Looking For Death
In All The Wrong Places
By Jade Marmalade
"SHIT!" the Archangel Michael screamed. He hastily looked around to see if anyone had noticed, and sighed when he realized that no other angels were in sight. Michael flexed his wings, cracked his knuckles, scratched his forehead...and decided that paperwork could wait.
The black-winged angel shoved aside the divine scrolls he was working on, and stood. Michael stretched his arms over his head and spread his wings to their fullest extent. He stalked over to the edge of the high cliff and threw himself off. With wings unfurled, Michael soared through Paradise, his eyes tightly shut. These few stolen moments were the only pleasure Michael took in his existence, when he could forget all about his duties, responsibilities, worries, uncompleted tasks, and...his loneliness.
He knew it was wrong to feel the way he did, knew that the glory of the Supreme Light should be all-consuming, should fill him. But it didn't, and the guilt of it was almost overwhelming. It was times like this, when he found himself unable to fulfill his purpose, when all the weighty hassles of the administration of Heaven just got to him, that Michael felt the need to simply FLY. For no purpose but to enjoy the feel of the wind in his wings.
It had been worse lately, ever since he had met Xena and Gabrielle. Their love for each other was so blindingly intense that it rivaled the glory of the Light itself. Seeing them together, and their obvious love for each other had inspired in Michael an unaccustomed emotion in his breast: a sharp, aching pain, a darkness in his hear and soul, that Michael had identified as that most heinous of sins, envy. The love the Warrior Princess and the Amazon Bard had for each other had brought to the fore
Michael's deep and abiding loneliness and a consuming longing. The Archangel wanted to find HIS mate. He wanted to be rejoined with the other half of his soul.
Michael drifted on the breezes of Paradise and tried to expunge the thoughts of finding his own love from his mind. The angel prayed to the Light to grant him serenity and peace from these thoughts. The Light answered in a rather unexpected manner.
"Michael!" a sweet voice called to him.
Startled, Michael twisted around mid-air and sought to put face to the voice who called to him. It was the newest of the angels, the fair Callisto. Michael sighed, she probably needed him to help supervise the cherubs or sign a scroll authorizing the repainting of the golden Gates of Heaven or something like that. He gestured to a convenient cloud and descended, Callisto following.
"Yes Callisto?" he asked politely.
She smiled agreeably and patted his shoulder. "You're feeling down."
He tried to protest but she held a finger to his lips. "You are. I know this. The Light knows this. You wish to find your soulmate. I have been told to tell you this: The one true love of the Archangel Michael is called by the name of Death. Go find Death, Michael. And be happy."
Callisto launched herself upward in a flurry of white wings before the stunned Michael could say a word. ‘Could it be true?' he thought, ‘Can I finally find my love? Who is this Death? My soulmate is Death? What does that mean?'
The black-winged archangel sat on that cloud and contemplated his search for Death.
"And how are you doing, nephew? Is all well in the upper realms?"
"I'm just dandy, uncle. Everything is going well. Caesar's death has spawned all sorts of conflicts and my Warlords haven't been getting much interference lately from any do-gooder hero-types."
The Lord of the Underworld contemplated his nephew from his throne. Ares was a sneaky one and Hades didn't know why the War God was visiting him here. "Yes, I must complement you, Ares, the stream of new arrivals to my kingdom has increased in recent months. But tell me, why have you decided to visit my realm?"
Ares swaggered forward, rubbing his hands sensuously over his delightful chest, before slowly raising his seductive eyes to lock with Hades'. The pale god's heart quickened and Hades suddenly KNEW just why Ares had wanted to see him.
"I just need to go over some basic death accounting with you, uncle," Ares said languidly. He rubbed a hand slightly over his cock, peering at Hades through shuttered eyes.
"Um, yes, of course. Let's take our conversation to a more private place." With a flash, Hades transported his nephew and himself into his private chamber. They arrived without clothes, Hades pinning Ares to the bed.
Hades ran his tongue along the curve of Ares' ear before descending to nip at the other god's neck. Ares ran his hands down his uncle's strong shoulders and tried to pull the other god closer but Hades pulled back.
