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Same Time Next Millenium

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FLORENCE 1353

Father Will Graham walked down the long empty dirt road towards a seemingly abandoned village just outside Florence. There were ravens perched on every available surface, puffing out their feathers and warning each other of Graham’s approach in their rough voices. Their bronze eyes flashed cruelly in the fading sunlight. A bad omen.

At the outskirts of town was a broad field crossed by the scarecrow bodies of the dead. The dusty green overgrown weeds ruffled the edges of Graham's crisp black cassock as he passed through them. He reached a man sprawled on his back and shooed one of the enormous ebony birds away with an impatient wave. Then he straightened up and shook his head. This one was dead as well, strangling black bruises circling his throat. He scoured the rest of the field, but found no one alive. His search of the houses was similarly barren. He made the sign of the cross everywhere he went, pulled sheets and blankets over the blank faces of glassy-eyed children.

On his way out of the plague-ravaged village, he saw someone in a hooded cloak sitting at a rough-hewn wooden table outside the small tavern. His clothes were so dark he appeared to be nothing more than a man-shaped hole in the horizon. Will could see that he was eating something red from a pewter dish. A murder of crows attended him, simultaneously turning their red eyes towards Will as he strode up.

“Sanus es, fili?” Will asked kindly. “Quare non male de malis se eripiunt?”

The man in black turned slowly, so slowly it seemed he would go on turning forever, his face ever concealed like the dark side of the moon. Will took a step back in shock when he finally faced him. The red remains of a human heart lay in the middle of his plate. The man’s mouth and hands were marked with blood. His hand darted out quick as an adder strike and grabbed Will by the wrist. He stared intently into Will’s eyes then smiled, showing the crimson points of his teeth.

“I am not your child, Pater. You may call me Hannibal, if you’re so inclined. Although I answer to many names.”

Will yanked his hand back in irritation. “Hannibal is it?”

“He was a great general,” the man offered, throwing his hood back to reveal familiar sleek shining hair. “His name still commands respect in this part of the world. And I always did like those big grey beasts that were his companions. What do the Humans call them? Ah yes, elephaunts.”

All this time on Earth righting your wrongs, Will thought with sick amazed longing, and I’ve never caught you out. Until now.

“I should have known I’d find you here, Lucifer,” Will said. He swept his hand over the world behind him with a sort of forced haughtiness. “This is your design I suppose.”

The man uncoiled in a long spiral and stood up. He wiped the blood away from the corners of his mouth and flicked his fingers, the glistening fluid flying off his hands in an aqueous curtain and disappearing into thin air. He grinned with ferocious good humor, stepped into Will’s space, and took hold of his cassock with both hands.

“What is this ridiculous thing you’re wearing?” he asked, crumpling the fine fabric in his fists.

Will shoved him back with a growl and Lucifer threw his hands up in amused surrender. “Peace, Gabriel! Peace!”

“Will is the name I use now. Father William Graham. How did you recognize me?”

Lucifer tapped his long fingers against his chin, pretending to ponder this question deeply. “A fair inquiry, Father Graham. The glamour you wear is powerful. And then there’s the humble posture, the low speech. This nonsensical coat. Honestly, what are all these buttons for?” He spat with red distaste into the dust beside his boots. “You look almost Human.”

Lucifer stepped back and circled around behind Will, running a hand along Will’s great feathered wings, obscured from Human view beneath a shimmering enchantment. Will closed his eyes and shuddered under Lucifer’s touch.

“In truth you are well hidden,” Lucifer admitted, idly caressing one of Will’s large primary feathers and smirking at his trembling response.

He moved to face Will again, tilting his head to the side like a great curious bird. “I might not have recognized you at all but for your infinite eyes. Windows to the soul, the Humans say. Except we angels have no souls, do we? And no rings within our eyes to bind those souls to us as Humans have.” He leaned in to whisper in Will’s ear. “I would know those endless blue eyes anywhere.”

Will sighed deeply, an aching mix of affection and exasperation. “It has been a long time…, Hannibal.”

“Yes indeed. Long and long. Thousands of years at least. You did not stand with us during the War, little brother. You raised a sword against us in God's good service and yet it seems you were cast out anyway. Our Father is a vengeful bitch. Tell me, what did you do to incite his ire, o paragon of goodness?”

Will rubbed a hand along his cheek and dropped his eyes. “I begged for you. I begged Him to forgive you. I said you had only done what He had created you to do and it was not just to cast you out. He tolerated my begging and pleading on your behalf for some time, a thousand years maybe, while He sent me here and there on His great errands, but then I suppose He tired of me questioning His judgment.” Will shook his head sadly. “One day there was a great burst of light in my mind. Then cold. Void. Stars. And then I was here. Stripped of the power to return. Exiled. Like you, Hêlêl.”

