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[personal profile] noelia_g
Title: Crossed in the places that you never knew to get through (part six)
Fandom: Generation Kill
Characters/Pairings: Nate/Brad, also Ray/Walt
Wordcount: 5516 for this part, 33,089 for the whole thing
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Based on fictionalised portrayals as seen on the HBO miniseries.
A/N: And DONE, thanks everyone who's been along for the ride, I greatly appreciate every comment and all the encouragement. Special thanks, as always, to [livejournal.com profile] kubis.
Previous parts: hell, heaven, crossroads, earth, death


It starts with... no, that's not quite right. There's no clear beginning just like there isn't really an ending.

Humans seem to have the need of putting everything within a context of a story, a causative narrative with clear and concise beginnings and endings, but life doesn't work like that. It's a neverending stream of events that build upon one another. There's no real beginning. You could maybe argue that the creation of the universe was a beginning, but something prompted that to happen too.

The only beginning is the one you give a story you tell, the once upon a time of it all.

This story, if ever told, could have many different beginnings, depending on your point of view.

It could be a story of a young soldier who faced war and death and came home only to be faced with the most difficult choice yet.

It could be a story of a girl who loved her brother more than her own life.

It could be a story of a man who sold his soul for the lives of his brothers in arms.

It could be a story of an angel who defied his orders and gave up his wings for what he thought was right.

It could be any of those stories, or any of a thousand of others, the only question is what do you choose and where do you start.

You could start with a group of people (that's not quite right, you could say: a group of beings, but that doesn't have the same ring to it) sitting at a table in a small house in California. The sun has already set and the sky turned gray, but it's still the strange hour between day and night, when everything seems just a bit unreal and otherwordly.

You could start here.

*

"Great. More cryptic mumbo-jumbo that isn't worth a fuck," Brad runs his hand down his face. "Are they born that way or is there a class you can take that teaches you how to speak like a demented fortune cookie?"

"Metatron gives lectures on the subject on every Thursday," Nate tells him absently without even looking up. He's staring at the wood patterns of the table as if they held all the answers. "That's all he said?"

Walt shrugs. "Yeah. The end is nigh, rules are sacred, there's a way and there's a price. Oh, and the armies of heaven and hell are preparing, which I have to say, doesn't fill me with optimism. I really hope you guys have other ideas than sending me to face the armies of heaven and hell."

"Don't worry, Nathaniel will lend you his flaming sword," Brad offers.

"So many jokes," Ray mutters and shrugs at Brad's look.

Nate looks tired, like he hasn't slept in days, like it's taking its toll even though neither demons nor angels actually need sleep. Brad thinks it makes him look human, and he doesn't even mean it as an insult.

"At least we've been assured there is a way," he says and squeezes Nate's hand under the table, tangles their fingers together.

"Death seemed to be saying that rules need to be followed." Walt looks at them, slowly turning his gaze from one to the other. "Fuck, Sunday school never taught me what to do in case of an Apocalypse. Aren't there some guidelines?"

"Yeah, for demons it's grab your weapon and go fight the evil fight. For humans it's probably roll over and die," Ray grins without any cheerfulness. "I'm not sure how it is for angels, it's either sit in the circle and sing kumbaya, or cause the rain of blood. Could go either way with that sorry lot. No offense," he tells Nate.

"So, humanity doesn't stand a chance," Walt concludes.

"That's not..." Nate shakes his head, turning his hand in Brad's, palm up. "Humans always found the ways out. Even with the decks stacked against them, Faustian tales can be tales of redemption."

"But the rules are against humans most of the time," Brad argues. "Just when you think you have it made in comes the happiness clause or whatever, and you're completely screwed."

"I don't know," Nate said with a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "You've managed to get twenty-two lives from me and there was no small print..." he stops, the understanding dawning on Brad at the same time.

"That was different," he says slowly. "That was a crossroads deal."

"Twenty-two lives?" Ray shakes his head. "No one can say you're cheap, Brad."

"Why is the crossroads deal different?" Walt asks quietly.

"It's customary. There's no haggling about the price, the offer is made and accepted," Nate says. "You take the deal, that's the... that's the rules," he says, wonder coloring his voice. "It can't be that easy."

Brad shakes his head, catching on. "You call that easy? What, heaven and hell are going to accept one soul for the entire humanity?"

"They had once already."

There's no way in... "Is this going to be about Jesus?" Brad asks incredulously. "Because, well, Jesus fuck."

