Sex is a Job Description? Ch. 09byGalloglaich©
A/N: thank you JohnEB87 for all your help and encouragement to get this chapter out. I'm sorry it took so long guys and gals, growing up is one hell of an adventure.
The pain and soreness in Tom's neck hadn't subsided at all, despite taking three ibuprofen and a long, hot shower. The entire left side of his neck was black and purple, rimmed red all around his gigantic conglomeration of hickeys. The right side of his neck was relatively clean, save for two dark purple spots just below and behind his ear. His two fingers weren't that much better off either, wrapped in gauze and bandaids.
He slammed his car door shut and adjusted his tie. The motion caused him to wince visibly and he gingerly pulled his collar away from his neck and continued to straighten his tie. His neck itched, but he couldn't do anything about it without causing himself a great deal of pain, so he bore with it for the moment. He opened the trunk of his car and pulled out the large gun case and ammunition belt full of cartridges.
Greg pulled into the parking lot and parked next to Tom, followed after a few seconds by Harvey. The two agents got out of their cars and made some last-minute inspections of their personal belongings before moving over to where Tom was finishing loading the M1911 in his hand. He put the sidearm back in its holster at his hip and turned toward his friends.
"Jesus Tom, do you ever take a minute to catch your breath?" Grag asked, turning Tom's head to the side just enough to get a good look at the large spot on his neck.
"Believe it or not my life depended on my performance last night," the younger agent rebuffed, swatting Greg's hand away from his chin. Tom picked up the gun case and stuffed the belts of ammunition into a green box and closed it. He hefted the box and case out of his trunk and Harvey closed it for him.
"That's a little much," Harvey said.
Tom shrugged. "The Director said 'come prepared' so I'm coming prepared.
"He meant bring your sidearm, not the whole armory," Greg said. Tom looked at his Mosin-Nagant and groaned as he set the case down and opened his trunk back up. He put the rifle case and ammunition back in and pulled out the claymore Donalbain had mailed him after the fiasco in Scotland. He secured it around his back and turned back around to see Greg and Harvey almost surprised.
"What?" Tom asked.
"A sword? You're a non-combatant. There's no way you're getting the chance to use that thing down there. I thought it was a mantelpiece too. Y'know, one of those rat-tail tang things that break as soon as you swing them?" Greg sounded completely serious.
Tom shook his head and unsheathed the sword. "Nope. Donalbain had this forged and then sent it over here after my last one broke. He sent an actual Highland claymore too that's in my back seat, but that one is like, no joke, as long as I am tall. So I'm bringing this thing if not the Nagant."
"If you feel the need to," Harvey said, shrugging. Tom sheathed the sword again and the trio of agents made their way into the underground parking garage. At the door to get into the actual building part of the holding center, they showed their ID's and the guards eyed them suspiciously. It was on very rare occasions that agents carried weapons into the center so conspicuously.
However, this was no ordinary occasion.
The three agents made their way through the network of hallways and offices to one of the smaller auditoriums, and had to present their ID's and cellphones and have their fingerprints scanned to be let in the doors. Inside, they sat down in the fourth row behind Veronica and Jerhme.
Tom looked at the time on his phone and then looked around. The auditorium was pretty much full of agents at this point and there were still some coming in from the double doors behind the rows of seats. The agents waited in relative silence for whatever was going to happen, to happen.
After about ten minutes, Jona Wilkins made his way to the large desk dominating the lowest level of the Odeon-styled room. He sat down behind the desk and then surveyed the room, as if he was trying to see who wasn't present. After a few moments, he turned his eyes down to the papers lying on the desk and picked up the first one.
"As most of you know, today is the day that your journey to Hell is scheduled to begin. But before we move on to that, I would like to take this time to explain the differences in the passage of time between here and Hell. In-"
Before Jona could finish, another demon stepped out of one of the side doors behind Jona and cleared his throat.
"Basileus, allow me to handle this. You're a poor military orator." The demon raised one of his four arms and scratched at the stub of one horn, looking boredly across the crowd assembled in the auditorium. Jona's face darkened a bit, but he relented and left through the door he had come in through.
Now, taking Jona's place, the demon rifled through the papers on the desk and then slid them off the edge. Tapping two pairs of fingertips together, he began to speak, but cut himself short after a second thought. Then he smiled.
