Tag Archives: Shana Weatherby

TCOL : Breaking The Ghost : Raging

“You are fucking gorgeous.” Maefyl jumped onto Gabriel’s back after he felled several thrones with his scythe. He may have hated the title, but Gabriel was beautifully skilled in his role as the Angel of Death. Maefyl interrupted his work long enough to pull him back by the hair and kiss him, then tapped his cheek and smiled. “Keep Lucy out of my way.”

 “You will be the death of me, Maefyl.” Gabriel grinned as he went back to his work. Watching Maefyl tear through several more soldiers as moved quickly through the hordes.

 “That was a little gross.” Asura chuckled and sliced through the backs of a principalities knees, ducking as Azazel pounced on it and ended it’s existence. “If you have time to be smooching with Dad, you wanna lend a hand over here?”

 “You should not have come here, Asura.” Gabriel scolded her half heartedly. She was in no way a burden in this fight. Her years of practice had honed her skills brilliantly and her ability to work with her spouses so well was astounding. “This place…”

 “Needs to be cleaned up is all.” Bezer hooked her arm around Asura’s waist and shifted above the angel attacking Nikolai. Asura gracefully accepted the lift and on her descent drove her daggers into the angels neck on either side. Bezer winked back at Gabriel before returning to the fray. “I think secretly you are just jealous Asura is surpassing her folks.”

 “Bezer!” Nikolai grinned as he pretended to chide her for the remark. He nearly devoured the soul of the angel in front of him before he bowed his head to Gabriel. “As always, I apologize for my pets. Still, Asura came as we all did. To stand with you.”

 “And I thank you.” Gabriel sighed and grabbed Lucifer by the back of his shirt. “I am not that distracted.”

 “I was only going to help the others, Gabby.” Lucifer chuckled.

 “You’ve helped enough.” Gabriel pulled him aside as a thundering giant of stone and fire walked over them crushing dozens of choirs in it’s wake. “I am not letting you out of my sight.”

 “Yet you let Maefyl wander off all alone.” Lucifer teased. “For once, Gabby. I don’t think I am the one up to something.”

 “You will not deny him this.” Gabriel sliced over Lucifer’s head slicing a Throne in two and covering Lucifer in the rain of blood. “And you will stop lying to me.”

 “Was that entirely necessary?” Lucifer pushed back his blood soaked hair, cleaning up the mess as he did. He ignored Gabriel’s continued rant as he turned to watch a skirmish nearby. Angels seemingly drowning in the air the tried to breath as flames crept up their legs. Kage gladly contributing to the mess by tossing the corpses of his victims skyward before opening his jaws to devour them. The spill of blood splattering those below. Lucifer caught an power by the throat and crushed the life from it without so much as looking in its direction before he smiled back at Gabriel. “Are you still upset I brought Eden here? Or is it that I conspired to free them?”

 “That you lied.” Gabriel sighed as he watched the Djinn now calling itself Ifre laughing at the burning wings of a dying angel. “This is madness, Lucy. And they are dangerous.”

Breakseal

“Such violence.” Evadia had suddenly started screaming wildly when she caught sight of the battle. Rather the sight of it had stirred up the ghost inside her. “This is witchcraft! God, Save us!”

“Evadia, calm yourself.” Farren held her close uncertain of what else to do. Crying out for a long dead savior meant the soul Sachiel forced into his daughter was alive and well.

“God?” Brig laughed softly and headed over to help shaking his head.

“Don’t do anything stupid, Brig.” Shana pleaded with him. “You’ll get us into trouble.”

“No worries, doll face.” Brig patted her hands and kissed her cheek before he crouched down beside a frustrated looking Farren and a screaming child. He winked at Farren and laid his hand on the girls head. Gently stroking her hair. “Easy kid. What makes you think this is witchcraft?”

“Only God can create miracles.” Iesu looked at the boy and grabbed his hands. “Magic is the work of devils.”

“No devils here. A few assholes maybe.” Brig let himself plop down to the ground in hopes to ease further worry. Cid and Tali climbed up his back and peeked over his shoulders and he could see the fright on the child’s face. Brig smiled. “These two? They are harmless. Don’t be rude, introduce yourselves.”

“I’m Cid.” The fargoyle smirked but kept his place on Brig’s back.

“Tali.” She fluttered forward into Brig’s lap and sat smiling at the strange girl that had at least stopped screaming for the time being.

“Iesu.” He reached forward and nervously touched the creature. “You don’t seem evil, but…”

“She isn’t.” Brig slapped the girl. “It’s rude to assume everything you don’t understand is evil.”

“Don’t touch him.” Van warned when Farren moved to react. “Razzy will rip you to shreds.”

“Do not hit her again.” Farren glared at Brig.

“No…” Iesu held his hand against his face. “He is right. I misspoke. I should not judge….”

“And you can cram that.” Brig laughed. And took the child’s face in his hands. “You said Iesu? The world has changed. You have a lot to accept. I need you to listen to me for the sake of the little girl who has to tag along.”

“Neka thinks she should just shut up and watch.” Neka stuck her tongue out at the girl before turning her attention back to the fray. “Fawwen, make her shut up.”

“Sorry.” Bishop shook his head and wished he could just carry her off a bit further to keep any other hurtful comments from popping out. “She is just excited.”

“Hey, help me find Master Eidolon.” Karla ran over to Neka and Bishop to provide distraction and smiled when Bishop closed his eyes in obvious relief and gratitude. She let Neka scold her for being silly and point out Eidolon as he and Kaneko moved across impossible rivers of wind and fire. “He is good friends with your Daddy.”

“Neka knows that.” Neka giggled. “Daddy has pretty friends.”

“These are good people.” Brig continued making his point to the impossible child once Farren was through scowling. “God has shit to do with it. You and I are lucky to know any of them. Evadia is going to be lucky to have them.”

“Stop playing with the kid, Brig.” Van insisted as she jumped excitedly at the edge. “Come look!”

“Raziel…” Brig stood slowly and watch as a gleaming white dragon rose above the fray and howled. He felt Evadia tug his hand to stand beside him but couldn’t tear himself away from the sight.

“Wow.” Evadia joined him in awe as the white dragon dove toward a collection of angels being rounded up by rising walls of stone and burned them to ash with a breath of flame. As the heat rose on the wind and brushed over the plateau, Evadia looked up to the strangest smile on her new friends face. “Who is that?’

