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Title: Trimurti Follies (Mythklok, Chapter 45)
Author: tikistitch
Rating: NC-17
Summary: In which we encounter Ganesh's OTHER eccentric uncle. Oh and also some other stuff happens.
Warnings: Slash, AU, OCs, swearing
Notes: Notes after the jump.



Mythklok is a Metalocalypse AU. If you're behind and for some strange reason wanna catch up, the best place is my fic journal, [personal profile] tikific, where you are welcome to come visit the bits I’ve written and maybe poke them with a pointed stick. I've also written a general introduction in case you wanna jump in the middle of things, or have forgotten all this stuff due to Real Life.

Last time: Ganesh is worried about whether the Eastern Kingdom will accept a half-angel child among the pantheon (even though he’s only really quarter angel) and Sariel wondered about how to get blueberry pie filling out of his wings. Seth (or Seth’s tentacled kid) attacked Melbourne with giant robots. It was terrifying, but kind of awesome. Raziel wants to sign up the boys for a commitment ceremony in the tropical paradise of San Serriffe. But, somebody sort of seemed to forget to ask Ganesh about this. Oops.




Mordland, the gardens….

The mighty old tree groaned.

And then it stood up. And started to walk. Leaves, roots, branches, bark: everything.

The great branches flailed.

One whipped down and nearly knocked over Sariel, who, apparently startled, jumped out of the way at the last minute.

He turned and made a sweeping gesture at the branch, neatly amputating it from the main trunk.

This appeared to anger the tree, which countered by sweeping two branches at him simultaneously. Somewhat recovered, he slashed out with both hands and managed to cut them both off.

Another branch struck out, and this time he slid a finger down and sliced off all the bark.

The tree reeled, evidently in pain.

"Ouch!"

Sariel whirled around.

Ganesh, who had been animating the tree, was rubbing one of his many arms. "Damn. That sort of smarted."

"You nearly clobbered me!" Sariel protested.

"You informed me that you wished to try your cutting power on a mobile opponent," Ganesh insisted, giving a wave and letting the tree sit down with a thunk.

"I didn't know you could make the fucking thing get up and walk!"

"It is Santeria. I can do many things,” Ganesh explained, two hands folded as if in prayer, two wildly gesticulating. "And it would hardly be fair if it were rooted to the spot!"

"Should we call it a day, children?" Jacque asked, hefting Elias on hip.

"Schnick!" said Elias, waving a hand.

"BOON," Sariel shouted.

Jacque laughed. "Don't worry, lad, little cocksucker shouldn't have his cutting power till he's a teenager. You're gonna take after your Papa, aren't you?" he asked Elias.

"He sometimes gets this stuff ... early," Sariel sighed.

"Hmpf," Ganesh grumbled. "All the more reason to get him inside. C'mon, you, time for lunch."

"He needs a steak! And maybe a good cigar! Grow him into a fine Ogoun!"

"I think you might just need milk teeth for a steak, Jacque,” Ganesh chuckled.

"Why! He'll just cut it up! Snick snick!"

"Nicknick!" Elias gleefully repeated as Ganesh hauled him away.

"Papa!" Sariel warned.

"Relax, son, you turned out all right!"

"You had NOTHING to do with my upbringing!"

"See how well I do?" Jacque grinned.

Sariel frowned. "I've been meaning to ask you about something. I have another power. I can push my thoughts?"

"Yes. That’s mine too. You can talk and listen."

"Uh. No. I can't hear."

“You can, you just don’t know how!”

“You gonna tell me, or you gonna stand there being an asshole.”

“I’m liking the asshole option.”

“Jacque!”

Jacque had just lit a cigar, and was looking especially smug. He handed off a stogie to his son, which seemed to somewhat mollify Sariel. "You go in. You're already there. You just relax. Look around."

Sariel looked puzzled, so Jacque said. "Come on, then. Give it a try with me. Tell me I'm an old cocksucker."

Sariel leaned over and lightly put his hand on his father's head. He obediently sent the thought that he was a cocksucker.

Jacque laughed. Jacque was laughing in his head.

They were out at his seaside palace.

Jacque.

And Tazphkiel.

There was someone sitting on the balcony, perched up on the balustrade, heedless of the height.

An extraordinary angel.

Smoking a cigar.

Sariel found he was hyperventilating. He was in the real world, sitting, but nearly doubled over. His father was sitting beside him, one steadying hand on his back.

"All right?" Jacque inquired.

Sariel was not anywhere near all right, but felt he should nod. "Do you miss her?" was the first thing out of his mouth.

"Every god damned day. Every god damned night."

"Are you.... Are you angry? She was taken from you. Twice."

"She was given to me twice. Doesn't seem right to be angry. Not many men get an angel. I had two." And he slid his hand to Sariel's shoulder, the rest of the sentiment unspoken.

"I never asked. How did you meet? Not my mom. The first Tzaphkiel?"

"That's a strange fucking story too. Washed up on my beach! Thought she was a motherfucking mermaid. I'd never seen anything so strange as she. She didn't remember anything. And before long I was too fucking smitten to bother asking.”

