Jeremy was on edge. This was supposed to be an amazing sleepover weekend but it was just awful. It wasn't because of Michael or anything... At least, not intentionally. That's what Squip had been telling him.
" You need to help him relax. He's been wary and having these bad feelings because he isn't good with change. You told me that he freaked out when he had to get a new pair of glasses that were a new frame and it took him so long to adjust. What I'm suggesting you do will help him and, in turn, it will help Sunny. If Michael isn't stressed or anxious, she won't be either and might be able to have a change of heart, " Squip explained as Jeremy lied in Michael's bed. Michael was currently sitting in his desk chair, Sunny curled up by his feet as he typed away at his laptop.
“ So it’ll help him, right? But it won’t change him. I don’t want to change any part of Michael, I love him just as he is. I just want to help him relax and to be friends with Sunny again, ” Jeremy mused, scrubbing at his eyes. God, this was getting to be too much. Between balancing Squip and being scared of Sunny, Jeremy was almost at breaking point.
" This will help him, you, and Sunny, " Squip promised. " I've only been trying to help. I wouldn't suggest you do something if it wasn't with the best of intentions. "
“ I know, I trust you, Squip. ” Jeremy nodded internally. “ Um, also... Would it be okay if I started calling you dad? Since you are my dad, and you’ve been taking care of me and stuff. ” Admittedly, it felt a little weird, but it also felt right. Squip had been loving Jeremy this whole time, looking after him and teaching him. That’s what his dad did, even if Jeremy wasn’t his biological son.
" That would be more than okay. Thank you, son. " Jeremy could feel Squip smiling. " Now, with this, you'll need to be away from that dog so she won't interfere. "
He could totally do this. It would help Michael and it might Sunny like him again too.
“Hey Mikey, can we sit outside? It’s nice out there and I wanna go curl up on the swing chair,” he requested softly.
Michael looked up and over from where he was working. "Yeah, totally. I honestly thought you were asleep," he admitted before quickly checking his laptop screen and carefully shutting it.
Jeremy hummed and sat up, stretching a little. “Should we give Sunny dinner in the meantime? Then she can... join us outside after.” He really did want Sunny to join them in a bit; it would help her realize that Jeremy wasn’t gonna hurt Michael, and was trying to help him instead.
Michael checked his phone and laughed a little. "Well, I'll give her lunch, but not dinner. Mama and Ina'll be back in time for dinner since they're bringing that," he said as he stood up and stretched his arms above his head. "Lemme just tug on a hoodie from my collection first."
Jeremy grinned weakly and nodded. “Why not the yellow one? It’s one of the softest,” he pointed out. It was also one of his personal favorites on Michael, since it looked really nice on him.
"Oh, yeah! Lemme grab it." Michael stuck his head into his closet, digging around as Sunny stretched and stood from under Michael's desk. She stood near the door but looked at Jeremy. He couldn't help but flinch and Sunny's ears drooped as she whined.
That made Jeremy feel bad, even if he was still kinda freaked out that she was an angel who clearly hated him. “H-hey. It’s okay, Sunny. You’re... you’re a good girl,” he offered weakly. He didn’t want her to feel bad, he still adored her and wished he could hug her without being roasted alive.
Sunny didn't look at Jeremy, seemingly ashamed. "She is a good girl. She does feel bad for hurting you," Michael said, his voice trying as he quickly tugged on his hoodie. Going so fast made his hair poof in an adorable way that made Jeremy's heart race instead of hurt.
“I still love her so much,” Jeremy murmured, trying to calm his racing pulse. “I’m sure we can figure out something after a while. It’s just new and not so nice at the moment.”
"Yeah, we can and I know we will. She loves you too," Michael promised as he walked over and offered his hand to Jeremy.
Jeremy was doubtful, but if everything went well, she might love him again. He took Michael’s hand with a smile, climbing off the bed.
Michael walked with him downstairs, Sunny going first. He told Jeremy to go get comfy outside while he got Sunny her food, which Jeremy did. " I'm going to start the spell since this is going to be your first real spell, and then I'll have you slowly put your energy into this. "
“ Will it make me sleepy like the aura thing did at first? ” he asked, heading over to the swing chair and getting comfortable. Mama had put the cushions out, so it was a perfect time to cuddle up together.
