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My god these are late. I have no excuse for myself. *hides*

Title: Not Just Any Company Will Do
Fandom: Judeo-Christian mythology
Rating: PG
Pairing: Asmodeus/Raphael
Summary: Our favorite angel and demon running into each other on New Year's Eve.
Notes: Written for Holiday Drabbles 2011 for [livejournal.com profile] onmyoji_youkai who requested Asmodeus/Raphael on New Year's Eve with the prompt "unsuspected kiss at the strike of midnight using the excuse of the 'couple or strangers kiss each other at midnight'."


On December 31, 1999, the London Ritz was just as celebrated a place to be as it had been on December 31, 1899. At least that's what Raphael thought. And, it would seem, what Asmodeus thought as well.

In his smoothly off-white suit, Raphael ducked away to hide amongst the glitzy crowd as soon as he saw the demon at the entranceway. The time was very nearly midnight and though he had hoped to ring in the New Year here, Raphael was having second thoughts. The twentieth century had been a hard one, as saddening as it had been beautiful, and Raphael was feeling melancholy enough already without a demon's trouble to make it worse.

Truthfully, Raphael would've been glad for Asmodeus's company if the demon was in a pleasant mood, but there was no way to tell without interacting with him. Raphael didn't think the disappointment was worth the effort if his counterpart turned out to be in a poor temper.

The angel determined his best chance at a clean exit would come at the countdown when everyone would be most distracted. Already a palpable anticipation filled the air, and people were hardly paying attention to anything but the clock.

(Ten. Nine.)

Raphael was three steps from the door—

(Eight. Seven.)

—when he felt someone else bump against him.

(Six.)

There was a crackle of infernal energy—

(Five.)

—and two hands alighted on the angel, one on his shoulder and the other against his cheek.

(Four.)

Raphael knew whose hands they were—

(Three.)

—and he went willingly in a way—

(Two.)

—letting the demon turn his head until their lips brushed together.

(One.)

"A couple or strangers kiss each other at midnight," was Asmodeus's explanation, his first words to Raphael in over half a century. "It's tradition, isn't it?" The demon shrugged carelessly, casual, but his smile was hopeful and awaiting the angel's reaction.

Raphael briefly touched his lips, a sweetly mystified expression on his face. "And which of those are we?" he asked kindly. "A couple or strangers?"

Noticing a passing waitstaff with a tray of drinks, Asmodeus took two flutes of champagne and offered Raphael one so that they might have a toast. "Perhaps a little of both I think. It's good to see you again, by the way."

-end-



Title: What Dreams May Come (part 1/3)
Fandom: "The Call of Cthulhu"/Lovecraft mythos
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: possibly one-sided Cthulhu/Gustaf Johansen
Summary: Gustaf returns to Norway after his near brush with death at Cthulhu's claws. However, although Cthulhu may be trapped once more beneath the sea, he has not forgotten the sailor who thwarted him.
Notes: Written for Holiday Drabbles 2011 for [livejournal.com profile] sweetcarolanne.


The dreams started shortly after Gustaf returned to Norway.

Well...that's when the wrong dreams started. Gustaf had been having nightmares on and off since That Day, but those had been the paltry, common stuff of any mind that had been witness to great horror. Though the old dreams frightened Gustaf as he slept, he was able to dismiss and move past them in the waking hours.

The new ones were different though. So real, too real. In them he would be back in that accursed city and the creature would turn its giant, tentacled head and look at him—look at him the way no dream phantom ever had.

In the prior nightmares, the threat of impending violence had always been a vague thing, and the monster never actually spoke. Not now. Everything was so real and vivid, and the creature would pursue him doggedly, its massive body slip-sliding over stones and always just a little bit behind Gustaf, never quite catching him. Hissing, hateful threats did keep pace with the sailor though. The monster elaborated in great detail what it would do to Gustaf once it caught him. Sharp claws would pare the skin from his muscles, bones tugged free of their joints, tentacles pressing into his wounds and squirming and tearing till they ruptured back out through his chest.

The beast called itself Cthulhu. In fearful anger, Gustaf snarled that it must be the devil, but the thing only laughed and said it was far more terrible than any paltry, human-created apparition.

As the fresh nightmares grew into a nightly terror, Gustaf's waking strength grew wan. He felt more tired when he awoke than he had before going to sleep. He had to force himself to eat and move and work, to keep his body strong even if his spirit was going numb. The sailor knew he wasn't living anymore, but he was determined to exist.

The creature seemed to sense this somehow. As the weeks passed and the dreams continued, Gustaf almost fancied he could sense the monster's frustration. Even though it chased and tormented him, the thing was never quite able to catch him, and clearly it was not satisfied.

This pondering was answered after three weeks though. Gustaf's back was bleeding from sliding down an uneven rock, and he was exhausted when the monster "spoke" of something besides rending flesh from bones.

[Call me "master"—acknowledge my superiority—and this pursuit shall cease.] As always, the voice was rich and deep, not spoken aloud but rather reverberating in Gustaf's head.

The sailor shuddered in poorly concealed disgust.

[Well?] the beast demanded in the manner of one who is not used to being kept waiting.

Peeking over a rock, the sailor took a shaky breath and lifted his head so that he could look the monster in the eyes. Stupidly, he said: "Never."

***

After that single conversation—if one could really call it such—the dreams actually stopped. Gustaf was astounded. He had expected the terror to intensify, but instead, nothing.

For the first several nights after the last dream, the sailor had slunk to bed with fearful anticipation, certain that this would be the night that creature returned to haunt him. However as his fears failed to be realized, they slowly dissipated.

Gustaf slept well and actually ate full meals, all the while trying to cope as best he could. He wrote a bracingly honest English narrative—to spare his wife who could not read the language—of his voyage and that terrible city. But as the days crawled by with no further strangeness, Gustaf felt his recollections grow dim around the edges as mortal memories are wont to do. Shocking really that such a horror could fade in even the tiniest bit, but then the human mind did have a rich capacity for endurance, at least in some individuals.

Maybe he really had dreamed it all.

tbc...

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