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If They Keep Insisting (I'll Stop Resisting)

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Kravitz had developed a lot of skills during his years working for the Raven Queen. Taking down necromancers, hunting sinister cults… he’d even developed a talent for gambling, having opportunities to practice when bartering with more minor rulebreakers for their freedom.

None of those experiences had prepared him for this: the Bureau’s averted-apocalypse afterparty.

Taako was in his element, gesticulating wildly as he told some story from his past to a group of Bureau members. Kravitz, however, hadn’t had many opportunities for socializing in the past few centuries, and it didn’t help that he barely knew anyone at the party other than Taako.

In all honesty, he was praying for some sort of work emergency to come up. He’d kill for a rogue lich right now.

As though Kravitz had summoned him with thoughts of liches, Barry Bluejeans approached their cluster. He was going to be a complicated case. Even if he hadn’t been Taako’s brother-in-law, Kravitz would have still had to come up with some sort of alternate arrangement to deal with a lich who saved the world.

“Hey, Kravitz. You want to come show me around the base?”

Kravitz glanced at Taako, who made a shooing motion.

Well. If this was a trap, at least it got him out of the party.

“Um, I actually don’t know my way around the base that well. I’ve only really been to Taako’s apartment and the Chug N Squeeze,” Kravitz said as they began to walk.

“Yeah, I kind of figured. It was mostly just an excuse for us to leave,” Barry admitted.

“Oh? Did you want to talk to me about something?” Kravitz asked, wary.

“Nothing in particular. I just needed a breather, since the party was in a very crowded room and it was mostly people I didn’t know. But leaving alone in the middle of a party looks way weirder than leaving with someone else, and you also seemed a little overwhelmed.”

“Oh, huh, that’s clever,” Kravitz said. “I would have thought that you’d go with Lup, though.”

“Nah, she loves this sort of thing. She’s got a lot more social party energy than I do. No, it used to mostly be me and Lucretia, back in the day. But now things are pretty weird with her.” Barry made a face at that. “Anyways, I figured you knew just as few people as I do. Besides, we might as well get to know each other. You and Taako seem pretty serious, and the twins spend most of their time together. Or, well, they used to, I guess.”

“Taako seems really happy to have Lup back. He- I thought it was just how he was, but I can see now how missing her affected him.”

“Yeah, it’s been a rough few years. I don’t know why Lucretia thought--- well, I guess it doesn’t matter now. So, um, you’re the grim reaper. How does that all work?”

“Well, I don’t, like, usher everyone to their deaths or something. I’m more of a bounty hunter; I collect the souls of those who’ve committed crimes against the Raven Queen. Like, well—”

“Liches?” Barry asked. He smiled wryly. “Yeah, I kind of figured that was going to come up.”

“I mean, I don’t think you’ll be thrown into the Eternal Stockade or anything. You’re going to have to sort out some sort of deal with the queen, though. There are obviously extenuating circumstances and you just saved the world and all, but it doesn’t set a great precedent if we just let a couple of liches go with no consequences. And most liches are genuinely pretty evil. I’m honestly kind of shocked that you and Lup aren’t.”

“I see your problem. Maybe Lup and I could, I don’t know, do some work for the Raven Queen in exchange for our freedom? It seems like she would have a use for a couple of liches who were on her side. We could, I don’t know, help you out on difficult cases or when there’s a lot of work to be done at once or something. Not to say that you haven’t been doing your job perfectly fine as is, of course.”

“Actually, that’s not a bad idea. I’ve been actually taking time off for once now that I’m, you know, dating Taako. The Raven Queen’s been supportive—she’s weirdly excited about me being in a relationship, actually—but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have some extra help. I’ll bring it up the next time I see her; no promises, but there’s a good chance she’ll be on board.”

“Cool, let me know how that goes. And I’ll mention to Lup that I’ve volunteered our services, of course, but honestly she’s going to be very into being a bounty hunter for a death goddess.”

Kravitz smiled at that. “Why don’t you tell me about her?”

Barry lit up. He hadn’t had many opportunities to talk about her over the past few years, Kravitz realized. He didn’t remember her when he had a body, and, well, most people weren’t interested in having a friendly conversation with a lich- and for good reason. Even yesterday, if someone had told Kravitz he’d be having a friendly conversation with a lich, he wouldn’t have believed them.

But, well, Barry had a point: Kravitz intended to be in Taako’s life as long as Taako would allow, and that was clearly going to mean seeing a lot of Taako’s sister and brother-in-law.

And honestly? Kravitz didn’t think he was going to mind that at all. Barry Bluejeans may have been a lich, but he seemed like a pretty good guy.