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Every Lover I've Known In Comparison Is a Failure

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Nicholas shifted in the handcuffs chaining him to the table in the small interrogation room. The metal dug into his wrists slightly, but he ignored the pain. He was just waiting for someone to come in and start talking to him. Preferably with something to get out of these cuffs.

They didn’t know that Nicholas was, well, Nicholas. Having an identical twin brother certainly helps with that. The only difference is is that Lucifer was a killer, and Nicholas was not.

The door opened in the middle of Nicholas’ musings and a tall black man in a suit came in, giving a broad smile. “Lucifer Milton. Pleasure to meet you.”

“Pleasure’s all mine, I’m sure,” Nicholas said dryly. “Fed?”

“Special Agent Victor Henriksen,” the man introduced himself. “FBI.”

Nicholas snorted. “FBI? You’re joking, right?”

“You have caused quite the spectacle the past eight years with your little murder spree,” Henriksen pointed out, sitting down with a thick file folder. “Let’s start with the first one, Jordan Casey.”

Nicholas arched a brow as he looked at the crime scene photo of his once-abuser. Lucifer had done a messy, sloppy job of it, but Nicholas didn’t care. “He was abusing my twin brother,” Nicholas shrugged. If they thought he was Lucifer, then he’ll be Lucifer. They’d learn soon enough that he wasn’t Lucifer. Maybe.

“Abusing him how, Lucifer?” Victor asked. Apparently, this was news to them.

Nicholas crossed his arms. “Physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual,” he recited. “I came to visit one day just in time to see that piece of shit smack Nick across the face and call him a worthless whore.”

Victor made some notes. “And you didn’t go to the police?”

“What good would they have done? Nick had called twice before,” Nicholas rolled his eyes. “And the cops didn’t do nothing.”

“What about the night you killed him?” Victor asked.

“Nick was fucking strapped down to a table and bein’ raped,” Nicholas said, inhaling sharply at the sudden memory. He had suppressed most of the memories associated with Jordan, but this was bringing them up. He found the rage he felt and held onto it. Lucifer was a hothead. “I snapped.” He gestured to the photo. “This bastard is the reason my twin failed his MCAT. This is the reason that for two years, my brother was a skittish person. And this is the reason that the only person Nick trusts is me. Because everyone around him failed him. Except for me.”

Victor nodded, making a few notes. “Let’s talk about Nicholas. Do you know where he is?”

Nicholas shrugged. “I don’t,” he said truthfully. If Lucifer was smart, he would have gotten out of dodge. But then again, Lucifer was the brawn out of the two of them. Please have brains for once in your life, Luc.

“Do the two of you split up a lot?” Victor asked.

Nicholas shrugged again. “More than I’d like,” he said.

“What does he do for you?” Victor wondered.

A slow smirk spread across Nicholas’ face. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” he leered.

“So the rumors that you two are lovers as well are true,” Victor said.

Nicholas nodded. “I love him in ways a brother shouldn’t,” he said. “And yeah, maybe that’s morally wrong. But I think that enjoying fuckin’ my brother to high heaven is a tiny sin compared to me not protecting him from Jordan. Compared to a slew of other not so nice things I’ve done in my life.”

“I suppose so,” Victor said slowly, obviously not believing it. “Does it bother you when he’s not with you?”

“‘Course it does,” Nicholas scoffed. Pretending to be his twin was fun. He could be his usual sassy, snarky self but also be full of rage. “I don’t know what my brother’s doing, then. I don’t know if he’s safe. I don’t know if he needs me to come save him. Nick never says he does so I have to play mathematical roulette on whether or not he needs help.”

“Why is that?” Victor asked.

“Sense of believin’ in the good of people,” Nicholas sighed. “Nick’s. . . Nick’s not the cynic I am. Could be ‘cause everyone likes Nick. Nick’s great. He gets along with everyone. Names don’t help much, either. He’s got a nice, clean normal name, with a slightly unusual but honorable confirmation name. Me? I didn’t get a normal name, and I didn’t choose a too honorable saint for my confirmation name.”

Victor raised a brow. “You’re Catholic?”

“Nick and I still try to attend Mass wherever we are, still take the sacraments, go to confession, all that jazz,” Nicholas shrugged. “If you’d notice, there’s always a period from roughly Ash Wednesday to Easter Monday for the past eight years where there’s no bodies. That’s ‘cause I give up murder for Lent- and for Nick. Nick’s the more religious one out of us two and I like making my twin happy.”

Victor frowned, looking through his notes. Nicholas bounced his knee, eyes scanning the table, trying to find something to pick his cuffs with. He wasn’t about to break his wrists. Lucifer might murder him if that were the case.

“Huh. I guess I never noticed that pattern,” Victor said. “You think goin’ to church and confession is going to get you into the Pearly Gates?”