“Hêlêl,” Lucifer said quietly, rolling the syllables liquidly along his wicked tongue. “I haven't heard that pet name in ten thousand years. I know all the rest of our kind who were ever on Earth or in Hell. How is it I never came upon you before now?”

He reached out and drew his burning fingertips over the pink curve of Will’s lips. “Where have you been all this time, my Gabi?”

Will shivered at the sound of his heartname in Lucifer's mouth. "Sleeping. A long time I spent sleeping. Dreamless and miserable in a deep cave off the coast of what the Humans now call Ireland." He paused a moment with a vague look of concerned confusion on his face. "I think...I think I almost forgot who I was." He shook his head and continued. "Since I woke, I have been traveling, here and there, to help the Humans. Working to undo the terrible damage you’ve done here."

Lucifer gave him a vast twisting look of disdain and pity. “Why?”

“Penance. I wish for God to forgive me.”

“Better ask that I forgive you.”

Will crossed his arms over his chest and looked at the ground, angry jocularity giving way to the misery concealed beneath. “I begged for God to spare you, Lucifer. To bring you Home. He cast me out for it and you never came to me after. I’ve walked the Earth for thousands of years fixing your mess and yet I’ve never seen you until now.”

He looked up at Lucifer with his ancient blue eyes. “You forgot me,” he accused.

Lucifer’s granite face softened revealing his endless adoration. “Never, Gabi. I would have come for you, if I had known where you were. You hid too well. I didn’t even feel you Fall.”

He stepped closer and wrapped his arms around Will, pulling him against his chest and kissing his forehead. “Don’t hide from me and I will always come for you,” he whispered.

He cupped Will’s smooth jaw in his unlined hand, leaned in and pressed their mouths together softly. Will opened to the flicker of Lucifer’s forked tongue against his lips, groaning as Lucifer stroked his feathered wings reverently, again and again.

“I'd like to be with you again, Gabi,” Lucifer murmured finally. “To touch you, as I once did.”

Will nodded. It had been a long time since he’d even seen another of his kind. Longer still than that since he’d been touched intimately. Lucifer had been the first and the last.

Lucifer smiled brightly and turned towards the dusty yellow field behind them. He made a small series of graceful flowing gestures and a delicate, brilliantly colored silk tent began to unfold itself from the earth.

Will gaped in frank amazement, glancing rapidly between Lucifer and his gossamer creation. “To glamour is one thing, but to create from nothing…?”

Lucifer smirked. “Our Father allowed me to keep my transformation magic after the Fall. Only He and I have this power in all the world.” He brought his thumb and index finger together in front of himself and pulled sharply upwards, as if yanking on a string, and the listing tent righted itself. “A curious thing, don’t you think? It makes one wonder.”

“Yes it does,” Will breathed.

He shook his head and blinked like a light-struck owl as the center minaret settled into place and the silk edges of the tent pulled back, hanging as if on hooks set into the empty air. There seemed to be a garden inside with a gushing stone fountain in the middle.

“This isn’t created from nothing though,” Lucifer confided. “I can’t do that. It’s only transformation of existing materials.”

“Right. Conservation of matter,” Will muttered distantly, walking towards the invitingly shady tent.

As he went, he let his glamour fall, his pale dawn-silvered wings slowly becoming visible again. Lucifer followed him happily, a sprightly little bounce in his black step.

The ground inside the tent was soft green moss, stolen from an Irish cliff and the air smelled of the sea and the sweetness of summer, banishing the stench of death from the nearby village. At the center of the tent was a ring garden, all roses and lilacs and nodding pink peonies, surrounding a low teak platform topped with a mattress of sweet grass and piled with multi-colored pillows wrought in costly silks and velvets. Beside this platform was the bubbling stone fountain Will had seen through the door.

Will cupped one of the peonies gently in his hand, eyes wide in fascination. He bent to unlace his boots and pulled them off then dipped his hands into the fountain, letting the cool water wash the yellow dust from them.

Lucifer lounged in the doorway, his expression vacillating between smug and uncertain as he followed Will’s awed exploration. “Do you like it, Gabriel?” he called.

“It’s lovely,” Will said faintly. Such power He lets you have, he thought, running the tip of his finger along a perfect red rose petal. He was…he was almost jealous.

Lucifer stepped inside and drew the flaps of the tent closed behind him, bringing on the night. For a moment, the only light within the tent was from the faint pale radiance of their bodies. Then Lucifer raised his hands and Will gasped as a hundred smokeless rushlights burst into being.

“I like the nomadic Humans best, Gabriel,” Lucifer said. “They hunger for change always, as I do. And they make such beautiful things.” He closed his eyes and stroked the brilliant diaphanous silk drapes hanging from the walls- exacting replicas of something he’d once seen for sale in a Bedouin market.

