Monday, November 26, 2012

Survivors Ch.03 part 2

Gavin shut the door as quietly as he could, and was silent. He listened as a swarm of Drained ran by, knocking each other into walls and tripping on their own pale feet. He sighed quietly as the hallway outside went silent. He cautiously moved to the broken windows of the apartment building he was in. He peered out the shattered glass and withered wood. A few drained wandered the street, but otherwise it was empty.

“Damn it, Pike. Where are you?” he whispered.

Pike hit the floor hard, scraping his hands on the rough concrete. He grunted and forced himself back up, his feet scrambling beneath him. He finally got his footing again and headed for the door. He felt the tight grip of a Drained’s hand on his neck, and was jerked back roughly. He heard more than felt the unsettling snap in his neck and winced. As the man began wailing on his upper body with gray fists, Pike tried to crawl away. He finally managed to land a solid blow to the Drained man’s jaw, which sent him falling backwards. Unhurt, he sat up and reached for Pike again. Pike didn’t give him the chance, and was gone before he could do any more damage.

The sharp stinging pain ran up and down his neck and upper back. His hands were bleeding from his fall, and he hadn’t eaten or had any water in the three days he had been evicted from the group. He fell to his knees in the middle of the street, ready to just wait out the rest of his short life in that very spot. He raised his heavy head and looked with sagging, drooping eyes at the crashed van. It had, at some point, slammed into a street light, and the hood was crushed. The drivers side door was flung open, the seat belt hanging not far from the ground. Blood smeared the seat. The back doors had also been flung open, probably by looters not long after it crashed. It had been picked clean of anything useful a long time ago, but there was one thing that drew Pike to it.

It had a mattress.

That simple, stained, bare mattress seemed like the holy grail at that moment. With legs so weak that his knees shook he lifted himself from the dirty ground and stumbled to the van. He pulled himself in, and laid down on the mattress. Several springs jabbed at his injured back, and a corner of the cheap mattress was soaked with some mystery substance, but it was so wonderful it almost made him cry. He sighed a sob of happiness and looked at the doors of the van.

‘If I could just close them, it would be dark,’ he thought to himself, mind dizzy and wandering in the haze that was starvation, dehydration, exhaustion, and Drain withdrawal. For some reason, the dark sounded almost as nice as the mattress. With a shaking hand, he pulled himself up and shut one of the door. He reached for the other, but as he watched his pale hand struggle for the handle, he blacked out.


Gavin had given up. Pike was gone. Subconsciously he knew that the reason he was giving up was because, despite what people used to say on those mystery shows about ‘not knowing’ being the worst part, he didn’t want to find Pike’s mutilated body on the street somewhere. He would rather not know. He didn’t have a whole lot of hope left in the world, but Pike was one of the few sources of the nearly extinct emotion he had left.

He picked up a crowbar off the ground of the apartment he had hid in, and left. The hallways were now empty, and he walked quickly but quietly through them. He stepped out onto the street, bare and gray, and began heading back to the warehouse. He was sure the group wouldn’t be there anymore, but he had nowhere else to go. He had been walking for almost four days, and knew it would take him even longer to get back now that he was exhausted and not well rested like he had been when he left his small band of survivors. He kept his head down as he walked, looking at the ground in front of his feet. It was a dangerous thing to do, especially in a big city like Vegas. But he knew that if he looked up at the ruined decay of the city he would lose it. How was a man supposed to keep his sanity when he had nothing left to be sane for?

As he stepped over a piece of soggy newspaper that had been trampled and rained on so much it was now illegible, he felt the need to finally look up. Before thinking about it any farther, he glanced up. The sight before him made him nearly heave. A large white delivery van sat, crashed on the side of the road, and in the back was a man. A man with black hair that was dull from malnutrition, and pale hands to match. His head dangled off the back of the van, as if he had passed out while attempting to close the door. This wouldn’t have bothered Gavin so much, he had seen more than his fair share of corpses in his time as a survivor it was weird to NOT see a street filled with piles of people who weren’t strong enough to survive. The real chilling part wasn’t the man, but what was next to him.

A one eared orange tabby cat.

“Mongo?” Gavin said out loud. The cat, who had been staring at him the whole time, meowed at him loudly. “Pike!” Gavin broke into a run, reaching the dead man in second. As he lifted his head, he was met with a small groan of pain. Not dead, just unconscious. He nearly cried with relief.

“Pike, wake up. It’s Gavin. Pike, I found you!” He tried to coax the smaller man to open his eyes, but the pale lids stayed shut. A roar from behind him made him shiver. He looked over his shoulder but saw nothing.

“Mongo, get in the van,” he said to the purring cat, who listened and jumped up on Pike’s back, walking down his legs and flopping over on a part of the back of the van that wasn’t covered by the mattress Pike was lying on. Gavin stepped over Pike, and pulled him all the way into the van. When he made sure he wasn’t sitting in some awkward position, he moved to close the door. He froze and backed up when the slender figure of a drained woman walked by. He knew any sound or movement would get her attention, even closing the door. The small sliver of light that was left from the back of the van, allowed her shadow to dance over Pike’s pale face, and Mongo as he stared at the door, tailed puffed up and looking like he was ready to bolt any second. Gavin knew he wouldn’t, he had survived with Pike this long, he knew to be quiet when he needed to be. As the woman passed by, Gavin listened as her footsteps faded away. He sighed with relief and peeked outside, before shutting the door of the van.

