smokeskin

got inspired to start an angel and demon au last night, figured i’d post what i have so far since i haven’t done a drabble in a while. 


Humankind has always had the notion that it is neutral. A pervasive school of thought has lasted for thousands of years and through the rise and fall of dozens of trendy religions that says people have the choice and the responsibility to be good or bad. Righteous or evil. Heaven or hell.

People are wrong. And people have been wrong for thousands of years.

Each new person is not born a clean slate. They are free of sin, sure, but so were demons, once. People are born with souls already predisposed to one of two things: gold-tinged souls belong to Light, silver-tinged souls belong to Dark. They can fight their nature all they want, but good people will be good in the end, and bad people will be bad. It’s humanity’s one truth.

But then there are those where things are, figuratively, a little less black and white. Or, really, a little less silver and gold. They’re murky. Mixed. Can be swayed.

Those souls, those contested ones, those are Harry’s responsibility.

But it’s not as easy as snapping his fingers, batting his eyelashes and coercing a human to Fall.

No, for every drop of bad in the bucket, there’s a drop of good. Nature needs balance. For every silver-tinged soul born into the world, there’s a gold-tinged one too. For every guardian angel protecting the righteous and pure, there’s a crossroads demon making deals with the not-so-innocent.

For every soldier for the Light, there’s a warrior for the Dark.

And so to balance Harry, there’s a Louis.

And they’ve been dancing for millennia.




Louis wakes feeling like he’s been walloped across the back of the head by a small tree. He usually likes human-like experiences. This one, not so much.

“He’s awake,” says a timid voice nearby.

“Should we, just. Go for it?” asks another.

“Isn’t he supposed to have wings?”

“I don’t know, what does the book say?”

“Fuck the book, it’s all vague mumbo jumbo anyway.”

“Well it worked, didn’t it?”

Louis blinks his eyes open and finds himself squinting up at the dim light of a single lightbulb. He sighs; this isn’t the first time he’s been summoned by a curious conspiracy theorist in a damp basement, probably won’t be the last.

He groans as he sits up, aware that he should probably be attempting to seem more terrifying and all-powerful, but his head hurts and he was in the middle of a decent episode of One Tree Hill and now he’s feeling petulant.

His pity party is derailed, though, when a deep rumble says, “Lou?”

Louis rubs his eyes and blinks them open again and, yeah, there he is: Harry’s sitting cross-legged in the middle of a salted pentagram, black candles flickering at each of the star’s points. Glamours aren’t possible within summoning circles, so he’s in his true Form, a sight Louis isn’t used to seeing in public. Candlelight flickers against his smokeskin visage, his veins of fire, the diamond diadem on his brow, the flat black of his wide eyes.

“Haz?”

Harry waves awkwardly, then nods to his right. Louis looks, and everything makes a little more sense.

A group of six teenagers are huddled together, shaking and wide-eyed in the corner of the room. They’re all wearing black robes, though they aren’t the same staid fabric Louis got used to seeing during the Inquisition or the few hundred years that followed. One boy seems to be in a black dressing gown, one’s in an academic gown. Louis snorts, getting to his feet and stretching.

“Alright, then,” he asks sleepily, scratching at his stomach. “What’s the deal?”

“Silence, seraphim!” barks the human nearest him. Louis raises an eyebrow, and he can hear Harry snort. “We, er, we are they who summoned ye, and we demand, um.”

He looks around wildly, like a schoolchild in a play who’s forgotten his line. “Recompense?” Louis offers easily, and the human swallows.

“Right. Recompense.”

“We want to be popular,” squeaks another, then shrinks back when Louis turns his attention to him instead.

“We want girlfriends,” says the leader, a little more boldly. “And we summoned you to make that happen.”

“Okay,” Louis allows, then gestures to where Harry still sits within the pentagram, his arms wrapped around his knees. “Why can’t he do it? He’s perfectly capable of stealing your soul for something so vapid it’s almost laughable. And I’m missing my show.”

Harry snorts again. “Louis,” he chides. “Be nice. The heart wants what it wants, and sometimes what it wants is to be a high school cliche.”

“You speak English!” one of the boys gasps.

At Louis’ questioning look, Harry grins. “I was singing Bohemian Rhapsody in Latin before you got here.”

“Nice,” Louis chuckles back. “Hey, how’d you get snared? You’re usually better at spotting traps.”

“Dunno,” Harry says thoughtfully, thumbing at his lip with a clawed finger. “I was taking a nap, and then I thought I heard-”

“Silence!” the leader shouts again. Irritation prickles at Louis’ skin. “We summoned you both because the book says that if you offer the demon what it desires most, it will make him stronger.”

“We didn’t know why he’d want an angel,” admits one of the boys tremulously. “We thought he’d want you dead, or something.” Louis tunes him out; humans are ridiculous. Like Harry would ever want Louis dead. 

“What you desire most, eh?” he teases, and if Harry still had his human form, he’d be bright pink. As it is, the ripple of energy around his form goes pink on his behalf, sickeningly sweet.

“Lou,” Harry huffs, but he’s smiling bashfully. He’s so cute he’d make Louis’ heart thump, if he had a heart.

“Wait,” says the obnoxious teenager, “are you two dating?” He makes a disgusted face, like a demon and an angel being together is somehow worse than six spotty children summoning one of the highest of the angelic choirs and the lowest of the demonic circles to this shitty little basement to bargain their souls for popularity.

