un_fallen: (color - Fall)
Raguel makes coffee carefully.

He measures out the beans in a cup but adds a few extra just to be sure it’s strong enough. It’s the usual blend, but in his opinion the stronger the better. He grinds them all up in an ancient manual grinder, smiling. Pours them into the filter, enjoying the rich scent, and pours boiling water over it all so that the liquid turns dark and air bubbles up from the tiny spaces between the grounds. He waits until the screaming stops. Funny, you’d think the grinding would have taken care of that.

The steady routine keeps him focused, and focus is good. It feels like he’s much more in control than the alternative, which is always like a long, screaming nightmare. Sometimes he’s the monster in the nightmare, and sometimes he’s the one being chased. He opens the sugar canister.

There’s a square, wooden G in his sugar bowl.

He looks at it for a moment, then picks it out and throws it across the room where it embeds in the opposite wall.

And now, the measurement of the sugar. Very important.

His fingers tremble a little on the spoon.
un_fallen: (color - angry)
It's not so hard to track them down once he knows what he's looking for. The trouble is that it's normal to find a lot of extremely shady characters turning up in the more populated places he frequents. But those characters don't usually have a certain wolflike bodyguard looming at the front of their minds like a vindictive thundercloud. And they don't usually carry Scrabble tiles. It would be very hard to miss a message that insulting, he thinks.

He takes the tiles one by one from the people that carry that particular taint: wolf or teeth or even Galadan in their memories. All of the tiles bear the letter 'G.' Most of the time he doesn't have to kill the messengers to get the tile. Most of the time they deserve it anyway.

Probably.

There's a subtlety, though, that he suspects the wolflord is missing. For Tam it's meant to represent a favor, not a threat. He very much doubts that Galadan will echo the sentiment.

And then there's the fact that the wolf is using this symbol, of all things, to mock him. That's the worst of it. He doesn't think about it directly; just lets the idea fuel the slow burn of fury in the back of his mind. It keeps him focused, flushing them out one by one, piecing together the message in a repetitive code.
un_fallen: (color - angry)
It's late - or very early, depending how one measures these things - and the only light in the hospital room is a gentle glow from the medical ships coming and going outside the half-curtained window. Two security guards stand alert outside the door and another six are on guard at various points leading to the Senator's room, a comforting presence, while Regan sleeps on the cot by Gabriel's bed. One of her hands lies limply on the edge of his mattress and her breathing is deep and regular. Gabriel's is interrupted by small coughs, on occasion, but not enough to rouse him from an exhausted sleep.

On the other side of Gabriel's bed is a comfortable reclining chair, favored at times by River and Simon. Currently it is occupied by a demonic assassin with unnaturally bright blue eyes. At the moment those eyes are focused silently on Regan. His only movement is a slow tilt of his head when her extended hand twitches slightly in her sleep.
un_fallen: (color - you're failing to understand)
Raguel is lurking.

He has a purpose, more or less, beyond staring at the lights high above in the devil's tower. He does come here just for recreation occasionally; he knows Rosse's office, after all - knows from the outside which window is hidden behind the solid-looking hologram. Sometimes he catches them as they tumble out of it, screaming, flailing for the safety of solid brick. Objects in space. The ones that fall alone are luckier, of course. He should know.

But there are other reasons for being here: business, not recreation. It just so happens that the alleyway beside Rosse's ridiculously large and ostentatious (to Raguel, anyway) building is usually crawling with leads. Maybe because it's very difficult to get to the transports without going through the alley. You'd have to go three blocks to avoid it, and time is always of the essence when someone leaves Rosse's office. Besides, shortcuts are so tempting.

He fancies himself as really pretty good at this lurking thing. Black blends well with the many shadows, and it's a chilly evening. Perfect.
un_fallen: (color - angry)
Somewhere on the edges of the Georgia system, most of the former inhabitants of a smallish mining settlement have long ago given up and moved on. The ones that didn't leave the moon went underground when the explosions hit. Here, then, news travels more slowly; even the passage of the IIGA, the biggest thing to hit these forgotten waste lands in decades, has yet to make much of a stir. In these places, the crumbling leftovers of civilization don't even bother to carry the signal anymore.

On this part of the moon it's the very dead of winter. The light snow falling is mixed with ash from fires deep in the still-burning processing plants that no one bothered to put out before they took off or died. The illusion, at least, is peaceful.

