“Do I have to use the wheelchair, Mama?” Jeremy asked, squirming in place a little. “I can walk just fine now.” It had been a week since he was brought to hospital and now that the skin grafts had healed up mostly, he was being transferred to a different room. Specifically, Michael’s room.
He hadn’t really heard much about how Michael was apart from the fact that he was stable, but in a coma. Mama wasn’t worried about it though, saying it was just because of his body reacting to everything that happened. She promised he’d be fine and wake up with time and Jeremy knew she was being honest.
“It’s protocol, Jeremy. Plus, I’d rather be safe than sorry,” Mama said as she got into the elevator with Jeremy. “You know I’m mostly a rule follower here.”
“I know.” Jeremy sighed, finally falling still. The bandages protecting his burns, which ran all the way down the side of his face to his stomach, started itching again and he started squirming again. Ugh, being hurt like this sucked. “How much longer do I need the bandages for? They’re itchy and weird.”
“For however long they need to be there.” The elevator door shut and Mama ruffled Jeremy’s hair. “You’re lucky I forced myself to be your nurse. When we get you settled, I’ll check on you to see if you still need them or not, but you’ll probably need them for another day or two at least.”
“Okay...” He grumbled, leaning into Mama’s touch a little. “It’s a good thing you are my nurse, though. If anyone else saw my non-human physiology, that would be bad. Besides, I can’t repress my aura still since I’m still tired, so I doubt it would have been that hard to be assigned to me.”
Mama and Ina had been fully informed about everything that happened, including the fact that Jeremy wasn’t totally human. Their only reaction to it was to give him even more kisses when they next saw him, and to start making subtle demon jokes whenever possible.
“Well, even if you aren’t repressing it, people have been nicer to you and concerned. Maybe it’s because you aren’t half demon anymore,” Mama offered as she glanced at the number display. “I do have to warn you about something before we get to your new room though.”
“Yeah? What is it?”
“Michael’s still stable and in his coma, but we did some tests over the past week.” She always gave it to Jeremy straight because her profession demanded it, and now was no different. “Michael is paralyzed from the thighs down, which is better than from the waist down. He still can go to the bathroom on his own, but he won’t be able to walk or move his legs on his own anymore.”
“Oh...” Even if he hadn’t been the one to actually shock him, Jeremy was the reason Michael was paralyzed. Guilt hit him like a freight train and he tried his best to regulate his breathing. If he got too overwhelmed, he’d hurt himself. “So he’s gonna be in a wheelchair from now on?” he asked after a second.
“He will. Ina has already been working to have our room and Michael’s room swapped so he can stay on the first floor,” Mama explained. “We’re getting a ramp on the front and back porch as well. Just know that this isn’t your fault and that you brought our son back to life. If it wasn’t for you, he’d be dead.”
“Really?” Jeremy thought that Michael had stopped breathing before, directly after the shock, but he wasn’t sure. Things after he woke up from being dead himself were all a little blurry.
“Really. With how he had been shocked, he should have been dead. I don’t know if he died or not since I wasn’t there, but he was in a coma when your dad brought him in,” Mama elaborated as the elevator door opened. She held onto the wheelchair handles and started walking with Jeremy. “Did I tell you that he needed some skin grafts on his back because of those electrical burns he got?”
Jeremy shook his head. “No, but he was really burned so it makes sense. Squip really got him and he wasn’t breathing when I got over to him. Then he was again after I kissed him.” Mama and Ina also knew that Jeremy was crushing on their son, hard. They were more than fine with it and gave him their blessing to go out with Michael if they both still wanted to.
Mama hummed, and Jeremy didn’t need to look back to know that she was grimacing. “Then... Thank you for bringing Michael back to life from us. It seems like you have magical kisses.”
“Well, you have a magical son,” Jeremy replied, “Since I’m pretty sure I was either dying or dead, but I couldn’t die since he needed me. I woke up again because of him and I’m a fallen angel because of him.”
