Title: Ashes to Ashes I and II
Summary: Vincent Redheart is an FBI agent from Hell (Hades), which is an alternate
dimension rather than the place where evil souls go at death. He first came to
the X-Files disguised as a human to ask for help in a case that ended in the
death of a teenager (Billy Crowe) that could, more or less intentionally,
shoot fire from his hands. By the end of the investigation, Doggett found out
Vincent was not human, but rather an Incubus (demon). He also found out that
Vincent was not the first demon agent crossing path with the X-Files
Deepest thanks: Wolfsbride, my favorite and only beta ^_^ Obscure references: Sons of Fire. Granma/Mrs. Tenshi is a character that appeared in the Tales III and IV.
Feedback: ...as my friend, beta and occasional art muse Wolfsbride would say, is better than getting stuck in another universe with an empty wallet. Good, constructive, pats in the back, suggestions, nitpicking, reviews... send away, I accept everything except flames. What drove me to write this: The SlashMuse is back with a vengeance. And she wanted to show the world I SO can write a NC-17 that is not a PWP. Yeah right. Summary of Sons of Fire: Vincent Redheart is an FBI agent from Hell (Hades), which is an alternate dimension rather than the place where evil souls go at death. He first came to the X-Files disguised as a human to ask for help in a case that ended in the death of a teenager (Billy Crowe) that could, more or less intentionally, shoot fire from his hands. By the end of the investigation, Doggett found out Vincent was not human, but rather an Incubus (demon). He also found out that Vincent was not the first demon agent crossing path with the X-Files agents.
X-FILES OFFICE, WASHINGTON D.C.
Murphy's Law. Oh yeah. I am not aware if there is an equivalent of this pesky "if-something-can-go-wrong-it-will" law in Hades but if there is none there should be. I shake my cell phone a couple more times and try to dial my Hades' office's number. Dead. Nothing. These things always happen when you're in a hurry to reach the home office, or, like right now, trying to confirm that you can FINALLY go home. If I weren't polite -- and I'm starting to feel the urge to let all hell break loose grow by the minute --I'd tear the bloody piece of crap apart with my own claws. Of course I can't do that here, and it wouldn't solve my problem anyway, so I decide to go take a walk in the basement of the building to calm down a bit and to see if the agent on duty is working overtime. Given the report we filled in, I have no doubt that he is.
Great. I've been sittin' here for what seems like forever and I still can't decide whether or not I should alter this damn case file. In all my years serving my country I've never hidden or falsified any report I had to give to my superior. Of course, none of these reports ever involved a young man being able to do the human flamethrower thing because his mother supposedly was a... what did Redheart called that again... a Succubus? I put my hands on the keyboard for the hundredth time, and I take them away for the hundredth time as well. I'll never get this thing pass Kersh. However I should try and sell this to some publishing company. I'm sure I'd make money with it. Hey, it's beyond fiction.
knock knock knock!
I start at the knock on my office's door. Neither AD Skinner nor Agent Scully knock on this door when they come down here, Kersh would call me up to his office, and I'm not expecting anyone. I glance pass the computer's monitor. Agent Redheart -- the human version, not the winged one -- is standing in the doorway, his fist still resting on the frame.
"Hi, sorry," he says, "I didn't mean to surprise you..."
Didn't mean to surprise you, I say, and I mean it. I had no idea he was so concentrated on... well, whatever he's doing. He was probably going over the Crowe case one more time.
"It's okay," he replies, "'was just... thinking," he finished as rolled his chair sideways so he can face me. He seems to be looking for something else to say. Perhaps I still make him feel uneasy, not that I could really blame him about that... "Did you need something?" he finally says.
"I just wanted to know if I could use your phone," I answer as I walk in. "Mine's dead, I can't figure out why and I need to call my head office." Actually I think I figured what's wrong, but I'm still not sure and it's a really complicated notion that I don't feel like explaining right now.
He nods and hands me the receiver as soon as I'm within reach. "Local call?" he asks as he turns the base of the phone towards me.
I snicker. To tell or not to tell... "Far from local," I cave in and admit as I punch in the number of Granma Tenshi. "E.T. phoning home," I had with a wink, remembering hearing something like that from Mulder a few times in the past... seems to be some sort of cultural reference.
