Short Story – Nuclear

I want to give an explanation for this story before you read it because this is not the sort of thing I do often.  First off, this story was written for my friend Megstiel, and it’s sort of a fan fiction for her characters, though we technically share the same story universe.  All the characters in this story do belong to her, though (she said I write them fabulously though so that’s good).

Secondly, I was not originally ever going to post this story anywhere and it was just going to be a gift for her, but it actually turned into a really good story that I was super proud of and I wanted to share it.  I was hesitant to post it due to the nature of the story, but I decided to go ahead and do it and just give some pre-warnings.  It also sort of ties into another post I made where I was talking about sexuality in storytelling, though this example is a little different than what I was talking about there, but it still applies.

So with that out of the way, I’ll leave you to the story.  I would give some context as to the events that led up to this story, but I think there’s enough info in the actual story to figure it out on your own.  Also, the song at the beginning of the story (of which the story’s name is derived) is Nuclear, by Mike Oldfield

Content/Trigger Warnings: Profanity, violence/blood, rape scene

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Michael stared at the small device in his hand that he managed to snag from his brother’s pocket before he disappeared. The little earbuds made to look like skulls were vibrating with one of the songs he had turned on at random. Though he wasn’t wearing them himself, he could clearly hear the song playing due to it being turned up all the way.

Standing on the edge of the underworld looking at the abyss. And I’m hoping for some miracle to break out, to escape from all this.

Uriel stepped up behind him, gazing over Michael’s shoulder at the earbuds resting in the palm of his hand as he stared absently into the distance.

Whispers in the air tell their tales of a life that’s gone.

Michael, it isn’t your fault, you know that, right?”

Michael didn’t move. He didn’t blink or twitch or show any sign that he was even alive. His eyes had gone glassy, and Uriel had the feeling he had been sitting there for quite a long time.

Desolation, devastation. What a mess we made when it all went wrong.

Michael, listen to me! I know we’re in a lot of shit right now, but your moping around and feeling sorry for yourself isn’t helping a goddamn thing! So snap out of it and help, would you?”

His shoulders twitched and he moved his head ever so slightly, almost unnoticeably so. His glassy eyes turned toward his sister and he acknowledged her presence for the first time. “Screaming isn’t going to help either.”

I’m trying to get you up off your ass so you can help us do something about this!” Uriel snarled. “You’re our leader after all. So just what are we supposed to do?”

Michael hunched his shoulders and gazed up at the sky. It had been scorched and was the color of fire. It was funny; he barely noticed when it happened. He had been too busy holding his dead brother’s body, blaming himself for his stupidity. Raphael’s words had haunted his mind ever since that moment. Someone is going to get hurt.

I… I don’t know,” Michael finally admitted. “I have no idea. Heaven has been closed. We can’t… we can’t reach Father. I don’t know what we can do. I feel so… useless.”

Well, gee, I wonder why!” Uriel shot back. “Maybe it’s because you’re sitting around like a lump doing absolutely nothing! Michael, we aren’t going to get anywhere unless we get up and start searching for a solution. Understand?”

Michael looked down at the earbuds in his hand then slowly closed his fingers around them. He carefully pocketed the mp3 player and stood up. Uriel stepped back as she watched her brother finally moving, as if he were a statue just brought to life. Despite his weakened state, he was still a glorious being. He turned to her and looked her directly in the eye, and the look in them gave her a slight shiver.

Yeah, I understand.” Michael brushed past her, nudging her lightly in the stomach with his elbow like he had done many occasions before, but this time it wasn’t quite so playful as it usually had been. Uriel grit her teeth and grabbed him by the shoulder.

Just where do you think you’re going, anyway?”

I’m going to find him,” Michael said without turning to look at her. “It’s the only way to end all of this. I’ll do what I should have done a long time ago.”

Uriel stepped in front of him, glaring at him. “How do you expect to find him, though? It was your recklessness before that got us into this mess, remember?”

A vein pulsed on Michael’s forehead and he glowered at his sister. “It would have happened regardless of my actions!”

Maybe,” Uriel said, stepping away from him. “But Raph might still be here if that hadn’t happened.”

Michael clenched his fists and for the briefest moment he was tempted to wrap them around Uriel’s throat, but he kept his cool and walked on, blocking out her words. She didn’t make anymore protests or try to stop him, so that was good enough.

He stormed past Gabriel and Oliver, who were sitting together clutching each others’ hands. They watched him go and Gabriel glanced up at Uriel and asked, “What is he doing?”

I don’t know,” Uriel huffed, keeping her arms crossed over her chest. “He’s acting stupid is what he’s doing. He’s probably going to get himself killed, if we’re going to be honest.”

Gabriel glanced toward Michael’s disappearing form, as he had already made it a fair distance from their camp. “No, I’m not sure he can die. He’s too stubborn for it.”