Now in the complete darkness of the delivery van, Gavin reached into his single bag, and pulled out the small portable lantern he kept for emergencies. They had very few batteries, but this seemed like a good time to use it. After he set it up for a little light, he pulled out his last bottle of water, less than a quarter of the way full, and a protein bar. The small bars were pure gold in this harsh time. Quick and easy meals meant to fill you up and give you energy. He had found the bar a long time ago, when his group first made their home in the store, and had kept it for a dire time. He figured this was as dire as any.

“Pike, Pike wake up. I have food,” Gavin pleaded. Pike groaned when Gavin tried to hold his head up. Lifting the bottle of water carefully, and flipping the red cap on it up, he carefully dribbled a few drops of water onto Pikes dry tongue. His eyes opened, and Gavin couldn’t help but notice flecks of gray clouds in the once blue eyes.

“Gavin?” he asked, licking his lips in search of more glorious water.

“Shh... just drink,” he carefully held the smaller man while he drank the last of their water. When he finished what was left of the bottle, his eyes were already clearer.

“M-more?” he rasped.

“That’s all I had, I’m sorry.” Gavin threw the bottle aside. Mongo let out a small meow and ran to check out the discarded trash. “Here, eat this. It will make you thirsty again, but you need the energy,” Gavin unwrapped the bar and held it to Pike’s lips. He expected the man to argue and refuse, complaining it was Gavin's last bit of food, but he didn’t. Instead, he graciously took the chocolate cookie dough flavored power bar and chewed quickly, swallowing the bar in seconds.

“Where are we?” he asked.

“A few days away from the warehouse. I went looking for you after Rick made you run,” Gavin anwered.

“The others?” Pike asked, rubbing his head. Gavin was still cradling him in his arms and neither seemed to really notice. Gavin just shook his head in response to the question.

“Are you hurt?” Gavin asked. Pike seemed to think for a minute. What did hurt mean anymore? Hurt meant you were dying. It used to mean you were in pain, but everyone was in constant pain now. You were always bruised, or scraped, or hungry, or thirsty. You were always hurt.

“No,” he said, not sure if he was lying.

“Sit up,” Gavin said, they were speaking in hushed whispers. He supported Pikes back and helped him sit up, the man grunted, and put a hand to the back of his neck. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know... I got grabbed... or something?” Pike shrugged. “I’ll be okay,” he nodded. His hands were crusted in dried blood, and his knees were just as bad. As Gavin looked him up and down, he noticed the black colored veins that ran up and down his limbs. The gray shadows in his eyes were still thick, he wondered if it clouded his vision.

“You look sick,” Gavin whispered, not sure he wanted to hear the words. Pike looked down, anywhere but at Gavin.

“It’s the withdrawals,” he whispered. His hands shook and there was a thick sheet of sweat on his paler than usual skin. Gavin stared at him for a moment, before pulling one of the small vials out of his pocket. Pike’s eyes went wide. Without a word he reached for the gray liquid desperately. Gavin pulled it just out of his reach and their eyes met.

“We need to talk,” Gavin said. Pike glanced at the vial again, and nodded, leaning back against the wall of the van. Gavin lowered the vial out of Pike’s reach, but kept it in his lap. “You lied to me,” he whispered, anger lacing his voice.

“Can you blame me. I saw how you all reacted,” Pike pulled his knees to his chest. It hurt his back but he needed something to hold to keep his body from shaking with pain.

“We reacted like that because you put all of us in danger! All of us, Pike!” Gavin lost his temper and shouted.

“I didn’t mean to,” he whispered. “I tried to stop, I swear I did. But believe me, it gets a lot worse than a little sweating,” Pike wiped his forehead, several beads of sweat falling from his hand and in seconds his forehead was coated again. His cheeks were flushed, the only part of his body that had any color. He looked like a corpse.

“If you just stuck it out-” Gavin started.

“You don’t think I tried? Do you think I just quit until I could find a new vial?!” Pike yelled. Everything went quiet for a moment while they both cooled down to an angry simmer. Pike took a deep breath. “It gets so much worse. Last time I tried I started going blind, and my hearing was going too. My veins get like this,” he held up the nearly white arm with black throbbing veins, “and start to swell until it feels like my limbs are nearly going to fall off,” Pike explained. “I... I saw someone once... who couldn’t find a fix,” he continued. Tears were beginning to form in his eyes and slowly began to roll down his cheeks. “They just rotted away while they were still alive,” he finished in a whisper. “Drain makes you nearly invincible... as long as you don’t stop,” Pike clenched his jaw as he stared at Gavin with cold stone like eyes. Tears rolled down his cheeks faster, and he was rocking back and forth the smallest amount, Gavin doubted he even knew he was doing it. He wiped away Pike’s tears, realizing they were a thick stormy gray color. He pulled him in close for a hug, and pressed the vial into his hands.

“I’m going to go look for more water. Whatever you do while I’m gone is your business. I won't be here for this.” He stood up and opened the van door, vanishing before Pike could say a word.

Pike had gotten lucky. He found a bag of half eaten stale chips, and a whole bottle of water. He had been gone just over two hours and was nervous about going back. He had never seen someone use Drain. Would he be all high as if he was on speed? Or would he be mellow like he had taken sleeping pills? Would the effects still be there after two hours? Would he return to find the van shaking and roars coming from inside?