Nate almost smiles. "Don't take his name in vein," he says, all proper and polite, and Brad kind of wants to flip him off, except it would mean slipping his hand away from Nate's hold.

Ray seems to have caught on, because his mouth works for a moment before he shakes his head. "You want Walt to make the deal? No way," he says vehemently.

"Maybe we'll ask Walt?" Walt proposes calmly. "What's the crossroads deal?"

"Nothing special, you just sell your fucking soul and ensure yourself the eternal damnation. Benefits are good for ten years, then you're fucked," Ray tells him, arms crossed as he leans back in his chair.

"What are the benefits?"

"Whatever you want, whatever you desire," Nate says. "Wealth, fame, love. Sometimes someone is less selfish, sometimes they ask for a life of a loved one."

Walt's smart, his gaze flickers to Brad immediately, understanding all over his face. Brad's pretty sure his own expression remains impassive, but somehow Walt is able to read it and his eyes narrow, he breathes in sharply and holds it before he exhales slowly.

"My sister. That's how you knew her."

Brad nods silently, no point in pretending otherwise.

"I need to..." Walt starts and stands up, heads towards the backdoor and into the garden. Ray throws Brad a long look and follows him.

Brad's grateful that Nate's fingers tighten around his wrist, keeping him in his place. "It has to be someone," he says.

"Yes, but I don't want it to be him," Brad mutters. He should have thought of that before, when he went out to find Walt and drag him into this, except that it's not like they know many humans, and those they do know wouldn't probably sell their soul for the good of all mankind. "We could sell my soul," he says suddenly. "You still have it, right?"

Nate flinches, his fingers tightening further, to the point they hurt against Brad's skin, digging in, knuckles white. Brad doesn't mind, but it's not very much like Nate. "Of course I still have it," he confirms. "But I don't think you can sell it again and I'd rather not find out what happens when we cheat like that."

"You just want to keep it for yourself," Brad jokes, but it falls flat. Nate closes his eyes like he's been punched.

"Yes," he says simply. "I know it's selfish, but I've always wanted to keep it safe. But the point stands, I'm not sure it would work. I'm not sure it would work with a human soul as it is."

Brad remembers his human life now, but he can't tell if it felt different when he still had his soul. Can't tell if it allowed him to feel more, feel differently. He doesn't think it could have made what he feels for Nate into anything other than what it is, into anything stronger.

"I'll go find Walt," he says.

"No need," Walt stands in the doorway, Ray a step behind, looking angry but resigned. "Tell me how to go about making a crossroads deal."

*

Some say it was Adam who made the first deal, some say it was Eve. Some will tell you that it wasn't until much later, and that it started on a dirt road in Rome, when a blood of a runaway slave dripped onto the ground. Some will swear that Lucipher was the first demon who made that first pact, while other maintain it was a simple foot soldier.

There's no one true story, just like there's no written rules. There's something stronger.

It's written in blood and pacts written in blood are honored, no matter what. It's renewed with every new deal, every new soul changing hands, every drop falling into the ground. It's ingrained deep within every demon - you don't turn the deal down, you don't cheat, you take the deal, you take the soul, you pay the price asked.

It's in the blood and it's sacred.

Crossroads aren't really necessary, though not many know that. People like rituals, it seems more valid when there's an incantation involved and it seems more true when you have to bury a handful of bones at midnight. That's masquerade, that's pretty dressing for show. The blood is what matters, the desire and the wish.

Every culture has a story about a man selling his soul, about a woman making a wish for a price. They are horror stories told around fire and they are fairy tales in children's books, because sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference. They are cautionary. They are instructive.

So in the darkest hour, when all seems lost, when all you have is a wish, the need, the desire, when all you have to give is your blood and all you have to trade is your soul, so then you know what to do.

*

Of all the places on Earth, Brad would choose California, always. It's in his bones, or more precisely, his bones are here. Maybe that's the reason, maybe not, but that's the place he keeps coming back to, where he feels almost at home, even if Nate isn't around.

When it comes to Nate... he doesn't seem to have a place quite like that, he fits wherever he goes, but doesn't seem quite at home anywhere.

"Home is..." he started once and closed his eyes, head tilted back as if he was taking in the afternoon sun. "I don't think I want to remember."

Then, Brad wondered if it meant he did remember or not, if he forgot or just didn't want to talk about it.

Now, he wonders what heaven is like, what Nate has given up.

Sometimes he thinks it could be like Greece, the one place that came close to Nate's favourite. They've visited sometimes, not the cities or the ancient ruins, but the small towns by the sea, white and blue, where time stretched out to the point where it disappeared, to the point where it didn't matter.