“I wish I knew more about this stuff to offer a legitimate explanation. It sounds like you two are really bound to one another though,” Mama offered with a hum. “You have a double blessing from me now with Michael.”
Jeremy blushed and ducked his head a little. “Thanks, Mama.” He reached up with his less bandaged hand and tapped her arm affectionately. “Once I’m in the bed and allowed to walk around again, can I give you a hug please?” He hadn’t gotten many hugs since his burns really hurt, but he really wanted to hug Mama.
“Of course, Jeremy. I would love that. I’ve missed your hugs.” She turned down the hall and stopped outside of a room where Michael’s name was written on a whiteboard. Mama took the green marker and wrote Jeremy’s name below Michael’s. “There we go. Now, are you ready to go in? It’s going to be hard to see him. Your dad cried when he first visited.”
“He did?” Dad almost never cried, so that was a really big deal. “I... yeah. I need to see him for myself.” It was gonna be bad and hard to see and probably horrible, but Jeremy needed to see Michael and see that he was okay. Even if he wasn’t awake, Jeremy needed to see him and just feel that he was still warm. If he was still warm, he was still alive and everything would be okay.
“Alright.” Mama knocked on the door before opening it.
Michael was lying in the bed closer to the window. He really didn’t look different, but the air in the room, even if it was just Ina and Sunny with Michael, was somber. Ina quickly pulled a tissue from her face and smiled at Jeremy. “Hi Jeremy, it’s good to see you.” Sunny lifted her head up from Ina’s lap and softly yipped and sneezed before resting her head back down.
“Hi Ina.” His voice was getting tight just looking at Michael. He was almost motionless, like he was frozen in time, and if it wasn’t for the heart monitor he was hooked up to and the subtle shift of his chest from his breathing, it would be conceivable he was dead. “Mama, can I get out of the chair now, please?”
Mama quickly shut the door behind them before nodding. “Go for it.”
Jeremy shakily stood, using the arms of his wheelchair to help him up, before he took a hesitant step towards Michael. Then another. And another. Until he was standing right next to Michael’s bed.
He had just reached out to touch Michael when he spotted that his hand had lost it’s illusion. “Mama, are the windows to the room closed?” he asked, stepping back to make sure he wasn’t revealed. For some reason, being close to Michael was knocking out his human skin.
Ina, who was sitting by the windows, shut the curtains. “They’ve been closed but now no one can see in. We’re on the fifth floor though so it would be hard to see anyway.”
“And I’m covering the window on the door with my back and head,” Mama added.
Jeremy nodded and stepped close to Michael again, this time willingly letting his illusion drop. Mama and Ina both gasped. They’d never seen him with his... Angel form? Was that the right way to describe it?
Slowly, he reached out and brushed the hair off Michael’s forehead. Then, acting out of pure instinct, he carefully bent down and kissed Michael’s forehead. For a second, energy shot through him, tensing up all his muscles, then it faded and everything relaxed. He pulled back with a soft, weary smile.
“Hey, Mikey. I’ve missed you,” he murmured.
Sunny whined softly, hopping out of Ina’s lap and almost dancing next to Jeremy and Michael’s bed. Jeremy went to pet her, but Michael shifting had him pause. Did people in comas ever shift-
“Mm...” Michael’s head turned to Jeremy before his eyes barely opened. “Remy?”
“Mikey?” Jeremy breathed, barely daring to hope this was real. Had he really woke up from a coma with a kiss? “Are you really awake?”
Michael blinked a few times as he reached up and cupped Jeremy’s cheek. “I dunno. You don’t have swirly gold that... looks like it’s suspended over black like a lava lamp skin normally. Maybe ‘m dreaming. I dunno the name for this swirly look you got going on.” His voice was hoarse and strained, especially as he talked more, but Michael was awake and here and alive.
