/Christ… How long has it been since I've written for this?

Anyway, this is the last chapter at . Everything else will be at my site, the link to which is on my profile./

Lucifer Wept

The world was gray again, but this gray was shifting and sharp, with hidden blades. Chaniel hid the smile that wanted to bloom on his face like some sick, rotting flower. He knew this world; he knew its taste and he knew its touch. It was empty and terrible and hungry. It was just like him.

"Where are we going, exactly?" he asked quietly, leaning even closer to his nurse in order to whisper into the shell-delicate ear. He felt Isaac shiver slightly and pulled back a bit, confused and trying to hide it. But he didn't pull too far away.

"There are a few places we can go," Isaac finally said, his voice hesitant and worried. Bright green eyes darting up to gauge his expression and a little touch of golden, an unwitting caress, and Chaniel forced himself to not react. "There's a hotel down by the river that we can hide out in until you're better. It's not exactly the nicest place-"

"Stop babbling," Chaniel interrupted, clenching his jaw together. Irritation rising quickly at the way people watched but didn't react, at the way they walked so quietly through this hell and didn't care. Isaac shut up immediately, but he could still feel the boy's indignant hurt. "Just get me there, okay?"

Let the pretty golden boy think he was in pain. Chaniel carefully avoided letting his mind hook into Isaac's energy again, but reached instead for the gray-shadow people walking past them, blending in with the dust and dirt powdered buildings that lined the trash-strewn streets. Each one of them had a tiny sparkle of color hidden so deep, a taste that seemed to titillate the blackness in his mind that Chaniel wanted to deny, but he knew. All that black hunger and dark desire was all himself.

An old man, white-haired and withered, fell silently to the ground without creating a stir. Chaniel withdrew the tendril of power he'd sent to drain the mint-green spark in that slowly disintegrating mind as he felt Isaac's mind dart out to check what was wrong with the man. It figured; Isaac did seem to be genuinely compassionate.

It surprised Chaniel distantly, behind even the soft laughter of his ever-present hunger, that no one had caught and torn apart this pretty golden boy yet.

"He's dead," Isaac whispered quietly, slowing his step. Chaniel snarled.

"He was old," he whispered harshly into Isaac's ear. "What are you going to do for him now? Throw him in a dumpster? Drag him to the hotel, too?"

He felt Isaac's anger rising again, but the boy said nothing. Still, anger only increased the brightness of the golden light surrounding him, and Chaniel gave into the compulsion to swallow just a little of it down.

Isaac never even noticed.

"This is it," Isaac said suddenly, interrupting the silence that had draped itself around them through their long walk. Chaniel looked up, squinting against the harsh electric streetlights and cursing the night. They had reached the hotel.

It was the mummified remains of a Holiday Inn, gaping open windows that might have been boarded up once and a parking lot overgrown with weeds and trash. Chaniel found himself longing for the almost antiseptic cleanliness of the care facility. Almost.

"The water, heat, electricity are all still hooked up," Isaac said, his voice brittle but trying to be cheerful. "And some of the rooms haven't been trashed too badly."

"I'm sure," Chaniel replied sarcastically. He straightened, suddenly annoyed with himself for playing the invalid and leaning on the boy all the way there. Isaac was nearing exhaustion; he could feel it like a phantom pain in his own mind.

"You're all right?" Isaac said doubtfully, looking up at Chaniel from under his long blonde bangs. He looked so small, so thin; Chaniel was reminded forcefully of Palmer. He willed the pain away.

"Chaniel?" Isaac said softly, reaching out one pale little hand to touch his arm, and Chaniel forced his mind to be blank.

"I never told you my name," he whispered.

"Palmer-" Isaac stopped abruptly, his eyes going wide and haunted. The silence was filled with broken glass and knives, but these were so much darker than those that had haunted the gray day.

Darker and more dangerous. Chaniel's mind broke into a scream of rage and he turned, but the blow still took him by surprise.

"Fuck!" Isaac shrieked, jumping forward and throwing his yellow-bright mind at their attacker. The tall man in black grunted; he held Chaniel by the throat and took the knife he'd driven into the boy's side out only to bury it in Isaac's leg. Isaac went down and the incredible black rage in Chaniel's mind broke free entirely.

"You," he whispered, but his voice was all those shards of broken glass cutting through his flesh and setting blood free, choking him and leaving him free of all fear.

His mind lashed out black and crimson and Chaniel grinned, his lips stretched to the point of pain. He squeezed.

The man holding him up screamed in pain and dropped him, bringing clawed hands to his own head in a desperate attempt to shake Chaniel's hold. Chaniel laughed, low and throaty, and threw the man backwards with all the power his real self, his shadow self, was holding in spades. He stood slowly, ignoring the burn in his side, and walked to the body lying crumpled on the ground eight feet away.

"Who are you?" he whispered, focused only on the broken body at his feet. He didn't wait for the answer; ripping through the man's mind like paper he ate up the pain and fear and knowledge that this assassin had been paid quite a bit to kill him, to make sure he was dead, though he had no idea why.

The rage was even greater. Someone wanted him dead and sent this monster after him, this son of a bitch who had dared to hurt his pretty nurse, who had dared to draw blood-

Chaniel's mind calmed abruptly and he clenched the mental vise he still had around the man's skull, relishing the sound of breaking bones and the sight of blood and meat. It was pleasure, it was sex on the beach under a burning sun, it was death and violence and it was Chaniel delivering it. He lifted his hand to his mouth and bit down hard to keep himself from moaning aloud. He wanted… he wanted to-

Isaac was crying.

The pleasure-pulse in Chaniel's head slowed to a reluctant stop, leaving him in the cold. There was a body lying at his feet. There was blood on his shoes. Chaniel blinked, feeling strangely disconnected, and he turned to the blonde boy sitting on the ground behind him, holding his tiny hands over the huge wound in his thigh.

He was crying. Beautiful bright tears from sweet green eyes and fear like a drug racing through his veins, and Chaniel wanted nothing more than to take that body unwilling and fighting all the way down, biting and crying and begging, while that bright golden mind broke and was swallowed deep and forever by his own shadow. Red-black lust like all those terrible things everyone wants to do but never will, never dare to but it would be so wonderful and so very, very sweet. Chaniel stepped forward, preparing to grab hold of that mind and start the games, but pain flared up unexpectedly as the blonde looked up at him with terrified, achingly young eyes.

Palmer- no, Isaac. Isaac who had saved him.

Terrible white truth; horror and self-hatred, self-disgust welling up from some part of his soul that surely couldn't still be there, not in the same place as that hungry darkness. Isaac couldn't even run; he sat there staring like a deer caught in the headlights and there was the darkness whispering that the boy wanted it, Isaac could be running or screaming but there was something inside that pretty little boy that wanted to feel blood running down his own throat and hands tearing him apart in some godforsaken parody of love. He wanted it. Pretty little blonde boy just begging for it. Chaniel started shaking.

Never hurt him; he would never hurt him. He would never allow himself to.

"Isaac," he whispered, taking one more step before his body and mind, no longer running on tension and lust, gave in and fell.

/Review if you like, flame if you have to, blink in confusion if you just don't get it./