As he walked down the dark streets, he was happy to see the van was not roaring or shaking. He opened the door, and what little sunlight was left as it set washed over Pike. An empty vial lay on the floor of the van, rolling towards Gavin as it fell out of the van and broke on the street. Pikes skin wasn’t healthy looking, but it was no longer white. The black veins had gone, and his eyes were clear again. He even smiled at Gavin as he stepped inside and shut the door. He had been sitting in the dark before, but Gavin turned the light on now.

“Dinner,” he tossed the bag of chips at Pike, who flinched and lost his smile as Gavin moved to the opposite side of the van and sat down, refusing to look at him. He held the bottle of water in one hand, not opening it.

“G-gavin... I’m sorry... you have to understand I-”

“I don’t have to understand anything. I told you, whatever you did while I was gone is your business. I don’t care,” Gavin snapped. It was a lie, of course. How could he not care?

“Then don’t be a dick to me about it,” Pike snapped back. Gavin looked at him and both of them shared a cold glare.

“Don’t you know how much I care about you? Shit, Pike. I thought it was obvious from a couple of nights ago. That wasn’t just a quick way to get off,” Gavin said. “I wanted to be close to you,” he sighed, and put his head in his hands. It was silent for a moment and then Pike moved. He shut off the light and crawled over to Gavin in the dark.

“I don’t want to know how much you care about me,” Pike said quietly, “because if I care, that means it will just hurt more when I lose you. It’s hard enough to survive in this world now, Gavin. I don’t need to pile on extra grief while I’m at it,” he whispered, obviously having a hard time getting the words out.

“There’s a simple solution to that, Pike,” Gavin said.

“What?” he asked.

“Don’t. Lose. Me.” Gavin punctuated the words with a kiss in the darkness of the van. Pike returned it without hesitation, wrapping his arms around Gavin’s shoulders, and running his hands up through Gavin’s hair. Gavin framed his face and held him tighter. Their tears mixed on their cheeks, and as they finally pulled apart for air, they chuckled a little bit. “I need this, Pike. I need something to want to survive for,” Gavin whispered.

“I know... me too,” Pike nodded in the darkness.

“You can survive for me, and I’ll survive for you,” Gavin whispered. Gavin felt his head move up and down, as Pike nodded again.

“I’m sorry,” Pike whispered again.

“I know... I don’t blame you for it... I just... I’m just angry,” Gavin said. Pike nodded a third time in the dark, unable to force out any words. “How often do you need it?” he asked.

“Every couple of days. It’s getting harder and harder to find though,” he replied.

“We’ll figure it out. Don’t worry,” Gavin said. Pike kissed him again, and they shared another moment of togetherness, before they sighed and Pike slipped down to rest his head on Gavin’s chest. Gavin massaged his neck with one hand, rubbing his lower back with the other. They were lying down on the mattress, propped up on the wall of the van. Mongo purred loudly, and climbed up Pike’s back and laid down on his head, just under Gavin’s chin.

“Can you survive for Mongo too?” Pike chuckled.

“I guess I don’t really have a choice,” he smiled in the dark, and pet the stray alley cat.

“So what’s the plan?” Pike asked, as he pet Mongo.

“I don’t know. Do we try to meet back up with the group or go at it on our own?” Gavin asked. Pike seemed to think a minute.

“We should try to find them. Even if they don’t want me to be with them, you can still-”

“No, remember what we just said?” Gavin asked. “We’re here for each other. I’m with you, no matter what,” Gavin held Pike’s hand to his chest. Pike nodded.

“Okay. Then why don’t we meet up with them anyways. If they reject m... us... then we’re on our own. Or we’re on our own already. Either way, finding them first gives us another potential option,” Pike shrugged. Gavin nodded.

“Where do we look?” Gavin asked.

“Behind you,” Dana’s voice reached their ears. Both men jumped and turned around, looking at the small group of survivors.

“Jesus Christ,” Gavin put a hand over his heart as it pounded in his chest.

“Boo,” David chuckled.

“How did you guys find us?” Gavin hugged all of the members of the group.

“It’s not hard. In an empty city, if it’s not roaring, it’s friendly,” David shrugged. “You weren’t roaring,” he laughed and slapped Gavin on the back as they hugged.

“Yet,” Dana added, bitterly glaring at Pike, who kicked the street with his eyes down.

“Yeah... about that. He can’t quit. I’m not the leader of our group anymore, if you want us back, I’ll gladly take that role again if you want me to, but I’m with Pike.” Gavin wrapped a hand around Pikes slim waist and pulled him to his side. The members of the group all looked at each other.

“Gavin... we can’t risk it,” David shook his head.

“I know it’s a risk. But what isn’t a risk anymore?” Gavin reasoned. They all seemed to hesitate.

“He’s a waste of resources. As far as things go, he’s already dead,” David said. Gavin resisted the urge to lash out at him, mainly because he knew what he was saying was true.

“He’s not dead yet,” he whispered in a low voice. David sighed.

“Whatever, but if anything happens it’s on your heads.” David poked Gavin in the chest and looked at Pike, both men nodded.

“Now, can we please get out of this place?” Another member of the group asked. As mongo hopped out of the van, the group headed for city limits as fast as possible.


Blog update

Reworking the blog for xmas :) SO just hang tight while I get it worked out in the next couple of hours. Once it's done there will be a new chapter of Survivors and check all the tabs because i'll be updating most of them with new info since I Haven't touched tthem in awhile. SOrry for the poor typing, it's freezing in here and I don't feel like making Naughty edit this little paragraph lol.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Angel Hunter Ch.05

Second to last chapter :)


“Shep, honey.” Lex smiled and chuckled. “We need to talk,” he said seriously.

