**TRIGGER WARNING: There is drug use and flashbacks containing very sensitive topics, read at you’re own risk**
Arch couldn’t help but drum his fingers against the glass table as he sat on the couch, one hand propping his head up. His golden gaze was locked on the small lines of the snow like substance that resided on the table. Some nights were like this. Some nights he just couldn’t bear the weight of all the sins in the entire multiverse. He just couldn’t do it tonight. Arch leaned down, pressing his finger against one nostril, inhaling sharply. He sat back, letting out a gasp like groan, his arms going limp. His weak fingers started unraveling the two French braids that lay over his broad shoulders. This is what it had come to. He couldn’t help but think that this wasn’t the person that the inhabitants at the Red Sun Inn knew him as. He was Arch Versailles, the sweet angel. Man’O the Sky, to Kyla. The kind Wolf Shifter who brought extravagant gifts to his beloved friends. He was the man who played with his baby girls in the floor of the inn, cooing to them and raising them high into the air. He was the man who stood by everyone’s side. The one who fell head over heels for another way too hard, way too fast. And here the Nez Perce native was, sitting in his living room, high off his ass, the only lighting of the room was the dying lamp light.
A sharp pain began to course through his head, and he placed a large hand on his temple, groaning. Even in this dismal moment, he could feel the Seven Demons writhing in his chest, clawing at his heart. Arch suddenly got to his feet, staggering out of the living room, making his way to the section of the house where Mouse resided. “Mouse?” He called, but didn’t get an answer. “Mouse, god, fuck, where are you?” He leaned against the wall, sliding down it, holding his knees to his chest and wrapping his arms around his legs, burying his face in them. Tears stung his eyes, and he felt emotion claw at his chest, nearly tearing him apart until he let out a violent scream.
He leaned his head back against the wall, looking up at the light fixture, tears streaming down his bronzed, freckled cheeks. His lips parted, his body shook, his nose ached. And all those memories came flooding back into his mind. Once again, he was that little boy, playing pretend with his brother, he could hear the bed in the next room squeaking, and then the sound of loud screaming an hour later, a loud slap across a woman’s face. “Bitch ass whore.” He remembered how that man spat towards his mother before leaving the Harlem apartment complex. That’s when he figured out sex didn’t always equal love. That’s what made him like this; that’s what made him have sex to feel love- even if it was for a moment. Even if it wasn’t real. It was nice to pretend.
Once again he was the six year old huddling behind a garage bin, pressed up against his brother and the wall, each trying to obtain body heat from each other. Once again, he was thirteen, sprinting through the woods, Mouse’s hand in his as he chased after the angels that flew away towards the vortex back to Heaven; taking Moth with them. Once again, he was holding Mouse against him as they both sobbed, looking down at South’s dismembered body. A little bit of the witch’s entrails here, a little bit of the witch’s organs there. Once again he was sixteen, he was holding that white rose in one hand, that letter in the other, his body trembling.
“I love you, Arch, but I need to find my family. Walk this world with the memory of me.”
Once again, he was holding his father’s head in his lap, whilst blood pooled around them, leaning over Micah’s body, screaming with pure rage and despair, his father’s blood staining his shirt. Once again, he was seventeen, and he could feel Satan’s hands on him again. He could hear his venomous voice, he could feel his forked tongue and hot, sickly breath as he hissed;
“You’ll never leave my sight. You are mine. You are nothing but my property.”
That predatory voice still rang in his ears as he could feel the Devil pinning him, his tongue running along the side of his neck. And once again, he was lying beside his brothers lifeless corpse, weeping into his shoulder, allowing the cross to be burned into his wrist. “Moth. Moth, I’m so sorry, Moth, god fuck, Moth I’m so sorry…” Arch had never felt pain like that before as he drove that blade into his own brother’s chest.
Arch suddenly arose, slamming his fist into the wall, screaming between grit teeth. He then pressed his forehead against the wall, shoulders shaking, eyes stinging before moving to the drawer of the nightstand. Awhile ago, he had given Mouse a basic handgun, just in case her magic ever failed and he wasn’t there to protect her. He opened the drawer, staring down at the black pistol, his pupils dilated. Without hesitation, he wrapped his fingers around the handle, bringing it into the bathroom and closing the door, leaning against it. Arch pressed the gun to his temple, staring directly into the mirror as he cocked it. He no longer shook. His freckled cheeks wet, his hair disheveled, a wild look in his drugged up eyes. The only thing that tore his gaze away from the mirror was the picture on the pale blue wall. It was of him and Mouse, his arm wrapped around her shoulders as she laughed, holding on to her flower crown with one hand to keep it from blowing away in the beach wind.