“Good God, no,” Nicholas laughed, shaking his head. “And Nick’s not under that delusion either. We do it because it brings us peace. Something we really haven’t got in our lives since Jordan weaseled his way into my brother’s heart.”

“I take it you still harbor a lot of anger towards Jordan,” Victor said, nodding to the photo.

“Damn fuckin’ right I do,” Nicholas snarled. “He destroyed my brother! You have a brother? Or sister?”

Victor nodded.

Nicholas picked up the picture and showed it to Victor. “What would you have done if you came by to check on them, and found them bound and gagged to a table, black and bloody blue, and they were being raped by someone who claimed to love ‘em? Are my actions entirely unjustifiable?”

There was a long pause before Victor sighed heavily. “I suppose not. But what about the other bodies?”

“All for Nick,” Nicholas said arrogantly. “Nick’s kind of hopped around from man to man since Jordan. He always comes back to me, ‘cause he loves me, but he doesn’t want to be around me all the time in case I get caught. Guess he don’t wanna be caught in the crossfire. Those other bastards I killed? Stalked him. Tried to grab him off the streets. Didn’t listen to whether or not he gave consent. What’s an older brother to do? What’s a lover to do? Stand by and let Nick be used like a toy? No. I won’t stand for it.”

“Does Nicholas like you killing for him?” Victor asked.

Nicholas nodded. “It just reminds him how much I love him, that I’d do anything to keep him safe.”

“Is that why you also wire everything out of the victim’s accounts and give it to him?” Victor asked.

Nicholas withheld a laugh. The idea that Lucifer was that talented with computers was hysterical. Lucifer has the tendency to think that all computers are the same and that branding doesn’t matter, and has issues with knowing how to work them in general. He mentally gave himself a pat on the back, however. At this point, if he ever got caught as himself, all they could do is charge him with accomplice and accessory to murder and not for the fraud. “I got to make sure he’s well taken care of, and for the pain and suffering, plus intentional infliction of emotional distress, it’s a small price, in a way.”

“Murder isn’t enough?” Victor asked.

“Murder can’t buy you a warm place to sleep at night, a hot meal, a car to make sure he’s taken care of,” Nicholas snapped. “If I could do all that with just murder, I would. But I can’t. I’m not for hire by anyone except Nick.” He tugged on the handcuffs in frustration. He knows how Lucifer can be. “Look it’s late, I’m hungry and I’m in sore need of a cup of coffee. Can we table the morality of me stealin’ and killin’ for God and family until tomorrow?”

“Sure,” Victor agreed. He packed up his file folder, except for the picture of Jordan. Lucifer’s most overboard kill. “I’ll leave that here for you. Think of it as a present.”

“You’re too kind,” Nicholas drawled. “I don’t get pleasure out of killin’. It’s a job. A way to keep Nick safe.”

“I know. Still. Thought you might like to have a look at your handiwork,” Victor smiled as he left.

Nicholas sighed, running his hand over his face. “I’m fucked,” he whispered under his breath. Lucifer can’t come in and rescue him like Nicholas had done five years ago. Lucifer didn’t have the skills to be subtle, suave, and sexy. Not to mention since they ‘married’ six years ago, Lucifer has never strayed from Nicholas. Nicholas only strayed in order to earn them money. In his mind, heart, and soul, he was faithful to Lucifer. He always confessed to committing adultery against his husband when they did confession.

He picked up the picture of Jordan and looked at the murdered man. Lucifer had been furious, and Nicholas shuddered, remembering clinging to his blooddrenched brother and sobbing into his neck while Lucifer held him close. He closed his eyes against the feelings and inhaled sharply again.

Setting the picture face down on the table, Nicholas looked around the room, planning his escape. The window on the far end of the room was open, no doubt because there was no air conditioning and it was summer. It was high up- Nicholas would have to jump up in order to grab the ledge, but that wouldn’t be an issue. He turned back to the issue of the handcuffs.

If he broke his wrist, he wouldn’t be able to grab the ledge the way he needed to. So he needed something to pick the locks.

A police officer came in just then with a tray containing a sandwich and a cup of coffee. Black, just the way Lucifer liked it. Nicholas mentally groaned. He hated black coffee.

“Here you go, Satan,” she barked, shoving the tray onto the table.

“How original,” Nicholas sighed, rolling his eyes as he brought the tray closer. He grabbed the coffee and took a long sip. “The proper form of address is ‘Your Satanic Majesty’. Or, you know, my name. I have one. Just because my name is canonically associated with the Devil doesn’t give you the right to call me that.”

The cop sneered. “Too bad baby brother’s not here to bail your ass out, not that it matters. Except for Henriksen, it’s an all female staff tonight. Nicholas won’t be able to get your lecherous ass out.”

