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Shep poked his head out from his hiding spot under the sink, and then ducked again when he realized his parents and the figure that had broken into their house in the middle of the night were only a few feet away.
“You will worship, or you will die,” the man said, as he held his mother and father far above the ground, one clawed hand wrapped around each of their throats.
“We would rather die before we follow any of your disgusting kind.” His father did his best to spit on the creature that held them off the floor. It growled as his spit landed on its large bulging eyes.
“Your prayer is granted.” Shep covered his ears when he heard the two sickening crunches as the figure crushed their necks. He needed to leave, he needed to get away. Before he could even think about what he was doing, he charged out of the cabinet under the sink. The man stood there, before the crumpled heaps of his parents corpses. He stood tall, having to bend his head to keep it from hitting the ceiling. His black skin looked like that of a rotting body, thick and leathery. His arms were too long for his body, falling down past his bent knees. His back was hunched, two large gray wings sprouting from them, a small trail of feathers following him as he moved. He drooled, teeth poking out from his thin lips, covered in blood. “Hello, boy,” he greeted him, in his sickening scratchy voice. Shep looked him up and down, eyes drawn to his bare feet with long claws.
“What are you?” Shep asked.
“My name is Michael. I’m an Archangel.”
“Shep!” Lex woke him from his nightmare. Shep sat up in his bed, looking around the house adorned with treasures and nicknacks he had taken from his kills. Several feathers were framed on the walls, along with claws and fingers, and even the gray tongue of one of the disgusting creatures. “You alright?” he asked.
“I’m fine, Lex. Go back to bed,” he mumbled.
“Demons don’t sleep, remember. It’s party all the time for us down in the underworld,” Lex winked, swaying his hips to silent music.
“Well we’re not IN the underworld, so go to sleep,” Shep snapped.
“Party pooper,” he crossed his arms and sat down. “So Michael killed your parents?” Lex asked. Shep sat up and glared at him. “You talk in your sleep,” he smiled. Shep groaned and pulled the covers over his head.
“Go to sleep, Lex.”
“It’s noon,” he replied. Shep sat up again, and stared at the clock.
“Fuck! Why didn’t you wake me? Our bus leaves in fifteen minutes!” he exclaimed, as he jumped up to get dressed.
“I did wake you,” Lex pointed out.
“Where’s the key? Where did I put the key?” Shep scrambled as he pulled on a pair of jeans.
“This key?” Lex held up the rusted metal key on a chain around his neck.
“Yes! Give me that you little-“
“Ah ah ah,” Lex waved a finger as he used his claws to scurry up one of the tall walls of the house. “I think I better keep these, just in case.” He used his pointed tail to grab the other keys from Shep’s hand.
“Give them back, Lex,” Shep glared.
“Oh no-no-no-no, since I have these, you can’t just ditch me. We’re in this together. This is WAY more fun the partying in the underworld,” he smiled, as he crawled along the ceiling.
“There’s something wrong with you,” Shep frowned, as he grabbed his coat and pulled it over his swords.
“Or something is oh so right?” Lex swayed his hips as he jumped off the ceiling and followed Shep out the door.
“You know, it’s hard to think we’re these awesome caped crusaders, when we have to travel by bus,” Lex said, leaning up close to some old woman with glasses, and picked something out of his teeth using the reflection in the lenses. Shep watched as he continued to make faces at the poor old woman who couldn’t see him.
“Stop that,” Shep snapped, making the old woman turn to look at him, confused. She looked around before shaking her head and returning to her book.
“You’re no fun,” Lex laid in the middle of the isle that sat in the center of the bus.
“This isn’t supposed to be fun, we have a job to do,” Shep said. The old woman turned and stared at him again.
“Work work work,” Lex sighed and turned over on his stomach, looking up at Shep. “Work is for the living,” he mumbled.
“I am living!” Shep shouted. Without looking at him, the old woman stood up and moved to the front of the bus.
“Bluetooth. It’s definitely on the shopping list,” Lex said, as the woman stepped through his chest.
“Besides, I thought Demons were technically alive?” Shep ignored Lex’s comment.
“We are. I mean, not really. Kind of….” Lex looked confused. “Yes,” he finally said.
“I don’t think that was a yes or no question,” Shep rolled his eyes.
“Well I just made it one, damn it.” Lex stood up and sat next to Shep. “The way it works; is when you die, if you’re a sinner of course,” Lex smiled happily and gestured to himself, “you go to hell. If you worship those douchebags,” he pointed up, “you go canlı bahis to Limbo. It’s kind of like what Humans imagine it to be. Just a whole lotta nothingness. But instead of being left in that nothingness, an angel comes, devours your soul, and that’s it. The end,” Lex said.