" It may. I don't know if it will or will not do that, " Squip admitted as Jeremy found the perfect spot. " It may also make him sleepy though, but that is fine and normal, I promise. "
“ Okay! ” Squip was being honest so Jeremy had no reason to doubt him. He’d always been honest with Jeremy.
Just as soon as he was comfy, Michael came outside and closed the sliding door behind him. Jeremy made grabby hands at Michael, giggling and blushing a little. You know what? This would be the perfect time to confess! When they were both comfy and cuddling together and a little sleepy from the magic. That would be awesome.
"Wow, you really look comfy. Can I get in on that?" Michael asked as he walked over and sat beside Jeremy.
“Please!” Jeremy grinned, shifting enough that Michael could curl up next to him, then moving himself to lie against Michael. “Mmm, comfy,” he purred, only half teasing. Michael was comfy to lie against. And warm. Mmm. It had been a long while since Jeremy felt this warm, honestly. Since he found his demon powers by freezing Grant’s fist, he just couldn’t seem to generate enough heat to be cozy.
"Glad to know I'm only useful for cuddling with," Michael teased as he rested an arm over Jeremy's waist.
“You’re worth so much more than that, Mikey,” Jeremy murmured, nuzzling against his chest. “On that sort of topic though, I have something to tell you.”
"Oh, you do?" As Michael asked, Jeremy could hear Squip murmuring Latin that he didn't really understand. "Impart upon me your wisdom."
“I...” This was hard, but it felt right. It felt right in a way that nothing else did, it felt certain . Something Jeremy wasn’t really used to. “I really like you. As more than a friend.” He tensed up, waiting for his response. Please be good.
"When you say as more than a friend, do you mean as more than a best friend too?" Michael asked. Jeremy almost didn't notice the hopeful tone in Michael's voice.
Jeremy nodded and closed his eyes, not moving even slightly away from Michael. If Michael wanted him gone, he was more than capable of shoving Jeremy away, even with Jeremy’s super strength that came with being a half-demon. “I mean in a romantic way. I... actually kinda love you, Mikey. In a boyfriend way.”
Michael's arms held Jeremy just a bit closer. "You... Really?" Jeremy nodded, nuzzling against Michael in the process. "I've liked you for a while too, but I didn't want to push or pressure you in case you didn't like me in the same way.
“Really?” Jeremy turned his head up to look at Michael. “That’s why I didn’t say anything to you! I had to ask Christine if she thought I had a chance with you in the first place.” He giggled.
"Oh my god, we're both dumbasses," Michael said around a forming laugh. "In a good way, but we're total dumbasses."
“We really are.” Jeremy laughed as well, shifting so he was sitting up, facing Michael. “Can I... Would you like to be my boyfriend, Mikey?” he asked shyly. Yeah, they liked each other, but that didn’t mean they were gonna be together like that. Michael might not be ready, or he might just wanna see how things worked out.
Michael looked up at Jeremy, grinning a bit sleepily. The spell must have already started working. "Only if you're alright with being my boyfriend too, Remy. It's a bit of a burden, you know."
Jeremy shook his head, smiling softly. “Not to me. I would love to be your boyfriend.” He leaned closer. Sure, Michael was a little sleepy, but that was okay. He was just gonna relax. “Can I... can I kiss you, please?”
Even before Michael nodded, Jeremy felt himself becoming a little sleepy as well. Squip must've been transferring it so he was doing the spell now.
As Jeremy bent down and connected their lips, he didn't feel sparks in the kiss. Instead, he felt something better: the feeling of how right this kiss was. Even if both of them were inexperienced, this felt natural, like they were always meant to kiss each other. The slow, relaxed movement of their lips together wasn't helping with Jeremy's relaxed, somewhat sleepy feeling, but it wasn't like it was a bad thing to feel that way.
When they separated, after lazily kissing for a moment, Jeremy found himself satisfied and warm in a way he didn’t know he could ever feel. It was awesome, addictive, and it just made him want to kiss Michael some more.
