SoS: The Mortal Coil (WIP, Cover Art Done Oct. 29, post 1821)

modern-fantasy
adult-fiction
nonbinary-inclusive
gender-choice

#1316

I’m really looking forward to seeing Gabriel getting used to human life.


#1317

Another third of Laniwynn’s scene is done (+7k new words, plus now you get access to another 1100 words that were written but not previously reachable). This may possibly be the most risque yet >.> I’m trying to keep it at the level where if you took a single sentence out of context it wouldn’t necessarily be M rated, but, well… Laniwynn is Laniwynn… shrugs and hides in a corner.

You can now play through on the ‘some experience’ route. If you all have any thoughts/feedback/comments, let me know! Going to continue plugging away on the final path and then I’ll tackle some of the longer (@all the ROs primarily) asks that are sitting in my inbox. Probably won’t get through many, but know that I do read every single ask/submission and one day I will get to them!

We’re getting closer to wrapping this scene up. Probably another ~7k words for the final route of Laniwynn’s, 3-5k words for the dance with both route, and another 5k words for skipping over the fae scene. Then onto the trial scene! Slow progress, but progress nonetheless.

If you encounter any typos or bugs, pictures are a great help! Feedback of all kind is fantastic as always.

@Gwenstn
Here, have a tissue. You may want a box on hands for future updates. The angst is only beginning.

Mmmm, I’ve said too much. If I say more, my muse may reign down chaos and fire. She likes keeping some things a complete surprise.

I’ll get around to it. There’s at least one (or maybe three) asks for this sitting in my inbox. I’ve just been working more on the story, sticking to shorter Tumblr asks for the moment (trying to finish those risque scenes with Laniwynn so we can back to the plot).

@Quaintrelle

Trusting me with this is a dangerous thing. Ye’ve been warned.

Perhaps we should ascertain if we can grow wings first. Or have a necromancer on hand. This ride is just beginning.

Probably. Odds are definitely not in our favor.

Daniel isn’t a fan of losing another parent whatsoever, and he will fight to make sure that doesn’t happen.

I’m going to try to get some lighter asks answered tonight. We’ll see how far I get.

Israfel might seem all nice and quiet, but don’t touch his Gabriel. Of course, Lucifer’s never pretended to be nice and quiet, but he shares the same sentiment as Israfel. Touch Gabriel, die.

I think we may need to start a support group. Starting with tissues and sugar.

Well, considering that it’s pretty much the same level as the story, I wouldn’t fuss too much. But yay! It may balance out some of the tears I have wrought.

The way I envision ultimate parent Gabriel is actually Gabriel plus most of the Major Crimes division. It takes a village and whatnot. (Plus, then Daniel has his own fan section for whatever he does.)

Well, I certainly hope it doesn’t take that long! I appreciate the sentiment however :smile:

Breaking even with this game is probably this game’s version of coming out ahead.

I also offer the services of Alice and Iain. They can help cut down on the take out as well. (Just don’t expect the kitchen to be clean after Iain’s through.)

@cookiemonsta
I laughed at the gif. Sums up Ramiel’s reaction perfectly.

Magic of giants, caffeine, sleep deprivation, and possibly some ritual sacrifices to the muse.

@bobsmyuncle
Thanks for linking all the Tumblr stuff! Appreciate the assist. And loved seeing your anatomy of a Gabriel and the relationship analysis. (FYI, for those of you who share your lovely anatomy of a Gabriel you may find some extras when it comes time to name your vessel :wink:)

The evil part of me is greatly tempted to just sit here, steeple my fingers, smile and say nothing.

The nicer part of me is going to put answers here.

  1. Angels don’t interact with human souls in Heaven generally. They aren’t supposed to, unless it’s for administrative purposes. (Of course, some human souls can become angels…)
  2. Satanspawn are technically lesser immortals. They don’t die of old age. Most of the time they are killed and their souls devoured for power.