The crunch of Lucifer's footsteps (bare) through the snow is relatively loud; he makes no effort to disguise his approach. It's not as though anything human would have survived the radiation for very long, so there's no need to blend in. Dark red wings trail behind him, today a mark of office and ownership much more fundamental than the polished image of Nicolas Rosse. He's paying an official visit, and subtlety is rather lost on this one.

A solitary figure is sitting on the bare branch of a tortured-looking tree, facing the opposite direction. At Lucifer's approach, the figure turns his face upward into the softly falling snow and ash.

"Wondered if you might turn up here," Raguel says, as smoothly as if they were old friends running into each other on the street. "On vacation, maybe."

"Not exactly," Lucifer responds, wry. "This isn't precisely the sort of place where I choose to spend my free time. But," he adds, glancing around at the devastation, "I can see you've been enjoying yourself."

"Ah. Business, then," he sighs, but doesn't turn around. "Always business lately. You never come around for recreation anymore."

"I never came around for recreation in the first place, Raguel."

Raguel just laughs, deep in his chest. And now he does turn to face him, swinging both legs over the branch, reckless. His eyes rake over Lucifer shamelessly; they are an intense, unnatural blue.

"This just in," he says suddenly, pressing one finger to his ear in the archaic method of newscasters everywhere, pushing the signal through the 'verse. He grins slowly, eyes unfocusing as though he's listening. "Going flying?"

"No, and neither are you. There's something I'd like to talk to you about."

"Too cold for you. Exactly why I came here." He's lying, but at least he's more practiced at it now. Charcoal-colored wings unfold behind him and he drops gracefully out of the tree. "I don't get many visitors," he says as he lands, and there's a trace of a whine creeping into his voice.

"That might change if you were easier to track down." Among other things, he adds privately, but that's painfully obvious. "I've come to tell you about an opportunity. An injustice, if you like. There's a man who's about to start a war."

"There's already a war," he says, but he looks interested. "Not very original, is he?"

"That war's been over for ten years, Raguel."

"Huh," Raguel says, and stares at the flames rising from a section of the exploded mining structure. His mind, it seems, is abruptly elsewhere.

"This man," Lucifer continues smoothly, "is providing weapons - and money - and power - to the forces out on the Rim so that they can have the means to attack whomever they like. Not quite fair, I think you'd say, to the innocent inhabitants of the Core who are funding him."

"Innocent?" Raguel repeats softly, and it's impossible to tell whether he's speaking ironically. He refocuses on Lucifer. "Going to fight the Alliance with these weapons, are they?"

"That was the last war," Lucifer says irritably. "Do try and keep up. No, they don't like the Alliance. They don't like being controlled. They don't like- " he doesn’t touch Raguel, but the cadence of his voice is all but grabbing him by the collar, "having no freedom to control their own destinies. And this man is the key."

Raguel's eyes narrow slightly. "Not hard to figure whose side you're on."

Lucifer just smiles, flat and hard and utterly false.

"Why are you telling me this?" Raguel starts to shove his hands in his pockets, but there are no pockets on his suit. He looks down, frowning.

"You know this particular man. Or knew him." Lucifer rustles his wings easily, all nonchalance. "I think you might want to catch up with Gabriel Tam. Ask how his journey of faith is coming along. You can use your own judgement, I'm sure, on anyone who might be with him."

"You know I won't touch anyone else," he says sharply, bristling. "And you must want this guy pretty badly. Out of all the ones you could send, you know I'll succeed."

"That remains to be seen. It will be entertaining, regardless."

"Entertainment," Raguel says with a mournful sigh. "That means there will be surprises."

There's a pause, and then Lucifer laughs at him. It's the same low, warm amusement that Raguel's heard for centuries: first in the Captain's presence, then in the devil's, then in the darkness of his own disoriented mind. He smiles in response, and this one doesn't even look genuine from a distance.

"That's all right," he says earnestly, tilting his head, and runs a finger from Lucifer's shoulder to his elbow. "These days I love surprises."

Lucifer looks pointedly at the hand.

"I'll have to do a little research," Raguel says, as though he hasn't noticed. "Might take a couple of weeks."

"I'm sure the right moment will make itself clear to you."

"Well. We'll see then, won't we. Good night, Lucifer." He bows grandly to take his leave, though the weak sun puts the local time at closer to midmorning. He straightens up, gives an exaggerated wink, and takes off.

"Good night, Raguel," Lucifer replies, watching his progress.

