Time: After Beside A Black Tarn
Place: Aboard the Brimstone, in transit
"So who's your favorite human hero?" Julian asked as he stirred more sugar into his tea. So bitter. Let it steep too long again.
"Well, we're all for damn sure who yours is." Corny poked him in the ribs. "Since you made us watch all them James Bond movies."
"Not all of them. I spared you Moonraker. Though if you wanted to watch it…"
"Oh fuck no." Verin snarled. "Stupid movie."
They had been discussing demon heroes over breakfast—Abaddon, Mephistopheles, and so on, and an interesting mix of clever and brutal they were. Julian didn't know enough demon lore to pick one, though. Saying Shax was his demon hero would've sounded saccharine and probably would've ticked Ness off. Redirection had been in order before Julian started feeling out of place. More out of place.
"I'm partial to that Jane Goodall," Corny offered. "She didn't take nothin' from nobody and, well, animals."
Shax reached for a second cinnamon bun. Why he never gained an ounce with all the sweets he scarfed down, Julian would never understand. "I agree with your assessment, Corny, and she was an unquestionably admirable human, but I thought we were speaking of fictional humans."
"Oh. All right." Corny's forehead creased as he considered. "I'll pick that little Miles Vorkosigan I'm readin' through now. Great big brass balls on that one and he's always thinkin', even in the worst spots. Kinda reminds me of you, Cap, a little. In your demon tornado moments."
"Thank you? I think?" Shax shook his head with a quirk of a smile and leaned his head on his angel's shoulder. "Ness?"
Ness turned his coffee mug in his hands, staring into the depths for so long that Julian wondered if he was already ticked off about something and refusing to answer. Finally, he flushed pink as he said, "Eowyn. She's a true hero who didn't let what others thought of her get in the way of being a true hero."
"She is pretty badass," Verin said, a sentence so unexpected that all eyes whipped over to him. "What? All those idiots telling her what she couldn't do and she's like fuck you all, I'm doing it."
"So, Ver. What's yours?" Shax reached for yet another cinnamon roll and Ness smacked his hand. He turned an actual pout Ness's way, which on him looked absurdly fetching, but Ness pushed a plate of bacon in his direction instead.
Ver let out a puff of steam. "That's easy. Mine is that Cuchulain fucker. All the rage and destruction. Good stuff for a human story."
"Cap? Guess yours is someone like Robin Hood, huh?" Corny ventured.
Shax regarded him in wide-eyed horror. "Great bubbling sulfur pits, no! What a complete git. Why would you go to all the trouble of stealing pretties and give them all away? Absolute lunacy." Shax drummed his fingers on the table while he considered. "I do like that Deadpool though. The ability to spread chaos like an industrial farm sprinkler is something to be admired. And keep a sense of humor while doing it."
"Yeah." Verin nodded. "All that destruction and shit. Good stuff."
Shax's smile grew wistful as he crunched on his consolation bacon. "He would have made an excellent demon."
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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