avashida: (Phoenix - drop in)
[personal profile] avashida

Title: Secrets You'd Think They Know
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Horror, romance
Warnings: Vampirism, mentions of murder/torture, m/m relationship.
Summary: Phoenix doesn't care about being the only one in the whole world who knows that Lucifer loves him back.




Phoenix doesn’t care about being the only person in the entire world who knows Lucifer loves him back. He knows, and the rest of them know not to touch his lover, so they all get along fine. He ignores the pitying, amused, disgusted looks the Darklings send him when they think he’s not looking. They think he’s pathetic – scary, but pathetic – for being ‘blind’. For giving his heart and soul to someone who only crushes them under his heel.

 

But they’re the ones who can’t see.

 

*

 

There are two periods in the history of the war that the Light never allowed to become public knowledge.

 

It took them a lot of work, a lot of bribery and threatening and downright pleading, a lot of new laws regarding propaganda and freedom of the press, but in the end, the world at large does not know that at two separate times, both Phoenix and Lucifer, Star of the Morning, have been in Light custody.

 

The first time was in France, barely eight months since the declaration of war and only just under two years since the First Summoning. Unborn governments all over the world were torn between panic and disbelief, that the dreams and nightmares birthed from the human soul were truly walking under the sun. Those who did not believe dismissed the pleading cases of the Light Firstborn as the ravings of lunatics, and several were forced to flee or be enchained in institutions. Those who did believe took drastic measures to ensure their country’s safety.

 

Barely a quarter of the Firstborn were anti-heroes. But luck was with them, and the choices of those girls and boys that had picked villains – what’s the harm, just a game, a game a game a game – had been significantly stronger than the majority of the other side.

 

Castiel versus Lestat de Lioncourt. Surreal to Hekatah. Merlin against Lucifer.

 

And, more than that – unborn flocked to Lucifer’s banner. There were always those who would, weak minds and strong minds alike that fell to his charm, his eyes, his words that wrapped around your heart and soul and convinced you that there could be no greater purpose than to serve this beautiful, perfect angel.

 

If anyone could be said to be winning, when neither side had yet met on an honest battlefield, then it was Lucifer, with his gold-eyed lover single-handedly starting riots and leading acts of brutal terrorism across Europe, his team of scientists already beginning work on the ancestors of the Metahumans, his Council forming and solidifying under him as a group far more organised and prepared than that of his enemies rag-tag band. Neither group was at full power, but the Dark had the advantage of a leader who had had much longer to merge and adapt and plan. The men and women who would someday become the Generals were still reeling, still fighting the blurring of spiritual and mental boundaries, still desperately trying to gain control of their new powers.

 

Lucifer was not.

 

It made him cocky; against the advice of his Council and with Phoenix thousands of miles away in Russia, the Morning Star led an attack on Paris, intent on the destruction of the Eiffel Tower and the capture of a particular team of researchers.

 

He was the Enemy of Man. But it took a mortal body time to become the stuff from which gods are formed, and he was strong but not yet at full strength, not yet close to reaching his potential. In those early years Phoenix had been the one to truly fear, with his telekinesis and his fire, his flight and strength and ability to be in two places at once. It was much easier to become a vampire than an angel, after all, and he quickly had access to all of his powers. Lucifer had his words, his voice, but his lover’s post as bodyguard was not just for appearances, those days.

 

But Phoenix was not there. And Lucifer was captured.

 

It was sudden and bloody but France was one of those who had listened to Helena’s warnings when the Firstborn came for assistance. Lucifer had the physical strength of perhaps twenty men and could hypnotise with his voice and eyes, but the soldiers wore dark glasses and audio corrupters and there were many more than twenty. The Tower was severely damaged in the struggle but the angel eventually fell, downed not by bullets but tranquilliser darts. His supernatural healing sealed the drugs inside his wounds and he was done.

 

They locked him underground, not realising that he drew strength from the dark just as he did the light of stars; it purged the drugs from his system and when he woke in chains and cold far from Paris he laughed at his captors when they tried to interrogate him.

 

Don’t you realise what you’ve done? You’ve taken me from him. I’m his reason for living and you took me away. He will burn this country to the ground to get to me, and your silent God help you if you get in his way.

 

They didn’t listen. It didn’t matter. Phoenix heard and he came and he razed France into ash and rubble when he couldn’t find his lover; spent four months growing more and more desperate until he seemed more werewolf than vampire, howling in a soul-deep agony of loss and pain with each town that proved empty of the one he sought for.

 

Thousands of people died. Hundreds of millions worth of damages done, until finally the French government struck Lucifer’s chains from his wrists and let him go, begged him to stop his lover’s wrath in a last-ditch effort to save their population from utter destruction.

 

Too late. Even Lucifer couldn’t leash the sun-bright fury they had provoked, couldn’t heal the pain and fear they’d driven through Phoenix’s heart like a knife. The vampire returned Lucifer to his stronghold and within a week he’d ripped Paris apart, led a small army of hand-picked New Souls and destroyed every national symbol, every city, everything he could get his hands on that would break or burn. The public had no idea why it was happening but it sent a crystal-clear message to every government on the planet: do not touch Lucifer.

