| Pairing: Zeke/Devil
Rating: R for dark themes, language, violence,
m/m sexual content, religious themes. The usual stuff.
|Notes: My long overdue return to "Brimstone" fic.
You'll most likely need to read the previous
stories in the series first, which you can find at
Disclaimer: The characters don't belong to me. The
following is written purely for fun, not for
|Feedback: Always welcome.|
Games Demons Play #5: Consequences
* * * * *
He was falling.
As he crossed the dimensional boundary separating
Earth from Heaven and Hell, his outstretched wings
could do no more than slow his descent through the
air that grew hotter and more pungent with each
passing moment. He fell too fast, in the emptiness
between Paradise above and his fiery prison below,
the seemingly infinite weight of his damned essence
denying him the ability to even attempt to soar
upward. He hadn't even tried in centuries. Instead
he kept his eyes downward, on the burning plains
and rivers of fire beneath him, rushing upon him
faster and faster, a blur of angry flames and murky
darkness. The blistering winds shredded the last
remnants of his human guise as he fell, until he at
last caught an upward blast of hot air upon which
he could coast back to his home. Pandemonium, the
center of Hell--he saw and headed toward the wicked
spires, halls, and monuments which had been built
by thousands of years of damned souls' labor. He
soared to the highest spire of all, which marked
his home, his palace. His prison. Beneath him he
could hear the shrieks of terror and misery of
thousands of his subjects, but they meant nothing
to him at that moment.
He had too many other things on his mind. And one
very specific soul.
He landed lightly on the balcony that circled the
very tip of the high spire. The fierce winds
buffeted and lashed against his leathered flesh,
which had been worn rough and desensitized through
millennia of abuse under these conditions. He
folded blackened wings against his body and dug his
fingers into the railing as he looked out onto the
endless misery beneath him.
His world. His kingdom. Billions of souls, all his.
Some feared him, some hated him. Some were insane
enough to worship him and love him, in all his
terrible and hateful glory.
But not the one he loved. Never the one he loved.
He was raw and bleeding inside. "Trust me," Ezekiel
had said. A terrible mistake. Ezekiel didn't know
what he was asking. Ezekiel didn't know what this
could do to both of them.
Lucifer himself had not known the depths of his
emotions until Ezekiel had found them and ripped
them free. He had believed his own heart to be as
weathered and hardened as his flesh, impervious to
such feelings as love and concern.
It was supposed to have just been a fun little
game, for fuck's sake. A way to throw Ezekiel off
balance. Teach him a few things about respecting
his master. Lucifer had found the mortal soul
attractive and intriguing, and what he wanted, he
took--to satisfy his lusts, pure and simple.
How *love* had crept into the equation, Lucifer
didn't know. He didn't *want* to know. He just
wanted it to go away.
He stayed there, brooding and thinking, for some
time. It could have been minutes, hours...possibly
even days. Time lost so much of its meaning here in
this realm which never changed. He sensed one of
his brothers approaching, and that shook him out of
his thoughts. The dark figure descended from the
smoke-heavy skies and landed heavily next to
Lucifer, shaking the entire platform with the
weight of his large, muscled body. His wings, like
Lucifer's, were black as night, millennia of ash
and smoke having irrevocably stained them from
their initial pure white. His long hair was also
blackened and stained, his flesh leathery and dark
brown. His face was pinched into an eternal scowl,
lines etched deep and harsh. It was hard to
remember how beautiful he had once been, not at all
like the fearsome creature he had become. Lucifer
didn't like to remember it, for it only served to
remind him of the transformation he, too, had
undergone over time.
"Moloch," Lucifer greeted him, "to what do I owe
the pleasure of your company on this day?"
"No particular reason," the fallen angel answered.
"I was merely...passing by and saw you here. Only
polite to stop and pay my respects."
*Bullshit,* Lucifer thought to himself, though he
bit his tongue. Moloch never stopped by to simply
chat or 'pay his respects'. The belligerent
creature was always looking for a fight.