Raguel always succeeds, it's true. And Lucifer knows how he operates, how he lives to imagine there's some shred of purpose to his existence. A couple of days, a couple of weeks at most. The job will be done, and Lucifer's point will be driven home very, very firmly. He turns back the way he came, spares a glance for the flaming equipment - really, how vulgar - and erases his own footprints with every step he takes.
un_fallen: (sleeve (fahye))
With every step, the wait-staff's shoes squeaked an irregular rhythm on the floor of the restaurant - which, while lacking the low-grade class of a real diner, still made some pretension towards the traditional checkerboard floor and cracked leatherette seating. In a diner, though, you might reasonably expect some decent food, and here in the quarter of the truck stop devoted to “serving it up right,” it was all lousy.

“Hell, I don’t know why I’m unloading on you like this,” a grizzled man was saying, sprawled in one side of a red pleather booth. “Ain’t your problem.”

“Maybe not,” Raguel said from the seat across, and waited for the man to continue.

“Just a run of bad luck lately.” The man starts to continue, stops, starts again in a rather different tone of voice. “My brother disappeared a couple weeks ago.”

Raguel is carefully silent. It’s hard not to respond with something along the lines of I know.

“Hadn’t spoken to him in about three years, but you know how it is with family,” the man continued. “You don’t think about catching up with the ones you keep expecting to run into.

“Family’s a complicated thing,” Raguel agreed, surprised at how little effort it took to look like he knew what he was talking about. He tried another swig of weak coffee and looked vaguely interested in the décor, anything to avoid looking at the guy. His companion spotted the face he was making and laughed tiredly.

“I can see what you think of that coffee without even watching you squint like that. You haven’t had a whole cup in the three hours’ time we’ve been here.” The man looked into his own cup with distaste. “I wouldn’t give this to my dog.”

“Yeah, well, it’s not exactly the recommended formula for them, is it?” Raguel replied, relieved. He swirled the liquid in his mug and watched it stick to the sides.

“See, you’ve never met my dog or else you wouldn’t say that,” the other man said confidently. “Jessie could go through this crap in no time. A real mutt. She’s been in two fights this month – couple of bigger dogs, owners don’t know how to keep them under control.”

He either missed Raguel’s skeptical look, or chose to ignore it.

“I leave her sleeping in the rig now when it’s not too hot,” he continued. “Cab’s pretty comfortable. She’s getting on, though. Gonna be fourteen this year, and these small dogs don’t live so long.” He smiled falsely, no more than a crooked slash across his face.

“I don’t know,” Raguel said after a pause, distracted. “If she’s a mutt she might have a longer-lived breed in her bloodline, something like that. I bet she’ll surprise everybody and live another ten years.”

The man nodded after a moment, chuckling more naturally and signaling for a warm-up of his unpalatable coffee. Their conversation wandered aimlessly after that, though touching again on his missing brother who the man had become convinced was dead. Raguel didn't disagree. They talked their way through a smattering of memories both unique and universal. The man’s sister, disillusioned with her exhausting job working in a nursing home. His childhood pet, a rabbit that ran away when he took it out to show his father a splinter in its foot. The illusions dancing in the heat shimmering off a long, straight road.

“Hey, thanks again for that hand with the low tire,” he said as they parted, much later. “I checked them at the last stop and probably wouldn’t have bothered again if you hadn’t said something.”

“Yeah, sure,” Raguel said, with his customary shrug. “See you around, Eric. Merry Christmas.”

Eric climbed into his cab, gave Jessie a scratch and began easing the truck out of the parking lot. They were a few miles down the road before it occurred to him to wonder when, exactly, he’d told the stranger his name.
un_fallen: (fire)
Morning sunlight creeps gently through a crack between the curtains, illuminating a table, a comfortable-looking chair, a soft rug on the floor. And somehow, it manages to seek out the one position in the room where it can sweetly illuminate a single, peacefully slumbering face.



"Mngk."

He squints without actually opening his eyes, and flails slightly in discomfort. One hand makes contact with something very close by that's solid and faintly warm. Unthinking, Raguel rolls toward it and buries his head in the corner between Warm Thing and the mattress, escaping the nefarious sunbeam.

That's better.
un_fallen: (the City)
The Griffith Observatory is even more deserted than usual at this time of night, the renovation crews long gone and the few lights at the windows having little point other than as a deterrent for burglars. The construction lights are off, and while signs scattered around the hilltop fence proclaim this a HARD HAT AREA, no one would take note of the solitary figure in front of the planetarium even on a dedicated search for intruders.

