Authors Notes: - I think I'm the only one who thinks about the little things, like: Who cleans up after horribly bloody battles?
PS: Sexual tension ahoy!
"Alright, what's going on with my hand!?" Lotte demanded, shoving her palm in Nikah's face.
The demon shied back slightly with a shrug. "I'm not sure, but you did hit me with an impressive amount of power. So I hope you aren't offended if I avoid touching you."
She spun around to Keller and held out her hand. "How about you?"
"I only felt the backwash of power," the angel looked over her head at Nikah. "Which mean's your power only reacted to him."
"It's bad enough I suddenly find myself surrounded by demons and angels, now my hand glows and attacks Nikah." Lotte closed her hand into a fist and squeezed it so tight her whole arm trembled. "This is all getting to be a little too much…"
"That symbol was the Seal of Solomon, Gods promise of protection to mortals against demons." Keller explained, shifting his eyes back down to her.
"But why is it there? Why do I have… power? Why… I don't even believe in Him." Lotte grumbled, relaxing her hand and examining her palm.
"It isn't necessary to believe to have the power," Keller shrugged. "But it does mean you're a demon hunter."
"Demon hunter?" Lotte and Nikah exclaimed together. They exchanged looks and then collectively stared at Keller.
"If I have to explain that concept to both of you…" Keller started to say.
"Ok, I get the concept, it's pretty freakin' simple." Lotte said. "But why me?"
"It is a hereditary thing." The angel shrugged. "I'm sure you inherited it from one of your parents."
"Not my mother that's for sure." Lotte grumbled, looking aside.
"Wow, I've only heard vague rumors about demon hunters," Nikah leaned over to Lotte and patted her on the head. "Not nearly as scary as the stories would lead me to believe."
"Hey!" Lotte said batting his hand aside. "Don't make me touch you again!"
"Simply touching him won't do anything. You do have to put effort into it." Keller remarked, rolling his eyes, obviously not amused by their antics.
"Effort?" Lotte asked, facing the angel. "I wouldn't call what I did before 'effort'."
"You were however feeling strong emotions, almost all forms of power react to emotions; at least in one way or another." He shrugged.
Lotte walked over to the bed and sat down, after a moment she looked up at the two of them. She stared at them for a long time in silence, trying to match up their true forms with the farces they were currently wearing. Keller was easy, but Nikah, he became a whole new beast whose face was only faintly recognizable. She shook her head and turned her full attention to Keller.
"So… you never told me the whole story of why you're here." She leaned back, placing her hands behind her on the bed.
Keller glanced at her then backed up till he found the wall, with a visible display of pain he leaned against it. "I failed in my duty."
"I guessed that much." She quipped, rolling her eyes.
He glared at her and folded his arms over his chest defensively. "I was guarding the border-"
"Between heaven and hell?" Lotte asked.
Keller nodded and went on. "A demon of violence managed to slip through. I fought him but he managed to injure me and run past. Another of my kind was patrolling the veil and didn't see the demon coming until it was on top of him. It tore off his wings and ripped off his head." A tremor passed through Keller as he spoke and his face became hard. "I killed the demon but… I was obviously too late."
"When an angel dies in heaven, it is truly dead. The same goes for a demon in hell." Nikah said to Lotte.
"For my failure… they took my wings and banished me from heaven… a fate far worse than death. Now I will suffer here until the Endtimes."
"Whoa, Endtimes?" Lotte asked, sitting up.
"When the war between heaven and hell is brought onto Earth." Nikah said. "Whoever wins gains dominion over Earth and the other side… Is destroyed utterly."
"And when does Jesus play into this?" Lotte said sarcastically. To her shock both men gave her identical blank looks. "You know… Jesus, son of God and all that jazz."
They exchanged similar looks and Keller said: "There is no real God."
"Wait… then where did the Seal of Solomon come from!? What about that promise you were talking about."
"There is no God, goddesses, gods or anything else like that." Nikah clarified. "It's all a charade. A game."
"And who are the people playing this game?" She asked in frustration.
"We are." Keller answered.
"You and Nikah?"
"No." Nikah laughed. "Demons, angels… other immortals and Powers."