It does fit both pretty well… Which only makes how well the don’t get along all the more ironic. *Gives the side eye to the problem nestmates

Ah, I was missing my hell-bent Gabriels.

Oh goodness. Power runs in the family, I suppose.

Not every step… but to be fair Gabriel is already more powerful than most of Earth’s inhabitants.

@squarelyblue summed this up nicely, and @bobsmyuncle has the details.

Nice guess, but you may want to try again.

It’s definitely a process.


#1318

Most? Who on earth(litteratly) is stronger then us?

Also will the humans and their armies have a good or any chance chance of fighting back against the demons and angels when the apocalypse starts?


#1319

This only excites me further.

Drown me in the feels Dae. Do it.


#1320

I know my Gabriel’s are going to love hot wings!


#1321

you should probably not let your wings rest on the stove like that…I’d assume it’s gonna be painful soon.


#1322

I’m talking about the food.


#1323

My little boy can have a love triangle??? omggg


#1324

@Dae-kalina don’t tell me we’re going to have to punch God?

That would be all kinds of cool though

Okay so once Gabby’s shell “dies,” Gabby can hang out with Daniel with no problems? Because again he’s my son now and I want to make sure he’s okay no matter the timeline

Also since Satanspawn are powerful in their own right (I’m supposing) so a Satanspawn trained by an archangel is a double whammy? Is that why Daniel is “special” that way? Is that god’s plan? But what would be the end game then? Conquer the other realms?

/chinrubs


#1325

How is Laniwynn not on the RO list? There’s an injustice my Gabriel will never get over.


#1326

Because fae don’t do love/romance

While not Lanniwyn, Dae did a short on the romance thing with Leochlan and it didn’t go so well


#1327

Even just going about their lives with the occasional meteoric impact can count as a romance, but I suppose I will simply settle for grumping about it.


#1328

@Dae-kalina

Will Gabriel be able to have children at some point?


#1329

So, the recent update and knowledge wouldn’t let go of my thoughts throughout the day and this is the resulting scene I imagined playing out, as well as the poem that likewise came to mind.

Also, I can’t find how to make this a hide block, if anyone would let me know that and how to italicize the quoted poem, that would be amazing!

La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad
BY JOHN KEATS

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her Elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Thee hath in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Plummeting earthwards, Gabriel kept her silver wings wrapped protectively around her body even after bursting through the clouds. Even as the ground seemed to rush upwards to embrace her, the gleaming wings enveloped her and the package she carried in her arms. It was only in the last hundred metres that she snapped her wings open, expertly using the abrupt deceleration to swing her feet underneath her and alight upon the grassy park on tip toe. Even as she allowed her weight to settle upon the ground, her wings were retracting, leaving her bare-backed and feeling naked despite the clothing that she wore.

Tucking the package under one arm, she glanced around in an unconscious physical imitation of the questing pulse of her Grace reaching out. The one she sought was not within eyesight but instead was inside a pretty taverna graced with flowers and laughter. She allowed a warm smile to dawn as she turned and began to stride towards the building.

Entering through doors left open to allow the patrons to enjoy the warm weather, Gabriel approached the table where Ramiel was seated. Unable or unwilling to use his own Grace, she was nearly upon him before his eyes fell upon her and he broke into a smile while leaping up to embrace her. Even though he was by all accounts tall, the fallen angel stood a touch shorter than the Archangel who he called sibling. Her embrace, as warm and enveloping as ever, never failed to momentarily make everything right with the world and her accompanying laughter, rich delight at seeing him, reinforced the feeling.

The two parted only reluctantly, with Ramiel openly pleased that her clingy nature with those she loved was still intact. “It is good to see you again,” he began as he slid back into his seat. “I always worry you will get lonely with only two siblings and one of them being Michael.”

Gabriel rolled her eyes with a good-natured laugh before surprising Ramiel by joining him on his side of the table. “Budge up.” she said demandingly as he shuffled over to make room for her. “You know Michael isn’t that bad when he doesn’t have the weight of responsibility on him.” she added, even though both of them knew she was the first to get sucked into a quarrel with him, each and every time.

