OREV: (relieved) ... Oh GOD OREV: I wasn’t sure to be WORRIED or SCARED— I THOUGHT you were gonna say that it happened to ANJAY and I was like, GOD, ya finally killed him didn’t ya? You finally just snapped and ya killed somebody in the middle of a match. OREV: But no, it’s yer snake? What’s wrong with yer snake?
Salem hovers at the door to Orev’s office like a child afraid to tell their parents they did something bad.
OREV: (defeated) Yeah, okay. What happened, Salem. What’s goin' on. SALEM: Um, I'm sorry to bother you— OREV: You can come in. SALEM: OKAY, RIGHT—
Salem skitters into Orev’s office.
SALEM: Um— we, uh— W-We won—! The— Uh— OREV: (impressed) That is ... amazing. SALEM: (speechless) Thank you!! But, um ... something happened to ... OREV: (apprehensive) SALEM: ... Angel? OREV: (relieved) ... Oh GOD OREV: I wasn’t sure to be WORRIED or SCARED— I THOUGHT you were gonna say that it happened to ANJAY and I was like, GOD, ya finally killed him didn’t ya? You finally just snapped and ya killed somebody in the middle of a match. OREV: But no, it’s yer snake? What’s wrong with yer snake? SALEM: WELL, I mean, Anjay DID almost die like twice, but— Angel sorta got ... caught on fire.
Salem presents Angel’s shed skin.
OREV: ... That is a, uh. That is not your snake, Salem. That is snake skin. It looks like it just shed. SALEM: Well they’re not HERE, I don’t know where— OREV: They’re not— You LOST your snake?? SALEM: ... I guess? OREV: Well, have you— What have you done to LOOK for your snake, Salem. You bring me a snake skin— What am I supposed to do with this? SALEM: Uh. Um. Oh! Okay, okay, so then they’re ... probably still out there somewhere?
Salem tries to reach out to Angel. They’ve felt this connection with Angel for a long time. They know of a way to reconnect with them, they’ve done this before. Angel usually goes to rest temporarily in a pocket dimension. Salem tries to channel that same type of magic, but get a searing pain in their mind instead. They notice that Orev winces at the same time, for just a moment. He looks at Salem strangely, and Salem realizes that they’re remembering something about the first time they ever interacted with Angel.
When they first met Angel, Angel wasn’t a snake. Angel was an object. Angel was a thin sword that, when Salem picked it up, wrapped around their hand and BECAME a snake.
Salem notices Orev looking at them.
OREV: Salem, I have a very important question: where IS Angel right now.
Salem looks down, around the room – there’s no sword in here, but they notice Orev’s strangely worried look. it contrasts so much with what Orev was just saying ten seconds ago. he was JUST brushing Salem off, saying he doesn’t care about their snake, they lost their pet snake, that sucks I guess – but NOW Orev is like … this is IMPORTANT. What is going on with Angel.
SALEM: Well, I don’t ... know, sir, I thought maybe you might ... know ... OREV: (sighing) Okay, walk me through everything that happened - so you went to the fight, Angel was in the fight, Angel got ... burned? You dropped Angel? What happened? SALEM: Um, they ate some magic, um, and then there was a big fireball, it got a lot of people, it was really big, and Angel was in it, and when the fire was gone, Angel was ... gone. OREV: Okay, so, you probably just ... dissipated the physical form, you can still CALL Angel— SALEM: Well, I tried— OREV: You already tried that? SALEM: It’s not ... working. OREV: It’s not working. OREV: I don’t— I can’t— It’s—
Orev sighs. He is getting frustrated. He’s trying to find answers like he’s supposed to know them, and he KNOWS he’s supposed to know them – but there’s something missing and he just keeps sputtering, trying to wrap his brain around it all.
OREV: Okay. YOU ... have magic. That magic you have also has ... a part of ANGEL. You are connected, there is a BOND. So you just need to CALL on the BOND. And you can BRING Angel BACK. SALEM: ... Right. OREV: I don’t— I don’t know how to— ... I don’t WANT to do the only thing i can think of. i don’t know how to SHOW you how to do this. SALEM: is it— is it something you FEEL like you know how to do, but you can’t put it into words?? OREV: (sighs) MOST of it, yes, MOST of it is there, I just can’t replicate it, and I don’t know WHY— I don’t— I don’t even know why I can’t— SALEM: Can YOU call out to Angel? Can YOU feel them? OREV: I mean, I guess I could try (sighs) I mean I SHOULD, I SHOULD be able to—
Orev sounds like he’s convincing HIMSELF of this. He closes his eyes and focuses … and then shakes his head.
OREV: It’s not— (angry sigh) I don’t know WHY it’s not working, I don’t know WHAT’S not working, I don’t know what’s THERE, I know— I know HOW— I USED to—
Salem puts a hand on Orev’s shoulder, trying to comfort him. Immediately, Orev’s panic eases and Salem feels an anxious energy seep in. When Orev calms, Salem feels a tightness around their chest. As their hand stays there a moment longer, a memory comes into their mind.
In the same moment as picking up the sword for the first time, it feels so much like Salem is remembering – but the body feels wrong. They remember the action of calling on Angel. It is this feeling of slipping a hand in between worlds and pulling something, something that should be kept hidden, out. And Salem watches themself— not themself, SOMETHING—perform this, in the memory. They reach out, and it doesn’t look like anything happens, but Salem can FEEL it happen. And then suddenly, Angel is there. and for a moment it looks like both the snake AND the sword as Salem’s mind tries to makes sense of it.
Orev suddenly brushes Salem off as quickly as he can.
OREV: I— SALEM. It is RULE NUMBER ONE— you don’t TOUCH me— SALEM: Do you feel it? Did you feel that? OREV: I don’t— know what that was, I don’t WANT to know what that was, I want you to get the FUCK out of my office. Go look for your snake somewhere, I don’t know—
Salem tries to recreate the action that they saw in the memory. It’s easy, they get the sense for where Angel should be, where they’ve hidden themself away, and Salem reaches out and calls for them and … wrapped around their hand, a foot longer, is Angel. Salem looks in awe at angel around their hand, and then back at Orev.
Orev is stunned. The look on his face is one of recognition and confusion. He turns away, hiding his face, and pours himself a glass of water until it overflows. He doesn’t say anything else and walks out of his own office, leaving Salem alone. He is struggling with something that he doesn’t seem to be able to wrap his head around. He steps onto the balcony and looks out at the bar, taking a couple of heavy sips.