“Our Lord Raziel.” Shana smiled back at them. “And I’m telling him you blushed, Brig.”

“I did not, ShaSha.” Brig snapped himself out of the stupor and looked down at Evadia. “Welcome back, doll face.”

“Thank you.” Evadia grinned. “My ghost gets funny sometimes.”

“We all do.” Brig went back to argue with Shana over his flushing and hoped the girl’s Father could handle the rest.

“You should put that smooth talking to work on your cotton candy compatriot there, London.” Eliza sighed as she watched Raziel’s cheerleaders fawning over their Master as if he were the only one fighting the enemy. “Talk some sense into her. If you expect a child to accept all of this, you should expect her to give Vivi a chance.”

“E.” Donovan put an arm around her and covered her mouth. “Stop it with your shit.”

Eliza stepped on his foot and bit him. “I’m tired of this one-sided…”

“You are all very loud.” Li’da commented coldly and walked through them to stand beside Presia. Still singing a beautiful melody that kept the heads of her charges clear and the winged army distracted. Li’da pointed at the Siren and let a childlike grin distort her face. “She is the one we wish to hear as we watch. No more of your bickering.”

“You cheeky little bitch.” Eliza jumped and struggled to get at her while Donovan held her back and Caleb tried to calm her down. “I’ll rip that grin off your face.”

“Aww, what’s the matter, bitch?” Van laughed. “Little cutie there make you nervous. Afraid your Vikarr is gonna ditch you for the fascinating monochrome she has going on?”

“Quit it, Van.” Brig punched her shoulder gently. “It isn’t worth it.”

“Do you mind, lovely?” Vikarr appeared in front of Eliza and lifted her face to kiss her. His appearance had startled her into calm and the kiss left her blissfully relaxed. Donovan released her and Vikarr wiped a smudge of blood from her face. He folded his wings to his back. “I know I said to call on me anytime, but I am a trifle busy at the moment.”

“They were being….” Eliza pouted until he laid a finger on her lips and winked at her. “Sorry.”

“Just watch me, lovely.” Vikarr smiled and led her to the edge, careful to push her back with his fingers he walked backward off of it. Standing on the air as if he were still walking along the cliff. “I’ll keep you entertained.”

“Kiki says you should go a few rounds as a panda.” Eliza smirked and rested her fists on her hips. “Cause they are cute.”

“I did not!’ Kiki protested and ducked into Eliza’s cleavage giggling and whispered. “I don’t even know what a panda looks like.”

“Can’t disappoint an audience.” Vikarr sighed and dove back into the fight, mid descent shifting into a large white and black bear to entertain his bride.

“Nyaa!” Neka giggled and tried to mimic the change. Balling up her fists and biting her tongue sideways as she drew in the magic and wiggled around in Bishop’s arms. Her change was again imperfect and she ended up cuddled up as a smaller white bear still bearing a cat like tail in Bishop’s embrace. She pouted up at him. “Neka did it wrong again.”

“Good.” Bishop hugged her tight and smiled. “I can’t carry a panda.”

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TCOL : Eden : A Warm Welcome

The moment Eden burst to life torrents of winds went swept over it to protect Zakesalek and their families and Lucifer grinned at the panicked reaction as Sachiel called for hundreds more of her pathetic choirs to fight on her behalf. While the coward exhausted herself he waited quietly beside Gabriel for the others to be brought to the cliff overlooking the estate where the once feared ghost hid away.

“Admit it, Gabby.” Lucifer spoke softly. “You’ve missed this place.”

“I have.” Eidolon interrupted and gave a quick nod to the silent shadowy wisp that had led them through the maze of assaulting winds. He watched it disappear before he smiled at Lucifer and listened to the others heave sighs of relief to be through with at least part of their journey. “I enjoyed it more without the obstacles.”

“We took care of what obstacles we could before the elements decided to lend a hand.” Mala grinned and bowed slightly to Gabriel. “They could have given a warmer welcome.”

“Have you seen the others?” Gabriel questioned him sadly.

We are leading them all to you Jakyl.” The wind assured him as some of it coiled in front of him and coalesced into a tall slender form dressed in a well-tailored suit and smiled at him. “Only one of your followers has fallen, and he was struck before our release. He is being cared for. You have no need for worry.”

“You’ve taken forms.” Eidolon moved beside Gabriel astonished by the sight of the element mimicking their demonic perfection. With long white hair that ran down his back until it was nearly clear at his waist and eyes that shifted in pale blues and greens, but surrounding the iris was as black as the entirety of Lucifer’s eyes.

“And names.” Lucifer added as he continued to watch the estate below for Sachiel. “This one likes to be called Ria.”

“You said you were released.” Gabriel asked with instant regret. Knowing release meant blood had been spilled. “Which of us gave you this new freedom, Ria?”

“I was surprised as I am sure you will be that it was not one of you that broke the last of your damnable spell.” Ria smiled at him and started to fade into a breeze again so he could continue his task of gathering the others. “It was the blood of the one called Maefyl.”

“Maefyl is not hurt.” Gabriel caught Lucifer by his arm when he turned with rage evident in his expression. Despite his tendency to be cruel on his own, the thought of his son in jeopardy agitated Lucifer like little else could and Gabriel knew well enough to end the worry. “At least not badly enough to be concerned over. Whoever has fallen; it is not Maefyl. Do you think I would be standing here watching you gloat if he were in any danger?”

“This is an odd gamble.” Eidolon thrust a blade into the ground in front of him and tapped his fingers around it’s hilt. “Even with the numbers the ghost is calling, do you expect a hoard of angels to stand against us? I don’t mean to deny any soul it’s freedom, but you are releasing an unpredictable element into a world we have yet to stabilize after so many changes.”

“Doubt is unattractive, Falcon.” Kage hissed softly as he arrived and stood beside Eidolon watching the raging angels as Sachiel rallied them with her magic. He smirked when he heard Lilith cooing over her attention from Lucifer and decided to leave her to enjoy the reunion while he focused on the matters at hand. “When did you start questioning our Lord?”