Will circled the tent’s impossibly spacious interior, his bare feet soundless on the deep green mossy floor. Lucifer watched him stop to admire the white linen window-coverings, woven with a pattern of tiny openwork stars and moons to let the air in.

“Clever little monkeys, aren’t they? These Humans you and Father seem to love so much.”

Will shot Lucifer an acid look over his shoulder and walked back towards the center garden to plunge his hands into the bubbling gush of the fountain again. He splashed water on his face, rinsing away the grime of travel, the clinging mortal stink of the plague.

Lucifer stepped behind Will and wrapped his arms around his waist beneath his spreading wings, rested his cheek against Will’s dark curly hair. He held Will close until he felt him sighing, melting in his embrace. Then he stepped back and turned Will gently toward him. Pulled the stiff white collar away from his throat and tossed it over his shoulder. Will looked down to watch as Lucifer slowly unbuttoned all thirty-three buttons of his cassock and pushed it off his shoulders, baring his pale luminous body.

Lucifer made a soft sound of delight and stroked his shaking hands down Will’s radiant skin. “No wonder you keep your back bent and drape yourself in black from head to toe. If the Humans could see you thus, you’d never pass for one of them.”

Lucifer leaned past Will to dip his cupped hands into the fountain, filling them with cool water, and tipping it over Will’s chest. He traced his fingers through the glimmering rivulets running down Will’s belly then bent to fill his cupped hands again. He poured the pure water over Will’s body, washing his chest and legs and feet, until he was clean. Will shivered in the chill, but stood still for it. Arms out, head tipped back.

When he was satisfied, Lucifer leaned in and kissed the base of Will’s throat. “You are the most beautiful of all of us,” he breathed.

“You are the most beautiful of us, Lucifer,” Will said, matter-of-factly. “It’s how Father made you.”

Lucifer shook his head. “It was always you, Gabriel.” He took Will’s hand, pressed Will’s fingers to his lips. “Your beauty destroys me.”

Will looked up at Lucifer, his deep blue eyes wide and guileless. “Will you take your robes off, as well? Take your robes off and spread your wings for me, Hêlêl? Spread them all the way out. I want to see.”

Lucifer smiled and tossed his hooded cloak and his long dark tiretains robe away. He brushed his shining hair back showily then slowly spread his great wings. He preened contentedly under Will’s open admiration, rolling his shoulders and fluttering his pewter feathers. He closed his eyes in anticipation as Will reached for him. Heat like molten metal spread along the arcs of his wings where Will caressed them.

“I missed your touch, Gabi,” he sighed.

“And I yours, Hêlêl.”

Lucifer pulled Will close and wrapped his powerful arms around him, sighing and breathing in the blank winter smell of his clean skin. Will nestled into the crook of Lucifer’s neck, deeply relieved to be held. Lucifer hugged Will to him tightly and ran his fingers along the ripple of his spine. He bent to kiss his soft rosy cheek and stroked his hands along the hypersensitive line where Will’s wings emerged from his broad back until Will was whimpering. Then he slid his hands down Will’s arms and interlaced their fingers.

“Come,” he whispered, pulling Will with him into the center of the garden.

Lucifer climbed onto the low bed, moving the enormous pile of pillows to make room for them and Will followed. They shifted until they were sitting, facing each other. Knees bent and drawn up, bare legs interlocked. Will’s left over Lucifer’s right. Lucifer cupped Will’s cheek and brought their mouths together again and again. Will opened to him gladly and they kissed until they were dizzy with it, all slick twisting tongues and the tasteless taste of time past.

“Please, Hêlêl,” Will whispered finally against Lucifer’s lips. “Do it.”

They leaned forward until their brows were touching. Gently, so gently, Lucifer slid his hand into Will’s chest and cradled Will’s trembling flaming heart in his palm. Will’s eyes fluttered, overcome with delight. He pushed his own fingers ghostly through Lucifer's ribcage and wrapped his hand around the tender organ within, burning hot and beating at a furious pace. They looked into each other’s eyes and saw the universe.

Their doublebound memories passed between them in a river of shimmering galactic light from heart to hand to heart as they recalled the flickering furnace of their birth, the starry cauldron from which God had called His angels forth- Lucifer and Gabriel and all their moonstruck brethren. They drew breath as one and exhaled with a sound like the moaning of doves, writhing in the terrible ecstasy of creation. Lucifer shuddered, panting endlessly at the feeling of Will’s delicate hand caressing his hawkish heart, at the scalding touch of his open mouth, the questing press of his mind. There was a blazing incandescent pleasure between them, flaming like a dying star. A supernova that burned brilliantly, unbearably, and then finally imploded pulling them down into infinite satisfying darkness.