Michael walked out into the desolate wasteland that used to be a thriving city. Tall structures had crumbled to the ground, and there was no sign of life anywhere. Not even flies or maggots to pick at what remained. Hell, there weren’t even any remains other than the man-made structures.

He clutched the mp3 player tight in his hand, as if holding it like this would lead him to his brother. For a long time he never really understood why his brother cared for the thing so much, but now he thought he knew. The music that the device contained was both an escape and an emotional vessel. Many of the songs reminded Michael of the world he was living in at that very moment and he wondered if his brother always felt this way, like this was how the world always looked to him so he decided to show it to everyone else.

In a way, it made him yearn to see his brother for a whole other reason than what he was actually planning on doing. He thought back to a time when they were actually close friends. Before all this shit happened. Before he decided to turn his back on Father and everyone else.

Michael grasped the mp3 even tighter, his grip threatening to break it to pieces, but he managed to control himself. He breathed in a deep breath and continued walking on, feeling as if he saw a pathway in which to go on. The music flowing out through the earbuds spurred him on even as he felt his spirit start to give.

I’m nuclear! I’m wild! I’m breaking up inside! A heart of broken glass, defiled! Deep inside the abandoned child!

You know, I was wondering where that went. I thought I must have dropped it on my way out to visit Chamuel. I guess you found it, huh? I’m glad to see you took good care of it for me.”

Michael turned and came face to face with his brother. Lucifer stood several feet away, looking ever like the morning star he was named for. His fair hair fell well below his shoulders, his skin golden and radiant as the sun. They gazed at each other for a time, then Lucifer held his hand out.

I should very much like that back now, though.”

Michael didn’t make a move or a sound. He merely stood there, staring. After some time of this, Lucifer let out a sigh and walked forward.

Michael, do you have to be such a drama queen? Please, I get that enough with Haniel. Just give me back my iPod and we’ll call it fair, alright?”

Why’d you do it?” Michael said in a low voice. Lucifer blinked at him and tilted his head slightly.

Do what? You must be more specific, brother. I’ve done many questionable things and you could be talking about any of them.”

Why did you kill Raphael?”

Ah, that.” Lucifer slowly strolled around Michael, keeping a considerable distance as he did so. “The thing is, I asked him for his help. He refused. It was a devastating blow, truly. It pained me to do it, but it had to be done. He was standing in the way of my plans and, as much as I regretted doing it, it was necessary.”

No, it wasn’t,” Michael snarled. “You killed Chamuel as well. Him I understand, by why did you kill Raphael on top of that?”

Because he was too important,” Lucifer said, stopping about three feet from Michael. “If he didn’t join me, I couldn’t let you keep him either. So I took the next course of action and disposed of him.”

Michael had heard enough at that point. He went barreling toward Lucifer, pulling his fist back to punch him square in the jaw. Before the blow could connect, however, Lucifer had stepped gracefully out of the way, grabbing Michael’s wrist and twisting it until he sent him to his knees. Lucifer retrieved his iPod and released his brother, sliding the device into his pocket while he popped the earbuds into his ears.

Ah, back where it belongs. I did quite miss it.”

Michael hissed and glanced up at Lucifer. “Just what the hell are you planning on doing now?”

Doing? Well, to be honest, I hadn’t really thought that far ahead. This is enough, isn’t it?” Lucifer walked away a few steps and spread his arms out, gazing up at the sky. “And do you know what the best part about it is? Father isn’t doing anything to stop me. Now why do you suppose that is? Doesn’t he care for this world he created? Doesn’t he care for these creatures he calls his children? Apparently not.”

Michael pushed himself back to his feet, stumbling forward a step and shaking with fury. “You’ve closed heaven’s gates with your treachery.”

Oh, are you saying that with those gates closed, he doesn’t have the power to do anything about this? The only ones who could possibly stop me are you and our other siblings?” Lucifer turned to face Michael, and there was a hint of a smile on his face. “If that’s true, how can you say our Father is all powerful? I set out to prove that I was beyond his power. And what’s this? It looks like I was right.”

Michael surged forward and wrapped both his hands around Lucifer’s throat, knocking him to the ground and kneeling over him. Lucifer didn’t make a move to stop him, and the smile remained on his face as Michael squeezed. Every muscle in his body shook, and though he squeezed he couldn’t seem to gather enough strength to choke out his brother’s life.

It’s like I always said, brother,” Lucifer whispered, gazing into Michael’s eyes. “I was going to be the strongest. And it looks like I’ve finally surpassed you.”

No,” Michael growled. “You haven’t.” He pressed his thumbs against Lucifer’s jugulars, digging his nails into the skin to try and break it. The smile on Lucifer’s face grew wider, and with a single strike of his arm, he had tossed Michael off him. Michael was thrown ten feet away and landed on the ground with a heavy crash.