"What immortals and Powers… what's the difference?"
"Fairies, devas, dragons…" Nikah trailed off and shrugged. "There is an impressive amount of diversity."
"However there are only five powers." Keller added.
"Ok then, what's a power."
"The closest thing to a true god there is." The angel said. "They created everything."
Lotte rubbed her temple. "Ok… so where does my power come from?"
"You're self." Keller responded.
"Alright… where did my family get it from?"
"Your family could have gotten it from a number of sources. Most likely they acquired it from a mage or perhaps a fairy." Keller shook his head. "It hardly matters anyway."
"It matters to me." Lotte said petulantly. "I'm the one who suddenly is throwing around power, accidentally I might add."
"At least you didn't mean to hurt me." Nikah chuckled, touching his still red chest.
"She could have banished you." Keller said, not sounding terribly displeased by the idea.
"That would have been bad." Nikah said grimly.
"I don't see why." Keller sneered.
"The Lord of Pain is after this necklace." Nikah said, holding up his pendant. "On the mortal plane I can avoid him and his minions, down there… I would be slaughtered by the first lord who realized this items potential."
"Then it would simply be another demon with a soul." Keller said glibly.
Lotte kept looking between the two men as they half bickered, but before she could add anything to the conversation an unpleasant warmth in her had distracted her. She lifted her hand off the bed and looked at the palm. A shimmering blue light was pulsing in her palm; gradually it formed into the Seal of Solomon.
"Uh… guys, I'm glowing again." Lotte said, holding her hand, palm out towards them.
They fell silent and looked at her and her hand. The angel gingerly pushed off the wall and walked over, examining her palm. He reached up and traced his finger along the lines of the symbol. Lotte trembled, more from the strange supernatural sensation it gave her than because of his touch.
"What does it mean?" Nikah asked warily, suddenly remembering the angel's previous comment about banishment.
"I'm not sure…" Keller mumbled. He withdrew his hand and shook his head. "I can't read anything from it. Lotte, what sensation are you getting from it?"
"Warm and tingly?" She said unhelpfully with a weak shrug.
He regarded her with mild annoyance. "Is that all?"
Lotte started to say something smart when she realized she hadn't even truly considered what she was feeling. After a brief irritable frown she closed her eyes and tried to focus on what the pulsing was. "My stomach… it's twisting in knots…"
"Fear." Nikah said, sniffing the air.
Keller glanced at him darkly and looked back at Lotte. "Why are you afraid?"
"I'm not." She insisted, opening her eyes up long enough to glare at both of them.
"But you are." Keller said his face grim. "Now where is the fear coming from?"
Lotte huffed slightly and looked around. "I don't know. I just have this generic sense of terror! Like some stupid instinct just screaming for me to run but not telling me why!"
"Whatever it is, it's probably demonic and somewhere close." Nikah theorized. "I'll just look around."
"Be careful?" Lotte suggested.
The demon glanced back at her before leaving the hotel room a smile on his face. Something shimmered around his neck and Lotte screamed. He was abruptly pulled forward and blood splattered on the wall and door. Keller jumped to his feet and ran towards the door. Nikah hit the ground and extended claws, slashing at his invisible attacker. There was a screech of pain and the tail withdrew from around his neck. More blood sprayed around the hall, splattering on the attacker, floor, ceiling and Nikah. Before the blade demon could retreat Keller summoned his halberd and impaled the creature to the wall.
It shimmered into view, pinned face first to the hallway wall through the side. He thrashed and wrenched sideways, ripping himself off the blade, falling to the ground next to Nikah.
The demon of violence did a push up, a deep snarl building in his throat. His clothing faded away and black spines pushed out of his back and skin turned red. The blade demon attempted to crabwalk backwards to escape the transforming demon. Keller pulled his halberd from the wall and slashed down at the fleeing demon. His weapon was too large and the shaft of it caught on the doorframe. Seeing his chance the blade demon flipped over and started to scramble away.
The now fully changed Nikah reached out and grabbed his tail, pulling the lesser demon back. The little blade demon cried out in terror and extended a blade from his tail, easily slicing into the flesh of Nikah's hand. Ignoring the pain Nikah held on tighter and kept pulling. His own blood caused his grip to slip though and the demon slide free.