This place has a crowded memory. Millions of eyes, staring at the heavens through a single set of lenses. Tiny points of light projected over and over on an inverted bowl. Raguel, of course, isn't here for the the lights and stars and magnification of places so distant their light was generated at the creation of the universe. The only object of his focus is the city below. It's not quite the same. It's not even close to the same, actually. It's undeniably beautiful, though, towers rising triumphantly from their bed of lights. Granted, the giant HOLLYWOOD sign does kill the atmosphere somewhat.

He's become used to the silence here at night in the last few years, but the place will soon be open again and thousands of kids will pound through - all demanding wonders and a few, possibly, even finding them. When the place closed down he assumed he'd be around to see it open again. Looks like he's going to remember it in the end as still and mute, and there's no good reason to find anything wrong with that.

Silence is relative, though; the sound of traffic is muffled but present. The roads up the mountain on this side are winding - irresistible, given enough guts and horsepower. He follows the headlights crisscrossing the darkness for a while, letting his thoughts drift.

Finally, Raguel caps his bottle and stretches. He's more and more aware that he's playing out yet another LA cliche, one ragged pilgrim looking out at the view from Griffith Park with a bottle and a cigarette, but what the hell. He'll be gone soon enough. Maybe the only surprise left for him here is the unexpected sense of nostalgia.
un_fallen: (glare light)
It was quite a surprise to run into Jabiel in one of the few shadowed streets in Los Angeles. Less surprising was the argument that followed.

"Look, the second I feel like I can fly for long enough to make the journey, I'm going home," Raguel insisted, eyes flashing.

"No, you aren't. You won't get in," hissed the angel in the alleyway. He looked terrified. Droplets of fire fell like sweat from his sword and were swallowed up by the pavement as though they'd fallen right through it. Perhaps they had.

"And why the hell not?" Raguel asked. There was a sharp edge of fear in his voice. Easy to miss if you didn't know what to look for.

"You left," the other angel spat, growing braver now that he'd gone a full minute without being attacked. "Along with all the others. They said you'd Fallen, and no one there thinks otherwise, not after what you did during the War."

"What I did," Raguel began as the old frustration started to mount, "I did beca--"

He couldn't say it, even now. Not to an angel. And Jabiel continued as though Raguel hadn't spoken a word.

"And now, yes, I can see that you haven't actually Fallen. But it's clear," he added with righteous pride, looking Raguel up and down, "that you've done no better."

He stood in shock for a split second, then stepped forward, intent on explaining - with illustration, if necessary - exactly what he'd been up to for the last few millennia. How carefully he'd been trying to do his job, even without clear direction. But at his approach Jabiel let out a squeak, took a hasty step backward, and disappeared in a sudden, musical illumination of blue.

Raguel stared at the light as it faded. It must have been there the whole time. They must have been listening.

He'd explain. He'd make them understand. He hasn't been struggling with an assignment - if you could call it that - for six long millennia only to be turned away at the gate.

He walked on, feeling just a little heavier than he had in weeks. They could have left the connection open, if they'd wanted to. He could have been there, just like that.



When he gets there, he'll explain. He'll make them understand.
un_fallen: (frown)
It's a long drive from Los Angeles to Sedona, but when Raguel finds himself feeling oddly restless after a chase that leaves him near the California border, it seems a shame not to keep going.

He walks a bit, out of necessity, but hitchhikes most of the way, and when he runs out of rides he turns to other means. He can be resourceful when he needs to be, and people have a way of wanting to stay on his good side.

Still, it's fairly late in the afternoon when a dusty, white pickup rattles its way up the road and comes to a squeaky halt in front of Coyote's house. He gets out, feeling just a bit out of place, and stalls for a moment outside, looking at the surrounding houses. He's finally prodded toward the door by signs of life from the next-door neighbor's house. He'll never get this sorted out if the lady sees him and spends the next month grilling Coyote about her visitor.

He knocks a few times and waits, hoping the trees obscure him from view.
un_fallen: (the City)
The church has gained an organ since he was last here, or something that reproduces the sound of an organ, more or less. Someone at the keyboard is cranking out an instrumental hymn as Raguel blends in with the others drifting through the front doors. The place doesn’t look much like a church from the street; just another low, concrete building with a faded pastel exterior. Inside, though, it’s crowded. This area gets rather more traffic in religion than Los Angeles proper, but he chose it for the feeling of the place, not for its population.

