“They were so cute.” Asura flopped on the couch between Maefyl and Gabriel. She giggled as they both hugged her between them.
“Human kids are more fun.” Azazel yawned. “They stay little longer.”
“I’ll bet you were adorable, Master Nikolai.” Bezer knocked him to the floor as she tackled him.
“Careful, my pet.” Nikolai pulled her onto his lap as he sat up. “We are not at home, it’s bad enough you keep breaking our tables.”
“Where are my books, asshole?” Azazel tossed a pillow at Maefyl. “I want presents.”
“Azazel.” Nikolai pulled Azazel by his collar to scold him. “Be polite. I apologize, Maefyl. He has been a bit wound up lately.”
“There’s a stack of them in Asura’s room, pussy cat.” Maefyl stuck the pillow behind his head and laid back on it as he watched Azazel run down the hall. “Snacks in the kitchen, Bezer.”
“Yay!” Bezer jumped to her feet. “Come on, Blondie.”
“Get the door on your way back, Azazel.” Asura laughed when she heard the knock. She giggled when she watched him wander past with a stack in one arm as he held one in front of him and let the pages flip down in front of him on his way to the door.
“What are you doing here?” Azazel glared around his comic at the irritatingly calm face that stood at the door.
“Fuck.” Maefyl sighed when he realized why the presence was a familiar one. “Let him in Azazel.”
“Whatever.” Azazel turned and walked back to Nikolai with his magazines and left Raziel to close the door on his own.
“You said a week, Lord Maefyl.” Raziel bowed his head as he stood beside the couch.
“I didn’t mean to the minute.” Maefyl sighed. “I just meant to give me some time.”
“Forgive my intrusion then.” Raziel turned away as everyone just listened quietly to the exchange. “I will leave you to your family.”
“It’s fine, just sit and don’t make this weird.” Maefyl lit a cigarette and hoped Raziel had some idea of how to socialize without making everyone uncomfortable. “I assume you have at least met everyone.”
“We were all at Brig’s wedding, but we didn’t really talk or anything.” Asura leaned close to Gabriel and whispered what everyone was thinking. “Did he say Lord?”
“He did.” Gabriel knew the others had heard and hoped they would be kind enough to let it go. “I will explain later.”
“I thought you didn’t want anyone calling you that?” Bezer pouted. “You yelled at me for it.”
“I don’t.” Maefyl tapped his fingers on his knee as he smoked and cursed himself for not being clearer with Raziel. “This situation is a little more complicated than you wanting to be respectful, Bezer.”
Raziel had taken a place at the far end of the couch and just sat quietly and waited. Maefyl made every effort to ignore his presence and continue with his gathering but the others would keep throwing disapproving and uncomfortable glances in his direction.
“Must you look through these here, my pet?” Nikolai laughed as Azazel sat one of his books open in Nikolai’s lap and clung to his arm swaying his tail.
“He is such a pervert.” Sanguine giggled and kissed Maefyl’s nose and before she flew over to the table to share Bezer’s snacks. “And you encourage him.”
“You don’t talk much.” Asura crawled over Gabriel lap and kneeled on the couch facing Raziel. “You should have brought those neat little fargoyles.”
“They are with Van and Galik.” Raziel explained. “I will bring them to see you another time if your father allows it.”
“Pass.” Azazel growled at Raziel. “We don’t need you or that freak of yours in Golod.”
“Must you insult, my Galik?” Raziel’s expression showed no sign of the irritation he felt.
“What is your problem with him anyway?” Asura turned to Azazel pouting.
“Raziel lets his little freak fuck and massacre things in the front garden.” Bezer answered for him. “Screams and blood splatter tend to ruin a nice walk.”
“Especially when the freak flicks blood at you and threatens to make your sister his next art project.” Azazel added. “That thing is hideous.”
“I believe you taunted him first.” Raziel explained with calm even voice. “Did you not?”
“Hmph.” Bezer sneered and looked away. “I only pointed out that he had to torture those poor girls because it was the only way he could every make them scream.”
“Are the two of you so innocent?” Raziel asked. “How many humans have you shared and murdered?”
“Enough.” Nikolai screamed and drew daggers into his hands as he stood. “You will not insult my cubs in my presence.”
“Master Nikolai, please don’t.” Bezer hugged him. “Raziel is a Watcher.”
“He’s not worth it anyway.” Azazel insisted. “Just ignore him, Master Nikolai.”