Jeremy couldn’t help the soft, happy sob that escaped his lips as he leaned into Michael’s touch. “I dunno what it’s called either.” He smiled, closing his eyes. “But it’s ‘cause I’m different now. M’a fallen angel now. Squip’s gone for good, and I’m not a demon anymore.”
“Wow. I missed a lot then. The last thing I remember is us saying we’d date each other.”
“Yeah. Lots happened. You’ve been in a coma for a week,” Jeremy muttered before opening his eyes and pulling back. “But we can talk in a minute. Mama and Ina are gonna wanna fuss over you.”
“I’ve... What?” Michael sort of stared at Jeremy as he stepped back, allowing for Ina to come over to fuss over him. “Hi Ina.”
“Jeremy, do you think you can conceal yourself again?” Mama asked, not yet moving from her spot.
Jeremy closed his eyes and remade his illusion. “Go check on him. I’m just gonna sit down.” That took a lot out of him for some reason, so Jeremy staggered over to the bed which was set out for him and half collapsed into it.
Mama made sure Jeremy was comfortable in bed first before going to check on Michael, bless her heart. Both women almost coddled Michael as Sunny whimpered and whined. “Hi, hello. I love you guys too.”
“We’ve been so worried, baby.” Ina sighed, kissing Michael’s head. “I haven’t left your side for more than a few minutes. Oh, I’m so happy you’re awake.”
Sunny wriggled where she was, putting her front paws onto the bed and standing on her hind legs to grin happily at Michael.
Michael looked between his moms and Sunny, laughing a little at his dog. “I’m sorry for worrying you all, really. Is it alright if Sunny comes up here though? It looks like she’s gonna implode if she doesn’t get up here in the next minute.”
“She most certainly can.” Mama laughed, discreetly wiping away some tears. With permission given, Sunny was up on the bed and curled carefully against Michael a moment later, resting her head on his chest and licking his chin.
Michael pet Sunny, cooing over her before pressing a few kisses to her muzzle. “Hiya there, baby girl. Yes, I’m happy to see you too.”
Everyone giggled at the reunion, and Jeremy couldn’t help but smile fondly. Now that he understood what Sunny was and what it meant, to an extent, this little moment meant even more than it would have before.
After he wrapped his arms around Sunny, Michael looked back over at Jeremy, properly taking him in. “Wait, what happened to you, Jeremy? Why are you all bandaged up?”
Jeremy sighed at that. “It’s... kinda complicated. But the short version is that Squip was using me to try and change you. I wanted to stop it, so I went and hugged Sunny. I figured if I wasn’t able to power the spell, I couldn’t hurt you anymore.” He shrugged. “It did a lot of different things, but I kinda died and came back as a fallen angel instead, so, tada.”
“You- What?!” Michael moved to try to sit up but had difficulty with it. “Sunny, can you move please? I need to get up.”
Everyone froze and tensed up. Jeremy was out of bed in a shot, wobbling slightly but not caring as he made his way over to sit on Michael’s bed.
“Mikey... You won’t be able to get up,” he whispered.
“What are you talking about? I can do that,” Michael said, trying to lift himself to sit up with his arms and failing. “Sunny, please move.”
Sunny whined and shifted back, looking sad.
“Baby, you won’t be able to get up,” Mama murmured, stroking Michael’s hair and helping him sit up. “You... you’re paralyzed. From the thighs down.”
Michael stared at Mama for a good few seconds. “What? No. I can still feel them. They’re probably just asleep and stuff since I was in a coma for a week.”
“No, honey, you can’t. We’ve done all the tests, the nerves in your legs are fried,” Mama said.
“Honestly, it’s a miracle you’re alive in the first place. All your nerves should be fried after what happened, and they probably were considering how burned up you were,” Ina explained gently. “But your legs are not gonna work anymore. There’s nothing we could do.”
Michael stared between the two of them as he shook his head. “I can still feel them. There’s no way. I would know if I couldn’t move them anymore.” Even if nothing was happening, Michael’s face showed the effort he was making. “They just need to wake up.”