In order to distract Ramiel from that line of conversation, she placed the package she had brought with her on the table and slide it across to him. “Is this…?” he started, but then crowed in delight when she preemptively nodded to him. “Manna! Oh, Gabby, you’ll always be my favourite sister.” He pulled the parcel open and stole a taste of the contents, giving a hum of such content it was clear his toes were curling in pleasure. “I love human food but there is nothing quite like home cooking.” he managed before stealing another bite.

Her smile was pleased as she watched him stealing each bite and eventually she broke into open laughter, satisfied to see him so pleased. “I’m also your only sister.” she teased, elbowing him and making him spill the morsel he was raising to his mouth. His retaliatory attempt to tickle her caused a brief tussle between the two before he relented and tucked in close again.

Raising a hand to brush golden hair back behind her ear, a bracelet glittered on her wrist, the delicate silverwork containing a rough looking rose quartz crystal. Noticing it, Ramiel nearly choked on the honeyed food he was eating and reached out to catch her wrist. “You’re still wearing this?” he asked, eyes wide in surprise. “You know she’d taunt you for being so sentime–”

“Ramiel,” she interrupted, having gone still as stone besides him and just as cold. “I think I have a good idea what she would do.” He tugged gently at her arm to try and link their hands but was unable to daunt her legendary strength even a little. Instead, she tugged her hand free with a wrench that felt like it tugged at his heart as much as his grip. Her head was turned a little away from him, her face beautiful in profile but now as aloof as a marble statue, smile wiped from her lips.

“I’m… I’m sorry. I did not think you would have held such strong feelings after so long.” he offered, knitting his own hands together and nervously starting to twiddle his thumbs around each other. His gaze dropped away, struggling to look at a being he loved so dearly turned so abruptly aloof.

Her lips thinned into a bitter smile, her left hand reaching up to cover the bracelet on her right wrist. “What did you think, Ramiel? That the same archangel who loves her brother through every trial would not embrace romance and passion as deeply and certainly, no matter how fruitlessly?” she mused acidly, her eyes sliding back to view his.

“I am not blind and I have come to understand what can and cannot be,” She pushed away from the table, lurching ungracefully to her feet. “One day, I will discover how to throttle these feelings and bury them deep but something essential will go with my heart into that place.” Stalking away, she ignored his call to stop, managing to keep her calm exterior until she was able to cloak herself from the world of humanity and launch herself into the air.


#1330

@Dae-kalina

Will Dante Aligheri be in the game?


#1331

I loved this. My Gabby and Izzy are two peas in a pod.

Michael though…

I kind of want to pat his head.


#1332

It’s interesting (and somewhat cute and scary) how similar my Gabby is with her nestmates because she has IS VERY FUCK’EN emotional, blunt, candid, strategize, Intimidating and torn between Merciful and Ruthless although leaning towards Merciful (she is ruthless to her enemies watch out if you hurt her loved ones she won’t care if you are God himself) and has(so far and which I will focus on later) Agility, Empathy and Ingenuity and I do want to raise her Leadership and Resolve. Some of their influence robbed on her d’aww
@Dae-kalina what are Ramiel’s stats as well?

Also I noticed that in many Tom asks you use neutral instead of female pronouns when referring to Gabriel or sometimes both


#1333

Michael is precious. The boy wants to be all smooth and cool like the characters he reads in his YA books, but his damn mouth always gets the better of him. :laughing:

Also, I just want to say, @bobsmyuncle thank you for bringing these Tumblr asks to our attention. You are doing wonderful, essential work. Bless you.


#1334

Not going to answer this directly, but never assume you’re the most powerful thing around. Better to be safe than dead.

Humans have been fighting against demons for a while (the other game I would do in this universe, revolving around a Nephilim mc, follows a covert branch of law enforcement that deals with the supernatural, demons included). It’s possible. Angels aren’t something they would have as much knowledge to fight against, but in theory they can.