"Why now, Ares? Don't you have your hands full with that other War God--whatshisname--Kal? He not a good enough fuck for you?" the God of the
"Nah. I was only doing him to get close to the chakrum. Besides, he's dead now," Ares replied.
"But why me, why now?"
Ares' smile was pure lust and Hades almost came just from seeing it. "I was about to score a some heavy sex with Hephaestus, when my idiot brother Hercules came along and ruined it by getting him back together with Aphrodite. So I thought of you......."
"Too bad about Heph. I know you've been wanting him for a long time. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get your chance at that piece of ass. In the meantime, though, I think I can satisfy you." Hades claimed Ares' mouth in a rough kiss. The War God moaned and thrust up into his uncle, their cocks grinding together.
Suddenly, Hades felt a strange presence in his realm. "Wait! There's something.." Hades flashed out and felt a startled Ares following him.
They reappeared in another part of the Underworld. In front of them was a
black-winged man spying on Thanatos.
"What are YOU doing here, Michael?" Hades asked belligerently.
The archangel turned hastily. "Er, I'm so sorry to intrude, Hades, I just--well, I'll go now."
"Not so fast! Why are you trespassing in my realm?!"
Behind Hades, Ares sounded nervous. "You aren't going to do the Apocalypse thing again, are you?"
"No. No, I'm--" Michael sighed, "I'm here to find my soulmate."
"Well, see, I was told that my one true love was called Death. I've been searching for him or her. But you wouldn't believe how many Death's there are out there!"
Hades paused to consider this before speaking. "And you thought Thanatos--?"
"Yeah, but I can see that he's not." Michael looked back on Thanatos, who was curled contentedly beside his brother and lover, Hypnos. The Greek gods of Sleep and Death were obviously meant for each other.
Hades had calmed down. He understood what Michael was feeling, and he understood the desperateness to find love that could for one to do just about anything. It was how he felt about Persephone.
"I'm sorry," the pale god said quietly. Michael looked at him and they shared a moment of perfect understanding.
"Well," Ares said as he stalked forward and grabbed one of the unnerved archangel's wings, "since you haven't found your soulmate yet, why don't you forget your sorrows with a little fun with me and Hades."
Ares wrapped his arms around the tense angel's torso and leaned forward to whisper provocatively into his ear. "From the moment I first saw you, I've wanted you to ram your cock into me. Fuck me, Michael, please!"
Hades watched Ares seduce the Archangel with an inward smile. Michael was complying with the God of War with a slightly befuddled, trance-like look on his face. A lascivious grin broke out on Hades face. ‘No one can resist Ares,' the god thought, ‘not even a servant of the Light!' Hades observed for a few seconds longer before diving in and claiming Michael's mouth while Ares went down on him. His last coherent thought was ‘mmmmm, MUCH better than bookkeeping...'
Michael was getting frustrated. He had been all over the world in search of his soulmate, he'd visited hundreds of Deaths, from the Finno-Ugric goddess Kalma to the Indo-Iranian god Yama, from the Phoenician god Mouth to the Chinese Yen-Lo Wang, he had not found his mate. He had visited Baron Samedi, Epona, Gwydyon, Mictlantecuhtli, Coyote, Hel, Hina, Morrigan, et cetera. He had visited them all, and none inspired anything more than weariness in him. Except for his little trip to the Infernal Realm of Hades, Michael had been sorely disappointed.
Blushing, Michael remembered his visit with Hades and Ares. The things they had done to him!!! ‘But,' Michael admitted to himself, remembering the screams of pleasure he had extracted from Hades and Ares' exquisite whimpers, ‘I gave as good as I got! By the Light, I can't remember the last I time I felt that much pleasure, if there ever WAS such a time!'
Michael chuckled at the thought, but then his good humor faded. He still hadn't found his soulmate, even after visiting every divine being that had ever been called Death. ‘Divine? That's it!' he thought. ‘All I've checked are the divine Death's! What about monsters and mortals who are called Death?! Surely, SURELY, if I just keep looking, I'll find the other half of my soul and I won't be lonely anymore!'