“What do you think…?”

“I don’t know, son. Sometimes, I think, the universe just gives you what you need.”



Mordhaus, Charles and Ganesh's suite....

Boon had spent the afternoon in a Form with wings plus an extra set of arms, so, even with four arms out himself, Ganesh had a bit of a task untangling himself from his sleepy child, but finally got him situated in the bassinet. He stood for a while, looking over his drowsing son. He had guessed that Elias would not manifest both wings and arms at the same time. And had been proven swiftly wrong. He also strongly suspected the boy could already manage a bit of flying, but none of the children had been caught in the act yet. He wished not for the first time that Sariel recollected a bit of his own childhood. And then he would sigh and remind himself that he was damned lucky the angel had survived his horrific childhood.

He hated to admit it to himself, but he found it difficult sometimes to be around Sariel and Jacque. It was the look in the older man's eyes. He tried to recall his own father ever lighting up like that, just for the pleasure of being around him. No sting of approbation for his many failings.

"So, this is your motherfucking child? Ugly little cocksucker. Looks just like you."

Ganesh looked up, grinning. "Elegba!" he laughed, extending a hand. "I do apologize...."

"You've been busy, asshole!" said Elegba, shaking a hand.

"I was just using the tree enchantment this morning!"

"Oh, that's a fucking good spell. Especially for someone as got as many arms as you!

"Would you care to sit?" Ganesh waved him into the living room.

"I'll try and make this short. Jacque wants to spend more time in this universe."

"Nothing could keep him apart from Elias, I think."

"Nor Sariel. You don't have any idea how hard he looked for that little cocksucker."

"I can't imagine," Ganesh said, a touch ruefully.

"Anyway, the old man has been having discussions with our counterparts in this fucking universe. I think we can work something out."

"A swap?"

"Jacque is pretty fucking loaded back home. Not a bad tradeoff for us."

"Us? Elegba, are you coming too?"

"Well, that's something I wanted to talk about. I have to admit, that sad old motherfucker is my best friend in the universe. But, I'm not coming out here to sit on my fucking ass all day. Ganesh, I haven't had a pupil as talented as you in an eternity."

"Well. Thank you. It is Elias's heritage."

"I'm mindful of that. I was wondering if you would like to make this relationship more formal?"

"I'm a bit old to be an apprentice," Ganesh smiled.

"True that. But you're raising a prince now. And Sariel was never trained in the family business."

Ganesh nodded, wondering what was to come if Boon, as Sariel repeatedly claimed, turned out to be more suited as a corporate attorney than either Lord of Destruction or a voodoo prince.

"I greatly need to think this over, Elegba. But, I can tell you, it is something I would quite like to do." Ganesh hadn't realized he felt that way until the words had left his lips. Something he wanted to do. And not just for Elias.

"That is all I can ask," Elegba grinned. "One matter, and I hesitate to bring it up, because it wouldn't be my motherfucking business otherwise. I'll be introducing you to others of the trade. It would help if you had an official status in the family. Are you bound to Sariel?"

"Er...."

"I'll take that as a no."

"My father has accepted him into our family, but, no."

"Something you might consider. If you want to continue with this."

"Er. Well. This universe. You know. It's not the easiest thing. And. We each run businesses...."

"This ain't my house, else I'd offer you a motherfucking drink. Because, you look like you need one."

Ganesh sighed. He walked over to the bar, and poured out two generous shots of rum.

"Not the marrying kind?" Elegba asked.

"No," Ganesh admitted. "No, in fact, quite the opposite."

"Me, now, I like to have four."

"Er, four?"

"Four wives! One for the kitchen, one for the bedroom, one for castin’ spells, and one who lives on the other side if town, for when the first three are mad at me."

"So. How does that work out for you?"

"Just fine until the day when they're all four pissed off at me. Then I have to find four more fucking wives."

Ganesh chuckled, rather despite himself.

"I have many roads, so it usually ain't a problem," Elegba explained. "You help people down the road to, don't you?"

"Yes, those were part of my former duties. Remover of Obstacles. That was actually one of my favorite tasks. But that was back when things were simpler...."

"Well, you never know where a road is gonna take you. Consider my proposal. Oh, and thanks for the motherfucking rum!"

And with that, Elegba disappeared, leaving a very confused Lord Ganesh to pour himself another shot.



Valhalla....

"I dunno, Sariel, I suppose if his cutting power turns up, you could make Boon wear little mittens."

"And be sure to put on chain mail when ye feed him!" Wotan called from the background.

"Hey, we could whip some up for him at Parvati's next meeting! How many does he need? Four? Six? Eight? Oooo! And we could make little matching wing cosies! Wouldn't that be adorable? Now, honey, you just can't worry your head about every little thing, children go through these phases where they're teething or cutting down old growth timber. So have you checked on dates with Ganesh yet? For San Serriffe! Upper Caisse books up fast this time of year! Hmpf!, ‘Uh’ is not an answer! Yeah, yeah, tell Ganesh for the umpty-millionth time, we’re going to Brahma’s thing! OK. Bye.”