Just remember you asked for it :heart:

You all may need to remind me about spicy foods. I’m not particularly keen on them so I might unconsciously leave them out >.>

Yep. Daniel doesn’t even understand how it happens, but it does.

I do refer you to the prologue of the game, in which Gabriel states that their god is dead.

You’ll just have to see when we finally get around to the epilogues. :wink:

I mean, if you want to have Gabriel be in love with them, I can throw that option in, but it won’t change how Leochlan and Laniwynn behave. Besides,

you’ll see soon enough why they aren’t on the RO list…

@Savriss
Absolutely loved that snippet of your Gabriel. I almost feel bad now. Almost.

@lokidemon007
In response to your first question, asked and answered here: Tumblr answer on if Gabriel can have children (And as much as I love answering questions, I’d like to gently remind you that this is your second time in this thread asking this question–please try to search the thread for answers before asking!)

In response to your second, about Dante, no. References to The Divine Comedy, more than likely, but there will be no direct interactions with the person Dante Alighieri.

He tries. He really, really does.

@cookiemonsta
His leadership exists, but definitely the lowest of the nestmates. Resolve is middling, empathy low (he’s emotional, but not savvy about other people’s emotions. High ingenuity, pretty even across the board on strength, agility, might and affinity.

He’s merciful and suave, and middle of the road on subtle/blunt (he’s learned a thing or two as a Fallen). He’s emotional, and split on candid vs. deceptive (he’s a prankster, but he doesn’t like to lie).

Ramiel is off the charts impulsive, so improvise all the way (go figure, huh?)

That is mostly deliberate. Because Tom is romanceable by a female Gabriel, this includes a Gabriel in female body who identifies as non-binary. (It’s not wrong to say she, but since the player can also be nb, I’m trying to be better about referring to Gabriel consistently by more gender neutral terms.) It’s also partially habitual, as I usually try to refer to Gabriel as they/them rather than going he/she/they/xhe every time.

Exactly! Somehow it’s never as easy as the books make it seem. :thinking:
and @bobsmyuncle is really helping me out here (Thank you again, my dear!)
@Vanessa_Pang Here’s your happier ones (minus the non-ROs).

Summary
  1. Alice feels the ruffle of uncharacteristic wind behind her. Wondering which angel is here to try and talk her down now, she turns. Her mouth drops open, the gun almost dropping from her suddenly numb fingers.

She starts towards the figure, her eyes stinging. It’s only after her brain has a second to catch up that she stops. “What kind of trick is this?” she demands. “Israfel? Or is it Sabriel?” Her voice turns sharp and bitter. The gun rises to aim at the heart of the figure in front of her. “If you think I’m going to stop because you show up pretending to be Gabriel, I will put a round through your heart,” she snarls.

The muzzle presses against the chest of the figure as Gabriel looks at Alice through their inhuman eyes. “I’d rather you didn’t. I mean, it’s not going to kill me, but I just came back from the dead, so it’d be great not to be shot for at least five minutes.”

The safety is flicked on and the gun discarded as Alice launched herself at her angel, cursing them while crying. Gabriel holds her tight, letting her wear herself out.

  1. “Did you know that James prays a lot for your soul?”

The question makes Iain sigh, wondering who his old friend had gotten to try and talk him around this time. “Not really any of his business anymore,” he says, watching the occupants of the park listlessly.

“Well, you might owe him an apology.”

Iain turns his head, ready to berate whoever felt like sticking their nose into his affairs. The words die on his lips, replaced instead by a name he had tried to avoid mentioning. “Gabriel?”

The answering grin he gets fills Iain with a warmth he had thought he would never feel again. Gabriel is trying to speak, but they can’t when Iain drags them to him for a kiss. He can feel their breathe, taste them in his mouth… it’s real. Gabriel is here.

The archangel leans awkwardly over the bench as Iain buries his face in their neck, feeling the moisture on their skin from Iain’s tears.

