Anzu's body is rotting and breaking down already, but magic holds it upright and magic creates the arcs of red light over his shoulder like wings. He is wearing a long black coat but he sheds it as he steps into the clearing so Nick can see where his black hair turns into feathers running down his back.
He steps across from the circle then smiles a little and crosses the lines to step inside. "We used to understand each other without this magic between us," he says, scuffing the speaking lines with a bare toe. "We used to understand each other without words."
Nick steps into the circle too and instantly can feel Anzu's presence a hundred times stronger, can feel his magic and his rage and beneath it that strange emotion he can't classify because he still doesn't understand love.
Anzu's nose curves like a beak, flesh hangs off his stolen body like an ill fitting suit and his eyes are black as coal, black as night, black as Nick's.
He must feel the punch coming before Nick's arm starts to move, but doesn't try to block it. His hooked nose breaks and blood pours over his lip, dripping down to the hollow of his throat. Nick's second fist catches him in the stomach and shreds of skin drop when he moves his hand away.
"Is that supposed to hurt me?" Anzu moves quicker than thought, fingernails like talons raking across Nick's shoulder to leave five thin lines of blood on the skin. His second hand drives into Nick's chest, five points digging deeper and deeper as though he can catch Nick's stolen heart in the palm of his hand and keep it for his own.
"What do you want?" Nick says.
Anzu pulls his hand back and watches as Nick heals the body. He leaves his nose dripping and uneven, that body is already spent. "Dance with me," he says, stepping backwards, keeping two stolen feet on the lines of the circle. "I want to dance."
Nick steps back, his heavy boots resting on the same lines as Anzu's bare, broken soles. "Have we done this before?"
Nothing shows on Anzu's face, but Nick feels his faint betrayal and disappointment. "Of course," he says, his voice giving nothing more away. "We have danced in thunder and in lightning. We have danced in hurricanes and tidal waves and earthquakes." He reaches out to lace his fingers through Nick's, his nails piercing Nick's skin like tiny knives. "I want to dance in bodies."
Nick steps, and Anzu moves with him. Somewhere, in the distance, he believes he can hear the sound of drums and it takes him a moment to realise that it is the sound of his heart beating, his feet stepping and the drip-drip-drip of stolen blood on the stones.
Anzu releases his hands as the body collapses to the floor and Nick is standing in a summoning circle without his talisman. Anzu's hair becomes plumage, black feathers standing tall on his head and the two red arcs of light are fleshed into full wings but he doesn't break the rhythm and now Nick is free of the clasp of hands he can throw his hands up into the real movements and turn on the lines of the circle, tracing patterns over and over with his feet as Anzu chants "fall, fall, fall," to the beat.
He throws his arms up, twists and holds it for an instant. Then the position falls and the rhythm breaks and he is standing in a circle with Anzu's talons scraping his cheek.
"Did you miss me?" the demon asks.
"I didn't remember you."
Anzu laces his fingers behind Nick's neck, pulling him off the line and into the circle. "Do you miss me now?"
It is like kissing a beak full of knives with daggers digging into his back and soft feathers brushing his arms as they wrap around him. It is like kissing a demon who has red eyes and feels like anger and rage and something Nick can't define.
"Yes," Nick says. "I miss you now."