“Is Jacque training a little assassin?” Wotan asked, looking up from his Dagens Nyheter.

“New parent. Sariel is still freaking out about every little thing. Just wait till Jacque gives him his first little machete!"

"First four machetes!"

"Well, that's true. Oooo! We could knit little machete cosies too!"

"Wouldn't that tend to cut through your yarn?"

"Oh, we use carbon fiber for swords."

“Jacque is splendid fellow. We should have him up here for a hunt. I’ve never tried a machete before.”

“Well, he claims he can reattach fingers,” Raziel laughed. “So, is it usual for the Eastern Kingdom to have a PRE-Naming party?”

“Highly unusual! I haven’t been to a party in the Heavens since the Vedic era! These are strange times! Strange times!" He looked at Raziel, who was glaring at her cell phone. "Who were you calling, my raven?"

"Parvati. She's not responding to my messages. She's been a little down since Aaron went back to school in Arizona. I thought maybe we could haul our horrible kids over, and the boys could bring over Elias-"

"Ye might want to let young Ganesh deal with that one," Wotan said matter of factly.

"Is there a problem?"

"Is might not be a ripe area for your meddlin'."

"I don't meddle!"

"San Serriffe?"

"You'll thank me when you're enjoying your sensual massage!" Raziel averred, grabbing Yoimuri Shimbun. “So, what’s Vishnu like?”

“Oh, I think ye’ll like him! I can’t predict what might happen when those three brothers get together though.”

“Are they too alike, or too different?”

“All and everything at the same damned time!”

“This sounds fun!”

“Well, I don’t envy young Ganesh, but it does have the potential for interesting times.”



Ganesh’s residence….

Sariel gasped.

What had happened was this: after weeks of gentle but persistent cajoling (an occupation at which Ganesh particularly excelled) Sariel had finally agrees to pose, in the nude, for one of Ganesh's paintings. This was of course after several lively exchanges on the subject of the distinction, if it really existed, between "nude" and "fucking balls out naked." In the end, semantics didn't really matter, as Sariel despised the whole enterprise, whatever it was called. But at last, Ganesh had gotten him laid out in a nice warm, sunny room, and sated enough with martinis to not only suffer grudging cooperation, but achieve a rather pleasing glow to his pale skin.

It was at that point however that Ganesh started to be distracted by other matters that might also cause a glow to the skin. He had just been putting the finishing dabs of paint on his representation of Sariel's taut, muscular thighs when he found that he needed much closer observation of the same, including maybe a taste and a very quick bite, and soon found himself with many hands groping generous portions of angel thigh, his head between, with a delightful mouth full of cock. Sariel was now sitting, gasping, a glistening layer of sweat adding interest to his skin, his entire body arched out and quite lovely in the light. Ganesh found himself wishing for another pair of painter's hands to capture the moment. "Angel Getting Head,” he would call it. It was then that he made the discovery that it is a rather terrible idea to laugh when one's mouth is filled with angel cock. He backed off for a bare moment to catch his breath.

He felt Sariel's hand, light on his head. "Go on, oh, go on," Sariel whispered.

Ganesh looked up. "Take me with you?" Sariel nodded. He kept one hand on Ganesh's head, sifting his fingers’ through Ganesh’s dark hair.

And then he took Ganesh to another place. A gorgeous tropical island. Ganesh felt the soft breeze on his skin. He was relaxed, barefoot, wearing a fine linen suit. And Sariel was there, holding Elias. All were dressed in white.

And Great Brahma was there. And Uncle Wotan.

Wotan held out a small tray.

There were two rings on it.

Meanwhile, Sariel looked around. Relax, Jacque had told him. Not the easiest thing to achieve when one is in the middle of receiving a ball busting blow job. It was dark here. He felt Ganesh's presence, but couldn't see him. And there was a figure. He could only see the silhouette. It was exquisite. He could barely behold it. So lovely and rare. He reached out to touch. An angel. His heart was breaking.

Falling.

An elevator. With a cut cable.

And then Ganesh was holding him. The real Ganesh. In the real world. He was curled, weeping, naked, in Ganesh’s lap, like a small child. “There,” Ganesh was saying. “I’m right here. You’re all right. We won’t let anything happen to you. Not ever again.” He grabbed the blanket Sariel had been sitting on to pose and wrapped it around the angel. “Here we go. We’re all right now. We’re all right.”

Sariel’s breathing slowed. Ganesh could feel the terror recede. “Would you like to go see Boon now? Would that be good?” Sariel nodded. “Then come on. Let’s go see our son.”



Mordhaus….

“Dude!”

“Dude!”

“DUUUUUUUDE!”

Pickles awoke that night with a start to find himself surrounded by dark Koori surfers.

“Doods?” he muttered sleepily.

“Most Excellent Pickles the Drummer! Your Koori brothers have come to you in earnest! The threat of Seth the Most Bogus is nigh!”

“Yeh, doods,” Pickles told them, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. "I seen da robot in Melbourne on da news."

"They have sent the most awesome but nevertheless deadly robots against us as well!”

“Can you assist us in our hour of need, O most excellent Pickles the Drummer.”

