When Colette woke (again), she registered two things. (Again.) One, she was no longer sitting not placidly in a dodgy truck. Two, she was lying on a floor with an odd looking person leaning over her with a worried expression. She sat up, equally worried.
The two worried people looked at each other for a while, before Colette deemed there had been enough looking and worrying and decided to break the worryingly quiet silence.
"Hello," she said.
The worried person- at least, she assumed it was a person,as it was a bit hard to tell under all those feathers- blinked.
"Salutations," they said.
Colette glanced around, having decided that no funny smelling rags were coming her way again. She- they- were in a pleasant looking room, that was almost the exact mirror image of her father's living room, if slightly tidier. She looked back to the odd feathery person.
"Why do you have feathers on your face?"
"Because the misconception that fallen angels only have feathers on their wings is a misconception."
"That doesn't make sense."
"Oh." The odd person- fallen angel- looked even more worried at this and began picking at a feather on its- his?- face. Colette watched him for a while.
"Aren't you going to tell me what's happening?"
More feather picking. "I'm not supposed to. You see, the fallen angel that ordered me to kidnap you as bait for the angel Emmanuel also ordered me not to tell you anything because he's currently flying around the human's car to make sure Emmanuel comes here of free will, because otherwise the spell to make him a minion of Hell won't work."
Colette nodded. "I see. So you can't tell me why Emmanuel is wanted as a minion of Hell, either?"
The odd person nodded earnestly, then changed his mind and shook his head. "No, I can't tell you that Emanuel is one of the highest angels in Heaven and would therefore be a great asset to the Dark Lord."
There followed a not entirely unpleasant silence in which the odd-person-fallen-angel picked his feathers and Colette thought about Harry Potter.
"Whatever it is you are about to say, ask, suggest, explain, point out, question, ponder, debate, or make an observation on, the answer is no."
"Quite right." Christian felt quite please with himself. He had recently spotted a line of tire tracks that he was sure would lead him to Colette, beer had mysteriously appeared in the boot, and he'd finally made that infuriating angel shut up."
"Christian, there's a suspicious looming shadow following us."
Christian considered smashing a beer bottle against Emmanuel's head, then though better of it as he realised there actually was a suspicious looming shadow following them through the barren American desert.
Emmanuel rolled down the window and stuck his head out for while, then drew it back in looking slightly contemplative. "Christian, it seems there is not, in fact, a looming shadow following us."
"Well that's a rel-"
"It is actually a demon that is flying some way above and behind this car."
Christian nodded slowly. "Is that... bad?"
Emmanuel pursed his lips. "Not necessarily. The demon could simply be out for a stroll, although since that hasn't happened for two thousand and fourteen years, it's a little unlikely. Jesus' autograph was all the rage in Hell, I hear."
"So if it's not out for a stroll...?" Christian let the question hang in the air between them like a hung thing.
"If it is not out for a stroll, then it either wants to drag me kicking and screaming into Hell or drag me willingly into Hell by tricking me in some way."
Emmanuel slid his chair back, kicked his feet up, and closed his eyes lazily. "Drive faster so we can save your daughter and I can be redeemed."
"'Kay." There was a pause, then: "Ever gonna tell me why the big man banished you?"
There was a fluttering outside, then a bang, then a crash, then a curse word so foul it made Colette wince.
She and the odd loping fallen angel glanced at each other, then deciding that mutual fear overcame personal space boundaries, drew closer together, huddling on the cold wood floor go the hut. Arms around each other, jaws trembling, they watched the door like it was a live thing.
Colette frowned. "Shh, you're interrupting the ominous banging that has been overdramatised for the sake of our story."
The door crashed inward, sending the two inside the house scuttling back in to the fireplace. A silhouette stood tall against the door, wings unfurled, sending a vicious stench of rotted hedgehogs through the cabin. Colette peered at the figure, then whispered, "Is that the fallen angel who told you to kidnap me as bait for Emmanuel and my daddy?"
The figure took a step into the house, then another one. Each movement seemed to cause him immeasurable effort, and with a closer look Colette saw that chains encircled its entire body, leaving a gap only around its red, fiery eyes. When it spoke, the cabin shook with the force of the energy contained in its voice.
The feathery creature scuttled to his feet. "Yes, master?"
"Make me a cup of tea."
Colette watched with interest as the satanic figure lurched toward the sofa, before throwing itself down with a dramatic sigh. The red eyes turned on her, and she gulped.
"Hello," she said.
The figure blinked into the silence that stretched out for a slightly too-long while, then leaned forwards, arms on its knees. "I don't really like this life, you know."
Colette resigned herself to being the demon shrink, all the while watching the window, praying for her father- and Emmanuel- to come.