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19 April 2012 @ 05:57 am
FIC: Father Jools  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: Father Jools
Part: 1/2
Rating: PG
Configuration: m/m
Warnings: Mention of sex, violence and blood magic
Word Count: 1.700 / 5.800
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index
Characters: Father Jools
Summary: As Aroona healer embedded with a Belligra platoon, Father Jools has to make a swift decision after a suicide bombing on Leichnam ...
Feedback: Yes, please!

It was only until the Captain shook him violently that Jools actually realized he was still alive.

"Chaplain?! Chaplain, are you alright?"

Jools tried to make a sound, or at least say a word. But all he managed was a choked noise and some awkward twitch of his neck.

"By God," he heard Captain Gaius exclaim, "I think he's alive! Damn it, we have to dig him out here!"

Blinking, the Aroona priest tried to make sense of his surroundings. There was a lot of smoke in the gray sky above him, and pieces of sooty rubble lying all around. He could hear fire burning nearby, the cries of confused civilians and the wails of the wounded.

Then, suddenly, Captain Gaius was at his side again.

"Jools, can you hear me?" he asked, much softer than before. "Blink if you can understand what I say."

"I'm okay."

It sounded much worse than the priest had hoped it would, but then again, it was a small miracle he was still saying anything at all.

Bit by bit, Jools’ memories returned.

They had been on patrol in a remote village here on Leichnam, in a region that had recently been overrun by a rash of demon cultists. Just when they had been reasonably sure that this village was clean, a woman had approached him. She had carried a bundle and begged him to help her sick child. Naturally, the Aroona healer had offered to have a look, but instantly came to regret his decision. The bundle in her arms was not a child, but a neat pack of explosives, and all Father Jools cold do was to yell a warning to his squad before the suicide bomber blew them both to pieces.

"Twas a smart try," he croaked after some of the other Belligra soldiers had pulled him out of the rubble of a wall that had collapsed onto him. "They went for the healer first."

The comment elicited some laughter among warrior priests around him, even though they seemed somewhat less spirited than usual.

"How bad is it?" he asked as soon as the Captain appeared back at his side.

"Bad, but not as bad as I feared." Unusually emotional, Gaius put his heavily armoured hand on Jools’ shoulder. "Man, I have your entrails all over me. I thought we had lost you for good. But when we saw the light underneath the rubble...” Blinking with wonder, he hesitated for a moment. “I've never seen a proper miracle before. You are truly blessed."

For a heartbeat, Father Jools was tempted to reply that there was a significant difference between a miracle and a ridiculously lucky attempt at saving himself, but then he just smiled. There were desperately few miracles these days, and he wouldn't take one away from his fellow soldiers.

"Apparently, God decided I was still needed here." Swiftly regaining his stamina, Jools looked at the chaos surrounding them. "Casualties?"

"None among our men, only a few headwounds among those who foolishly weren't wearing their helmets." Judging by the long bloody gash running down his temple, the Captain Gaius counted himself among those. "But the civilians... Only a few dead, but several dozen wounded, most of them critically. The boys are out there, doing what they can, but those wounds - I think the shrapnel were poisoned in some way."

"Poisoned shrapnel? Now how's that supposed to work?" Jools asked under his breath.

But it wouldn't surprise him too much if Gaius' assessment was right. Demonists were an awfully crafty bunch when it came to killing people.

Taking the Captain's offered hand, he pulled himself up onto his feet again. A bit wobbly, still, but he knew he was fine. Dirty and scorched from the remains of the wall that had collapsed on top of him, and naked except for his sandals. His robes hadn't survived the blast, and the few remaining tatters had been brushed off him with the rest of the debris. But his body was fully restored, healthy and tanned and hungry as a wolf.

It had been a close call, Jools was very well aware of that. The instant he had realized he wouldn't be able to escape the blast, he had hurled all his energy into a single healing prayer, hoping that the blast wouldn't be able to kill him faster than he was able to heal himself. And his faith hadn't been misplaced, obviously. But his energy reserves had been completely drained, and right now he was about as useful a healer as any soldier with a first-aid kit.

But looking around the devastated market place, he knew that a few days rest were out of the question. Everywhere around him, people were running, screaming, soldiers tending to the dead and wounded, trying to keep things as orderly as that was possible under these circumstances. The Belligra platoon he was embedded with had hardly sustained any damage, but there were dozens of civilian casualties.