“What now, Sex Offender?” Shep replied, as he put on the thick coat.

“Where am I from, Shep?” Lex asked, as he watched Shep pull on a pair of gloves.

“New York,” Shep smiled.

“No-no-no-no, where is my most RECENT residence,” he smiled sweetly. Shep, knowing what was coming, just smiled quietly. “Hell, Shepherd,” Lex continued, bitterly and voice laced with anger. “Do you know what the temperature in Hell is like?” Lex asked, returning to his sweet voice.

“No, Lex I don’t.” He just smiled as he tied up his boots.

“It’s hot, Shep. It’s really hot. I don’t walk around bare chested for nothing.” Lex pointed at his well toned muscles, covered only in the thick chains he had taken the day Shep had saved him. “It’s really fucking hot, and I like it. That, my good friend,” he stood up, “is why I don’t go to places, LIKE FUCKING RUSSIA!” he screamed the last words.

“Maybe you should write a letter, ask the angels to kindly move to Arizona.” Shep just smiled to himself, not even looking at Lex.

“How much longer are you going to drag me to these God-awful places to get hurt and kill some god damned angel!” Lex spat.

“Until they’re all dead, Lex. That’s what our goal was, remember?” he smiled.

“I hate you,” Lex said, as he opened the door to their small personal plane, and stepped out into the snow.


His bare feet hissed as they were buried in the snow, steam rising from his hot skin. “Lets just kill the bitch, and get the hell out of here. Okay?” Lex waved his hand, tired.

“Of course, your toasty-ness,” Shep bowed, as Lex’s flushed skin began to turn cold. He walked through the snow, not far behind Shep, as it blew in his face. He was glad the angel wasn’t far. Rafael, the third to last angel, had taken up residence in Russia, much to Lex’s chagrin.

“So what does it say about this Rafael guy?” Lex asked.

“I looked him up back in the U.S. of A,” Shep said. “He’s supposed to be a healer. Kind of the sissy-lala of the Archs,” Shep explained. “At least it sounds that way. How bad could a guy with a staff be? What’s he gonna do, hit me with it?” Shep asked.

“No, he’s going to hit me with it,” Lex grumbled.

“You really need to get off this injury thing of yours,” Shep mumbled.

“I will, when I stop getting injured!” Lex stopped walking. “Now what the hell is that?” he frowned and stared at the gray shadow in the blur of the snow.

“I’m gonna go ahead and guess Rafael,” Shep replied, grabbing a feather out of the wind. Instead of being the familiar gray, this feather was pure black. It turned to dust the moment Shep grabbed it.

“Yo, Rafael! Get yo’ ugly face ova here!” Lex said, walking towards the angel. “I’m cold, I’m in goddamn Russia, and I wanna go home!” he shouted, like an angry child.

“Did you just say ‘Yo’?” Shep scrunched his eyebrows together The angel turned around slowly ,revealing a decaying and blackened face. Lex wrinkled his nose.

“Oh Jesus. You might want to see someone about that... you’ve got a little... uh...” Lex pointed to his cheek, the same cheek on the angel had a gaping hole in it where flesh had rotted away. “Man, Shep, do we have to kill this one... he’s kind of sad.” Lex stuck out his bottom lip and looked at the Angel, who just stood there staring at him. He was leaning on a tall staff, completely silent and making no move to hurt either one of them.

“Ugh... Lex, don’t stand near that... you’re going to get herpes or something. Come here,” Shep’s nose was wrinkled too, he waved Lex over like a mother would a child.

“He’s not even doing anything...” he mumbled, barely audible over the howl of the wind and snow. “Hey, you’re Rafael right? The Archangel? Is this 8764, Fuckmeit’scoldoutside Lane? On the corner Getmethefuckoutofhere Circle and HolyshitIhateRussia Street?” Lex asked seriously.

“Lex don’t taunt him. Come on,” Shep said, equally as confused.

“What kind of archangel are you. You’re in the top three man! The dick with the bow put up more of a fight,” he scoffed.

“I am the guardian of two,” the angel spoke, voice weak and dying.

“The guardian of two? What kind of shitty title is-”

“Lex!” Shep interrupted him, yanking the demon back as the angel lashed out with black claws.

“Whoa... somebody needs a mani-pedi. Bad,” Lex sighed. Shep drew his swords and readied for a fight. But instead, the Angel shuffled away, kicking up piles of snow at its feet. “Wait, he’s just leaving,” Lex frowned. “Oh no no no no no, no,” he wagged his finger, walking back up to the angel.

“Lex what the fuck is wrong with you, this isn’t the time for your sarcasm,” Shep said.

“I think this is the perfect time. Sir, Sir?” he called the angel, who ignored him. “Sir, we need to talk.”

“Jesus, don’t torture the poor guy, just kill him,” Shep muttered.

“I heard that and I will deal with you later!” Lex turned and scowled at Shep who whistled innocently, the musical sound lost in the harsh wind. “Sir, you don’t understand. We came from someplace sunny, warm, and it doesn’t smell like Vodka. At least not in the good parts,” he mumbled. “Anywho, I want to get back to that sunny, warm, AA meeting, friendly place,” Lex smiled.

“That’s not racist or anything,” Shep crossed his arms as Lex spoke to the angel.

“So if you can just help me out and at least do something that makes me want to hurt you, or even look at me, that would be awesome,” he smiled, innocently.

