I can't ask Scott to give himself to Raphael, even though I know that's what he really wants. Maybe he'll accept a substitute...
"You are disgusting!" Micah growled, stepping forward. "Of all the depraved, perverted things you could suggest..."
"What?" Raphael turned to him with a shrug, a smirk, and a tilt of his head. "It is not like we are denied the option." He laughed, his smirk turning wicked. "You and I both know how Lumiel frequently takes the opportunity to get to know humans better. Why should I not?"
His words struck a nerve with the other angel, his face twisting into a painful scowl. "It is an unfortunate part of his job."
Raphael laughed again. "And you are delusional if you think he does not enjoy it. Or, at the very least, just jealous that his affections -- by nature of his job -- cannot be exclusive to you."
Micah muttered something back, his face turning an angry red, but whatever he had said was incomprehensible to Nathan. Either way, their brief exchange didn't make the offer he was about to give any easier to voice. If anything, it only made the knot in his stomach tighter and the offer worse.
"I know what you want, Raphael," Nathan said as confidently as he could. He looked over at the freezing Avery to remind himself why he was doing this, then forced himself to meet the angel's gaze. "And I can't promise you that. But... but I can step in myself as substitute." Just the thought of it made him sick, and he tried not to imagine what he was getting himself into. He didn't want to say more than that and hoped the angel understood. He seemed to, tilting his head curiously.
"Really?" Raphael asked, a glint of interest flashing in his glowing green eyes. "Do not be vague, Karol. I need to know for certain what you are offering me. What is it you will give me, precisely, in exchange for the life of this boy?" He stood and took a step forward towards Nathan. "Surely, you cannot seriously be offering what I think you are."
"Please tell me you aren't offering what I think you are," Scott muttered quickly under his breath, turning to his coworker worriedly. "I'm hoping the conclusion I just jumped to is entirely wrong. You're not..."
"Offering myself to his attentions in exchange for Avery's life?" Nathan gave him a weak and desperate smile. "He wants you, but I'm not that much of an ass." He glanced back at Raphael as the angel made his way closer. "Believe me, I don't like this any more than you do, but I'm not going to let Avery die because I chose to reset everything."
"Such a noble and selfless gesture," Raphael agreed, now standing right in front of the two men. He hummed, lifting one hand to reach out and touch a strand of Nathan's hair. "I never imagined myself with a redhead..."
Nathan tried not wince while he braced himself, resisting every instinct to back away, really wishing he'd thought of some other option. He bit his lip, reminding himself again and again why he was doing this, telling himself that it would all be worth it if he saved a life... but before Raphael's fingers reached him, Scott suddenly smacked them out of the way, striking the back of his hand with his flashlight. The angel looked at him with a surprised and confused frown.
"I think I have to agree with the detective," Scott said, putting himself in front of Nathan. "You are disgusting. To even consider..."
"He made the offer," Raphael pointed out with a shrug, his smile returning. "If I were you, I would be thanking him. I know he did so on your behalf. I would have much preferred if you had stepped forward instead. Clearly, he cares more for the life of Avery than you do." He hummed again, this time reaching for Scott. "Or are you jealous that you did not think to suggest it first?"
"Don't you dare touch me." Scott's voice cracked as he backed into Nathan. "And don't act like this is all okay. You're a manipulative, deceitful prick using someone else's life as a bargaining chip to get what you want!"
Raphael laughed at him, his hand still hanging in the air in front of him, the smile on his face widening even more with amusement. "My, my, my. Prescott, are you sure you are describing me..." His eyes again flashed. "Or a certain someone else? Someone named Steven, perhaps?"
Scott balked. The angel continued to laugh and reached forward again, but this time abruptly stopped himself, his expression suddenly turning to shock as he whirled back around and a deep growl rose from the back of his throat. "What are you doing, Michael? Get away from him."
"No." While the other three had been talking, Micah had gone over to Avery and pulled him close, placing one hand on his chest. A warm, sun-like glow surrounded both of them, and the color started to return to the teen's face, his breathing becoming visibly stronger. Raphael growled again and began marching back towards them.
"How can you do this? How can you be breaking the rules?!" He thrust his hand to the side, caduceus materializing in his outstretched palm. "You have been spending too much time in Lumiel's company!"
Micah's head snapped up, his eyes narrowed, but still giving off a bright golden light. "You left your post unattended. You should know your responsibilities as Death: stepping away means you have given your permission for one of us to step in. I did, and I took the opportunity to perform a miracle." He smiled thinly, but was still clearly amused. "No rules were broken, but Avery is no longer yours to reap, Raphael."
The other angel responded to this news by screaming at him, charging with his weapon raised, his entire body suddenly sheathed in crackling green bolts of electricity.
Without even flinching, Micah simply drew his gun and fired one shot clean through Raphael's head.
"The fuck?!" Both Nathan and Scott jumped at the loudness of the bang, the sound amplified immensely, echoing in the large tunnel. The writer's ears still rang painfully as they both hurried over to join the detective. He was definitely shaken, but he wasn't going to question his actions. Scott, however, did.
"You mean to tell me just shooting him actually works?" he asked in disbelief, watching while Micah returned the gun to its holster before lifting Avery into his arms. To his dismay, the angel shook his head.
"No, it will only stall him," he admitted. "But it will buy us some time to leave. He will not be happy when he wakes up." He looked cautiously over at Raphael sprawled on the tunnel floor. "I would suggested I take us all out, but I do not know where would be safest. I am open to suggestions."
"Anywhere but the hospital," Scott groaned. "It's too obvious, and he works there anyway. Otherwise... I have no idea." He glanced at Nathan. "You?"
I agree the hospital would be bad, but it's not like there's anywhere we could go that Raphael can't. Maybe somewhere he wouldn't suspect? But where would that be...?