Once again thanks to my fantastic editor, Couldnt do it without you!
'What the hell just happened?' Steve thought to himself. A minute ago his boyfriend had turned into a demon and now he was alone. He looked around but nothing indicated either of the two men had been in the room. The smell of sulphur filled the room and Steve scrunched his nose at it. He stood from the couch and moved to the front door. He stepped out and looked up and down the street. He wasn't sure what he was looking for. He began walking and before he realized it, he was at the park a couple of blocks away from his school.
He sat down on a bench to catch his breath. It all happened so quickly he had no time to adjust. He didn't notice when the figure sat beside him.
"Hello." The boy sitting next to Steve said.
"Wha...uh...hi." Steve said hoping he would go away. He recognized the boy from his school. He mentioned him to Stoph.
' Not Stoph.' He corrected himself
"My name is Michael." The boy introduced himself.
"Steve." he replied. Still wanting the boy to leave.
"Yes I know. I know your friend, Stoph." Michael said staring at Steve's face.
"That's not his name...." Steve thought out loud.
"Ah, He told you." Michael said nodding his head and looking out at the field he and Mephistopheles had stared at while talking.
"What? You know?" Steve said coming out of his trance.
'Maybe this kid knows about Stoph.....Er..... Mephistopheles.' He corrected himself.
"Yes, we used to have the same boss." Michael said.
'Oh no. Another demon?' Steve put his head in his hands. Michael chuckled. A musical sound.
"No, I work for a higher power." When Steve gave him a confused look he glanced at the sky and then back down at Steve.
"God? You're an angel." Realization struck Steve. "Michael." Steve nodded. "You guys with secret identities have a real sense of humor you know that." Steve shook his head.
"Well we have to have some fun, right?" Michael smiled. Steve shrugged.
"Can you tell me what the hell..sorry...just happened?" Steve asked. Wincing at the swear.
"It's alright. And yes I think I can let you in to what's going on." Michael smiled.
"Mephistopheles made a deal with The Devil. If he told you who he really was and what his job is, and you still loved him, then He would let you be together....but if not...." Michael trailed off.
"Then he goes to hell." Steve nodded.
"No, actually, YOU go to hell. What I don't understand is if you're not with Mephistopheles, then you must have said you didn't love him. But then why are you here?" Michael queried. Realization struck Steve.
"He traded places with me..." Steve gasped.
"Ah..... despite some bad decisions. Mephistopheles is a good man...demon...thing...." Michael said before shrugging it off.
"He...he protected me. But he had no right to bet my soul in the first place." Steve scowled.
"If it's any consolation it was tearing him apart trying to decide what to do. He wished he could take it back." Michael told Steve.
"He did?" Steve said, shocked.
"Yes, the day before he told you, we talked here. Mephistopheles and I are mortal enemies. He's the Demon lord of fear and death. I'm the archangel in charge of ridding the world of things that cause fear. But that day he begged for my help and advice. What he feels for you is real. I'm not surprised he took your place." Michael nodded.
Steve felt the hot tears pour down his face. Michael got a far off look in his eyes.
"I apologize. I must leave. I wish you the best though. Remember that Mephistopheles took your place so you could live. Don't waste his gift." Michael said before walking off. Steve sat for a moment crying silently at the mistake he had made. He did still love Stoph.
After a moment he stood and headed home. His parents knew something was wrong. His teachers knew. His friends too. But he told no one of what had happened. Francis pestered him for weeks, asking about Stoph and what had happened. Steve shut him out. Over time Steve realized Michael was right, he couldn't waste his life grieving for a mistake. Soon people stopped asking and Steve moved on.
But old wounds are opened easily....... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 10 years after Steve last saw Mephistopheles...
Steve arrived home after a long day of work. He stepped inside the house his parents had given him when they moved to Florida. He took off his police uniform and took a hot shower. Stepping out of the shower with a towel around his waist he lay down on the bed. The towel fell from his hips and he crawled under the covers naked. He reached for the remote to his stereo and turned on 'Mephistopheles' by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Following the same pattern he had followed since Mephistopheles gave his soul to save Steve, he listened to the music build and climax. He knew the story by heart now. It was the story of Mephistopheles and Faust. But Faust was replaced by Beethoven for this version of the story.
Beethoven sold his soul for amazing musical genius and when the time limit on his powers went up he was given the choice of destroying his life's work and no one would remember it, or going to hell.
Steve wondered if Mephistopheles saw Beethoven in hell.