Louis is about to say something along the lines of it not really being dating, more like a centuries long honeymoon with a bit of blood and sulfur in between, when the brat opens his mouth again. “How does an angel fall in love with something like that?”

Harry frowns, and Louis feels his own eyes narrow dangerously, peering into this teenager’s heart of hearts to see that the silver-tinge of his soul is more like dirty slate, nasty and vindictive. Louis can read his deepest fears and his darkest thoughts and, ultimately, he is unimpressed. It had taken a long time for Harry to show Louis his true Form, what with the two of them having to break through a few thousand wars’ worth of distrust and hatred before they were ever comfortable with each other. That trust had been hard to come by, and now this tiny little ant of a creature with the self-importance of Beelzebub himself - Benjamin, what a twat - has insulted what he should feel privileged to see.

Louis waves a hand and lets the distaste curl his mouth. “Hazza, if you could?”

Harry, who’s been widening a crack in the floor when the teenagers weren’t paying attention, clambers gracelessly to his feet. Enough salt fell into the crack that the shape of the pentagram is broken, and so he steps out of his temporary prison with no more than a light shudder. The boys in black robes all gasp, scuttling backwards but realizing, a little too late, that they have nowhere to go.

“Hi baby,” Louis says, pressing a kiss to Harry’s lips. Harry hums a greeting in return. “Could you put them in stasis for a mo? I want to burn their things so that someone,” he shoots a look back at Benjamin, “can’t just immediately summon someone else down here.”

“That’s my grandmother’s book, she was a powerful witch!” Benjamin cries hotly, like he’s been personally offended. Louis scoffs; the last real powerful witches died out in the Dark Ages (due to a flu epidemic that spread at one of their conventions, not because of any effort made by the laughable notion of human witch-hunters) and, just flipping through the massive bound book lying nearby, he can tell that Benjamin’s grandmother was a rudimentary witch at best. Her Latin grammar was also horrendous, which is probably how they accidentally managed to capture the most powerful demon currently walking the planet instead of some small-time newbie who’s looking for easy souls to claim. But Benjamin doesn’t seem to care about that. “Leave my things alone, you piece of-”

Harry waves his hand and the whole group freezes, Benjamin’s mouth hanging agape mid-insult. Harry dusts off his legs and closes his eyes; when he opens them again his glamours are back in place, long brunette curls swept out of his eyes with a piece of silk, tight jeans clinging indecently to his thighs, candlelight catching the green-gold of his eyes. He slides his arm down Louis’, frowns a little more. It’s so cute Louis can’t help but lean in to kiss him again. “You okay?” Harry asks as they pull apart.

“A little irritated at high and mighty over there,” Louis says, “but good, yeah. Why?”

“I stepped into the trap because I heard your voice,” Harry says, brow furrowed. “Haven’t heard of a trick like that before, so I thought they actually had you.”

Louis frowns as well and rubs Harry’s arm. “I think they misread badly translated Latin, which is how they got you to begin with,” he says. “But.” He snaps his finger and Benjamin’s grandmother’s book bursts into flames. “Just in case.”

Harry hums in satisfaction and kisses Louis’ cheek. “Good. Now let’s finish this and go home.”

“Sounds good to me.”

Louis drops his own glamours, sliding out of the skin of Louis Tomlinson and into his Form, his sigils burning like brimstone on his chest and arms, his wings flaring out behind him, tipped in iridescence and trails of stardust. He closes his eyes and when he opens them again the world’s gone red, his eyes like embers.

“Hazza,” he nods, and his voice is a rumble like an earthquake, shaking the walls of the room. “If you please.”

Harry waves his hand again and the stasis is lifted; Benjamin and his friends return to consciousness to find a Biblical nightmare looming over them. Louis’ sword burns in his hand.

For someone on the side of Light, he maybe shouldn’t enjoy their terrified screams quite so much.

But he does. Because they’re twats.

“Dabble no more in the sin of witchcraft,” Louis booms. He hopes for Benjamin’s sake that his parents aren’t home when his voice rocks the foundations of the house. “Be steadfast and earnest in your supplications, and you might be forgiven. Traverse the road of unrighteousness again, and you shall be struck down.”

Feeling satisfied at the looks of terror on the teenagers’ faces, Louis draws Harry in close and smiles at him, a grin full of molten, blinding gold. Harry grins back and waves his hand, and then they’re back at the flat, Chad Michael Murray still on screen where Louis left him.

Louis shivers back into his glamours and collapses on the sofa with Harry tucked under his arm, and he can feel the energy glow around him when Benjamin and his moron friends start praying for forgiveness almost immediately.

“Those were supposed to be my souls,” Harry says, his energy dimming a little. He sends Louis a pointed look, popping a piece of popcorn into his mouth.

“Sorry, baby,” Louis says, nuzzling Harry’s forehead. “To be fair, did you really want them hanging around you all eternity?”

“Nah,” Harry grins. “You can have them. There’s a couple of priests teetering on the line of Dark, I’ll grab them later.”

And so one of Heaven’s highest and one of Hell’s lowest fall asleep tangled on an old sofa, a worn blanket thrown over their laps, a teen drama playing on the TV screen.