There was no harshness there, no garish colours or darkness, and everything was old and new at the same time.

The first time they went to Greece together, Nate stood on a hill, eyes closed and breathing steady. Brad didn't even feel him shaking until he wrapped his arms around Nate.

"You know what I miss, sometimes?" Nate asked, and at the time, Brad had no idea what it really meant, but he made an inquiring sound into Nate's neck anyway. "I miss the open sky, the wind. I miss..."

Brad wanted to say, the sky was there. Right above them, open and blue, meeting the sea on the horizon. The wind was mild and fresh, ruffling Nate's hair. It was all there, Brad wanted to say.

"Hey," he said instead, and meant to follow it with something more profound, but that was when Nate kissed him, open mouthed and soft, and that wasn't exactly conductive to higher thought processes and eloquence.

This, the whole thing between them, this was still new and raw and unexpected, and Brad's fingers curled around Nate's arms instinctively, and the moment stretched for an eternity.

"Other times I don't miss it at all," Nate muttered.

"Have you ever regretted it?" Brad asks now, when they stand on the crossroads and Ray is sulking and Walt is silent, hands deep in his pockets.

Nate's quiet for a long moment before answering, but he doesn't ask for clarification, he usually gets what Brad isn't saying pretty damn well. "Maybe. Not my decision, but what could have been. Not that easy to give up heaven, I suppose that's the whole point."

"Okay, guys, we're ready," Walt says, standing in the middle of the crossroads. They're doing it old school, properly, as Ray had pointed out that it's a pretty big deal, no pun intended, that it deserved the whole nine yards.

"We could still try with my soul," Brad offers, Nate's fingers tightening on his wrist.

Ray shrugs. "No offence, Iceman, but I don't deal in second-hand stock," he says, even though his gaze flickers to Walt like he wants him to reconsider.

"Here goes nothing," Walt says, turning the pocket knife in his hand before he extends the blade and cuts across his palm, the blood almost black in the greying evening. He crouches and presses his palm to the ground, his movements slow, like he's dragging it out.

Brad's holding his unnecessary breath, and Nate's whole body is tense next to him. This is it, the gamble of their existence.

"What do you wish for?" Ray asks, and Brad can tell that he's trying to sound pompous, that he's trying to make light of the monumental fucking importance of the moment, but he sounds scared and uncertain and worried.

"For the mankind to be saved. For the apocalypse to be postponed," Walt shrugs. "Does the next ten thousand years sound fair?"

Ray's expression flickers, but he nods anyway. "Close to seven billion people, ten thousand years. Will you give me your soul in return?"

"Yes," Walt says and makes a step forward. Ray stands rooted to the spot. "Just get on with it," Walt says and Ray stumbles in, his fingers flexing in Walt's shirt. "You can do better than that," Walt mutters and the kiss shifts into something more than just sealing a deal.

"Well," Brad says, on his way to making a crack about seeing it coming, but when he turns to look at Nate, his head is tilted upwards, his eyes wide open but unseeing, and so green, so bright like Brad had never seen before. "Nate," he whispers hotly. "Nate."

"It worked," Nate says, his voice a little hollow, like he's listening to something Brad can't hear. A thunder rolls, as if to echo his words, and Nate closes his eyes for a long moment. When he opens them, he looks more like Nate, more... Brad's not sure, but for that uncomfortable moment before he had an inkling of what an angel's true form could be like.

"Fucking drama queens," Ray comments, squinting at the sky. "So, that's fucking it? I've expected the earth to open and swallow us back to hell, at least."

"It's not quite so over yet, Joshua," Mike the fucking archangel says, suddenly standing three feet to Brad's left, like he's been there the whole time.

Ray's mouth works for a moment before any words form. "It's Ray," he says finally. "And the fuck?"

"Lucipher's angry," Nate says. He looks between them all before tilting his head. "Can't you feel it?" he sounds incredulous and Brad stills for a moment, lets his awareness extend a little more, and fuck, yeah, okay, there's that, the murmur of the ground, the crackling of the air, making his skin crawl.

"So, we pissed off the boss," Ray shrugs, managing to sound much more confident than he looks. "Just another day's work, homes. What's the worst that can happen, right? Except that we're all gonna die horribly and in quite inventive ways."

"How is God?" Nate asks and Brad rolls his eyes.

"That's what we're concerned about? God's fucking feelings? Or was that a general question on his well-being? Because I'd assume he's fine, given the fact that he's, you know, God."