Keller jumped over Nikah and landed on the blade demon's back, knocking all the air from the creature's lungs. It flopped pathetically and gasped for air, clawing at the ground with all four hands. While it struggled under the angel it reached up towards Keller with its tail, but before it could wrap around his leg Nikah grabbed it. This time he didn't try to hold on for very long, instead he pulled himself forward and bit down on it, halfway down its length. The blade demon let out a howl of pain as the demon of violence chewed through muscle, tendons, bone and metal. After chewing it off he threw it aside and spit out a chunk of flesh with a disgusted sneer.
Lotte watched in horror from the hotel bed, frozen in place by fear and disgust. While every motion Keller made dripped with grace and beauty Nikah moved like a blood thirsty beast, his claws and fangs searching for flesh to wound. Bile rose in he throat as she watched the demons severed tail continue trashing long after being separated, dribbling more blood from its torn end, adding to the gore that already filled the hall.
"A worthy distraction." A voice hissed in her ear.
She turned around sharply but was caught halfway through the motion. A hand clamped tight over her mouth before she could utter a sound and two strong arms pinned her in place, while a fourth hand snaked up to her throat, delicate metal claws poising over her jugular.
Her heart pounded in her chest and she squeezed her eyes shut, trying to keep from hyperventilating. She could still hear her two companions working over the blade demon in the hall, obvious to her situation. Lotte searched her mind for something to do. The last thing she wanted was to play the role of helpless maiden. The steady warm pulse in her hand reminded her that she didn't have to.
The demon held her tightly but wasn't concerned with her hands, she had no weapons to reach for and he was more interested in purely holding her in place, not defending himself from her. She took a deep breath and focused her mind on the fear as well as growing rage inside her. The warmth became stronger, until she feared it was going to burn her alive. She turned her hand palm up and clasped her hand around one of the demon's arm. This time she was acutely aware of what happened. An arcane power spilled forth from her palm and engulfed the demon, it danced up his arm and spread across his whole body before it suddenly turned inward and devoured him in blue fire. Even though her eyes were tightly squeezed shut she was almost blinded by the light. It happened so quickly the demon didn't have time to react or even cry out.
The quick flash of light grabbed the attention of the demon and angel in the hall. The stopped fighting the blade demon and looked inward, just in time to see a shell shocked Lotte tumbled off the bed. Keller jumped off the demon and over Nikah; he dove into the room and arrived just in time to catch her before she hit the garish colored floor. Nikah looked away from the two and reach up towards the demon's neck. He forced his claws into its flesh and wrapped his fingers around the metal coated spine. With a powerful tug he ripped the spine from the petite demons body. A brief second passed before his body, as well as his severed tail, vanished, banished back to hell.
Nikah rolled to his back and started to get to his feet when he realized he had an audience. A woman was peering out of her hotel room, staring at him with wide terrified eyes.
"Keller… I think you have a more important job to do…" Nikah said, standing upright, allowing his human guise to fall over himself.
"And what is that?" The angel asked, not looking up from Lotte's ashen face.
"We have spectators." The demon said, walking towards the pair.
Keller growled in frustration and lifted Lotte up; he gently laid her on the bed, which had miraculously survived the fire completely unscathed. Nikah knelt on the side of the bed and leaned over the human, examining her.
"Is she ok?" He asked.
"She'll be fine." The angel said, stepping into the hall, looking around. None of the doors were open but he could sense the occupied rooms. He walked towards the door that was diagonal to theirs and grabbed the knob. It refused to budge to his touch she he forced it open. Inside a woman screamed in terror and backed into the corner of the room, huddling into a small ball. He walked towards her and knelt down.
She was a tall slender woman with makeup covering her face. Her mascara was melting under her tears and trailed down her cheeks in black lines. She was wearing little more than a leather miniskirt and bright pink tube top that kept threatening to fall off her slightly too small breasts. Big holes filled her black stalkings and she smelled of fear and sex.