Except there was something wrong. Nestled among the warm feelings in his chest, Jeremy could feel a shard of ice lodge itself inside him start to grow. Without his consent, the illusion keeping his skin human faded away and he felt his demon half begin to grow with the ice shard.
“ Dad, what’s happening? Why can’t I keep the human shape up? ” he asked, confused and a little nervous for some reason.
" It's a part of the spell. It needs to take a lot of the energy to do this spell since it is your first time, " Squip explained, sounding content and relaxed, as if there was nothing to worry about. " This is normal for the first time you cast a spell. "
Then he heard Sunny barking from the sliding glass door that Michael shut. Flinching, Jeremy glanced over and saw her pawing and jumping at the door, which she never did. She was always well-behaved and polite.
“ No, something is wrong. Can you stop the spell, please? ” he asked, finding it difficult to move suddenly. He knew something was wrong here, he could feel the fear and pain building in his chest which he didn’t understand, but he knew from experience that it meant something bad was happening. His instincts were well honed in that respect.
" You're the one in control of the spell now, not me. It's not really one you can stop once it has started. " Squip didn't sound apologetic at all in that regard. " Trust me when I say that nothing is wrong and that everything is going as it should. " Sunny's barking cut through Squip, stopping him momentarily from speaking. " Look at how relaxed Michael looks as well. "
He did, but it felt wrong. Michael was lazily smiling, his eyes shut, but the classic Michael vibe he gave off wasn't there. That sent Jeremy's heart racing. What was he doing to Michael?
“ Tell me how to stop it. ” This was wrong. “ I don’t want this anymore, it’s hurting him. This is changing him. ” Jeremy could feel it now, something inside Michael was shifting, and something inside Jeremy was shifting to match. He hated it, it wasn’t him and it wasn’t Michael. “ It hurts! Make it stop! ”
" This isn't hurting him, I promise. This spell cannot be stopped once it's started, but it will make everything better. You will be who you were meant to be and Michael will always be with you. Even that little angel dog will be with you. "
“What is it doing?” Jeremy cried, not nothing to think at Squip anymore. He was getting dizzy and everything was hurting and he felt so cold , like he’d never be warm again.
He felt the presence of Squip in the back of his head vanish for the first time in weeks. Jeremy couldn't help but feel somewhat hollow as Squip stood behind the swing chair, holding onto the back of it as he smiled down at him. "It's making you who you meant to be: your demonic self. Your first spell is always your most important, letting your body adjust as it finishes the spell."
“But I don’t want to be a demon. I told you, I want to be human!” Jeremy protested, his words slurring a little. “Besides, I haven’t chosen a sin yet, and I don’t have a cult.” Every demon had a sin associated with them. Squip was greed, knowing what people desired and wanted for themselves. “I can’t become a demon without those.” It was a full proof argument, right?
"You'll choose one when the spell is almost done. You've always struck me as a demon of pride. Your body will naturally change to the sin that you most align with when the spell is complete," Squip said knowingly before nodding. "You also already have someone who is dedicated to staying with you for life, Jeremy." Squip reached down and gestured to Michael, who seemed more like he was actually sleeping now. "Your spell will help him to become more welcome to change, and that includes your change you're going through. He will follow you through hell and back, and that is exactly the dedication you need for your cult leader."
“No!” Jeremy didn’t want that at all! He wanted Michael to be Michael, not to be some mindless cult leader.
Without much thought on what he’d do next, Jeremy threw himself away from Squip and landed firmly on his ass on the ground. He had to figure out a way to help Michael.
God, he really messed up. Why had he ever trusted Squip?! He wasn’t a dad, he was a demon, a selfish greedy demon who Jeremy should have banished as soon as he learnt how to access his powers.
Sunny never stopped barking and jumping as Squip hummed. "The two of you will be together for as long as you wish though," he said as he walked over and knelt down by Jeremy. "You'll be happy with him and you won't have to suffer anymore. I'm so sorry that I couldn't help you with this sooner."
A vicious growl escaped Sunny as Squip went to hold onto Jeremy's arm, and Squip turned and glared at her. "Oh, just be quiet." He snapped his fingers and an ice spike popped up through the glass inside, near Sunny. She yelped and jumped back before it could do anything. "You aren't ruining this for my son."
