(May I just say I love Ace lol. Also don’t worry about time, take all the time you need!)
(May I just say I love Ace lol. Also don’t worry about time, take all the time you need!)
“Alright, Ace,” he said gleefully. “And, might I ask, what is a ‘club?’”
He glanced over to Aaron to see if the question he asked was stupid, which it undeniably was.
“The only clubs I’ve ever heard about are those weapons? Y’know, the ones that are wooden and chunky, and kind of look like baseball bats but fatter? I see those in the Crater all the time. I’m surprised they’re sentient in your universe? And can make french fries? That’s some talent. What kind of magic do you use to awaken these clubs?”
Zaelis, in the demon realm, was much more suave and outgoing than this. Well… some found stupidity or idiocy attractive, but Zae wasn’t counting on it. It was all true confusion, though. Zaelis wasn’t from the “lust” part of hell, where they kept all things like clubs and whatnot, if that could even be believed. He was from the ninth circle, aka the royal circle, where he was trained to rule. Not that he ever took it seriously, though. He had always taken hell as somewhat of a joke.
(I'm honestly thrilled that you love him haha, one of the main reasons I'm doing more rp is because I need to get more confidence in sharing my writing haha. I literally have three unpublished, completed books lmao)
(btw Zaelis literally makes me blush reading what he says. He's so funny and I love it. Literally burst out laughing in study hall reading that latest lines :))
(Thanks so much! And you should totally be confident in sharing your writing! I think you’re very talented when it comes to building up character. I feel like I know Aaron really well! That’s something I still struggle with a little if I’m being honest. Kudos to you for acing it! (Pun intended))
(Also thanks so much about Zaelis! I’ve always strived to be a comedy writer, so that’s really nice to hear lol)
(I'm so glad!! This is all really fun tbh, I love how our characters interact so much. Nice pun btw, it takes a lot to make me laugh but you're really good at it!)
(Ok, I'll get the next part up now haha!!)
Aaron frowned. "You are joking right? Where do all of the gays go in hell then?"
He wanted to add on, do we really get tortured? but, decided against risking the chance of having his reality shatter around him. Again. Plus, Zaelis was kind of cool, he hadn't cursed him or breathed fire (was that something he could even do?) and unlike most people he met, didn't bother him with questions about why he wanted to be called Ace.
Aaron on the other hand had a lot of questions.
"Clubs are like big rooms where people get together to dance, drink and do, uh, other things." He explained slowly. "The owners are from Tennessee so guns are more likely than cavemen clubs. Welcome to Texas and all that."
He stopped himself from explaining anymore, not wanting to confuse the poor guy anymore then he definitely had. Although the bewildered puppy expression was more then enjoyable to watch, he kept his gaze forwards as much as he could, trying not to goggle at the different species.
Music and sound boomed from the corner up in front of them, a long line of all kinds of people stood waiting to get in, instinctively he grabbed onto Zaelis's wrist to make sure he wouldn't loose the guy, dragging him along behind him.
They were almost there.
"And just so you know, the other people dressed up like demons, are just people" Aaron said. "It's kind of a fetish around here. Sorry about that"
“Fetish?” Zaelis asked quietly, but didn’t ask any more questions. He was already extremely confused.
People dressed up as demons? he thought to himself. Are we worshiped here, or something? Is fetish another word for prayer? Was he going to a.. church? Or whatever those were called?
Still, he just shrugged, giving a contented smile while letting Ace tug him along.
“So if they’re all dressed up as demons, can I take the hood off? And possibly take my tail out? It’s getting kind of cramped. You guys are lucky you don’t have to deal with an extra appendage,” he mumbled passively. “I shut it in a door once. It was the door’s fault, not mine.”
“As for gays? I mean, we don’t really do anything different… fight in the Crater, do drag races… blast music, kill people, the norm,” he said nonchalantly. “It’s paradise, really.”
"It's good to know that Satan might be the ultimate bad guy, but he's not a total asshole" Aaron grinned at the thought. "We've always been taught that demons wait for each gay person to torture them specifically up here."
That was probably the best news he'd heard all year. Sure he hadn't been religious since an hour ago but he'd always had the nagging worry that something bigger then him would cast Aaron down for being gay. Not that he was necessarily gay. He tried not to think about it really.
Aaron hoped he was explaining it right to the guy, he really wasn't sure what Zaelis knew and didn't about the human world. To be honest, sometimes Aaron wasn't sure he knew what was going on up here.
"And yeah, take off the hood, you'll be fine, I swear." He looked back to throw Zaelis a smile. "I'm going to introduce to some friends of mine, but my advice tough guy? Keep your head down until I say it's safe."