  1. Stephanie drops her mug of tea at the sight of the figure in the doorway. Immediately she yelps, dancing back out of the shards and still hot liquid, tears pricking her eyes from the pain. She’s abruptly lifted up and set on a chair as Gabriel kneels before the chair, lifting her small feet with concern.

“You should be more careful,” they chide, sending tendrils of Grace through her feet, healing the cuts and soothing the burns.

“You’re dead. We buried you,” Stephanie says, shaking her head. She’s imagining this, she has to be.

“Yes well, death isn’t always quite so permanent as it seems,” Gabriel responds, lifting a hand to her cheek and wiping away a tear.

“What does that even mean?” she demands.

Gabriel gives her a soft smile. “It means that I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere.”

  1. Charleston’s head snaps around, his eyes closing as his nose informs him of a familiar, unique scent he had never thought he’d smell again. Slowly he lets his nose lead him, stepping through the quiet house, focusing on his sense of smell alone.

When the scent is strong enough that its source must be in front of him, Charleston inhales. He doesn’t want to open his eyes and doesn’t dare reach out, savoring whatever it is that is immersing him in old feelings.

It’s a struggle not to lash out as a pair of arms come around him, warm lips pressing against his eyelids, another face rubbing against his beard. “You can open your eyes,” the voice says in his ear. “I’m right here.”

  1. Zaria rouses to the unusual sensation of Rolo jumping off the bed. Frowning, she rises, stepping into her slippers and pulling on a silk robe, her hair still tied up in her silk head scarf. Flicking on lights as she goes, she glides down her central staircase.

No sign of Rolo in the entranceway.

She whistles, a piercing sound above the register a human can hear but one that she has trained Rolo to respond to.

Still nothing.

Feeling uneasy now, she detours by the living room, picking up the iron poker for the fireplace. With her makeshift weapon in hand, she slowly prowls through her own house, leaving lights off as she approaches the back-door.

There’s a shadowy figure crouched down, and with a screech that would render a human at least temporarily deaf, she leaps forward, swinging the poker at the intruder.

With a strength that makes her seem like a newborn babe, the poker is stopped and plucked from her hand, discarded on the floor. An overexcited Rolo bounds around, picking up the poker and whacking the figure with it, his whole body shaking with energy.

A light switches on, and Zaria covers her mouth, torn between horror and relief with an overwhelming wave of emotions she isn’t ready for threatening to break down her normally placid berm.

She watches as Gabriel carefully signs ‘Sorry, forgot to turn on the lights. Did you miss me?’

She flings her arms around them, peppering their face with kisses. “Of course,” she says aloud, refusing to take her arms from around them to sign. She doesn’t question how they’re back from the dead; for once, she’s glad a patient of hers is back among the living.

  1. Tom is used to seeing women out of the corner of his eye and mistaking them for Gabriel, so he doesn’t think much of it when it happens again. It’s a bar, and between the lightning and the way women try to make themselves as beautiful as possible, it happens.

So when the figure saunters up to the bar, he doesn’t look them head on. “What can I get you?” he asks, focusing on drying the glass in his hands.

“You.”

The wolf frowns, irritation coursing through him. He looks up, wondering why people think that hitting on bartenders is always acceptable (only slightly less-so when he had a wedding band on), ready to tell his customer that her behavior was not appreciated when he gets a good look at who is standing before him.

His lips parts, confusion—and a trace of fear—contorting his features. “What is this?” he asks, hackles rising. He doesn’t know what matter of creature is haunting him, or why.

“Well, it was me attempting to flirt,” the figure says, self-consciously rubbing the back of their neck, skin flushing prettily as they shrug. “Seems I’m still working on it.”

Tom leans forward, snarling. “Go haunt someone else,” he snaps.

Their eyes widen, and they look around, before poking at their chest. “Me?” They blink, understanding dawning on their features. “Oh, no, Tom…” They reach out, heedless of the danger in touching an aggravated alpha, placing cool, familiar fingers on his cheek.