Afterwards, they lay together in the cradle of their sightless wings. Legs intertwined. Will stroking a hand over Lucifer's blank chest. The aftermath of starburst pleasure still throbbing within them, in the narrow space between them.

“I missed you so, Hêlêl,” Will sighed. If only we could stay like this forever, he thought with heartsick longing. Just like this. Safe and apart from the world in this silk cocoon.

“And I you, Gabi. Like a wound so long in pain, I had become inured to its screaming.” And you have woken it again and renewed its sting, Lucifer thought hopelessly.

He ran his fingers through Will’s dark curls, pulling them straight and watching them spring back until Will laughed. Lucifer smiled his thin pleased smile in response, fisted his hand in Will’s hair, and dragged his head back so that he could kiss his finespun throat.

Lucifer sat up and beckoned Will to join him. He piled an array of pillows behind them and leaned back gracefully, shifting his wings to get comfortable. He reached out over the side of the little platform bed and made a small beckoning gesture, his fingers curling sharply towards his palm, pulling up and up and up as though calling something from the floor. A low table rose from the ground at Lucifer's summons and filled itself with fruit and wine.

Will sat up next to Lucifer and stared incredulously as he cracked open one of the vibrant pomegranates and squeezed, pouring juicy crimson seeds into his mouth.

“You eat? Like the Humans?”

“And drink,” Lucifer answered, happily pouring wine into a newly materialized silver cup. “You don’t?”

“I don’t need to. And neither do you.”

“Of course I don’t need to but…here.”

Lucifer plucked one of the blushing purple grapes from the bunch on the table and held it out. Will opened his mouth hesitantly.

“Wait,” Lucifer said. “Smell first. Close your eyes and inhale.”

Will gave Lucifer a sour look and Lucifer clapped his free hand over Will’s eyes with impatient affection.

“Inhale,” he insisted.

Will closed his eyes in the dark beneath Lucifer’s smooth hand and inhaled the sweet ripe smell of the dusky fruit. The sunny green of the vine it had grown on. The loamy black earth and buried mineral spring that had fed it.

Lucifer watched enthralled as Will breathed in the lush scent. “Now open,” he whispered. He put the grape into Will’s virginal mouth. “Bite.”

Will brought his teeth together and the plump grape burst flooding his mouth with aching purple sweetness. He hummed in delight and swallowed.

“Oh,” Lucifer sighed. He was overwhelmed by a ravenous desire to show Gabriel the whole world. He wanted to bring him furs and silks and satins to touch. Sparkling gems and stone bowls of the clearest arctic water to admire. Wine, and honey, and meat to taste. To watch him taste. To watch him taste everything. Thousands of years Gabriel had been here and yet never really been here; it was a tragedy.

When Will opened his eyes again, Lucifer was holding out the other half of the pomegranate, a relentlessly hopeful offering. The tips of his fingers were tinged pink by its juice. Will took the cupped fruit carefully, tilting it back and forth it in the flickering light to see the reflections of the flames dance across the juicy interior.

“Pomegranate,” Lucifer explained.

“Yes, I know what it is,” Will said acerbically. “Humans have strange stories about this fruit.”

“The Humans have strange stories about everything.”

Will exhaled through his nose and lifted his eyebrows in amused acknowledgment. He curled his fingers into the fruit’s wet red interior, scooped out some of the seeds, and sucked them into his mouth, pulling the scant flesh away with his tongue. This was different than the grape, he thought. Thinner and more…sharp? He screwed up his face struggling with the Human concepts for taste.

“Now this,” Lucifer murmured, drawing his attention back. He held out a cup of wine. “It’s from the Medici vineyards.”

Will took the cup and drank deeply of the astringent burgundy liquid then looked at Lucifer in surprise.

“Good?” Lucifer asked curiously.

“I don’t know.” Will’s wings fluttered nervously. “I feel… unsettled?”

Lucifer chuckled. “Giddy? Light-headed?”

Will nodded and opened his eyes wider as if doing so would stop the room from wavering around him.

“It will pass quickly. We can’t drink enough to stay drunk. Or benefit from any of the other Human intoxicants. Believe me, I’ve tried.”

“I think I liked the grape juice better,” Will said, swaying dizzily.

Lucifer laughed and set Will’s cup aside. Then he stretched languidly across the bed and rested his head on Will’s strong thigh. He grabbed a Spanish orange from the low table and tossed it from hand to hand before tearing the peel away and splitting it open with his thumbs. He reached up and offered half to Will then divided the other half into pieces for himself. Will watched how he ate it, then stuck a segment into his own mouth and chewed thoughtfully.

Lucifer looked up at him, head tilted, curious. “Gabriel, who shepherds the souls of men now that you are exiled?”

