Alastor was busy making lunch for Cyrino when someone knocked on the front door of their home. He stopped what he was doing and quickly wiped the tomato juice off of his hands before running to answer. His eyes widened slightly when he saw the demon, his eyes and skin just like Cyrino’s. “Hello um can I help you?” He asked. The demon blinked in confusion which soon turned to suspicion that had him grabbing Alastor by the throat.
“What have you done with Cyrino?” He asked.
“I would appreciate if you released my mate brother.” Cyrino said from behind the other demon.
“Now Fade, you’re scaring him.” The demon released him and Alastor rushed to Cyrino. “Are you alright?”
“Your scent isn’t as strong as it should be on him, I thought he had taken your home.” Fade crossed his arms. “Unclaimed then?”
“That is none of your business, why are you here scaring my mate?”
Fade sighed. “That was not my intent and I apologize, but it’s not like you write. Anyway, I came because I need your help. Someone I know needs your help, she’s…”
“Just listen. She has some of the symptoms those you help often have, but it seems so much worse. I need you to come with me, please. She’s in pain and she tried to kill herself. I found her and told her family to keep an eye on her.”
“Of course I’ll help. My mate will be coming with us and you must be nice to him, especially after greeting Alastor like you did.”
“I know but the only reason your arm isn’t broken is because you are my brother.” Fade waited outside as they went in and grabbed a few things. They weren’t taking much so were soon outside again and walking with Fade. “How long has this one been your mate Cyrino: Fade asked and Cyrino answered “about a year”
“a year” he was surprised since they obviously still hadn’t had sex yet.
“And he’ll be here for many more years. He is my everything.”
“How did you meet?”
“I was his patient.” Alastor answered. “He saved my life.”
“You truly love him then?”
“I do, he’s well he’s perfect and the only one who didn’t think I was nuts.”
“You weren’t nuts.” He laced his fingers with Alastor’s. “So brother, what is this woman to you?”
“Just someone I care for and I would see her well. It’s rare for someone to look at ones such as us and not run away. Her parents are expecting us.”
“You remember the process is painful.”
“Cyrino’s going to save her, you don’t have to worry.” Alastor said, trying not to sound nervous.
“I know, I come here in full faith knowing he can help her” Alastor could see it in Fade’s eyes, the absolute trust, the complete lack of worry. He had never seen someone so confident in another before but Alastor knew Cyrino deserved it. They followed Fade to the womans parents who looked relieved to see them “:thank you, Cyrino right?” the father said and Cyrino gave a small nod “yes, let me see her. I hope my brother has informed you this will be painful for her”
“Good, I’m sorry, I wish there was a gentler way to do this”
“We understand, we just want her better.” Cyrino was lead upstairs and Alastor followed closely with Fade behind him.
Alastor was shocked when they entered the room. The young woman had been tied to her bed where she was thrashing around, sweat dotting her skin as she groaned in agony. Her wrists were bandaged where she had tried cutting them. “How long has she been like this?” Cyrino asked as he began pulling things out of his bag.
“She has always been a bit on the strange side, seemingly talking to things that we could not see, but this is the first time she has been like this. When she was younger we didn’t think anything of it, there are so many gifted children, but now, I fear we have failed her.” Her father answered, his eyes damp.
“Do not blame yourself, there is no way you could have known.”
“Please save her, I’ll do anything as long as she lives.”
“I would like you and your wife to stay out of here. I know you love her and would do anything for her, but seeing her in pain may make you change your mind. Fade, you stay with them and make sure they can’t come in here. If they stop me, the process will have to start over and she will be put through more pain than is necessary. Alastor, you stay with me, I need you here.”
“But, what can I do?”
“You can help comfort her and your presence will help me, please stay.”
“Okay” Cyrino was always there when he needed him so Alastor wouldn’t let him down and walk out. Fade ushered the parents out of the room and took them into the kitchen. He planned to keep them in there no matter what they did or how they begged or if they hated him after. He wouldn’t allow them to cause Eleri more pain. He hated knowing she had to suffer any more at all to get better. Fade sat down in the only way out of the kitchen while Eleri’s parents sat at the table.
” we won’t try to interfere” Her mother said and Fade sighed “I’m sorry but you’re her parents. Once you hear the misery she’s in you’ll be fighting your instincts to rush to her. It’ll be hard to fight so I’m just going to sit here to make sure the process isn’t set back and forced to be restarted.”