He edges through the busy sanctuary – lined not with pews but with folding chairs, embroidered cushions softening their rusty seats. Small windows of stained glass cast colorful patches of light onto the faithful, some already congregating in the side room of the chapel, heads bent over clasped hands.

Raguel thinks he gave up on prayer a long time ago, but that isn’t the case at all. It’s the kind of thoughtless, desperate plea that he throws out when his function is close; not this one or what about the kid or once in a while, when things are really bad, how many more times will I have to do this? Sometimes he gets the answer he wants. Rarely, but sometimes; it keeps him coming back.

He steps aside as a line of chattering children winds its slow way past, herded by a gray-haired woman with a ringing voice. He makes slow progress all the way to the front of the church, where a sizeable choir in robes of red and white are taking their places on either side of the pulpit, enthusing about someone’s new haircut. Raguel keeps going, past the altar and through a side door leading to a dim, much quieter hallway. The men’s room is this way, so no one challenges him beyond a curious look and a murmur of “good morning” as he passes.

The low stream of the children’s conversation has just been closed behind a door, but it drifts into the hall as he nears the nursery. “Why doesn’t God just stop the bad things from happening?” asks one young voice, and Raguel silently wishes their teacher good luck in answering that one.

He can hear the opening strains of a gospel standard floating back as he stops before an unremarkable door and opens it onto a small, cluttered office. The single desk has clearly not seen recent use, piled as it is with papers in semi-organized stacks. Raguel hesitates and looks around uncertainly before turning to lift the hinged seat beneath a stained glass window only a foot and a half tall.

The window depicts a single angel in flight (of course), trumpet raised to her lips and a gloriously long dress trailing behind. Hardly an accurate depiction, Raguel thinks absently, but naked angels seem to have gone out of style in the 21st century. He reaches into the cabinet beneath the seat, hauls out a box labeled TAXES 1994 and another, BUILDING FUND 4/89, and then, from a wrapping of yellowed newspaper and dusty bubble wrap, he pulls a sword.

The angel holds it carefully, kneeling amidst the discarded papers and boxes of forgotten obligations. It slides smoothly enough from the scabbard, gleaming and sharp as though it’s never been used. It has, of course, but not often; Raguel has rarely needed anything so clumsy as a weapon. His hands trace along the hilt, then the flat of the blade, and he holds it up to sight along the slim line of it from pommel to point.

At last he stands, watching as his hands move automatically in the patterns of a simple salute. It’s really the only maneuver that will fit into the tiny space, but it’s enough. Out of ancient habit his back straightens, his fingers tighten on the sword and the movements of his hands grow certain and precise. He was never practiced in Lucifer’s complicated aerial drills, but this, at least, he knows well. This comes back without apparent effort. This, he thinks, is what it felt like to be an angel of the City.

When he leaves, the sword is in the canvas bag slung over his back.

From the sanctuary, the murmur of the benediction.
un_fallen: (the City)
Raguel has been outside by the lake for a couple of hours. He goes there to concentrate because he can never quite force himself into the right frame of mind in Los Angeles. There’s always somewhere to be (on business), someone to talk to (on business), facts to check (on business). And lately he feels that business, ironically, has less and less to do with being an angel. It pulls him out of touch with the memories that connect him to the City - except, of course, for the worst ones. And as terrible as his last days there had been, he misses it. He misses it every day. Until very recently, he'd have said it was impossible that he'd ever see it again.

But now he’s trying, really trying to find some suggestion that his wings are still there, and frustration has begun to set in. He’s already tried walking, twisting, stretching this way and that through the woods, desperate to feel anything that would suggest that this madness has some potential for success. But there’s no hint that he’s making any progress, not even the half-imagined illusion of a slight tug that Bar had inflicted at Halloween.

Finally exhausted, he throws himself down at the base of a tree, fingering the worn, grayish feather he’d found months ago under unexpected circumstances. He’s certain he's missing something obvious, but anger, he knows, clouds his judgment. His eyes close and he tries to relax. Within a few minutes his mind drifts – wind, lightness, balance, power, flight. The sky, the stars. The City. An hour or more he sits, motionless except for the feather running smoothly through calloused fingers. The problem is. The problem is.

The problem, he grudgingly admits after a while, is that it’s less about movement than desire. Raguel’s never been good with desire. Not admitting to it, certainly not acting on it. But he wants to go home, he does.

Do you?

