Demonic Submission Ch. 20byTheLastChaosLord©
Hello again all.
I'd like to thank WanderingMindGames for all the help she has given me with this, and the previous chapter. This is doubly so, as I apparently missed the foreword with the last chapter.
This chapter goes into what the Nephilim think of the Fell Born and what they know about them, and as a result, the Fell Born are explained somewhat, at least from their view point. Following that, we see the beginnings of the demonic court and Celestine is faced with a demon from Tristan's past before meeting a force that threatens to crush her sanity.
I'd also like to give a special thanks to everyone who has been supportive over the last few chapters. As always, comments are welcome.
Anywho, hope you all enjoy.
"You did WHAT?!" Blake roared into the face of Dominace. "We could have used him, pried information from him and traced this back to the master he served! What where you thinking!?" Blake was exasperated. Dominace had butchered a demon, one that could have given them vital intelligence about what happened here. Instead he killed the demon out of hand, which was likely little more than a low level spy or enforcer.
"Still your tongue human!" Dominace snapped back. "I saw a demon, and I killed it. It's that simple. Now be silent, before I silence you." Dominace's tone resonated with a deep threat, enough to make the other Nephilim look to him with sudden wariness. Even the Rookie looked surprised by his words, like hearing them from a Nephilim was utterly impossible. Yet despite all the cowing power behind the warrior's words, Blake was utterly unfazed.
Instead the mortal stepped up and put his face right into the grill of Dominace's helmet, teeth clenched in stoic defiance. "Go ahead." Blake hissed to the Warrior in front of him. "Silence me. Strike me down and kill me, and prove that you're no better than the demon you just butchered. Actually, you'd end up proving your worse! After all, you and your kind were born to shield humanity from THEM! So, are you going to give up everything you were meant to be, all over not being unable to admit you made a mistake? Or are you going to admit you went and screwed up because you got all stab happy?" Blake asked harshly, giving no ground and showing absolutely no fear to the warrior standing in front of him.
Dominace stared at Blake through the visor of his helmet, gritting his jaw as he tried to come to terms with what the mortal was saying. Eventually he let out a frustrated rumble and turned away from Blake. "Enough! I will admit that I allowed my aggression to get the best of me... I saw the demon and I struck... I did not think of other potential that he might have held." He turned back to the other Nephilim and Blake. "But I doubt he would have shared anything even if we did capture him. I'm certain that was a demon of pride, willing to carry out his orders even as he was dying." Dominace explained.
"Well now we'll never know will we?" Blake asked sharply.
"Enough!" Milana spoke up firmly. "Thomas... Dominace has admitted his mistake. I understand your frustration, but he has taken the first step in making amends, now you must take the next step and forgive him, as is only just. Yes we could have used the demon, but there will be other opportunities, so you must let it go. If you do not, your resentment may fester, leaving you open to them..." Milana's voice was soft and gentle by the end, enough to sooth Blake's anger.
Blake ran his fingers through his hair and let out a long sigh. "You... You are right, as usual Milana." Blake turned to Dominace. "I apologize for my less than gentle words. Even if I'm the lead on this, it was out of line. It's like you said, you were just trying to do your job. Just try not to let your zeal get away with you next time, alright?" Blake asked simply, which Dominace gave a slight nod in agreement. "Great. Alright... well I think we're more or less done here. We'll get the CSI's to bag and tag everything for us and then we'll pull it to our offices. No point in them keeping it when they won't have an idea on how to use it. You guys should get out of here. We'll call you when we've got some more time to talk. I'm curious what this 'Fell Born' thing is." Blake said as he began to try and light up his cigarette.
However before it lit, Milana reached forwards and pulled it from his lips. "Ah ah ah. I told you, I don't like men who smoke." She smiled to him slightly as he grumbled before she flicked the smoke out the hole and down to god knows where. Turning to Dominace and Darass she spoke again. "Let's go. Hera, will you stay with Thomas and Laura? They may need the extra protection." Milana asked pleasantly and Hera nodded without hesitation.
"Hey, what do you mean 'extra protection'?" Thomas asked grumpily. "You've never done this before..."