“Yeh. I’ll talk to my doods,” Pickles assured them.

“You will talk to dudes for us?”

“He will talk to dudes!”

“This is most excellent!”

“Pickles, you are a most mellow friend!”

“Uh, t’anks,” Pickles said. “I’ll try an’ come out to yoo…”

“And can you bring along the most bodacious cat lady?”

“Yeh.”

“And the other dude, who claims he is guitarist in Dethklok?”

“He is a guitarist. Though we always dub over his guitar parts,” Pickles mused. “But, yeh, I can bring dem.”

“Dude!”

“That is most excellent of you!”

“Yeh, I’ll tell our manager dood," Pickles promised.

“Is he another excellent dude, Pickles the Drummer?”

“Oh, yeh. He’s an angel dood. An’, he’s got a sister who’s an angel dood. Dey’re badass angel doods.”

“Badass angel dudes!”

“Badass!”

“Most tripendicular!”

"Thank you, O my brother, most excellent Pickles the Drummer."

And they were not there any more.

Pickles grabbed a joint. He pulled on some pants, and went to see if anyone else was around.

He found Nathan and Charles in the kitchen, eating pie, and consulting their Dethphones. Charles was all angeled out.

"It means a short period of time. What does 'anon' mean?" Charles was asking.

"Soon."

"Why didn't he just say soon?"

"Maybe he was trying to confuse us."

"Dat shouldn't be hard," Pickles laughed.

"Did you want some Key lime?" Charles asked.

"Dude is there any left?" Nathan growled. "Seriously, you've eaten about thirteen slices."

"I like my fucking pie."

"What if your ass gets fat?"

"Then I'll fit into these pajamas and you'll quit giving me shit."

"Doods! Da Koori wuz here!"

"WHOA!" said Nathan. "Uh. What are Koori?"

Pickles sighed deeply. "Da dream walkers. From Australia."

"They came here?" Charles asked, his mouth crammed with pie.

"Dat's wut I said, dood. Dey need help."

"I'm having the guys in the basement come up with something," Charles told him, chewing thoughtfully.

"Oh no. Da weird doods?"

"Yeah, the weird dudes."

"Da weird doods are weird! Dey nearly killed me wit' dat flyin' drum kit!"

"I think we have established that you were IMPAIRED!" Nathan grumbled.

"Well, unfortunately, we can't do anything right away, anyway. I gotta go to that thing with Ganesh's relatives tomorrow."

"Is dat an all day t'ing?"

"Yeah, I guess the Eastern Kingdom is pretty serious about their parties."

"So when are we going to SAN SERRIFFE?" Nathan demanded.

"Uh....." said Sariel.

"Dood. You asked him, right?" Pickles asked.

"Uh....."

"Dood, yoo need too ask him."

"Dude, we wanna go partying on SAN SERRIFFE!"

"But...." Sariel muttered.

"BUT WHAT?"

"What if he says no?" Sariel sighed.

Pickles and Nathan groaned.

"Dood! He's not gonna say no!" Pickles assured him.

"He had a creepy baby with you and he doesn't mind that you hang around looking like an angel douchebag with your ASS CRACK SHOWING," Nathan rumbled wisely.

"Nathan," said Sariel. "Why are you SO obsessed with my ASS?"

"Uhhhhhh...."



Great Brahma's garden in the Heavens....

Sariel, who had just arrived with Ganesh and Elias, thought back to his first glimpse of Great Brahma's garden. Ganesh had unwittingly drugged him, and his psychedelic experience, such as it was, had consisted of a conversation with Ganesh's eccentric Uncle Brahma. He had returned a couple of times since, but he had never experienced it anything like today. It was a sort of a cross between a Bollywood musical and Cirque Du Soleil, and then maybe a Renaissance Faire thrown in for good measure. Everywhere, in every corner, there was something happening: an acrobat swinging from a trapeze, a group of musicians, dogs jumping through flaming hoops. Elias, in his arms, would point, and then point to something else, and then point to something else. "Yeah, I feel the same way," Sariel told him.

They spotted the angel Phanuel walking with Brahma, chatting pleasantly.

"Ganesha!" Brahma thundered. "About time! Shiva is about ready to blow a gasket!"

"Haven't even arrived and I'm already a disappointment?" Ganesh muttered to Sariel. He let himself be led off by his huffing Uncle Brahma.

"I understand your band is coming to my domain," Phanuel told Sariel.

"Yeah. OK. Uncle?" Well, thought Sariel, if you're related to everybody in the frickin' universe, you might as well use it. "My boys didn't exactly clear this with me first."

Phanuel indicated that they should walk, so Sariel accompanied him into a more isloated area of the garden. To his surprise, Phanuel held out his hands, and took a cheery Elias. Then to his further surprise, Elias babbled one of his phrases, and Phanuel said something softly back. Elias repeated the babble, now accentuated with a happy wing flap.

"Are you actually speaking to him?" Sariel asked.

"Hmmm? They can speak a very limited form of Angelic. More like Common, really. Do you know your Common?"

"I'm rusty," Sariel admitted.