Nicholas bit the inside of his cheek. He could most definitely play straight or bi, if need be. He’s done it before, mostly to get better rooms at the hotel or whatever. A con artist needs to know all sides of the coin. “I hope Nick’s far away from here,” he said instead. “Wouldn’t be good of me for him to get captured, wouldn’t it?”

She laughed and left the room.

Nicholas rolled his eyes and muttered something in German under in his breath before eating his sad looking sandwich and swallowing down the bad coffee. He would’ve asked for milk and sugar, but by now it was public knowledge that Lucifer drank his coffee black.

 

Nicholas had finished his meal and was still trying to figure out his handcuffs. More and more, it was looking like he was going to have to break at least one wrist in order to get out. He was hoping to avoid that. Dammit.

Suddenly, his eyes fell down on the picture of Jordan, still face down. There was a paperclip on top of it.

“You fool, Henriksen,” Nicholas whispered as he picked up the picture on the pretense of looking at it again. He palmed the paperclip and thought about the camera he knew was in here. He had seen it.

His eyes fell on his empty tray and a plan began to form. Lucifer was well known for his tantrums. Hell, all of his murders were tantrums. He ripped the picture of Jordan up with a snarl, feeling the rage at what Jordan to him rise to the surface and pop. He grabbed the tray and threw it as hard he could at the camera. Hoping that it at least cracked the screen and therefore distorted the image, he hurried to work on the handcuffs.

8 seconds. Bad record. He’d have to better.

He slipped out of his cuffs and ran to the other side of the room. Inhaling sharply, he jumped up and managed to snag the window ledge with the very tips of his fingers. He worked himself up, thanking his more athletic twin mentally for teaching him how to jump if need be. Sitting on the ledge, he grimaced at the fact that he wouldn’t be able to squeeze through the window opening or make it bigger. He aimed his elbow and slammed it into the glass. It shattered and he slipped out and began running.

Nicholas Milton was on the run.

 

He ran and walked along backroads for hours, until he came the nearest small town with a hotel. He found a payphone at a dilapidated Greyhound station and he fished out the necessary change and looked up a motel.

Motel 6, how may I help you? ” the man who answered the phone asked.

“Yes, did you have a Mr. Thomas More check in?” Nicholas asked pleasantly.

We did, actually. I’ll page you through. Who should I say is calling?

“His husband, Raphael,” Nicholas hummed.

There was some silence before Lucifer’s voice came on. “ Where have you been, Raphael More?

“In custody,” Nicholas hissed softly. “Come pick me up, I’m at the Greyhound station.”

I’m on my way.”  

 

Nicholas waited until they were in their room before he burrowed his face into Lucifer’s strong chest, feeling his lover’s arms wrap around him.

“Want me to kill everyone in the police station?” Lucifer offered. He hadn’t seen Nicholas this upset in years.

“The FBI agent brought up Jordan,” Nicholas whispered. “Showed me the crime scene photo. Wanted to talk about him.”

Lucifer’s arms tightened around Nicholas. “Oh, baby,” he whispered. “I’m so sorry.” He rubbed his twin’s back, trying to soothe him.

“I still dream about it, Luce, all the time. When I’m stressed and worried and just seeing the photo of what you did to him. . . .” Nicholas’ breath caught in his throat and he coughed.

“Shh, Nick,” Lucifer soothed, kissing his temple. “It’s okay. He can’t bother you anymore. Never again. Have you eaten?”

“Had a sandwich and black coffee at the station,” Nicholas whispered.

“Okay, I’m going to order us a pizza,” Lucifer murmured, “And I’ll keep you safe. I’m so sorry, love.”

“It’s okay,” Nicholas mumbled. “Got to pretend I was you durin’ it. Could be angry and shit.”

“Good, that’s good,” Lucifer said, hugging Nicholas tighter. “Do you want me to get the white sauce pizza you love so much?”

Nicholas nodded. “Please?”

“Of course,” Lucifer said, kissing Nicholas’ temple. “Are you hurt?”

Nicholas shook his head. “‘M tired.”

“You can sleep while I call and make the order,” Lucifer whispered. “I’ll wake you up when the pizza is here. Sound good?”

“Uh huh,” Nicholas said.

“Good.” Lucifer tilted Nicholas’ face up and kissed his lips softly. “I’ll protect you, Nicholas. I always will.”

“I know,” Nicholas replied. He felt drained from the events of the day. Escaping yet another target who didn’t like Nicholas leaving him, being captured because of Lucifer’s murder, the memories of Jordan, the interrogation and the escape on little more than a plate of scrambled eggs and a shitty sandwich left him feeling worn out like a piece of spaghetti.

“Go lay down for a nap,” Lucifer gently urged him. “And get some sleep.”

“Okay,” Nicholas whispered. “I love you.”

“I love you too, Nick. Always have. Always will.”