Jeremy reached forward and took Michael’s hands, squeezing them. “Mikey, you know I never lie, right? That it makes me feel sick if anyone lies around me?”
Michael kept looking at where his legs were covered by a blanket. “Yeah, I know.”
“Your legs are paralyzed. The tests all show it. You can’t move them or use them beyond your thighs“
Michael’s gaze didn’t shift from the blanket. “But... But I can still feel them. I do!”
“That’s a phantom feeling, baby. You can feel them as if they were still working but they aren’t.” Michael started tearing up but didn’t look away.
“I’m sorry, Mikey,” Jeremy murmured. “I’m so sorry.” He squeezed Michael’s hands as he looked away himself.
“But...” Sunny pressed herself right against Michael’s chest and Ina started to run her fingers through his hair.
“We’ll work with this,” Jeremy promised him quietly. “We’ll figure this all out and work with it. It’s not gonna be the end of everything. Things will just be different. But I’m not going anywhere and neither is Sunny or Mama or Ina. And neither is my dad or even Christine.” Jeremy squeezed Michael’s hands again. “We’ll all help you with this shift, I promise.”
Michael barely squeezed Jeremy’s hands back as he started properly crying. Ina pressed a few kisses to his head while Sunny rubbed her head against Michael’s chest. “But- but-“ He cut himself off with a sudden sob as he squeezed Jeremy’s hands tight this time around.
Jeremy flinched but didn’t pull away. This was hurting his burns, but he didn’t care. In his mind, he deserved it for trusting Squip in the first place.
“Hey, Mikey, it’s okay. You’re gonna be fine, I promise,” he mumbled, squeezing his eyes shut but still not pulling away.
Mama intervened then, carefully getting Michael’s grip to lessen and eventually switch to holding her hands tightly. When Jeremy went to argue, Mama gave him a caring yet stern look. “You’re recovering too, Jeremy.”
“I know,” he grumbled. “But Mikey needs help. Can I at least hold him?”
“You can for now, but you need to lie down soon,” she said. “I still need to check your burns.”
“Okay.” With permission given, Jeremy shifted closer to Michael. “Mikey, can I hold you please?” he murmured, knowing that Michael would hear him even through the panic. He always did.
Michael managed to nod, even as he shifted to only hold one of Mama’s hands and clung to Sunny. Sunny looked at Jeremy from where she was, softly whimpering as she reached a paw up for him.
Jeremy nodded and wrapped his arms around Michael, guiding him to lie against Jeremy’s chest, just above his heart. It stung because of the pressure on his burns, but he knew nothing else would calm Michael as quickly as this. Michael always calmed when he could hear Jeremy’s heartbeat.
Mama didn't even try to argue because she knew this too. Michael curled up as best as he could against Jeremy's chest, hiccuping and gasping. After a few minutes, he calmed down as his breathing evened out and he eventually stopped crying.
Jeremy just cradled him sweetly, running his fingers through Michael’s hair and humming softly. “There you are, Mikey. It’s gonna be okay, I promise. You’re gonna be fine. I’m gonna help you through this and so will everyone else.”
Michael managed to nod as he sniffled. "I... Okay."
Michael was still struggling to deal with everything. He’d been awake for about three days and he was still weirded out. He couldn’t walk ever again. That was so much to deal with and he couldn’t process.
“Hey, Mikey? Mind if I close the blind on the door? I need to try something because I’m getting really uncomfortable,” Jeremy asked, pulling Michael from his thoughts.
Looking over from where he was sat up in bed, Michael nodded. "Oh, yeah, sure. What d'you need to do?"
Jeremy climbed out of his bed and closed the blinds. “It’s... I genuinely don’t know. I’m running on instincts.” He chuckled, moving to the center of the room and shifting his hospital gown so his back was exposed (his was half open so Mama could get to the bandages more easily). “Here’s hoping it’s not something too weird.”
"I mean, I guess?" Michael pet Sunny's head as she snored in his lap.
