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Don't faint! A new chapter. It's the first day of school and I've been a good girl. A little angst for your hump day pleasure. 946 words, totally worksafe.

Title: Knockin' on Heaven's Door, 23
Theme: Emo techie meets MD, but not all is as it seems.
Rating: M, slash/yaoi

(Previous chapters)


Knockin' on Heaven's Door, 23
by Laura Bryannan

On their way to the restaurant, Dylan walked alongside John in silence, not because of his typical inability to communicate but because he felt grumpy and sullen. John praised the beautiful day, Dylan's choice of neighborhood and other inanities, but the light-hearted observations failed to lift his spirits.

They picked the same beer and burger joint he'd shared with Sid, but his mood was so different from that magical afternoon, the contrast was striking. Then he'd been happy, surprised by how much he enjoyed Sid's company, excited and sure his new friend would find a way to reunite him with his lover. Now, sitting across from John felt bittersweet. The handsome face made his heart ache, and as he glanced over the lithe body a dark longing erupted, sure to sweep him into the depths of despair.

One day, John would go away and never come back. He'd been honest about the situation from the beginning and Dylan had assured him he didn't care. It was true at the time and it wasn't like Dylan regretted the relationship. On the contrary, he wanted it enough to feel pissed by the forces beyond his control threatening it. And since there was only one person to take the brunt of his anger, John became the target.

“So, do you do this kind of thing often, or was I just lucky?” he asked as they waited for their food.

John frowned. “What kind of thing?”

“You know,” Dylan persisted. “Slumming with the lowly humans.”

Blue eyes widened, wounded by the accusation, which gave Dylan a kind of sick satisfaction. “Slumming? Never!” he cried. “That's not how I think of you, and I'll have you know this is the first time I've ever done anything like this.”

“Well then, lucky me,” Dylan panned. He was hurting so much, lashing out felt good. “I get touched by an angel. Oops, maybe I should've said fucked. You get off then disappear into the void never to be seen again.”

“That's not fair!” John argued.

Dylan agreed, but he didn't care. He couldn't stop himself no matter how childish it seemed. “I'll probably end up in the loony bin one day,” he continued, “'cause my memories will convince me I'm crazy.”

John's tragic face was most gratifying. “I know I've been selfish,” he began, “but I thought this was something you wanted.”

“It's not a past tense thing,” Dylan cried. “It's something I want. Need even. I'm addicted and one day I'm gonna have to go cold turkey. You knew what it would do to me and you infected me anyway, like a junkie who doesn't want to shoot up alone.”

“Dylan!” John gasped in horror. “Have you felt this way all along?”

The question brought him up short, dissipating his anger into sadness again. “Well....” he mumbled.

“I'm trying to understand what's happening here,” John said. “What's all this talk about me disappearing?”

“You said yourself it would happen eventually,” Dylan reminded him. He didn't know why the issue was looming in his mind after such a lovely morning, but even being a shit with John didn't shake it. In the end, picking an argument just made him feel worse.

“Yes I did,” John agreed. “But not today. Is there something else going on, Dylan?”

The truth was too confusing to try and sort out. “No, just forget about it,” he replied, sighing.

John's gaze was compassionate, piercing his heart. “How can I forget about an outburst like that?” he asked.

Perversely, John being kind revved up his anger once again, adrenalin kicking his heart rate back into fight mode, when the sight before his eyes shut it all down like a plug had been pulled. He watched Raphael enter the establishment, spot him with a nod and head his way. His open mouth is surely what caused John to turn around and moan, “Oh no.”

The striking archangel sat next to John in the booth, who cast him a wary eye and promptly ooched over in the seat to create some space between them. “What's going on?” John asked. “I thought I had the rest of the afternoon.”

“Uriel is on her way,” Rafe told him. “I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but this is probably the last time you'll be able to visit Dylan. She's insisting the letter of the law be upheld and no argument we've ventured will dissuade her. There's time to say goodbye, but we will need to leave within the hour.”

“I knew it!” Dylan declared, feeling not at all triumphant to have been proven right. The dread that had been lurking all morning simply expanded to fill him with a dark sickness.

“It can't be,” John argued. “Gabriel told me they'd come to an understanding about this. What happened?”

“Michael has been willing to look the other way until now,” Raphael said, “but with Uriel riding him his hands are tied. There's really nothing he can do but uphold the rules. And unfortunately, the only one who could possibly have any impact on this situation is so reclusive and unapproachable, I have no hope of their ever coming forward to help you.”

John looked as puzzled as Dylan felt. Unsure why his blood had suddenly turned cold and goosebumps danced up his spine, he turned to Rafe and asked, “Who are you talking about?”

Raphael cocked a brow. “Why, your father, of course.”

to be continued
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