"A day on earth equates to a year in Hell. That means that about every four minutes you spend sitting here on earth, a day in Hell passes. So, there you have it, the first four of those papers done in twelve seconds. Your assignment to Hell has been pushed back three days for the Interwar Observances in the Second Circle. Meet back here in three days at...noonish and everything will be arranged for you to be sent to Hell. In the meantime, enjoy your filler assignments."
The demon stood up, stretched his four arms, and then left the room without another word. The assembled agents were left to themselves for a few minutes, unsure of what to do or think about what they'd been told.
"Filler assignments? Are you kidding me?" Tom asked Greg, who just shrugged and then looked to Harvey for an answer. The quiet agent let out a sigh.
"Looks like they're pumping every last bit of usefulness out of us before we go," he said, giving Tom and Greg a slight grin.
"Is this for real? Are they really giving us all assignments three days before we have to go to Hell?" asked an agent from another division behind the trio. His accent was something Tom hadn't ever heard before.
"I guess so. It doesn't really seem that farfetched though," Greg said, the trio turning to face the newcomer to the conversation.
The strikingly blonde-headed agent Tom was facing stuck his hand out to Tom. "Sorry, my name is Mattiesko Helsinki."
Tom shook his hand. "Thomas Lanzig."
Mattiesko looked around at the other agents and then turned his attention back to the trio. "Are most of these agents from your division? I only know three of them."
"A lot of them, yeah, but not most. It's like half."
A sharp whistle interrupted what Mattiesko was about to say and the four-armed demon from before stepped back out of the side door with a heap of Manila folders in his hands. He slapped them down on the desk in front of him and sat down, glaring up at the agents quickly quieting down.
"Alex Anderson. Mattiesko Virichena. Hank Updyke. Benjamin Akerson. Come down and receive your assignments." Mattiesko and the others stood and made their ways down to the demon. Mattiesko's face paled to ghost white as he took the folder with his name on it off the desk.
"Fake name?" Greg asked out loud. "We usually don't hire non-nationals."
"Quiet, Mr. Sanderson," the demon said, rifling through the folders for a moment before he set four more down. Four more agents were called and went to pick up their folders. After that, five were called, then four more.
"Any idea why he keeps on flipping through the stack?" Tom whispered to Harvey.
"I-" Harvey began, but was interrupted.
"To make sure a certain name is last, Thomas Lanzig. Oh, and I'm mocking you by the way. It's your name I'm holding until last. Travis Pelter. Landon Pointer." The demon continued to call out names until he had one folder left on the desk. He held it up and arched a brow.
"Thomas Lanzig. Can you please come get your assignment now?" Tom stood up and made his way to the demon, frowning. When he got to the desk, the demon stood up and folded two of his arm across his extraordinarily broad chest, smirking. "Please follow me." Tom followed the demon through the side door and passed by Jona talking to two Division Heads and the Director. The Director gave Tom a very slight nod and a sort of stern, apologetic look.
Tom followed the four-armed demon through the maze of hallways beneath the Holding Cetner until they reached an elevator. The demon stepped into the elevator and turned around, holding his hand out to stop Tom from following him.
"What?" Tom asked.
"I need to consult with who picked you for this assignment. Wait here and don't leave. We wouldn't want you getting lost, now would we?" He smiled in a mocking, amused way as the elevator doors closed. Tom groaned and then sat against the wall to wait for the demon to return.
'Well, while I've got you alone, we need to talk,' said a voice emanating from between Tom's temples.
"Sohm?!" the agent said out loud, looking all around the hallway, even behind him and above where he sat.
'I'm inside you, Hun. Calm down a little. I don't know how long I have alone with you, so we have to make this quick.'
"Inside me? Still? Did Veronica not-"
'Look! I'm not here for an inquisition. So let me talk.'
Tom bristled at the thought of the Slime hitching a ride in his body without his knowledge or consent. He stood up and stood a few inches away from the elevator doors so he could see into his reflection's eyes.
"Get the fuck out of my body. Right now," he growled menacingly. His eyes clouded with dark indigo spots and glowed faintly.
'I'm trying to protect you from whatever you might find in Hell. I'm not just doing this for shits and giggles,' the slime protested.
