The show "Brimstone" belongs to Fox and their underlings. And
               also lots of thanks to John Glover for doing a excellent Devil
               and Peter Horton for doing a good Ezekiel Stone. If you try to
               sue me for this, you'll get a ragged broom. And a dog with a
               taste for garbage..not mine, fortunately. This story brings up
               several puzzling things the Devil said to Ezekiel Stone in the
               first episode, and puts them in a slash context. And slash,
               ladies and gentlemen, means male/male sexual and emotional
               relationship. Got that? Don't like that, get out.'d you
               get here anyway if you don't like slash? Now, with all the
               disclaimers over and done with...on with the story. Oh, by the
               way--this takes place after the Gwen DuBarres episode. The second
               one, if that helps.

              The Devil's Side

               By Ladyserez

                    God, frustrate me! I told you, damn clearly I
               might add, that returning to Earth once you'd found and returned
               all 113 souls to Hell was up to me. Remember?

                    I also told you you had been mine. Mine for 15 years. Do you
               *really* think I'd give you up that easily? Souls, once they come
               into my grasp, never leave it. Why didn't you tell that painted
               Madaglene it wasn't wise to worship me? Afraid you might scare
               her off? That I understand. But what delighted me...was what you
               said to her. "Keep it up." Basically.

                    That obnoxious professor just came into the courts,
               objecting all the way. Well, at least he's not married. I recall
               one case--and this did happen, Stone---where six wives got
               together and beat up a defendent before the guards could stop
               them. Rather cooperative of them--considering that in life they
               were all competing for his attention. That stopped abruptly, in a
               place I think they call Waco. Very nice name for a nice town. In
               Texas, I believe.

                    Ah. Let's put that aside, Stone. I remember the day they
               brought you in MY court. It'd been a rather boring day. Well, try
               dealing with child molesters. They're easy--they never feel guilt
               about what they do, so it's easy to mail them off to the roughest
               section of Hell. Like I said, boring.

                    And then the doors opened, I looked up and there you were.
               The bailiff boomed out, "Name: Ezekiel Stone. Profession: Police
               Officer. Crime: cold blooded murder." That one certainly got my
               attention, Stone. Cop committing murder? It've became more and
               more frequent, but not quite on the scale of the gang-bangers.
               And I also wondered something else. What kind of sadistic parents
               named you Ezekiel? Religious, obviously. I'd have expected a
               David or Elijah, but Ezekiel? It's a rare name nowadays. As the
               case went on, it became rapidly obvious that you took revenge on
               your wife's rapist. Like you thought that'd help. What I
               admire...I will never say this freely to you, you understand.
               What I admire is, you hurt with her. The rape destroyed her and
               you--yet you want to find her and live again. I don't think so,

                    I can't say how proud I am that you figured out that little
               puzzle I gave you. Most of the people in Hell can't think---or
               else why would they think a defense in Hell would work? You knew
               better, I think. You sat there, waiting for the sentence. And
               when it came, you didn't flinch.

                    Hell is just a large prison. And there is no parole. No one
               gets out, not even Gwen DuBarres. Her rape was nasty, I'll admit,
               and burning the men who raped her brilliant. But their families?
               Their friends? And the Baron? Stone, that was excessive. Very
               much so. And I don't like criminals who have no idea what the
               restraints are. They tend to go overboard, and their minds goes
               with it. Take Hitler, for example.

                    Would it surprise you to know I'm the first inmate of this
               demented asylum called Hell? Probably not. But to make me the
               Warden? I could see it in your eyes, Stone, when they brought you
               into my office.

                    [Lucien Morningstar! I condemn you!] Sometimes, I hear his
               voice. And I yearn again. But it stops, eventually. Just like
               you'll stop yearning for her. Your wife. I won't refer to her by
               name, she's a competitor, albeit an unknowing one.

                    I'm still angry about the escapees. The most inviolable
               prison in the universe--and 113 people escaped! Well, now 111,
               but who cares? One is too many. 111, that's way too much. And I
               know someone old and powerful planned this. I wasn't going to
               choose you, you know. I had my selection of brilliant cops and
               detectives, so why'd I choose little ol' you?

                    Simple. The others'd been too long in Hell. Too long one of
               mine. 15 years, I thought, was just perfect. Enough to acquit
               some knowledge, but not enough to escape my control. How wrong I
               was. Oh, I may have put their names on your body in my language.
      may not know control is a matter of degrees. Too much,
               and it may destroy. Not enough, and it kills. That IS the irony
               here, Stone. In tattooing you--oh, I remember that night. How
               delicious it was, watching you writhe under the ink. Did they
               tell you the ink is made of my blood? I thought not.

                    You eventually sent her back, Stone. I didn't think you
               would. But someone else died, and you did what you had to. I
               suspect that's what you did in your years as a cop--did what you
               had to. I know, Stone, I made the right choice. You're too much
               the cop still, to refuse me. In all ways.

                    I know I didn't get around to you, but you'd heard the
               rumors. Obviously. Why else dare me to slap you around? And I
               will, if I feel it necessary. No matter you're beautiful, in a
               rough'n'tumble sort of way. No matter I'd like to tumble you
               hard, in bed.

                    It's almost time to go back and see you, Ezekiel Stone. Time
               to give you more advice, comments, and clues. Time to annoy you
               some more. But I promise will never be your wife's. You
               will never live again. Trust me, Stone. After all...aren't I the
               Grand Deceiever? The Prince of Lies. Take your pick, I love them
               all. Just remember who I am. And what I can do to you if I so
               choose, and you would have no right to refuse.  Do you
               understand, Ezekiel Stone? If breaking you is what is needed to
               bring you back to Hell..I'd do it.

               The End


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