Jeremy almost screamed when he saw Sunny almost get hit by the ice spikes. Then it hit him: Sunny was an angel, she could help Michael!
Before Squip could grab him, Jeremy staggered to his feet and shot over to the sliding door. He slid it open and used as much energy as he could to conjure up some lightning, shattering the ice spikes.
“Help him. Please !” he begged before his legs gave out once more and he fell to his knees.
Sunny looked conflicted as she looked between Jeremy and Michael before dashing past Squip. She growled at him, as if daring him to touch her, before trying to hop up onto the swing chair.
"Jeremy, I am here to improve your life," Squip said as he walked over to Jeremy, kneeling down beside him. "You are so powerful. You might create a bigger cult that I did ages ago, and with technology today, it will be widespread and so amazing. You already have future cult members at school too who will follow and worship you."
“I don’t want to be worshiped, I want to be normal!” Jerrmy was almost in tears. “I just wanted to get to be a normal kid. I don’t want to be a demon, I want to be human!” He stumbled to his feet once more. “Now make it stop! Tell me how to turn it off and let Michael go! Please, Squip, let me choose for myself.”
"You are a child of a demon, Jeremy. You do not have a choice. This was part of the deal your mother made with me that she tried to back out of, for me to help you harness your powers and reach your true potential," Squip said as he stood up as well. "I am doing what is best for you. You can never be a human, it is literally impossible for you." He glanced back, seeing Sunny almost making it up the seat, before waving. She managed to yelp and jump back before she got impaled by icicle spikes again.
“Sunny!” Jeremy cried. No no no! Everything was wrong! This was supposed to be a good moment, a happy moment. Michael was his boyfriend, and now Jeremy was gonna lose him forever. Whoever he became after the spell was over wouldn’t be Michael anymore... The spell which was coming from Jeremy. Jeremy, who could never be human because he was a demon.
A demon who burned when he touched an angel.
“Sunny, come here, girl. I have an idea,” he called, walking towards her as surely as he could.
Sunny looked over, head cocked as she whimpered, before running over. Squip tried to stop her, but she growled and managed to bump his leg. His dad-no, he was just Squip-cried in pain as his skin blistered, burning worse than Jeremy’s skin did, before Sunny managed to make it over to Jeremy.
Jeremy smiled sadly at her, landing on his knees with a painful thump. “You never hated me, did you?” he asked quietly, looking at Sunny with a soft sort of finality. “You were trying to warn me about him.” He took a breath before nodding. “Look after Mikey for me. I don’t know what will happen once this is over.” Before anyone else could react, not Sunny and certainly not Squip, Jeremy leaned forward and wrapped his arms around Sunny.
The pain was intense, and Jeremy started screaming as it overwhelmed him, but he tried his best to hide his face against Sunny’s neck to not hurt her ears. He didn’t want to do this, but he would. If he couldn’t stop the spell, maybe he could stop himself. He’d do this a thousand times over, though, if it meant Michael would be safe.
Sunny whimpered and whined as she wiggled around in Jeremy's arms, trying to get away. She really never wanted to hurt him. How could he ever think that she wanted to?
"Jeremy, no!" Squip screamed, his voice full of actual sorrow and agony. Maybe Squip did care, but only could in a certain way.
Jeremy whined but didn’t let go. Instead, he pressed himself closer to Sunny, holding her tightly but as sweetly as he could manage. “Please. Give me this. Let me protect him,” he begged through his tears, which only made things get hotter. The ice in his chest started thawing, even shattering at points, as the spell started to collapse.
She did not stop whimpering and whining, but Sunny did stop trying to get away. She nuzzled against Jeremy’s covered shoulder, giving him a kiss before settling there. “Jeremy, please !”
“You didn’t give me a choice, so I’m making my own,” he managed to grit out after a moment. It hurt like hell (probably literally) but he fought through the pain and the sort of numbing sensation washing over him. He must have been almost spent by this point.
There was an odd sensation that Jeremy felt before, through the numbing pain, realizing that Sunny had wings pop out that were proportional to her body. She whimpered once more before there was a sort of shattering in Jeremy’s chest, and she pulled away to reveal that yes, she had wings as well as a halo. Her eyes were asking if she could go, that he had done enough, even as he felt numb.