His eyes fly open and he jerks away from the tree with a sharp gasp. Those voices out of the memory of Darkness haven’t spoken so clearly for weeks now, and he’s been too grateful for the unexpected silence to want analyze it. But with that question had come a sensation just over the spine….

A tingling, nothing more. But something tangible, at least, that he can be sure he didn’t imagine in some pathetic fantasy. And the voice - well, in light of the results, the voice is easy to forget. Raguel grins to himself and stuffs the wilted feather back into one of the deep pockets of his coat. He climbs to his feet – damn the stiffness in his leg, his hip, a different ache every time – and works out the pain as he heads across the wide stretch of grass toward the bar.

Hope sits strangely on his heart, but it feels good there. The halting steps of his injury grow smoother as he approaches the door.
un_fallen: (angel - back)
[OOC: After this.]

Raguel walks outside alone, unable to stand the crush of people (staring at him, he thinks) any longer. In the east, or whatever passes for east in this part of the Creation, the sky is already the faintest pink. He'd told himself he wasn't going down to the water, and yet that is where his legs carry him, resolved and sure, through the dewy grass. The chilly feel of each blade is shocking underfoot; he isn't wearing shoes for the first time in what must be years. He reaches the lakeside, as he must have wanted all along, and looks down.

The angel Raguel looks back at him from the morning of the world. He stares at himself. And then he flexes pristine white wings wonderingly, his mouth slightly open, testing their span and remembering the gentle bend of each feather. They aren't solid, really, but solid enough to feel natural, and the breeze ruffles the down in waves of soft white. The lake reflects the sky's muted pink behind him, which deepens to complete the illusion of the City's ever-changing heavens. He stands for several minutes, just looking, remembering.

And then he steps back with a deep, shuddering breath. If he doesn't walk away from this on his own terms, there will be consequences. Slowly, he turns back to the bar, relishing the slight tug on his back from the breeze, then continues through to the exit without stopping.

One more breath, consciously not reaching back for one last reassuring touch, and he's out.

The illusion melts, as expected; his shoes reappear, the faded coat and clothes and patched duffel. He shoves his hands into his pockets and pulls out the broken, greyish feather he'd found after his dream. It resembles the feathers of Bar's illusion only the most basic sense, but for the first time since he picked it up, he is certain that it's one of his own. Pulling his coat around him against a nonexistent California chill, he lets it trail through the air as he walks.

Memeage!

Oct. 3rd, 2005 08:03 am
un_fallen: (the City)
I know... I haven't even properly finished the last meme. The answer keeps changing. It is a thing. :P

Tell me one thing I don't know about Raguel.
un_fallen: (fire)
Raguel wisely gives up on going anywhere besides his rented room when he leaves the bar. It's bare and ugly, much like the one he had before, which was much like the one before that. It makes a stark contrast to Coyote's comfortable home, but then, this was never meant to be a home.

Despite his exhaustion, he's certain he'll be too wound up to sleep, but it's only moments after he leans back into the mattress that he drops into unconsciousness.



He finds himself in his cell in the City.

His window looks out onto familiar silver spires and a rose-colored sky, but the room feels larger than he remembers. Or colder. The outer edge of the City is closer, as well, trailing away into a black nothingness that makes him shudder. Nevertheless, he sits and waits, patient and compliant, for something to happen.

He doesn't have to wait long. A tall, imposing figure fills the window of his cell. He doesn't see the angel approach; he's just there all at once, blocking out the reddening glow of the sky. Raguel is hampered by his bad leg and scrambles to his feet with difficulty. The angel's eyes are black and bottomless.

"You are Raguel," he says. "The Vengeance of the Lord."

"Saraquael?" Raguel replies, staring at him. "Why are you here? Isn't the Captain--"

"Lucifer has Fallen," Saraquael says, unblinking. Raguel tries not to look him in the face. The pupilless eyes are unnerving, and anyway wasn't there something about Saraquael and a fire...

"He's waiting for you," the angel continues, and as he turns back to the window Raguel sees the City behind him, smaller now, as though his own tower is drifting further away from its center. An iron band of panic wraps around his heart as he follows Saraquael to the window. In the fading light he can see terrible scars on the angel's arms and chest, twisting and distorted on his skin.

"What happened?" he asks in a whisper, but he thinks he's supposed to know.

"You'd better hurry," Saraquael says, looking at him again, and Raguel turns away from his expression. "You're late."

"Late for what?"