“I was merely making conversation, Viper.” Eidolon smiled . Neither of them gave each other a glance as they spoke. They just exchanged odd pleasantries as they watched and listened. Myrt and Mala quietly gave words of comfort and confidence to their husbands while Lucifer fawned over his blood covered bride and taunted Gabriel with the cleverness of his plans. Ria had guarded them and Eden, Lucifer had Eden surrounded in a barrier of his own to protect his own realm from the battle to come and caught between the film of chaos and the violent winds angels screamed a harmony of violent intentions conducted by an angry ghost. Still they stood smiling at an army that would be on them soon, friends after all they had been through and realizing as they listened the cruel genius of their Lord.

He brought them together. All of them.

“Thanks.” Brig kneeled and stroked the pebbles that rolled softly in front of him as they finally made their way to others. He pouted a bit when he realized he was the first from Vex to make it. “I don’t suppose you could tell me if ShaSha is okay?”

The pebbles rolled against his fingers and warmed. He was too relieved to even notice Eidolon had walked over to him and fell over startled from the tap on his shoulder sending Cid and Tali into fits of laughter.

“I apologize.” Eidolon leaned and offered his hand. Kaneko clinging to his back with a wide smile on her face and Karla clinging to his arm giggling. “They tell me you looked out for them. You have my thanks.”

“I think they were the ones looking out for me.” Brig blushed and pulled himself up with Eidolon’s hand. He had taken it in greeting before, but this gesture seemed warmer. When he was on his feet Eidolon sat another hand over his. “I didn’t…”

“You stood up for us.” Karla smiled.

“Kaneko doesn’t give her praise lightly.” Eidolon squeezed Brig’s hand before releasing it. He turned his attention to the Wyrms and sneered. “Nor just she leave out details. I am inclined to thank you for sparing them any harm, Samael.”

“I have no interest in your brides, Eidolon. Save your breath.” Samael scoffed and walked past him, dragging Shiroi along with him by her wrist until he was stopped a few feet short of Lucifer by Kage. Samael clenched his teeth in his grin when he met Kage’s chilling glare. “De naze na seldak hala sekni kevas.”

“Then I suggest you calm yourself.” Kage’s nails lengthened and his fangs fell into his smile. “You won’t be going near him when I can smell death in your intent.”

“If there is death in my intent it has far easier targets.” Samael smiled past Kage. “It merely occurred to me that our guides through this battleground were so very convenient. I wanted ask our dear Lord who we should thank for the sudden cooperation.”

“ShaSha!” Brig ran to his family interrupting the tension for a moment with their reunion. As they kissed Brig felt Raziel’s fingers in his hair and smiled. He held Shana’s face as he whispered. “I’m glad you’re all okay.”

“And we found the lost kitten.” Van beamed proudly as she hung on Galik and pointed to their traveling companions. Neka was cuddled up on Bishop’s back as he walked quietly beside Farren. Behind them Nikolai and his pets lovingly congratulated each other on their progress.

“Daddy!” Neka giggled and swung her feet at Bishop’s sides as he walked closer to take her where she wanted to go. Her excitement was enough to soften the air between Kage and Samael and they both smiled to greet her. “Daddy, the air talks here!”

“Sweet girl.” Samael patted her as she slid to her feet. “The air speaks everywhere if you are listening. What you heard was something far more irritating.”

“And Bishop was so bwave.” Neka grabbed the leg of Kage’s pants, ignoring Samael’s lesson to tell her Father about her adventures. “So was Fawwen.”

“You were to stay with Kaneko.” Kage glared at Bishop as he picked up his daughter and stroked her hair.

“Everyone was upsetting her.” Bishop hung his head. “I made a mistake and put her at risk. That damn vampire got hurt trying to keep us safe. I’m sorry.”

“You’ll have to annunciate, Neka.” Kage grinned at his daughter. “You were telling me about your pet…”

“Bishop kept Neka safe.” Neka hugged Kage tight and rambled on about Bishop and his bravery. “Neka was brave, too.”

Until Kage was certain Bishop had finished wiping away unnecessary tears he held Neka and let her inform him on every detail of their adventure. The fact she insisted on including Samael kept another issue from arising between themselves. As everyone reunited and took time to recover and strengthen themselves. Even as the army around them grew wilder, their faith in each other and their confidence swelled.

“What has you smiling suddenly?” Lucifer watched Gabriel’s somber, contemplative expression melt into a sense of peace. “I assume that my son is finally going to join us. Nothing else seems to distract you so completely.”

“Kosha!” Azrael ran at Samael and leapt into his arms. He grabbed Shiroi and pulled her into the embrace as he bit Samael’s ear and mumbled his exciting news. “Se seta Maefyl, kosha. Ken blekasa.”

“De supas.” Samael held Azrael close and stroked his hair as he watched Maefyl’s quiet arrival.

Samael’s were not the only eyes on him as he carried Evadia into the midst of strangers. All of the Council watched anxiously as Maefyl sat the girl to her feet and took her hand. Gabriel met him and took his hand as he walked toward Farren.

Farren fell to his knees as they approached and nervously spread his fingers in the grass as he watched his daughter blush and start to smile. He wanted grab hold of her and never let go, but he had made a bargain for her safety. His life for hers. He just smiled at her and hoped she could understand. “Hello, Evadia.”

“Daddy!” Evadia leapt forward and embraced him. “I knew you would come.”

“Thank you, Maefyl.” Farren wept as he held his daughter.

“Let him look after her while we put an end to this.” Maefyl patted Kage on his arm. He could already see the aggravation building over another complicated guest and it was unnecessary. Lucifer wasn’t going to allow her to stay. They should at least have this time. “It is time to end this; right, Lucy?”

“Sachiel!” Lucifer’s voice rose over Eden. “Face me!”

Presia’s song began again as she was escorted into the field of Watcher’s by a dark haired young man with eyes like fire who gently carried Nei as he walked beside her. She sang sadly as the winds calmed to reveal a gathering army and her escort laid her Master in her lap for safe keeping. He took her hand and laid it over Nei’s heart. “Sing for him, miss.”

“Is that flirting?” A giggling current of water that had guided them took form beside Presia’s rescuer and pinched him. Her ringlet curls bouncing as she playfully scolded him. Presia’s song was brightening and the skies of Eden were clearer with every note. “Make friends later, Ifre.”

“I want to make sure we actually have friends here, T’waer.” Ifre righted himself as he put his arm around her. “Ria and Lucifer made this agreement, but I remember a few of these angry faces.”