“I am the guardian of two,” he spoke.

“You’re a real poet,” Lex rolled his eyes. Shep finally walked up to the two men.

“What do we do?” Shep asked.

“I don’t know, he’s not doing anything. It seems kind of wrong just to kill the guy, right?” Lex asked.

“Yeah... but he is an Archangel. We have to...” Shep frowned.

“Can’t we just... I don’t know, sell him to a freak show or something? He’s got a certain creepiness aspect to him.” Lex poked the angel, it hissed but made no other move. He frowned dramatically and poked it again.

“Stop that,” Shep put his hand on Lex’s, keeping him from poking the angel. It hissed and swiped again, hitting Shep’s hand with a claw, barely breaking the skin. “Ow, bitch. Okay that’s enough of this.” He pulled his sword, and ran it through the angels chest. It stared coldly at him, as it began decaying into nothingness.

“I am the guardian of two,” it whispered, as it turned to dust and disappeared in a mild gust of wind.

“That... that was kind of sad,” Lex poked his bottom lip out.

“Ow, that really hurt,” Shep touched the cut tenderly.

“Oh come on, you big baby. It’s a papercut.” He rolled his eyes and headed back towards their plane. “Come on, I need a mocha frappuccino light, double blended with soy milk and a shot of vanilla,” he mumbled.

“You’re awful,” Shep laughed, and followed him back.

“No, this trip is what was awful. We didn’t see a single bear on a unicycle,” Lex scowled.

“This adventure is chock-full of stereotypes,” Shep rolled his eyes, and climbed into the plane.

“Shep, wake up,” Lex fell onto his bed. “It’s like noon. I’ve been researching the next angel, Gabriel. It looks like he’s somewhere in Chicago. Which is also cold, so that’s awesome in the way that it’s totally not,” Lex said, mouth full of donut. He looked down at the still sleeping Shep. “Shep, hookpants. Get up.” He nudged him with a foot. Finally he rolled his eyes and stood up. “Come on sleeping beauty get...” he pulled the blankets off of the sleeping man. “... up,” he whispered. Shep’s arm was black. The cut on his hand hadn’t scabbed over, and was oozing green and yellow pus. His eyelids fluttered and finally opened, revealing red and swollen eyes.

“Lex...” his voice was weak and he coughed, covering his pillow with bloody goo that had filled his lungs.

“Holy shit...” Lex whispered. “Shep? Shep are you okay?” Lex knelt on the bed. Shep shook his head, hair falling in the red ooze he had coughed up. “Jesus,” Lex whispered, voice cracking with tears. He lifted Sheps heavy head and threw the pillow on the ground, resting Shep back down on another pillow. “Don’t worry, Shep. I’m here. I’ll take care of you,” Lex promised. You’ll be okay,” he added, looking down at the limb that was as black as the Angel’s eyes.


Lex watched as Shep slowly got worse and worse. Soon he could hardly open his eyes, and his arm was completely motionless as the blackness that overcame it climbed across his chest. His breathing became labored and he was filling up bowl after bowl with the disgusting mess that filled his lungs. His nose ran, almost as bad as the wound on his hand. He even drooled. Lex kept applying cold rags to his fevered head, and would walk him to the bathroom, even helping him when he could no longer stand or even tell where he was. It was better than cleaning the bed sheets every few hours. Shep wouldn’t eat, and he had to practically pinch his nose shut to force the man to drink. His skin was a sickly gray and even his multicolored hair was beginning to fall out in clumps.

“Shep... I don’t know what to do,” Lex sobbed. Shep had long since fallen into a deep sleep, unable to be awakened even by Lex’s tears. “I... I have to ask Him. He’ll know how to help you.” Lex stood up. “Just... just stay here and you’ll be okay. Wait for me to get back and I promise everything is going to be okay.” He bent and kissed Sheps sweaty forehead, before squeezing his eyes shut. He opened them again when the sound of Shep’s watery breathing had gone, and was please to see his prayers had been answered.

“Lexington, what’s wrong?” The devil stood from the plain metal table that sat in the middle of the plain concrete room. A dartboard hung on one wall as usual, magically attached to the smooth concrete.

“It’s Shep, you have to help him, please! He’s sick. I don’t know why. I-I think it was the angel,” Lex explained, as best he could through his sobs as he began to panic. The devil shushed him gently and squeezed him tight in a hug.

“It’s alright Lex. You know I can’t do anything to help him... but-” he interrupted Lex when he saw him open his mouth to speak. “But... if you can convince him to follow me... then I have a lot more opportunities to help him,” the devil said. Lex cried harder.

“But he won't!” he shouted. The Devil sighed again.

“Then there’s nothing I can do. I’m sorry.” He stroked his hair carefully and hugged him tighter. “I wish there was, if only for you,” He whispered the last part.

“I don’t want to lose him,” Lex cried.

“Well then I know he’ll be okay. You have a way of always getting what you want,” the Devil chuckled. Lex smiled weakly. “I have other things to tend to, my Lexington. Take care of yourself and your Shepherd.” He smiled, and suddenly Lex was back kneeling next to a wheezing Shep.

“I wish I could,” he whispered. He leaned over Shep and stroked his hair, matted with sweat. “He’s not a bad guy, Shep. Why can’t you just accept it? We could be together forever,” Lex whispered to him as he slept. Suddenly his eyes opened, and his hand twitched, pale in comparison to the red sheets he was lying on.  “Shep?” Lex sat up straight and held his hand. Shep pulled his clammy hand out of Lex’s grip and pointed to the map on the bedstand nearby. Lex looked at it, and by the time he glanced back, Shep was out cold once again. He sighed and picked up the map.

