This set of drabbles is all across the board. o__O Not only are they written in present tense (normally a technique I reserve for the Eastern Front series), but one drabble is really a Lucifer/Beelzebub story with Asmodeus thrown in at the end, and another "drabble" actually turned into a three page long fic. Hmm, my writing definitely seems to reflect my current scatter-brained end of the school semester mental state, but I hope it is enjoyable nonetheless.
026 - Teammates: 137 words
Back in the beginning, before the Fall, there were originally two Angels of Love. Raphael, Angel of Platonic Love...
...and Asmodeus, Angel of Passionate Love.
The two beings had cared for each other dearly. They were friends, a team. At least they were until Lucifer came along. In the deepest reaches of his being, Raphael really does hate the Morningstar for what he did, for corrupting the sweet angel that Asmodeus was.
The cruelest irony perhaps is that neither Lucifer nor Asmodeus even know any of this anymore. The Fall damaged Lucifer and his angels greatly, causing many of them to forget the details of their lives in Heaven.
And now Raphael's heart breaks a little every time he sees Asmodeus. The demon hates him with such heartless enthusiasm, never even remembering how close they once were.
027 - Parents: 323 words
(prequel to drabble 028)
Dr. White washes his hands. Hot water, anti-bacterial soap, hot water. Like any well-trained medical professional, White scrubs with careful diligence rather than that half-assed palm-slapping that most people settle for. Satisfied, he meticulously dries his hands before putting on a pair of ivory latex gloves.
Dr. White—but really the Archangel Raphael—turns around to see a lean, tall demon seated on the hospital bathroom's wide windowsill. Chest plate armor and gauntlets over an inky black robe, the demon is dressed simply (though bizarrely for this time and place). The lightweight fabric shifts beautifully as the demon lord stands. He wasn't in the room a moment ago, but that means nothing. Shadows can go anywhere as can their master.
"Greeting, Marquis Asmodeus," Raphael says softly, inclining his head respectfully. He's not frightened per se by his counterpart's sudden appearance, but he is wary nonetheless.
The Archdemon of Lust wears a strange expression, pinched and on the fringes of being upset. Much more serious than the seductive, cunning Casanova Raphael has grown accustomed to. "Are you...?"
"I need you to heal someone," Asmodeus says, the words clipped and solemn.
Raphael reads between the lines. "A demon someone." The angel has healed demons in the past, but seeing as how they are on opposite sides of a war, it's not something he makes a habit of.
The other being senses Raphael's hesitation and is quick to add, "I can provide compensation should you need it. Though I would prefer to discuss details later, I promise to make it worth your while."
Raphael actual stares a little. Such a somberly presented open-ended deal... Asmodeus really must be faced with something serious if he's prepared to make such concessions, the angel thinks. But Raphael waves the words away. "Please, there's no need for any of that. I will help your friend for free."
Asmodeus's expression is unreadable. "He's not my friend. He's my son."
028 - Children: 1,179 words
(sequel to drabble 027)
With help from the Dis shadows, Raphael and Asmodeus leave the hospital where the angel had been assisting. In less than a minute, they are on the other side of the United States in New York City. Central park to be exact.
Raphael stumbles briefly, the unconventional method of travel gives him vertigo. Asmodeus clasps Raphael's shoulder, holding him up, but there is considerable urgency in the demon's body language as he guides the angel to a bench. Lying on it is an incubus (Raphael can tell by the creature's aura) as are the other two demons leaning protectively over their injured compatriot.
Raphael walks closer to the bench, and at a nod from Asmodeus, the two unhurt demons step back to give the angel some room. The healer kneels down on the grass and reaches to brush tousled hair out of the poor demon's eyes. It's striking how much the prone form resembles Asmodeus. The white skin is the same, as is the jet black hair and similar facial features (the younger demon is clean shaven though). The incubus is dressed as a more modern version of his father, simple but fitted black clothes hug his shapely slim body. Really very handsome.
Save for the gaping stab wound in his chest, of course.
"He was running a message on the fly from Dis when an angel attacked him," one of the incubi offers awkwardly. "Can you...?"
Raphael lays a still-gloved hand over the slightly smoking wound. He can feel the lingering traces of divine energy festering there. A flaming sword then. The little demon is lucky he's not dead already. "I can heal him," Raphael assures.