Right now, the shock and fear still dominated, but this soon would change. This was Leichnam, after all, and the local population was well known for their dislike of any foreigners. Soon enough they would start blaming the Belligra for attracting the demonists' attention, if not outright suspecting them of staging the whole attack to justify their presence. It was a silly notion, but then again, that was Leichnam in a nutshell.

Their primary mission objective here was to root out a cabal of demonists, but they were also here to win the hearts and minds of the local population. They had to make sure the church would be perceived as the good guys in this game.

So Father Jools had to do something, and quickly so. People were suffering all around him, some of them dying, a few already dead. Each second he hesitated would damage their image more.

If he still had been operating on full batteries, it would have been a simple thing to to stabilize all wounds around around him sufficiently with a single prayer and to gain enough time to properly heal everyone. Well, not actually simple, but simple enough. But his mind felt as empty as a church at dinner time. He needed energy, there was no way around it.

Standart procedure would be to tap what little reserves his platoon mates had, pooling their resources. But that would hardly be enough to even stabilize the wounded, let alone to heal them.

Blood magic was a possibility, as always, he thought with a grim smile. While the Aroona officially condemned all use of blood magic, they were well aware of the potential. Many high-ranking priests were educated enough to know about the risks and rewards, and able to make informed decisions. But even though blood magic would have easily generated the needed energy, it was out of the question in this case. Blood magic attracted demons like shit attracted flies. And in a region already suffering from demonic taint, that would be an open invitation for disaster worse than anything the demonists could have cooked up themselves.

That left Father Jools with only one option. Neither subtle nor morally impeccable, it would work fast enough, though. If only he found a proper partner.

"Captain?", he asked firmly, surprising himself how steady his voice already sounded. "I need your help."

Instantly, the leader of the Belligra platoon turned towards him, his face clearly showing that he considered the Aroona the most important member of his team right now. "What can I do?"

Instead of an answer, Jools stretched out his hand, gently touching the Gaius’ face. For a heartbeat, the grizzled warrior priest looked puzzled, but then he understood. With visible effort, he relaxed into the touch, leaning against his chaplain's fingers much like a child would cuddle with his father's hand. An odd scene, to say the least, but imminently useful.

It was one of the tiny tricks that allowed the Aroona to work their special kind of magic - the knowledge that human bodies wanted to communicate, to share both sensations and energy. Just by creating a pleasant, sensual contact between them, Jools could tap Captain Gaius’ energy. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to give him the kick start he needed.

Instantly, his supernatural senses came back to life. Pain and horror around him became as palpable as sounds and scents to him, but he forced himself to look behind the obvious emotions. Fear and anger he noticed, of course, but that wasn’t what he was looking for, either. Repulsion and curiosity, much closer already. And then, finally, there was a spark of attraction, of embarrassment, confusion and longing he had been looking for.

Jools opened his eyes in the direction he had sensed those emotions coming from and couldn’t suppress a dirty smile. Half hidden behind a stable door, there was a teenage boy looking directly back at him, biting his lower lip, his dark eyes huge and hungry. Probably, this was the first time he saw a handsome man naked in the marketplace, tanned and healthy, and it stirred all kinds of inappropriate longings inside of him.

The boy realized Jools looking at him and immediately hid inside.

“Make sure we remain undisturbed.” he told the Captain Gaius. He would know what Jools was about to do, and act accordingly.

Walking towards the stable, the chaplain had to fight down his dirty smirk. This sure would end up creating a whole lot of rumors about his Temple. Seducing teenage stable boys in the aftermath of a suicide bombing wouldn’t seem too pious with the local population. But while a simple, pleasant touch could create a bridge between two bodies, hot, sweaty and wholesome sex could generate energy in magnitudes that demonists only dreamed of. Especially when teenage hormones and suppressed sexual desires were involved.

If he didn’t misjudge the youth he had seen, his penned up sexual energy, once ingnited and channeled in the proper prayers, would be able to heal all those wounded within a few minutes. With a little bit of luck, even the dead whose souls still lingered would be given a second chance.

So when he reached the stable, he put on his most disarming smile. Inside, he found the boy half hiding behind several bales of hay. By his blush, Jools instantly knew he wouldn’t be too hard to seduce.

“Hey,” he said, leaning against the stable door naked as he was, his sultry tone leaving little question of his intention. “I am Father Jools of Temple Aroona. And I need your help.”