“I’m here. I’m really here.” Tom turns his head, scenting the hand. The tension leaves his body as he kisses the palm before trapping the hand between his own.

“Luke, cover the rest of my shift,” he barks, leaping over the counter in a maneuver that catches the attention of the other patrons, an astonished ‘oooh’ accompanying the motion. It turns into a collective ‘awwww’ as he sweeps Gabriel into a hard kiss.

  1. Karyn feels the eyes boring into the back of her multi-colored beanie. She continues making the caramel machiatto, topping the hot drink with whip and caramel and turning to serve it to the customer who was waiting, flashing him a smile.

“Take a picture, it’ll last longer,” she snaps, finally tired of being stared at and rounding on the nuisance customer with a smile that threatens to break her cheeks with its falseness.

“I already have a few of those,” the figure responds, smiling at her. Karyn gapes. A second later she’s jumping over the half-door, too impatient to deal with the latch, and flinging herself on the figure, wrapping herself around them.

“I should have known even Death couldn’t keep you down,” she shouts, making Gabriel wince as she spins them around. “Fuck, hold on, give me a few to get someone to cover in. You have a hell of a lot to make up to me,” she says, pulling back and giving Gabriel a none-too-gentle shove in their chest.

  1. Aelius is not amused when the pixie comes sprinting into his office, her wings out and her toes not touching the floor.

“I’m not sulking,” he starts, jabbing a finger at her. “So don’t start trying to—”

“They’re back, they’re back, they’rebackthey’rebackthey’reback!!!” The pixie screeches at him, rising towards the ceiling, wings a blur in her excitement.

Aelius resists the urge to roll his eyes. “Who?” he asks, anticipating some ridiculous band or whatever other human fad the pixie had cottoned onto.

“COMESEECOMESEECOMESEE!” She grabs his hand, almost pulling him over the desk. He always forgets that despite her delicate features, Kenna is ridiculously strong. Perks of being a fae.

Knowing better than to fight, he reluctantly follows her out. The second he’s through his office door, she places both hands over his eyes, still madly chirping about whoever it was being back. She guides him down the stairs, and removes her hands.

In front of him stands what has to be the most perfect sight ever. Gabriel gives him a wry smile, looking tired but very much alive. “I’m sorry, for, uh, dying,” they say, giving him a helpless shrug.

Aelius doesn’t care. A minute later Gabriel is in his arms and he’s kissing them, heedless of the risk of their Grace mingling with his demonic essence, needing to reassure himself that they were truly alive.

  1. Iro feels a smirk pulling at her lips. Dislodging herself from the food on either side of her she glides towards the figure, genuine pleasure making her almost glow.

“I knew there was a reason you could hold my attention,” she says, pressing her body against Gabriel’s. “Now why don’t you come upstairs to my quarters. I know just how to celebrate your ‘miraculous’ return,” she purrs, nibbling at their neck.

  1. Michael ignores his delusion. He’s been getting better about not talking to it, even though this one is nearly perfect. No gaping wounds, no yawning mouth spewing accusations. It’s just standing there, looking every inch like his Gabriel.

“Almost done,” he mutters, organizing the papers on his desk. Israfel had finally given up on trying to stop him, and the plan was almost complete. Soon he could execute it and then he could welcome his own destruction.

“That seems like a very complicated plan,” his delusion murmurs, warmth pressing along his back. Seems like it wasn’t going to let him ignore it.

“It’s enough,” he mutters, hoping it will go away even as part of him relishes in the sensation of the contact. God—no, God is dead, no use asking for help there—someone help him, he is well and truly crazy. Good thing they don’t let him lead anything anymore.

“Michael?” The concern in the question isn’t fair, and he rounds on the delusion with a sneer, eyes crazed.

“What, trying to lull me into thinking you care?” he snaps, advancing as his delusion retreats, its eyes alarmed.

“I thought we were past all this,” it says, dismay in their voice.

“Leave me be,” he hisses. “Just leave me be! There won’t be anything left to haunt soon enough,” he mumbles, running a hand through his short-cropped hair. His other hand leaves red welts on his shoulder as he unconsciously scratches at himself.

