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    Timothy M.
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Diego’s Dance with Death - 5. Two Brothers at Dinner

A chance to learn more about the Angel of Death.

Sablo fished his phone out his pants pocket, shot a brief text to his brother, and seconds later, someone knocked loudly on their front door.

“What the hell, Sablo?“ Theo hissed. “Couldn’t you have waited a few minutes longer? The table isn’t set, and the salad’s not tossed!”

“But we were almost late. Diego hates tardiness.”

“Tough shit!” Theliel ripped a drawer open, grabbed some multicolored placemats, and stormed in the direction of the dining room. Over his shoulder he threw back at Sablo, “Open the damn door and show your brother the cupboard with the plates, and get the silverware out. Letting the guests set the table is all the rage nowadays.” Muttering to himself he snapped a dishtowel and started to polish the wine glasses.

Rolling his eyes, Sablo opened the door.”Wha—“

“Wha?” Diego frowned at his brother.

“Who—“ Sablo’s gaze jumped from Diego holding a wine bottle in his hand, to the tall slim figure standing behind him. “Theliel!”

The Cupid jerked at his lover’s panicked voice, thunked the glass in his hand on the table, and ran to the front door. “What happened?!” When he recognized the new guest, a broad smile appeared on his face. “Azrael! What are you doing here?” He pushed his lover aside, moved past Diego, and threw his arms around Azrael’s neck.

“Diego invited me to come along.”

“Really? Cool! How do you know each other?”

“Uh....”

“How do you know Azrael?” Sablo asked Theo incredulously.

“Everyone knows Az, but we talked a little, sometimes in the past, when—,” Theliel stopped mid-sentence and left it unfinished. Then he turned to Azrael. ”How are you?”

The Angel of Death looked shyly at Diego. “Fine.”

Theo raised an eyebrow. “Is that so?” He took a step back, inclined his head to the left, and clapped his hands together loudly. “You guys help Sablo set the table; I’ll take the wine and get my kit…er...some stuff from my backpack, and meet you in the dining room. To Sablo he hissed, “Don’t start asking stupid questions. Polite and nice is the way to go here, okay?”

Sablo wasn’t to be dissuaded, and followed Theliel to the bedroom. “What are you doing?”

“Shh.... Their auras match. I need to get my spare test kit.”

“Oh no! I won’t allow—”

“That’s not in your work description, dear, but mine.”

“But, Theo—”

“No buts! Get out there and entertain our guests while I finish the food.”

Meanwhile, in the entry hall, Diego raised his eyebrows. “You didn’t tell me you knew my brother’s partner?”

“I didn’t realize Theliel was the same person you called Theo, or that he was with Sablo.”

“Really? Them being hit by silver arrows was the big news for a while. At least among Cupids and Guardians.”

“I normally don’t hang around either.”

“Hmm, considering the reactions from the patrons of the bar, I guess I can understand why.”

“It gets tiring after a while. Everyone in this realm should know I’m rarely on official duty here. If they were humans I could understand the nervousness.”

“Well, humans only see you when they’re dying.”

“There are exceptions; some humans have ‘second sight’. Luckily, most of them refuse to believe they felt or saw me.”

“Wait, you implied you sometimes have duties here?”

Azrael nodded, but stayed silent. Before Diego could ask another question, Sablo returned.

“Don’t just stand around, come on in. I’ll give you the tour…unless you’ve been here before?” He shot Azrael a suspicious look.

“No, Theliel never invited me to visit. You moved in with him after…?”

“After his bastard of a boss shot us? Yeah, he had plenty of room, and the location is convenient for both Cupid Central and Guardian Central. And I thought Diego would appreciate having his own space. Apparently not.” This time, his brother was the recipient of a Sablo glare.

“Where did Theo go?” Diego said to change the topic.

“Well, um, there was a slight delay on the cooking front, so he’s busy in the kitchen. I hope you like vegetarian lasagna?”

“Need I ask the reason for this delay?” Diego said with a smirk.

“Shut up.” Sablo tried to wave him off, but couldn’t prevent a small blush from heating his cheeks.

“I thought so.”

In the kitchen, Theliel sliced the Italian bread one centimeter thick while the griddle pan heated. He popped one of the tomatoes in his mouth to check the flavor. “Hmm.... Good.” Spontaneously, he got some of the buffalo mozzarella, diced it, and mixed it with some of the tomatoes. Not everyone liked cheese on their bruschetta. While the bread toasted, he thought of a plan of action. If he did this cleverly, he could fill his test vials without anyone catching on to what he was doing. He could test them later, after Diego and Azrael went home. Rubbing the toasted bread with a cut clove of garlic, he tried to listen in on the conversation in the dining room.