"For taking your revenge," Saraquael calls, raising his voice because he's already taken off into the dark sky, almost entirely blackness now, and the color is seeping into his wings, and Raguel yells after him to wait because of all things he doesn't want to be left alone in this place - even if the alternative is the company of a black-winged, scarred monster - and so he steps out to follow and

plummets

toward the ground.


He has no wings, any longer.

Darkness rushes to meet him.

A flash of Zephkiel's ancient face, his eyes closed, and Raguel begs him not to open them because he'll see only the--



He wakes suddenly in darkness, and turns the light on without touching it. The cracked alarm clock on the table tells him it's after eleven. A few deep, uneven breaths and he stands up, ready to walk, to investigate, to burn the whole damned city down but he has got to get out of this room. He reaches for his coat at the foot of the bed and freezes in his tracks. Lying on the stained mattress is a crumpled, greyish feather.

After a moment's debate (it's just a feather, you idiot), he grabs it, and flees.
un_fallen: (pensive)
It didn’t take that long, really, for Raguel to realize that there were no clues to Coyote’s disappearance to be found at their desert campsite. The problem was that there were also no further leads to follow, beyond ‘eastward’. And there was a hell of a lot of ground to cover to the east of Arizona, even if he only limited himself to the States. His informed opinion was that given his lack of information, if he didn’t search ‘eastward’ at least as far as Japan, he might as well still be sitting at the campsite drinking whiskey.

It also didn’t take him long to realize how dangerous it was for him to spend so much time in the sunlight. He had a tendency to lose focus and find himself at sundown in a completely foreign part of the land, watching the arguments in his head slowly breaking down. So after only a few interminable, fruitless days under the blazing sun, he returned as calmly as he could to Coyote’s house. He fed the cat and ignored the part of him that wanted to destroy things. He paced the kitchen and muttered when his leg twinged after the hours spent outside. Finally, he tried the door to the bar to check if Raven had left any word.

And when the door in the air failed to materialize, he stared at the space it had once appeared and heard his teeth grind together. Then he closed the blinds, opened Coyote’s well-stocked liquor cabinet and drank until his leg didn’t hurt anymore.

Some time later, he ventured outside and encountered a neighbor, a confused old lady who seemed to think he was someone else, and kept referring to him as ‘that nice pottery maker’s young man.’ But after a few minutes he made sense enough of the garbled conversation to convince her to look after the cat for another week, just in case. The cabinet was restocked, everything rearranged as it had been, and after some thought he picked up a bus ticket for a ride back to Los Angeles. There was a way into Milliways there that had always been reliable in the past.

And anyway, he has other work to do.

Time's up. Vacation’s over.
un_fallen: (concerned)
Milliways’ front door slams open as Raguel comes tearing in, looking like an escapee from a Mad Max film. He’s covered in dust and the grime of the road, and he’s settled into a wildly rolling limp for the fastest movement possible. The borrowed leather jacket looks very out of place on him, and as he pulls off a dirty motorcycle helmet his hair stands out in all directions, sweaty and matted. “Raven!” he calls out hoarsely, blinking under the lights. “Raven, are you in here?”

The few early morning bar patrons hardly notice him, Milliways being what it is, and turn back to their food and their conversations. But Raguel can clearly see that Raven is not anywhere nearby, so with a muted curse he props open the door with a nearby chair and hurries to the Bar.

“I need to leave a note for Raven, Bar,” he whispers, and when there’s no response, he nearly yells with frustration. “Damn this ban-- it’s an emergency! Coyote needs some help, and this whole fucking place has--”

Pen and paper appear before he finishes, and he hastily scrawls a note, hoping that Raven can decipher his writing.

Raven –

Coyote’s disappeared, vanished on the spot. Was with her at campsite in the desert approx 2-3 hours ride south of her house. Said it was 'summoners,' that they had something, and that she could feel it. (?) Whatever it was seemed to originate east of our location. Checked the house, nobody there, cat seemed undisturbed. Going back to start search from camp. If you spot me from aerial vantage pls advise how I can help.

Raguel


“For Raven. As soon as he’s in,” he repeats, leaving the letter on the surface. It disappears and he rests both hands on the wood gratefully.

“Thank you,” he sighs, and pulling the chair at the door aside, he steps back into the desert and vanishes.
un_fallen: (Default)
If you have a question for Raguel, this is the place. He'll answer eventually. And no burninating...promise. :)
un_fallen: (hidden)
Raguel walks.