Abruptly both his hands are pulled away, cradled gently between his delusion’s hands. “Oh Michael, love, I’m so sorry,” it says, even managing to evoke tears. They were getting more real. This one was even crying.

“Why can’t you just leave me alone?!” he screams at it, feeling the shreds of his remaining sanity slipping through his fingers.

“Because I did before and I didn’t mean to!” His delusion pulls him to it, pressing his face into their chest. “I didn’t mean to die, but I’m here now. I’m here,” it repeats.

Michael prepares his Grace, ready to see if smiting the damn illusion will dispel it when he takes a breath. And then another.

The one thing his delusions had always lacked was scent. They had never smelled like his Gabriel.

His voice breaks. “Ga—Gabriel?” The question sounds child-like in its insecurity, begging for reassurance.

They sink to the floor, Michael cradled in Gabriel’s arms. “Right here, love. I’m right here. So you come back here too, okay?”

  1. Ramiel came home to the smell of something cooking in the kitchen. He frowns, pulling out his phone and glancing at the time. “I thought you had one of Alex’s performances to go to,” he says, hanging up his jacket and placing his keys and briefcase on the hall table as he toes off his shoes.

There isn’t a response. That worries him. Had something happened that he wasn’t aware of to make Daniel decide not to attend? He walks into the kitchen, ready to demand that the kid talk to him when he’s greeted by a sight that has him staggering, leaning against the island.

“Wha—how?”

Gabriel turns around, smiling self-consciously, tugging on the apron that was all they were wearing.

“I, um, saw Daniel earlier. He said that he would spend the night at Alex or Josie’s, so we could, uhm, catch up,” they say, fidgeting under his gaze.

“But… we searched everywhere. You were dead. You were—” Horror causes his eyes to open wide. “You were out there, and I just stopped looking. I—you had to have been nearly dead—and I—”

It’s Gabriel’s turn to look horrified. Abandoning the pot of delicious smelling food they cross to him, capturing his face between their hands.

“No, Ramiel, no. You did not abandon me. I was dead.” They take a breath which Ramiel echoes, some of the tension leaving him as Gabriel rubs their thumbs over his cheeks with gentle, loving motions.

“And now you’re not?” he asks, caught between hope and incredulity.

Gabriel analyzes his face, and satisfied that the panic is gone, does a little shimmy, reminding him that all they are wearing is an apron. “Pretty sure. Why don’t you check?”

  1. Sabriel doesn’t look up as her office door opens. “If it’s not a life or death emergency, I trust in your ability to deal with it,” she says in a monotone, her glasses perched low as she peruses the tiny scrawl of the ancient tome. The vellum crinkles as she carefully turns the page, noting that the figure isn’t moving.

“Spit it out,” she says, still focusing on the book. There has to be something in here that—

The figure sits on her desk.

Sabriel’s head snaps up, eyes narrowing in displeasure. “Get your fat arse off—” The words are cut off abruptly as she takes in the grin on the figure in front of her.

They manage a pout. “You think my ass is fat? Really? Geez, you die and then you get to find out how people really—ooomph!”

Sabriel squeezes them so tight she’s partially afraid she might break a rib—but if she does, then Gabriel had it coming. The book lies forgotten on her desk. Pulling back, Gabriel rubs their shoulder with mock pain. “Such a nice welcome back from death,” they say. “Felt like you were trying to send me back.”

Sabriel punches their shoulder, scowling. “Not. Funny.”

Gabriel grins, pulling her between their legs and kissing her brow. “It was a little,” they say. “Besides, can’t have you being so grave all the time.”

Sabriel smacks them again.

“Oouch! I come back from death for this abuse?” To shut them up, Sabriel kisses them.

  1. Ryder stirs from the chair as an unfamiliar noise greets his ears. He rises, conjuring a small ball of flame to light the dark room.