"I made it a practice to know Common. So I could communicate directly with my troops. All my troops. Not just my Seraphim"

"What did he say?"

"He inquired as to whether I am an angel. Which I affirmed. This met his approval."

"Wow."

"My sister had told me. Lady Raziel could do such things. When she was just. A babe."

Sariel stared at the older angel. "That must have been difficult."

"The most difficult circumstances. Of my life."

"I wish...." Sariel stopped dead. "I wish she had been around to see him." He suddenly felt the weight of all that had happened catch up with him.

"She called him for us, my dear one. His soul. As she called you."

"But. Wasn't I just a normal kid?"

"Not quite. You were a small instance of going behind His back." Phanuel smiled thinly. He looked up. "I believe Ganesh's uncle is arriving. You will want to see this. We may continue this conversation at a later time."

Sariel and Phanuel found a rather morose looking Ganesh sitting under a tree, legs curled up into the lotus position, smoking a thin Indian cigarette, which he extinguished immediately upon sighting his son.

Unsurprisingly, a train of elephants had arrived, along with the sundry monkeys, tigers, color guard, dancers, musicians and other suchlike that marked quotidian public transport among those of Ganesh's family tree.

The caravan halted.

Suddenly, a tall blue man jumped down from the lead elephant's head and skillfully slid down the trunk. Somehow, Brahma's entire garden darkened, as if the sun had gone behind a cloud.

Then the tall blue man appeared, in a spotlight, dramatically posing with many straw boaters and many canes in his many, many hands.

"Oh, god's, here we go," Ganesh groaned, suddenly putting his head in his hands.

The garden brightened again.

Music came up, and a chorus, in a delightful pop tune.

"Vishnu Vishnu! Vishnu Vishnu!" sang the chorus.

"I am Vishnu! The All-Pervading!" the tall man sang, beginning a well choreographed soft shoe number along his colorfully clad backup dancers.

"Vishnu Vishnu! Vishnu Vishnu!"

Master of All! Past present and future!

Vishnu Vishnu! Vishnu Vishnu!

Beyond the limits of human perception!

Vishnu Vishnu! Vishnu Vishnu!

I govern the aspect of preservation.

Vishnu Vishnu! Vishnu Vishnu!

My peeps know me as Krishna from the Bhagavad Gita
I have the radiance of a thousand suns.

Vishnu Vishnu! Vishnu Vishnu!

I'm the big supreme from the Rigveda
Watch me now when I GET FUNKAY!


Suddenly, the pop song turned to blaring 60s-style electric guitars, and Vishnu and his dancers were madly doing The Twist.

There were also some very pleasing pop art style visual effects.

"They're trampling my azaleas!" huffed Great Brahma from somewhere nearby.

"Is it over yet?" Ganesh moaned. "Can I please go die now?"

The electric guitars stopped, and the pop tune was back.

Vishnu had stopped, and now was wearing all the hats from his hands on top of his head, stacked on top of each other. He was posing, gangsta style, arms dramatically crossed.

"My name is Vishnu, and I'm a playah!"

"Vishnu Vishnu! Vishnu Vishnu!"

"Come on let's get dis party started!"

"Vishnu Vishnu! Vishnu Vishnu!"

"Oh my god's your uncle is AWESOME!" Raziel, who had been dancing around with Abby, told Ganesh, who slightly moved one of the many hands covering his face to peer at her with one surly eye.

"Did he really just call himself a playah?" Sariel grinned.

"What I desperately need you to do, jaanu, I need to find a rock," Ganesh sighed. "So I may crawl under it and peacefully expire."

Ganesh's Uncle Vishnu, meanwhile, was now working the crowd. He was still wearing the pile of six or so straw boaters on his head. "Hi there. Vishnu. All pervading and supreme and all that. Pleased to meet you. Hello there. Supreme and all enlightened Vishnu." He got to where Ganesh and Sariel were seated. "Hi there. Vishnu. Appearing nightly in the Rigveda."

"Uncle," Ganesh said.

"Oh, Ganesha! Sorry, dear, couldn't see you behind my shining Mandela."

"This is Sariel," Ganesh moped, indicating the same

"Ah!" babbled Vishnu, shaking a hand. "Sariel the Fallen Angel. Lover of Ganesha and Consumer of Pie. Sorry we haven't made acquaintanceship prior. I should have my girl call your girl. And this...." he said, plucking Elias from Sariel's arms, "I presume, is the famous harbinger of chaos and strife for the pantheon. Cootchy-coo, love."

"Bisnoo Bisnoo!" sang little Elias.

Vishnu froze. Sariel looked around, curiously, to see if someone had missed a lighting cue, as the god was not for once posed dramatically in a spotlight.

"Vishnu? This is hydrangea-trampling nonsense!" Brahma huffed as he strode over.

"Have you chosen a Name for this one yet, Brahma?" Vishnu asked, holding up a gurgling Elias and pointing to him with many fingers.

"I am giving the matter just consideration," Brahma fumed, putting many many hands on his two hips.

"Well, it's pretty obvious," Vishnu explained. "This one is a Krisna."

