and the abnormal amount of scars of questionable origin the boy had over his body. They were perfectly normal children who needed a place to live and have someone take care of them. Unfortunately, it apparently meant her.
The first thing she would need to do besides getting them settled in was to enroll them into a high school. She didn't know the legal age of dropping out, but she was certain they weren't old enough to drop out. It might have been possible that they had graduated early except she didn't think so. Not that she would let them drop out even if they were allowed to. They needed a proper education and she was going to make sure they got it so despite all the protests about how they would rather work for their room and board, she made it clear they had to finish school first.
The way Phrynosoma was appraising her, however, made her wonder if it had been a big mistake. His next words provided no comfort.
"You make a good mother."