Will shook his head and sighed, crestfallen. “I hear nothing of how it goes in Heaven, Lucifer. Its doors are closed to me.” He squeezed an orange segment inquisitively between his fingers until the thin flesh ruptured then licked up the sweet juice spilling over his hand. “Humans are still born ensouled, so someone must tend the Tree and watch the Guf.” He shrugged in bitter resignation. “I would guess Michael, but, I don’t know for sure.”

Lucifer chuckled. "Yes. Michael Everpure. I would not be surprised." He glanced up at Will hoping for an answering, acknowledging laugh, but Will's face was still downcast. Lucifer exhaled hard then turned his head and kissed Will’s bare knee. “I am not sorry you are here with me, Gabi. But… I am sorry.”

He broke open another fragrant orange and lounged comfortably back in Will’s lap. He sucked the thick vibrant juice from the slices of sweet fruit and gazed up at Will. Will sighed and looked down fondly to meet Lucifer’s slanted regard. Bent forward and kissed his forehead. Combed his fingers through Lucifer's pale shining hair.

“What happened to you, Hêlêl?” Will asked finally, trying to reconcile the horrors he’d seen in the world with the lovely shimmering creature who reclined in his lap, devouring oranges with all the innocent greed of a child. “You were always willful, but never evil.”

“Nothing happened to me,” Lucifer said flippantly, licking his sticky fingers. “I happened.” He paused, brow furrowed with concern. “Tell me true, Gabi. Am I evil?”

Will shrugged. “You’re destructive. Same thing. Look what you did to this village. This whole plague is your fault.”

“Evil is just destructive then? Storms are evil, if it’s that simple. Then there’s fire and hail. As much as I’d like to take credit for all that destruction, my love, those acts belong to God. We ourselves are nothing if not an act of God, Gabi. And as we are, so is everything we do.”

Will shook in head in a mix of admiration and approbation. “10,000 years and you are as arrogant as the day you Fell.”

“And as beautiful,” Lucifer teased hopefully, giving Will a crooked smile and drawing a finger enticingly down Will’s smooth chest, circling it over his stardust heart.

Will nodded, quivering under the barest touch. He gazed down at Lucifer affectionately and cupped his smooth cheek. “And as beautiful. Vain arrogant spoiled Lucifer,” he laughed.

“Spoiled?” Lucifer exclaimed, sitting up in sudden anger. “I will lay claim to arrogant gladly, but spoiled?” He stood abruptly and started pacing the tent, his wings fluttering in the wind of his passage. His thundering shadow grew and grew until the room was engulfed in darkness.

“How am I spoiled? I would have praised God forever. Forever! Forever to the end of everything and on to the beginning of everything again! But he didn't love us back, Gabi.”

Will got to his feet and drew his wings forlornly around his body. “This old argument again? Of course he loved us. He loved you most of all, Hêlêl. He loves us still.” He put his hand on his unmarked belly, feeling the deep umbilical tug of divinity.

“No,” Lucifer countered sharply, wiping silver tears from his eyes with the back of his hand. “He gave it to us to praise and suffer and weep for all eternity and he gave it to the Humans to choose for themselves. Now tell me how He loved us. He gave them souls. He gave them choice. He set them free. He would never set us free, Gabi. He chains us still! Here on this wretched rock.”

Lucifer stopped pacing and threw his hands up then started chuckling, his amber eyes slitted in amusement. “The very funniest part of all is that he punishes them for use of their freedom. Excoriates and damns them for it and sends them to me for punish…” He leaned forward, hands against his knees, laughing breathlessly. “For punishment!”

He stood up suddenly and gave Will a false look of horrified surprise, as though he were about to relay some awful bit of juicy new gossip. “Did you know they killed His Son?”

He waited for Will’s eyes to go dark then he collapsed back onto the soft enveloping bed, clutching his stomach, overcome with mirth.

“Oh I am sorry, little brother,” he said when his laughter had tapered to hiccups. “Thinking on the irony of this world always puts me in an excellent humor. In truth I do love these Humans sometimes.”

“You torment these Humans, Lucifer,” Will retorted. His mouth turned down in disgust. “And you eat of them.”

Lucifer looked up at Will, his glimmering amber eyes solemn. “I only eat some of them,” he said reasonably then dissolved into a gurgle of laughter again.

Will shook his head in dismay and knelt next to Lucifer on the bed, folding his legs gracefully under him. “You could help me, you know,” he murmured. Then his face brightened and he looked over at Lucifer hopefully. “Yes! Why not help me, Hêlêl? If you help me, if you turn back to God, He would take you back. I know He would.”

Lucifer raised a golden eyebrow at him. “Really? He hasn't taken you back and you've been working on this little penance project for what, the entire 10,000 years you've been here?”