Poor Doggett's eyes looks like they're going to pop right out of their sockets. "You're calling Hell with THIS phone???" I put my finger to my lips, smiling in amusement. It must be some kind of perversion, but I love to throw him off-balance with little things like this, little everyday life details and old habits that would seem normal to him only if he'd been living around me since early childhood. "Great, now I've seen everything!" he groans, rubbing the bridge of his nose. I chuckle a bit. Poor him. I'd wrap my arm around his shoulders, but then he'd just freak further. Instead I smile -- rather more impishly that I wanted too but I can't help it -- and I turn my attention back to my phone call.
"Hello?" comes Granma's sweet voice from the other end of the line.
"Hello Granma, it's Vince."
"Vincent! I had no idea you were on Earth! How are you, child?"
"Fine, fine, and you?"
"Wonderful as always dear."
"And how's your dear Tsuda? Is he on Earth with you?"
"He's fine too, but he's not with me... I'd like to speak to him please."
"No problem sweet child, I will connect you to Hades right away. Just give me a minute."
"Okay, I'll wait. Thank you."
"It's nothing, dear. Take good care of yourself now, and if you ever get a bit of free time feel free to drop by."
"I will. Take care too."
I hear the familiar "click" sound that indicates she's transferring my call to Hades via a transdimensional phone cable between the two dimensions. A few seconds later, I hear a ringing sound, then the metallic voice of the voice box. I dial my office's extension, shutting the box up. A few seconds of silence, then a ring. The phone doesn't get a chance to ring a second time before it's being picked up.
"Earthian kererer, Issa Tsuda Foxx," my fox cub answers. It feels good to hear good old Demonic. So good that I don't feel like speaking English with him; his voice, when he speaks in our mother tongue, is so low, gravely, and sexy...
"Raf, A Vincent," I answer, triggering a conversation that will probably make Doggett stare at me wide eyed yet again.
" **Vinvin! " is Tsud's immediate reaction to my name. I smile.
" **Hey foxy one, I tried to reach you but me cell phone's dead... "
" **Not that it surprises me, " replies Tsuda. " **There's been a HUGE magnetic storm around Hades since last night and the guys down at the InterDimensional Labs say it's gonna last for a while. All borders with Earth and Eden have been closed and sealed shut. Nobody's going either in or out. "
" **I see... " I answer, disappointed. It's more or less what I expected, but I had still hoped it was just a dead battery problem and that I'd be home tonight.
" **Well, I know it sucks, but at least the cable is isolated and protected and all the shebang so we can still communicate... "
I groan. We can still talk but that's about what we can do, not to mention the long distance fees..." **How long do the lab techs expect it to last? "
" **At least 48 hours... maybe more. "
" **Goddesses... "
WHAT The HELL??? Not only does he claim he can call Hell with my office phone, but I swear to God he... it almost... it almost sounds like he's actually succeeded. And if I didn't know better I'd say he's speaking German. Not that I'd understand more if he were. At least, from his tone of voice, I can make out that he must've learned somethin' he didn't like much. I wonder who he's talkin' to. Ahem... well, seeing the way he kissed the receiver, I kinda figure it's his girl... boyfriend. Wait... I thought he was calling his head office...
"Your boyfriend?" I ask, pointing at the phone.
"Partner," Redheart corrects, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Well, okay, he's my 'somewhat' boyfriend too." He let his hand fall to his side and sighed heavily, looking more and more uneasy by the second. "Know any good, not too expensive places to stay around here?" he finally blurts out.
Talk about asking stuff out of the blue. I shrug. "There's a Sunset Inn not too far from here. Starts at $65 a night, I think... but you can always find cheaper places if you don't mind sharing your bed with cockroaches."
Redheart makes a face and shudders before taking his wallet out. "Naw, the Inn sounds good," he says as he opens it, "I just hope I..." His voices trails off, but the face he's making speaks for him. And it says "out of cash". Poor kid. Quite literally. He quickly shoves his wallet into his pocket, muttering something that sounded like "great..." before taking a deep breath and forcing himself to smile as he looks at me. "Well," he says as he waves goodbye to me, "it's been great working with you, Agent Doggett." He spins around and heads for the door a bit too quickly to look natural... where the hell does he think he's gonna go at in Washington if he's outta cash?
"Need a cheaper place to stay?" I ask, loud enough for him to hear even if he just left the office. I'm not all that hot about inviting him over, but I don't like the idea of him spending the night in his car.
Redheart peeks back inside. "Know any?"
I walk to the door and grab my coat. Redheart's still looking at me with question marks in his eyes. "How 'bout my place?" I suggest. Redheart's raises an eyebrow and he gives me the "Did you hit your head or somethin'?" look. "What? You're lookin' at me as if I just said I was of your kind."