Milana shrugged before she turned to leap through the hole in the wall she came through, quickly followed by Dominace and Darass. Laura looked to Hera as she folded her wings back and took her human form... Her armor and wings disappeared, leaving the tall and fit woman wearing normal civilian clothes. Blake grumbled before giving her his jacket, which had the SIT logo stamped on it. Hopefully it would get her out of the building without raising to many questions, like how she got in... "Do you know anything about these 'Fell Born'?" He asked as they headed out.
"Not really." She replied frankly. "There is only one thing I know for certain about them."
"Oh?" Laura asked curiously. "And what is that?"
"That we are supposed to kill them on sight. No exceptions, No mercy, No forgiveness." Hera responded, less than enthusiastically.
"And?" Blake asked. "Isn't that kind of the norm for all demons?"
"Fell Born aren't demons... They're humans..." Hera admitted, having to look away at their sudden shock.
Blake walked over to the crater in the wall and started looking down from it. "What are you doing?" Laura asked, worried he might fall.
"Looking for my smoke." Blake responded grimly. "I think I'm gonna need it..."
Claude worked easily as he enjoyed the morning sun as its light shined into the patio room. He was currently getting breakfast ready for his lord, whom, thanks to last nights events, had trouble getting to sleep. Claude suspected he would be awake within 20-25 minuets, and prided himself on being able to gauge when his master might awaken. For years Claude has seen to his master's meals when there was a schedule to keep and his lord could not simply take his time waiting for his breakfast or other meals to be prepared. "Now... What meat shall we prepare?" Claude asked himself as he looked over the pantry. "steak, bacon or sausage?" He asked aloud. "Perhaps I could prepare some breakfast ham?"
"I would go with the Steak." Celestine's voice sounded from behind him. Claude didn't jump in surprise, or even look back to her. Instead he forced himself to become calm and distant.
Claude turned to Celestine and bowed his head lightly to her. "Good morning Miss Celestine. I hope you slept well?" Claude asked, though his tone suggested it was only a formality.
Celestine shrugged. "Not very." She moved to take a seat at the table and looked to Claude. "Tristan was a roller coaster of emotions last night... I think I could feel him distantly while I slept. Didn't make sleeping very easy." She shrugged again. "Still getting used to feeling what he does. At least distance puts some damper on that. But I'm sure you don't want to hear about this. Personally, I'd go with the steak." Celestine repeated as she looked to the open pantry.
Claude turned back to the pantry and considered the steak. He was about to take it out when a question began to irk him. He knew he shouldn't ask. In fact he knew he should communicate as little as possible with her... but he couldn't let it be. "What makes you suggest the steak, Miss Celestine?" he asked, trying to be casual in his questioning.
"We didn't have dinner last night, meaning the last time he ate was at lunch time." She explained casually.
"That was the last time he ate normal food, yes." Claude corrected politely. "Perhaps you are correct. A fine choice." Claude proceeded to remove a steak from the pantry and looked to her. "Would you like one as well Miss Celestine?" he asked simply as he turned to her again. However when he looked at her, she gave him pause.
Celestine's gaze wasn't exactly cold or hard... it wasn't even angry or threatening. Instead it was like Celestine was looking right through his polite decorum... Like she could see him, stripped of all his pride. What disturbed Claude the most however, was the fact that she seemed... less than impressed with what she found. Like Claude was lacking. It was not a feeling he was accustomed to... somehow it made him feel... imperfect. "Take a smaller one out please." Her words snapped him out of the lethargy her gaze inflicted upon him. "I'll cut it up and make an omelet once it thaws." She added casually.
"Of... course. I'll set it aside here." Claude responded, turning his back on her again. As soon as she spoke, the feeling her gaze leveled upon him seemed to disappear, like she looked at him with respect again. Once Claude had set aside the meat he began preparing other things, primarily biscuits to go with his lord's meal. However, as he kneaded the dough he found the silence almost deafening as Celestine simply looked out into the gardens. "Miss Celestine, might I ask you something?"
Celestine looked back to him and nodded. "Of course Claude, so long as you drop the 'Miss' that you seem to have picked up again." Celestine replied with a gentle smile.
Claude couldn't help but smile back, and genuinely so too, before turning away and going back to work as he spoke. "Of course Celestine. I wanted to ask; a moment ago you looked at me most oddly... I've been trying to decipher what such a gaze meant... if anything that is." Claude asked, keeping his voice formal as he could. Her smile seemed to disarm him, and not looking at her helped prevent that.
