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some kind of heaven

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       Raphael speaks of stained glass churches and his mamá's carnations, how she'd folded them into a tattered bible that he still has.  



       He hums Billy Holiday without realizing he's doing it. When Simon joins in, he looks at him as if he's just sprouted wings because 'Simon. You're hearing things, work on your training. It's slipping.' 



          He irons his own suits as opposed to trusting the dry cleaner with them. When Simon asks why, Rachael openly, honestly, my God he's an open book for Simon only, stares at his feet. He says it makes him feel as though his beloved mamá (peace be with her) never left. Simon presses his lips to Rachael's forehead at that, for trusting him with such a blessed secret, for feeling safe enough to share.



        Raphael loves nothing more than to laze in a nest of blankets with his back to Simon's chest and their legs tangled together. He does not, however, appreciate it when an excited Simon wakes him mid slumber by scraping needy fangs against his neck. It's usually followed by imminent threats of Simon's being banished to the sofa. 



          A little known fact is that Raphael talks in his sleep and this is where his demons hide. 

Every time, he cries and softly pleads to a God who isn't listening. His aching words haunt Simon -  they're the subject Raphael refuses to talk about. The one they've agreed to never unearth. In the nightmares, he's repeating the same mournful mantra:

'Simon, wake up. God, please. much blood, he's dead he's dead, he's not breathing. Killed him...she knew I...' 

Simon, damp eyed and broken, strokes his arm and whispers as many times as it takes:

'I'm here, it's okay. Feel that? That's me squeezing your hand, it's Simon.'

 It only works sometimes. 



          On a good night, Raphael hogs both pillows and denies doing so when they wake.



            He cooks for a baby sister that sees the face of a stranger when he visits her at an elderly care facility. On her birthday, he brings pink carnations and insists on introducing Simon. She forgets his name and meeting him at every visit but that's just as well. The nursing staff beam at their intertwined hands and assure them both that she's well cared for. Raphael's sister; Simon's family as well, by extension.



         The elder vampire bitches about stains on his clothes but allows Simon to messily drink from him. A great majority of the collars of his dark suits bare the evidence, unnoticeable and hidden away but present nonetheless. In fact, he wears the ruined jackets more. 






         When Clary scrunches up her nose and asks Simon what he sees in Raphael Santiago, he smiles and truthfully replies:



A beautifully flawed heart that he trusts in Simon's clumsy hands.


Everything, everything.