Mike ignores him, speaking over him serenely. "You could probably find out," he says and reaches out, extends his hand towards Nate, who nods slowly.

"Give me a moment."

Brad shakes his head. "Nate, don't."

"I need to. It'll be fine," he says and Brad's tempted to say that no, no fucking way in hell or heaven does this have any markings of being fine, and that they were supposed to be done with lies, and that he's not letting Nate go anywhere.

"If you say you're assured of this, I'll kick your fucking ass," he says instead.

Nate laughs, looking... young. For the first time Brad knows him, and that was a fucking long time by any standards, he looks young and human and vulnerable. "Thank you, Brad," he says and reaches out, and Brad accepts the handshake automatically, before he thinks, before he catches on that Nate is doing this because it might be a goodbye.

"You asshole," he says as the current races from Nate's fingers up Brad's arm, hot and cold at the same time.

Nate smiles. "I love you too," he says and steps back, looks at Mike. "Look after him for me?" he asks and Mike nods.

"Of course."

Fucking angels, Brad thinks when they both disappear in the blinding flash of white light. Fucking Nate.

"So," Walt says dryly. "I'd say this was an interesting day."

Ray snorts. "Understatement, homes. What sort of a cryptic burning-bush bullshit was that? Can a fucking angel just show up and whisk Nate to the gay land of harps and sandals? What the fuck was that whole handshake thing, I mean, are angels above some tonsil hockey?"

It's buzzing under Brad's skin, the sensation alien but familiar, long-forgotten and welcome. "My soul," he croaks.

"What?"

Of course he did. Of course he fucking did. "Nate gave me my soul back."

Ray raises his eyebrows, staying silent for a grand five seconds. "Right. Okay. Of course, you get your soul, Walt gets to save the mankind, Nate gets his wings or groove or whateverthefuck back, and I possibly get a target on my ass because Lucipher is going to end me. Everyone happy?"

"I don't think..." Brad shakes his head, willing himself to concentrate on the present. His head hurts and his breathing is a little too fast. "I think you'll be fine. You hold the key to the most important contract in the entire history of the crossroads, that should keep you safe for a while."

"You think?" Ray makes a considering sound under his breath. "Huh, this could work."

"Oh, for heaven's sake," Walt says from where he's bandaging up his palm with a torn piece of his shirt. "It worked, guys. We've saved the world, can we take a moment to think about that before we concentrate on the worst possibilities of the aftermath? And I wouldn't mind it if someone took me home," he adds, poking Ray's side.

"I could do that," Ray agrees readily. "If Brad..." he stops, peering at Brad. "Brad?"

The buzzing gets more intense, Brad's stomach turning with a wave of nausea. Fucking soul. His heartbeat grows faster, almost deafening, and the whole thing is just...

"Fucking great," he says before he falls down, everything going black.

*

Taking the fall was, in some ways, the easiest thing he's ever done.

(Not quite as easy as falling in love with Brad, but some things are done by choice and some you have no control over.)

It took eons, or minutes, Nate couldn't quite tell, his whole body aching as if his bones shattered, his back hurting as if the wings have been ripped out of him. It hurt for years, maybe hundreds of them, the dull ache of an old injury, the phantom pain of a severed limb. There was never any question about this, he has lost something important.

No, not lost. Gave away willingly, gave it up because staying meant following orders he just couldn't.

Locusts and floods and rains of blood, and the insane tests of faith. Would a father kill his son, would a mother forsake her daughter, everything a test. Blindly follow and never look back, lest you'd be turned into a pillar of salt. If you're lucky.

"Was it worth it?" Mike asked him once, and Nate wasn't able to tell, because it wasn't the right question.

There was no question of worth when you were choosing between two evils. When you were choosing hell because if you were a demon you at least could understand why your orders were to bring suffering.

"Have you ever regretted it?" Brad asked, and Nate didn't quite know what to say, because yes, of course, except that he'd make the same choice over and over again.

The fall was the easiest thing he's ever done, because he simply couldn't do anything else.

Coming back... it's not the opposite of a fall. It's not a climb or a rise or a flight. He's standing at the crossroads one moment and he's looking up into the face of God right the next, and the most he feels is weariness.

"It has been a long time, Nathaniel," Metatron says, and Nate supposes he's come a long way since his time here, because the first impulse is to flip him off.

He's been spending too much time with Ray.

"I'm not quite sure what you expect from me."

"You have turned the tide of the final battle, changed the fate of the whole world. You still don't know why you're here?"

