[ Master Post ]
Title: Sex, Love, and Truth
Characters: Nico ♂, The Magdalenes (Kamaria & Moyra) ♀, Lucian ♂, Hannah ⚧
Rating: (L1 N0 S0 V0 D1)
Warnings: Blasphemy, genderbending, drinking & smoking
Notes: I dunno. I meant to introduce Hannah as being closer to Gabriel than Lucian, but this happened instead. Of course, Hannah does know what kind of underwear Gabi wears, so maybe they are closer than it seems here. Also, you finally get to actually meet two of the Magdalenes, instead of them remaining a faceless horde.
[ Master Post ]
Nico knocked at Lucian’s door, two of the Magdalenes at his back, faced toward the street behind him. Since he’d become notable for his loud mouth and charitable inclinations, Nico never left the house without at least two of them. They were no longer just chronically-depressed club-girls who needed someone to take them seriously — now they were his bodyguards. Their fashion sense did not reflect their change in station, which he thought made them even more dangerous.
Waiting for Lucian, Nico leaned back and distracted one of his guards, resting his head on her shoulder. "Thanks for coming out, Kamaria. I know you don’t like Lucian."
"Lucian? Naw, I love Lucian. It’s that Gabriel I don’t much like." She shook her head and kept her eyes on the street. "And the way he treats our Luci, I don’t much like that, either. Why’s Lucian let him get away with that?"
"Gabriel’s not a man, Kama. Not a woman, either. It’s just Gabriel." Nico rocked forward, straightening up. "And Lucian’s it’s brother, since the beginning of time. You have brothers. You know what they’re like. You know how they—"
The door opened on a very, very tall woman, who was very, very not Lucian. She looked down at them, expectantly.
"We’re, ah, looking for Lucian." Nico swallowed and looked over his shoulder, to the other guard. "Moyra, did we get the neighbours?"
The woman smiled and the force of it shot straight through to Nico’s toes. "You must be Nico! Luci! You didn’t tell me he was so little! Come in! Come in!"
She stepped back, emerald green sari rippling as the cool air from Lucian’s townhouse rushed out to meet the warm air outside. "He’s still getting dressed. You know he likes to sleep in."
Nico stepped in and offered his hand, craning his neck up at the woman. "Yes, ma’am. I’m Nico."
She didn’t take the hand, patting him on his clothed shoulder, instead. The sensation still rocketed through him, lighting up every nerve. "Call me Hannah," she told him. "I don’t think we met, last time."
"H—Hannah!" Nico jerked his hand back and stuck both hands in his pocket, as he turned and stepped backward into the house, the bodyguards finally following him. "Of course. I’m sorry. He, ah, he told me. I didn’t recognise you."
"Neither did he. I built myself a new one. The old one was comfortable, but I was tired of the face." Hannah smiled at the girls and closed the door behind them. "Three days, I drank honey on the banks of the Ganges, before I could travel. And who did I come to? The brother our father warned us away from. The only one of us to have stayed so long down here."
Nico grabbed an ashtray from one of the side tables and threw himself into his favourite of Lucian’s chairs, waving for the Magdalenes to join him. "I keep hearing that. It’s a wonder Michael still has anyone willing to hear him."
Hannah passed through the room and returned with a bottle of wine, from which she poured herself a glass. "So many of us haven’t ever come down. They stay with Michael, because they don’t understand. I don’t understand Michael, so I suppose it works out for all of us."
She tipped the bottle, offering wine to the Magdalenes, and Moyra nodded, letting Hannah pour her a glass.
"It’s also what we’re angels of. Some concepts have gotten less popular with the church, which is foolish. We’re angels for a reason. But, the heavenward don’t always see it that way, which is why we need you, Nico. We need you to remind them all what Dad wanted. We need you to remind Dad what he wanted." Hannah held out the glass and Moyra stepped over to take it from her hand.
Their fingers brushed and Hannah jerked her hand back, as Moyra fell to the floor convulsing and howling. "No!"
"It’s fine!" Nico grabbed Kamaria’s hand. "She’s ok. She’s better than ok. Just leave her a minute."
"I’m so sorry," Hannah apologised. "I thought it would be safe, here, in Lucian’s house, not to cover all of my skin."
"Hannah, it’s okay. I don’t think she hit her head on anything. You didn’t even drop the wine on Lucian’s rug." Nico pulled Kamaria back toward him. "Hannah…taught Lucian everything he knows about pleasing women. This is her curse."
"And pleasing men. And pleasing Gabriel. And pleasing everything in between." Hannah sighed. "I am one of the angels of human sexuality. My touch bestows pleasure."
Moyra slowly returned to herself, on the floor, blinking at the ceiling. "What—? Wow."
Hannah set the glass on the table, as Lucian finally walked in, well-dressed and late, as usual.
"I wondered if that was one of your Magdalenes, Nico. Heard it upstairs. Didn’t seem serious, with Hannah here." Lucian stood on his toes to press a kiss to Hannah’s cheek. Nothing happened. "Is that my good wine?"
"It’s the only wine you have." Hannah pointed out.
"Only the best." He stepped around the table and reached out to the girl on the floor. "Sit down, have some wine. You’ll feel better."
"I don’t know if I can handle better," Moyra muttered, grabbing Lucian’s forearm and hauling herself to her feet. "Can we try for normal?"
He helped her to a chair. "I’ll get you a beer."
"Get me a beer!" Nico called after him.
"What are you, Gabriel?" Lucian called back.
"You’re already in the kitchen!"
Kamaria sat on the arm of Nico’s chair. "Oh, hi, mom. Yeah, I’m fine. Nothing much, just listening to my boss tell the devil to get him a beer." She rolled her eyes. "And my family wonder why I don’t talk about my work."