Sure hell was one, probably chaotic, thing, but gay bars were a whole new level of mayhem. Fantastically eccentric and brilliant mayhem but still no safe place for any hot guy who didn't know what he was doing.
"Ace Phillips? Long time no see kid."
Ah, he knew that voice. A long time pain in the ass, an even older friend. He didn't let go of Zaelis but waved at his bodyguard friend who stood at the entrance of the club, quite literally keeping guard of the door from the already tipsy waiting line.
"Nathan, how's it going dude?"
"Been better mate, it's not even nine o'clock and I've had to send five crackheads on their way" Nathan smirked. "How you been, anyway? I've missed you."
Aaron knocked fists with the bodyguard. "Yeah, I've been busy, sorry about that. I'll start up my regular shifts next week I reckon. Do you think you can get my friend and I in?"
Nathan glanced back at Zaelis and Aaron's breathing quickened immediately. Nathan was a very muscly, pride-ridden thick head, if he thought anything was suspicious about him he wouldn't let either of them in. He probably wondered where Aaron had even met the demon, he wasn't exactly known to be the most social guy around. He didn't usually bring tall, attractive cosplayers (or at least, that's what it would look like) around with him. He slipped his hand into Zaelis's without another thought, Nathan's brows shot up but he nodded in understanding. One problem down, now I just have to pretend to have a weird cosplayer for a boyfriend.
He wasn't sure if it was truly worth it.
Nathan seemed to settle on: "You're underage, Ace."
"When has that stopped you before?"
Nathan blushed, looking like he wanted to protest but biting his tongue and opening the door for them anyway. Aaron inwardly praised himself, when they had first met Nathan had tried to make a move on the very underage Uni student and he used it against him whenever he could.
Aaron led the way into the first section of the bar. Technically he club was three storeys with private rooms, a restaurants and a lot of places to dance like literally no one was around you. The music pumping all around drowned out the many conversations go on around them, to the distance the dance floor flickered with a million different lights and sounds. Damn, he loved it here. He could be alone surrounded by hundreds of people, it was his favourite way to be.
Aaron slid into the closest empty booth. "So, you said something about being a real prince? And nine hells?"
(That was a VERY long one. I apologise in advance for you having to read such a long ass thing!!)
(Oh it’s fine, don’t worry about it!)
Zaelis was like a small puppy being tugged along his leash, not quite sure what was happening but still curious about everything nonetheless. He resisted the urge to ask to take off the jacket— he was incredibly warm, and it seemed he wouldn’t be the only one here scantily clad— but refrained from doing so. He figured he’d just wait until Aaron told him what to do. He wasn’t usually subservient, but look where he was. He had no clue what to do.
Zaelis also didn’t question the sudden holding of hands. Humans were oddly touchy, he realized. Although… it was gentle. He didn’t think he’d ever felt that before. He had never had a hand rested calmly in his own— unless it was cold and pulseless, and he was dragging the rest of its body along.
He slipped in across from Ace in the booth, head still on a swivel as he gazed at all the flashing lights. The music was relatively loud, too, and it was a lot to take in. But, since when was Zaelis afraid of chaos?
“Yes, I am the prince,” he said flatly. “And yes, there are nine hells. But it’s more like one hell, nine compartments. Apparently I’m set up to rule them all, which is gonna be so much fun. I’ll probably put a place like this somewhere. But like… fill it with actual demons, y’know?”
"So, not only did I summon a demon, but I summoned the prince of hell." Aaron snorted despite the situation. "Damn, my luck is fan-frickin-tastic."
The sarcasm was thick in his voice, but it covered a wavering hint of fear. Surely, other demons were going to start realising their prince was gone right? Did that put him in trouble? He sure as hell didn't need hell on top of the list of people groups that hated him.
Aaron had let go of Zaelis, already waving over a waiter to grab french fries for the demon.
"Ace! Who's your friend?"
Smithers (not at all his real name) was Ace's arguably closest friend, and a long time waiter at the joint but with him came the rest of the crew. If he let Smithers start talking, more and more people would join in.
"I don't have the time today" Aaron waved his friend off. "Can you bring me a large bowl of chips?"
Smithers trudged off, mind already elsewhere and greeting others that were let into the place.
"I have a question. And you don't have to answer it if you don't want to." He turned to Zaelis. "But, is there a chance we could be in trouble seeing as you're trapped up here? Aren't people going to start noticing?"
Zaelis took a full couple minutes, then said plainly, “Perhaps.”