“What? Something in the map?” he asked, though he knew Shep wouldn’t answer. “I feel like I’m talking to god damn lassie,” he grumbled, as he flipped the map over and over, looking for something he hadn’t seen the first thousand times he looked at the stupid thing.

“I don’t know! Shep, I don’t know. I don’t know what you want me to see.” He shrugged and threw the paper down. Shep’s chest heaved up and down as he struggled for air. Lex stared at him, the sound of Shep’s labored breathing filled the room. Lex picked up the map and stared at it again. A small paragraph stood out among the rest of the scribbles on the paper.

Gabriel, the messenger. Guardian of knowledge and the glorified mail-man for the archs.’ The scribbles were in Sheps handwriting. Lex smiled, and then frowned, looking up at Shep. “Is this what you want me to do? You want me to finish what we started?” he asked the unconscious man. He frowned, before grabbing his chains and wrapping them around his torso. He hesitated as he headed for the door, reaching his hand out he grasped the hilt of Solias and was met with the sound of sizzling flesh.

“Mother fucker,” he grumbled, as he looked at his singed hand. “Was worth a try,” he rolled his eyes, and left.


“Austria,” Lex mumbled. “At least it’s not fucking Russia.” He scowled, and stepped out onto the streets, heading to the location marked with an X on the map. He breathed deeply as he wove through the small crowds of people. He couldn’t believe he was doing this. Even with Shep by his side, their ‘mission’ wasn’t a safe one. Going at it alone was insane. He began to wonder why no one had tried this before. Obviously it wasn’t impossible. A determined human and a bored demon had gotten this far. A handful of demons with a plan could have ended it all much sooner... why hadn’t they?

“Because they’re lazy,” the voice said, next to his ear. Lex jumped and yelped, turning to his right. The Devil stood there, clothed in a nice suit with black hair slicked back neatly. He had a small smile on his face.

“What the fuck,” Lex took a deep breath and calmed down from the shock.

“Didn’t mean to scare you,” the Devil chuckled.

“What are you doing here? Aren’t you a busy guy and all that?” Lex asked.

“How is he?” the man in the nice suit questioned him. Lex sighed and looked down at the ground.

“When I left he wasn’t so great. I’m sure he’s worse now. I’m kind of in a hurry, if you’ll excuse me,” Lex picked up the pace.

“Did you hear what I said?” the Devil asked.

“You said we’re lazy,” Lex said.

“No. I said ‘they’re’ lazy,” he corrected him. “You’ve never been lazy, Lex. That’s what I like about you. You were never content with the endless party I provide,” the Devil smiled. “All the alcohol you want with no hang over. All the people you would want to murder, with no consequences,” he continued. “Hell, if your idea of a good time is riding a unicorn through space I could probably make it happen.” He laughed. “But none of those things is what you wanted. You wanted more. Something more that I could never provide you. Something more that I couldn’t even understand.” The Devil stopped walking, and Lex stopped as well. “That’s why you’re my favorite, Lex. I don’t understand you. I can’t understand every choice and thought that crosses your mind, or your wants or needs. Everyone else is an open book. I look at any one of my children, and even Angels, and all I see is their entire being. But you... your book hasn’t been written yet,” the Devil smiled. “And I cannot express enough how excited I am to see how it plays out.” Lex stared at him silently, unsure of what to say. The Devil cleared his throat.

“Anyways, the reason I’m here,” he pulled a scrap of cloth from his pocket, “is because this is what you’re looking for.” He put the cloth in his hand. Lex looked down and frowned.

“What is this?” he asked.

“The picture of the book that has the recipe for the drink you need to cure Shep,” he said, casually. Lex stared at him blankly.

“Wow, thanks. I sure am glad I chose your side,” he rolled his eyes and shoved the cloth in his pocket. The Devil laughed hard.

“Trust me, you’ll need it. Good luck,” and he was gone.

“What. A. Dick,” Lex grumbled, staring up at the rows upon rows of books. “I know you’re listening, and I hate you,” he mumbled under his breath and stepped farther into Melk Monastery Library. The farther he walked into the library, the worse the sickening feeling in his stomach got. The library had a few people wandering around, but wasn’t packed. Even though it was busy enough an angel shouldn’t have been able to occupy the large library, it was obvious that Gabriel was here.

“This is stupid. What am I doing,” he sat down at a nearby table.

“Making a mistake.”

“Okay this needs to stop,” Lex whipped around, to see a slim black woman standing behind him, a small smile on her face. He wrinkled his brow, this wasn’t the Devil. “Who are you?” he asked. The woman smiled, and walked away. Lex stood up and chased her, following her around a corner only seconds behind. When he moved to continue his chase, she was gone. He frowned.

“Leave now, Lex. Your trip was for nothing. You need to be there for Shep, afterall,” a deeper voice spoke to him. He whipped his head around and watched as a blonde haired man scurried behind another row of bookshelves.

“How do you know our names?” he shouted. A dark haired woman turned and scowled at him, letting a harsh ‘hiss’ slide from her lips.

“I know a lot,” a small child to his left said, red balloon swaying gently. Lex narrowed his eyes.

“You’re Gabriel,” Lex replied.

“Shhh!” the dark haired woman shushed him. Lex ignored her again.