“Didn’t you just yell at Bezer for misbehaving in someone else’s house?” Asura giggled as Gabriel pulled her back across his lap and sat her between himself and Maefyl.
“Raziel, learn to deal with the pussy cats or this isn’t going to work.” Maefyl said finally. “I don’t care what Galik used to do, I don’t care what they used to do. I do care about everyone here. If you have any respect for me, figure out how to get along with them.”
“I will, Lord Maefyl.” Raziel replied and looked to the cubs settling their Master. “I apologize for what I said and for Galik’s behavior in the past.”
“Good enough.” Azazel smirked at him and rubbed Nikolai’s back. “I don’t care what he thinks anyway.”
“Fine, my pets.” Nikolai wrapped an arm around Azazel and stroked Bezer’s face. “As long as this nonsense is not mentioned again.”
“It wont be.” Maefyl sighed and pushed himself off the couch. He patted Asura’s head and leaned to kiss Gabriel before he headed for the door. “I’ll be back in a while. I’ll be in my office having a chat with Raziel.”
“Do me a favor and call first from now on.” Maefyl sighed as he slumped into his chair and Sanguine fluttered to the desk.
“Yes, my Lord.” Raziel answered calmly.
“Can you just call me by my name?” Maefyl leaned forward and knocked his head against the desk. “I can not begin to tell you how much I hate this Lord shit.”
“If it makes you more comfortable.” Raziel laid his hand on the desk. “What I call you doesn’t make much of a difference, and it is not my intent to offend you.”
“Good.” Maefyl looked up at him. “You don’t need to check in with me like this either. Honestly, I don’t expect anything out of this.”
“We had limited time before.” Raziel explained his intentions. “I wanted to share more with you.”
“I’m not sure I’m comfortable jumping back into your head just yet.” Maefyl smirked at his blank expression. “Though I have to admit it’s easier to talk to you there. Fucking smile once in a while.”
“You said you had questions.” Raziel admired Maefyl’s honesty and his complete lack of interest in taking advantage of the situation. “I would be easier to show you, but I will just answer what I can.”
“You said you wanted the same favor for Van that he gave Asura.” Maefyl gestured to a chair for Raziel to sit and he did. “You didn’t just mean his blood. What did that sadistic fuck do to my daughter?”
“Not just for Van.” Raziel looked around the office trying to make sense of the disorder. “I want it for Brig and Shana as well.”
“Want what?” Maefyl pressed impatiently for an answer.
“The blood he gave her was infused with not only chaos manipulated to give her strength but the untainted essence of a Watcher.” Raziel could see Maefyl’s shock and tried to better explain. “Watchers have more than their soul to define them, each of us flows with more than blood. When the first will to exist stirred in the chaos it would have been useless without the essence that let it live.”
“I know we come from chaos.” Maefyl sighed. “But I have know idea what you are talking about. What did her give her?”
“Nothing that will harm her.” Raziel assured his Master. “It was meant to protect her and I promise you there is nothing more pure. His actions may have been arrogant but the gift he gave…”
“He shouldn’t be using my daughter for his fucked up experiments.” Maefyl stood kicking his chair behind him.
“He is the only one who manages to harness what occurs naturally in the rest of us.” Raziel continued calmly unaffected by the tantrum. “The souls of the Watchers formed around these seeds of creation. They are a part of us. Lucifer alone seems to be able to take hold of them and use them as he pleases.”
“What the fuck is he?” Maefyl turned and punched the wall. “And how do you know all of this?”
“Each of our skills are unique, though you and I seem to share similar skills.” Raziel offered his hand. “You have a gift for reading thoughts, and your skill at entering dreams and memories is not only remarkable but only beginning to bloom. We all have some ability to speak to each others minds, but you have something stronger.”
“Fine we’ll do this your way.” Maefyl took his hand and before he could even begin to enter on his own Raziel pulled him into his mind, into the dreamscape with its hidden doors and secrets.
“Are my skills why you chose me over Gabriel?” Maefyl looked at Raziel and tore away his hand. “He would be better at this.”
“I did not even consider him.” Raziel smiled. “I apologize for insisting, but Lucifer watches you very closely.”
“You were saying…” Maefyl insisted he continue his explanation.
“Lucifer can not help but focus on his victories, constantly congratulating himself for his own brilliance.” Raziel explained. “It makes him vulnerable to my skills. At least it used to. His skill at hiding even his most vocal of thoughts has improved.”