"I never expected you to suggest your own place," Redheart replies slowly, cocking his head to the side, still giving me the "You definitely hit your head" look.
"Hey, if I was stuck in... Hell, you'd help me out right?"
"Yeah," he says, not giving up his "Somebody call the medics" look, "but that's different."
"First," he says as he counts on his fingers, "you'd have to actually GET to Hell in the first place; second, you don't SPEAK the language, so you couldn't get help from anyone; third, we don't use US dollars; fourth... well, being a human stuck in Hell, it would be my duty to help you out anyway; and fifth..." he smiles and shrugs, "you'd probably end up spending the night in a cell."
"How nice," I comment as I make a mental note NEVER to get stuck in Hell. Not that I really know how to avoid that, but just in case. "So, you comin' over, or you spendin' the night in your car?"
He rolls his eyes and sighs deeply. "All right, lead the way... But it's only because I gave the car back to the rental agency," he adds as he follows me down the narrow hall between the shelves of archived files.
Oh. I'd rather not imagine where he was plannin' on goin' without a car. Unless he'd manage to get a free cab ride thanks to his grumpiness. A cranky demon hissing at you must be one ugly sight. Speakin' of that, maybe I should cheer him up before I let him in my truck. "Stop complainin' already... 'Mean you'd expect the same from Mulder right?"
Redheart shakes his head and raises his hand as if to say "don't go there". "Mulder is Mulder, you are Doggett and I'm not asking you to be like him. Beside, we... well we don't know each other that well, other than the little details we learned about during the Crowe case. Not that I knew Mulder all that much anyway..." he looks at me from the corner of his eye. "Aren't you afraid to let me stay at your house? You don't know me."
"Perfect occasion for further bonding." I know it's cheesy, but I can't think of anything else to say right now and I want him to shut up for a while. Bonding. Who am I kidding. We'd have to have somethin' in common for that to happen, and judging from what I know so far, the only thing he and I have in common is work. At least I'm having him over only for the night.
He doesn't say another word and in a few minutes we reach the elevator. I press the call button. Redheart steps away from the elevator, towards the staircase. "On what parking level is your car?"
Huh? Why isn't he ridin'... oh. Right. Claustrophobia. "The first one. Ground level."
"Thanks," he says as opens the stairs' door, just as the elevator doors reaches my floor. I enter it, press the button and look at my blurry reflection in the metal wall. What have I gotten myself into...
I climb up the flight of stairs, resisting the urge to just fly up to the next floor. I don't really want to take the chance of being caught on surveillance tapes doing something inhuman.
I still can't believe I'm going to spend the whole weekend with the agent in residence at the X-Files unit.
I open the staircase's door and exit in the parking garage. Doggett's not here yet, but he shouldn't be too far behind me. I hear the ding of the elevator and Doggett walks out of it, looking for me. "Over there," he says, pointing at a dark red truck parked near a pillar as he walks to it. I follow in silence and climb in. Big, nice and comfy. I like it. He drives out of the garage and we head away into the streets lit by countless streetlights and various colors of neon lights. I rest my head against the window and sigh. To think that an hour ago I was getting ready to go home, back to Hades, and now I'm stuck on Earth and forced to stay at Doggett's house for at least the whole weekend. He turns the radio on. "What music do you listen to... well, like?"
I shrug. "Anything but classical." He presses a button and old rock music -- probably from the '80s if I remember my Earth's Musics classes well -- fills the air. Well, I might not be going home, but Agent Doggett sure will be much more pleasant company than a nest of cockroaches.
"Last stop, everybody off!" I say as I kill the engine. Glancing at Redheart, I realise he doesn't make any move to change the position he's been in since we left the FBI: he's still sitting there, legs extended, chin in hand, head against the window, eyes closed... and probably asleep. I reach out and poke him in the arm. He awakes with a start and looks around, rubbing his eyes. " 'We there?" he mumbles.
"Yep," I reply as I get out of my truck and head up the driveway. Redheart exits the car a bit groggily, but by the time I'm unlocking the door he's already fully awake and standing beside me. "Guest first," I say as let him in. He brushes pass me, slowly, looking around the house with big eyes, mouthing a silent "wow". After a few seconds he glances at me over his shoulder and says "Very nice... very cozy-looking."
I smile. "Thanks. Make yourself comfortable."