Jeremy nodded and fell back into the grass. His burns ached and stung worse than anything he’d ever felt in his life, but he was happy. The spell had stopped. He’d protected Michael.
Jeremy closed his eyes and let the numbness start to overtake him, let it start to black out his vision and shut down everything else. He did what he needed to, he could rest now.
Except he realized that he didn't do everything. Squip was still there. Sunny might not be able to save Michael on her own.
He still needed to protect Michael.
That blackness and numbness he felt took the pain away, but it changed it into something else. Something useful, something helpful. The burns and pain he felt went away as he heard yelling and screaming from Squip, growling and barking from Sunny.
Everything felt right for once when he heard Michael cry out in surprise and in slight pain, his eyes opening to take in the scene on the back porch.
Squip had Michael in a headlock, glaring at Sunny who had her wings and halo away. She was barking at Squip fiercely but there seemed to be nothing she could do. Squip just was holding Michael too tightly.
Tight enough to hurt. Squip was hurting Michael. The numbness was still very present as Jeremy looked on, but so was something else: rage. He felt rage beyond anything he knew, even more than what he felt at Grant when he called Michael that slur. Squip had manipulated Jeremy and now, worst of all, he was hurting Michael. Jeremy clenched his fist and found his hand closed around something warm. It felt almost metallic, but it would work for what he needed.
With great difficulty, Jeremy sat up and used the metal thing to push himself into a standing position. Then he pointed the metal thing (holy shit, was that a sword covered in blue fire?!) at Squip.
“Let him go,” Jeremy demanded, his voice hoarse but present and commanding.
Both Sunny and Squip looked at Jeremy with clear surprise on their faces (yes, even Sunny's because she was that expressive). Squip seemed like, if he could, he might start tearing up. "Jeremy? What-"
Squip screamed out in pain as Michael somehow managed to elbow and kick him. Michael went to turn and run, but before he could, he screamed in agony before skidding across the porch. His hoodie had burns through them, enough to where Jeremy could see the scorched skin loud and clear, as Squip pulled his hands back and Michael convulsed. Sunny instantly ran over, howling the most heart wrenching howl, as Squip seemed to realize what he did.
Before he could even think of what he was doing, Jeremy threw the sword at Squip, impaling him through the stomach. “You tried to kill Michael,” Jeremy whispered, his back suddenly in so much pain that he could barely think. He didn’t need to, though. He knew what he was doing.
“So I’ll kill you instead.”
He shot his own bolts at Squip, the sword acting as a lightning rod and directing them all straight into the demon.
He stopped a moment later, coming to himself enough to run over to Michael and cradle him close. “Mikey? Mikey, are you okay?!” he croaked, his voice still in agony from screaming so much.
There was no response from Michael, and Sunny was sadly howling as she nudged him. She looked up at Jeremy, her eyes lighting up with something past the sadness and heartbreak as she whimpered and pressed her muzzle against Michael's face. She looked between Jeremy and Michael a few times before doing it again.
“You... you want me to kiss him?” Jeremy asked incredulously. Still, Sunny was an angel and Jeremy knew beyond a doubt that he could trust her. She had never let him or Michael down, even when Jeremy himself was letting them both down.
With that in mind, Jeremy bent down and pressed a gentle kiss to Michael’s lips. As he did so, pain sprung up on his back even more intensely than before. There was a tearing sound, and suddenly Jeremy was sure they were in shade as the pain faded. He pulled back a moment later, staring at Michael and not giving a flying fuck about anything else right then.
Jeremy didn't realize that Michael hadn't been breathing until he started doing it again, albeit it was shallow but he was breathing and alive!
Sunny nuzzled happily against Michael and then Jeremy. He flinched at first instinctively, but it didn't hurt. Sunny gave him a few kisses before bolting off, and faintly, Jeremy heard Squip scream in agony somewhere behind him.
Jeremy squeezed Michael gently. “M-Mikey? Are... are you okay?” he asked softly, almost begging. Michael had to be okay. If Jeremy was alive, Michael had to be okay.
Michael barely managed to open his eyes, but they were open. He seemed really out of it as he tried to focus up on Jeremy. "Remy?" His voice was hoarse as he asked, "What... what happen't your face?"