"I’m not the devil," Lucian insisted, returning with two beers and handing them off to the appropriate parties, before pulling Hannah down onto the couch with him. "So, maybe a third of the host left home, after Dad kicked me out, but we’re not fallen. And I didn’t make Hell. I don’t even like Hell. And the demons are my sister’s problem, not mine."
He paused. "Not this sister."
"I used to be his brother. Decided I liked sister, better." Hannah shrugged. "Still not that sister. She’s his real sister — his twin."
"Lil and I were Dad’s first. Prototype design. Decided he didn’t like it, and went with —" Lucian gestured to Hannah. "Hanael and Gabriel and the rest. Revisited our design, when he decided to create his mortal masterpieces. Also why Gabi has a thing about my design."
"Thing for," Hannah muttered.
"Thing about," Lucian insisted. "You know Gabi and gender."
"I know Gabi and women’s underwear."
Moyra snorted into her beer, and Nico looked at the two angels like they were crazy.
"And now you’re a woman, Hannah, and I think you understand why they might fit Gabi better than men’s." Lucian could not be disturbed about his sibling’s choice of anything, really. It had been far too long.
"Wait, what?" Kamaria asked, tilting her head in confusion.
"No balls," Nico filled in. "No ass, either, really. Briefs for teenage girls, I’m guessing."
"Teen girl sizes, yes. Briefs, no." Lucian looked horribly smug. "Gabriel so misses the baroque era."
Hannah looked amused. Nico didn’t look quite as surprised as he probably should have. Kamaria looked scandalised, and Moyra hung her head down, elbows on her knees, laughing.
"I’ll never look at Gabi the same again," Moyra giggled.
"And that," Nico deduced, "is why Gabi doesn’t do gender."
"They may not do gender, but they definitely do sex." Lucian turned to the side and dropped back into Hannah’s lap, draping his legs over the arm of the couch. "Did you teach them that?"
"Not me. I don’t think I could have. Gabriel’s got no attachment to the human way of doing anything, and that’s my speciality." Hannah sipped her wine. "Iomuel? Jeqon? Maybe Gabi went outside the family. Pharzuph and Belphegor do excellent work. Belphegor’s not much for gender, either."
"Belphegor’s fun at parties. Did I tell you we once showed up for the same summons? We turned it into an orgy, gorged on dessert, and gossiped about the Greater Lords, until sunrise. Good times." Lucian laughed.
"This is why Dad won’t let him back in the house, you know," Hannah said to Nico. "He has no sense of regret."
"I’m the light of truth. I may not be omniscient, but I know all the facts, so my hit rate’s pretty good. I can’t regret. I know what I’m walking into, almost every time, except when it involves Dad. I didn’t see that coming. But, no regrets? Blame Dad, he designed me." One of Lucian’s fingers made the very long journey up to the tip of Hannah’s nose.
"You blame Dad for everything," she pointed out.
"That’s because he is to blame. He designed us. He designed them. He designed all of it. Some of it with Mom’s help, sure, but then Mom took my side, and Wisdom left Heaven. So, Dad threw out truth and wisdom, and he expects to keep on ruling the world." Lucian’s lips tightened with restrained irritation. "Let’s keep in mind that it’s also totally possible this isn’t all Dad’s doing, because he’s not the only Greater Lord, in which case it’s twice his fault, because of course he kicked me out, if he’s just going to be full of it!"
"We were never intended to be able to betray him, you know," Hannah reminded him.
"We never betrayed him. He betrayed us."
"Wait, wait," Kamaria cut in. "You have a mom?"
"No," Hannah replied.
"Kind of," Lucian answered.
"She’s part of Dad, but without her, Dad’s Dad, and she’s … not." Hannah paused. "That sounded better in my head."
"She means Wisdom was a part of our father, who wasn’t ‘father’, then. Just one of the Greater Lords, eternal, all-powerful, all that. Then, somehow, she separated from him and became ‘she’. And like all the divided Lords, he became ‘he’. And that’s what gave him the idea for me and Lil, but we didn’t work out so well. Even before we didn’t work out, he swapped for the undivided design. It was easier, I guess. Less troublesome. He liked it better. Whatever." Lucian approached the explanation with his usual flippancy.
"So, we’re, what, version two of you and your demon sister?" Kamaria sounded almost offended.
"He decided the design would be better, if we weren’t eternal incarnations of a primal necessity. Except he’d already made us, and he couldn’t remake us, for some reason. So, he made you, instead. Really liked you guys, too. And that’s how we got into trouble." Rolling back into a sitting position, Lucian reached for the glass of wine still on the table. "And my sister wasn’t always a demon! Actually, she’s still not a demon. She’s the angel responsible for the creation of demons, though. I’ll give her that."
"I was never sure what she was supposed to have been the angel of," Hannah remarked, across her wine glass.
"Love. We were to be truth and love. And now I’m still truth, but no one believes me, and she’s the mother-destroyer, creator of demons." Tipping his head back, Lucian poured his wine down his throat. "Enough about me. How’s your mother, Kama? Did she take my advice?"
"Nico said we could trust you, so I told her, ‘You know Nico’s rich? It’s because he listens to Lucian.’ Yeah, she took your advice." Kamaria smiled at the man she still thought of as the devil. "Thanks, Luci, it’s much better, now."
"They listen to you, Nico. I need you." The glass clinked onto the table and Lucian fished in his pockets for his pipe.
"Then it’s a good thing I need you, because you know what’s real." Nico produced a box of matches and tossed it across the room. "Even better thing I like you."
"Dad’s going to be pissed."
"Dad needs to get over himself."