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the song remains the same

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Its not that they didn’t have bodies.


In the space between. Physical form was relatively easy to achieve, for both of them, but it was also…mutable.

Human bodies are different. More solid, more contained.


(its another word for trapped)

Fiore glances over at Deblanc, who is hunched over the coffee can- the Domicile, only that purpose is past so really, what’s the use?-, brows furrowed low, tension in the lines of his face and hands. Doesn’t dare to even try and touch him, the way he might once have been able to, but didn’t.

(also separate, apart, alone)

He’s beginning to understand, all too late, how Genesis might have felt locked in all that time.


Time, too, is different where they’d been. Perhaps they simply had no way of marking it, and that made all the difference.

Either way, Fiore thinks he might have… felt for Deblanc for more than a while. Hard to articulate, to twin with these new sensations of flesh and heart and body, where once there had been light and air.

It had started, because of course it had, with the song.

Deblanc’s idea. Utterly unsuitable. Fiore should have reported him, but didn’t, and wasn’t that it, the beginning of the end?

They were too lenient.

It’s a baby, Deblanc tells the Preacher, and speaks truer than he knows.

Fiore doesn’t pretend to understand it himself, any more than he pretends to understand the simple facts of himself, down here.

With Deblanc.

In all the years, the seconds and instants of millennia they’ve cared for Genesis, they’d made a point never to say that word.

But now, on earth, the evidence is irrefutable. Lullabies. Music boxes. Names. Fiore watches them, the families on the box that is called the television, and wonders if it might be physically possible to kick himself when he realises what they’ve done.

It would be possible to kick Deblanc, it is mostly his fault after all, but-



You’re the sweet one.

Well, what on earth.

His hands go clammy, when he thinks about dialling heaven.

It’s awful, you understand. Earth is awful, with its heat and mess, its mass confusion. Its noise that makes his head ache.


He’s not ready to go back yet.

Because there’s still the song. When the burn of the living world gets too much, Deblanc can tell. Can tell when Fiore is about to snap. Tells, and will tilt his head to the side and murmur that one tune. There’s sleep then, or at least something like it.

Wynken, blynken and nod.

Fiore listens, and thinks it might take more strength than he has to give this up.


Deblanc’s singing is awful. Fiore knows this now.  He’s spent enough time listening to the bloody radio, he ought to know.

Doesn’t really matter though, does it?

Point is, the song. It broke something open inside Fiore, long ago, something he’s still unable to staunch. He feels- feels, it is still so strange to of think such a thing- as though anyone who looks his way might see it, see his heart raw and beating for the demon at his side.

He’s never thought to compare Deblanc to heaven’s choirs- not when he hasn’t heard them in so long. Doesn’t miss them all that much, either. Deblanc makes no bones about his own disdain for the higher order of angels, mocking them with twisted lip right in front of the Preacher.

Deblanc spits the word peace like a mouthful of thorns, and Fiore recalls the eyes of the Seraphim, glittering blankly, and the word he wrapped around them both like a shield in the diner.


It’s yet another reminder of how hopeless this whole thing is.                    How far apart they are, ought to be, from one another, and how that separation is only right.

If that gap was bridged before, it might yet be again

No. He will not think of that. Fiore is not one of the Seraphim, could not do so much damage as was done when Genesis came to be, but the possibility scares him. Almost as much as being away from Deblanc, the idea of them, together, is frightening. Fear. Finally, something that tastes familiar.


“What is that?”

Deblanc looks at him like he’s an idiot, sets the plastic tray down on the table with an ill-tempered flourish. “One Big-As-Texas burger.”

Fiore picks it up, chews, swallows.  It’s good. The bus to hell is due in an hour.

“What about you?” He asks Deblanc, noting his partner’s empty place setting.

“Always with the questions, you.” Deblanc says, but there’s a flicker of a smile there this time. Fiore shrugs in response, his mouth full of meat and lettuce. He’s decided he likes onion, but not tomato. He removes the offending red object, places it on a napkin.

He does not ask the question they’re both avoiding.

What if-

Another, he wants to ask, so he can be ready. What it’s like, down there. But Deblanc’s brows are doing that twisting thing again, so Fiore puts down the burger and goes over to the machine that isn’t a radio. He fiddles with it till the music changes, and when he gets back, Deblanc has unfurled his face a little.

It’s a face Fiore is more than suitably familiar with, all things considered. His own human face is newer, and he doesn’t yet have the command of it. Questions are a necessary extension of this lack. He wonders if the growth of stubble on Deblanc’s jaw would be rough to the touch, and clenches his fingers under the table.

He tries for an enquiring look. Not sure he pulls it off entirely right, but Deblanc checks his watch anyway. (Deblanc’s human body is not large, but his hands are, and his shoulders are broad). “43 minutes.”

It’s not enough time.

That knowledge hangs between them, and then Deblanc reaches out, draws Fiore’s hand from under the table. Blunt fingers brush his pulse point, (Fiore wonders if he can blame the judders of his heart on too much burger) and their palms collide for a brief second.

It’s more than they’ve touched in days, ever since those fraught moments in the dead of night, when they’d lain end to end in the same bed and fought over what to do.

When Deblanc’s withdrawn his hand, Fiore feels cold metal. Looks down and there’s the coin. Heads up. He understands it for what it is.

(You could still go back, my dear-

-Not without you.)

He puts the coin away, and Deblanc sighs. “Eat your burger, then.”