Disclaimer: No ownership, no profit (not even breaking even), no harm, no foul.

I've decided to make a kind of series out of 16 of my fics for the alphabetasoup livejournal fic challenge, following four characters through their lives. The characters will be Nevan, Sparda, Trish and Lucia.

The prompt for this fic is Z is for ziggurat.


Nevan's life had always been planned out, though the plans and who was making them changed as the winds of war blew.

Hades and Hecate had taken some out of their thousands of children, given them the energy to progress into higher level demons, and placed them together in order that they would fight, grow stronger, and eventually some worthy servants would result.

Nevan had survived because of an 'unselfish' act. Several of the others had set upon one of the stronger ones in order to bring it down: she had rescued it and ensured that it was grateful to her. Allied, they had been able to keep the others at bay and secure enough food to increase their strength until eventually they were the only ones left.

Of course, Alastor was still much stronger than her but she had been able to keep him unaware of that. She was the smarter one, after all. He had been used to following her suggestions.

She had been ensured a place near the top of the demon social pyramid: Hades was one of the stronger devils: with a dark knight as strong as Alastor would become as her mate and her parents' patronage she herself might eventually become a minor god. Her parents would sponsor them in order to create allies: they would still have a hold on them as long as they stayed just a bit more powerful.

Then her parents had been defeated. Alastor had been chosen as a trainee dark knight and taken from her: Mundus' knights were made to lose all loyalties not to Mundus. She was sure he had forgotten what had once been planned.

They had been almost as close as twins, once.

But a female, worse, one with some human traits in her, though just enough she could be used to get humans to do her parents' bidding?

To the succubi quarters with her: from princess to mere spoil of war.

Alastor had not even come to see her.

Oh, she had climbed even in their ranks, she had gained power through her control of those weaker.

Oh, eventually she saw him again.

But by that time she had her sights on the pinnacle of power. And he was a lone swordsman, long beyond the days when they had struck in unison, casting their foes to the winds.

Their powers fit like hand in glove, but he no longer excited her. His abandonment had cooled her blood and her desire to punish him had also cooled in the tower.

So she only smiled when he became the mate of one so like her, a thunderous woman who wielded him as her blade yet a child compared to her. Alastor was still a child.

She, oh she had ridden the storm to the heights.

Still, oh, she remembered the touch of lightning, her first times, innocent in a way and the reason she embraced the act: her first time had not been the rough taking and breaking. Powers crackling, and he was so strong, he would go so far with her guidance, her control, her dark knight and they would be powerful…

Dreams of children, yet she knew that she would remember what Dante had never had, the touch of the one most kin to you.

Once, they hovered at the edge, peering into the darkness, knowing that they should not be out here: this area was thinly patrolled, there might be demons here that would try to eat them.

This was exciting, and they were young, confident that they could kill whatever challenged them, hoping to be challenged.

And so they were, and they laughed at the screams of the fool thing that had thought them easy prey, and celebrated their victory atop its body while their powers crackled, a dare to others to come, attack them and fall, for they were strong and glorious in the light of their dark power.

Later, when they were fast and rough she would imagine she was with him, in the first rush of lust: she would let him sate himself, enjoying his power and his need of her. When he was sated, tired, then she could control him, torment him, order him to do what she wanted, her first dark knight.

When they tormented her, she couldn't pretend, but after the pretense was almost worse, because they, were never obedient, never gave a damned soul for her pleasure. Some of them wanted her to be artful, she had studied with the other succubi, and she could generally get them to give her some pleasure in the course of it. Alastor had wanted her to enjoy it, she'd managed to get him to think of it as an accomplishment, a skill to master.

She hoped they weren't picking up bad habits from her, or their future mates would want her dead. Mates deserved better treatment than succubi.

Alastor had thought of her as his mate, though they had been nowhere near old enough. They would climb the ranks, grow older and stronger.

Then, a bolt out of the blue, cracking them apart.

They'd mated once after Dante gained him, during a thunderstorm to mask their sounds, fighting each other to revive the excitement. She tried to pretend, and she was well practiced at being whatever the client wanted.

He grinned at her afterwards, satisfied with himself, but she wasn't satisfied with him, though it was the best sex she had in far too long. The techniques he remembered, however, were… off. She had grown, he had grown, they didn't fit together anymore, weren't drawn together like positive and negative charges.

The happy days, 'bright' and innocent were long since past.

Still, as he lay there, armor tossed carelessly around them as they had torn it off him, she had wanted what she had wanted then.

Power excited her as it did all demons. But Alastor wasn't the most powerful one within her reach anymore.

She had left him there, walked away with a toss of her hair and a swing of her hips into the dark and stormy night.