Indeed, the first question out of Moloch's mouth
was, "And how is the situation with Ashur and the
other escapees, these days? It has been some time
since you addressed the council on the matter."
"Because there is nothing new to report. The
situation is quite well under control. That bitch
will be back where she belongs soon enough."
"And just how soon is 'soon enough', Lucifer? We
have been waiting for months, waiting while your
little police detective fumbles along, picking off
the weaker ones while continually allowing Ashur to
wander free, to build her power on Earth."
"He will deal with her when he is ready. I have
complete faith in his abilities."
"Well, that is all well and good, but some of the
rest of us do not share in your faith." Moloch
stepped closer to Lucifer, studied him with fiery-
red eyes. "Something is wrong with you, brother.
You are troubled."
Lucifer snorted. "I am *always* troubled, Moloch."
"No, it is more than that." Moloch paused, his
scowl deepening. "You are not yourself these days.
This Ezekiel Stone...what has he done to you?"
"What has he done? He has reminded me how to
*feel,* Moloch." Lucifer turned away from the
angel's gaze and looked out across the endless
burning plains of his domain. *Damn him for that.
Damn him for all of eternity,* Lucifer thought. He
didn't want to feel this. He didn't want to feel
"You are hurting, brother. You should stop this.
Get another to finish this mission--better still
send an army instead of one man!" Moloch urged,
placing a heavy hand on the devil's shoulder.
Lucifer shrugged off the sympathetic gesture,
knowing it was nothing but a ruse.
"No. No, it is too late now, the damage is done."
Lucifer closed his eyes and breathed in deep of the
acrid smoke, the sulfur and burning flesh and every
other putrid smell his senses had grown numb to for
"You let yourself fall in love with him," Moloch
observed, not hiding the shock and disgust in his
"I did not *let* anything happen. It was entirely
against my will, I assure you."
"What is wrong with you, Lucifer? First you allow
Ashur and the others to escape through your
negligence, and now you fall victim to *love* for a
mortal soul?" Moloch shook his head.
"What of it?"
"Well, it makes me wonder if you are still capable
of ruling our dominion. And I am not the only one
of our brethren who is wondering the same thing."
"So that is what this is about. The vultures are
circling. Talking about rebellion...that is how we
ended up here in the first place, is it not?"
"And now that we are here, we must make the best of
it. Prove to God and his legion of mindless, self-
righteous followers that we are stronger! We cannot
lose our souls, Lucifer, not a thousand, one
hundred and thirteen, not ONE. Some day the great
battle will come and we will need every soul to
ensure our victory. And here you turn it into a
GAME, making bargains with a mortal to clean up
your mistakes. And then you fall victim to LOVE and
you expect your brothers not to protest?"
"Is this a challenge?" Lucifer growled, turning and
stepping into Moloch's space. "Speak it, say it if
it is! I will fight you right now--all of you--if
that is what you want."
Moloch stepped back and shook his head. "Not now,
brother. This is merely a warning. But should you
not heed it..." Moloch trailed off, then shrugged.
"You might be the strongest of us, Lucifer, but can
you stand alone against us all and win?"
With that warning, Moloch unfurled his wings and
took flight. Rage burned just barely under
Lucifer's control. The threat hadn't come as much
of a surprise to him, really, for he truly trusted
none of his fellow fallen angels. What loyalty and
brotherhood they'd shared at one time was long
since gone, replaced by resentment and thirst for
power. Always more power. His power.
He turned away from the view of the plains and the
city and stepped through the doorway, down the long
winding stairwell that led to his private chambers.
No one would dare bother him there. He needed time
alone to think. Time to feel. Time to decide what
he was going to do about Ezekiel Stone.
* * * * *
Lucifer left the detective alone for several weeks.
At least, he never revealed his presence to him,
even though he spent time every day watching him
from near and afar. Just checking in on the man's
progress, or so he told himself, even though he
knew that was only part of the reason he watched.