"WHAT? Such nonsense."

"Brother Vishnu!" came the call.

"That's my name, don't wear it out, darling brother," Vishnu sighed as Shiva approached.

"Shiva was most pleased to see Vishnu has made slight improvements to LAST SEASON'S DANCE ROUTINE," Shiva snottily told his brother.

"Shiva you bitch! You know I only being fresh material to important family events like this one," Vishnu crisply informed him.

"Shiva is infinitely sorrowed that his esteemed brother no longer has the moves."

"Has the moves? Has the moves? Nobody double chair flares like Vishnu!"

"Shiva wonders, does this mean you would make this the matter of a wager?"

"Ohmygodsohmygodsohmygods!" Raziel squealed, enveloping Sariel in a bone-crushing hug from behind.

"Raziel! You are crushing my lungs!" Sariel gasped.

Raziel released her grip and sat down beside him.

"Sariel, KRISHNA'S BEEN SERVED!"

"This means..." Sariel said, catching his breath.

"My father and my uncle will have a dance off. Yes," Ganesh sighed, hugging a burbling Elias to him. "Do you know any quick and painless methods of execution, Lady Raziel?"

"Ganesha, quit moping! You have the best relatives in the universe."

Ganesh moped some more and looked mournfully at Sariel.

"You don't suppose," Sariel began, grabbing Elias from him.

"What?"

"Insanity is inherited?" Sariel grinned, bouncing Elias on a knee.

Ganesh glared at him.

Shiva and Vishnu were already warming up for the greatest dance off seen in all Creation. They started off to some top rocks, made more impressive by all the pop locking arms, and Shiva's tendency to cause minor explosions with his third eye. Then it was floor moves, and the boys got quite competitive on lotus airflares, to the general whoops and hollers from a very rowdy audience.

But then in the middle of Shiva's most impressive headspin (all you could see was a blur of arms and smoke from where he had set off a fire with his third eye), a chant started to go up, and quite soon the entire audience was yelling and stomping it's feet, "Brah-MA, Brah-MA, Brah-MA, Brah-MA!"

Suddenly the huge red god was center stage.

"Not in MY HOUSE!" Great Brahma shouted. And then to thunderous applause began a series of poplock moves with each and every one of his 24 arms. Vishnu and Shiva shrugged, and with the entire audience now chanting "You might catch me on the road/But not in my house!" the three gods began to step in rhythm and busted some very fresh crisply synchronized moves. They finished to a deafening standing O, and there were some hearty high 60s exchanged between the now grinning brothers of the Trimurti Dance Squad.

"Ganesha, did you really keep your eyes shut for the whole thing? Because I caught it on my iPhone!" Raziel told Ganesh, waving her cell phone at him.

The three brothers, along with Sarasvati, were approaching the tree where Ganesh was moping.

"Such nonsense!" Great Brahma laughed. "This is my most epic party since the Vedic period"

"Oh, yes, jaanu, this is a quite bitchin' party," Sarasvati trilled.

"I hate to broach the subject now, Uncle, but Elias..." Ganesh began.

"Yes, lad, the Trimurti has agreed to Name him!"

Ganesh gaped. "Wait, all three of you?" he asked.

"Yes, Boon is to be Brahma Vishnu Maheshwara. He is to have many blessings! And throw many, many epic parties!"

"You're going to wait until you're 18," Sariel informed the baby. "Or 21. Or, maybe 35!"

"And, er, the angelic blood..." Ganesh ventured.

"Pish-posh!" tutted Brahma. "He quite obviously takes after our side. Elias shall be Lord of the Fresh Funky Moves!"

"And Master the Crunk!" Vishnu added.

"And All High of Phat and Phresh!" Shiva put in.

"Er...." Ganesh stammered.

"We are humbled and greatly honored by the Trimurti's consideration," Sariel told them. "I know if Elias could only speak, he would express his sincere appreciation for this coveted award."

The Trimurti collectively puffed up and departed, with much self-satisfied back-slapping.

"What was that?" Ganesh asked.

"Nathan Explosion got food poisoning from doing body shots with a stripper with salmonella, so that's the speech I used to pick up his daytime Emmy," Sariel explained.

"Oh," said Ganesh. "Er. Nathan Explosion won a daytime Emmy?"

"Who hasn't won a daytime Emmy?"

"I know I have!" Raziel bragged, holding hers up.

"You brought your daytime Emmy, Raziel?" Sariel asked.

"Of course! They like me! They really like me!" Raziel grinned, hugging her daytime Emmy to her chest.

“You gonna tell us what this means, Ganesh?” Sariel asked.

“Well. My uncle did something shrewd,” Ganesh told them, sounding surprised.

“How’s that?”

“It’s not clear how Boon would be accepted, as a Lord of Destruction. So he has been given a role as Lord of the Dance. I know it doesn’t sound like much. Well, when I was born, I was a bit small and seeming weak. And there was the whole business of my head being cut off. So Uncle gave me Remover of Obstacles. It’s not a role anyone would think of, but everyone needs their path cleared, eventually.”

“And everyone needs to dance!” Raziel concluded.