God's still silent, His expression impassive, unreadable. Nate remembers this well.

"I'm not sure how the whole thing works, but I'm suspecting you don't have any authority over me anymore."

"Then why are you here?" Metatron asks and Nate shrugs. He isn't quite sure about that either.

"To see it through."

"Twice you have been right, Nathaniel," God says, and Nate startles at the sound of His voice, resonating in his skull and in his bones. "About mankind, about the chance they deserve. I have listened."

Well. Well, fuck.

Some time after Nate has fallen the policy of heaven has changed, the harsh and unforgiving God sending his son to save the humankind. Nate has never thought that his fall has even registered for God, but if he had in even the smallest part caused...

He needs to stop being bitter about Jesus, he supposes.

"I still don't know why I'm here," he points out and God smiles.

Angels don't experience that often, for the record. They don't even often meet God, they deal with archangels or with the Metatron, they get their orders and they follow them. Being in His presence is rare, Nate has experienced it maybe three or four times in his millennia in heaven. Never in that time did God smile at him, and the sensation is visceral, incredible, hits him low in the gut and resonates through his whole body.

So that's God's love. Nate understands why so many angels are jealous of humans.

"You have returned the soul to Brad," God says. Nate wonders if it means it worked, the one final gamble. "It isn't a deed a demon would perform."

Nate shrugs. "I don't work well with rules, apparently."

God nods. He seems... bemused. "We have seen that," He agrees and watches Nate for a long moment. "This is the day of second chances, Nathaniel. I can give you one."

A second chance, Nate thinks. He wants that, desperately, the part of him that regretted the fall has wanted it for the whole time, even when he knew he didn't really have a choice. He wants that, but again, there's no choice here.

"I'd rather..." he pauses, because you don't turn a God's gift down, even when you're a demon. You don't turn down a second chance for heaven, for being in His presence. You don't turn that down, except when you have to. "With all due respect," he says. "Walt and Ray."

God nods, like he has expected that. "Do you trust me, Nathaniel?"

God's plan, Nate thinks. He's been told that from the beginning, God's plan, and Lucipher's war, and humanity's chance to prove themselves.

God's plan. And maybe humanity wasn't the only one who had to prove themselves.

You should have trust, Mike said, and Nate closes his eyes, breathes out an unnecessary breath, and looks up.

"Yes," he says.

*

Brad wakes up alone, in a place that looks a little like his house in California but isn't quite.

He's never had clothes in the closet, or the actual food in the fridge. There is a cork board on the wall, with a few pictures and a post it notes about appointments, all info written in short hand that Brad seems to understand.

The pictures are of Brad with... with a family, with friends. A postcard from Paris is stuck in the middle, written in a curly handwriting and dotted with a flower, addressed to 'Uncle Brad'.

Maddie, he remembers. Her summer trip after high school.

He remembers. A family, a house, sisters and nieces, he remembers a life, a human life.

He remembers everything else, too, the crossroads, Nate's handshake and the soul passing through his body, finding its place and nesting in.

Motherfucker.

He closes his eyes and concentrates, but there's nothing. No ability to instantaneously travel, no way to contact any of the demons he knows, no powers, no nothing.

He has two set of memories in his head, and one of them has to be fabricated. And he has the proof of the photos on his wall and the message on his voicemail from Katherine, and a bruise on his calf where he hit it last week surfing, and...

And he remembers Nate, his heart pounding in his ears, he remembers Nate and his fingers clench, his palms sweat. That has to be real.

Well, there is one way to contact someone of demonic persuasion.

He stands on the crossroads and makes the cut on his palm, presses it to the ground. He looks up and doesn't make a wish, he makes a threat.

"Someone get their ass down here, or I'll dig into all my memories of how to fucking kill a demon. Those weren't pleasant, I remember."

"Homes, chill," Ray tells him, shaking his head. "What, you bored with the human life already and want to sell your soul again? Tsk, tsk, Brad."

"Wouldn't sell it to you, you goat-fucking retard," Brad states mildly and Ray nods in agreement. "Where's Nate?"

"What am I, supernatural yellow pages or your motherfucking matchmaker?" he asks and then shrugs. "No one knows, the last time I've seen him is the last time you did, when he ascended or whatever shit it was."

The bottom of Brad's stomach drops. He's been running on anger and the need for answer, and that has been keeping fear at bay. Now it gets to him, cold and terrifying, that maybe Nate is really gone, maybe this is it. Maybe Brad gets a soul and a human life, but no Nate.

It's fucking miles away from being even remotely fair.