Lucifer stood easily and gracefully, running his hand across his throat to wipe away the little bit of blood Michael had drawn. “Michael, look at yourself. With heaven’s gates closed up, you’ve lost much of your power. You’re weak, but I’m strong. Why not just admit it? After all, if you keep going the way you are now, someone might get hurt.”

Those words sent a jolt through Michael, as he remembered Raphael saying them. A new wave of anger overtook him, and he launched himself back to his feet, surging toward Lucifer once more. He was bent over as he ran, looking like some sort of terrible animal. Lucifer stood tall and still, a faint smirk on his face.

As Michael came within arm’s reach, Lucifer held out his hand and struck at Michael with a burst of what could have at one time been referred to as his Glory. It cut Michael to the core and he was thrown back again, even further this time. Lucifer lowered his arm and watched as his brother struggled to stand again and start running at him once more.

This truly is futile, Michael. Why do you persist? You’re just going to keep getting hurt. It isn’t becoming of you at all.”

I won’t stop until you’re dead!” Michael lunged forward, grabbing at Lucifer again, forgoing his heavenly power and instead resorting to the strength of his physical body, as much of it as he could muster. He made a fist and slammed it into Lucifer’s stomach. Lucifer flinched back, but otherwise didn’t react, as if he hadn’t even felt it.

Come now, Michael. I know you don’t really want to kill me. I do not wish to kill you, either.” Lucifer grabbed Michael by the back of the neck, pinching a nerve which paralyzed him. Michael stiffened up, glaring at Lucifer. Lucifer smiled, but it was a somewhat sad smile. “You just want things to go back to the way they once were, do you not, brother?”

What-?”

That’s all I want, too.” Lucifer leaned in and pressed his lips to Michael’s. Michael’s eyes grew wide, and he couldn’t pull away or do anything at all. As Lucifer kissed him, he pressed his other hand against Michael’s stomach, letting his power burn into Michael, which once more threw him back. Michael slammed through the window of an old ruined building and landed hard on the floor, broken glass scattered all around him.

Lucifer slid through the window and knelt down beside Michael, running his hand across Michael’s head, which was bleeding. Michael’s muscles started tightening up, and Lucifer smiled.

We should stop all this fighting,” he said in a quiet, soothing voice. “Look at you. You’re so weak. You’re so tired. So stressed. Michael, let me help you.”

What are you talking about?” Michael groaned a bit, no longer able to ignore the pain in his body. He could hardly move, and by this time he realized he had pushed his physical form to its limits. Lucifer lifted Michael’s head up and laid it on his knees as he began to stroke Michael’s hair.

I think you know exactly what I mean, brother.”

The horror of the situation finally dawned on Michael. He was at Lucifer’s mercy at this moment, body broken, unable to summon his Glory. He grit his teeth and let out a rasping breath. Lucifer smiled down at him, a terrible, triumphant smile. He leaned down to whisper in Michael’s ear, lips almost brushing against him.

Do you know how long I’ve wanted to do this?”

Go to hell,” Michael spat.

Been there, done that. It’s time for something different.”

He rolled Michael over onto his stomach, and Michael’s head started to spin as blood dripped down into his eyes. He attempted to push himself up, but every muscle in his body cried out in protest, refusing to move him. Lucifer’s slender fingers trailed across Michael’s spine, sending shivers all throughout his body. It was the dreadful buildup that was the worst, and he could tell just how much Lucifer was enjoying this part.

Does it feel good?” Lucifer whispered. “You can’t tell me you haven’t been wanting this like I have.”

If you’re going to do it, just do it and get it over with,” Michael hissed, unable to bear it any longer. Lucifer smirked, grasping his shoulder blades just above the wings, a particularly sensitive spot that hurt like hell when handled too roughly.

Michael felt Lucifer’s body press against his back. It was much slimmer than his own, almost like a woman’s, but well-built enough to show his strength. Feeling his brother’s body against his own made him shudder, and yet he couldn’t deny that it felt strangely pleasurable, but in a dark and sinful way that he didn’t want to dwell on.

I’ll be gentle,” Lucifer breathed in Michael’s ear, sending a shiver down his spine. Michael clenched his fingers in the debris scattered around him, letting out shaky breaths.

It was gentle. Lucifer made slow, intimate, controlled movements, his hands stroking above Michael’s wings in an almost unbearably wonderful way. Several moans escaped from Michael’s lips, both from the pain in his body, and from the pleasure he felt from this. It felt so shameful, and he almost wished Lucifer were being rough over this.

As it went on, Michael could tell that his brother was drawing it out and making it slow on purpose. He wanted to savor it, to make it last as long as he could. Michael was between fighting it with all he could and letting it happen, to rest from the brutal beating he had been given.