 

Don’t ever take Lucifer away.

 

It was another year before anyone heard from the Dark again, and only a handful of Lucifer’s councillors knew why operations had ground to a halt. It took that long for Lucifer to soothe his lover’s fear, to calm him, for his whispered promises to never leave to take hold at all; twelve months before Phoenix could bring himself to let Lucifer out of his sight for more than a minute at a time, to stand not feeling his lover’s warmth in a room, to bear sleeping not curled around the one thing in the world he actually cared about. It was long and hard and the first and only time they ever fought, because Lucifer was furious at the restraints and Phoenix refused to let him go, even going so far as to use his (then greater) strength against him and physically keep Lucifer at his side.

 

If I’m yours then you’re mine, and I will not lose you again. Not ever. Not for anything. I’ll fight for you and kill for you, bleed for you and die for you, but don’t ask me to watch you get hurt because I won’t, not for anything in the fucking world. If you want to wear the world’s crown then I’ll make it happen, but I don’t give a fuck about this goddamned war for any other reason than you want it.

 

The only thing I care about is you.

 

After a year, Phoenix reluctantly agreed to let Lucifer re-enter his duties as the Darkling leader, but on one condition: that his lover never entered active combat again without Phoenix at his side.

 

Lucifer accepted his stipulation. The war resumed.

 

The only breach of their agreement was also the second incident to which the media was refused all access. Five years after the last, and the war was in full swing. The full-scale slaughter of France, with only a few hundred thousand refugees surviving to flee into Germany and Great Britain, had convinced the rest of the world that the stories were true. The Generals had been given access to weaponry and monetary support by the United Nations on the stipulation that unborn government personnel were involved with all operations, and that the Light answered to the UN on all matters. The balance of power was delicate but so far, it was working and the Generals were beginning to make some real headway for the first time since the Battle of Tokyo. Knowledge of the Circles had come into public hands and both sides were being flooded with newly created New Souls, while the Light felt the whip of the still-experimental Metahumans for the first time.

 

Leo Martinez and Nicholas Reeves had just led a bloody six-day battle to wrest back control of the Healing Circle at Stonhenge and emerged victorious. Lucifer was furious Phoenix was ordered to win it back. It was going to be a quick and quiet operation, a slaughter of Leo’s men and women under fall of darkness, and Phoenix left his lover’s base with only Ruby, a demon-Host, and William Reynards, a shape-shifting warlock, to cover him.

 

Ruby, however, had double-bluffed both sides, and Leo was ready and waiting for them.

 

Phoenix had the advantage of coming from a world where vampires were not vulnerable to any of the usual folklore, but when Nicholas presented an illusion of Lucifer, bound and broken, to him, the vampire didn’t hesitate an instant before surrendering unequivocally. They filled his still mostly-human body with poison and sleeping drugs and had him in the London complex within the hour.

 

Six floors below ground. It was supposed to be deep enough, thickly walled enough, that no one could hear the screams of those the Light threw into the darkness. Binding Circles, drawn in blood and ashes, nine of them deep down in the caves.

 

They tried to kill him, but how could they? Bullets passed right through him and healed; the poisons they had to hand weren’t strong enough to burn against his vampiric healing. Once he realised that Lucifer was safe, hundreds of miles away, they couldn’t get close enough to cut his head from his shoulders before he burned their hearts out of their chests, even through their wards.

 

So Leo ordered him locked into a Binding Circle, the only thing that had a chance of holding him, while they waited for more powerful poisons, weapons, New Soul vampire-slayers, to come from various parts of Europe. It wasn’t even their fault, really. Even on the Darkling side, it was assumed that the deep, kill-and-die-for love between Lucifer and Phoenix only went one way. The Dark Council saw the vampire as a weapon – albeit a precious one – and Lucifer was rarely particularly affectionate around others, only possessive and occasionally vicious when Phoenix stepped out of line.

 

So was it any wonder that the Generals were unprepared? If Lucifer had lost a weapon, he might be angry – but no one was expecting his reaction.

 

Abruptly, all Darkling activity ceased. All over the globe, New Soul complexes reported back to London and New York to say Lucifer’s agents had gone. Vanished, into thin air or underground. The experimental Weres (that were discarded and exterminated after only two years), the New Souls, the demonic Hosts and the unborn in every country of the world; gone. The Light went onto red alert, sure that Lucifer was planning something but not sure what; spies that had lasted the full length of the war so far abruptly silenced.

 

Two days. Phoenix’s body was still too mortal to be impervious; he choked on his own blood, his throat raw from screaming, the wounds his nails and fangs tore into his own body as a distraction healed over and over again before their eyes. There could be no defence against this kind of pain, no way for a mind to bear it. It slipped straight past your body and into your nervous system, pain without any reason to feel pain, agony deep in the core of yourself where there could be no fighting it. Raw and primal and savage, and Phoenix screamed until they heard, the men and women in the floors above him chilling in their seats at the soul-deep agony given voice.