Jeremy rolled out his shoulders and bent forward a little. There was a kinda gross tearing sound and Michael gasped when he saw blood drip onto the ground behind him. Then, from the center of his back, two massive black wings sprouted. They were clearly covered in something, probably blood, but they soon shimmered and the feathers turned a beautiful, glossy, inky black.
Jeremy sighed happily, expression going dazed as they shook out and folded behind him. “Ah, so much better.”
"You-" Michael heard his own volume and quieted down to whisper shout, "You have wings?!"
“What?” he asked, glancing over his shoulder before gasping. “Oh, shit! It wasn’t a hallucination!” he cried. The wings flapped a little and Jeremy ended up windmilling his arms to try and keep his balance.
Michael went to get up before stopping himself. Thankfully, Jeremy grabbed onto the railing of the nearby bed to keep himself steady. "No, these are real."
Jeremy carefully righted himself, his wings flapping to help him. “Yeah. They are.” He panted. Very slowly, he walked over to Michael and stopped next to him. The wings puffed up a little as he grinned dazedly at Michael, clearly very relaxed. “They feel good to have out. I didn’t realize how much I needed to let them out until now.”
"I mean, those are new. You wouldn't have known," Michael murmured as he looked Jeremy over, especially his wings. "They're beautiful."
Jeremy blushed and the wings puffed out even more. “D’you... D’you wanna touch them?” he asked, leaning forward slightly and extending one of his wings to be in reach of Michael.
"Yeah, sure. They look fluffy." Reaching out, Michael carefully ran his fingers against the ends of the feathers and yup, they were as fluffy as they looked.
Jeremy practically melted against him with a soft, content sigh. Michael wasn’t sure he’d ever seen Jeremy so relaxed and- Oh, his skin was flickering to reveal the fallen angel patterns Michael was still trying to get used to. He liked this black and gold look much more than the grey and blue one, though. It was softer, more magical and less clinical. More Jeremy.
Michael didn't want to ruin this moment though, so he started to run his fingers past the edges of Jeremy's wings and further in, closer to the feathers near the base of Jeremy's spine. "These are really soft."
“Are they?” Jeremy sounded just as relaxed as he looked, and twice as happy. “That’s good. Do you think that maybe I could fly with these? They feel pretty strong, and I’m pretty strong too.”
“I mean, I don’t know. I would be too nervous to test it out,” Michael admitted as he hummed.
“I think I might try it. We can go to the lake, maybe take a picnic,” Jeremy offered, ducking his head shyly. Michael could see the blush rising up to his cheeks and he could feel the wings puff out as Jeremy got a little flustered. “Make it a date. If you still wanted that, of course. I know we haven’t really talked about it yet, after everything that happened.”
“I mean, if you’re still fine with dating me, I’d like to.” Even if he was broken and a pain now, hopefully he could at least be a good friend and partner.
“I really, really want to, Mikey.” Jeremy sounded so hopeful and almost vulnerable in a way Michael had never really heard from him before. “You’re so amazing, I’d be... It’s mind blowing that you wanna be with me, honestly. After everything I caused. And even before making a mess of everything...”
"You didn't make a mess of anything, Jeremy. You're amazing," Michael assured Jeremy as he carefully turned him around and reached around to hold one of his hands. "I'm just happy that you're here and with me."
Jeremy smiled at Michael, the expression almost coming across a little sad. “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than by your side, Mikey,” he promised, and Michael knew he wasn’t lying. Jeremy never lied.
Michael squeezed Jeremy's hand. "Same with me to you. I'm really lucky. Thank you, Jeremy."
Jeremy’s smile got a little more solid. “You’re amazing, Mikey. I- I love you,” he whispered. “And I’m sorry for causing all this. But I’m also happy that you still want me around.”
"You don't need to apologize for anything, Jeremy. I don't blame you for anything," Michael said as he tugged Jeremy a little closer.