His golden eyes watched people come and go, then locked on a few others moving about. He was curious, still trying to take in all the surroundings. Man, humans were weird. And Zaelis thought hell was loud.
“I mean, I was doing a pretty important job killing criminals and all before I got bopped here,” he said, twirling one of the many rings on his finger. “I don’t see why Rog doesn’t have a reason to kill me.”
He paused for a moment, squinting at his ring before continuing.
“Oh—yeah— and Rog is this dude I work with. Pretty uptight. Never really liked him. I’m not very worried at all, considering he’s too dull to even kill a mouse. Dang, that guy’s a dweeb. The only thing he’s got on me is.. well, strength. But I can outsmart him any day.”
Zaelis put his hand down, tugging at the collar of the jacket around his neck uncomfortably. “And they probably won’t have any issue with you. Us demons don’t really care about torturing people who are still living. That’s for the gods to do. We just take people’s souls when they’re already dead, and then toy with them. It’s much more fun.”
"Gods, as in, uh, plural? More than one of those assholes?" Aaron was more muttering to himself then Zaelis, shaking his head in disbelief.
He could feel a migraine coming on. He tried to focus on something else, the familiar noise, mindless pop songs and happy chatter from all angles. The smell of deeply battered food, fresh fruit cocktails and smoke machines wafted all over the place. Aaron specifically loved that no one here was the same, the women around were laughing with close friends or hanging onto partners, the men were dancing wildly and flirting with pretty much everything that moved. It was fun to watch.
"Rog and Dan sound like they'd get along" He laughed at the thought of his stupid peer hanging out with a demon. "Stupidity is practically his identity."
Zaelis was certainly intrigued by it all, the demon had been nodding his head along to the sound and taking in the club, almost as if he was surveying the area for an escape. The french fries arrived by the hand of a waiter he didn't know and true to his name Smithers had made sure to double the serving.
Aaron pushed the bowl towards Zaelis. "Now this dude, is going to taste way better than bones"
“Well, no doubt,” Zaelis muttered, as if it were total common knowledge. “Those things are horrible. These, on the other hand, look absolutely amazing.”
Zaelis held a hand out timidly to it, as if the bowl was an animal that could jump to life any second. He hesitantly took a fry with his claws, lifting it up and surveying it before severing it completely with his fangs.
Instantly his eyes lit up, and he gave a delightful laugh, glancing back up to Aaron with a look that said ‘you seein’ this? This is insane!’
“Well shave my horns and call me a mortal, this is absolutely phenominal,” he drawled, taking another and shoveling it into his mouth. He slowly pushed the bowl forward, offering some to Aaron. Demons normally killed people over food, but Zaelis had always offered his bones to the younger ones. He wasn’t sure why— possibly just the way Carcian raised him. That was his best guess, at least.
“Do you guys eat like this all the time?” he asked, but directly after, his eyes flickered with another flame of realization. He leaned forward, quietly asking, “Is there stuff better than this?”
Aaron doubled over with laughter, unable to hold back the child-like giggling. It was too funny, seeing something so stereotypically betrayed as powerful enjoying such a simple food.Three of his co-workers eyes bulged, they had previously been pretending that they weren't watching the pair with interest, but now they all stared with incredulity at his laugher. Aaron wasn't exactly the cheerful type, it was unlikely any of them had ever seen a smile let alone a laugh.
"That's not even classified as food, Zaelis. It's a side dish!" He leaned back in his seat, beaming. "Wait until you try meat. Now, that's the good stuff"
He didn't speak from experience, Aaron hadn't eaten meat since a he was a tiny kid but damn he remembered the taste, perfectly tendered steak, fresh sushi, fried chicken. Man did they have some teaching to do.
"Have you ever heard of demons being transported up here? Is there someone who can send you back? A priest or something?"
It wasn't like he wanted the guy gone straight away, it had only been an hour or so and he didn't totally hate the guy. Which was strange because Aaron didn't really like humans. Maybe demons were more his speed.
“Demons traveling up here?” he asked, chewing on yet another fry. He tapped his lip absently as he thought, but was unable to really focus on the question due to the distracting taste of the fries. They were.. so good.
“No.. we don’t normally come up here. Carcian is the only one that does,” Zaelis continued, gesturing with his hand. “Because he’s like, your grim reaper? When people die, that are sinners, Carcian comes and takes em through the gates. Haven’t seen the guy in a while, though.”
He paused as he thought for a moment, squinting. His tail curled around one of his legs, then uncurled, following the pattern a few more times, but Zaelis didn’t seem to be aware.