“Don’t be bitter.” Ria scolded as he took form. He let his barriers of wind begin to wane; a gesture that silenced Ifre’s doubt. “For Eden.”

“For Eden.” Ifre nodded.

Angels that were scattered across Eden now converged on the estate were Sachiel hid herself away. Forming threatening ranks and screaming songs of war to combat Presia’s melody.

Fruitlessly. Presia’s song was being amplified by Eden itself and by the magic of those who never left it.

“Ifre.” Lucifer grinned. “Burn that eyesore to the ground.”

“Boring.” Ifre yawned as screamed erupted from the rapidly crumbling estate. Twaer and Ifre laughed as Sachiel shouted curses and hid amongst dust and her army of angels. “Nice work, Threa.”

“Thank you.” Barely a whisper came from behind Ria as a girl barely more than half his height peeked around him.

“Shall we begin?” Ria smiled at Lucifer.

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TCOL : Eden : A Silent Garden Pt.1

“My head feels funny.” Karla stumbled as they took their first steps into Eden and Eidolon steadied her as he took in the situation. She was not alone in her plight, they were all being touched by the haze of Sachiel’s magic. The weakest among them were struck nearly blind by it, clinging to their loves fearful that they had actually lost sight and taking comfort in the assurance that it was only a trick.

“If there was any doubt before now, it can be put to rest.” Eidolon sighed. Sachiel had often been called on to manipulate the minds of humans and more susceptible creatures for her god. She had a remarkable talent for creating suggestive thoughts and planting ideas then erasing any hint that she had been there. “None but the Ghost have this much sway.”

“Iehovah’s phantom is only a pest, Eidolon.” Lucifer chuckled. “You give her far too much credit and the small army we have brought boasts far greater talents.”

“I guess that’s where you come in, you pretty thing.” Nei kissed Presia’s fingers and smiled at her. It was clear why Lucifer had summoned the most talented of the Sirens. The skill of Presia’s song could manipulate the mind, but she could also counter the spells of others that did the same. She could protect the minds of her companions from the cloud of fear and confusion Sachiel was trying to hide behind.

“Eden lend me your strength.” Presia spoke to the garden and gathered the wealth of assistance it gave. It seemed even Eden itself was eager to have the trespassers expelled and was going to lend its aid to their cause. She fueled her gifts with the power of the nature around her and breathed deeply before beginning a song that melted away the dark clouds in the minds of the others. As she sang and their senses returned some of them turned their attention to her aria and her smile made her song even warmer.

“That’s pretty handy.” Azazel giggled.

“The Siren will render some of Sachiel’s magic useless.” Kage cautioned them against overconfidence. “Still it is best for most of you to keep your distance, this distraction was a small taste of her capabilities.”

“You can all have fun discussing bullshit.” Maefyl leapt into the air drawing his swords as he shouted his intentions. He was not going to wait a second longer to do what he came to do. “I’m ending this.”

“Not going to run after him?” Lucifer smirked at Gabriel.

“No.” Gabriel would know if Maefyl needed him and they had already discussed the need for discretion in Eden. “I’ll be staying very close to you during this battle, Lucy.”

“Should I be wounded or flattered?” Lucifer laughed.

“You should be grateful.” Gabriel smiled and drew a sword and scythe from the chaos as his attire shifted to the robes he had long ago abandoned. Crimson and white draped around him and his hair fell loose. “I could have stayed at home.”

“Volbaken.” Azrael bit his lip as he stared at Gabriel. “IsaAnku saba supani parakibi.”

“Daddy?” Asura walked up to Gabriel as he folded his wings to his back. She smiled like a child suddenly and leapt against him in an excited embrace. “You look amazing!”

“Flap, Flap!” Neka squealed and bit her tongue as she concentrated on trying to make wings of her own and instead became a winged kitten and flapped in front of Kage blinking. “Neka did it wrong.”

“You did beautifully.” Kage patted her head and glared past her at Bishop. “You have no hope of keeping up with me. Keep her close and stay with my daughter, Kaneko.”

“Kyaa! That’s not fair!” Kaneko hissed. “He is going to slow Kaneko down!”

“I was going to do that anyway.” Karla tugged Kaneko’s tail. “But I’ll make sure to keep everybody out of your way.”

“Nyaa.” Kaneko licked Karla’s nose and smiled up at Eidolon. “Are you going to run off, Master Eidolon?”

“I am.” Eidolon squeezed them both to him and kissed them each softly. As long as Presia’s song kept their minds protected, Kaneko was clear enough to look after them and they would likely be in the company of others while Zakesalek saw to the worst of Eden’s pests. “Don’t get into too much trouble. Eternity will stay with you.”

“Come along, Falcon.” Kage hissed. “We have angels to slaughter.”

Kage and Eidolon vanished into the quiet forests of Eden to begin clearing the Garden of nuisances. There was an eerie silence in the once life filled branches, even as they felled several of Sachiel’s guardians there was barely a sound beyond the haunting beauty of Presia’s song.

“What a waste.” Kage hissed. “All these ridiculous lessers scattered everywhere. A useless display of power.”

“One that we are using to our advantage.” Eidolon laughed. As they cleared the Garden of Choirs they absorbed each of them and strengthened themselves, each one giving them power they intended to unleash on Sachiel. “What she has used so carelessly will be used against her. Can I ask you something, Viper?”

“If it is about that damned boy…” Kage hissed.

“Sounds like it will be a long conversation.” Eidolon grinned. He crushed a Throne to the ground just as Lilith arrived beside him and gave him a strange nod he interpreted as a request for his departure. When Kage gave him a quick glance and sighed; Eidolon decided to go off on his own and leave the two of them to work. “It can wait.”

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TCOL : Eden : Those Who Will Stand At The Gates Pt.2

“Bret deseka vonek na Eden, baat?” Azrael tapped his foot impatiently.

 “Palak, Azrael.” Gabriel waved off the eagerness of the Wyrms to destroy and stepped toward Lucifer. “I have one last concern. I asked that you stay behind, Lucy. Hanseka. We helped you close the gates for a reason.”

 “I’m not going anywhere, Gabby.” Lucifer had decided to honor Gabriel’s request… in part. They all felt the trembling as Lucifer started the massive undertaking. Hell shook, but it was not a threatening tremor but a warm pulse of energy. “I won’t have to.”

