Title: Sinners and Demons

Category: X-Men: First Class

Characters: Riptide/Azazel slash

Genre: Drama/romance

Rating: M for sexuality

Summary: Being a sinner, Riptide knew he was bound for Hell and demons. Yet his Hell and one particular demon turned out a lot different from what he expected.

Author's Note/Disclaimer: I had to do it! I love Riptide/Azazel slash! This is a bit of a Riptide origin story, since he didn't say anything in the film and there wasn't much on his background. There is a scene inspired by the film La Femme Nikita, because it would be interesting if Janos did go to jail before being recruited and his execution faked. This also considers how sinners are condemned to Hell, the Hellfire Club being Hell and Riptide being the sinner. Characters are © Marvel Comics.

As a boy growing up in a Catholic house in his home country of Mexico, Janos Quested was always taught that sinners who did not repent would go to Hell and be forever tormented by demons. Looking at where he was now, Hell and the demons within were not what he at all imagined.

In his early teens, Janos committed a sin that he could not repent for, for loving another boy. How could he ask for forgiveness if it meant denying his true feelings? After being beaten and thrown onto the streets for not repenting, he was forced to live a life of sin. To survive the harsh streets, Janos resorted to stealing, fighting, and sexual exploitation.

One day, when he got into a fight with a gang of older boys who attempted to beat him for his stolen goods, he committed another sin, murder. He tried to fight back and escape, but he was surrounded and outnumbered. As the gang members pummeled him with their fists, Janos snapped. It happened all too fast, he began to spin at high speed, creating a cyclone around himself. When the winds settled and Janos stopped spinning, he saw what he had done. Around him on the ground were the smashed bodies of the boys who attacked him, all killed when the cyclone threw them on the street and against the surrounding houses.

Terrified at what he had done, Janos fled, only to find that his fight had caught the attention of the townsfolk and the local authorities. Racing through alleyways and ducking behind crates and abandoned carts that littered the streets, Janos avoided the mob chasing him. Yet, he took one wrong turn and found himself at a dead end of brick wall. Unable to find a way out, or create another cyclone, Janos was eventually caught.

Being in jail was awful, it was cold, the bunk was hard and stiff, and there were rats and spiders crawling everywhere, but Janos imagined that Hell would be much more awful. Hell was described as a place of fire, ash, and dust, crawling with creatures worse than rats and spiders. It was possible that he would be in Hell soon if was going to be executed for murder.

After spending several nights in jail, Janos was escorted out of his cell by two of the guards and taken to a nearly empty room with no windows. The guards forced Janos into the only chair in the room and strapped his wrists to the armrests. Janos squirmed and kicked, knowing that he was going to be executed and that he was going to Hell. One guard grabbed Janos' arm lifted the sleeve as the second guard brought out a syringe. Janos felt the needle prick his arm, as the drug was pumped into his veins, his vision went blurry and all was dark.

When he regained consciousness and his vision cleared, Janos found himself in a lush looking bedroom. He was lying in a soft bed, under warm blankets and a folded stack of clothing on the nightstand next to the bed. Confused, Janos sat up and checked his surroundings. If it was Hell, then it wasn't the land of fire and ash he expected it to be.

After getting dressed in the clothes on the nightstand, Janos paced around the room. The door was locked, either to keep him safe or from escaping. He looked through the window, finding that he was on the fifth floor of the building and could be injured if he attempted to climb out. All what he could do was look at the scenery beyond the glass. It was a cityscape that greeted him, tall buildings, traffic, and people walking about, different from the Mexican town he grew up in.

There was a click when the door unlocked and a man and woman entered the room. Janos stood tense, not knowing what the man and woman would do, but the man grinned and gestured for Janos to sit down. As the three of them sat down, the man introduced himself as Sebastian Shaw. Shaw appeared to be middle-aged, well dressed, and had that charisma of power. The woman appeared young, was rail thin, blonde hair, and wore a short white dress with long gloves and boots of a matching color, she introduced herself as Emma Frost.