“Thank you” Fade smiled “I didn’t expect you to thank me”
“well thank you for this and for going to get your brother, thank you for helping our daughter”
“You never have to thank me, Eleri is important to me and she and you two have been so accepting of me. My brother and I don’t get a lot of that, we’re a bit off putting.”
The first of Eleri’s wails startled her parents and Fade readied himself to stop them. He himself want to run up there, but he knew how important his brother’s concentration was and would not disturb the process. Alastor did his best to comfort Eleri, gently holding her hand and say encouraging things to her to help her through the stubborn souls that had latched onto her body. Even though he had been through the same pain, the souls in his body had not been this bad. Even Cyrino was sweating with how hard he was fighting to release the spirit from her body. When the first was finally pulled loose, Eleri collapsed into unconsciousness and Cyrino dropped down to sit on the floor, taking a couple of deep, exhausted breaths.
“Are you alright?” Alastor asked as he sat down next to him.
“Yeah, stubborn souls make for a lot more lost energy. She has a lot of them, the poor girl.” He smiled, gently patting Alastor’s head. “Just give me a moment then we can let her parents and Fade know. We might be spending a lot more time here than anticipated.”
“That’s fine, it just means I’ll get to know your brother more.”
Cyrino arched an eyebrow. “Oh really now?”
“Not like that, just he’s your brother, he’s got to have stories about you.”
“Well don’t get to close to him.”
“Very.” He took another breath then got to his feet, Alastor following him, ready to help him if he stumbled. They headed down to Eleri’s parents and Fade, letting them know they could go and see her if they wished and to try getting her to eat and drink if they could.
Her father ran up while her mother quickly began getting a drink and some light food together. “I don’t like that face brother” Fade said and Cyrino answered “you shouldn’t, this is the worst case I’ve seen. It’s going to be a horribly painful and long job. It’s exhausting pulling out souls this strong willed. I will need breaks inbetween but one is out.” Fade seemed greatly upset but Alastor was glad he seemed to understand this was the best Cyrino could do. That if he could help her faster or more easily he would. “I need some air while I can get it” Fade said to nobody in particular and walked out.
“Should we go after him?” Alastor asked as he got Cyrino some water.
“Give him some space. If I know my brother, he’s blaming himself for not acting sooner which is making him angry and frustrated. Walking is his way of keeping himself from breaking things, so let him go, we can talk to him when he returns.” He took the water and gulped it down. “We should find somewhere close by to stay.”
“You’re free to stay here.” Eleri’s father said as he came back down to the kitchen.
“Is everything okay up there?”
“My wife wanted to help her get clean.”
“Are you sure you have the room, my brother might want to stay here.”
“We’ll set him up a place to sleep in Eleri’s room.”
“As long as you are sure.”
“Fade has shown himself to be quite the gentlemen. Even when he and Eleri spend time together, he never so much as flirts with her, not that he doesn’t want to, he’s just polite.”
“Fade is a good man. We look terrifying but our covers do not do us justice” Fade stayed gone so long Cyrino was ready to pull another soul by the time he returned. There was a moment before they returned to Eleri’s room that Cyrino set his hand on Fade’s shoulder and just looked at him. Alastor knew they didn’t need words to express things to one another, they were brothers after all. They only did that one more before they called it a night. Eleri needed a break and so did her family.
“How are you feeling?” Alastor asked when they settled into bed.
“Is it always this bad?”
“It’s rare that spirits are this stubborn, but it does happen. They turn violent in their confusion and their need for supremacy.” He pulled Alastor into his arms. “How about you, how are you?”
“Me? I’m fine. Why?”
“About what my brother said, it’s not something you have to worry about.”
Alastor’s heart skipped a beat. “Oh, I’ve been meaning to apologize for not, you know, being ready.”
Cyrino huffed out a little laugh. “It’s not like I haven’t thought about it, it’s just not a big deal. You’ve been settling into your new home and exploring and getting to know the people in the nearby village, it’s fine.”
“But, it’s been a year.”
“A wonderful year so please don’t worry, my brother gets concerned that’s all.”
“as long as you truly aren’t bothered”
“I’m not, it’ll happen when it happens. There’s no point in rushing. I’m keeping you alive for eternity so it’s not like we’re limited by your human life span”
“of course, I mean, that’s okay right? I can keep you alive forever?”
“does that mean I have to do anything? Like to make me live forever?”
“Yes but you don’t really have to yet. You are still young”
“I um…I’m happy to do it after all this if you want me to” Cyrino smiled and gave Alastor a loving kiss “that would make me incredibly happy Alastor. Believe it or not even more happy than you some day letting me express physically how I feel”
Alastor’s heart skipped excitedly in his chest. He had never felt so cherished by someone in his life. “I love you.”