The other part was that he just wanted to be close
He wanted to talk to him. He wanted to enjoy
another round of their usual verbal games and
abuse. It was fun to have an adversary who, every
once in a while (but not too often), actually
managed to get the upper hand on him. But more than
talking, he wanted to fuck the undead daylights out
of Stone, to feel him writhing under the burning
touch of his hands and struggling the entire time,
trying to deny that he enjoyed it, that he wanted
it and would do anything for it.
And more than even that...more than even that,
Lucifer ached for what he could not ask from
Ezekiel. To give over control and let Ezekiel take
him, to have his buried feelings ripped free again,
if only for a moment.
"Trust me," Ezekiel had said.
No. That wasn't even the issue. He *did* trust
Ezekiel, as much as he could...but he couldn't
trust *himself*. Opening himself to Ezekiel once,
unexpectedly and without preparation, had nearly
destroyed the mortal. The pain and rage walled up
inside Lucifer was more horrific than Ezekiel could
endure. He had not simply "blacked out" as a result
of the joining; the fragile faux-human shell
containing his soul had shattered and the very
fabric of his soul had been damaged. Lucifer had
rushed to repair the damage, drawing as much of his
power as he could across the dimensions to keep
Ezekiel's soul in this realm, bound to his own
essence until he could release it back into a
recreated demonic body. When Ezekiel had awoken,
Lucifer had decided it was best not to tell him
exactly what had happened, how near to
destruction he'd been. The detective didn't
remember it; he simply knew he felt terrible.
Lucifer hoped that would be warning enough not to
try a stunt like that again--warning enough to both
At home, his brothers now kept their whispers of
discontent mostly to themselves, and the threat of
rebellion seemed a distant one. That was one small
relief. It wasn't the first time such talk had
arisen, but it was a threat he did not take
lightly. Meanwhile, Ezekiel caught the demon in
Albuquerque and was on the road again, heading
toward Texas, on the trail of another escapee who
was not doing a good job of keeping a low profile.
His actions were making the national news and
Ezekiel had not needed Lucifer's help in
recognizing that a demon had to be responsible for
the terrible crime wave. Stone *did* have good
instincts, after all. And these days there seemed
to be more confidence in his steps, his movements,
even in his hunting. He was less likely to stall
and agonize over making that final killshot. He was
more focused on his job and less on haunting and
pining for Rosalyn. That should have all been well
and good, and just what Lucifer had wanted to see.
And yet, something wasn't right. Something was
missing. Something had grown darker about him.
Since the night the tables had been turned, and
Ezekiel had touched his soul...
Well, it had to be expected, Lucifer supposed. What
Ezekiel had touched and the damage it had caused
had to have left its mark on him. How severe a
mark, however, Lucifer wasn't certain.
*The price of your love, you fool. You should have
protected him from this. You should have stopped
the game when you had the chance.*
But it was too late now. Finally, he could stay in
the shadows no longer. It was time to attempt to
restore balance, to measure the extent of the
damage done and see if it could be repaired.
Ezekiel was spending another night alone in a
dreary, anonymous motel room, watching the TV,
working his way through a bag of chips and a six
pack of beer.
"Here you are, blessed with a second chance of life
on Earth, and the best you can do is waste your
time with junk food and late night television?" The
devil sat in the worn old armchair by the TV and
shook his head. "You know, if you're going to waste
your time here with idle pursuits, you could at
least waste it with some more *interesting* idle
pursuits. Something a little more meaningful than
'Frankenstein Meets the Mummy Princess'."
Ezekiel, who was sitting back against the headboard
of the bed, looked at Lucifer briefly and then
turned his attention back to the TV. His expression
showed no surprise, nor dread, nor pleasure at
finally seeing the devil again. It showed nothing
at all. "Haven't seen you for a while," was all he
had to say.
"I've been busy."
Ezekiel shrugged and popped open another bottle of
beer. He played with the TV remote, flipping idly
through the stations, not paying any direct
attention to Lucifer. The disrespect was grating on
the devil's nerves. He never would take it from
anyone else, never, but he always seemed to take it
from Stone. He supposed, in retrospect, he should
have taken his lenience with Ezekiel's attitude as
the first sign that he'd developed dangerous
feelings for him.