“I’ll um... go into the kitchen and see if Theo needs any help.”

Great, Sablo was on the way to tell him what to do and what not.

”Listen Theo, I don’t know if this is such a good idea. I mean....Azrael is the Angel of Death. And Diego doesn’t need to be reminded of all the terrible things he had to witness every time he sees him. I think—“

“Please, do I tell you how to do your Guardian stuff?”

“Well, if I remember correctly, you had some choice word to say about Guardians, when we first met.”

“Anyway. This isn’t my decision. Their auras match. Very beautifully, if I may say so. Azrael’s deep purple mixes wonderfully with Diego’s rich green.”

”That sounds horrible, actually.”

“Well, it’s rare, but gorgeous.”

When Sablo opened his mouth to contradict him, Theliel lifted his hands. “It’s science, Babe. They match, if it pleases you or not. I can’t ignore this. It’s my job and task to make people happy. Now, open the bottle of wine and distract them when I serve the bruschetta, so I can fill my test tubes.”

“But—”

“Shut it!” Theo grinned, while he drizzled olive oil over the bread and salted and peppered it. His big, bad Guardian pouted. After chopping some basil leaves, he mixed them with the rest of the tomatoes, and marinated them with his good balsamic vinegar. He spooned the topping on the bread, arranged it on a large plate, and made his way to the dining room. There, he placed it in the middle of the table.

“Please start without me. I have to take a quick look at the lasagna.”

In the kitchen, he briefly checked on the sizzling dish, then he grabbed his test vials and hid them in his pants pockets and the sleeve of his Henley.

“All is good; I’d say thirty minutes and the lasagna is done.” After glaring at Sablo, his lover launched into a ridiculous story about him guarding a police dog. Diego and Azrael listened with rapt attention. He collected all the samples, without them noticing a thing.

Later, while they were enjoying the lasagna, Diego coaxed Azrael into telling how they gained their duty as the Angel of Death.

His final argument to persuade Azrael to reveal the story had Sablo’s jaw dropping and Theo smirking. “After all, I might have to defend dating you, since apparently most cupids react like Rahmiel rather than Theo, and Guardians seems to prefer ignoring your existence.”

“Very well. Do you know the various stories human religions tell? No? Just as well, because they’re mostly wrong.”

“Wrong about you, or generally wrong?” Sablo asked.

“We’re not going to spoil a pleasant evening by discussing all the bad things caused by human religions. Let Azzie tell his story, Babe.”

“You know I don’t like those silly names, Theliel.”

“Sorry, please go on.”

“Well, originally when there were few humans on Earth, any angel nearby when one died, would capture the spark or soul, if you want to use a human word. But within a few millennia it became obvious there would soon be many more humans than angels. In addition, most of us became disenchanted with the way humans dealt with their world and refused to stay around.”

“I’m not surprised. Cupids are lucky; we only have to witness the nice emotions.”

“Shush, Theo.” Sablo wanted to hear the story without interruptions.

“Anyway, I can’t tell you how, but a call went out to discover any angels who had enough compassion to take charge of this duty. Four of us were selected, but I’m the only one who remains.”

“You volunteered? That was brave.” Diego sounded awed.

“But surely you can’t be present at every death?” Theo exclaimed.

“The other three guys defected?”

Azrael’s listeners spoke on top of each other, and he shook his head looking from one to the other. Finally, he focused on Sablo.

“No, they didn’t defect. They were worn out and gradually faded.”

“Fucking Hell.”

He turned to Theliel. “You’re right. I’m not physically present at every death, only the special cases.” He glanced towards Diego, who reached out to take Azrael’s hand and mouthed ‘It’s OK’.

Sablo and Theliel looked at each other, the latter with a triumphant grin, and Sablo shrugged in resignation.

With a small start, Azrael tore his gaze away from Diego’s compassionate blue eyes and continued the explanation. “The concept of Death Incarnated handles 99.99 % of all cases. A virtual Angel of Death, if you want to use a modern human term. All sparks are caught and channeled to me, or rather to my cloak. I’m not at liberty to tell you the details, but while the minds of my fellow Death Angels faded, their immortal essence was incorporated into the cloak. This shields me from their fate.”

“I’m glad to hear that. You had me worried for a moment. Did you know this would happen when you volunteered?”