 “I don’t like this, Vivi.” Eliza clung to Vikarr as if he could stop the shaking himself.

 “Myrt…” Caleb clutched his husbands sleeve and trembled as Myrt pulled him into his arm and drew a lance from the air, ready to protect him. He didn’t say a word but smiled when he saw his brother similarly standing as guardian to Donovan.

 “Is this really a time for games?” Eidolon held his brides in his protective embrace and noticed that Neka’s pet had nearly enveloped her in an embrace of his own. “We came ready to fight for you. Stop this.”

 “Show some faith, Falcon.” Kage grinned.

 Lucifer laughed as his magic completed and he gloated over his success. All of Golod watched him; Asura and Bezer giggling over what they were sure was going to be another argument. Raziel’s puppets stood silently at his side, so intent on making their Master proud that it didn’t even seem to occur to them to be afraid. Nei just fawned over Presia and yawned mockingly over Lucifer’s spell. Vikarr smiled at his worried bride and assured her there was nothing that would harm her. The lot of them were truly remarkable.

 “Done showing off?” Maefyl clapped slowly and laughed. “Now tell the class what you did.”

 “Remodeling.” Lucifer grinned.

 “You’ve brought Eden into Hell?” Raziel stroked Galik’s back. The most eager of his puppets to indulge in the coming fight was growing more impatient.

 “More specifically into my estate.” Lucifer grinned. He could feel the astonishment of the entire realm stroking his ego. Outside his estate they would marvel at the swell of power without ever knowing what had caused the realm to nearly double in size. They would simply see the superficial growth of Lucifer’s castle and know he had once again grown stronger. Once again done remarkable things. “Lilith does love her gardens. Who would like to help rid it of some vermin?”

“I just can’t go a day without saving the world.” Maefyl tightened his ponytail and jumped onto Gabriel’s back. “Stop looking so agitated. You knew he was going to do something obnoxious.”

 “This is not merely obnoxious.” Gabriel stepped up to Lucifer’s throne and rested his fingers against the arm. “Lucy, are the gates contained?”

 “Of course.” Lucy nodded. “I wouldn’t bring Eden only to let those nuisances run about making a mess of my home. Until we’ve destroyed them there is no way out of Eden.”

 “And then?” Gabriel asked quietly.

 “One thing at a time, Gabby.” Lucy stood in front of him and smiled. “Let’s get on with this.”

This is not an end… The gates will open.

 

Presia’s momentary augury brought an eerie quiet to the room and troubling questions they were trying to avoid finally ate away at Maefyl’s patience.

 “Why gates?” Maefyl kissed Gabriel’s face in an effort to calm him. “You said Eden was your home.”

 “And it was.” Gabriel rested his hands over Maefyl’s wrists. “It is also largely inaccessible.”

 “More accurately, locked away.” Raziel explained. “To protect the magic there from itself and our own abuses.”

 “What magic could you possibly not control, Razzy?” Van giggled.

 “Not all magic wants to obey the ones who call on it.” Vikarr smiled at her and Van stepped behind Raziel for comfort. Vikarr was saddened that she was still unwilling to accept him as family, but in no way wanted to push her. “You were fortunate that the magic in you embraced you as it did.”

 “Don’t harass the girl, Vikarr. Even you could not understand this magic.” Eidolon tried to explain further when he realized Karla was waiting so eagerly for an answer. “This magic was more than just beyond us as young Watchers.”

 “It took the six of us to seal the damn things away.” Samael laughed.

 “Vasun Lucifer seta ise benus kenun.” Azrael added as he covered his eyes feigning fear. “De seta kowaksi.”

 “It was an experiment.” Lucifer shrugged. “I think it went beautifully.”

 “This is not a laughing matter, Lucy.” Gabriel snapped at him. “The gates remain locked.”

 “The seals stay, Gabby.” Lucifer grinned. “At least for now. There are other concerns and I have no desire to make an enemy of you over this.”

 “We are going to talk about this later.” Maefyl whispered as he slid to his feet and lit a cigarette. “For now can we do what we came to do?”

 “For once we are in complete agreement, Half-breed.” Kage felt the familiar flutter of Kagemusha’s wings as she whispered her encouragement and praise. “My Lord Lucifer, we have trespassers to remove from Lilith’s newest garden…”

 “Come along then.” Lucifer was waiting suddenly by the door in the back of the hall. “What are you all waiting for?”

 “This should be interesting.” Azazel purred as he walked proudly beside Nikolai until Nei nearly knocked him over on his way toward Bishop. Azazel hissed and clawed toward the vampire but found himself holding a small bouquet of wildflowers and accepting the warm smile Presia offered in apology as she looked back at him. “Fucking weirdos.”

 “Let it go, my pet.” Nikolai snatched the flowers from Azazel’s hand and tossed them to the ground as they walked. “I want you focused. Keep each other safe.”

 “We will, Master Nikolai.” Bezer assured him as she took his hand.

 “At last this Council is living up to expectations.” Lucifer led them inside with a twisted sense of confidence in his dragons and their beloved treasures. In tragedy they were always at their best. “You’ve earned some time to play. Let the games begin.”

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TCOL : Connections : Lovably Rebellious

“Yep.” Brig hung up and sat his phone on the desk before he smirked and muttered to himself. The conversation with E had been brief, and he imagined many of the acquaintances he had made were having similar discussions. “Already working on it.”

“You realize I can hear each of your thoughts.” Raziel looked over the edge of his tablet at the devious grins of his puppets. “This is not a decision I can change.”

“It’s also not one we are going to listen to, Razzy.” Van rested her fists on her hips and clicked the stick of her lollipop across her smile. “We aren’t going to sit this out. You promised you would keep us with you.”

“Lord Raziel, please don’t be angry.” Galik smiled. “We only want to help.”

“You can not.” Raziel sat the tablet on the desk. “You heard what was said, the Council is to go alone. Zakesalek are to go alone.”

“Since when do you listen to Lucifer?” Demise protested. “The way I remember it, Kage only spouted off reasons why no one would help.”

“I assure you Lady Demise.” Raziel clarified. “Zakesalek do not want crowds in Eden. It is still sacred in their memories.”

“We’re just a crowd now?” Brig scoffed. “Fuck you, cupcake. You are cut off.”