The healer places both hands on the demon's chest—the unconscious creature whimpers softly at the slight pressure—but then Raphael is pushing energy and reaching and feeling.
Compassion and Power goes through him...
...like a conduit...
...glowing through him...
...as he carefully layers it into the poor demon. Simultaneously, the angel draws the flaming sword's magic out while trying to hold back his own personal energy. The balancing act is difficult though, and Raphael has to dampen his own aura to the point where it's nearly painful (this demon is presently too weak to be able to withstand the Presence of one of God's chosen Seven). Truly, the incubus is closer to death than he looks. If Raphael hadn't been on Earth... If Asmodeus hadn't come for him...
But it's not too late, and Raphael is here. There's no need for what-ifs, and such doubts would only make the healing process more of a struggle than it already is.
Finished at last, Raphael sways on his knees, falling forward against the bench. It was an especially draining healing, and now the angel just wants to lay on the grass and sleep.
Lifting his head from the wooden slats of the bench, Raphael looks at his latest patient who has propped himself up on his elbows and is smiling at his angelic rescuer. His eyes are dazzlingly garnet, just like Asmodeus's, but his face is so expressive and unguarded, friendly even. Nothing like his father.
Asmodeus clears his throat, and the incubus glances up, his expression dropping almost comically. "F-father!" he gasps nervously.
"Zen." Gently but firmly, the demon lord nudges Raphael aside before yanking his son upright by his shirt collar. Shaking the smaller demon roughly, Asmodeus snarls, "What in Lucifer's name did you think you were doing? You're not authorized to be on Earth."
Zen looks up guiltily through his bangs. "I'm sorry, father. One of Beelzebub's assistants wanted me to run a quick missive to Marquis Lekalii in the Upper Eastside, and I didn't think it'd take more than a minute or two—"
Asmodeus shakes his son into silence. "That's right, you didn't think. You lack the training to be on Earth. Just because the shadows will listen to you doesn't mean you should use them to put yourself in danger."
Zen bows his head. " 'M sorry."
Raphael gingerly pulls himself up onto the bench. "I never thought I'd say this, but Asmodeus is right. You were truly in sorry shape before I healed you."
"You certainly address my father casually..." Zen looks his unassuming rescuer up and down. "Who is it exactly that I should be thanking?" the demon inquires curiously.
Red eyes go wide. "The Raphael?" The young demon looks impressed. "You're really him?"
The angel smiles wanly; the healing really did take a lot out of him, but Zen's reaction is still amusing anyway. "Yes, I am."
"And now it's time for you to go back to Dis—and stay there—and later we will talk," Asmodeus orders curtly.
Zen winces, but a second later the incubus is summoning his sire's trademark mode of travel, the Dis shadows. Before disappearing he offers a grateful smile to Raphael. "Thank you."
Once his son has left, Asmodeus turns to the other two demons. "I am grateful to you both for summoning me, and I shall see to it later that you are appropriately rewarded for your efforts. For now though, you are dismissed."
"Yes, my Lord," the two incubi reply, bowing as they turn to leave.
Alone at last, Asmodeus settles himself on the bench next to Raphael. With a sigh, the marquis bends forward, head resting in his hands. The two beings sit quietly like that for many minutes. Central Park is very pleasant in the spring, warm, and with all the trees around, it is almost impossible to tell that one is in a big city.
When he finally regains his breath and some color in his cheeks, Raphael is the first to speak. "I never knew you had a son."
Asmodeus laughs tiredly, raising his head and sitting back against the bench. "I don't see how you're surprised. It's not as if I live a particularly chaste lifestyle."
Raphael smiles a little. "Well, when you put it that way..."
"I actually have a few children," Asmodeus elaborates. "Zen is the youngest. And also the most innocently naive," the Archdemon adds irritably.
"A most peculiar demon."
"Indeed. Normally I find his unusual disposition endearing, but not when it interferes with his common sense." Asmodeus sighs again. "Despite being the least powerful of my handful of offspring, he's the only one that shares my affinity with the Dis shadows."
They fall silent again. It's certainly a side of Asmodeus that Raphael hasn't seen before. Who would've thought the Marquis was a father...?
"Can you stand?" Asmodeus eventually asks. "Would you like me to take you back to Oregon, healer?"
"Yes, I can. And please do."
