A distraction is in order.
"Even if he doesn't, I do." Nathan's interjection was enough for Raphael to straighten and turn his attention back on him and away from his coworker, much to Scott's relief (even if the reporter did his best not to make it obvious). With the angel's green eyes locked on him, Nathan prompted him again. "I should have thought of it before, since I'm doing you this favor: what do you want to know from Alton that he's not going to want to tell you? I mean, you think maybe it would be easier if I ask your question for you? Maybe he'll tell me something he wouldn't tell you, and it would save us all some trouble."
"Now there's a thought," Scott said, smiling as he nodded at Nathan's plan. "Cuts out an extra step, probably even make it easier to avoid tipping him off to what you're up to too."
But Raphael shook his head and laughed. "He is even less likely to tell you than he is to tell me," he said between melodic chuckles. "I am at least one of his own kind; you are human, and the information I seek is something that humans are never, ever meant to truly know."
Nathan didn't like his laughter, felt like his suggestion was being mocked, but didn't let his feelings get in the way of asking again, "Then what is your question?"
It took a moment for him to stop laughing, but Raphael cleared his throat, still shaking his head as he locked eyes with Nathan again. "I want to know the Truth."
His final word seemed to reverberate in the sudden silence that followed, as if by merely saying it, the angel had somehow disturbed reality itself. Nathan felt ill, and notice Scott had become a little green himself. It was as if what had been said was somehow wrong, and every nerve in his body wanted to reject what he'd heard and pretend it had never been spoken out loud, even if he didn't understand why. An eternity passed -- or at least seemed to -- before Nathan was able to speak again. "You... what?"
Raphael smirked. "The Truth," he repeated, the word still sounding somehow off. "I want to know the very nature of God, the great power we all serve. No, even we angels do not know this," he said, noticing Scott open his mouth, about to ask. "We know our rules, our guidelines, and our divine obligations. None of us know the real Truth of God. None of us, that is, except for Lumiel." His smirk slowly turned to a scowl, as if acknowledging this disgusted him. "Because he can lie, he was the one entrusted with this sacred knowledge, because he can give false answers to anyone who asks him 'Who is God? What is God?'. The responsibility should have been mine. Knowledge is my domain, yet this is the one thing I do not know." His eyes narrowed, light flashing in them briefly. "And Lumiel being who he is just loves to gloat about that piece of knowledge I can only learn through him, yet he will never reveal."
Another uncomfortable silence fell over the room. Nathan swallowed the knot in his throat, taking in this new information, then carefully began to stand. "So, you want me to get a piece of him... so you can do something to him to get him to tell you that." The knot traveled down to his stomach, twisting uncomfortably there. "I may have to reconsider your offer."
"That is fine," Raphael assured him, though the disappointment in his voice was clear. "I want to make the risk worth your while, so if there is something more than Marni you would like to have, do not hesitate to tell me. If you still do not wish to help me, I understand. I am sure I can find another way to get what I need..."
His gaze moved over towards Scott, which was more than enough to get the reporter to jump to his feet.
"Well, glad we got that cleared up," he said too quickly, giving Nathan a desperate glance. "We'll just be on our way. Gotta catch up to my sister and her thing."
"Hmm... yes." Raphael still watched him, a small smile creeping back onto his face. "You should see how her photo shoot is going. I am sure she would love to have both of you there."
Neither man responded to that. Instead, both Scott and Nathan hurried out of the check-up room, to the front desk to make sure all the paperwork was done, and then out of the hospital as quickly as possible. It was a challenge for each of them not to look as panicked as either of them felt, but the moment they were both seated in Nathan's car, they exchanged looks and said in unison, "We need to get to that shoot."
Scott pulled the directions up on his phone and navigated while Nathan did his best not to break any traffic laws as he took every short cut he knew to get them over to where the band was getting their photos taken as quickly as possible. The writer feared the worst. Would Raphael retaliate, now that he was less willing to help? Would he go after Enya, to force him into it? The thoughts cluttered his mind, so much so that he ran one red light, nearly getting T-boned by a car passing through the intersection, a blaring horn barely enough warning to correct his mistake.
The sudden flash of deja vu rattled him more than his panicked thoughts, and it took Scott shaking his shoulder to get him to drive again.
They pulled up to the photo studio only a few minutes later, Nathan trying to get his bearings straight when Scott abruptly stop, staggering back against the car only moments after he'd stepped out, clutching his head. "Damn it..." the reporter winced, sliding down to the sidewalk, his face contorted in pain. "Not here... not now..."
"Scott!" Nathan got out of the driver's seat and hurried over to him, barely able to catch him before his head dipped back and he completely crumpled. The reporter's eyes rolled back, but he drew a sharp breath, looking dazed while he struggled to remain conscious.
"Silver... silver light... something sweet, like pears..." Scott's brows knotted and he winced again, leaning against Nathan. "Something's here... something strong..."
"We know Gula's here." The writer tried to steady him. "Deep breaths, Scott..."
His outburst startled him so much he almost dropped him, but then Scott's face twisted again in agony while he shook his head. "It's not her... it's stronger than that... something... worse."
Nathan didn't like the sound of that, not in the least. He moved Scott to lean him against the side of the car and started to go for help, but his coworker caught his shirt, holding him back. Scott's pale green eyes stared at him desperately, even as his head bobbed again.
"Don't..." He winced. "Don't... leave..."
Scott needs help, but whatever he's sensing is overwhelming him, and he's bound to pass out. I need to do something quickly, but can I risk leaving him here? Enya's only right inside the studio, and I could call her... but if she's in the middle of shooting, she might not answer her phone. Should I call someone else? Maybe I could summon one of the angels... but that could hurt Scott even more, and God only knows how Alton or Micah would feel about being called here. What should I do?