“I love you too, very, very much.”
Cyrino soon fell asleep, his body exhausted and Alastor snuggled in close to him and just listened to his soft breathing and steady heartbeat before he himself drifted off. They were woke the next day by Fade who wanted to know if they were hungry and they both got up and headed down to breakfast. “So how many will you do today?” Fade asked once they were settled.
“It depends on how much she can take. I don’t want to push her body to far or the strain and exhaustion might kill her.”
“Why her? What did she do to deserve something like this?”
“Nothing, you know that. Too many souls tried for the same body. It happened to Alastor.”
“I banged my head against the wall so hard and so much I made myself bleed. I didn’t even realize it until I was being restrained. I just wanted the voices to stop.”
“And Eleri tried to kill herself.” Fade said, sounding upset.
“But you saved her right? You were there when she needed you and that’s all that matters.” Alastor tried.
The memory seemed so painful and understandably so but he nodded. “Look at Alastor, he’s happy now. When I’m done with her in no time she’ll be just as normal and peaceful as him” Fade took a little comfort in that though he knew Alastors case hadn’t been at the level Eleri’s was. He would hold on to hope wherever he could grasp it because he couldn’t handle loseing her, not Eleri. They ate and soon after Cyrino returned to Eleri, leaving Fade to once again make sure the parents didn’t interfere.
Cyrino gritted his teeth as he fought with the spirit. It was clinging so hard to Eleri that her back was lifting off of the mattress. It was made worse by the fact that Eleri was begging him to stop. “He can’t or he’ll have to start over.” Alastor said softly as he pushed her back down then pushed damp hair off of her brow. “You can do this.” She let out a wail and nodded, tears streaming down her face. They were both relieved when the soul finally released her and she laid there whimpering.
Cyrino was panting for air, his entire body drenched in sweat. Alastor helped him off the bed and down onto the floor where he just sat. “How is she?”
“Out again.” Alastor pressed his forehead to Cyrino’s. “You’re burning up.”
Cyrino waved off his concern. “I’m fine, demons don’t get sick.”
“You know that what you do is a strain on your body, it could make you sick.”
“I’m fine, Alastor.”
Alastor frowned. “How many are left?”
“Two I think, both equally as stubborn.” He reached up and let his palm slide over Alastor’s cheek. “I’ll be okay.”
Cyrino pulled Alastor into him and held him, letting out a sigh. Even now it felt incredibly good to hold Alastor. He was more of a comfort than he’d probably ever realize. When Cyrino could stand they left the room to inform her parents and Fade there were only two left “but I can’t do another today. Her body has to rest. Even I need rest and it’s harder on her than it is on me” Eleri’s mother rested a hand on Fade’s back “You should go comfort her Fade. We’ll all figure out something to eat” Fade thanked his brother then went to Eleri.
“You look like you need to sit” her father said as he pulled out a chair. Cyrino took it “I pulled that last one out a bit ago but it took me awhile to be able to come back down.”
“well I’m going to go grab take out. I don’t think any of us feel up to cooking. Does pizza sound okay?”
“yeah” with that the father left and Eleri’s mom made them each a drink.
Cyrino was practically asleep at the table when he returned and snapped up, rubbing his eyes. Alastor hated he was so exhausted. He was never this tired and these souls were making him sick, but he couldn’t just ask him not to help Eleri. Cyrino ate then Alastor took him back upstairs to shower. “Are you coming in with me?” Cyrino asked and Alastor felt a blush creep up his neck.
“Well, I kind of need too, you might fall.”
“You’re too cute, you know that?”
“And you’re tired.” Cyrino chuckled and let Alastor start the water and help him out of his clothes. He felt like falling down, but didn’t want to worry Alastor. This job was nearly over and soon Eleri would be free and he wouldn’t have to see Fade so upset. Alastor helped him into the tub then hurried out to grab clean clothes. “Sorry, I forgot. All I can think about his how tired you are, it worries me.” He said as he undressed then stepped under the warm water.
“Don’t worry, I’m tough.”
“Well once this is over, you’re going to let me take care of you until you’re at full strength again. No arguing.”
“Someone’s suddenly become very bossy because of my weakened state.”
“Please, just let me. I don’t have your gifts and I’m not as strong or as fast as you, but I can at least take care of you sometimes.”