Jeremy let himself be moved, his wings shifting to partially wrap around them both. “You don’t, but I do,” he confessed quietly. “I blame myself for you being paralysed, and for you literally dying and needing to be brought back in the first place.”
"You didn't know what Squip was going to do. You saved me and brought me back. I'd rather be paralyzed than lose you." That was the truth too, even if he was broken and useless now. He'd rather be like this than never get to be near Jeremy again.
Jeremy leaned closer, wrapped his wings more tightly around them.
“Stop thinking badly about yourself,” he muttered, almost annoyed. “I can feel it, and you’re thinking badly about yourself. Stop it. You’re amazing and beautiful and so damn strong, Mikey. Stop being mean to my best friend.”
Michael let out a sigh as he took Jeremy's other hand. "If I stop trying to be mean to myself, can you try to not blame yourself?"
Jeremy nodded. “I’ll try. But Mikey, I promise that you’re not broken or worthless or anything like that. You’re still as amazing as ever,” he replied earnestly, nuzzling carefully against Michael’s shoulder.
"I'll try to believe that. I never thought I was amazing as you said I was to begin with, so be patient with me."
Jeremy nodded again, nuzzling against Michael’s shoulder as he did so. His wings rested around them, strangely weighty in just the best ways. They were like a fluffy weighted blanket. It helped to relax him a little.
Michael did his best to hug Jeremy, going under his wings to wrap around his back. "Thanks, Remy. I-" A loud snore from Sunny cut him off and he couldn't help but laugh.
Jeremy giggled at that as well. “Silly angel baby,” he cooed, scratching Sunny behind her ears fondly.
Sunny growled happily in her sleep before snoring again. "She's so silly."
“I love her so much.” Jeremy smiled before looking back up at Michael. “And I love you too. In a different way. An actual romantic way.” Jeremy said it directly, so Michael knew it had to be true.
"I love you in a romantic way too," Michael echoed as he looked at Jeremy and smiled softly.
Jeremy beamed and looked like he was about to burst from excitement when a soft knock echoed from the door.
“Hello? Michael? Private? Can I come in?” Mr. Heere called. Jeremy giggled and smiled once more.
“Come on in, dad, so long as it’s just you and you close the door quick.”
Mr. Heere came in quickly, shutting the door behind him and keeping the small shade over the door. "Hey- Oh. Oh my god. You actually do have wings."
Jeremy nodded and flapped them a little. “They’re soft too. And they feel kinda like a blanket, which is nice.” He smiled, curling closer to Michael with what sounded almost like a purr. Clearly, he was very happy and content.
"Would it be alright if I felt them?" Michael saw Jeremy nod before Mr. Heere carefully touched them. "Oh wow, they are soft. That's... Wow, this is a lot. I just wanted to bring you two lunch and I get this in return."
Jeremy’s wings shook out a little but didn’t puff up under the touch like they did when Michael felt them. “You brought lunch? Oh, what did you get? What did you get?” Jeremy cried like an excitable child.
Michael couldn't help but laugh along with Mr. Heere. "Well, I got Wendy's."
“You got chicken nuggies?” Jeremy was practically vibrating now. “Yay!” He kept his voice low, so not to wake Sunny, but his joy was palpable.
"For the both of you, yes. I need you to sit up though so I can give you your food."
Jeremy did so in an instant, sitting up next to Michael in the bed. After a moment’s consideration, he folded his wings behind him and leaned against them like a stack of pillows against the wall, helping Michael sit forward enough to lean against one as well.
"Wow, you're really taking to those wings," Mr. Heere said as he gave Jeremy the bigger bag of Wendy's food. "Now, eat up."
Jeremy opened the bag and instantly cheered softly, reaching in and pulling out a nugget which he started happily munching on. Michael couldn’t help but chuckle. Yeah, things sucked and he couldn’t exactly do much about his situation, but at least he had Jeremy, his adorable best friend and boyfriend by his side. They’d make it through this, Jeremy had promised. And Jeremy never lied.