The vertigo is a little worse now that Raphael is so tired, but he gently waves away Asmodeus's concern.
"Don't worry," the angel tells him. "With some rest, I'll be alright."
"As you like then. And Raphael...? Eh...thank you."
"You're welcome," the healer replies kindly.
Asmodeus shifts awkwardly and nods a short good-bye before his ever present shadows sweep up around him, and he descends back to Hell.
029 - Birth: 445 words
Lucifer lounges on a plush, round bed. Pillows are piled in little heaps around the demon, and smoky candlelight colors the room with an amber glow. Beside the King of Hell lies Beelzebub. Flopped on his stomach, the smaller demon curls contentedly against Lucifer's side.
"This is a rather unusual setting for a meeting, my Lord."
"True, true," Lucifer purrs, idly reaching over to run his fingers through his companion's blue-black hair.
Beelzebub hums appreciatively, tilting his head into the touch. But still he fidgets. "Art thou going to tell me why thou hast called me here?"
The Devil laughs. "So impatient. Sloth truly is not your sin, my friend."
"And thou shouldst indulge in it less often," Beelzebub harrumphs, sliding closer to his lover. "Then maybe I shall curb my impatience. Maybe."
"Nay," Lucifer replies, rolling onto his side so that he can wrap his arms around the petit demon. "I prefer you greatly just as you are, my fierce Wrath." Lucifer thinks briefly (painfully) of their not so distant Fall and how Beelzebub had thrown himself with such uncharacteristic recklessness into the Pit after his Lord. Fierce indeed.
"Mmm, Wrath. We would do well to consider appointing demons to the other positions of Vice," Beelzebub suggests. "Right now 'tis only Astaroth and I."
"Ah, my perceptive comrade, that is exactly what this meeting is about. However, rather than simply appoint those already present, I have something more unorthodox in mind."
It happens not three days later. Lucifer stands in the central courtyard of his palace, arms linked with his two most powerful subordinates: Astaroth and Beelzebub. Lightning flashes from the burgundy blanket of clouds that are ever-present in the sky overhead. Wind stirs as the three demons begin to chant, led by Lucifer. Dark words, eldritch words, and the very ground shakes and splinters before the three beings. Dirt rises up in sludgy columns, shifting and coalescing into various forms.
"Ha!" Lucifer crows skyward. "See this, Old Fool? The Power of Creation is no longer solely Yours!" An ecstatic, almost manic, expression covers Lucifer's face as his new minions take shape, and the Devil names his creations one by one as they rise from the mud and dirt.
"Leviathan, Archdemon of Gluttony!"
"Belphegor, Archdemon of Greed!"
"Belial, Archdemon of Envy!"
"Rosier, Archdemon of Sloth!"
And finally the last devil, but shadows rather than the soil form him. With jet black skin and slender elegant limbs, he is undoubtedly a creature in their image.
"Asmodeus, the Archdemon of Lust."
Snakey red eyes blink and a purple mouth smiles revealing frighteningly sharp fangs. "My Lord Lucifer," Asmodeus murmurs respectfully as he rises from the ground.
Author's Note: I was thinking about some of my really old (like six or seven years old) Bible stories when I wrote this. In the original "official" A/R timeline, Asmodeus was not a Fallen angel but rather a demon created by Lucifer. Although I dropped the plot device back in 2007, it's still fun to play with in the occasional AU.
030 - Death: 147 words
[Warning: references to non-con!]
(sequel to drabbles 009, 015, 019, 022)
Raphael lies like one half-dead in the bed where Asmodeus had left him.
He's never felt so alone in his life.
The weak angel clutches pale, silk sheets around his tired (treacherous) body and curls under them. He draws the sheets over his head until he's completely covered, cocooned in softness with the rest of the dimly lit room blotted out.
Miserably, Raphael draws a shaking hand across his bare hips and the sticky mess drying there.
He's never felt more alone or ashamed in his life.
How could he have let Asmodeus of all people...? But no, it wasn't like that. The demon had forced him. It wasn't Raphael's fault...
Folded wings pressed tightly against his back, the angel fists his hands in the bed linens, wrapping them as tightly as he can around himself. Shielded by silk and silence, Raphael finally breaks down and weeps.
ETA: And don't forget to check out my drabble request post too! *grin*