Oh, that’s why things still hurt. “I hugged Sunny and got burned... But it worked and you’re okay now!” he cried, his voice rising as much as it could. (Barely anything, his throat was wrecked.)
"Wh... what?" How lost and out of it Michael sounded hurt Jeremy's heart, but this was so much better than the alternative. He'd be fine soon. He had to be.
“Doesn’t matter, it’s all gonna be fine. Squip electrocuted you and things were bad, but you’re alive again somehow and that’s the important part.” He nodded. The shadow above them shifted but Jeremy still ignored it.
Michael blinked a few times before looking above Jeremy. "Why're there wings?"
“Wings?” Jeremy blinked, then finally focused on the shadow. Two massive black wings were spread out behind him, covered in what looked to be soft, feathers as black as night. “I... don’t know.” The wings puffed up a little and flapped, and Jeremy almost fell over. “I think they’re attached?!”
Michael let out a soft hum of acknowledgement to that, slowly shutting his eyes. "Okay..."
Jeremy rebalanced himself and held Michael close. “You’re not gonna die again, are you? You’re just sleepy?” he asked softly.
"'M tired," Michael mumbled, barely audible as he leaned somewhat into Jeremy's hold.
Okay. That was fine, Michael just needed to rest. Jeremy could deal with that. He nodded as he cradled Michael gently. “I gotcha, Mikey... I gotcha...”
He looked up and around, trying not to fall over as his(?) wings shifted slightly.
He stopped when his eyes landed on Sunny. She was sitting on top of Squip with her wings and halo out and Squip was literally sizzling. Jeremy couldn't see anything happening, but the steam was evident as the demon only hissed along with his actual body.
He thought he should have felt worry or even anger, but he felt... nothing towards the demon who was his birth father. He didn’t care that Sunny was causing him great pain or that he was somehow still alive. Michael was okay, so Jeremy was okay.
“Why wouldn’t you give me a choice, Squip?” he asked after a moment. “Why did you force me to become like you?”
"You wouldn't succeed, and your mother made that deal with me," Squip got out as he managed to look up. He looked... pathetic. There was no other suitable word to describe how far this demon had fallen in such a short span of time. "Now I can't even help you anymore."
“What mom did isn’t what I do.” Jeremy shook his head. Then he processed the other part of what Squip said. “And what do you mean you can’t help me?”
"You've changed. I can't even touch you anymore," Squip said as he shook his head. "I cannot believe you gave your life up, what you could have become, for that ." The way Sunny growled at Squip and pressed her paws hard against his back made it easy to know who Squip was referring to.
“I’d do it again,” Jeremy stated, holding Michael closer. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat if it meant protecting Michael. I love him, and beyond that, he’s my best friend. He’s the reason I’m alive to even have this conversation.” He glared at Squip. “And you tried to kill him.”
After a moment more, Jeremy sighed. “What even am I now? I don’t feel as cold as I did before.”
Squip seemed reluctant to tell, but Sunny pressing her paw against Squip's face changed his mind. With a paw-shaped burn on his forehead, Squip explained. "A fallen angel. You died for a good cause during the spell that was meant to turn you into a full demon. I thought you did die after the spell was cancelled, but you were dying as the spell was still active. You gave your life for him and that was enough of an act to give you your wings. Demons can never truly be angels, but you're the closest thing."
Jeremy’s wings flapped a little at that. “I’m... a fallen angel? And I died?” That made sense, what with the pain and the numbness and the way everything went dark for a bit. He wondered how long he was dead for before realizing he was in shock. That’s why everything felt detached.
“I think you need to go now, Squip. You’ve done enough damage.”
Squip went to say something but Sunny pressed both paws to his face. She looked up at Jeremy, and he somehow knew what she was asking. "You can get rid of him."
After hopping off of Squip, Sunny started to bark, growl, and yip. For a split second, Jeremy thought he heard her actually talking, before (literal) heavenly light encompassed Squip. His screams of agony were cut off as the light enveloped him completely before he just... blinked out of existence.
Despite everything he did, Jeremy felt kinda sad that Squip was gone. He really did care about Jeremy, and he had taught Jeremy so much. Still, Jeremy was glad he was gone and Michael was safe now.