“No wonder no one seems to like you.” Maefyl looked around the strange world a second time and it was no less fantastic. “People are entitled to privacy in their own thoughts.”
“I can not help what I am.” Raziel pointed out. “While it has not won many friendships, it has prevented wars and worse. The things I know give leverage. I’ve given loyalty to no one before you because the knowledge is dangerous; I have on occasion given small truths when they served all sides well and protected existence. It has been peace I’ve kept.”
“He didn’t just want what was left of Iehovah destroyed.” Maefyl sighed.
“No.” Raziel smiled. “I know things about Lucifer that he wants no one else to know. He wanted the control over his own secrets. To better answer an earlier query, had I given my loyalty to Gabriel, Lucifer would have destroyed me without hesitation.”
“And what exactly doesn’t he want Gabriel to know?” Maefyl asked. “As far as I know they’ve been friends since the chaos spit them out.”
“They have been.” Raziel nodded. “But as much as they love one another, Gabriel adores you more than anything. Lucifer doesn’t want Gabriel to know what he truly is and what you are.”
“Raziel, Lucifer told me and Gabriel what he does. What he’s capable of.” Maefyl sighed. “And I know he’s my father. We moved on.”
“Forgive me, my Lord. “Raziel laughed. “But, you know nothing.”
“Stop.” Maefyl put a finger to Raziel’s lips. “If that’s true, then I prefer to stay blissfully ignorant. Whatever it is, I’m not ready for it. I’m happy and I plan on staying that way. Let Lucifer keep his secret, you keep his secret. I don’t want the burden of carrying it.”
“As you wish.” Raziel nodded.
“What I do want to know is if Asura is safe.” Maefyl turned and looked over the endless landscape.
“She is.” Raziel stepped beside him. “Not only did you free her soul from oblivion, he has given her a secondary soul, the essence of Watcher. As she grows stronger she will make it her own and not only will her body be immortal, her soul will be as well. There are very few capable of scattering and absorbing the claimed soul of a Watcher.”
“Seems odd, since I know more than a few of you are gone.” Maefyl scoffed.
“Every one of them was destroyed by a very select few.” Raziel replied. “Lucifer, Kage, Eidolon, Samael, Azrael, myself and your Gabriel. The first of us.”
“You said no one else could destroy a claimed soul.” Maefyl asked. “What did he give Asura?”
“As I mentioned before Lucifer is the only one capable of manipulating them.” Raziel told him. “The one he gave her was pure, untainted and will be her own. Most Watchers have hundreds of these pure souls within them. Some thousands. The Six have billions upon billions. Lucifer has control of an infinite influx.”
“That’s enough.” Maefyl glared at Raziel. “I asked about Asura. I don’t want to know about anything else right now. For fuck sake, does no one have happy secrets?”
“Of course they do.” Raziel nodded. “Kage and your father seem to share a happy secret.”
“How the fuck do you know about that?” Maefyl scowled at him. “I would think if they know what you are capable of, they would keep that buried better.”
“I didn’t need their thoughts. There are other ways to gain knowledge.” Raziel laughed. “Kage made the mistake of visiting me too soon after he took to Lucifer’s bed. Of course this is not the first time he has enjoyed Lucifer’s favor.”
“I know.” Maefyl hung his head. “Better than I should. I don’t understand why he would…”
“Kage has always loved Lucifer.” Raziel told him. “He hates that he does, but there is no fighting an emotion so powerful.”
“I don’t know how you deal with all this shit in your head.” Maefyl sighed. “As long as Asura is okay, I want to get back…”
“Of course.” Raziel let go of Maefyl’s hand and broke their connection as he stood. “I assume I’m not welcome at your gathering. I will take my leave.”
“I never said you weren’t welcome.” Maefyl smiled at Sanguine who had kept a vigil over them. “Did I, Sany?”
“No.” Sanguine giggled. “Is it all cobwebs and creaky floors in there?”
“Be nice.” Maefyl laughed. “Raziel, if you insist on this weird relationship…”
“You want to be my friend?” Raziel answered blankly.
“If you can manage to stay out of my head.” Maefyl nodded. “Let Gabriel be the one to finish my sentences.”
“I will not pry.” Raziel told him. “Unfortunately I hear focused thoughts like voices. I can only promise to keep them to myself and not to make any effort to go beyond what comes on it’s own.”