Keller reached up and took her face and forced her to look at him. A soft light filled his gentle green eyes and once she looked into them her face went lax. "Remember the veil." He whispered to her.
"You will leave this place and remember nothing…" his voice trailed off as he examined her. Her profession was obvious, even to him. "And for the love of God, get a different job." He released her face and left the room.
Inside their room Lotte was coming back to herself. She hadn't been unconscious, just too shocked to immediately absorb what had happened. Slowly she blinked and turned her head, looking up at Nikah. His face was coated in blood but unusually enough not a drop of red was on his clothes.
"You look disgusting." She whispered, flinching.
Nikah drew back and looked down at himself. "Oh… sorry. Are you alright though?"
She sat up and rubbed her head. The door was still open and the hallway was still covered in blood, though most of it belonged to the banished demon. "What happened?"
"You don't remember anything?" He asked in surprise.
"I think I do… I'm just not sure if it really happened or not."
"We killed the first demon and you handled the second." He explained.
She looked down at her hand, which once again seemed normal. "I felt the fire eat him… I felt it like I was the fire."
"Wait…" Lotte looked around the room. "Where's Keller?"
"He's cleaning up."
Lotte glanced towards the hall. "I take it you don't mean he's gone to get a rug cleaner."
"He is making sure the other humans here forget what happened." Nikah clarified.
"But… how!? How can anyone forget something like that!" She demanded, pointing at the hall. "And what about all the blood?"
"We'll have to clean that up too…" Nikah said with an annoyed sigh.
"He's using some funky angel power… isn't he?" Lotte asked, holding her head.
He nodded. "Something like that… Angels are the guardians of the veil, he's reminding them of it."
"Huh?" She said looking at him confused.
"The veil is many things, one is it protects humans from us. Both angels and demons. Mostly it protects your kind from the knowledge. For some reason humans don't like finding out they're food." The demon smiled disarmingly, making the morbid comment sound less disturbing that it actually was.
"Funny that." Lotte grumbled, falling back down onto the bed.
"You sure you're ok?" He asked, watching her in concern.
"No… I'm pretty sure I'm not." She answered, covering her eyes with the bed of her elbow.
"We need a bucket." Keller said from the doorway, peering back over his shoulder.
"If we had a demon of blood this would be a lot easier." Nikah sighed, standing up. "And where are we going to find a bucket?"
The angel stared at him blankly then said: "You take a shower, I'll find a bucket."
The demon looked down at himself. "Oh… Good point." He walked into the bathroom.
Keller walked over to Lotte and stared at her for a moment. "Are you going to help?"
"I'm not the one who made that mess," she responded, not moving an inch. "Mine was neatly eaten away to nothing."
"You sound shaken up-"
"No I'm not alright," she said before he could ask the question. "Please… just leave me alone for a little while."
"Very well, but can you at least tell me where I can find a bucket?"
She lifted one hand and pointed out the door. "Find a janitors closet, I'm sure it'll have everything you need."
He turned and left the room to search for a janitors closet. Left alone in the room Lotte was forced to truly consider her situation. She sat up and stared at the bathroom door. It was easy for her to like Nikah more, he was a lot nicer but twice she'd seen him do things that scared and disgusted her. Keller, despite being about as personable and friendly as a brick remained fairly consistent and had yet to freak her out. He was just so much more, civilized.
As if he'd sensed her thoughts the bathroom door opened. Nikah stepped out, water dripping from his long dark hair and trailing down his bare flesh. A faint red mark, the exact size and shape of her hand, remained on his chest. Around his waist, barely hiding his nudity was a small towel, the largest the hotel offered. He reached up and pushed some wet hair out of his face, revealing a concerned expression.
"Why are you afraid of me?" He asked softly.
Lotte looked away, but unfortunately chose to look towards the hall. She cursed under her breath then complained louder. "Doesn't anyone close doors around here?"
Nikah crossed the room and closed the door; keeping his back to her and his hand still on the knob he repeated his question: "Why are you afraid of me?"
"You're a demon…" Lotte said.
He turned around and leaned against the door. The size of the towel forced him to keep one hand on it, to keep it from falling off. Lotte found this a little more than distracting, but she was unwilling to look him in the eyes and couldn't help but enjoy the alternative.