"Oh... hum. That is a curious thing to ask, and difficult to answer I suppose." Celestine began. "I don't know... I suppose it came as a result of your dig at me." Celestine answered idly.
"Dig? I'm not sure what you mean." Claude replied, slightly confused by her answer.
"Yes you do." Celestine retorted, though a touch of confusion lined her voice. "You intentionally brought up the fact that Tristan ate Marie's soul yesterday in an attempt to create some distance between us. No, you never mentioned Marie or Tristan, but you knew saying it like that would bring memories of what I saw forward. My guess is that you were hoping to shock me away, that the memories would keep me quiet while you worked, and therefore limit our contact. I suppose if I were to describe the feeling I had while looking at you like that, it would be that I was surprised that you would lower yourself to such a method. I always thought you would be above such underhanded tactics." Celestine's voice was calm, though perhaps a tad hurt. Claude wasn't looking to her, but he could feel that she was looking right at him. Somehow it was unnerving.
Claude turned to her and found her scrutinizing him. It wasn't the same gaze as before, and Claude mentally slapped himself for being thankful for that. "I assure you, I would have to be very hard pressed to do something that I deemed beneath me. Further, I must say that is a fairly long assumption Celestine, that I was intending to build distance between us." He responded calmly.
"Not really. The moment I said 'Yes you do', you stopped kneading that dough, like you were startled that I caught you. Further, you just stared at it while I explained. It's not hard evidence, but it's enough to convince me." Celestine elaborated.
Her emerald green gaze made Claude feel awkward, and unsure of himself. Again, something he hated extremely. "Forgive my rude behavior Mi-... Celestine."
"Not until you tell me why." Celestine came back quickly.
"Why? Why what?" Claude asked, frowning slightly.
"Why have you been trying to put distance between us? You are so polite it almost hurts yet it feels like I couldn't see you with binoculars you are so far away." Celestine expressed, taking a step closer to him. "But why? I can tell you're not afraid of me. Fear of a regular human would be absurd to someone like you. Even if I was another demon I doubt you would fear me. Pride would keep you from it. So why are you doing this?" Celestine accented her question taking another step forwards, standing across the island table from Claude.
Claude looked down at her for a long moment, pondering what sort of response he could give her. He caught himself hoping that she would just drop it and again mentally slapped himself for wishing for such a thing. He was more then capable of handling this. "As you said, it is not because I fear you, Celestine. It would be more accurate to say that there are times I find your company... unpleasant." Claude said as politely as he could.
"Unpleasant?" Celestine asked curiously, though the slight smile that crossed her features showed that she wasn't upset with him. "Now whatever did I do to make you feel like that Claude?" Celestine inquired, inquisitiveness shining in her eyes as she leaned over the counter.
"To specify one thing would be a lengthy and difficult procedure. Suffice it to say, there are a number of things about you that disagree with me. Not least of which is the impact you have on those around you. Excluding myself, you tend to make reasonable people reckless and the unreasonable downright rash and foolish." Claude explained his voice relaxed and calm. If he was trying to hurt Celestine, it wasn't showing in his voice. However he did realize she was throwing him off his timing. He was several minuets behind now and he got straight back to work.
"You will have to forgive me if I didn't realize. After all, I didn't know Tristan and Rena before I was taken, so I have nothing to compare." Celestine was casual in her response but clearly trying to coax more out of Claude. Claude kept himself from looking at her directly as he worked, a new discomfort setting in at how easily she guessed to whom he was referring.
"There would be no point in forgiving you Celestine." Claude began with easy calm as he began to set the biscuits into the oven. "It is not like you can change who you are."
Celestine shrugged. "I suppose you are right. I'm only human after all." She said amused.
"A flaw I learned to tolerate, despite the many failings it brings with it." Claude responded instantly. His voice wasn't harsh, if anything it was very slightly amused. He wasn't joking, Claude probably wasn't capable of joking... but still, he smiled lightly to her, as he was unwillingly being pulled into her amused banter.
"Ouch!" Celestine responded, amused by his words. "Well that hurt. Are you suggesting there could never be a human that would meet your lofty standards?"