He nods and takes his suit jacket off. As he looks around for a place to put it, I realize that his dark blue shirt has two openings parallel to his spine from the middle of his shoulder down to the curve of his back... just where I saw those big scars the other night. Yeah... somehow those scars had... I don't know, I just wanted to touch them, find out what had happened to his back. 'Should've known that I would wake him... Motorcycle accident... Yeah, bike accident my ass, Vincent. I'm no doctor, but your scars are way to clean-cut to have been made scraping your back on concrete.
Vincent? VINCENT??? Great, I can feel the heat crawlin' up my face... since when do I think of Agent Redheart by his first name anyway??? I shake my head. This is gonna be a long night... Great, he's turning to me now... hope he won't see the red on my cheeks.
"Where can I put this?" I say, holding my jacket out on the tip of my fingers. Hey, he's blushing... I wonder what for. He shrugs.
"Just... put it in the guest room. Upstairs, second room to your left."
"Thanks." I climb up the designated stairs and spot the guestroom's door. I flip the lightswitch on and a soft light reveals an impeccably clean room, with a double-sized bed and a chest of drawers, decorated in soft blue tones. Love the impression of calm it's giving. I throw my jacket on the bed, then my tie, and I fold up my sleeves. As I turn to leave, I spot a full length mirror in the corner of the room. The image it reflects is not very flattering. I do believe my human self doesn't look half bad, but he would look better if I weren't wearing a shirt cut for my demon self: my human chest, deprived of flight muscles, doesn't fill the shirt enough to make it fall correctly. Sighing, I pat my shirt uselessly. I'd need to transform to fit this shirt, but... I'm not sure how the resident agent would feel having me - the demon me - walking around his house.
Leaving the room, I climb down the stairs. It doesn't take me long to find Doggett in his kitchen, fixing himself a big cup of coffee.
And how am I supposed to ask...
"Can I, uh..." I say rather stupidly, mimicking horns on my head with my fingers. Bravo Vince. Your IQ just hit a new low.
Doggett looks at me with huge eyes. I cringe. Let's hear it for clear communication. However, just when I'm looking for words to clarify my thoughts, he seems to understand what I want. "Oh yeah, huh... don't mind me."
I step a bit further away from the kitchen table - I know I have a fairly big wingspan - and take a deep breath. I try to release myself from the magical bounds that keep my demon body hidden but I feel no energy coursing through me, no physiological changes, no nothing. My breath quickens a bit: is it possible for me to stay trapped in THIS body?
I do my best to calm down and I concentrate harder on the matter at hand, focusing my mind's eye on a picture of my demon self. I feel the demonic energy in me trying to break free... it's rising, rising, almost there... and then it fades away, back into hiding, deep inside me. Something... something is keeping me from transforming. And in that brief moment where I thought my true nature would break free, I clearly felt what... who it was. I open my eyes. He's staring straight at me. "Agent Doggett."
Doggett shakes himself from his daze and raises his gaze to meet mine. "What?"
"I can't do this if you're staring at me like that."
Doggett smiles apologically. "I just... just wanted to know how you transform, that's all."
"You're making me feel like a lab rat," I answer. "I don't like being watched like I'm out of this world."
"You ARE out of this world, Demon Agent Vincent Redheart."
I cross my arms and smirk. "To me, YOU are out of this world, Special Agent John Doggett of Earth's FBI."
He frowns, then nods slowly. "All right... tell me when you're done," he says before walking to the living room. I smile at his back. He's more understanding than I expected him to be.
I grab the remote - that's one good thing about living alone, you never have to look for the little bugger - and start flippin' through the channels. Oh yeah, NASCAR preview! However, even that didn't distract my nagging curiosity that's urging me to peek at Vincent. Finally giving in, I take a step back so I'd have Redheart in my field of vision. And from what I saw, I realized that he started watching just in time.
I stare at him intently. If he's truly going to transform into a winged demon, I don't wanna miss it; not really because he expect a good show - clothes being reduced to shreds only happens in the movies - but because I'm curious about how Redheart will do it, now that he's not be trying to hide the changes. I know I already saw him in his demon body, when he had changed despite himself back in the motel romm, but I only saw him for a short time. Now that I've got a chance for a good, long look, I don't wanna miss even a second of it, until my curiosity and rational mind are satisfied.
END OF PART II
Keep the readers on the edge of their seats, they say... ^_^ Part III coming ASAP to a slash list near you. As usual, comments are accepted and very welcomed. 'Night girls!!!
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