“It’s a start.” Maefyl shrugged and lifted Sanguine to his shoulder. “That respect extends to my wife, my daughter, Sanguine and Gory. I doubt Gabriel is a problem.”
“He is not.” Raziel confirmed that Gabriel’s mind was beyond his reach. “I will do as you ask.”
“And you’re welcome to join me.” Maefyl offered. Raziel may claim to trust him, but barely knew him. Whether friendship was possible or not remained to be seen, but he had to start somewhere. “Tell Galik not to bite and you can call for him and Van.”
“I would be honored, my Lord.” Raziel pulled Maefyl inside and behind him when the office door opened and he saw Lucifer standing behind it.
“Not necessary.” Maefyl grabbed Raziel’s shoulder and pushed him out of the office and past Lucifer. Maefyl waved at Lucifer and pulled Raziel by his jacket down the hall. He opened Gabriel’s office and pushed Raziel inside. “Door on the left. Now. Behave yourself, invite your friends and I’ll be there in a minute.”
“So what has your pet told you?” Lucifer grinned at Maefyl’s charming evasion as Maefyl let Gabriel’s door close.
“Did you know he reads minds?” Maefyl leaned on the door and teased him. “Crazy shit, Dad. Would have rather had a dog though.”
“Cute.” Lucifer scowled at him as he approached and sat on the balcony railing across from him. “Should I be concerned?”
“No.” Maefyl smiled at him. “You should be thankful that I’m taking this shit as well as I am and unless you plan on visiting, make it quick.”
“Then tell me what Raziel decided to share with you.” Lucifer grinned.
“Not much.” Maefyl lit a cigarette and blew the smoke at Lucifer. “I told him to keep it to himself. I don’t want to know. You wanted your secrets kept and they are. Leave him alone, stop fucking with my family or I might get curious.”
“Don’t threaten me.” Lucifer spread his wings behind him as he clutched the railing. “I could end the both of you.”
“But you don’t want to.” Maefyl smiled. “And to be perfectly honest I don’t really want to know what has you so pissed off this time. I am going to try and make a friend of Raziel, but that’s all I really care to do. If I have questions for you, I’ll ask you. Just stop fucking with me. Please.”
“Stalemate then?” Lucifer grinned.
“No.” Maefyl screamed at him. “Damn it, Lucy. I don’t want to fight with you any more. The only games I want to play with you involve cards and my old consoles. I miss the way things used to be. What the fuck happened to us?”
“Go make friends.” Lucifer hopped off the railing and pulled Maefyl into his arms to embrace him. “Have tea ready for your mother and I tomorrow evening.”
“I will.” Maefyl held him a moment before he let Gabriel’s door open behind him and ducked inside. He waved and smiled weakly as Lucifer disappeared from sight and the door shut leaving Maefyl to stare at the black surface. He pushed it open angrily and wandered back to his office door and laid his hand across his name carved into it.
“What are you doing?” Sanguine asked.
“Concentrating.” Maefyl snapped at her and closed his eyes until the door caved under his will.
“You’re old name?” Sanguine whispered. “Why?”
Maefyl Necuratu Anubin
“Because it’s time to own up to who I am.” Maefyl tapped the letters before he shifted into the apartment. He sat beside Gabriel and grabbed the tablet off of the table. Maefyl swiped across the screen until he opened his own information, He smirked at Lucifer’s efficiency and slid it into Gabriel’s hands.
“You’ve decided to use your name again?” Gabriel looked at the screen as they spoke quietly. The room was crowded and filled with music and laughter enough to hide most of what they said to one another. Raziel had brought his companions to add to the visitors from Golod. Bezer had turned up the music and Gory and Blondie were sharing snacks with Frikk and Frakk. Gabriel was confused as to why all of a sudden Maefyl had made the decision to use the name he had hidden from. “Why?
“Yea.” Maefyl sighed. He had used the doors magic to confirm a truth he already knew. He gave it his will. His given name, his father’s name, and the name of the one he loved. He had always assumed the name was either Lilith’s or Iehovah’s. He had changed and shortened it to try and hide who he was, but none of them used their second names anyway and his crest gave him away. He assumed no one knew the name was Lucifer’s. Somehow Maefyl just knew it to be true. Lucifer had given the name to Lilith who had passed it on to Maefyl. “I think I may have been insulting my father by not using it.”
“Clever boy.” Lucifer chuckled as he slid his fingers over the screen and sat the computer aside. “Now lets see if you can live up to it.”
~And these lives will continue…