“I mean, we could try killing someone and waiting for Carcian there. Not sure he’d be too happy ‘bout that, though. Otherwise, I’m not totally sure what to do. Is there a place you guys keep information about the multiplanar system? Or do you have magic? Perhaps a vanishing spell would work…”
He then took the small golden orb from his pocket, holding it up and narrowing his eyes at it.
“Or, do you guys have people who specialize in trinkets? Maybe they could at least get this thing open. But, really, for now, I kind of want to hang around in the mortal world, if you don’t mind. Hell’s trash, so I’d rather avoid it as long as possible.”
"Your life, dude." Aaron shrugged. "I'm not sure how well you're going to blend in during the day though."
Even Zaelis's skin had a tint to it, his horns were comparable to a strong male deers and overall, he wasn't sure how the demon would fit into everyday life but he couldn't blame him for not wanting to go back to a place that didn't have fries.
"Killing people is off the table, unless we're talking Dan." Aaron tapped the table. "As for magic up here, I'd say its pretty nonexistent as far as I'm aware but I know a girl who can fix and work out just about anything. She's a tough one but seeing as everyone can't get enough of my charming antics, she'd figure it out for us if I asked."
Aaron slipped out his phone and scrolled through his contacts, clicking on the one person outside of his family that he always respected.
Before he could click it close, she wrote back.
Who have you pissed off this time, Ace?
Damn. She knew him well.
Aaron flicked off the phone and turned back to Zaelis, risking taking a single chip from the bowl, half-scared the demon would highly object to anyone stealing a single morsel of his new favourite food.
"But by all means, you can stay with me until you figure it out." He wasn't sure why he was offering. "Like you said, it's kind of my fault."
Well, wasn't it always?
“Well you seem to be happy about keeping me around,” Zaelis mumbled playfully, offering another one of his charming smiles. “And, blending in during the day? How is that any different? Couldn’t we just stay here, technically? I mean, it has french fries. What else is there to need, really?”
He pawed at the fries again, taking a few more and then looking back up to Aaron.
“And who is this person you know?” he purred, giving a slow blink as his tail flicked back and forth. “A girlfriend of yours, perhaps?”
Although his sultry actions, Zaelis was secretly wishing that wasn’t the case. He liked Ace’s get-up, possibly a little more than he’d want to admit. He wanted to fantasize about what could happen, and not have his dreams crushed by figuring out the boy was straight. Well, he could still fantasize, but not with the knowledge that whatever it was was possible.
It was then, for the four hundredth time, Zaelis thought he belonged more in the lust part of hell than the ninth. The second story seemed to suit him well.
Still, he pushed the thoughts aside, trying to keep his composure, yet still await an answer. He then pushed the bowl slightly more forward, his mind drawing elsewhere.
“You can have some of these, y’know,” he said casually. “It’s not like I’m gonna bite. Unless…”
Z gave a small smirk, but waved his hand, not able to keep the demeanor for long. “Just kidding. But I actually won’t bite. Blood has never been my thing, really. It’s too… metallic.”
Aaron grinned at his new friends humour. At least, he hoped it was mostly humour. His cheeks felt sore from the new strain, it was a depressing thought but he really just wasn't used to smiling so much.
"Not my girlfriend, no. I don't think anyone could put up with me so permanently anyway."
Although, he supposed Zaelis might have to, for the time being anyway.
"This place is only open during the night, but luckily for you, lots of places have fries." Aaron shrugged. "I could probably get you a job here even, if you're going to play human, you'll need one of those."
It was interesting to think about, planning out a life for a demon. He had the strangest nag in the back of his head that it couldn't exactly work out, or at least not smoothly straight away. Still, he knew right then and there he was stuck with Zaelis for the foreseeable future.
For better or worse and all that.
"I think it'll be best to go visit her in the morning, she'll know how to work that sphere." He said. "So finish up those chips and we'll go home. Uh, you're not like a Vampire, are you? You do sleep, right?"
“Gods, no,” Zaelis said with the longest drawl, his words drawn out and exasperated. “I hate those things. With their little beady eyes and only two fangs instead of.. all. And everyone romanticizes those vampires but in the underworld, demons are the sexy ones. Humans have it all wrong.”
Zaelis then squinted, responded, “But to answer your question, yes I do sleep. I haven’t done it in a while, though, since my job really waits for no one.”
Zae tugged at the side of his jacket again, readjusting the collar around his neck to untangle his various accessories. He then ruffled his hair between his horns, the red strands going wherever they pleased.
“And, I have a job. Not here, of course, because these jobs look miles easier,” Zaelis continued, smiling and glancing toward the people serving. “But I wouldn’t mind it. You think they’d let me work here?”