Lucifer slowly stroked across Michael’s wings, his fingers admiring the perfection of divinity. He kissed the back of Michael’s neck, his lips finding their way back to his ear and whispering, “Surely you understand this is how it was meant to be. We’re two of a kind, Michael, both pure and perfect beings. And that’s why I could never bear to kill you. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Michael took in a breath, his stomach twisting and his head spinning. After a moment he managed to get a few words out. “You may be considered perfect compared to the rest of creation, brother, but you will never be perfect enough for Father.”

Lucifer’s fingers dug deep into Michael’s flesh, nails sinking into his tender skin. He growled in Michael’s ear and bit down into it, and suddenly his movements became faster, more forceful. Michael gasped and shuddered as it felt like he was being stabbed repeatedly, the force equal to that of a raging stampede of beasts. He could feel blood trickling over his body.

The pain was almost unbearable, and yet it was somehow better than the gentle intimacy from before. This was what he was expecting, and somehow the continued pain was almost relieving. Tension melted away from him. Michael clenched his teeth, biting down onto his tongue until it bled, the warm coppery flavor somehow soothing his nausea.

Lucifer clawed Michael’s back, flaying the skin and making more blood trickle downward. His bloody fingers came close to Michael’s wings, seeming ready to tear into them next, but he stopped and merely stroked them. Even stained red, the bright wings looked immaculate.

It doesn’t matter,” Lucifer murmured, at last releasing Michael’s ear from the clutches of his jagged teeth. “I do not wish for his approval. I’m above that.” He licked the trickle of blood coming from Michael’s ear, and Michael shuddered as Lucifer once more went into his slow, gentle, intimate motions.

Then what is it you really want?” Michael asked, his voice quiet, breathless. He could hardly stand the gentleness, now that he had gotten a taste of how brutal his brother could be.

What I really want?” Lucifer stroked down between Michael’s wings and across his spine. “After the destruction of all of Father’s creations, all I really want is you.”

Michael’s muscles tensed, his shoulders flexing. Lucifer grinned and gripped just above his wings once more. Michael struggled beneath him, trying to pull away, but he had been weakened too much to even put up the proper resistance.

That’s right,” Lucifer purred in his ear. “When this is all over, we’re going to be the last two things left in all the universe. It’ll just be you and me. Forever.”

Michael!” The distant voice shook the two of them out of the moment. Lucifer looked up and narrowed his eyes, then with a heavy sigh he pulled away from Michael and stepped around him.

Looks like our dear sister has finally found us. Well, I don’t feel particularly confrontational at the moment. I should be going. Thanks for bringing this back to me.” He stooped down and waved his mp3 player in Michael’s face, a smile plastered over his own. “I’ll leave you for now, but I assure you, this isn’t over Michael. Soon, I’ll have you all to myself, and the others will meet the same fate as Raphael.”

And he was gone. Michael lay limp on the ground, broken and bloodied and stripped. He didn’t even try to move or stand on his own. He hardly even acknowledged that anything had changed until Uriel was standing there, crouched beside him.

Michael? Michael! What happened to you?”

He lifted his head up to look at her, but her face become unfocused as his eyes grew misty. He clenched his teeth as more tears formed in his eyes. “Uriel…”

Michael…” She wrapped her arms around him and lifted him into a sitting position so he was leaning against her. He began to weep. Uriel held onto him, wrapping her wings around him comfortingly. He was so weak and damaged. She could try to heal him, but that was always Raphael’s area of expertise.

I’m sorry,” he said between heaving sobs. “You were right. I was a fool.”

Uriel stroked his hair slowly, soothingly. “Shut up, you big dummy. There’s no point in apologizing now.” She held onto her big brother, never having seen him in such a weak, vulnerable state before. All her anger with him from before washed away, replaced with a feeling of protectiveness.

We’re going to get through this,” she murmured. “Somehow. Father won’t abandon us, I know.”

Hasn’t he already? Michael thought. No. It was that kind of thinking that got him into this mess in the first place. It was because he was going by his own strength without consulting Father. Why did he keep doing this?

Because Lucifer brought out the worst in him.

Let’s go back,” Uriel said. “Gabriel and I can heal you together, I’m sure.”

I don’t want him to know what happened,” Michael muttered.

He’s going to figure it out anyway, I’m sure.” Uriel stood and lifted Michael into her arms. If they were as human as they looked, she certainly wouldn’t have the strength to lift him, but she was a powerful archangel, even with the gates of heaven closed off.

She carried him all the way back to their camp, where Gabriel was waiting with Oliver. Though Gabriel looked shocked at first at the state Michael was in, he never asked any questions or gave him judgmental looks. For this Michael was grateful.

Even so, his brother’s words haunted his mind, making it impossible for him to relax. “The others will meet the same fate as Raphael, and I’ll have you all to myself.

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