“I know all that. What happens after you arrive in hell?” Shep asked.
“I don’t know how it happens for everyone, but for me, I got there and talked to the big man downstairs,” Lex explained. “He asked me a few questions and boom, I sprouted a pair of wings and a tail, among some other things,” he brushed his fingers over his small horns.
“You actually spoke to the devil?” Shep asked, not believing him.
“Yep,” he nodded. Shep hesitated.
“Well, what was it like?” he asked.
“He’s a nice guy. Kind of full of himself, but a nice guy. He likes darts,” Lex said, picking a piece of invisible lint off of him.
“Darts?” Shep frowned.
“Yeah. We played darts, while we were talking,” he shrugged.
“Right….” Shep stared at Lex.
“I’ve heard it happens different ways for different people, though,” he said, thinking deeply about it.
“What questions?” Shep asked.
“Huh?” Lex looked up at him, resting his head in Shep’s lap.
“What questions did he ask you?” Shep ignored how close Lex was to his crotch.
“I don’t know. Just questions. What I did with my life, if I was happy with it, if I was fulfilled,” Lex said.
“Were you?” Lex didn’t seem like he needed to think about the question.
“No. I told him upfront that I wasn’t ready to die. I hadn’t met someone to share my life with. I hadn’t traveled the world. I hadn’t ridden a skateboard,” he shrugged. Shep frowned. “I always wanted to learn,” he smiled.
“Do you think he turned you into a Demon because you weren’t done yet? I mean. Not everyone is a demon right? Otherwise they would be everywhere,” Shep said. Lex sat up.
“I… I never thought about that,” he mumbled. “I’ll ask him.”
“What? Like you can just walk up to him and talk to him?” Shep frowned.
“Yeah. Like I said, he’s not a bad guy. He’s kinda hot actually,” Lex smiled.
“You’re sick. He’s the Devil,” Shep glared at Lex.
“Yeah but who said the Devil can’t be hot,” Lex shrugged. The bus stopped, and the old lady took off as fast as her weak legs could carry her. “Come on, then,” Lex jumped up and walked down the aisle, leaving the bus. Shep stood up, and followed him.
“Nice place,” Lex mumbled sarcastically, looking at the boring farming town.
“It’s homey I guess,” Shep replied, and began walking down the dirt road.
“Well then, where’s this chest supposed to be?” Lex asked, using his tail to spin the keys, making them clink together in an old rusted metallic noise.
“There,” Shep pointed behind Lex. Lex frowned and turned, staring up at a mountain that nearly touched the clouds.
“The fuck?” he swore. “Sure, the wings are hot, but they’re not exactly the best mode of transportation.”
“I heard somewhere that Demons can’t fly,” Shep laughed.
“I can fly!” Lex frowned, crossing his arms.
“Prove it. Why don’t you just fly on up there and get the chest? You have the keys after all.” Shep pointed to the keys on Lex’s tail, as the Demon stared up at the mountain with a lump in his throat.
“Fine…” he said, hesitantly, “I will.” He let his arms fall from the crossed position. He spread his wings, which in comparison to his body were fairly small. He beat them a few times, looking up at the mountain nervously. “See you at the top,” he turned his nose up, and strained as he headed towards the mountain, only a few feet off the ground. Shep rolled his eyes and laughed as Lex tried to gain more altitude, obviously already tired.
Shep’s breath was visible in front of him as he hiked up the long faded path to the top of the mountain. He was freezing, but kept pushing on. The weather in the small farming town had already been a little cool, but as he climbed higher the air took on the frosty bite Shep hated. He hadn’t seen or heard from Lex in a while, and was enjoying the silence. Since he had met him back when he had saved his afterlife, so to speak, he hadn’t gotten a moments peace. Even while he was trying to take a piss, he could always hear Lex’s off key singing or his mumbling to himself. The Demon was definitely a talker.
But Shep had to admit that he was attractive. The horns and tails only made him more appealing, the way he would sway his hips and swing his tail from side to side. Shep couldn’t help but wonder what other things he could do with that tail. He shook the thoughts from his head and continued the rough climb. He used his swords to support his weight, as he hoisted himself over a large boulder. He looked up at the steep path ahead and smiled, he was more than halfway there. As he turned the next corner, he saw a thin form sprawled out on a rock before him.
“Already got the chest?” Shep joked. Lex lifted his head tiredly bahis siteleri and let it fall back again.
“Fuck you,” he mumbled.