Cyrino smiled, caressing Alastors cheek again “You don’t have to be strong, that’s my job. You bring a peace and tenderness to my life I needed. You’re my calm and I’m your protector, never forget that. It’s what makes us so perfect together.” Alastor blushed again, hating how easily it always came. He did however love the amused twinkle it always caused in Cyrino’s eyes. Alastor helped him wash then they spent the remainder of the day resting for tomorrows souls.
In the morning when it was time to start again Fade had a much harder time leaving Cyrino alone with her. Cyrino understood and simply said “If it’s at all possible I’ll finish today, I promise you that. I’ve truly done my best to make this as quick as I can” Alastor wondered if Fade was going to cry, he looked on the edge of it “I can’t listen to you make her scream much longer”
“I know, maybe you need to take her parents out before I start. If anybody can interupt me it’s you and you know I can’t have that”
“Maybe it’s best, I just..”
“I know” Cyrino said again then hugged his brother.
When Fade and Eleri’s parents were gone, Cyrino went over to the bed and gently shook Eleri awake. She looked ready to give up, but Cyrino wasn’t going to let her. “It’s time again?” She asked weakly.
“Yes, I’m sorry.”
“I’m just so tired.”
“I know, but I will try and end this today. Fade is waiting for you.”
Eleri started crying and Cyrino gently stroked her hair. “I don’t want to die.”
“You won’t, I promise. Can you be strong for just a bit longer?” She nodded.
Alastor sat down next to her and took her hand. “It’s going to be alright, you’ll see. Did you know I went through something similar. It hurt like crazy, but I promise once this is all over you’ll be happy and there won’t be anymore voices.”
“Okay.” She whimpered.
Cyrino took a deep breath in and out and began. He hated having to cause so much pain to help people but his way of doing it was the only way he knew how. He had even tried, researched other ways but this was the only way it could be done to his knowledge so far. He fought the next one out, leaving just one more besides the one that was supposed to be there. She was wailing and screaming but he tried to tell her over her noise “only one more, only one. I think I can just get it okay?”
“are you sure she’ll be okay?” Alastor yelled back the question and Cyrino said “she’s a strong girl, I know she can and we can just be done” Just getting this over with would mean she could truly rest and simply be comforted back to normal life. It would end the misery of existing with so much chaos in your head. He began again, hoping for her sake the pain would make her pass out.
Eleri started to gag about halfway through the process and Alastor rolled her onto her side, but made sure Cyrino still had contact with her. She threw up and Alastor comforted her, telling her how good she was doing and that it was nearly over. Cyrino’s head was swimming with his fatigue and he felt his own stomach churning as he fought with the spirit. He pushed all the energy he had into pulling the spirit out and was relieved when it finally detached and Eleri fell into unconsciousness while he fell off the bed and just lay there staring up at the ceiling. “Cyrino?”
“Check her first. Is she breathing?”
Alastor checked her pulse and the rise and fall of her chest. “Yes, she’s alive.”
“Thank the gods.” He mumbled and allowed himself to drift off. When he woke, he was laying in bed, dressed in clean clothes. He felt cold and his entire body ached. He tried moving and it woke Alastor who was sleeping next to him.
“Cyrino? Hey, you’re awake.”
“You passed out and you have a fever.”
“Sleeping, Fade’s keeping an eye on her while you recover.”
“What did I say, no arguing. You made yourself sick and you’re going to rest now. Eleri’s mom made a big pot of chicken noodle soup.”
“I just couldn’t watch someone my brother cared about being in pain any longer. I needed to finish”
“I don’t blame you and your brother is deeply grateful for doing this for her”
“That soup sounds really nice” Cyrinos voice was so soft and it worried Alastor. He got up and hurriedly warmed soup before bringing some in a bowl to Cyrino. Cyrino scooted himself up and rested against the headboard when Alastor returned with bowl in hand “you can sit up, I’m glad to see it”
“I’m tough, remember?”
“Not invincible though”
“want to bet?”
“Be good and eat”
“yes sir” Cyrino said with a smile. The warmth of the broth was so comforting. Alastor had heated it to such a perfect temperature. Cyrino finished the entire thing then set the bowl on the nightstand “I want to hold you now” Alastor cuddled up to Cyrino and it eased his tension.
Over the next couple of days Alastor fussed over Cyrino, making sure he was getting enough sleep and keeping him updated in Eleri who Fade and her parents woke long enough to eat and drink something. “I should go check on her.” Cyrino said as he got out of bed. “I want to make sure every bit of those souls was removed.”