He then looked back forward, his voice growing quieter. “You think they’d let me eat free fries?”
"I know they'd let you eat free fries, because you're right about one thing. Demons are definitely hot and that's literally all anyone cares about around here." Aaron shrugged, gesturing to the multiple men and women dramatically dressed up in all sorts of exotic costumes.
He knew Zaelis would fit right into just about any bar he wanted to work at, he was tall and handsome and his appearance looked far more like a choice than reality. Aaron didn't want to brag, not even in internal monologue, but he knew just about any club downtown would welcome any friend of his, purely based on his ability to get complete strangers dancing with him. Yeah, he had a lot of nights that were blurry.
"We should head home." He said. "It's getting late and I have an early shift in the morning. I'll probably be back before you wake up though."
Aaron groaned inwardly at the thought, presenting a grin but feeling the aches in his back already. On top of his jobs and schooling, he really wasn't sure how he was going to fit in babysitting a totally novice-to-all-things-human demon. He let out a slow sigh, and flattened out the bunched up groups of to-do lists invading his mind.
“Sick,” Zaelis replied with a smile. “Seems like it’ll be a better job than an executioner at the Crater. Especially if I get free fries.”
With a smile, Zaelis finished off the rest of the bowl, not caring to apologize for it. Aaron had had ample time to grab any he wanted, so Zae wouldn’t feel guilty.
“And, alrighty. So based on that, I’m assuming I’m staying with you?” he asked. “If not, I might be able to charm myself into someone else’s house. You said it wasn’t hard for a demon here? Perhaps I should test that theory.”
Zaelis let out a sigh, his tail curling and uncurling around one of his legs mindlessly. “After all, although you brought me here, I wouldn’t want to bother you too much. I’m a lot to take on— I’ll admit it.”
(so sorry this is extremely short— I’m away from my computer atm)
"I mean, I'm all for seeing you fluster the crap out of any of these guys, but I have a spare room at home if you'd rather it."
Aaron was lying, he was so not up for witnessing that but if that's what Zaelis felt like doing, everything about the guy screamed that her could.
He stood to leave, throwing some money on the counter and tugging at the end of his sleeves and missing the warmth of his jumper. He stretched out, a decades old tired grin on his face that shouldn't belong to that of a young adult. Damn Aaron needed a good sleep, he had a morning shift that he was far too brain-melted and exhausted to go to. But he knew he would. His shits given were slowly draining, and along with it, the filter he kept up to not say deadly stupid things.
Like how much he already like Zaelis.
"I'm going to grab a drink." Aaron waved a hand over his head as he walked off from the table. "Make up your mind before I get back, yeah?"
“Yeah, yeah,” Zaelis murmured, crossing his arms and resting his head on the table. All the talk of sleep has gotten him relatively tired too.
The demon had never slept in a bed. It was always this one rock he loved— one rock that was heated up by magma from beneath. He always figured he’d would be colder, but why not try one?
He was already starting to get cold, pulling up the jacket over his hands and tucking the ends into his palms. He fluttered his eyes closed, tail still swishing beneath the table.
Truth was, he didn’t want to sweet talk any of the people here. Any of the people except Aaron. Despite his outward suave appearance, Zaelis latched on to people quickly, and wouldn’t talk to anyone he didn’t really need too.
Still, his golden eyes flicked back open with his thoughts, scanning the room. No one caught his eye, but it was a entertaining sight to see. It seemed to get more active as the night went on, not unusual to Zaelis, considering that’s what happened at the Crater. The only difference between the two was that one involved deadly fights and gladiator-style combat. This one clearly didn’t, but both seemed kin to demons. Zae let a small smile flicker across his face.
"So, be straight with me, who's the boy?"
Aaron was starting to worry that he couldn't be.
Smithers had cornered him at the bar, with a groan Aaron tried to block his energetic coworker out of his view. Watching the bartender whip up a very dramatic order before continuing with Aaron's very simple gin and tonic. He liked things simple, to balance out what he couldn't control. Example: this entire day.
"He's a friend, Smithers." Aaron hissed. "Would you lower your voice?"
Smithers wasn't having it. "You barely have friends. And I've never seen you that happy, dude. You laughed."
Aaron's much taller, always working friend's eyes were wide for emphasis, truly disturbed by his contentment with Zaelis. It was sort of true, it was strange for Aaron, but then again, something about the demon calmed him. He wondered if they had some power that made them so likeable.
The bartender slid him the drink. "Here Ace, the usual"
Aaron downed it, glancing over at the demon as he did, Zaelis was smiling and probably unaware of the fifteen or so people that were goggling at him.
"Another, and make it stronger."
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