"Get out or I'll stuff a gun muzzle in my mouth and pull the trigger," Tom threatened, unholstering his sidearm and unsafing it. His vision blurred and grew dark as his eyes clouded with a solid indigo hue.
'Tom, this is not the time to be upset. You can be mad at me later. Right now, however, I need you to listen to me. That demon is not like me or your friend or Ceria or anyone else you're encountered. Not Klaus, not Andrea, not anyone else. His mind works differently. I need you to trust me and let me take control when I push for it, alright? I need your cooperation. Otherwise, I feel something terrible will happen to you without me.'
Tom stepped away from the elevator and put his pistol in his mouth so far that the muzzle was pressed against the back of his throat. "Uhn." He said, holding up one finger with his free hand.
'I'm doing all this for your safety and well-being,' Sohm said.
"Koo," Tom continued, holding up two fingers now.
'Tom, please stop,' Sohm said, her voice beginning to fade a little.
Tom held up a third finger and then squeezed the trigger. It clicked back audibly, but there was no other noise. His mind blanked for a moment, but that was all the time that Sohm needed apparently. Tom felt something squeeze his brain, like it was forcing its way out of his body through his skull. He couldn't move, his mind and consciousness being forced into a shifting and wavering place.
He fought to keep from being dragged back from control, but Sohm just started humming in his thoughts. Tom felt his fingertips grown numb, like a phantom hand was pulling all the nerves out of his hand and wrapping them up somewhere in his consciousness. He felt like he was floating in thin air, but his vision remained intact and he could still understand everything that was going on.
The gun left his mouth and returned to its holster. His body eyed its reflection in the elevator door and then clenched one hand into a tight fist.
"This is absolutely delightful," it said.
'Sohm?' Tom asked, though his body didn't say it.
"Yes Hun? Need something?" his body answered.
'What did you do to me?'
His body smiled broadly. "I am in control of your body for right now. You can sit back and relax for a moment while I handle things here. Brohund is not one to speak with unprepared. Don't worry though, this won't take long."
'Sohm, wh-' Tom's voice was silenced as the elevator doors opened. The four-armed demon was standing in the elevator, a smirk on his face. Tom couldn't hear what he said, but the demon gestured with two hands to his left and Sohm stepped into the elevator. Tom couldn't hear or feel anything. He could see what was going on, but all his other senses were muted, completely stripped away from him.
The elevator rose seven floors and then stopped, allowing Sohm and the demon to step out and move down a hallway. The demon Brohund walked ahead and opened the door at the end of the hallway. Sohm followed him in and closed the door behind her.
Tom felt something inside him lurch as a pinpoint of pain blossomed on his forehead and wrapped around his skull. He reared back in nothingness, surprised and frightened. He had no clue what was going on. Was this bad?
His mind scrambled across the depths of emptiness for something to reach out for, some hidden explanation. He clawed at the air all around him, but to no avail. Though he struggled to get out of the prison he was in, he could see his body moving casually, sitting in a chair across a desk from Brohund.
It was like when one holds their hand a few inches in front of one eye, and when both eyes see different points of focus, the focus of the visual input changes. At moments, the picture of his own body and the office was faded and dark, disappearing into nothingness, at other points it reappeared and stayed very vibrant and visible for a few seconds.
The pinpoint of pain returned for a moment before disappearing, and Tom pulled backwards as far as he could away from it. Going backwards was a problem, as he had no point of reference to go by to tell is he was even moving at all, or just floating in space. It was a strange and disconcerting feeling to be floating in empty space and yet be connected to your body with no senses. To feel like you're moving and yet see that you're not. Tom watched Brohund make gestures back and forth and his facial expressions grow harder as Sohm talked to him.
Tom guessed the two demons were going back and forth and arguing over something. Had Sohm just hitched a ride in Tom's body to talk to Brohund? He doubted it, but things seemed like that for the moment.
The agent resigned himself to waiting for what seemed like hours as Brohund grew more and more irritated with what Sohm was saying. It grew so bad that the demon swept all the papers off his desk and slammed all four of his fists down on it, leaning in close to Sohm's face with a menacing glare.