"So what do you want?" Ezekiel finally asked him.
"You have something to tell me about the next demon
I'm supposed to go after? Or do you just want to
"Well! We're getting right to the point tonight,
"Why waste time? It's not as if we ever have
anything new to say to each other." Ezekiel tilted
his head, looking upward as he continued, "Let's
see if I've got the routine down by now. You want
me to work harder and stop wasting time. Fine. I
tell you I'm working as hard as I can, especially
when you don't give me any help, so get off my
case." He paused to take a sip of his beer. "You
want me to admit that I want you. Fine, yeah, I'll
admit it. You won that game. You messed up my head
somehow, and now I can't go a day without thinking
about getting fucked by you. Hell, I can barely go
an hour without thinking about it. I don't
understand it, but I can't seem to do anything
"Then, you want to convince me that I belong to
you, that I belong in Hell, no matter what I do
here on Earth now. You know what? Maybe you're
right. I don't know any more. And I don't feel like
arguing about it." Ezekiel put down his beer and
turned off the TV. Then he got up from the bed and
walked toward Lucifer. He kneeled down before the
devil and placed his hands on Lucifer's thighs,
then he stared him right in the eyes as he
concluded his speech, "We go through all of that
and then it comes down to just one thing--you're
either here to give me a clue, or you're here
for a fuck. Or maybe both. So what is it?" Ezekiel
asked, running his hands slowly up the devil's
Lucifer clapped his hands. "Very good, Ezekiel.
Tell me, how many times did you practice that
"Don't know. Doesn't matter. Just tell me why
you're here now so we can get on with it."
"You know me so well, why do *you* think I'm here,
hmm?" Lucifer asked, intrigued to know what was
going through Ezekiel's mind. The defiance of his
words, and the boldness of his actions, had caught
the devil somewhat by surprise. This wasn't quite
the same Ezekiel Stone he was used to. That
darkness that he'd sensed from afar seemed to be
much stronger than he'd realized. He could see it
clouding Stone's normally sparkling eyes. The
softness he was used to seeing there was nowhere to
be found, replaced by a harshness he wasn't sure he
liked at all.
"I think you want more of what I gave you the last
time you popped by for a visit," Ezekiel answered
him. "You want another good hard fuck, don't you?
Like you'd never ask anyone else to give you,
'cause I'm the only one who can give you what you
Lucifer knew he ought to throw Stone to the bed and
stop this. Fuck him hard and without mercy, but
with plenty of pain and humiliation, remind him who
was the master and in control of this relationship.
But Ezekiel's hands wouldn't stop moving,
caressing, sliding up now over his groin and
rubbing against his already stiff cock. Yes, he
wanted it, more than anything, but he couldn't let
it happen like that again. He grabbed the
detective's hands and forced him to stop. "This
*will* destroy you, Ezekiel. You're playing with
powers you don't understand. You don't know how
close you came to destroying yourself last time."
"So? What does that matter to me."
"You would welcome annihilation?" the devil asked,
the answer suddenly and sickeningly clear in
Ezekiel's surface thoughts, before he even spoke of
"It would be better than spending the rest of
eternity in Hell. Better than being this...twisted
up inside. Wanting you."
The words stung. So did the pain and fear, now
leaking out behind the darkness in the detective's
eyes. "Liar," the devil dismissed, not wanting to
hear this kind of defeatist talk from Stone. "You
have too much of a fighting spirit to be so ready
to give up! And what about your precious Rosalyn?
What happened to your conviction that you were
meant to be with her again, someday?"
Ezekiel shook his head. "I can't expect things to
work out between us. Not now. You were right about
that. I wouldn't want to touch her...to be with
her. I wouldn't subject her to that. She's too good
to ever be touched by someone who's been touched
and used like I've been, by you."
Lucifer's grip on Stone's hands tightened, so tight
he could hear and feel Ezekiel's bones cracking.