“Well, not everyone,” Sariel groused.

“Elias can do what he wants with this, I think. And be seen as an ally, not a threat. By the elder gods at least.”

“Speaking of the major gods, where is your mom, anyway?” Sariel asked Ganesh.

Ganesh looked pained.

“By the way, are you guys going to give me your goddam dates or do I have to resort to swordplay?” Raziel asked.

“Uh,” said Sariel.

“What dates?” Ganesh asked.

“For San Serriffe!” Raziel explained.

“San Serriffe?” said Ganesh.

“The Upper Caisse books up quickly this time of year!” Raziel insisted.

“Uh. We need to work out some stuff. And things,” Sariel told her.

"Well work out the stuff and the things and then get back to me or I'll have a twin come drool on you! And, that will be yucky! Angelbaby drool is toxic!" she warned, striding off.

"Sariel," said Ganesh. "What was your sister talking about?"

"She's actually more my cousin, you know. Hey, did you know she had a daytime Emmy?"

"GANESHA! Shiva demands you transport your royal ass over here and BUST A MOVE!"

"Oh good gods!" Ganesh fumed. "We will continue this conversation later!" he told Sariel. But at length Ganesh was persuaded completely against his will and all good sense to demonstrate some of his more classic club moves, and before long Lady Raziel was up there onstage as well, having passed both twins off to a cheering Wotan, and Phanuel, who seemed terribly amused by it all, possibly because Brahma stocked such fine Scotch whiskey.

And then Vishnu led off one of his traditional dances. The gathered crowd of dancers slowly thinned as the moves became more and more intricate and complicated and people dropped out, finally unable to follow. At length, there was no one left dancing with him except for a still rather enthusiastic Lady Raziel, which seemed to somewhat annoy Vishnu. The god, who had been dancing in two armed mode, then (and perhaps spitefully), popped out a second set of arms and began doing opposite moves with either set. Lady Raziel responded by manifesting her dark wings, and aping his second set of moves with her wings, with, it must be admitted, rather impressive results. Vishnu, an old hand, if not an old ham, recovered swiftly, and ended the dance with panache, turning a graceful bow towards the angel, who cheerfully presented him with a daytime Emmy. He accepted the award, teary eyed, so much sincere applause.

All agreed, it was the most triumphant party since the Vedic era.



Ganesh's residence....

"Dood!"

"Pickles! What a pleasant surprise."

"No offense, dood, but I wuz lookin' fer Charles."

"Yes. Sariel had some kind of mysterious errand with Nathan Explosion."

"Oooo, yeh. Dey're buyin' da t'ing."

"Er, yes?"

"Uh, nothin'. Anyways, doo yoo know what da plans are fer dealin' wit' Set'?"

"He mentioned those scientist fellows are working on a weapon. I have not heard anything more recent."

"Oh. But we're gonna take care o' it before yoo go too San Serriffe?"

Ganesh's eyes narrowed. "San Serriffe?" he asked suspiciously.

"Yoo know, where Lady Raz is bookin' yer t'ing. I wanna book a sensoowal massage!"

"Er. I am afraid I do not know to which thing you refer?"

"Yer t'ing, dood, dat yoo.... Whoa. He hasn't asked yoo yet, has he?"

"ASKED ME WHAT?" Ganesh demanded.

"Oh, will yoo look at da time? I gotta go doo, yoo know, stuff-"

"Let me guess. Stuff and things?"

"Yeh exactly! Catch yoo later, dood!"

Ganesh was left alone.

There was only one course of action he could take.



Valhalla….

"Lady Raziel."

The party in question was sitting in a chaise lounge on the porch, lazy wolves and a tiger lying at her feet. She did not look up from her Vogue Italia. "Ganesha," she tutted. "Whatever I did, it can't possibly have been that bad."

"San Serriffe?"

Raziel pushed her sunglasses down her nose and peered over them. "It is only the most insufferably fashionable spot for a stylish commitment ceremony. And you deserve stern words over dragging your feet on the dates! Upper Caisse books up fast this time of year!"

"How can I agree to dates when I have never agreed to a ceremony!" Ganesh fumed.

Quite suddenly, the sunglasses were off. “You’re.... Wait. You're not sure about a commitment ceremony?” Raziel asked.

“It’s like my uncle says, nonsense!” Ganesh huffed, in that moment sounding very much like Brahma. “We’re modern people! Why should we even bother?”

"Ganesha. We're not modern. We're ancient."

"It is a meaningless piece of paper!" Ganesh averred. "An outdated institution! An obsolete enterprise!"

To his surprise, Raziel looked carefully around. She appeared to decide something, and then grabbed him by an elbow. “Come on,” she said, needlessly, as Ganesh was already being dragged out away from the residence, along with now curious wolves and a tiger.

Once Raziel had him clear of the building, she looked around again. “How much Angelic do you know?” she asked.

“A little,” he told her.

“Ganesha, we…." she whispered. "We angels. We like to belong to just one person. That’s what we’re looking for.”

Ganesh formed the words awkwardly. “You do?”

Raziel had been looking away, but she glanced at him. She looked odd, he thought. Vulnerable.