“Just take it easy.” Alastor said worriedly.
“I don’t even have a fever anymore. You healed me.”
“I just brought you soup.”
He smiled and leaned in, giving Alastor a kiss. “Just having you near me makes me better, thank you for being so bossy.”
Alastor blushed. “I just didn’t like seeing you like that. I’m so happy you’re up.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Eleri looked a little afraid of Cyrino as he entered “I’m just checking to be absolutely sure the souls are gone. I won’t hurt you”
“I”m sorry..I don’t mean to be afraid”
“what I put you through to help you was pure misery. I understand” Cyrino examined her and to his relief he found he had done the job perfectly “you’re you, how does it feel”
“quiet..I like it a lot. I also feel like me which is surprising”
“You were always you, just with other souls trying to take over. Only one soul ever truly takes root in a being” Eleri got up and hugged Cyrino “thank you so much”
“You are very welcome” They stayed a few more days so Alastor could get to know Fade and so Cyrino could get to know Eleri and her family. He was happy that his brother might have found a mate as he had. He had a suspicion the attraction was mutual and he said as much to his brother before returning home “tell her how you feel. She’s a sweet adn beautiful girl, if you waste too much time another will claim her” Cyrino could already see his brother was territorial which meant it wasn’t just attraction i was love. He chuckled at the aura his brother was putting off. “Just talk to her you dope”
“I’ll try, I just don’t want to upset her or make things weird…I mean…look at us”
“Alastor loves me anyway”
“Just be honest with her, I’m sure she’ll be happy.”
“Okay, thank you again. If anything had happened to her…just thanks.”
“Come and visit us some time, you know like a real visit.”
“I will I promise. I wanted to know, do you ever plan on introducing Alastor to our parents? I don’t really fell comfortable with Eleri being near them, but if you decide to then…”
“Never, you and I both know they are not exactly the most idea parents. They don’t need to know, just be happy and keep them out of the loop. If they find out, then we’ll deal with it then.”
“Alright then, you two be careful.”
The trip home felt much longer, but Alastor was glad they went slow and he was able to enjoy the walk and he was still worried about Cyrino pushing himself. He knew he shouldn’t be, he seemed fine, but seeing him sick had really scared him. “Hey, Cyrino, when we get home, I want to be like you.”
“You’re sure? Once it’s done it’s done and you’ll be stuck with me forever.”
“Of course, besides, if I’m not around then you’ll overwork yourself. I’ll have to be there forever to make you rest, especially on hard cases. I mean that’s not the main reason, I really love you with all my heart so I want to be with you for as long as possible.”
Cyrino swept Alastor off his feet. The happiness flowing through Cyrino made him need to hold Alastor “thank you, for agreeing to eternity. I’ve finally found true happiness with someone and I never want to lose it. It’s not fair humans have such short lives. I’m just glad there’s a fix for it” Cyrino could hardly wait when they arrived home to change Alastor though that meant once again he had to cause someone pain. He had a long talk with Alastor about how it would be to transform into a demon before he did it. He didn’t want Alastor to back out but Cyrino loved him enough to be honest with him instead of just taking what he wanted.
“That’s fine, pain is worth it.”
“Okay, then lets begin my love”
Alastor barely flinched when the blade pierced their hands, but once the heat and pain started, he clung to Cyrino, trying his best to hold in his cries. He didn’t want Cyrino to feel guilty. It broke Cyrino’s heart to make him go through something like this, but to Alastor’s credit he didn’t pass out. “I can’t move.” Alastor said, his tone soft and filled with exhaustion. “I hurt.”
“It’s okay, I’ve got you.” Cyrino laid him down and undressed him then covered him and went to get him something for the pain.
Alastor was overjoyed to have forever with Cyrino and once he was recovered, they worked on finding out what abilities he had inherited if any. Alastor was amazed at how much stronger and faster he was and even played with his senses. “Do you think I’ll get anymore gifts?” He asked excitedly.
“Maybe, who knows. Demon blood is a bit unpredictable in that department. Some get nothing and others get everything or even develop new abilities. Give it time.”
Alastor hugged him tightly and Cyrino chuckled. He really was adorable. “Thank you so much Cyrino, for everything, for coming for me and healing me, thank you so much. I really love you.”
“I love you too, really and truly. You’ve been such a gift.” He tipped his head up and lovingly kissed him. “Thank you for being my everything.” Alastor’s heart nearly burst with joy and all he could do was hold himself to Cyrino, feeling so amazingly blessed to have such an amazing mate he could spend eternity with.