“I’m not cut out for this.”
Chris looked over at Mychae, and surprised didn’t even begin to cover it. That was not the kind of thing that came out of his brilliant madwoman’s mouth, ever. Granted, it had been a really difficult night, and it had ended with a surprise that neither of them had particularly expected, but Mychae Qiin, under even most stressful of circumstances, had never said anything that was a variation on ‘I can’t’. “Following on from what’s happened,” he said, carefully cheerful, “I think someone or something out there thinks otherwise.”
She shook her head, leaning back on a combination of sofa cushions and big, mostly Newfoundland dog. Chris, reminding himself that Chewie was definitely owed a steak for being bright enough to know where his efforts at being comfort-cushion belonged despite being the dumbest dog in all creation, scooted a little closer and put his arm around her. She tensed a little. “I can get behind being one of Gaia’s chosen, okay? I can get behind the whole ‘power and responsibility’ thing and going out to fight star-eating Filth and lunatic gods and worse, and maybe save the world while there’s still a world to be saved or at least make sure there’ll be enough left when the changeover happens for there to be a Fifth Age, and a Sixth, and so on … but this?” She flailed her hands a little, careful not to hit him in the face with one. “I’ve got fucking wings.”
So they were back on this again. While he’d spent time trying to work out what the whispers of a word that sounded like ‘Ophanim’ meant, she in usual Mychae style just followed her instincts and was the first of the pair to manifest the anima-construct wings and colossal power that seemed to be some next stage of evolution among the ones blessed by bee. She’d quietly freaked out, then asked if he had them. He did, though his were of a different colour. He was damned if he was going to tell her his suspicions about why. “We do,” he told her, hoping it would make her feel a little better, as it had on the roof.
It didn’t. “That’s different. You’re cut out for this kind of thing. Crusader, fighter for the right, paladin extraordinaire. I’m just a techmonkey with pretensions.”
“You are not!” He scowled at her, exaggerating the facial expression in the hopes it would make her smile. It almost did. “Stop that. And you’re as much those things as I am. More, sometimes. I just get angry and blenderise things; you plan, and think–”
The ghost of a smile on Mychae’s face gained a little more solidity. “You think … most of the time. But…”
Chris put a finger on her lips to stop her. “Nope. None of that.“
Mychae leaned back a little, clearly determined to have her say. “I’m a fucking angel. And you were talking about one day we might graduate to fucking seraphim.”
“That is just a theory,” he murmured, bashful and cursing Mychae’s phenomenal memory for even the most throwaway of comments.
With a flail, Mychae continued. “I can see you doing that kind of thing - I mean, you know all these angelic languages and your approach to magic involves a lot more ritual stuff that might appeal to angels and less occultech and channeling freakin’ Palpatine. You could graduate to seraphim or whatever, but I’m pretty much in Remedial when it comes to angelic fuckmuppetry. Was Gaia high?”
Chris considered the best way of answering that - largely because sometimes, with some of the ones Gaia chose as her warriors, he strongly suspected that the answer was yes, Gaia was indeed high. High, or panicking, or both. Then he shrugged. “Well, at least there’s one benefit.”
The look she gave him was one he’d seen before, normally given to people she suspected of significantly reduced cognitive faculties. “There’s benefits to an angel of tech support?”
“I imagine anyone who’s ever had to deal with tech support would say there are a great many,” Chris told her with a grin. “It also means I can call you my angel now. You did wonder when I was going to find a pet name for you.”
Mychae held that look a moment longer, then shook her head, chuckling, before leaning against his shoulder. “Well, I’m yours anyway. Close enough.”