“Sunny, I think I need a doctor. Can- can you get me my phone, please? I think I left it inside.”
Sunny barked softly, her wings vanishing along with her halo, before she booked it inside. As she left, Jeremy focused on Michael, who was definitely breathing. He really was just sleeping.
Things started getting a little fuzzy again, so Jeremy just focused on the fact Michael was breathing. He was alive and therefore everything would be okay.
He only stopped focusing on Michael when there was a gentle nudge against his side. Looking over, he saw Sunny with his phone carefully in his mouth.
Jeremy took the phone from her and gave her a scratch behind her ears. “Good girl, Sunny. Thank you.” He kissed her snout before picking up the phone, impressed with how dry it was. She didn’t drool at all.
Sunny let out a soft boof before going and curling up next to Michael, right against his side. She even rested her head on his stomach as a text came in from his dad, asking how the weekend was going and if he needed to be picked up soon.
His dad. He’d been kinda distant these past few weeks, which was bad. His dad protected him and loved him and looked after him his whole life. Jeremy shouldn’t have ignored him so much, even if it wasn’t properly ignoring him.
Without thinking, Jeremy dialed his dad’s number and waited.
A few seconds later, the dial tone stopped. "Heya Private. You normally don't call me when hanging with Michael. What's going on?"
“Dad, I think we need you to take us to the hospital,” Jeremy managed to get out pretty clearly. “Mama and Ina are shopping, but this is really urgent.”
Already, Jeremy heard the sound of his dad walking. "I need you to tell me everything that you can about what happened, but first: are you and Michael alright? Are either of you fatally hurt or injured?"
Jeremy stopped to think for a second. “I think I died for a minute. I’m all burned up and it stings really badly,” he said quietly. “I think Michael died for a second too, but now he’s just sleeping because he’s breathing and he was awake a minute ago. He got electrocuted and he got burns from that too.”
"Is Michael stable from what you can tell?" As he asked, Jeremy heard the jingling of keys.
“Yeah.” Jeremy nodded, even if his dad couldn’t see. “He’s breathing okay, and he seems relaxed like he’s sleeping but not as relaxed as earlier when he wasn’t breathing. I think I’m in shock too. This is all so much and it’s just... It’s too much and everything hurts but it’s also numb and I have wings and-“
"Just take a few deep breaths. You don't have to tell me everything right now, Jeremy. Also, would it be alright to stay on the phone with you until I got there?"
Jeremy took some proper breaths before responding. “Yeah, that’s okay.” He sighed. “But dad, I gotta warn you about something first. I’m not- I’m not properly human. I’m half demon... Or I was, anyways.”
His dad laughed on the other end- Wait, laughed? "You know, your mother kept telling me that she had been involved with a demon and cult stuff when she was growing up. I didn't believe her, but I started to as time went on."
“So you know?” Jeremy asked softly. “And you’re okay with it? ‘Cause it means I’m not yours, biologically. You’re my dad, but...”
"You've always been my son, Jeremy, and always will be."
That brought tears to Jeremy’s eyes. “I love you, dad.” He sniffled. “I love you so much and I’m so sorry I ever listened to Squip at all.”
"Your mother said he was very persuasive and manipulative, so I do not blame you. I love you too, Jeremy."
Jeremy sniffled again. “Squip said I’m not a demon anymore, though. And I don’t... look human right now,” he said after a moment. It was better to warn his dad before he got there, right?
"Thank you for letting me know, Private. I'm getting in the car right now, and I'll be there in a few minutes max." As his dad said that, Jeremy realized Sunny walked up and behind him. Her paws pressed against his wings (it was weird to feel her touch his wings) where they met against his back before they went away. Literally, they went away.
It was like they folded back into his back and vanished. He could still sort of feel them if he focused, but other than that they were gone. “Thanks Sunny,” he mouthed.
“Okay dad.” Jeremy took a chance to look himself over while he waited. Of course, his skin was marred by bad burns all over. His face was stinging and his whole front and some of his back hurt too. Except, his skin also looked different. Where he was grey with blue, very straight markings, now his skin was a sort of glittery black covered in swirly gold markings. He didn’t really notice until now since both his arms were burned up and down all the way where he hugged Sunny. “Hey dad, you know the swirly patterns you liked for the couch cushions? That’s kinda how my skin looks, in black and gold...”