“No, none of us did. And I don’t think we were being brave taking up this task. Dutiful, sad for what would be lost if we abandoned Earth, maybe a bit arrogant in our belief we could handle the task and make a difference. One of my friends thought another solution would be found and held on for ages in this hope, but faded at last. I think the Powers are content with how it works.”

“But are you OK with your job?”

“Most of the time. Remember, I don’t see the events leading to death, the way you do on those missions. I can guess at them, from the circumstances, good or bad, but I don’t experience them. When I feel the pull, I arrive at the exact moment in time and space when the body expires. I grab the spark and pop back.”

“I usually leave the mission site before you do.”

“Yes, um, I don’t have to leave, but normally I’ve no reason to hang around.”

“I see.”

The silence stretched for a while, until Theo cleared his throat. “Dessert, anyone?”

Did dinner go the way you expected?

Copyright © 2019 Timothy M., aditus; All Rights Reserved.
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31 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

Dinner with Death and the Overprotective Brother... whew. Azrael is very nearly normal in conversation; but Diego is mostly mute. Could it have gone better? I doubt it. Looking forward to more...

 

I guess Sablo is the talkative brother and Diego is the strong, silent guy. :lol:  But they're both quite protective of each other.

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Timothy M.

Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, droughtquake said:

I was very surprised that Azrael already knew Theo! I’d forgotten that Cupids had to test their subjects first.  ;–)

 

I suppose I’m being very bigoted, but if I’m dating someone, I’d like to know the gender of the person – and because two penises are (mine and the one belonging to the guy I’m dating) very important to me, I’d want to be sure they both exist. 

 

I'm sure Sablo agrees with you (about the need for penis), but Diego is bisexual, so he wins either way. :P 

Theo has lived much longer than the brothers, and Azrael has more or less been around since the start of the universe. Even if they're nor in the same line of work, they could have bumped into each other somewhere, somewhen.

Edited by Timothy M.
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37 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

I was very surprised that Azrael already knew Theo! I’d forgotten that Cupids had to test their subjects first.  ;–)

 

I suppose I’m being very bigoted, but if I’m dating someone, I’d like to know the gender of the person – and because two penises (mine and the one belonging to the guy I’m dating) are very important to me, I’d want to be sure they both exist. I also prefer skinny men – those fat pads get in the way of feeling a beating heart. I know it’s a failing, but I just can’t slide down from the high end of the Kinsey Scale.

Actually, I know at least two persons you offended with this post, you silver tongued devil.  And nope, Sablo wouldn't agree with you. I know him better as @Timothy M.. He would be angry on behalf of his brother.

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1 hour ago, droughtquake said:

I was very surprised that Azrael already knew Theo! I’d forgotten that Cupids had to test their subjects first.  ;–)

 

If I’m dating someone, I’d like to know the gender of the person. I prefer skinny men. I know it’s a failing, but I just can’t slide down from the high end of the Kinsey Scale.

 

I have plenty of friends all over the Kinsey Scale and of all sorts of gender/non-binary/identity variations. I have plenty of friends who identify as female. I have friends from all sorts of backgrounds: ethnic/racial, religious/non-religious, economic, cultural, age, etc. But that doesn’t mean I’m sexually and romantically attracted to all or even most of them. I’m not going to apologize for that.

Having preferences isn't a failing.  I won't apologize for my own attractions either and would never expect anyone else to.  But there are polite ways to express things, which your edited post does better than your original. 

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1 hour ago, droughtquake said:

I was very surprised that Azrael already knew Theo! I’d forgotten that Cupids had to test their subjects first.  ;–)

 

If I’m dating someone, I’d like to know the gender of the person. I prefer skinny men. I know it’s a failing, but I just can’t slide down from the high end of the Kinsey Scale.

 

I have plenty of friends all over the Kinsey Scale and of all sorts of gender/non-binary/identity variations. I have plenty of friends who identify as female. I have friends from all sorts of backgrounds: ethnic/racial, religious/non-religious, economic, cultural, age, etc. But that doesn’t mean I’m sexually and romantically attracted to all or even most of them. I’m not going to apologize for that.

Why should you apologize for your preferences?  You could apologize for the fat pats. It's disparaging.  (but I guess you know that, seeing you deleted it.)

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8 minutes ago, Fae Briona said:

It fits that in this Universe the Angel of Death is a volunteer chosen due to positive emotions -- someone who does the task not just out of duty, but from compassion and love.  Feel horrible that the other three "faded" -- seems like they essentially ceased to be, except for being somehow incorporated into Az's cloak.  Can also understand how even though he's almost never "on duty" that others would shy away from him. Must make him very lonely, and all the more deserving of a partner who can love and understand him.