“He’s been looking. For two thousand fucking years. And, messing up. I think at this point he expects to be disappointed. He expects you to disappoint him.”

"Well. Maybe. I can't be expected....”
A wolf nosed Ganesh curiously.

Lady Raziel gave him her firmest scowl. After centuries of facing down huge Seraphim warriors, it was a quite firm scowl. "Look. If that's the way it's gonna be. Tell him sooner. Rather than later." And she put her sunglasses on and turned and flounced inside, letting the door slam after her.

One wolf remained behind, staring at him. "Oh, not you too!" Ganesh scolded him.

Ganesh fixed his features into something he thought would be very stern looking, and Marched right back to his residence.

“Sariel!” he called.

Sariel came into the room holding Elias, looking thoughtful.

“We need to talk about this … ceremony. Whatever you have it. And we need to talk NOW.”

“You don’t wanna do it?” Sariel asked.

“I feel I am being … railroaded! By a bunch of conspiring angels! And death metal musicians! And wolves!"

“OK,” said Sariel.

“What?”

“You don’t wanna do it. We don’t do it.” Sariel shrugged.

“I just…. I.…” Ganesh said. “I don’t feel I can….”

"So, you might leave us at some point?" Sariel asked.

Two sets of eyes looked at Ganesh. I am the worst being in the world, he thought.

"No," Ganesh said. "No, of course not. I could never...." Never what? It occurred to him, the strangeness, that he could not leave, nor could he offer a guarantee. "Sariel. Before you," he attempted to explain, "I never stayed with anyone longer than...." He trailed off.

"Longer than what?" It wasn't an accusing tone, but still.

"Eight hours," Ganesh confessed.

"Oh. Huh. That's actually not very long."

"I don't know how you do it. How you keep doing it. Your ex-wife, your ex-wives, or whatever they were..."

"She wasn't so bad. OK maybe she was."

"I've seen the scars on your back...."

"Oh, she didn't do that..."

"Sariel, how do you continue jumping into things?"

"I dunno. I just do. And I like you. You do weird stuff. Like order us a kid off the internet.” Sariel hadn't realized he felt this way until just that moment. You couldn't ignore the fact that Ganesh was quite good looking, but Sariel realized he had gained a rather equal affection for the weird part. "You blow stuff up with voodoo spells," he grinned.

Ganesh found he was on the verge of tears. Why wasn’t Sariel angry at him? He deserved at least a scolding. He was a horrid being. A horrid, horrid being.

“That vision…” Sariel asked. “The elevator with the cut cable? That’s you, not me, isn’t it? I’m an angel. I’m not really afraid of falling.”

Ganesh nodded.

“I was picking it up from you?” Sariel asked. “All along?”

“I’ve never been so frightened,” Ganesh admitted. “I don’t want to disappoint you. I disappoint everyone.” He sank onto the couch, his head in his hands.

He was falling.

He was in an elevator with a cut cable, and he was falling.

He did the only thing he could think of. He reached out a hand.

To his surprise, Sariel was perched in his lap. And somehow there was room for Elias as well.

"We can sit on you,” Sariel told him cheerily. “For now. But I know that won't keep you here."

"You…. You won’t need to sit on me. I couldn't imagine living without you. Either of you. My angels."

Sariel blinked. "So, is that a yes?"

"A yes to what?” said Ganesh, sounding exasperated. “I don't believe anybody ever asked me-"

"WAIT!" And Sariel disappeared. And then he was back.

He was holding a small box.

"You didn't," Ganesh said, taking the box.

"Not, I didn't actually. I know you don't wear rings!"

Ganesh had opened the box. "Sariel, this is a tie tack."

"Yeah!"

"Sariel, I don't wear ties."

"Yeah, I figured I could wear it," Sariel said, taking it and holding it up. It was silver. And it had two tiny wings engraved on it.

Ganesh snatched it back. "You shall not.... You shall not have my tie tack!" he insisted, pinning it defiantly and against all fashion sense to his collar.

"So, that's a yes?"

"Yes, how could I possibly refuse this lovely and charming tie tack?" Ganesh was weeping quite openly now.

"Wow. Nathan said there would be tears."

"Nathan?"

"We discussed this at band meeting this week."

"Of course.” Elias was looking up at him, so Ganesh kissed the top of the baby's head. “Of course you did.”

“You ought to be OK,” Sariel was telling him. “There are two of us. Most people only rate one guardian angel.”

“Wunga!” Elias said. And there was briefly a tiny sparkling purple winged being fluttering in front of them.

Sariel reached up and poked it. It popped like a bubble. He grinned.

“Sariel,” Ganesh said.

“Yeah.”

“Do you find it in any way ... unsettling when he does that?”

“Yeah. Kinda fucked up, huh?"

"All right then. There should probably be pie of some kind," Ganesh reasoned.

"Will you make martinis?"

"Many, I think."

"Blaarrrrgh!"

"No, you do not get a martini," Ganesh informed Elias.

"He's had a cigar!"

"How.... How did our baby get a cigar?"

"Interesting story...."
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