BerthaBlueberthablue on April 19th, 2012 04:26 am (UTC)
Damn, I wish there were healers like that at disaster scenes! I'd go volunteer to help more often!

The Aroona priests are so awesome.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on April 19th, 2012 03:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks! The Aroona sure know how to give a whole new meaning to 'disaster relief'... ^^
Meridaemeridae on April 19th, 2012 07:26 am (UTC)
Your wife said that if I came and left you a sexually suggestive comment you'd give me teenage sex.

Okay, actually, what she said was I should leave you a 'loving comment' but she didn't realise how I would interpret that once I filtered it through my dirty dirty mind.

osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on April 19th, 2012 03:43 pm (UTC)
I don't think you mind is any dirtier than ours are.

And where IS that suggestive comment you promised?
(no subject) - meridae on April 20th, 2012 05:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - osirisbrackhaus on April 20th, 2012 06:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rynthjan on April 20th, 2012 07:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meridae on April 20th, 2012 07:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
smidgesonsmidgeson on April 19th, 2012 08:03 am (UTC)
I'll second Meridae's comment. I want to see what happens after Jools goes into the stables too...Please.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on April 19th, 2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
You realize, though, that this is not a democrazy, right?


I shouldn't have said stable boy, right? Or was it another signal word that got you all worked up?
issuesgrrrlissuesgrrrl on April 19th, 2012 08:33 am (UTC)
Sex-based Aroona Healing Magic? COMMIT TRILOGY!!! Soonererest!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on April 19th, 2012 03:46 pm (UTC)
Sex-based Aroona Anything Magic.

The general population has absolutely no clue what happend behind the closed doors of their temples. Even despite the rumors. ^^
Meridaemeridae on April 19th, 2012 09:21 am (UTC)
Four out of four commenters agree - and I believe that's a quorum. Therefore, we should get AROONA SEX MUWAHAHAHAHAH!!!!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on April 19th, 2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
This is still not a democracy.

What the hell did I do that made you all so rabid? :)

Was it the stable boy? Or the naked priest?

I'll think about the smut... Promised.
(no subject) - idolme922 on April 19th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - osirisbrackhaus on April 20th, 2012 06:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - charisstoma on April 20th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - osirisbrackhaus on April 20th, 2012 07:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - liv21 on April 21st, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - osirisbrackhaus on April 21st, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - liv21 on April 22nd, 2012 11:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - osirisbrackhaus on April 23rd, 2012 04:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meridae on April 20th, 2012 05:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - osirisbrackhaus on April 20th, 2012 07:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
Charischarisstoma on April 20th, 2012 05:24 am (UTC)
*snickers* I'm tired and so just got the joke, Jools/Jewels. The Aroona healer is the Platoon Jewels(as in family jewels). Of course they'd be worried about losing him. Neutering takes all the fight out of a military unit.

Edited at 2012-04-20 05:26 am (UTC)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on April 20th, 2012 07:04 am (UTC)
Yeah. He's quite the precious. :D
triptyxtriptyx on April 20th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
I want to join this conversation of the non-democracy: STABLE BOY + NAKED PRIEST how does that not lead to porn a view of whats happening in that stable so Father Jools can heal everybody? >:D >:D >:D ;)

Hee I am so glad to read more of your stories! :)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on April 21st, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
Porn done. Posting tomorrow.
Milady OMlady_om on April 22nd, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
So I am just catching up with this revolt for smut. :) Yes, well, you walked yourself into that trap. Welcome to the angry mob of fangirls :)

But what caught my attention... was actually the first part. The suicide bombing. I could not shake the images of Afghanistan/Iraq, particularly the phrase "to win the hearts and minds of the local population". Ugh...

And poisoned shrapnel suicide bombs, remind me not to go to war with you, ok? :)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on April 23rd, 2012 04:03 am (UTC)
Well, I have learned a thing or two over the last days. :)

The parallels to current wars are, if not exatcly intentional, quite fitting in my eyes. Human nature hasn't changed much in the Phoenix Empire, and wars are still the miserably bad things they are today.

So don't worry, I'll give you ample warning and options to apologize before I take out my creative weaponry. ^^
hab318princess on May 29th, 2012 09:56 am (UTC)
oh wow, you can't just leave it there... well, I know you can but I hope you know what I mean...
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 30th, 2012 08:47 am (UTC)
Well, you can see in the other comments that I didn't. And by your comments I see that you've found the next part already. Thanks fo dropping by and commenting!