Time: Directly after the end of Fear of Frogs
Place: Brimstone, in transit
Ness grimaced at his screen and erased the greeting. One didn't begin a letter to an archangel that way. Maybe. He really had no idea since his experience of corresponding with angels was limited to the occasional report to a commanding officer.
To the most holy Archangel Raphael
"That sounds almost sarcastic. Won't do at all." Ness deleted most holy and replaced it with esteemed, cringed and replaced it with honorable, deleted that and finally settled on omitting the extras.
To the Archangel Raphael
It was a shock…
"No, that's terrible."
It was a bit of a surprise to receive your letter and it's very kind of you to ask after Shax. He's doing quite well, thank you. Fully recovered from the horrific damage…
"Oh, dear. No. That sounds so angry."
Fully recovered from the incident that led to my celestial separation.
"Yes. That's more calm and reasonable." Ness nodded in satisfaction at the turn of phrase, then stared at the screen. What in the world was he supposed to say to an Archangel who asked after his welfare? I didn't realize correspondence was an option? I'm sorry your bigoted colleagues destroyed a large part of who I was? I'm more demon than angel now and have this anger living inside me that was never there before and it's all your fault?
Ness shook out his wings and pulled in a slow breath. None of that. Raphael had saved Shax, despite what the other angels said. He'd made certain Ness could stay with Shax as well instead of being dragged off in front of some heavenly board of inquiry.
Life aboard ship is endlessly fascinating. I would never have guessed that there was so much involved in interstellar cargo hauling, especially for a small, independent ship. We've just come from a delivery of scientific equipment and specimens that resulted in our being flung centuries back in time…
"Um. Maybe that's not something I should talk about."
We've just come from a delivery of scientific equipment and specimens that posed some nearly baffling challenges. We all hope that the next cargo run will be for more mundane, ordinary shipments.
A laugh escaped as Ness recalled the faces of the university administrators when Shax had submitted his final bill for the frog run. No common pirate, Shax knew the value of leverage and had kept meticulous track of every minute of time the Brimstone's crew spent in conference with scientists eager to learn about time travel, every scrap of data they insisted they needed from ship's records. The Brimstone and her crew would be well off for some time.
Anger issues aside, he loved the sheer autonomy of his new life. He had responsibilities, yes, but he had a voice as crew and he had choices to make. If he wanted to sleep when no one needed him, he could. If he wanted to cuss, no one reprimanded him. His choice what to eat, how to spend his free time, what to wear, and where to sleep.
His choice to stay with a devious, handsome demon who loved him. Ness smiled at that, letting the warm glow settle around his heart. Perhaps he hadn't had much choice in falling in love but it was his understanding that those sorts of things snuck up on people, regardless of species. The anger and the jealousy he would learn to manage as every other being in love had since the beginning of time.
The sum of it all? He hummed as he concluded his letter.
I am loved and I am happy. I want to be sure that you know, since you are partly the agent of that happiness. No matter what gulfs of perceived morality separate us, I want you to know that I am grateful. Thank you.
My regards to the guardians of the Fourth Hallway,
Ness Angelus, security officer, cargo hauler Brimstone
Speaking of devious demons, it had been far too quiet for the past hour. Ness sent his letter off through channels and left the cabin in search of his Shax. Perhaps he was up to something that would merit a spanking later.
About The Brimstone Journals
Extra treats for our Brimstone readers, Brimstone Journals will post every Tuesday. Short scenes from characters' lives before, after or during the stories.
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