“Get up,” Shep ordered, as he continued on. Lex moaned as he rolled. He rolled too far, and hit the frosty ground hard. He grunted in pain and glared as Shep held back a chuckle. “We’re almost there,” Shep said, as Lex grumbled. He followed a few steps behind Shep, whining the whole way.
“Make it sound so easy, don’t you,” Lex grumbled. “Oh, we just find the chest and unlock it and go on our merry way,” he said, in a high pitched mocking voice.
“There,” Shep said, ignoring Lex’s whining. He pointed to the chest. It wasn’t quite at the top of the mountain, but at a large flat ledge 3/4 of the way up. It stood in the middle of the cliff, on a stone platform. Obviously not hidden from view. Without hesitation, Shep ran towards it. He ran his hands over the smooth metal of the chest. “Open it,” he looked to Lex, who still stood back at the edge.
“Say please,” he said, but walked over to the chest anyways. He swung his tail around and grabbed a key. “How do I know which one is which?” he mumbled, looking at the seven keys and seven keyholes.
“Which ones fit?” Shep pulled off a few keys and shoved them into a random keyhole. All of them fit into each one. He sighed and fell back.
“What now? There’s no way we can get them all right, we’ll be here for hours,” Lex said.
“Then we’ll be here for hours. Get started.” They placed all the keys into the chest, and turned them. When nothing happened they were pulled out and another combination was tried. After half an hour, Lex sighed.
“This isn’t going to work, Shep. This is stupid.” He sat back on his ass in the dirt. Shep looked at the keys for the thousandth time.
“They all look the same,” he mumbled.
“No they don’t.” Lex suddenly snatched one of the keys from Shep’s hands. “Look,” he said, pointing to the keys inside the loop of the old fashioned keys, was an initial.
“They’re all different,” Shep mumbled.
“M, U, C, and R.” Lex frowned, reading the initials of the keys in his hand.
“I have G, Z, and J,” Shep said, looking at Lex for help. Lex seemed thoughtful, before he slowly put the keys in, carefully placing them in their spots. He placed the key marked M in the first spot, He put U in the fourth, C right after U, and R he shoved into the second slot last. He took Shep’s without a word and placed them in their own spots, before turning them. The chest clicked open and Lex smiled. Shep frowned, confused.
“Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Chamuel, Jophiel, and Zadkiel. The highest ranking Archs to the lowest,” Lex explained. Shep smiled.
“You’re a lifesaver.” He reached into the chest, and grabbed the single folded piece of paper. He opened the map and scanned the page before frowning.
“What?” Lex asked.
“This must be old, or a mistake or something,” he said, turning the map around.
“What do you mean?” Lex tried to look at the map.
“It says there’s supposed to be the first Archangel guarding the map,” he mumbled. “But obviously he’s not-” Shep was cut off, as a golden arrow pierced Lex through the shoulder, sending him flying back into the dirt with a scream.
“Motherfuck!” he cursed, as he rolled on the ground in agony. He reached up and grabbed the arrow, only screaming more. Shep stood and shoved the map into his pocket, before drawing his blades. The Angel landed a safe distance away from the twin swords Shep held.
It looked different than any other Angel Shep had seen. It’s wings were golden, and its eyes a bright shining blue. It’s skin was pale and glowed brightly in the sun that pierced through the gray clouds above. It didn’t look like the sickly, ugly, gray Angels Shep had grown used to. He knew inside that it was the same. This was probably just another one of its many disguises.
“Stupid human,” the Angel sneered, revealing its true self. Gray feathers replaced the golden ones, and it’s eyes faded to a sickly color, along with its skin and hair. It’s open mouth revealed the gray black teeth that were rotting and decaying.
“What the fuck!?” Lex still lay on the ground, cursing and tugging at the arrow, making himself spray black blood onto the ground and scream in agony.
“Stop that!” Shep said, as Lex bit his bottom lip.
“You’ve chosen to put yourself into the company of a Demon as well?” the Angel said, drawing an arrow into his bow again.
“I wouldn’t say ‘chosen’ exactly, more like ‘stalked’,” Shep shrugged.
“Fuck you,” Lex grumbled, as he stood up. Shep wasn’t really sure if he was talking to him or the Arch.
“So, you interrupted me before I could have a good look. You are…” Shep said, waiting for the angel to introduce.
“I am Zadkiel. The seventh ranking Archangel,” he said, proudly, as feathers fell from his disgusting wings. Lex scoffed.