 

And none of it compared to being separated from his lover. That, Phoenix could not face. He threw himself into the Circle’s pain just to escape from it, from the loss and heartbreak and the sheer, raw need to feel Lucifer’s arms around him. It tore his soul apart and there was no way to deal with that either. No possibility of anything in the world ever making it okay.

 

The first real warning the Light received was when, suddenly, all contact with the rest of the world was cut off. London turned into an island in the midst of darkness in the time it took to flick a switch. Panic erupted, but it didn’t take long before they realised what was happening: Lucifer’s forces had drawn some new Circle, no doubt the result of years of research and experimentation, around the entire city. It was like a Summoning turned inside out, crossed with a Binding Circle, but they didn’t really understand what it was doing until they started to run out of air.

 

It’s impossible to leave or enter a Circle while the spell is being cast. And this one went on and on and on. Hours turned into days, and there weren’t enough oxygen tanks to supply everyone, no way. Helena and Nicholas led teams into the tunnels, the trains and tubes, but eventually they hit the barrier cutting them off and just couldn’t pass it. Not spells, explosives, even teleportation.

 

And of course…Phoenix didn’t need to breathe.

 

What kind of choice was it? They had to let him go. No one doubted for a second that Lucifer would leave them all to die, trapped in this impenetrable bubble, no matter who or what else he might have had plans for within it. Suddenly it was impossible to doubt that, actually, the deep emotion between vampire and fallen angel was very much two sided. And if the Morning Star was not as dramatic as his lover, then he was still damned effective at getting what he wanted.

 

He only had to wait. He didn’t even have to accept a surrender, were one given; he could just wait until they’d all suffocated, break the Circle and step in to claim his lover.

 

To this day, the Generals are sure that the only reason that he didn’t – the only reason he took down the iridescent walls of their cage when they got down and begged – was because Phoenix’s screams had stopped somewhere on the second day. His throat and vocal cords were too badly damaged to make another sound, and they all knew it, could see the knowledge burning like twin suns in their enemy’s eyes behind the edge of the Circle.

 

In the end, it’s not Leo or even Helena that breaks their own Circle and releases Phoenix; it’s not a General at all. It’s Nicholas again, the one responsible for his capture, who does it without the Council’s permission; breaks the outer line of dark brown blood and gathers the vampire up in his arms, Lucifer’s Knife too weak to resist anything anymore. Heartsick and every nerve ending swollen and throbbing with the after-effects of continuous, inescapable agony. Nick who flits through the city with his own demonic powers, goes right up to the wall and waits for someone to fetch Lucifer when they see the burden he carries like an offering to an angry god.

 

It’s a good comparison.

 

The wall comes down and Phoenix is gone from him before he can blink, because Nick may be a demon but he’s so far dwarfed by the Prince of Lies that they don’t even register on the same planes. Phoenix is gone, and the Circle is broken wide open, and within minutes the Darklings have melted into earth and air and stone and followed their king to their hidden places in the world.

 

The Generals set precautions to make sure no dwelling can ever be contained in something like that Circle again, and the Dark Council is furious that Lucifer wasted their surprise weapon just to reclaim another.

 

The Dark Council is purged – viciously and violently – and the ones left untouched can hear their comrades’ screams as the Morning Star feeds them to his lover, drop by precious, rich, New Soul drop until Phoenix finally has the strength to breathe again.

 

If Phoenix will not hesitate to throw himself on an army to protect Lucifer, well, they always knew that. The Light despaired it and the Dark used it ruthlessly, and though the vampire has no head for the tactics of battles and wars he follows orders to the letter, and is creative enough to solve dozens of other smaller problems for his side. He soothes Lucifer’s temper and gives his own body as a drawing board for knives and fury, keeping the Darklings from regular purges. He is the best bodyguard they could ever hope for for their king.

 

But after the Siege of London, no one actively involved in either side – the Generals, their seconds, various governmental officials and almost everyone allied with the Dark – had any doubt that Lucifer would give up on his dreams of ruling this world and burn it to the fucking ground instead if it takes Phoenix away from him.

 

They keep the full whys and hows out of the press. And the Light never tries again to separate the lovers who promised each other the world – and meant it.

 

*

 

Phoenix never cared about being the only one in the whole world who knew that Lucifer loved him back. He knew, and that was enough for him.

 

But the expression on their faces when they realised is just too damn good not to laugh out loud.

Date: 2009-09-25 07:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] phantomreviewer.livejournal.com
I'm feeling pretty good that I still understand all of this but I think I'm going to need a look at this glossary (the unborn?)

I'm getting slightly confused over who exactly is in the Light (whether the names are 'characters' or the orignal people and who *they* are, as well as other player) and basically the same question with the Dark as well.

Phoenix is starting to grow on me actually.

*goes searching for more New Souls things to check my knowledge*

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