[ Master Post ]
Title: Livening Up the Party
Characters: Nico ♂, Lucian ♂, Gabriel ♅
Rating:T" width="32px" /> (L1 N0 S2 V0 D1)
Warnings: Heavily-implied totally-alien eroticism. Nothing particularly recognisable as smut. Also, reaching through someone in a non-violent way.
Notes: I had no idea where this was going. I just started typing, and this happened, which is kind of how that’s supposed to work. Nico and Luci decide to catch up with their other favourite angel, who is known for improving the party atmosphere, in … unexpected ways.
[ Master Post ]
Another late night in a night club, with the angel of light and truth and the gallery of Magdalenes. Nico supposed he should call them something else, since they really didn’t remind him of his first wife, at all, but ever since Lucian said it, it had just stuck. Pretty things with perfect faith and a thousand hungry questions. Take the easy ones, first, this time, Luci had told him. Do what you always did, but make sure someone is watching. And with the gallery, someone was always watching, to his lasting displeasure. He found the constant company made it much more difficult to ask questions about the family — at least questions that shouldn’t have public answers.
Still, as he watched some pretty young thing of indeterminate gender spin across the dance floor, there was one question he had to ask. "What ever happened to Gabi? I haven’t seen it in probably a decade."
‘It’. That was the thing with Gabriel. So many angels had cast themselves as male or female, when they walked among humans, but Gabriel had held itself above all that ‘gender nonsense’. Writers still often wrote of ‘him’, but it just laughed at the limited human conception of the universe that seemed to force binary perceptions. Gabi was a little weird, all told, and the weird had gotten it into all sorts of trouble across the past several millennia.
"I don’t know. Did Dad kick them out again?" Lucian laughed. It wouldn’t be the first time Gabriel had been cast down. "We should find them. The party’s always better with Gabriel."
Nico took in the gallery of Magdalenes, and smirked at his brother. "I have a terrible idea. Do you remember that prayer?"
"Which one? I know a lot of prayers." Lucian looked confused, but leaned over his drink toward Nico.
"The one Gabriel always answers, if it’s loud enough. The one we’re not supposed to teach people." Nico gestured to his adoring fans, one hand still holding something strawberry flavoured, decked out in fruit and paper parasols.
"Your father—" Dad was always Nico’s at times like this. "—will kick your ass."
"You’re assuming he hasn’t kicked Gabi out again. None of them are going to live long enough for it to make a big difference, either way." Nico shrugged.
"I’m assuming someone’s going to put it on YouTube, and Gabi’s going to spend the rest of eternity with its boot up my ass," Lucian complained.
"Oh, come on, Luci. Like the two of you can’t solve a little YouTube problem."
"Light and truth. Nowhere in this description is there anything about electronic devices."
"Isn’t the internet Gabi’s dominion?" Nico teased, swigging his drink.
"Nico? I love you, but shut your face before someone hears you. That is the last thing Gabi needs getting around." Lucian poured the rest of his brightly-coloured drink down his throat. "It’s also not true. Gabi’s his messenger, not the messenger. Patron of telecom workers, but not the equipment. You want one of the Lords of the Crossroad, and nobody wants to do business with them. Especially not for something like this."
"I still think it’s a good idea." The thought was punctuated with a stab of a fruit-loaded stirrer.
"Have another four drinks, and then tell me it’s a good idea. Don’t commit to anything you can’t agree with yourself about drunk and sober." Lucian looked like he might ramble on, but for the sudden arms wrapped around him from behind.
Soft curls spilled over Lucian’s shoulder, around a pointed chin, and one hand hooked into his collar while another grabbed his belt. "You were always the master of commitment, Lucifer." A curious, bi-tonal voice slithered down Lucian’s spine. "Almost got you killed, didn’t it?"
"Merciful mother!" Nico gasped, suddenly crouched on his toes atop the barstool he’d been seated on, just seconds before.
"I heard you taking my name in vain, Yeshua," the voice continued, slightly out of sync with the mesmerising lips from which it emanated.
"Dammit, Gabi, my name’s Nico." The rest of the strawberry slurry vanished into Nico’s mouth and the glass clinked down against the bar. He stuck a fiver between two slices of pineapple, as a signal he wanted another.
"Of course it is. I met your mother. She was very stubborn. ‘Nicholas’, she insisted. Wouldn’t even hear of naming you otherwise." Gabriel turned its head and nibbled on Lucian’s ear. "Tell me, o, light of truth, how fare you?"
Lucian looked like he had a viper wrapped around him, rather than another archangel. The first sound out of his mouth was wholly unrelated to any human language.
"So, why is it," Nico interrupted, hoping Gabriel would stop doing whatever that was to Lucian, "that you’re suddenly hearing me? Or is it just that you’re suddenly paying attention?"