"Abhuman filth," the demon mouth very slowly, disgust written all over his face. He stared hard into Sohm's and Tom's eyes before clenching his jaw tightly in thought and then sitting back down in his chair. He pointed toward the door and said several unpleasant things to Sohm before she left. Once she was back in the elevator, Tom felt something suction him forward. He didn't fight it, assuming it was Sohm's doing.
The agent felt his fingertips first, and then his entire body grew warm, like he was lying down face-first in a hot tub. His hearing returned with loud ringing that quickly faded and he could smell something like when you get water in your nose. He blinked hard and shivered at the feeling, and then it passed.
Tom looked himself over in the reflection on the elevator wall, testing out his toes and fingers and every other part of his body to make sure it all still worked again. He then turned his focus to Sohm.
"I want you out of me." He said. "Now."
'I just saved you from the worst of your life, and several hours of tearful crying and writhing on the floor, hun. Thank me before you prosecute me,' came her retort.
"I said get out," Tom reiterated.
'And show everyone in the world that you've got an attachment problem with a slime? No thank you. If you're so eager to get me killed, then have that girl you like so much come to your house and suck you dry. I'm sure she'd love to hear how well you're dealing with me already.'
Tom considered what she said and decided that it would be better to wait until he was home to do anything. Getting other people involved was probably going to do more harm than good, and considering the circumstances of his assignment to Hell, incompetence and mishandling of a demon wasn't going to get him reassigned.
Tom paused for a moment and then looked himself over.
"Sohm, did you grab the assignment folder?" he asked.
Behind Tom, the elevator ringer dinged and out stepped Brohund with a folder filled with hastily, gathered papers. The demon shoved the folder into Tom's chest so hard that the agent stumbled into the wall behind him.
"Get out of my sight," Brohund growled. After collecting himself for a moment, Tom turned and left, scratching the pinpoint sting on his forehead. He'd have to ask Sohm about that once he got somewhere more private than the hallway.
"Sohm, get out of me," Tom demanded, staring into his bathroom mirror. His vision darkened considerably as his eyes turned an indigo hue.
"Give me a minute," Sohm said in a weak and pallid voice.
"Now!" yelled the teen.
In an instant, Tom began to vomit so hard that he fell against the countertop, his entire body buckling beneath its own weight. His throat burned. His nose felt like it was being seared by fire. His head pounded hard enough for him to feel his heartbeat in his eardrums. He clenched the sink faucet to keep from falling to the floor and continued to vomit for almost a minute until he was dry heaving.
He was motionless for a while, trying to recover physically from the ordeal. He breathed heavily, almost gasping for breath. His neck burned like it was a cut being treated with straight alcohol, but that wasn't on the forefront of his mind. His throat still had an acidic burn and it was only slowly being replaced with a nauseating feeling of hot dryness.
"Give me time, Tom. I need time to pull myself together," Sohm said, bubbling out of the drain in the shower through the doorway to the right. Tom heaved himself off the countertop and leaned on the doorway to the bathroom proper, glaring at the blue slime before him.
"Get the fuck out of my house! I don't care what the fuck you're trying to do for or to me or whatever! Just get the fuck out!" he yelled, his throat aching and burning.
Almost before he could react, Sohm lunged across the bathroom and had Tom crushed against the tiles on the floor. Several of them split and shattered under the impact and Tom saw stars as his head slammed against the floor.
"I'll kill you," Sohm snarled with hatred dripping from every word. Tom's pupils dilated in shock. The slime suddenly calmed and her eyes darkened to nearly black. She released Tom and buried her face in her hands. "I'm sorry!" she wailed, continuing slowly through her heaving breaths. "I'm sorry! I- It hurts! I feel terrified and alone and things I haven't felt before! Everything hurts! My emotions ache!"
The slime crumpled against the wall and started weeping quietly as Tom recovered on the floor, taking his time to piece together what was going on. He had seriously pissed off a very powerful demon and nearly been killed in only a few second's time. When he was able to breathe steadily and not swallow from the dry feeling in his throat, he sat up and looked at Sohm.
She had been reduced to a gooey mess of runny limbs surrounded by a growing puddle of water. Tom had never seen a demon actually weep before. He had seen Hera cry, heartfelt cry, but never this. Hera had been upset; Sohm...she was completely distraught. Tom had never heard someone cry like this in his entire life. It made him feel guilt for the first time in a long time.