“Give or take a millennium. Please, Lucifer, think on it! Together we could rid the world of evil and return Home. We could be together again always. Us and God. Like it was!”

Lucifer sat up again and looked at Will seriously. “The world will never be rid of evil whether I help you or no. Does He really still blame the world's evil on me, Gabriel? Ridiculous. It is inside the Humans. Placed there by God. No more separable from them in life then their souls are. That is God's design. And you are a fool on God's errand.”

He softened his voice, stroked a finger fondly along the sweep of Will’s wing and watched him shiver in delight. “Rid the world of evil… you are the very essence of righteous innocence. You always have been.” He leaned in and kissed Will softly. “Why not come back to Hell with me and rule at my side, Gabi? Be with me always. Let us love each other again, as we once did.”

He pushed Will’s dark curls off his neck and placed a line of sweet kisses from the hollow of his shoulder to the hollow behind his ear. “I would call up every earthly pleasure there is for you,” he hissed. “Pleasures you've never even dreamed of experiencing. Pleasure like the Humans have.”

Lucifer slipped his hand between Will’s bare legs and cupped it over the smooth curve there. “I can give you something of what they have. For a little while. If you let me.”

Lucifer slid smoothly off the bed, knelt and pressed his mouth between Will’s thighs. Will felt a sparkling sort of feeling beneath the skin there, almost like the feeling of Lucifer’s phantom fingers pushing into his chest.

“Please, Hêlêl. Don’t kneel to me. Get up.”

“I would worship the heart of your pleasure, Gabi,” Lucifer sighed. Then he drew the tip of his finger gently down the center of the blank curve between Will’s thighs.

Will bent forward in a moment of excruciating pain as a burning line opened under Lucifer’s touch. It felt as though Lucifer was drawing a viper blade through his flesh. He looked down at himself in shocked horror.

“What have you done, Hêlêl?” he gasped.

“I wanted to give you something,” Lucifer murmured, gazing up at him from under his pale gold lashes. “Something incredible. Because I love you.” He took Will’s hand in his and brought it down between his thighs. “Here. Touch.”

Will swallowed and cupped his hand over his tender new sex, pressing his palm against it experimentally. He blinked rapidly in surprise as the pain of transformation faded and intense unfurling pleasure took its place. “What have you done?” he asked again, softer, wondering.

“I love you, Gabi,” Lucifer repeated urgently. “I want you to have this. I want you to have everything.”

He helped Will up off his knees and lay him carefully down on his back, his wings spread out beneath him. He climbed onto the bed, pressed Will’s legs apart, and bent his head between them. Ran his tongue up the tight slit he’d created and sealed his boiling hot mouth over the succulent spreading petals.

Will shivered in incomprehensible ecstasy as Lucifer licked and sucked at the tense clutch of ecstatically responsive new nerves between his thighs. The pleasure of it like a web of golden thread wrapping around his heart.

“Isn't it exquisite, Gabi?” Lucifer asked as he worked his tongue over the sensitive slippery flesh. “God gave the Humans this pleasure. All of them. No wonder it tempts them so.”

Lucifer sat up suddenly and drove his fist into the bed by Will’s hip, amber eyes flashing. “He loves them more than us, don't you see?”

Will flinched back from Lucifer’s flaring fury, his dawngrey wings curling up protectively.

“It isn't fair!” Lucifer railed. “Why shouldn't we have what they have? We were the first! We were good and loyal. I was captain of the host. Why shouldn't I have a soul of my own to love you with?”

His tempestuous rage receded as suddenly as it had arrived and he bent his head again, silvery hair spilling over Will’s lap like a waterfall. “Why shouldn’t I have the freedom to choose you above all others?” he murmured. “A body that I can share with you like this?”

He pressed his soft lips against Will’s newly yielding center, slid his tongue liquidly along the parting seam. “I would love you forever, Gabriel,” he whispered. “Worship you and only you.”

“Blasphemy, Hêlêl,” Will breathed. “Don’t say that.” He fisted his hands in Lucifer's hair. Trying to pull him away. Trying to pull him closer. “Please, Hêlêl. Don't. This is wrong. It feels wrong.”

“Does it?” Lucifer asked as he slid two elegant fingers inside the slick sensitive passage he’d created between Will’s thighs.

Will tipped his head back and moaned helplessly, legs quaking as Lucifer opened him.

“Does it really feel wrong to you?” Lucifer demanded. He rubbed and twisted his fingers deliciously inside Will’s body. “It looks like it feels wonderful. But I will stop, Gabi. If you wish.”

He dipped his head and traced his forked tongue along Will’s rosysweet opening, flickering the split tip around the swollen crowning bud. “Shall I stop now?” he whispered against Will’s wet flesh.

“N- no,” Will stuttered in shameful response, letting his tensed thighs fall further open. He covered his burning face with his hands. “Don’t stop, Hêlêl.”