Stone cried out in agony but Lucifer could not stop
himself. "Do not forget who I am, Ezekiel Stone. I
am your master. I am Lucifer, ruler of Hell, and I
could send you back there right now, back to the
eternal suffering you deserve for your insolence!
And if you thought Hell was bad before, keep this
attitude up, detective, and see what kind of misery
you'll endure for the rest of time! Do you hear me?
DO YOU HEAR ME?!"
Lucifer released Ezekiel's crushed hands and kicked
the kneeling man away from him in disgust. Who he
was more disgusted with--the mortal or himself--he
didn't know. It didn't matter.
Fucking mess. What a fucking mess this had become.
He wanted to leave. It had been a mistake to come
here in the first place. He *knew* that this would
happen. Love led only to misery and pain, and his
love could do nothing but destroy the object of his
He turned away from Ezekiel, turned his head and
pulled his legs up against his chest, curling up
around the pain raging inside him. *What have you
done to me, Ezekiel? And what have I done to you?*
This was why he never wanted to deal with love
again. Never wanted to have to deal with these
emotions, because they hurt too much, and he in
turn could only hurt others. It was an endless,
vicious cycle that he was better off avoiding
Ezekiel was a good man. At least he had been.
Lucifer knew now that he had fallen in love with
him because of that goodness, something so rare, so
unlike anything he'd had the chance to touch since
he had first fallen from Heaven and been condemned
Now he'd touched it and in doing so, he might very
well have destroyed it. The game was over. They
both had lost.
He wasn't aware of how much time passed, how long
he sat there lost in the misery of his thoughts. It
was Ezekiel's touch on his clenched fist that
finally drew him back.
Not a demanding touch, nor lustful. Not falsely
sympathetic like his brother's, nor angry. Just a
soft, soothing touch, testing, reaching out.
Reaching for him. Lucifer turned his head and found
the mortal soul kneeling once more before him, his
broken fingers already healed, the darkness that
had clouded his bright eyes gone. "I'm sorry,"
Ezekiel said. "That was...I shouldn't have said
"The apology is accepted. It's about time you
learned some manners," Lucifer sniffed.
"I don't know what's happening to me. There's
a...darkness inside me, that didn't used to be
there. Sometimes I can't control it."
"I am that darkness, Ezekiel. Such is the
consequence of game you played with me last
time...and why we can never play it again. You got
too close to me, too close to things I can't share
with someone as fragile as you. I could lose you
entirely to it."
Ezekiel nodded, seeming to understand. After a
while, he finally said, "So. Where does that leave
us? What *can* we do, if we can't do that?" The
question came with a small smile. The smile, more
than anything else, caught Lucifer by surprise, and
A little laughter felt good right now, damn good.
To hold Ezekiel and see if he could mend some of
the damage he'd done would feel even better. He
took Ezekiel's hand and stood, pulling the
detective up to his feet with him. "We can do
this," Lucifer said, and then he kissed Stone. It
was the same kind of gentle, healing kiss he'd
shared with Ezekiel before leaving, the last time.
The kind of kiss he hadn't shared with anyone else
in millennia. Ezekiel responded to him, for once
without struggle, without resentment and anger and
Fuck, and it hurt. It was wonderful and it hurt
magnificently and it was breathless and it was
agonizing. It was all he wanted and not nearly
enough, and all that he was certain he didn't
deserve but Ezekiel gave it to him nevertheless.
The pain was worth it. Someday he would overcome
it. This love he felt was not a curse; it was his
last hope. He felt Ezekiel's arms around his waist,
pulling him closer, and he gave himself over to the
embrace. Not *too* much, not as much as he ached to
give, for he knew he couldn't. Perhaps someday he
could, when he found some way to kill the rage and
darkness inside him. But he would not destroy this
one most precious soul in the process.
And for the first time, Lucifer sensed something
more than pure lust and desire behind Ezekiel's
actions, behind his kiss. He knew better than to
mistake it for love, but it was something.
Something akin to...understanding.
It was enough for now.