laurabryannan: (OCs)
[personal profile] laurabryannan
Woohoo, more story! And in a somewhat timely manner even.

Dylan learns about his father but Rafe lowers the boom. 1134 words, worksafe again.

Title: Knockin' on Heaven's Door, 24
Theme: Emo techie meets MD, but not all is as it seems.
Rating: M, slash/yaoi

(Previous chapters)

Knockin' on Heaven's Door, 24
by Laura Bryannan

“Say what?!?” John and Dylan gasped.

Clutching Rafe's shoulder, John asked, “You know who his father is?”

“We have our suspicions,” came the reply, “but no proof, I'm afraid.”

“What do you mean, no proof?” John persisted. “It's all in the Records, isn't it?”

“We can see Dylan's mother,” Rafe told him, “and, of course, here is Dylan. But, considering who we're dealing with, it's not surprising that we can find only a hint of Azrael's presence.”

John spit out his tea. “Azrael! That's impossible!”

“Yes, we tend to agree,” Raphael said, “which is why the Records offer no proof.”

Dylan witnessed this exchange with little understanding and much confusion. “What are you guys talking about?” he asked. “Who is Azrael?”

“He's an archangel,” John informed him. “Lord of the etheric element. And, true to his nature, I've never known him to manifest in the physical.” Turning back to Rafe, he asked, “How could he have fathered a human baby?”

“It's not unheard of,” Raphael informed him, “but we can't see exactly what happened. His footprints are all over the scene, so to speak, but no visual evidence is available. It's as though The Act is shrouded in mist.”

“My dad is an angel?” Dylan asked, still trying to take it all in.

“That's what we believe,” Rafe said. “Gabriel and Michael noticed the family resemblance right away. I didn't see it myself until they pointed it out—maybe because of your glasses—but it's most certainly there. Even Uriel agrees you look much like him, but she doesn't consider that evidence enough to drop her charges against John.”

“Have I ever met him?” John asked.

“Perhaps.” Rafe chuckled. “I don't know why I think of Azrael as he, for when he appears in human form he seems more female than not.” Turning to Dylan, he explained, “My essential nature is non-corporal and, as such, I have no gender as a being. None of the archangels do. It's only when we take human form that such concepts embody. Why it suits Michael and me to manifest male, while Uriel and Gabriel choose female, I have no idea. We simply wear the bodies in which we feel most comfortable.

“I've never had cause, until now, to wonder which genitalia Azrael chose when he manifested as human, if any. But, I must say, I would have guessed female just from the kind of androgynous form in which he tended to show up. So, you see, we have a hard time believing he's actually your father, even though no evidence to the contrary is available.”

“Does this mean that we might be together if Dylan is found to be half angel?” John interrupted.

Suddenly awake to the reality of the situation, Dylan waited breathlessly for Raphael's reply.

“Yes,” came the answer, as the lovers gasped, eying each other with wonder and excitement. Taking note, Rafe raised his hand, face grave. “Be aware that Azrael appears to be ignoring our requests to communicate about this. Even Michael has received no response. I'm not convinced he'll ever address the situation.”

“Uriel won't take the obvious as evidence enough?” John asked, clearly frustrated.

“No,” Rafe replied. “She demands that Azrael step forward and acknowledge Dylan. Otherwise, she's decided, there is another explanation for Dylan's parentage.”

Dylan's stomach felt queasy, his heart pounding. Whether he was upset or excited was unsure. The news felt overwhelming, hysteria creeping along the edges of his awareness, testing his sanity the way they all worried it would. Raphael and John were still talking, but he had a hard time paying attention, swept away by the thought, I have a father! Finishing his lunch became impossible.

“He's got to show up sometime.” John's strident statement cut through Dylan's reverie.

Raphael shrugged. “It could take longer than Dylan's lifetime for him to show up.”

“Can't you do anything more?” came the heartfelt plea.

“We have been trying, John,” Rafe told him, face sympathetic. “But, of all of us, Azrael has the least reason to tarry here. He may not be ignoring us, but simply off somewhere else entirely, completely unaware of Dylan's existence. Unfortunately, there's no way of knowing.”

“I refuse to believe this is the end,” John said, stubbornly.

“Until Azrael chooses to resolve the situation, it must be,” came the firm reply. “Neither Gabriel nor I can risk helping you again. Not with Uriel riding her high horse about it. Speaking of which...we really should be going.” Peering at Dylan curiously, he asked, “Are you all right?”

The two pairs of eyes staring at him intently startled Dylan out of his mental haze. “I'm okay, I guess,” he managed to say. Looking at John was no good, because all he wanted to do was hide in his arms and forget about what was apparently happening.

“Shall we leave?” Raphael asked, observing Dylan's hungry glance. “I imagine you'll want to say your goodbyes outside.”

Settling the bill, they wandered back down the quiet street toward Dylan's apartment. John's hand in his felt strong, sure, and Dylan had a hard time believing he must let go of it forever. Stopping by a stand of shrubbery, John gathered him close to kiss him as wicked as ever. Dylan responded in spite of his distress, his hands memorizing the familiar planes and curves of his beloved.

The passionate kiss was followed by a gentler one, and Dylan could feel the body in his arms begin to tremble. His anger had dissipated, replaced by a raging cacophony of competing emotions. As helpless as a boat in a typhoon, he felt battered about, disoriented and unable to speak the words his heart wanted to say. And then, finally, Raphael's quiet voice disturbed their moment. “Come John. We must go.”

Eyes frantic, John pulled off the ring he always wore on his right hand and pressed it into Dylan's palm. “Keep this,” he said, voice shaky. “Don't ever forget me.”

“John!” Raphael gasped, frowning in disapproval.

“It's mine to give,” John stated, defiant.

Raphael shook his head ruefully but said nothing more, pulling John out of their embrace. His lips brushed Dylan's forehead and then he came away, so misty-eyed it made Dylan's throat tight to witness it.

The ring in Dylan's hand was golden, just like John, but though it was solid, it was not heavy. As he watched the men in front of him disappear, the gift felt as insubstantial as the giver. Clutching it all the tighter, he whispered, “I love you,” to the wind.

to be continued
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