Lucifer hummed happily, sighing and sucking harder, stroking firmly inside. Viciously proud to feel his Gabi shaking and thrashing beneath him. I would make this for you always, Gabi, he thought, pushing his serpent tongue into Will’s body alongside his fingers. I would give you this and everything else that is mine to give. Only stay with me, stay with me, stay with me.

Will’s thoughts were disjointed and his body felt foreign to him, off-kilter. Split unnaturally by Lucifer’s beckoning fingers and his undulating tongue. The sensations Lucifer drew from him were dense and tight as a collapsed star. If it lacked the heartfelt breadth and depth of their earlier coupling, this Human lovemaking still seemed a hundred times more intense. Will tightened his fingers in Lucifer’s hair and shook as the pleasure building inexorably inside him burst and spilled, flooding fluidly through his limbs and fizzing along the edges of his wings like ocean foam.

Lucifer knelt up over Will’s sighing writhing form. He licked his glistening lips then ran a hand down over his own body, doubling over in momentary pain as he transformed himself. He spread Will’s legs further and pressed the broad tip of his own newmade sex against Will’s slick opening, still fluttering with spasms of ecstasy.

"What?" Will panted, looking down in surprise. "What are you doing now, Hêlêl?"

Lucifer caged Will with his powerful arms and arched his magnificent pale wings over them like a lunar canopy. “I want to be inside you, Gabi,” he murmured. “Like my hand around your heart, but like this. The way the Humans do. May I?”

Will nodded, his trackless arctic eyes wide and curious. He propped himself up on his elbows and looked down to watch. Lucifer delicately parted the pale pink petaled flesh between Will’s thighs, pressed his own thick throbbing sex against the opening, and thrust gently inside. Will threw his head back and gasped, collapsing onto the bed as Lucifer slid slowly into him, his radiant wings stretched out and shivering.

“Oh, Hêlêl. I…I can’t. I feel…”

Lucifer worked his hips steadily, sliding into Will in a sweet and easy rhythm. He kissed Will’s bent straining throat. “Tell me what you feel, Gabi.”

Will shook his head. An infinite river of Human words flowed through his mind, but none of them fit what was happening to him. It was utterly indescribable. His body shook and quivered as though every muscle was urged to move in opposition to the other.

“It’s so good,” Will moaned helplessly. “But I… Oh, what do I do now, Hêlêl? What should I do?”

“Bring your legs up,” Lucifer encouraged, a smug little smile creasing his lips. “Here.” He reached down and pulled one of Will’s legs over his hip. “Wrap your legs around my waist. That’s it.” He rested his head in the crook of Will’s shoulder and thrust in deeper as Will hesitantly tipped his hips up. “Oh, squeeze your legs around me. That will feel good inside.”

Will did as Lucifer suggested, groaning as the pleasure bloomed brightly. “How do you,” he panted, “how do you know these things?” He paused, a faint skeptical line creasing his forehead. “You’ve done this before?”

Lucifer grinned down at him, rocking and swiveling his hips, hoping to render his Gabi insensible again. “Many times. But never with another angel. You are my only angel, Gabriel.”

Will looked up at him, shocked again. “You…you make love with Humans?”

“Sometimes.”

Will shivered with the terrible thrill of transgression. Coupling with Humans in any way had been explicitly forbidden since the monstrous failure of the Grigori.

“You come into them? Like this?”

“Sometimes,” Lucifer said again. He paused panting, forehead pressed to Will’s shoulder, savoring the feeling of Will’s body clenching around his hard length. “But sometimes....sometimes I take your place.”

He leaned back and gave Will a sly and knowing smile. “How else do you think I know what your body feels now, Gabi, and how to make it better?” he whispered.

Lucifer kissed the concerned furrow that appeared on Will’s forehead as Will considered that information then captured Will’s mouth in a deep soothing kiss.

Will made a small noise of disappointment as Lucifer knelt up and pulled back to make space between their bodies. His innocent brow furrowed again. “Hêlêl?” he asked, reaching anxiously for him. “Don’t stop yet.”

“It’s all right, Gabi,” Lucifer reassured him, stroking his flushed cheek, his damp curls. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m making it better.”

Lucifer slid his knees under Will’s thighs and trailed a hand down Will’s smooth quaking body. Then he slipped his hand between them and pressed the tips of his fingers against Will’s slick swollen flesh, circling and circling. “Let me make it better for you. Make it perfect." He canted his hips up to press his thick sex against the sweet spot from inside, moaning and throwing his head back when felt Will’s body respond to it.