 

Always wondered how one fills a vial with a "sample" from the aura?  It's the one thing that always pulls me out of the story for a second.

Always wondered how one fills a vial with a "sample" from the aura?  Think of the aura as a cloud of a colorful gas. Theliel takes the vial, waves it trough the cloud, until he has part of it inside the vial.

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3 hours ago, mfa607 said:

Interesting dinner! Can’t wait for dessert! Great chapter! Thank you! 

 

Dessert will be the cake Sablo bought in London. I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter.

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2 hours ago, Fae Briona said:

It fits that in this Universe the Angel of Death is a volunteer chosen due to positive emotions -- someone who does the task not just out of duty, but from compassion and love.  Feel horrible that the other three "faded" -- seems like they essentially ceased to be, except for being somehow incorporated into Az's cloak.  Can also understand how even though he's almost never "on duty" that others would shy away from him. Must make him very lonely, and all the more deserving of a partner who can love and understand him.

 

Yes, Azrael is indeed very lonely, especially after the three other angels faded. Hopefully, he can look forward to more dinners with this group. As for a partner  :X  :lol:

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2 hours ago, Puppilull said:

Not sure the testing is necessary here... 😁 Things happen anyway. But it must be done. Dinner was a pleasant event, even if it's sad to think about the other angels of death fading. 

 

Ohhhh, don't let Ayil hear you say that. Testing is definitely proper protocol. :lmao:  Yeah, some sadness was inevitable, but I think Diego may resent his special duty a little less by now. 

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3 hours ago, aditus said:

Always wondered how one fills a vial with a "sample" from the aura?  Think of the aura as a cloud of a colorful gas. Theliel takes the vial, waves it trough the cloud, until he has part of it inside the vial.

Never thought of it in that way, but makes sense.  [yes, it's a silly thing to be caught up on]

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@ColumbusGuy  LOL, but this is not Heaven, at least not in the religious sense. It's simply the 'plane' where Angels live.

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Defiance19

Posted (edited)

 Another great chapter.. A touch of gloom/ glumness(?) with Azrael’s explanation herw at the end, but I throughly enjoyed it.. 

Edited by Defiance19
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I love that Azrael looks at Diego "shyly":  He is clearly not used to being seen as a possible love interest.  I also love that Theo throws his arms around Azrael, as he must hold Azrael in high regard and harbor affection for him.  Additionally, Azrael turns out to have volunteered for his difficult position, another point in his favor.  All in all, Azrael is beginning to sound like a very nice angel--and he even has a purple aura! With Diego having a "matching aura," Theo goes into excited cupid mode, and I love that he has to do additional compatibility testing (sort of like blood testing before a transfusion) before he can skewer them! However, things are proceeding too smoothly, and I'm waiting for the axe to fall. 

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8 hours ago, Defiance19 said:

 Another great chapter.. A touch of gloom/ glumness(?) with Azrael’s explanation here at the end, but I throughly enjoyed it.. 

 

Thanks, Def. Sorry about the sad bits, but at least we and Diego know a bit more about Azrael's existence.

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3 hours ago, travlbug said:

I love that Azrael looks at Diego "shyly":  He is clearly not used to being seen as a possible love interest.  I also love that Theo throws his arms around Azrael, as he must hold Azrael in high regard and harbor affection for him.  Additionally, Azrael turns out to have volunteered for his difficult position, another point in his favor.  All in all, Azrael is beginning to sound like a very nice angel--and he even has a purple aura! With Diego having a "matching aura," Theo goes into excited cupid mode, and I love that he has to do additional compatibility testing (sort of like blood testing before a transfusion) before he can skewer them! However, things are proceeding too smoothly, and I'm waiting for the axe to fall. 

 

Thanks for a wonderful comment. All credit goes to @aditus for the shy look. I love that moment too. Theo has fond memories of Azrael and he's one of the few Cupid's who doesn't hold angel's job against them. 

'Skewer them' :rofl:

As for your prediction :X  :whistle:

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Wonderful tale about the cloak. All in all it was just your typical dinner. :P  Loved it! Cheers... Gary....

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1 hour ago, Headstall said:

Wonderful tale about the cloak. All in all it was just your typical dinner. :P  Loved it! Cheers... Gary....

 

I'm glad you liked the cloak concept, since this was my contribution. LOL, typical dinner - well, it may set the precedence for future visits if Diego keeps seeing Azrael.

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