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.