“Yea, really. Talk about a bloody mood killer.” Shana leaned on Brig’s arm to help enforce the boycott. “I may take a vow of chastity.”

“While that is an amusing attempt to bait me.” Raziel said calmly and folded his hands on the desk in front of him. “I will take each of you as I please. Your willingness no longer has bearing.”

“Charming.” Shana grimaced.

“He was joking.” Brig grinned and hugged her. Raziel had been cold, but if he had been angry Brig would have known.

“How can you tell?” Shana rubbed her face on Brig’s shoulder as he laughed. “It’s not bloody funny, anyway.”

“Twisted sense of humor aside; this isn’t a request, Raziel.” Brig fumbled with a pack of cigarettes as he held Shana. “None of us want to sit around worrying again. We’re going with you. We don’t care about the fucking risks and we don’t give a fuck who it pisses off. If you are walking through fire, we are burning with you.”

“Yea!” Frikk shouted. “And we’re going, too!”

“All of us!” Tali agreed as she helped light Brig’s cigarette.

“We love you, Razzy.” Van leaned over and hugged him awkwardly. “You can be mad later. Just let us go with you.”

“Alright, puppets.” Raziel stroked Van’s hair as he closed his eyes. They all rushed to join in the awkward embrace and he was overcome with a sense of peace surrounded by the things he loved. “Afterward, I’ll be restringing all of you. You have all become very unruly.”

“Kinky fuck.” Brig sat up on the desk to finish his cigarette. “You just want to tie people up.”

“Starting with you, puppet.” Raziel teased and wrapped his arms around Galik as his most perfect creation crawled into his lap. “Hello, my Galik.”

“I love you, Lord Raziel.” Galik smiled. “You can tie me up.”

“Oh goodie.” Van pushed Brig and Shana toward the door. “It’s playtime.”

“So much for together in all things.” Demise laughed.

“There are just some things I am very okay with being left out of, doll face.” Brig took Shana and the ‘kids’ to relax while the others indulged in their own version of relaxing. None of them were sure what to expect in Eden, but for now they could rest easy knowing whatever awaited they would face it together.

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TCOL : Death & New Life : The Needed Chemicals Pt.4

“Falcon, your request to meet you here has now left us all with further scars.” Raziel turned and made his cold remarks. “Were you through or will you finish with the torment your bride is so eager to give us.”

“Aren’t you supposed to stay out of my head?” Karla pouted.

“It’s not that easy, kid.” Maefyl stood beside the Council doors with Gabriel. At this point Raziel knew as well as he did what Eidolon was convinced of. It wasn’t much of a stretch all things considered. “Just spill it, Eidolon. We do have other shit to do.”

“Among the fallen of Vikarr’s lineage we spoke with very few.” Eidolon explained softly. Hoping the tone of his voice may soften the news. “The most talented of which were the last to die. Charming, powerful women.”

“Women have always been my best work.” Vikarr giggled. “But this story has a far more interesting ending then ghosts of witches or you would not have brought us here.”

“True enough.” Eidolon took a small gathering of Vikarr’s thread he had saved into his hand and sighed. “Your bride asked if you had family that still lived. Eternity, if you would.”

“The amazing thing about Vikarr’s blood is that it hid over the centuries.” Eternity explained as she took the thread and infused it with magic akin to a demonic paternity test. “His power, the talent with latent magic, would peek and wane as it followed the strongest women through his line. Near the end it was nearly as pure as it was in his own child.”

“Vanessa and Valerie were kind of fun, too.” Karla interrupted. “I liked them.”

“Razzy.” Van whispered as she took his hand. She heard enough once she heard the names. It didn’t take genius to work out the rest and she wanted to run from the truth before anyone spoke it aloud. “I want to go home.”

“Nearly?” Eliza watched the fairy lay the thread in Vikarr’s palm and manipulate it into a strange looking seal before forcing the magic into his skin.

“They were souls at peace.” Kaneko explained with a grin as she tugged Neka’s tail. “Hard to judge how powerful because they’ve let so much of it go for a quiet ever after. Still human enough to like it the easy way.”

“As strong as your blood had rekindled in the two of them.” Eternity continued. “The last of your line would have been as close to being your daughter as possible.”

“You demons make my head hurt.” Eliza complained.

“Because they play games and you are dense…” Donovan teased. “They are saying he has a living daughter.”

“I still have a child?” Vikarr laughed. “Impossible.”

“Not impossible.” Raziel lifted Van’s trembling fingers and pricked one with his thumbnail as he closed his eyes. He had seen the possibility and already knew it was only going to be confirmed. Vikarr was as close to a father as Van would ever have. “Just unfortunate.”

Lucifer laughed boisterously as he watched Van’s blood react to Eternity’s spell and the blood within the source of her family’s magic. Van started to weep.

“It’s a girl.” Eliza grinned up at Vikarr. “You can tell because of the pink hair.”

“Back off, E.” Brig sighed as he stood close by and helped comfort Van. “Can’t you see she’s upset?”

“Cram it up your arse, London.” Eliza taunted. “Isn’t this some kind of privilege?”

“Dry your eyes, puppet.” Raziel stepped in front of her as Vikarr approached them. As she tried to quiet her sobs against his back Galik stepped beside Raziel defensively and glared at Vikarr. Raziel could feel the rage seething in his creation over Van’s tears and took his wrist. “There has been enough confrontation, Galik. Let him speak.”

“No!” Van whimpered and pulled at the back of Raziel’s sleeves. “I don’t want to hear this. I want to go home, Razzy.”

“Now, look here Princess Pinky.” Eliza scowled as she crossed her arms. “Vivi might be a jerk sometimes, but you are being a real brat about this.”

“Lovely…” Vikarr’s sigh became a childlike grin as he pulled her up to kiss her. “Be kind. She is my child.”

“I am not.” Van glared at them over Raziel’s shoulder. “I want nothing to do with you.”

“Respect her decision, Vikarr.” Raziel suggested coldly. “Your bride has had her amusing puzzle solved. That is enough.”

“You want me to deny my blood?” Vikarr stepped closer forcing Raziel to tilt his head back to look him in the eye. “The girl carries a part of me. Let me speak with her.”

“I don’t get why she is all pissy.” Eliza looked away pouting. “If you are one of these Watchers, she should be thrilled.”