“Careful, I’m not too keen on finding out if I can burn to death too.” The voice croaking the response has Ryder sending a surge of power to flick the lights on. The figure on the bed blinks, shielding their eyes.

“Who are you?” The warlock asks the question with bated breath, praying his brother hadn’t snared some stray soul.

One familiar eyebrow arches, the hand dropping away. “Questioning me?” they ask, and Ryder shivers a little at the familiar, commanding presence. “Who else would I be?” they continue, standing up.

Which turns out to be an abysmal idea as their legs give out and they collapse to the floor. Extinguishing the fire, Ryder falls to his knees beside them, reaching out a hand to stroke over their hair hesitantly. “Careful love,” he murmurs. “Stasis doesn’t… it’s not perfect. You’ll be weak for a little bit.”

Gabriel lets out a humorless chuckle. “You don’t do weak,” they say, looking back at him with an impassive face.

“We all have our moments,” he mutters, leaning forward and kissing them, stealing the precious air from their lungs and returning it. One hand rests possessively over their heart as he curls around them, pulling a blanket down off the bed. “Just rest now,” he says in their ear, coaxing them to lean back against him. “We’ll be back to conquering the world in no time.”

  1. Leo blinks as the miracle he had been praying for manifests in front of him. He’s on his feet and running at Gabriel before they’re ready, knocking them down in a pile.

Laying on them, Leo just stares at their face, taking in each beloved feature as if it were the first time.

“Hi,” Gabriel says, breaking the silence.

Leo smiles so hard his cheeks hurt. “Hi,” he responds, reaching up one hand to brush away his tears before they fall on Gabriel.

They continue to stare at each other, Gabriel’s hands coming up to rest on his waist. “You are my own personal miracle,” he says, voice choking. This time it’s Gabriel who reaches up to brush away his tears.

“Hey, hey,” they say, shushing him softly. “I’m here now. There’s no need for more tears.”

Leo flashes another brilliant smile. “They are tears of joy, amor. We can always use more of them in the world.”

  1. Tadea freezes, her entire body locking up as she drinks in the sight. “Gabriel?” she asks, voice shaking, one hand reflexively touching the large white bandage peeking out from beneath her tanktop, covering the new tattoo over her heart as it heals.

“The one and only,” they say, stepping closer but not touching her, as if afraid she might shatter. She certainly feels like she might.

With an iron will she forces her body to move towards the figure, her hand trembling as she raises them, touching Gabriel reverently, assuring herself that they were here. “You’re alive,” she states, feeling tears threatening to break and forcing them back.

“So it seems,” they reply, clasping in her hands in theirs. For once Tadea permits the restraint of both her hands in a public space with ease, feeling safer than she had in months.

“I missed you,” she admits, eyes closing to help hold the tears at bay.

“You won’t have to anymore,” Gabriel promises, pulling her into their arms. Tadea sags against them, finally back home.


#1335

I’m glad you liked it! I was moderately nervous about sharing anything more elaborate than the stats of characters.

I look forwards to finding out the reason why, even if I half suspect it’s because Gabriel gets directly ordered to go wipe out the village for it’s Nephilim stain.

I think the reason that this particular scene stood out is there are an absolute dearth of ROs that are physically and mentally confident, forwards and eager to take the lead or compete for it. I can only imagine that in writing a game where the reader has choice, it’s hard to make it seem like the ‘other’ is making meaningful choices but that was done thrillingly well here. Blue Masque / Hawkins of Mecha Ace is the only one that springs to mind, though I am sure others will occur to me.

I imagine my first iteration of Gabriel could only be reached by someone like the described above, then broken up that seemingly the only person direct enough to reach her heart is never going to want to keep it. Likely, she’ll be utterly, scaldingly allergic to any intimacy except for a specific fae afterwards, torn between regret and joy forever afterwards and very much once-bitten, twice-shy.

Now that I think of it, my first and so far only Gabriel would appear very much like Teresa of the Faint Smile, from the anime series Claymore, though somewhat more joyful.