Summary: Our favourite tortured boys are back in this third and final instalment in which they try to outrun Hell.
Notes: See chapter 1 for disclaimer warnings and related info. Thanks for reading and commenting and as always enjoy.
The Devil’s Own
It sounds like a battering ram is coming through the front door.
Lucifer looks down on me, a hint of desperation in His eyes. “Say it, Jack. Pledge yourself to me and make me what I was meant to be.” His hand, which had been soft on my shoulder, tightens uncomfortably.
I hear Grandpa’s bedroom door open, and I move around Lucifer toward the door, pulling out of His grasp. I remember that I’m naked except for the towel when I feel His fingers trail over my back. I quickly yank on my jeans and a shirt and bolt for the door. Lucifer grabs me around the wrist before I make it.
“Do you believe in me?”
I turn and pull away from his grasp. “I do, but I need to go. Grandpa needs my help.”
He shakes His head as a slow smile creeps across His lips. “It’s nothing your grandfather can’t handle.”
He locks me in His gaze and His energy fills me, making me feel like all my insides are vibrating to His unique rhythm.
The pendant vibrates to that same rhythm, and I bring my hand up and press it harder into my chest. I’m struck by how different this Lucifer feels. Nothing like the Lucifer from Ianto’s apartment. Could it be that when I met Him in Ianto’s apartment, He just became what I expected Him to be? What if this is the real Lucifer? What if everyone is wrong about Him?
I look into His eyes and something nags at the back of my mind. Even though I know my purpose now, what I’m meant to do … even though it’s staring down at me, waiting for the promise that will start the change … something doesn’t feel right.
I slide to the door. “I’ll come right back. I promise.”
As He lets me go, an electric charge pulses through me, and all the hair on my body stands on end. “Go. But don’t let them make you question what you know to be true.”
John explodes into the living room just as I push through the door into the hall. He sees me and strides across the room. I almost don’t recognise him. His eyes are sunken hollows, his arm is in a sling, and he’s bleeding.
Angels don’t bleed.
Oh, God. What did I do?
Everything inside me goes cold and I feel like I’m suffocating. I glance back over my shoulder toward the hall, not sure what I’m expecting to see there, not sure what’s real anymore.
“Jack—” John starts, but Grandpa cuts him off. He stares at me as though I just materialized out of thin air.
“When did ya get here?” He turns away from the door as Ianto steps through and closes it behind him.
I move slowly toward him, confused. “A while ago. You made me a sandwich. Remember?”
He shakes his head slowly. “I don’t…” but trails off, his brow creasing deeply.
Ianto steps past John, his expression intense. His eyes flick beyond me, to the door of my bedroom. “Jack. Are you okay?”
I nod, still staring at the bloody bandages on John’s shoulder.
Ianto looks me over. “Did Gray hurt you?”
“No. I’m fine.”
“You’re lucky, Jack,” John says, his voice measured. I can see behind those tired eyes how mad he is, and I don’t blame him.
I move closer. “No one wants to hurt me. I know what I’m meant for now.”
The anger in John’s eyes mixes with dread and fear. “He’s been here. You’ve seen Him.”
I nod, even though it wasn’t a question.
He draws a sharp breath and holds it for a second. “Your tag. You haven’t … done anything…?”
Ianto is watching the exchange warily, his expression guarded.
My heart races. I need to make them see that everything is okay. Better than okay. I know my purpose now, and as long as Lucifer trusts me, I think I can pull it off. “No. But don’t you see? This is it.”
John charges past me, not even hearing my words, and slams the bedroom door back. I cringe, expecting … something, but instead, he turns back to me. “We need to get you out of here.”
I step up next to him and peer into the empty room. Relief sweeps through me at the same time as I feel a tug of disappointment in my gut.
John strides out of the room and I follow.
Grandpa is standing near the couch looking at me in total confusion. He steps forward and slides an arm around my shoulders pulling me to his side. We sit together on the sofa. A wary smile pulls at his mouth. “Anything ya wanna tell your old grandpa?”
I shrug. “You really don’t remember talking to me before?”
“He was possessed.” Ianto’s voice comes from the corner, where he’s leaning against the hearth.
Everything inside me goes cold. “Possessed?” But then I remember the hint of brimstone I caught and the way his voice seemed to change, and something in my gut twists. “Oh, Grandpa. I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have come here.”
Grandpa squeezes my shoulder. “Don’t ya even think that.”
But I can’t help thinking that. No matter what I do, where I go, I put everyone in my path in danger.
Ianto sees it in my eyes. He always does. “It’s not your fault, Jack. Ed is fine. He doesn’t even remember it.”
I want to scream, but then a sense of relief settles over me as I realise they didn’t hurt him. Whoever possessed Grandpa didn’t hurt him or me.
Because of Lucifer.
At the thought, understanding dawns.
You belong with me. I will always keep you safe.
Those weren’t Grandpa’s words. They were Lucifer’s.
A flash of fury streaks through me like a red-hot meteor.
It was Him.
How could He! Grandpa is old. He could have killed him.
The next thought hits like a swift kick to my stomach.
He was in on it. He left me here with Lucifer, never intending to come back. He never wanted to help Maggie. His only plan was to get me to his boss.
He has your best interest at heart. He’s trying to do the right thing by you.
Lucifer’s words run over in my mind, and I feel my head spin. I close my eyes against the wave of dizziness.
Ianto shrugs away from the wall. “Jack,” he says. “What is it?”
His words wrench me from my thoughts and I realise how cold I feel. I’m sure I’m paper white. I pull my eyes from him. “Is Maggie okay? My family?”
“They’re fine. Hope is with them,” Ianto says, earning a pained glance from John.
John slides into the couch across from us, and looks at me out from under thick, white lashes. “What did you mean, Jack, when you said you know what you’re meant for?”
I breathe back my fury and look up at him. When I think I can talk without my voice shaking, I start slowly and watch his face. “You know I’ve always believed I was supposed to be some kind of diplomat—to help people communicate and bring opposite sides together.” I hesitate and John nods for me to continue. I swallow hard and bite my cheek, unable to look at him as I finish. “What if the sides I’m supposed to bring together are Heaven and Hell?”
Grandpa’s grip on my shoulder tightens slightly as he stiffens, and I so wish he wasn’t here—that I hadn’t come here and made him part of this. I glance up for John’s and Ianto’s reactions. They share a wary glance.
“If there’s anyone who could do it, it’s Jack,” Ianto says with a flick of his eyes toward me.
“How do you figure?”
Ianto lifts a framed picture from the hearth and gazes down at it. “He may be Nephilim, but a part of his belongs to Hell. It always has.”