“You say it like you’re proud. I mean, seventh, really? You couldn’t have done a little bit better than bahis şirketleri that?” he drew one of the chains that wrapped around his shoulders. The metal fell to the ground loudly, leaving his chest bare. The Angel scowled, and aimed his bow, letting the arrow fly. This time, Lex dodged. Shep took the chance to charge forward, swords in hand. He swung with Solias first, following with Dyrnwyn. He missed both times, and was caught off guard when the Angel, Zadkiel, drew another arrow. He was about to release the once golden, now black, arrow into Shep’s chest, but missed by an inch when the heavy chains belonging to Lex wrapped around the bow, and tugged it down. Zadkiel grunted as the bow was pulled from his hands, and slid across the dirt floor of the platform.
“Lex, the bow!” Shep shouted, as he chased after the Angle. Lex ran for the weapon, the Angel beating him by only a second. Without hesitation, Lex lept onto the back of the feathered beast. It roared, a mixture between a cry and a crows caw, as it wrestled with the literal demon on its back. Lex wrapped the heavy chain around its throat, and pulled. It coughed and pulled at the chain links, as its back was soaked with the black blood from Lex’s shoulder which still held the arrow in place. It’s long tail swung angrily, every muscle in it’s body working to kick Lex off as the blood of the Demon began to burn and sizzle as it soaked into the Angels flesh, making it scream. Finally, Lex was shoved off as Zadkiel drew his bow again.
“Lex, I never asked, what happens to Demons when they die?” he asked.
“Remind me to ask the big man downstairs, next time I get the chance,” he said, worried, as the Angel aimed for his chest this time. Shep shoved him out of the way, landing hard on top of him, avoiding the arrow in his shoulders by centimeters. “Oooh…” Lex purred. “Hello,” he smiled.
“Not the time, Lex,” Shep said, as he stood and retrieved Solias from the dirt, where he had dropped it. The Demon groaned as the smoke from Lex’s blood swirled around him, his eyes were partially glazed over as he drew another arrow.
“Okay, this needs to stop,” Lex mumbled.
“Agreed,” Shep whispered quietly. Without a word, Lex charged the Angel, who turned his aim from Shep to Lex. But before he could fire, the Demon was upon him. During the fall, he had traded out the heavy chain, for the light leather of his whip. As he drew his arm back to strike the dying Zadkiel, the Angel used one long bony arm to smack him away. Shep watched as Lex hit the ground hard, head making a sickening sound as it bounced on the concrete block the chest sat on. The Angel turned to Shep and moved to draw another arrow from the quiver at his side. When his hands grasped open air, he frowned and looked down at the empty leather pouch. He growled, revealing his rotting teeth again.
“I don’t need arrows to destroy you.” He smiled wickedly, and used his molting wings to pounce on Shep. As he drew a small dagger from a hidden sheath on his gray leg, Shep reached for the swords he had dropped when the Angel had tackled him to the ground, but they were well out of his reach. “Die, scum,” he smiled, grin wide. He drew the dagger back and prepared to sink it into Shep’s chest. Shep shut his eyes and prepared for the sharp pain of the black blade piercing his heart, but when nothing came he opened his eyes. The Angel’s eyes were wide above him, and he grunted once, before he slouched, falling onto Shep’s chest. Lex stood above him, behind the golden arrow that pierced the Angel’s thick hide.
“That’s for shooting me, bitch,” he mumbled, out of breath and black blood leaking from a wound on his head. The Angel screeched as it decayed into dust. Shep coughed and waved his hands around his face as Lex helped him up.
“Gross, I got Angel dust in my mouth,” he spat on the ground.
“Come on, Sheppy. I need a shower,” Lex mumbled, turning towards the path that led down the hill, but collapsed onto his knees after only two or three steps.
“Lex, are you okay?” Shep knelt down by him, and held onto his shoulders to keep him from falling anymore. The Demon nodded.
“Just… a little… tired…” his red eyes rolled back into his head as he faded into darkness.
Lex woke up an hour later. He blinked hard as he looked around the seedy hotel room. He stretched, and shut his eyes again when he saw Shep was nearby, sewing a hole in his jacket.
“You passed out. I carried you back here and got us a hotel room. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to walk down the street carrying something that’s invisible to everyone else without looking crazy,” Shep chuckled.
“You carried me down that shitty-ass mountain?” Lex opened his eyes and frowned. Shep shrugged. “Well… thanks,” he said, sitting up. “Oh shit,” he groaned and laid back down, holding his shoulder.
“Yeah, you tore yourself up pretty bad pulling that arrow out. I bandaged it up for you, but I’m going to need to change it again soon.” Lex looked down at the black soaked bandage on his shoulder. He also had a bandage on his head. “That one already stopped bleeding, you can probably take it off now,” he said, as Lex felt the cloth around the gash.
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