“My actions caused her heartache.” Vikarr pulled a handkerchief from his breast pocket and laid it across Raziel’s shoulder for the vampire whose eyes were now as pink as her hair from weeping. “For that I am sorry. You are free to disavow any relation to me, Van. If you choose not to, I will make every effort to be as I should. I would gladly call such a charming creature daughter.”

“I’ll think about it.” Van took the handkerchief and looked at it sadly. It had been Vikarr that played a part in Raziel and Brig suffering. Accepting that he was a part of her made her ache. This was not the answer she wanted to the questions she had in the back of her mind her whole life.

“Now back off, cupcake.” Brig held Shana beside him and tugged one of Van’s pigtails as he smirked up at Vikarr. As certain as Brig was that he was going to regret his behavior during their visit here, he was as compelled as ever to protect his family. “Van will talk to you when and if she wants to.”

“Of course.” Vikarr bowed his head and shifted away with Eliza. He turned to Eidolon and smiled. “Thank you, Falcon.”

“Oh, right!” Eliza squeaked and bowed her head. “Thanks so much. I hope it wasn’t too much trouble.”

“It was not and you are welcome.” Eidolon smiled as he and Karla walked toward the doors to the Council hall hand in hand. The task had been enlightening and had given him new experiences with his brides. It had not been trouble for him. He was more concerned for the trouble it would now cause for everyone else. He stopped near Maefyl and Gabriel and sighed. “I apologize for that distraction.”

“I’m more concerned with that distraction.” Maefyl nodded toward the scene at the throne. Kage even looked intimidating when doting on his children. There was a cruelty in his smile even when he was at his happiest, but while he watched his daughters laughing together now he would steal glances at the quiet boy at the end of Neka’s leash and ice filled his eyes. He had given his permission, but Kage was still furious over Lilith’s gift. Maefyl didn’t need Kage’s hidden thoughts to see it. The thoughts he did hear were more pleasant but no less troubling. Lilith was truly trying to help. Kage’s focus on Neka was bruising Lucifer’s affection, she hoped a distraction for the girl would let Kage take his eyes off of her long enough to see that. Neka was thrilled with her new pet and with seeing her sister Kaneko. She was busy introducing the two of them under the watchful glare of her Father. Bishop’s thoughts may have been the most disturbing of the lot. He was completely accepting of the offer Lilith had made. He consigned himself to this temporary slavery. Not for any of her promised rewards, but out of concern for Neka, a child he had known for minutes, and a sense of atonement for his part in the loss of lives in Vex. “That kid has no idea what he just got himself into.”

“I don’t believe that any of us are privy to what we’ve gotten ourselves into, Maefyl.” Eidolon gave him a sad smile as he looked back over the hall. Every moment of happiness in their lives had been paid for with tears and pain that no mortal would even have the time to experience, but watching the others arrive Eidolon realized that despite the bickering they were here, all of them together, who could regret a moment of a life that brought them this far? Karla looked up at him troubled and he comforted her with a smile that grew more genuine as she returned it with her own. “But like all of us I imagine he will have few regrets when he breathes his last.”

“His last comes quick.” Eternity sighed from Eidolon’s shoulder. “Strange choice for a pet.”

“Daddy!” Asura skipped over and jumped into Gabriel’s arms before she took in the moods around the room and started her inquisition. “Who is the boy? What’s wrong with Van?”

“Kitty boy!” Neka squealed at the sight of Azazel and in her excitement tugged Bishop closer. As he stumbled toward them Kage kicked him back gently and sat Neka on her feet. “Sorry, Daddy. Sorry, Bissop.”

“Bishop.” He laughed nervously at the girl that blushed over her own mistake.

“You are not to correct her.” Kage glared at him. “You’ll answer to whatever she calls you, shiga.”

“She is going to be positively evil when she grows up.” Azazel grinned as he watched the boy nod his acceptance. “A Viper in training.”

“Don’t you dare, my pet.” Nikolai slipped his fingers into Azazel’s collar and smiled as he pulled him along. “I’ll be evil for you. Asura, Bezer. I think we should wait for the others inside.”

Nikolai’s pets dutifully followed him into the Council hall as the others watched. Each of them doting on each other as they found their places inside and avoided the tension building in Lucifer’s audience hall.

“I think we will join him.” Raziel gestured for the door to have his puppets lead the way. Even with the truce of the Council, the Keeper made it a point to keep them in his sights and he wanted to see them all inside before there was any more conflict. Cid and Tali held tight to Brig’s arm as he escorted Shana into the hall silently and Galik followed close behind hugging Frikk and Frakk to his chest. In a rare show of tenderness, Raziel held Van by her hand and escorted her himself. She was quiet, but her thoughts were screaming and she was fighting the urge to wail and fall against him for comfort. When the doors closed behind them he lifted her hand and kissed it before taking the handkerchief she still had twisted in her fingers. He wrapped it softly around her wrist and tied it there as she sniffled. “We can discuss this later.”

“I just don’t want you to hate me, Razzy.” Van tried to stop her lip from quivering and toughen up and wished she could do what Raziel did and just hide it all away. “That man is awful.”

“Vikarr has made poor decisions, he is not awful.” Raziel laid his hand against Van’s face. “Even if he was, your relation to him makes no difference to me.”

“I truly hate to involve myself.” Nikolai sighed as Asura nudged him into speaking. “But if my experience can give you any comfort… We are not our Fathers.”

“He is NOT her Father.” Galik growled at him and handed Van a lollipop. “We can make her smile without you.”

“Thank you, Nikolai.” Raziel nodded to him. Van had understood the sentiment and accepted the truth in it. It would take her time to accept Vikarr, but she would not dwell on the worry that she would be held accountable for mistakes that were not her own. Raziel pressed his fingertips to her lips and she kissed them. He did the same for Galik before he claimed the sweetness of their kisses for himself. He cast a glance at Brig as he sat to ease the jealous thoughts stirring in his most troublesome puppet. “Now settle yourselves, puppets. We all want a quick end to this.”

“So what was with the other guests and the kid?” Bezer sat on the edge of the table between Nikolai and Asura as they sat. As she swung her feet she giggled at Blondie bouncing from foot to foot.

