I should bring Scott up to speed, but I need to keep up the ruse so he doesn't get upset that I didn't say something sooner.
Nathan wondered if Raphael would be as good at detecting lies and deception as Alton, and hoped he wasn't. Otherwise, this was going to get very awkward very quickly.
"Um..." the writer mumbled, trying to look confused. He'd have to play this out if it was going to be believable. "No...?"
The angel frowned, as if he hadn't expected that answer at all, eyebrows raised in surprise. "Oh?" He stared, and Nathan shrugged, hoping to throw him off. He turned to his coworker, using Scott's genuine confusion to compliment his act. Scott shook his head too, having no idea what they were talking about. Raphael sighed, cleared his throat and pulled a pair of glasses out of his pocket. "Well, then I suppose we should start seeing about your head..."
Nathan went through the examination as normal, answering a few questions about pain and dizziness. Scott sat in his corner, providing sporadic commentary, filling in details Nathan didn't "remember." And Raphael made a remarkable show actually being a doctor. If Nathan hadn't known better, he was sure he would have been fooled.
Once his check-up was done and he was given a clean bill of health, the angel posed his question again. "Are you certain, Mr. Keene, that there is nothing else you wish to discuss before you leave?" he asked, his expression worried while he watched Nathan for his answer. Now, the writer decided, was the right time to say something.
He took a deep breath, knotted his brows, and looked at Raphael. "Actually... I think... I think there is." He rubbed his temple for good measure, glancing at Scott briefly before he turned towards the angel again. "I think I owe you a favor?"
"Favor?" the other two in the room said in unison, Scott frowning and looking away when Raphael smiled at that. The angel folded his arms, looking satisfied as he addressed Nathan. "What sort of favor, Mr. Keene?"
"You... you already know." Nathan smiled and let himself relax, as if he'd just remembered the whole thing. He laughed and shook Scott's shoulder, then turned his grin towards the angel. "It's okay. He's in the know, so you can say what you want around him."
"You know him?" Scott asked, even more baffled. The doctor chuckled.
"If only," he muttered before he explained. "I am Raphael, angel of knowledge, medicine, and assorted other responsibilities."
"He's acquainted with Alton," Nathan added. "Well, who he really is. If I'm recalling correctly, he'd asked me to get a piece of him so he would have better leverage to ask him a question."
The angel nodded. "Some time ago, before your... accident." Nathan wondered if he struggled with discussing his false injury because he knew the truth.
"Wow," Scott drawled, finally looking at the doctor with less apprehension. "I'm no Biblical scholar, but wouldn't you rather kill Lucifer than just, well, ask him a question?"
"The information I want from him is outside my area of expertise," Raphael told him. "Secrets are his domain, and what I want to know is a very well-hidden secret, one only he knows. However, he is also the master of lies and deception, so getting a straight answer out of him is nigh impossible without a little incentive." He nodded towards Nathan. "I asked Karol to acquire a piece of him, such as a hair or feather, that I can then use to more easily persuade him into answering me honestly."
"Huh." The reporter rubbed the back of his head before turning to Nathan. "Do you get something out of this? Or rather, do you remember?"
Nathan wrinkled his nose and took his time with the answer. Even if he knew what his reward for this was, somehow admitting it was harder than he'd expected. Thankfully, Raphael answered for him.
"I promised to reunite him with his fiancee, Marni."
Scott hummed and eyed him suspiciously. He almost seemed to move himself in front of Nathan, even though he remained seated. "And if he doesn't do this favor?"
"Then he and Marni remain separated by death." Raphael shrugged. "It is a request, not a demand. I can make do without, but I would appreciate the help."
"Huh," Scott mumbled again, though his explanation didn't seem to convince him. "And what exactly is the information you seek?"
"Ah, a true reporter at heart," the angel said, the grin on his lips too wide for his face. "How curious are you to know, Prescott?"
Nathan could almost see the color drain from Scott's skin, and he looked decidedly more uncomfortable than before, even as he continued to press. "It's a simple question."
"With a not so simple answer." Raphael stepped closer and leaned towards Scott, making the reporter lean slightly back, much to the angel's amusement. "Do you really want to know?"
I don't like what he's implying at all, even if (now that he's mentioned it) I'm kind of wondering what this question he has for Alton is too. Maybe if I prompt for an answer, it'll distract him from Scott...
Or maybe we should just both get the hell out of here. What should I do?
Not too much to say about the chapter this week. Real life distractions and madness got in the way of getting this written sooner, and suffice to say I am in an extremely stressful situation right now. I don't want to go into detail, mainly because if I keep talking about it, I won't be able to let it go. The short version is that I'm trying to get my things together so I can move out in September.
Anyway, the chapter.
Raphael really does love using the innuendo "know," doesn't he? Frankly, if someone acted like this towards me, I'd be just as anxious as Scott (though I probably would have left the room long ago). How should Nathan resolve this tension? Distraction or fleeing? I can't wait to see how the poll turns out.
THE CHOICE HAS BEEN MADE: Read Part 8 to see his decision!
Ohh shit Scott
Yeah, he's not happy either.