It wasn't much of a conversation, since Shaw did most of the speaking in Spanish so that Janos could understand. Shaw explained that he heard of the murders Janos committed and did some investigations, which lead to bribing the guards at the jail to fake Janos' execution and smuggling Janos out of Mexico. When it came to the questions, Janos could only answer some of Shaw's questions, such as his name and how long he had been living on the streets. Janos, however, could not explain how he made the cyclone, because it happened so fast and he was getting beaten when it happened. Emma Frost stood up and transformed from a woman of flesh into a woman of diamond, Shaw explained that Janos was special and that there were other special people out in the world. Shaw and Frost offered Janos to work for them, that he could have a better life, learn English, and how to control the cyclones. Since working for Shaw was better than jail, and Hell, Janos accepted.

Later, Janos learned that he was working at a place ironically called the Hellfire Club, a nightclub where people were swimming in sin such as gambling, drugs, and sexual activity. Perhaps Janos had died the night of his execution and gone to Hell, a very different kind of Hell from what the Bible had taught him about.

After several English lessons and sessions over his new position, Janos was introduced to another one of Shaw's associates. At first, Janos thought he was meeting a demon, but Shaw explained that his associate was not a demon, just another special person. Shaw's associate, introduced as Azazel, did look like a demon from biblical paintings, red skin, pearl white fangs, ghastly pale eyes, hideous scars, and a long sinuous tail, but the demonic like man was finely dressed, dark hair slicked back, and a gentle expression that made his scarred face rather attractive.

Janos learned that Azazel was Russian, from the few words that the red mutant had spoken. Even though Azazel didn't speak much, he had a smooth voice richened by his thick accent. What Janos could learn from Azazel was that the red teleporter had been in mercenary work before being recruited by the Hellfire Club, Azazel did not speak much else about his background.

For combat training, Janos was assigned to train under Azazel's instructions. Creating cyclones under his own will was difficult at first, since the first time he created one was under dangerous circumstances. Azazel decided to make the circumstances dangerous, by tackling Janos and throwing him on the floor and against the wall.

"Fight back!" he would hear Azazel shout as the red mutant kicked the toe of his black shoe into Janos' gut.

Unable to stand the constant beating, Janos felt a burst of rage, then he conjured a small tornado in his hand. He threw the tornado to send his opponent flying back. Before Azazel could slam into the opposite wall of the training facility, he teleported in a burst of red smoke and reappeared before Janos.

"Good," Azazel had said with a smile, "you are beginning to understand."

After the training sessions, it became easier to control his powers. He was even given a codename, Riptide for the powerful force of winds he created. Janos began to understand Azazel much more and Janos had to admit to himself that he was attracted to the red teleporter. One day, Janos told Azazel about this attraction. At first, Janos was nervous that Azazel would reject him, but Azazel was very accepting.

The first night of passion they shared was a night for Janos to remember. Azazel had a tall and muscular form, brilliant red skin, and scars etched into his flesh. Eager to touch the red and scared flesh, Janos traced his fingers along the scars mapped over Azazel's face and body, causing the red mutant to gasp out. Janos let out a moan as Azazel trailed kisses down his neck and chest.

Their bodies entwined, they were a rhythm of heavy breathing and entangled limbs. Azazel ran his red fingers through Janos' chocolate colored hair as Janos trailed his tongue over the X-cross scars on Azazel's hard and firm chest. Janos shuddered with delight as he felt Azazel's tail slide up his back like a snake.

As they lay together, Azazel's warm arms and tail wrapped around Janos' slender form, Janos felt more at peace than he had in his entire lifetime. Watching Azazel sleeping next to him, Janos considered his life of sin and the Hell he was condemned to. Despite his demonic appearance, Azazel was the best friend and lover Janos encountered. Shaw and Frost of the Hellfire Club were better than most people Janos had known since they gave him a place to live, education, and a purpose. The entire Hellfire Club was better than being on the streets, in an abusive home, and jail.

Stroking the scar that ran across Azazel's shoulder blade, Janos knew that his old life was over and he was living a new one. Janos Quested was executed that night at that filthy jail in Mexico, Riptide was now in a different sort of Hell with a different sort of demon for his companion.