“That sounds really pretty,” his dad said as Jeremy heard the car start up over the phone. “Now, I’m probably going to be shocked for a second when I see you and Michael, but then I’m going back into serious mode. Is Sunny with you, by the way?”
“Yeah, she just helped me. I had wings too, but she made them go away somehow.”
“She did? Interesting. Well, give her a scratch and a kiss for me if you can. Please.”
“I will.” Jeremy reached over and did just that, then guided Sunny to come sit with him. He didn’t realize just how much he missed her until now. “Good girl, Sunny..”
Everything was starting to get blurry again as the gain from his burns flared up once more. “Dad, everything hurts... Are you almost here?” He knew he was whining but he couldn’t help it.
“Yes, I’m turning into the driveway. Is it alright if I hang up now?”
“Okay.” Jeremy whined, nodding again. “See you in a sec, dad. Love you.”
“I love you too, Private.” With that, he heard the line go dead and a car door slam shut in the distance.
Jeremy could only curl up and quietly sob as he waited for his dad to get into the back yard. Sunny, clearly worried about him, leaned against his less burned parts, licking his cheek gently. It helped a little, but not much.
The sound of grass shifting and slight panting had Jeremy glancing up to look at his dad, who climbed up the porch to kneel down next to Jeremy, Sunny, and Michael. “Do you think you can walk at all, Private?”
Jeremy thought, then shook his head. “Used up all m’energy. Don’t think I can do much ‘cept make me look human again when I gotta,” he mumbled, leaning closer to his dad. He was so warm and solid, just like Jeremy loved and needed right then.
“Well, I can’t carry both of you at once. I’m going to bring you to the car first, then I’m going to get Michael and whatever stuff Sunny needs, alright?”
Jeremy nodded, carefully positioning Michael to lie on the ground, then focusing and making his human skin reappear. The burns didn’t change from that horrible pink and brown, but they looked more normal than before.
Sunny lied down against Michael again, softly whimpering. Jeremy’s dad went and pet Sunny’s head for a few seconds before he carefully picked up his son. “Is this alright?”
Jeremy whined but nodded after a second. It hurt so much, but he could work through it, he had to. Besides, being close to his dad again made him feel so safe in a way he didn’t realize he’d been lacking in the past few weeks. He could manage the pain if it meant he got to keep this safe feeling.
“Alright, I’ll be quick.” And he was as he managed to carry Jeremy to the car. He settled Jeremy in the passenger's seat, buckling him in. “I’ll be back in a few minutes with Michael.”
“Okay,” Jeremy whimpered, closing his eyes and trying to relax. The seatbelt irritated the burns on his chest and neck, which just hurt more, but he knew that anything touching them would hurt a lot. He hated this so much. Why did he have to be stupid and trust Squip?
He didn’t know how long had passed, but he heard the backseat car door open. His dad grunted for a second, and Jeremy looked in the rear view mirror to see Michael being lied down as best as possible and buckled in. Sunny sat on the floor of the back seat before the car door shut.
Jeremy weakly reached back to stroke Sunny. Michael must have still been okay since Sunny was calm, just worried, so Jeremy managed to stay calm too.
“Dad, are you upset with me for trusting Squip and getting everyone hurt?” he asked softly after Michael was strapped in safely and his dad was in the front seat.
“No, I’m not. Your mother had told me stories about what happened when she was growing up and when she had been forced to be with Squip. I wish I had believed her back then.” His dad gave Jeremy a reassuring and loving smile before pressing a kiss to the top of his head. “I’m just glad you’re here and alive, and the same goes for Michael.” With that, his dad turned on the car, buckled himself in, and backed out of the driveway.
“I love you, dad. Even if we’re not actually related, you’re my real dad,” Jeremy mumbled as he started to drift off.
“Thank you, Jeremy. Just sleep for right now. We’ll be at the hospital soon.”
With that, Jeremy let consciousness slip away and let himself finally rest. Michael was safe, that was all that mattered.