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Some Things Are Worth Breaking Out Of Heaven

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They - eventually - come to an agreement.

Dale Lee is not permitted to leave the confines of Heaven. Dale Lee has a questing blade, given to him by a Champion. No one, not even St. Peter, has the authority to strip Dale Lee of a questing blade that was gifted by a Champion. Dale Lee can use said questing blade to beat the shit out of angels and return to the Waking World whenever he wants.

All of these things are true, but true as they are they cause problems for the way things are supposed to be. As St. Peter reminds him, time after time, dead men can't just return to the land of the living whenever they feel like it, even if they are capable of doing so. It upsets the balance of things. And, frankly, it gives Kingston a headache.

It takes some time, and more than one trip to the Pearly Gates through Sixth Borough by Sofia, Kingston, and a mystified but determined Liz ("You wanted into my life for real," Kingston said, shrugging as they watched the spectral planes land at Heavenly JFK, "then this is the kinda bullshit we gotta deal with") to strike up a deal. Sofia wasn't about to take no for an answer, but Kingston could tell by the way her bracelets rattled on her wrists that she was nervous. Liz, finally ready to embrace her place in the Unsleeping City, argued hard against a team of angels that had all of human history on their side, and Kingston had never been prouder.

In the end, to avoid having Dale break out whenever he damn well felt like it and throwing Heaven into chaos, the council of angels agreed to let him visit six times a year; every other month, for two days, Dale Lee will be released from Heaven and permitted to visit his wife in the Waking World. Only those inducted into the Unsleeping City will be able to see or interact with him, and he had to seek and receive written permission from St. Peter before leaving the gates.

(The deal did not state what would happen to Dale if he should fail to return at the end of two days. Sofia asked Pete, who asked Nod, who asked Alejandro, if it was possible for someone to move from the Nice List to the Naughty List after they were dead; Alejandro didn't think so, but none of them were willing to test the theory.)

Twelve days a year wasn't much, but it was twelve days more than he had before, so Dale and Sofia agree to the deal.

And then Dale breaks it without a second thought the day their son is born.

Kingston's in the delivery room with her, because somebody should be, and she keeps saying she doesn't want anyone else to see her like this. He's always known Sofie was strong and loud, and today is no different, and he shakes out his hand to get the blood circulating in his fingers again as she cradles her baby boy against her chest. He has Dale's thick black hair and Sofia's nose and ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes, and Kingston dutifully counts them for her three times just to make sure they're all there. He's also keeping an eye on the way the kid subtly glows with a faint blue light; none of the other hospital staff has said anything, and Sofia is still crying so much she can barely see, but Kingston can definitely tell that something is going on with the baby.

Not that he's surprised. The kid's dad is dead.

And then the kid's dad is there, busting through the door - literally, just passing right through the door to stumble headlong into the room and startle the shit out of Kingston. One of the other nurses gives him a funny look when he shouts, and Kingston plays it off like his phone just buzzed in his pocket, but the second the nurses clear out and the coast is clear he glares at Dale.

"Gonna give me a fuckin' heart attack, son," Kingston mutters, but Dale's only got eyes for Sofia and his baby boy and, okay, yeah, Kingston understands. Dale never thought he would have this, and now he does, and Kingston can only imagine how that feels. So he rolls his eyes and hefts himself to his feet, squeezing Sofie's toes through the blanket as he walks out of the room to give them a little privacy and to stop anyone from going into the room so Sofia can talk to Dale without being put under a psychiatric hold. It's only on his way out the door that Kingston notices the bruises and blood across Dale's knuckles, the nunchucks hanging from nerveless fingers.

"Dale, did you get your permission slip signed?" Dale stares, open-mouthed and teary-eyed at his wife and son. "Dale!"

"I... Pete sent Nod to the Gates to tell me Sofie was in labor and I..."

"Dammit, Dale! One thing! You gotta do one thing to come down here!"

"Kingston," Sofia's voice is watery but dead steady. "You're gonna handle this for us, right? Because I just had a fucking baby and you definitely wouldn't yell at my husband in the delivery room, would you?"

Kingston grumbles, his phone already out and his thumb on Liz's contact; she should be able to help him smooth all this over. Kingston points at Dale: "You go over there and you tell your wife you love her while I keep your sorry ass out of trouble, and then we're gonna have a conversation about why your boy is glowing and whether or not this whole situation messes up your deal, you understand me?" Dale nods, a little dazed, not for a single second taking his eyes off of Sofia. "Get over there," Kingston sighs and Dale doesn't need to be told twice.

Sofia didn't even notice the glow until Kingston mentioned it, but it's hard to miss once she knows. It's not overly bright, or distracting, but it's definitely there: a faint blue light that radiates from her son's skin. It's brightest around his head, and when Dale cups his palm against the boy's skull, it glows even brighter still, like the glow is reacting to Dale's presence.

"I can touch him," Dale chokes, and then he's just sobbing, rubbing his thumb over the baby's thick hair and Sofia starts crying again, too, because - honestly? - she had never once considered during her pregnancy that the baby wouldn't be able to see or hear him. Thank God. Dale leans forward and presses his lips to the baby's head, then looks up at Sofia with tears in his eyes and whispers, "You doing okay, sweetheart?"

"Better now," she admits. "Got my boys."

"Your boys," Dale parrots, voice thick with awe. "Wow. He's... he's okay, right? Ten fingers, ten toes?"

Sofia nods, giggling a little. She knew Dale would ask. "I had Kingston triple-check. Clean bill of health. Uh, except for the glow? What's up with that?"

Dale somehow manages to wince and look proud at the same time. "Yeah, that's... that's on me, I think. I asked around, when the test came back positive. Turns out our situation is rare but not entirely unheard of. So, because he has, y'know, me for a dad and I'm... well..."

Sofia raises an eyebrow. "Wait, are you telling me he's half-Asian and half-angel?"

Dale laughs, another tear spills down his own slightly glowing cheek, and he wraps a hand around the back of Sofia's neck to give her a gentle but enthusiastic kiss. "Yeah," he says, a little winded. "Yeah, our boy's half-angel."

"Well, fuck, the Terrible Twos are going to be interesting."