"If there is, I have yet to meet one. I doubt it is possible though. The concept of a human, an intrinsically flawed creature, ever reaching to my standards is inconceivable. Your species is simply too imperfect to ever reach that state. As you said, you're only human." Claude, explained clearly proud of what he perceived to be his species noble breeding. "Now, if you will excuse me Celestine, I have my lord's breakfast to prepare. Unfortunately, conversing with you is a distraction, and is beginning to throw off my timing, so I must desist." Claude explained turning away as he started to prepare a mix of seasoning for the breakfast steak.
"Odd... I figured such a perfect example of your species wouldn't have any problem at all working and talking at the same time. Surely you are capable of multi-tasking Claude... There are many humans that can after all." Celestine said almost playfully.
Claude paused and kept himself from sighing in frustration, as such a thing was utterly beneath him. He did however glance over his shoulder at her. "You are trying to play at my pride... trying to use it against me to get what you want." He commented simply.
"Yes, I am." Celestine admitted. "But knowing that won't change anything, will it?" She asked with a coy smirk.
Claude observed her for a long moment, before a slight, if not very impressed, smile crossed his features. "No, I suppose it won't. Quite cunning of you, my dear." Claude complemented.
"High praise indeed." Celestine responded, "But then I have a fine teacher." She said pandering to his pride again.
Claude nodded. "Indeed, I am a fine teacher. But I think that's enough self adulation for now." Claude commented idly as he returned to his work.
"Of course." Celestine responded, leveling her voice into a mock serious one. "We wouldn't want anyone to think either of us are arrogant." Celestine said, though by the end she couldn't help but grin. Despite himself, Claude again found himself amused by her words. "But honestly though, are you saying that no human will ever be good enough for you?" She asked curiously. "And do most demons think that?"
Claude nodded as he worked. "Indeed that is the case for most demons. You know we look down on your species as little more than food that we like to play with. Some of your species might be intriguing, but little more."
"So you even think that way about me hum?" Celestine asked, still playful, though perhaps less so then before.
"Quite so." Claude responded easily, quicker to respond now than when they began.
"Strange to hear you say that Tristan has such bad taste." Celestine commented.
"Hardly." Claude began. "I might think you imperfect and less than most demons Celestine, but I hardly think that claiming you, as my lord has done, was an expression of poor taste. Quite the contrary in fact. Even at face value, you are a prize that many would desire if they knew you even a little. You are strong, beautiful, fairly intelligent, and much to the distress and exhilaration of my lord, willful."
Celestine blushed lightly at his comments. Yet to hide it she spoke up. "At face value? Your words suggest there is more to it than that."
"Perhaps there is. But that is a discussion for another time, don't you think?" Claude asked simply, looking to Celestine calmly.
"Perhaps so. After all, I think the steak is done. Much longer and it will start to burn." Celestine said looking past him at the pan.
Claude did a mental check, and was surprised to realize how much time had elapsed as they spoke... He quickly got the steak out of the pan and onto a plate before it started to burn. As frustrating as it was, he had to admit that if she hadn't mentioned it, the steak might have been burnt. Checking further, Celestine had delayed him more than he feared. His lord may already be awake and Claude hadn't even left for his chambers yet. Claude got everything together and took the tray of food with him as he headed for his masters chambers.
"I'll see you later Claude." Celestine said easily as he rushed away, moving to the stove herself to get her own breakfast ready.
As Claude hurried to his lord's chambers he couldn't help but think how despite not wanting to, Celestine was perfectly apt at dragging him into a conversation. More than that, the more they spoke, the more relaxed he became, and the more of an effect she had on him. By the end of it, he wasn't even trying to resist any more... 'Disarming' hardly even covered what Claude thought of Celestine.
"Damn that woman." Claude couldn't help but curse her, even as he denied that she was beginning to learn how to pull at his strings...
When Claude arrived at his lord's chambers he found Tristan standing on his small balcony enjoying the sunrise. He had planned to apologize for his tardiness but found the words wouldn't come, when faced with the striking scene in front of him. Tristan stood in calm yet focused contemplation, and it felt wrong somehow to ruin the scene in front of him by speaking up. Still, eventually the picture was shattered when Tristan turned to nod to Claude. "Good morning my friend, I was wondering what had happened. You are usually here before I even wake on busy days like this." Lord Durial clearly wasn't upset with Claude, but was curious.