"You haven’t spoken my name in a very long time. I thought you’d forgotten it," Gabriel teased, voice strangely melodic.
"Oh, come on, Gabi. Like I’m going to forget you. I just … didn’t want anyone looking for me, until I found Luci, you know? None of the rest of the family. And dad’s going to have us for lunch, when we get back home. Well, me. I don’t know about you. And he’s not going home.
"I come down here to adjust the word, and I go looking for the two of you, first thing. Unrepentant and trouble." Nico pointed to each of them in turn. "I’m practically asking for it."
"Did you imply I was repentant? I forget. You weren’t there for that. Or the other time. Or the time before that…" A hint of a smile touched Gabriel’s lips.
"Or that Dhu’l-Halasa affair?" Lucian finally found his voice.
Gabriel laughed, a sound like a flock of songbirds, all slightly off-key, and the gallery of Magdalenes looked around for the speakers, trying to figure out what the DJ was trainwrecking. "I was bored. Our father thought to punish me for my interpretation of his word. I became strangely popular in Yemen, and they put up an enormous statue and a temple to my prophetic talents. I smoked hashish under the full moon and spoke of all the things that no one would say. But, I never once gave anyone a straight answer. That would’ve been breaking his rules. No prophets of his house, but his prophets. And one day, he sent Dobiel to bring me back — as if Dobiel hadn’t been misusing my authority, in my absence. I believe I argued. Thrice. But, he, himself, is not a Power to be denied for long."
"You should have seen the face of heaven when they told Mohammed to knock down the statue."
"I spent another two hundred years drinking mint tea in Mecca, after that. He was not pleased with my choices." Gabriel’s face shifted into a supremely artificial expression of tragic regret, which made Nico’s skin crawl. "The prophet’s men killed everyone in the temple."
"You two are kidding, right?"
"You must understand, little one. Our father is the I Am. I prefer to think of myself as the I Might Have Been, But I Was Drunk At The Time."
"No, Gabi, that’s me. You’re the I Might Have Been, But You Weren’t Looking."
"I Might Have Been, But You Were Drunk At The Time." Gabriel laughed again, and the Magdalenes still wouldn’t look in the right place.
Nico watched them look for the source of the sound. "Why can’t they see you, Gabi?"
"They can see me. They just don’t have the capacity to understand what’s happening. They’re human, and the message isn’t for them. I’m talking to you." Gabriel reached across Lucian and stole the drink Nico hadn’t been paying enough attention to notice. "They see what they need to see."
"And everything in an eight block radius can hear you laughing," Lucian pointed out. "You’re still doing that, aren’t you?"
Gabriel swilled the drink, tipping its head so it wouldn’t crack Lucian in the face with the glass. "I’m an angel, Luci. Of course I’m still doing that."
"Luci doesn’t do that," Nico protested.
"Luci cares enough to make the effort."
"You just like scaring the shit out of people." Lucian snatched the strawberry whatever the hell it was and took an enormous swallow.
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to frighten a person so much they actually defecate?" Gabriel complained, voice forking into shards in several octaves. "If I wanted to do it, it would be done, but it requires much more than just the broad presence of my amusement."
"Much less, you mean. Much less effort."
"Yes. Much less effort, because it does not require that I contain myself. How do you tolerate it, Morningstar?"
"Much as you did, all those times he locked you out. I drink heavily. I debauch the desirous."
"I preferred hashish and confusing the desirous."
Lucian grabbed a fistful of Gabriel’s curls, smacked their drink onto the bar, and pointed sharply, with his free hand. "Do you see this angel, Nico? Don’t let this flippant ennui fool you. They did what I couldn’t do, and did it so well, our father kicked their ass."
"We were made to love him, bright one. You just did it too well. He had no patience for reminders of his inconstancy, and I paid for being inconstant for him. I knew he didn’t want what he was asking of me." Gabriel pressed its nose against Lucian’s ear. "Now, let go of my hair, before I force your wings out."
Gabriel forced its hand through Lucian’s chest and picked up the drink, leaning a little further over his shoulder to swig the last of it. "You’d be surprised what I’d do. And what they won’t see."
Several seconds passed before Nico wrapped his mind around the scene. "Gabi! Don’t hurt him!"
"I’m not hurting him. He can’t be hurt but by our father’s will. Just like me." Its hand reached out and set the empty glass back on the bar. "I’m just rearranging him a little, on the subatomic level."
Lucian gripped the bar tightly in one hand and Gabriel’s other hand in his other. His head tilted down, and he appeared to be hyperventilating.
"So human, since last we met. You’ve been practising!"
"Gabi, get your arm out of the flesh of this body. I’m using it," Lucian panted.
"I like the feel of it. Very well-made, Luci."
All the hair on the back of Nico’s neck stood up. "Luci? I thought you said Gabi always made the party better. This doesn’t look better."