“The Lancers are here at the Councils request.” Raziel explained as he watched his puppets quietly finding there places beside him. “The boy is from Vex. He seems to have been given to Kage’s daughter as a toy. One more tragedy in his short life.”

“That’s not fair.” Asura frowned. “Since when do we give people as gifts?”

“Your grandfather has made quite the habit of it.” Raziel closed his eyes and offered nothing else.

Asura couldn’t respond and knew that Raziel understood her reasons. They all fell into a sullen silence and waited for the others. There were enough troubles without focusing on another of Lucifer’s many cruel games. They were here to end conflicts, not to begin them. Azazel slid behind Asura in her chair and held her as she tapped at her computer screen and Bezer stroked Nikolai’s hair as he rested his head on his hand and closed his eyes to shut out the misery of the heavy mood that had fallen across the table.

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TCOL : Death & New Life : The Needed Chemicals Pt. 2

“Why are we leaving so early?” Van complained as she tugged on her second sneaker. “It’s not as if you like talking to any of them.”

“Eidolon has asked to speak with me. Show me your pretty face.” Raziel ran his hand under her chin and watched her pout curl into a loving smile as she looked at him. “Much better, puppet. None of this should take very long.”

“Lord Raziel, help me with this.” Galik walked over to them tugging at his tie. He knew his smile gave away his playful need for attention. “Van messed it up.”

“Did not.” Van giggled as Raziel pulled Galik close by the sloppily loosened knot.

“You don’t have to wear this.” Raziel straighten out the mess Galik had made and pulled him close. “You have no reason to impress the Council.”

“We aren’t doing it for them.” Brig sighed as he shook out the front of the suit jacket that made him feel as awkward as Galik felt in the shirt and tie. “We’re just tired of them looking down on you.”

“So we got the boys looking respectable.” Shana grabbed Brig’s arm and smiled as the presented themselves.

“I even wore a whole shirt!” Van grinned as she grabbed the hem of the tiny t-shirt that still fell above her navel despite the fact she hadn’t torn off it’s bottom half.

“We dressed up, too.” Tali smiled over Shana’s shoulder in matching dress. She pointed to Brig’s feet were Cid stood in a suit that matched Brig’s perfectly. “Look how cute! Just like Daddy!”

“We still look better.” Frikk hung on the edge of Van’s skirt in similar fashion as her Master. “Where is Demise?”

“Resting.” Brig laid his hand gingerly over his breast pocket. “This has all been hard on her.”

“On all of us.” Raziel added. “I apologize for rushing you. Eidolon requested an early arrival.”

“No big deal, cupcake.” Brig shrugged. “The rush isn’t what bothers me. It’s the ‘why?’.”

“The Falcon is not one to start unnecessary trouble.” Raziel gathered them all close and kissed each of his puppets tenderly before they departed and seconds later arrived in the entrance hall to Lucifer’s estate. With the doors to the hall open they could hear the shouting inside and as Raziel moved inside they were all a step behind him. It was no surprise to hear Kage and Lucifer shouting, but the subject of the argument brought Raziel to a halt and brought a gasp from a few of his little tribe. Raziel looked him over and only spoke his name when he was satisfied no harm had come to him. “Bishop?”

Bishop only offered a half-hearted smile and a nod to acknowledge them. He was afraid to give the demons any more fuel to make their debate more explosive.

“Excellent.” Kage hissed. Vikarr had already arrived with the dream weavers and the rest of his unnecessary following and Kage would have been agitated enough by Lilith’s ‘gift’ without the humiliating addition of a growing crowd. “Now we have a larger audience to her lunacy.”

“Enough, Kage.” Lucifer laughed. “Her offer is sincere.”

“Do you honestly expect me to condone this?” Kage screamed. “Ke saba shiga. Bulbenu. De bara kabak se.”

“He is a nice boy.” Lilith reasoned. “It will give her perspective.”

“She did want a pet after all.” Lucifer grinned. “What could teach better patience than caring for a human?”

“Aside from the very idea of a living human in this realm being revolting to me, how are we even supposed to deal with one taking residence here?” Kage sneered. “This is not even feasible.”

“My Lord is capable of making accommodations suitable.” Lilith sighed and shifted close to Kage. She laid her hand on Neka’s head as she spoke softly. “Honestly, Kage. This is not an insult. It is a gift. Meant to teach the girl and to give you back some of your time. You are losing focus. He is only a pet, and when she tires of him I will see he is rewarded for his time and taken to a new life far from you.”

Neka had remained quiet, but her eyes were hopeful and her practiced smile grew sadder with each of her Father’s screams. When Kage looked at her now he rested his hand over Lilith’s and sighed. With the other members of Council arriving he wanted to set aside personal affairs.

“I’m not making the decision now.” Kage looked aside at Lucifer. “My Lord, you should have advised her to wait until other matters were settled. This is not the time for this.”

“What do you think?” Neka grabbed Kage by the leg of his pants to pull him along as she approached Bishop on her own. She smiled up at the quiet boy that to her did not seem all that different from some of the other guests that stood about looking troubled. “Are you a feast-ible pet? Neka thinks you might be to big.”

“Feasible, Neka.” Kage corrected as he glared at Bishop with disgust.

“Too big, huh? This help?” Bishop tried to ignore the ice in her father’s eyes and crouched to talk to her as he smiled. “I think that this is up to the grown ups. You and I should probably stay out of it until they make up their mind.”

“In this house the children often behave better than the grown ups.” Maefyl arrived smoking and flicked his ash to the floor as he leaned against Lucifer’s throne. He slowly started to take in the situation but his mouth outran his mind. “What is with the kid?”

“You hardly need to ask.” Kage snapped at him as he snatched Neka into his arms and kicked Bishop back to the floor. “Stay out of this, Half-breed. It is none of your concern.”

“A slave, Lilith?” Maefyl cringed when he grasped the situation. “I thought better of you.”

“Is it slavery if he agrees?” Lucifer grabbed Maefyl by his wrist and pulled him from his arrogant stance. “Don’t insult your Mother.”

“Yes, it is.” Maefyl yanked his arm away. “Haven’t you learned by now that these living gifts you use to placate each others egos never work out well? Someone always gets hurt.”

“Maefyl.” Gabriel sighed as he helped Bishop to his feet. “Pick your battles.”

“You win.” Maefyl shrugged and tussled Neka’s hair on his way past Kage. “Hi kid.”

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