He's not looking for evildoers or researching a 'case' or going anywhere in particular. Just walking. It is just before noon in the City of Angels, and the sky is a burning blue disc, heavy with haze.

He isn't thinking about much except how deeply he hates Los Angeles. It's all the same color here. Everything is concrete or some hideous variant on stucco, and even the ones that are painted look yellowish under the merciless sun. They are stunted, sprawling structures - beaten down, it seems, from above, faded and repetitive.

His head hurts. He's starting to get used to it feeling crowded in there, which scares him more than he will admit to himself. The voices break in without warning, and he has to remind himself each time that they are other than his own.

He glares at a newly-built monstrosity as he turns a corner - just the same as the one on the last corner - hating the sight of them, the utter lack of reprieve to their squat ugliness. The light finds them, filtered through the filth in the air, bright and hot and mindless. He had forgotten how long it had been since he'd come out in the daytime.

No, wait... there is one difference here, he notes grudgingly. There’s a kid sitting on this corner, probably around Adam’s age, scuffed shoes lounging in the street. Raguel looks at him and the knowledge filters in unbidden. He knows that the kid has been up all night. He knows there’s a pistol with a couple of bullets left in the bottom of his dirty backpack. He knows there are red droplets spattered on the t-shirt he’s so carefully covered with a jacket in the heat of the day.

They place themselves in his path so willingly. Maybe he should just do his fucking job.    (Do your fucking job.)

And now, again, the source of his thoughts is no longer identifiable. He stops walking to concentrate and watches the boy, who glances up to meet his eyes. As though realizing who watches, the kid looks away, then stands up and slings on his backpack. With a poorly-concealed glance behind veiled lids, he slouches toward a parking lot behind the nearest eyesore. Raguel stares after him.

Mercy is disobedience.    (Mercy is disobedience.)

The angel follows.

The sunlight continues to blaze down, and here, now, at high noon there is a second light behind a dirty pawn shop that competes with the glare of the sun.

No one notices. It doesn’t last long.

Within a few minutes, Raguel comes back out to the street and pauses. He stares directly into the sun for a long time, and the expression on his face could be categorized as a sneer. After a while, he walks on. He does feel a bit better, actually. Even his limp has lessened.










Ten minutes later, a confused boy reaches the street. He doesn’t remember why he went into the parking lot, but somehow the question doesn’t seem very important. Hoisting his bag, now mysteriously a few pounds lighter, he takes off in the opposite direction. He suspects he might be late to meet his friends.

The hint of a shadow skims beside him; the sun has passed its apogee and is beginning the long descent toward nightfall.
un_fallen: (blank)
In the beginning was the Word.

Raguel struggles, trying to hear it in his memory over the ache in his head, the ache in what passes for a soul, for his kind.

LIVE, it had said, or maybe just BE. And a thousand million other things, too, of course, OBEY among them, and MINE. And that had been wonderful, to know exactly where he belonged, that he was wanted. And loved, perhaps. He hadn't fully appreciated it at the time.

He sits on the edge of the bed, much more comfortable than any he’s had in the last twenty years or so, and wills the bloodstains on his clothes to vanish. Slowly, very slowly, they begin to fade.

The Word had filled his consciousness, and he'd felt himself take shape in a physical form, or almost physical, and there were eyes and hands and wings.

His train of thought takes a sharp turn. Last night, in the haze of red, the haze of the Darkness, they'd promised that he could have his wings back. And he knows what voices they were and he wouldn't pay any attention, none at all, but the voices had not retreated with the Darkness. He can feel them hovering in his mind, looking for an opening. He focuses again on his memories. The Word... the Word was God.

Most of the stains have faded to a watery pink. Probably as good as he was going to get.

You could go home. You could get there.

At that he is surprised into laughter, because if he thought it was hard getting home now, he'd have a real shock coming if he took Their way out and not even Lucifer could get back and he wasn't seriously considering this, was he?

You could, they insist. You're stronger than Lucifer. You could destroy him, right now, if he was here.

He stands in order to have something else to think about, wincing a little. He’s going to have a limp for a few days, at least, and walking won’t be easy.

Neither will facing the people who frequent this bar, with all their contradictions and contrasts, but he has to get out somehow. Past a legion of otherwise sane people enamored with a demon. And an avenging Antichrist in the body of a frightened kid who’d tried to kill him. Sure.

That kid is human, mostly. Vengeance is easy with humans. And he deserves it.

Raguel steels himself and limps downstairs.
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