“Took you longer than I thought to catch on.” The boy smiled, and with a giggle disappeared around another row of shelves, returning on the other side as an older man.

“B-but... you’re supposed to be the messenger,” Lex said. “I didn’t know what to expect, but it wasn’t... whatever you are,” he frowned.

“This is a library! Shhh!” The woman shook her head angrily, returning to the pile of books before her. Lex scowled at her before turning back to Gabriel, who was now a young blonde.

“You only got to ‘The Messenger’ and stopped?” Gabriel laughed, tossing blonde curls around. “I’m also...” he passed behind one of the large stone statues that decorated the library, reappearing as a young brown haired man. “the man in linen.” He smiled and headed back into the stacks of books.

“A shape shifter,” Lex grumbled. “I’m still waiting for the Arch of fluffy bunnies,” he growled.

“Shh!” The woman seemed oblivious to the conversation going on, only annoyed at the noise. Gabriel laughed hard.

“I’ll pass the message along,” he winked, and vanished around a corner.

“Not necessary,” Lex shifted out of his human shape, and allowed his horns and tail to grow again. He flexed his wings and let Shep’s coat fall to the floor, revealing his bare torso clad in his chains. “Lets get this over with, I have someone I need to get home to.” Lex smiled, revealing his sharp teeth.

“Shh!” The woman turned towards Lex, the hair hissing between her teeth. Her face went a little pale when she saw the demon before her.

“Bitch, I’m busy!” he snapped.


Lex rolled his eyes as he chained the doors to the library shut. Figures, he goes Angel hunting with Shep and they don’t get seen even a little bit. Half an hour on his own and he already chained up three people and the doors shut.

“Look, guys,” he turned towards the woman who had been shushing him before and a few other people who had been unfortunate enough to see him. “I’m not some psycho, you’re not going to be killed or held ransom or anything. Just hang out for a little bit, while I take care of some shit, kay?” He smiled, and disappeared into the stacks. Three angry people screaming at him through the tape that covered their mouths.

“So incompetent, what would Shep think. Can’t even keep yourself a secret,” a voice whispered in his ear. By the time he turned, all that remained were a few gray feathers.

“I’m not incompetent, just impatient.” Lex dragged the chain from his chest and inhaled deeply, ready for a fight.

“What’s the difference? Either way, he’ll never really love you,” Gabriel mumbled, a new voice every time he spoke.

“Is that what they meant by ‘messenger’?” Lex asked. “Messenger of trash talk?” he rolled his eyes.

“Such a quick tongue for such a slow demon,” the voice said, gray feathers falling around Lex’s head as he turned in circles, trying to find the source. As Lex turned to react to the final hiss, he felt a sharp pain in his side. He looked down to see black blood dripping from a cut in his side. He put a hand to the wound and hissed in pain.

“Such delicious blood, like candy to us, you know,” Gabriel appeared, a young woman in a business suit. She licked a sharp dagger, dripping with Lex’s blood. Another identical dagger was in her other hand. Lex pulled the whip from his side and with expert flare, moved the long piece of leather towards Gabriel’s neck. It caught around the slender pale skin and he smiled. How easy could this get?

“Not such a big baddy now, are you?” Lex asked. With a smile, Gabriel slowly melted, bones and sinew falling away, along with the whip, until he reappeared as the little boy from before.

“Who said I had to be big to kill you?” he walked back into a row of books.

“I’m getting really sick of this place.” Lex pulled the whip back to his side.

“What’s wrong, Lex?” Lex’s eyes went wide as the familiar voice floated to his ears. “Eager to get home?” Shep stood before him.

“You’re not Shep,” Lex shook his head. “Isn’t it a bit of a super villain stereotype to turn into the hero's love interest?” Lex asked.

“Is that what you think you are, Lex? A hero? A sinner in life, a saint in death? You think that just because you found a hot piece of ass you’re allowed to change your mind and follow the ‘right path’?” Not-Shep asked him.

“If yours is the wrong one, and don’t even try to deny that, then the Devil’s is obviously the right one, isn’t it? I’ve already followed the ‘right path’,” Lex frowned at Gabriel, who tossed his head back and laughed. The cold stone-like vibe Sheps voice had taken on revealed the Angel’s true identity, it was still eerie.

“There can be more than one wrong, Lex. Didn’t you ever think about that?” Not-Shep asked. Before Lex could answer, he spoke again. “Of course you wouldn’t, do you know why? Because you’re stupid, Lex. You’re stupid and I could, and would, never love you,” Shep/Gabriel sneered. Even though he knew it was a lie, Lex couldn’t help the aching pain in his chest.

“That’s not true,” he said, tears brimming his eyes.

“But it is, true. You’re just some slut of a demon. You’ve already made your choice. You’re a demon, there’s nothing left for you,” Gabriel shook his head. Lex blinked back the tears and realized the Angel had vanished. “You’ll never be loved,” the cold words were whispered in his ear. Lex felt the chill run up his spine and moved, but was a second too late. He spun to the side and dropped to his knees, attempting to avoid the dagger that would slice his throat in two. Too slow, the dagger cut across his right eye. As he felt, more than saw, the second dagger heading towards his side, he reached a hand out and grabbed the holy blade. It burned his skin but he ignored the pain and forced it from the Angel’s hand. In one fluid movement, he turned and lodged the dagger into the Angel’s throat. Sheps own eyes stared back at him, but soon they melted to gray and the true form of the Angel was revealed. With a shriek of pain, nothing was left of the creature but feathers and ash.