Steve sighed as the song finished and rolled over and fell asleep. He didn't dream.
Steve woke up at 6:00 am and hit the button on his alarm clock.
'Who the hell invented alarm clocks anyways. Horrible way to wake up.' Steve thought. He rolled out of bed and quickly dressed in his officer's uniform.
He walked into the kitchen and made himself a cup of coffee. Sipping it as he finished getting ready he fed his fish (he wasn't home enough to care for a more social animal like a cat or dog).
He glanced at the picture that sat on the windowsill. It was a picture he had taken of himself and Stoph back in high School. Everyone always gave him odd looks when they saw the picture. It was of him and Stoph sitting on Stoph's bed. Steve's arm wrapped around Stoph's shoulder. But what Steve didn't know was that Demon didn't show up on film. The place where Stoph's slim body should have been looked like dead air. But Steve knew he was there. And it comforted him to look at the picture.
He realized he was running late and took off to the police department.
"You're late." Francis said as Steve finally walked in.
"Yeah yeah I got distracted." Steve said.
"With what? No girlfriend, no boyfriend, no kids, even Michael isn't that interesting." Francis laughed referring to Steve's fish.
"I'll have you know Michael can be quite the chatter box during poker night." Steve said. "What are we doing today?" Steve said to his partner as he prepared himself for the day.
"You have no say what happens to him, it was his own fault." Lucifer growled at Michael and Gabriel.
"I have orders from the big man upstairs." Michael said, wings shifting uneasily. He did not relish being downstairs. It smelled of sulphur and death.
"I don't care what He says. He has no right! He is here of his own free will." Lucifer roared.
"Then why don't we ask him." Gabriel stepped forward.
Lucifer growled as the superior archangel stepped forward, snow white wings flexing, showing the muscle under the soft feathers.
"Fine." Lucifer scowled at the angel and waved a hand. Mephistopheles appeared at his feet, naked. Covered in burns and scars of all sorts, he whimpered quietly and shook on the floor. Michael swallowed loudly.
"Mephistopheles, it's Michael. You remember me, yes?" Michael tried to get the small quivering form's attention.
"Be sober.....adversary the devil.....roaring lion.....whom...devour....." Mephistopheles mumbled, words being lost or cut short due to his shaking.
"He's gone mad." Michael looked towards Gabriel for help.
"How are thou fallen from heaven......morning....cut down to the ground....weaken the nations......" Mephistopheles curled into a tighter ball. Not acknowledging any of them.
" Mephistopheles, please. You must pull yourself together, we wish to help you!" Gabriel stepped forward pushing Michael out of the way.
He lay a gentle hand on Stoph's shoulder. Stoph winced and screamed.
"Black as it stood as night, fierce as....furies, hell, shook....dreadful dart...kingly crown.....Satan....Satan...now at hand." Mephistopheles slowly looked at Lucifer.
"He's quoting bible verses." Michael realized. Gabriel glanced at him.
Lucifer hissed at Mephistopheles and he quickly turned his eyes down.
"Accursed be he who plays with the devil." Mephistopheles whispered looking like the small pebbles on the ground were the most interesting thing in the world. He studied them closely.
"Mephistopheles, do you not remember? Stoph....Stoph!....do you remember Steve?" Michael asked.
At the mention of Steve's name Stoph froze. His mutterings stopped as did the shaking.
"Steve...." His brow scrunched like he was trying to remember where he left his car keys.
"Let us not love with words or tongue....but....but..." Mephistopheles paused as if he couldn't remembered
"But with actions and truth." Gabriel finished. Mephistopheles glanced at him, he held his gaze for a moment, before it dropped back down to the pebbles and his shaking resumed.
"We are taking him." Michael reached for Mephistopheles.
"You have no right. He is my property I own him!" Lucifer stepped in front of the quivering mass that used to be a proud demon.
"No, you don't. You won him in a deal which you made on a human's soul. That's not allowed, the boy had not committed any major sins. Your deal is invalid, meaning your....winnings...are as well." Gabriel stepped up to Lucifer and spread his wings defiantly.
"Step. Aside." He growled without shifting his gaze. He stood several inches shorter than Lucifer but his wings made up for that tenfold.
Lucifer thought a moment. And with a scowl moved aside from Stoph.
Michael picked him up and cradled him to his chest. Mephistopheles made invisible swirls on Michael's chest armor before shaking, and burying his face in Michael's neck.
"Stay away from him and Steve." Gabriel said before he took off, followed close behind by Michael.