"Ask around," he tells Ray. "I need to find a way to get him back."

"You're not the boss of me, homes," Ray offers, but he's nodding already. "I've been..." he starts and suddenly stops, head tilted to the side as he listens to something Brad can't hear. "Wait," he raises his hand and steps to the side.

Thunder rolls, because the fuckers upstairs are just that much of drama queens.

"Huh, it worked," Nate says before he stumbles and Brad rushes to catch him before he hits the ground.

"What the fuck, Nate?" Brad asks and gets a faint shrug in return.

"God's plan," he says, not making much sense. "Remind me not to knock it down next time."

*

Nate's name is, apparently, Nathaniel C. Fick. He's just about to be done with law school at Stanford and has plans to become a public defender.

"Of course you would," Brad says, investigating the collection of IDs and library cards and credit cards and other shit he took out of Nate's wallet and laid on the glass table in the living room of what seems to be Nate's apartment. "Is there a garnizon of angels that deals in creating false identities that would fool the CIA?"

"I don't think it's creating a false identity when you change the reality into one where that person existed the whole time," Nate points out from the floor. He's spread on his stomach, flicking through a photo album. "I know all of them," he says in wonder and Brad nods.

"Fucking surreal," he agrees. "So," he says slowly, leaning back on the couch. "What now? What is this?"

Nate rolls over to the side, head propped up on his elbow, and smiles, warm and easy. Brad thinks he could get used to this. "A second chance."

"That's what this is? For interfering with God's plan and Lucipher's war and the fucking apocalypse, that's what we get?"

"We get what everyone gets, Brad," Nate says fondly. "We get a lifetime. We'll see how it goes, together."

Brad lowers himself to the floor and mirrors Nate's position. He reaches out to touch the side of Nate's face, run his fingers along the line of his jaw, over the shell of his ear. Nate's breathing catches almost imperceptibly. "I could get used to this," Brad tells him.

"We have time for this," Nate agrees.

"What else?"

"It's almost summer. I'm almost done with school, you have some holiday time saved up," he says. Brad remembers this, it's true in this new life.

"We could go to Greece," he says and leans in to taste the smile that appears on Nate's lips.

They have time for this. And while it should feel like the time is running out with every passing second, like they've traded eternity for one fleeting lifetime, Brad isn't worried in the slightest, it doesn't scare him at all. It feels like more than a second chance, it feels like a gift.

He's not going to waste a second of it.

*

epilogue

In all his years as a crossroads demon, Ray has never wanted anyone to go back on a deal.

Until now.

"I told you not to come," he tells Walt and crosses his arms. Walt just rolls his eyes at him.

"Leaving me a note on the bedside after you sneak out in the middle of the night is not telling me, you asshole. Besides, a deal's a deal, and I don't think I should go back on that particular one, considering."

"Yeah, I've been thinking about that. Fuck mankind," Ray tries and Walt smiles at him indulgently and reaches out to pat his cheek.

"I'll find you, okay? Or you'll find me, I'm told I won't remember at first."

"I don't want this for you," Ray mutters. "It's not a bad life, or existence, or whatever, but it's not for everyone, okay? Plenty of it is shit, just ask Nathaniel. You could do better. You should..."

"If I may," Mike the fucking archangel says and Ray can't even.

"What the fuck, homes, it's becoming annoying. Don't you have something better to do upstairs than hang out at crossroads and interfere with people and demons trying to have a fucking moment here?"

"I admit my timing could be better," Mike admits serenely, the fucker, "but I'd like to point out that young Walter has saved the entire mankind. His path is a little different than most of people's making a deal on the crossroads."

"And that would be?" Walt asks in the same moment when Ray spits out "The fuck?" which conveys the same sentiment, more succinctly, thank you very much.

"Let me put it this way," Mike shrugs and he's smiling. Ray wonders if it's kosher to punch an archangel. He's a demon, how much trouble could he get in? "I'm here to talk to you about a job opportunity."

Walt blinks. A few times. Then, slowly, he crosses his arms. "Do I get wings and a flaming sword?"

"Health benefits are good too," Mike adds.

No, seriously, Ray can't even.

"What do you think?" Walt asks him and Ray shrugs, except that yeah, okay, the idea has some fucking merits, and that way it's not like Walt has to die and go for the eternal damnation, so it's really splendid, and...

"If you become an angel we're gonna have some motherfucking serious Romeo and Juliet star-crossed lovers shit going on," he says.

Walt smiles at him beatifically.

Yeah, okay, this is going to be awesome.
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