Shep vomited on the floor of his bedroom as the foul taste filled his mouth. He blinked hard and stared down at the pile of gray goop that had been forced out of his stomach.

“That tastes like a dead guys ass,” he said, throat throbbing and stinging from his stomach forcibly emptying its contents.

“You would know, shit head,” Lex said, as he stood over the bathroom sink, rinsing out the cup that held the foul smoothie-like mixture.

“What happened?” Shep asked, rubbing his eyes.

“That freaky Russian motherfucker poisoned you. He looked scummy as shit. You probably have herpes now.” Lex filled the cup with water, and looked up at himself in the mirror. His tone was oddly serious from his normal whining and/or obnoxious self.

“Great,” Shep looked down at his arm, that was now back to normal. “What was that shit you fed me?”

“The cure for herpes. Congrats,” Lex gave a small smile.

“Ha-ha-ha,” Shep rolled his eyes with the fake laugh. “Seriously, what was that?” he asked again. Lex pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and began reading off of it.

“The dust of an Arch Angel, eyes of a cat-”

“What?” Shep stared at him blankly. Lex continued anyways

“-tail of a frog, very hard to find by the way. Blood of a demon, easy enough,” Lex chuckled. “Oh, and I added in a little mango for flavor,” he smiled.

“I ate cat eyes?” Shep frowned.

“And mango,” Lex shoved the paper back into his jeans.

“We’re never going to talk about this again.” Shep stood, shaky on his legs. “Where did you get that recipe?” he asked, pulling his coat on over his still pale arms.

“Gabriel,” Lex nodded. Shep frowned.

“I doubt you just knocked on his door and he handed it over,” Shep said.

“No, not exactly,” Lex laughed bitterly.

“You killed him without me, I have to admit I’m a little hurt, Sex Offender.”

“I swear to god I will resurrect herpes-man and put your ass back in that coma,” Lex rolled his eyes.

“You’re hiding something,” Shep frowned. Lex swallowed. “Look at me, Lex,” Shep scowled harder. After a moment of hesitation, Lex finally turned and faced Shep. Shep swallowed and frowned even deeper. “What the hell happened?”

“You said it yourself, he didn’t want to hand it over just because I said ‘please’,” he laughed. Shep let his hand run over the scarred flesh of Lex’s right eye.

“When did it happen? It should have healed, right?” he asked.

“A couple of days ago. Yeah, I thought it would heal too. It just scarred over and it hasn’t changed since,” he shrugged, looking down at the ground.

“Can you see?” Shep asked.

“No, not really. Doesn’t bother me though,” Lex smiled up at Shep. “I’m just glad you’re back to the land of the living.” He swallowed and Shep could tell he was holding back tears.

“Yeah, I’m back,” Shep nodded. “Come here.” As Lex finally let the tears fall, he was pulled into the tight embrace of Shep’s arms.

“I was so scared,” Lex said. “Y-you were sick and I didn’t know what to do and...” Lex finally collapsed into hysterics and all the words he had to say were melted into nothing but sobs.

“I know, I’m sorry. I’m okay,” Shep fell to the ground with Lex, holding him tightly in his arms. He kissed the top of his head and stroked his hair lovingly. He rocked Lex back and forth as he cried into his chest. Soon the heavy gasps and sobs slowed and were replaced with words again.

“H-he... he was a shapeshifter and....”

“And he turned into me and told you that I could never love you,” Shep said. Lex pulled away from him just enough to look up at him with a confused look.

“H-how did you know?” he asked, lip quivering.

“Come on, Lex. Could it get any more cliche?” Shep asked. Lex smiled and laughed, tears still falling. “I’m kidding, I had a dream... I... I think it was the Devil trying to talk to me,” he frowned. “He really does like to play darts, doesn’t he?” Lex laughed again.

“Yeah... he’s a good guy.”

“I know... but this doesn’t change anything, you know that, right?” Shep asked. Lex nodded.

“I know... stubborn as a mule,” Lex smiled and wiped away his tears.

“I hope you also know that... what Gabriel said... that isn’t true,” Shep shook his head. Lex looked up at Shep with wide eyes. “I can, and do, love you,” Shep whispered. “Even if I’m not great at showing it... I love you, Lex,” Shep whispered, ending the phrase with a sweet kiss. He finally pulled away, once Lex’s lips were swollen and red from nibbles and kisses.

“I love you, too,” he whispered back. Shep sighed and stood up, pulling Lex with him.

“One more to go,” he said, looking at the map on the bedside table.

“Yeah... and then what?” Lex asked.

“And then... well, we’ll find that out when we get there, I guess,” Shep answered, taking off his jacket. “I thought we should get a move on now, but... I’m really tired.”

“Me too,” Lex nodded, “and don’t give me that ‘demons don’t need to sleep’ crap. You’d be amazed at how tired you can get even though you don’t sleep,” he smiled.

“Well then, Mr. Sex Offender,” Shep smiled and Lex’s scowl. “How about a nap, and then we’ll go after that big bad angel?” Shep poked his lip out in a pout.

“Sounds like a plan,” Lex smiled. Shep fell down to the bed with a flop, pulling Lex on top of him. Lex laughed and tried to roll over, but Shep stopped him.

“No, this is perfect,” Shep held Lex’s hands to his chest. “Just stay right here.. .just like this,” He smiled as his eyes shut. Lex rested his head on Sheps chest, their legs still tangled together from their fall, but neither of them cared. They were asleep in seconds.