Michael searched, and he found many Death's.
A winged mutant who had been called Angel, who had been transformed by a mad creature named En Sab Nur into Apocalypse's Death. But Warren Worthington III was not the one he sought...
An immortal warrior who rode with the Horseman as Death, leaving terror and destruction in his wake. But Michael could never love such a man as this
A young boy with a long auburn braid who fought for his Colony against OZ in a Gundam called Deathscythe. But Duo Maxwell was meant only for his partner, Heero Yuy...
An assassin named Edward who had gotten bored with killing simple human prey, and who the vampires and werewolves of the night had nicknamed Death. But Edward was not any kind of being that Michael could love...
All these, and more, had the Archangel Michael found. He could admire some, while others, he couldn't even begin to fathom. But there were none that he could love completely, with the full entirety of his being. None were the other half of his soul.
The clearing was beautiful. It was in the middle of a shimmering forest in the Po Valley, rich with life and sunlight. Flowers of every color of the rainbow grew there. Bunnies frolicked without a care and butterflies danced on the enchanted breeze.
Michael sat on a boulder in the center of the clearing, his head in his hands, the picture of misery. Not even this spot of wondrous peace and tranquility had soothed him. The ache in his heart, and the hole in his soul, were not gone. He had not found his beloved after searching throughout all of time. And for a moment--just a moment--his faith failed him and Michael wondered if the Light had misled him.
Suddenly, angry shouts disturbed the peace of the clearing. Michael saw a three angry villagers chasing a lone man with blond hair. His presence was invisible to the people that Michael absently identified as Etruscans.
The blond man stumbled and fell. "Now we've got you, you black-hearted son of a goat whore!" one of the men giving chase yelled. Two large brutes grabbed the blond and held him while the speaker punched him in the stomach. Michael wanted to help the poor man, but it wasn't his place to interfere in the affairs of mortal men.
"What have you got to say for yourself, you murderer?!" the first man asked.
"I'm-I'm sorry about y-your brother but........he was in pain. He begged me to help him die! He di-didn't want to s-suffer anymore," the injured man replied.
"You're a Healer, Andrew! You were supposed to save him!" the angry man spat in the blond's face.
"I'm SO sorry. There was just nothing I c-could do, and he was in agony," Andrew said. Michael saw the deep compassion in the man. Andrew's soul shone with a beauty born of love. It was the same radiance that was in Gabrielle's friend, Eli.
"Sorry isn't good enough, maggot!" Michael watched as, with one thrust of a bronze blade, the grief-stricken brother extinguished the light of Andrew's life.
Andrew collapsed in a bloody heap. The two brutes each kicked him once for good measure and then followed the first man out of the clearing. Michael glided forward. He lifted the spectral form of the dead Healer out of his body.
Like all the newly dead, Andrew was slightly disoriented. "Wha-?"
"Shhh," Michael projected soothing thoughts at Andrew. The man was beautiful, in soul as well as form. "It's okay, Andrew. Your death is over now."
"You-you're a spirit!" the kindly man exclaimed in awe.
"Yes. I am the Archangel Michael, servant of the Light. Come." Michael gathered the lovely Andrew in his arms and launched himself upward, his dark wings having no trouble carrying the extra weight of the dead Etruscan.
Andrew gasped. "Where are we going?"
Michael watched the wonder and excitement flit across the blond's face. ‘He's so beautiful,' the Archangel thought. ‘There's something in him that calls to me--something pure and compassionate.'
Other angels began to appear to escort the new soul into the Light. One of them was Callisto. "I'm glad you found him, Michael," she said. "His love and compassion are needed. He will make a perfect new Angel of Death."
Michael was stunned. ‘Angel of Death?' he thought, ‘Could it be?'
Callisto nodded as if he had spoken the question out loud. "Yes, Michael," she said gently, "once you stopped looking, Death found you."
Michael looked to where Andrew was, surrounded by angels. As if he could sense that he was being watched, Andrew looked up and their eyes locked. Michael felt a spark of something; a connection that seemed to burn away all the darkness in his soul. Andrew smiled, and Michael KNEW that he had found his soulmate.