Gabriel laughed, and every speaker in the club squealed.
"This is — the kind of better — it shouldn’t be — in public." The words scattered out from Lucian’s lips in short bursts.
"Oh. … OH. Are you—? Did —? Gabi!" Recognition made way for horror very quickly, and Nico gaped, scandalized, at the two angels beside him at the bar.
Lucian shuddered violently, baring his teeth, and slammed a hand behind himself. From where Nico was sitting, he couldn’t see. He doubted anyone could see, with how close Gabriel was wrapped around Lucian’s back, but the look on Gabriel’s face combined with the music taking a sudden swing into breakbeat and a bottle exploding behind the bar gave him an excellent clue.
"Get a room!" Nico bounced a slice of lime off Gabriel’s forehead.
The Magdalenes tried to focus on Gabriel, as the lime bounced off, but it dismissed their eyes with a flick of its hand, and they returned to murmuring among themselves and dancing.
"So you want to play this game, Lovelight?" Gabriel hissed, melodic echoes chasing the words.
Lucian’s fingertips started to split the lacquer on the bartop. "You started it. — Get your hand out — or — or I’ll finish it, right here." He paused to catch his breath. "And I’ll make them watch."
"Kinky." A ghastly smile lit Gabriel’s face. "But, you don’t want them knowing you’re an angel."
"They already know I’m a sorcerer." Lucian snarled, doing something invisible with his hand.
Gabriel shrieked — at least Nico thought it was a shriek — head thrown back, waves of light and force knocking the glass off the table, splintering the lacquer on the bar, and blowing the treble cones out of every speaker in the room. Glass shivered and shook, but didn’t break, except when it fell. The eyes of the Magdalenes pulled toward the compelling lure of Lucian’s will, as Gabriel’s body discomposed itself around a blinding column of light. The air distorted visibly, out from that column, in curves and streaks reminiscent of a hawk’s wings — several hawks worth of wings.
Gabriel re-coagulated, like the inverse of an exploding mass of rags and droplets. The light went out, and the room fell comparatively silent, as the booth crew tried to figure out what had happened to the equipment.
Nico let out a sharp breath of amazement and turned to the bartender, who hadn’t seen what the Magdalenes had. "Looks like an electrical fault. I know a guy, if you guys don’t have someone on call." He took a card bearing the number of an excellent sorcerer out of his wallet and slid it across the bar. "Tell him it’s a shielding problem."
"How do you know?" the bartender asked, picking up the card.
"I’ve seen things like this before," Nico replied, turning back to where Lucian was using the opportunity to brag about his sexual prowess to the Magdalenes.
"— and if you’re not having orgasms like that, you’re not dancing the horizontal tango with the right sorcerous individuals."
Gabriel was slumped loosely on the next barstool over, one arm around Lucian’s waist and its head comfortably on his shoulder. "Shut up, Luci. I’ve had better."
"But, have you ever had better, in under five minutes, in the middle of a crowded dance club? I think not." Lucian grinned. "It’s a precision skill, honed through years of experience."
"Is this why Michael hasn’t killed you, yet?"
"In the abstract. He doesn’t want to get close enough to find out. I don’t really want to get inside him. He just spits in my direction, from a distance, and Dad seems not to be arguing that decision."
"If our father wanted you dead, you’d be dead. And Michael would be paying off his treason in service to the Pope."
"The Pope? You think about as much of Michael as I do."
"I find you much more entertaining, Lightbringer. Michael obeys to the letter, every time. We were always a little different."
"You have compassion. I was just offended. I have a much better sense of humour, now."
"We’re not supposed to be capable of any of those, outside the requisite displays compelled by our duties, but you’ve seen and so have I. They’re corrupting us."
"What’s a little corruption among friends, right Nico?" Lucian raised his voice at the end.
"The key word is little, Luci. What did you do to the Magdalenes?"
"Nothing a little sleep and a few drinks won’t cure. They’ve seen an angel. They’ll be whispering about it for years, but the details go, pretty quickly." Lucian paused. "Not that they know they’ve seen an angel, so this will be even more fun. They think they’ve seen sorcery and science, with a touch of illusion. I might correct them, after they’ve had time to re-align their realities."
"After they won’t believe you any more, you mean." Nico looked vaguely offended.
"Hey, we’re not on a mission. I’m not outing us." Lucian shrugged, bouncing Gabriel’s head against his shoulder.
"After that display, Morningstar?" Gabriel laughed more subtly, and the pipes clanked in harmony. "After that, you’re not outing us?"
"I’ve been here a very long time, Gabi, and I’m very good at what I do."
Gabriel snorted and pushed its hand into Lucian’s side. "Prove it."
"Later. Outside the city limits." Lucian laughed and ordered another drink.