Will gasped and screwed his eyes shut tight as a hot spike of pleasure pierced him. His body throbbing around the ecstatic intrusion, pulsing in time with the boundless pounding of his heart. The strange extraordinary pleasure of being opened in such a way was rushing through him like a current, more powerful than before. Nearly unbearable.. He gripped Lucifer’s arms tight, bracing himself against the spiraling climax. His body shaking, shaking.

“Oh, Hêlêl,” Will whispered in a little panic. “I…Again?”

Lucifer smiled and leaned down to kiss Will’s forehead, his throat, his parted lips. “Yes. Again.” He stroked Will's clit intently, rolling his hips up and back in perfect counterpoint to his clever fingers. “Let it come, Gabi,” he murmured encouragingly. “Just like before. Let it wash over you.”

Will sobbed and dug his nails into Lucifer’s tensed biceps as Lucifer pushed wonderfully into him, filling him up. “Oh,” he moaned. “Please, Hêlêl.”

Will arched up in a helpless spasm as the rapturous pleasure overwhelmed him, his luminous wings curving down against the bed. Lucifer caught him around the waist with one arm, holding him beautifully bent for a moment, then gently lowered him back down.

Desperate and panting, Will sought Lucifer’s eyes, but he could no longer see the universe there. The universe was inside him. A dense spark of delight centered between his thighs that expanded and expanded until it flared into vast consuming bliss, an explosion of stars that whited out his consciousness.

As Will drifted on the cradling tide of his orgasm, he could hear Lucifer sighing his name. He felt the hot and somehow comforting pulse of Lucifer’s release inside him and then the ghostly sensation of Lucifer withdrawing. The shivery melancholic feeling of his own body returning to its natural state.

Will lay with his cheek against Lucifer’s chest, deeply satisfied, listening to the fierce flutter of Lucifer’s heart.

“You’ll come back with me now,” Lucifer said, curling his wings around Will’s languid body. “Rule with me.” He smiled confidently, imagining the pleasure they would have together. The power.

Will was silent. He felt the smooth slither of Lucifer’s feathers sliding affectionately along his skin. Silver tears welled in his eyes.

Lucifer looked down at him as the horrible silence grew. “Gabi?”

Will sat up at the edge of the bed and drew his own pale wings around him like armor. Lucifer grabbed his wrist.

“Gabriel?”

“I'm sorry, brother,” Will breathed finally. “I cannot.”

Lucifer got on his knees at Will’s side, incredulous. “Do you need me to beg? I will beg, Gabi.” He steepled his shaking hands and pressed them to his lips. “Please don't leave me again. Please, Gabriel.”

Will shook his head. “I want to go Home, Hêlêl.” He took Lucifer’s face in his hands and peered into his endless eyes. “Save your prayers for God. Come back with me and beg for His forgiveness. Then maybe He will take us back. Together.”

Lucifer shook his head, pulling away, mouth tightening. “Never. I will kneel to you, Gabi, and no one else.”

Will sobbed harshly then got to his feet and grabbed his long black cassock from the mossy tent floor.

Lucifer looked away. I will lose you either way, he thought miserably. “Where will you go now?”

Will yanked the cassock on and buttoned it closed with nerveless fingers. “I will help the Humans as I have done for thousands of years. They are vulnerable and they need protection. Protection from themselves and protection from you,” he spat. “When I have done enough, Father will call me Home.”

Lucifer shook with rage and grief, his mouth twisted in a cruel line. “Of course He will,” he said with terrible bitterness. “You’ve eaten with me and drunk with me and lay with me. But I’m sure He will take you back. And if He does, will you beg Him on my behalf again, my love? Beg Him to bring me Home for you?”

Will’s mouth trembled around the word no, but he said nothing. He walked towards the front of the tent with a resolve he did not feel. He could not bear to look back.

“Gabi…” Lucifer called after him.

Will paused, turned slightly, and held up his hand. He could just see the golden shimmer of Lucifer’s eyes in his peripheral vision. “No,” he said forbiddingly. “Stop.”

“I wasn’t going to beg you to stay again,” Lucifer said lightly, his face locked safely behind a mask of acerbic and weary amusement again. “Only, do this for me.”

Will’s face softened. “What?”

“Meet me here again, Gabi. In a thousand years, let us say. We will discuss it again. A thousand more years among the Humans and we will see if you’ve changed your mind.”

Will considered this seriously then nodded. “I will, Lucifer. I will come again in a thousand years. I will meet you here and ask you to petition Heaven with me.”

“You will be wasting your breath,” Lucifer cautioned, then laughed bitterly. “Of course, if you happen to change your mind earlier, do call for me. I will hold a place for you in Hell by my side, Gabriel. Come anytime.”

Lucifer wiped scant silver tears from his cheeks and blew a kiss in Gabriel’s general direction. Then he and the silk tent vanished as if they had never been there and Will was left standing stark and alone in the field of the dead.