"Is that all?" He asked.
"You tore that demon apart… fuck, with your teeth." She shivered, not enjoyed the memories that flashing through her mind.
Nikah didn't respond to that, instead he dropped his head forward and stared at the ground. "I'm sorry I'm not like him."
"What?" She asked startled, looking up at him.
His wet hair clung to his body, but a few long strands had fallen back over his face, almost enough to obscure his expression. "I know you desire me but… you're also afraid of me. But you're not afraid of him… and you desire him too. Maybe not as much right now." He shrugged a little and his hand started to withdraw from the towel.
Heat instantly spread across Lotte's face and Nikah laughed. She glared at him and turned away. "Now you're just making fun of me."
"I'm not… I swear." He said, moving towards her.
Lotte remained turned away from him, sitting on her feet in the center of the bed. She felt the mattress bow under his weight as he knelt on it. "I swear, I'll never hurt you…" He whispered, his hand brushing across her back.
"Again?" She asked and felt him flinch back.
"I wish I could promise that I'll never hurt you… but if I somehow lose this amulet… all my promises, would be meaningless." He bowed his head and balled his hands into fists. Lotte could hear the sound of his claws cutting through the comforter.
"I don't even know what you want from me." Lotte protested weakly, her shoulders slumping in defeat.
"I-I don't really either…" Nikah laughed softly in frustration. "I don't even understand half of what I feel and experience. I want to do so many things… feel so much… but I don't even know how to go about it!" He crawled towards her on the bed and knelt directly behind her, she could feel the heat of his body through her clothes. "I want you in ways I don't even know how to describe… the words… fail me."
Lotte turned a little, and looked up into his face. His eyes burned with so much passion for a moment she was both afraid and intrigued. "Why me? Why little old boring me? A guy like you can get any girl you want!"
He shrugged and she was close enough she could see the muscles ripple under his smooth pale skin. "I haven't wanted anyone else… and if I can have any girl I want… why can't I have you?"
His rather innocent and still provocative question floor Lotte, she fumbled for something to say but the door opened, heralding Keller's return. The angel stepped into the room, carrying a bucket in each hand, one overflowing with rags and the other with cleaning products. He paused and stared at the two, after taking in the sight of Nikah leaning, now naked, over Lotte his eyes narrowed.
"Get away from her demon." He growled.
Nikah slipped off the bed, clothing appearing around him. He walked towards the angel and took one of the buckets, his face expressionless. Keller watched him walk into the bathroom to fill the bucket with water then went to Lotte.
"Did he hurt you?"
"Hardly." Lotte responded, turning away, blushing.
The angel glanced from her to the demon, seeming confused. "You grant him far too much trust."
"It's not like I want to hurt her." Nikah said, walking towards the hall.
"You're a demon of violence, you want to hurt everything."
"That's a demon of pain." Nikah snorted, rolling his eyes.
"Fine, you want to rip her apart, limb from limb, is that better demon?"
Nikah sat down the bucket and some water sloshed over the sides. "As if you want anything better from her."
"At least I don't want to hurt her." Keller sneered.
"God, would you two shut the fuck up!" Lotte demanded, standing up. "Bicker, bicker, bitch, bitch! That's all you two ever do! You're like fucking children!" She took a deep breath and snapped. "And I'll hang around whomever the fuck I want to hang around and neither of you have a say in the matter! Alright!?"
Nikah stared at her with wide eyes, plainly startled. Keller regarded her blankly thought, indifferent to her tirade and accusations. "It is your life human." He said coolly.
She snorted and walked around him then gingerly stepped around Nikah, trying to avoid stepping on blood soaked carpet. "If you guys will excuse me, I'm going to go see Steve. I could use some normalcy after all this shit."
"But I'm sure there are more blade demons out there." Nikah protested.
Lotte stopped at the end of the hall, her shoulders slumping in defeat. "Fucking-a."
She pivoted around and stuck out her hand. "Fine then pass me a rag, it'll go faster if we all work together."
Nikah smiled softly and handed her a wet rag. "Thank you."
Lotte rolled her eyes. "Whatever."