“It’s been a pleasure, Mouse.” Arch murmured, before- wait. A bullet to the head would not kill an angel. He remembered his conversation with Labyrinth and Kecia earlier that day. As far as weapons go, only ones of divine nature could end an archangel. Arch set the gun down, and with a wave of his hand a bronze dagger would appear in his hand. He let out a long sigh, looking into the mirror one more time and swallowing hard. He placed the sharp of the blade down on his forearm, preparing to press down and draw blood.
“Bah bah bah bah.” Arch suddenly looked up at the sound of the soft cooing. His eyebrows raised, and his body began to tremble again, the tears stinging his golden hues eyes began to stream down his cheeks. The dagger disappeared and Arch began to stagger up the stairs, opening the door to the nursery he and Mouse had built together. Cassiopeia was fast asleep in her crib, her breath soft, her chest rising and falling. But meanwhile, Sirius’s arms were out stretched as she reached out for Pagoda, the pug, who sat by her crib, wagging his stump of a tail. Arch’s lips parted, covering his mouth as he started to sob once more. “Dah bah!” Sirius giggled at the dog before Pagoda trotted out the room. Arch moved over to look down at his daughter who wriggled around in her crib, smiling up at him, violet blue eyes glinting in the dark. He reached down into the crib, his hand shaking, trying to wipe away his tears away with the other. Sirius reached up, wrapping her little fingers around his large one. “Papa.” She squeaked. A smile broke out across Arch’s face as a shaky laugh escaped his lips. “Y-Yes, I’m your papa. I…God, I love you, Sirius.” He sniffled, wiping at his tears. “I love you, Sirius.” She would blink up at him. “Papa.” Was her only reply.
He was then interrupted by the sound of a knock on the doorway. Arch then turned, still wiping at his cheeks- it was Mouse. Her blonde hair cascaded over her shoulders, her blue eyes sparkled in the dim light, her night gown reaching just above her knees. “Arch, you’re up late. I-” her eyebrow twitched as she then saw his trembling frame, the streaks on his face, the wild look in his eyes. “Arch, are you alright?” She approached him quickly, placing her hand on the side of his face to get a better look at him. “Arch, have you been crying? Are- Are you on drugs?” She stuttered, eyes widening. Not with horror, but with concern. Out of the blue, his arms wrapped around her, his head hanging over her shoulder. “I-I-I-I…” he stammered, choking up. “I can’t- I was going to…there was the mirror, and the gun and the, th-the…and I was gonna do it Mouse.” He was now nothing more than a blubbering mess.
“I love you, Mouse. More than the moon, more than the stars, more than anything. Same with our girls. And I love Kyla. And I love John. And Hyacinth.” His words were barely understandable between the stuttering, sobbing and coughing. “And P-Peter, and R-Rosa and I love V-Victor, and Everest and Khalass, a-a-and-” Mouse grabbed on to his biceps, pushing him back gently to look him in the eyes. “Arch, you don’t need to tell me, I know, everything is going to be-” “I know I g-get like this sometimes b-but,” he swallowed hard, his gaze meeting hers. “I’ll hold the weight of the world for all of you, for all eternity.” Mouse’s lips parted, her eyes so soft as she looked at him. “Arch, I…” Her voice trailed off, before shaking her head, her hand moving down his arm until her fingers intertwined with his. Just like when they were kids, and Mouse would have nightmares. Just like when they fled the Celestial Plane together. “Can I sleep with you tonight?” Arch murmured, shakily. Mouse blinked up at him, her eyes full of concern, and she nodded. “Of course.” She lead him off into her bedroom, his hand in hers, allowing him to crawl into the king sized bed before her. She lie there next to him, and despite Arch being so much bigger than her in height and weight, she wrapped her arms around him, her front pressed gently against his back, her legs bent, to warm his trembling body.
“You don’t have to hold the weight of the world for us.”
“Of course I do, I-”
“We can hold it together.”