[identity profile] smokes-and-lies.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] neutral_omens
Date: February 20th, 2001
Status: Private - Raguel, Berith [Complete]
Setting: landing of the third floor staircase
Summary: You had to turn the corner right then, didn't you?

Berith congratulated himself. He had managed to keep away from that pestering presence for two whole weeks now without a hitch.

The task wasn't as easy as one might think. The other had a... permeating outline, substance that filtered through walls like water through tissue paper. Which made him harder to track, keep tabs on, and thus avoid. But Berith knew that quite a bit of his own survival depended on this, and so he had his guard up, rigidly so. He made sure not to rise too early, nor to be out unless there were enough people about to distract from his own aura. It seemed the other wasn't intent on finding him either, for he hadn't been sought out.

However, he was getting restless.

It was all well and good to wait for a hammer to fall, but what if it wasn't a hammer at all? What if it was only memory, so faded beyond recognition that he was hiding for no reason at all?

He didn't check so carefully today. He wanted one day, just one, without watching his footsteps for the shadows attached to them.

Thinking to go into town or perhaps to get a drink down at the bar, he was just at the staircase landing when he felt the punch to his metaphysical gut, saw the figure in his line of vision, looked up despite his harsh mental command not to...

He hadn't changed a bit.

No.

And somehow, something smiled upon him and he managed a tone that was all-business, short and severe.

"Raguel."

Date: 2007-03-03 09:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
The problem of Uriel had become rather more complicated then Raguel had expected it to. Of course, it was New, which made each step, each thought, more important to correctly judge. But more than that, Raguel found that what he had expected to be a fairly straight-forward problem became more twisted and complicated the more he considered it.

The new presence in the manor was therefore less important than theses thoughts. After all, there were already several demons here. What was one presence more or less?

At least, that was what Raguel told himself. It worked well enough for surface thinking, even if it really wasn't true.

Raguel hadn't been avoiding him. He'd wanted to, but pride, or something else, refused to bow to that desire. It turned out that he hadn't needed to; the other seemed to be avoiding him. Which was just as well.

Raguel thought he had steeled himself for the inevitable confrontation, but when he saw that face, at once so very familiar and so completely alien, he felt a hitch in his chest, in... what was it called again?.. his diaphragm, that spoke once again of the body's annoying habit to want to wear his thoughts.

The other spoke his name.

"Hello." It was all he could answer, for he realized in that moment that he didn't even know this demon's name. He would wonder how that could be, except in truth he already knew. He'd avoided learning it. He hadn't wanted to know.

He hadn't thought he would ever need to.

Date: 2007-03-03 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
To Raguel’s immense surprise, he found he almost wanted to smile, though this inclination contrasted rather sharply with the feeling in his chest. He watched Berith’s calculated glance and slump with mild interest.

“Or perhaps an opportunity,” he countered. “And I go where I am needed.” To the second question he only shook his head. “Not as bad as they could have been, I suppose. It was in a grassy area.”

Date: 2007-03-03 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
There was a slight tightening around Raguel’s eyes in response to the comment about things being bad in Heaven, but he said only, “Well, this isn’t exactly the most usual of situations. I don’t think it surprising that I might be needed upon occasion.”

It was an avoidance of the truth, of course. And the other would know that, of course.

“Only twice,” he said in answer to the second question.

Date: 2007-03-03 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
“I’m sure you do,” Raguel answered. “And it wasn’t a lie. It was true enough to suit our purpose.

He arched an unimpressed eyebrow at the other’s rather forced (Raguel thought) play on words.

Date: 2007-03-03 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
“What would you like me to say?” Raguel asked. “That I do not intend to share the specifics of my duties and the judgments passed upon angels with you? That I will not discuss the business of Heaven with a demon? That is the truth, then, if you want it.”

The words are harsh but the tone is not; the truth has been given, but there is little malice in it.

“I know,” he continues. “I don’t blame you. But then, we couldn’t have avoided each other forever.”

Date: 2007-03-03 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
Raguel nodded his acquiescence. Personally, he had supposed that his meaning was clear enough from the start. But if the other wanted to have it spelled out for him, then Raguel would do so.

It hurt.

“Justice always is,” he said mildly, turning the other’s use of the title back upon itself. “And I mean…” actually, he wasn’t sure what he meant. Not that he understood, because he couldn’t, not really. He was wise enough to know that. Still… “I mean that I imagine that in your place I would have done the same. Not that I can really know. And it isn’t as though I sought you out either.”

Date: 2007-03-04 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
“I wasn’t,” Raguel replied evenly. He might have even apologized, if he had thought it would do any good. But there was really no point in it.

There was also no point in this conversation, so Raguel inclined his head a little to the other and said;

“I have things to attend to, if you will excuse me.” He hesitated, wanting to ask the other’s name but at the same time too proud to put words to the ignorance. But then, pride was a sin. “What is your name now?”

Date: 2007-03-04 12:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
“I doubt it, in truth,” Raguel answered, a little over dryly. It sounded a bit forced. “Angels and demons keeping each other's company seems quite accepted here.”

His demeanor changed, however, when the name was finally given.

“Berith,” he echoed. His throat hurt; it was tight against things he wanted to say and things he didn’t, though he hardly knew what any of them were. “Very well.”

Date: 2007-03-04 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
He was laughing. Raguel remembered that laugh, though it had of course, changed, and not for the better. Still.

The comment brought him up short.

"An angel invited you?" he said, surprised.

Date: 2007-03-05 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
"I had wondered," Raguel admitted. "I'd wondered also what it was about the place that intrigued you enough to keep you here."

He would have asked the name of the angel, but he suspected Berith might not tell him, just to annoy him, and he had an idea anyway. After all, there was a finite number of them in the manor.

Date: 2007-03-05 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
"It depends upon what you mean by power," Raguel answered. "I certainly am no more match for the Antichrist than any other, if my actions should go against his wishes. But my authority amongst the angels remains unchanged, and so my ability to carry out my duties is hardly affected."

Date: 2007-03-06 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
Raguel's eyebrow moved a little at the sigh.

"I suppose so," he agreed. "Although we could always just talk about the weather."

Date: 2007-03-06 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
"So I was told when I was sent," Raguel answered, although whether he was speaking of the rain or Adam's power over his home was rather unclear. "I've heard Spain is nice this time of year."

Date: 2007-03-07 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weary-justice.livejournal.com
It took Raguel a moment to remember that there was a finite amount of space between his body and the wall and to realize that for Berith to pass comfortably he needed to step to the side.

He did so, belatedly, his shoulder bumped by the other as he passed.

"See you 'round," he said, awkwardly. The demon's name hovered a moment on his lips, but he did not speak it.

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