Possibly Sallish/Ezbonish spoilers, but it's all Urichislon's viewpoint, so hey.
Interlude: Research Subjects
"Why not?" Urichislon asks, on the couch of her friend's apartment in Liberty Hall.
Ezbon, undoubtedly deliberately, stays behind her, arms and legs wrapped around her as if he were a monkey. It would bother her if she thought he'd actually try to keep her there. He mutters into her hair, "Not all Habbies are functional celestially. Sometimes stupid choices get made."
"Do many Habbalah use the short form of their Choir name?" Someday, she's going to see what he says about the Habbalite delusion. Not just now, though.
He snorted. "Most Habbalah are stuffy, stuck-up, and too afraid of looking weak to see that they're showing how afraid they are of a little nickname. In my opinion."
She strokes up and down his legs, which are as green and smooth as her own. She has her suspicions about what he hides beneath his kilt -- or does not hide, depending on nuances. "Anyway, there are other methods besides the traditional."
"I know," he whispers against her neck, in the angelic tones. He has no Helltongue accent, in those almost painfully clear notes. He was created in Heaven, after all, and it is Helltongue that sometimes slurs and rings a little too bright in his mouth.
"And I can hardly make celestial comparisons if only one of you will cooperate."
His head snaps up. "What?! No, wait, him? Augh! Why him?! He's already got a Lilim-friend! He's taken, Light of Hope."
"I know," she says, serenely. While she feels the urge to collect all her lovers together, for herself and herself only... That would not sing to the Freedom inside her. It would also be more trouble than it was worth. Better to weigh the prices, and pick the choice where the scales balance.
She has already made corporeal comparisons. The scars and deadened sensations of one; the smooth, intense sensitivity of the other. Both quite inclined to pay attention to her, but their paths differing in how; the one close to impervious to the teasing techniques that she knows by instinct, and the other so vulnerable -- but shifting tactics as needed to please her.
Ezbon's scars, she thinks, are entirely inside him. Even celestially, he is marked more by the tattoos than by the wounds, piercings, and scars that she's seen on other Habbalah; his Lilim heritage will not let him appear too ugly, she conjectures. Salathiel is a map of pain, his scars going from surface to core; more interesting to the touch, in some ways, but also...
Perhaps she has been too-much entranced by the information of Lightning. She likes Salathiel, and wonders if it's true, what angels seem to believe, that scars can be worn more lightly... But that is his choice, and she won't discuss it with him until she's exhausted all the other paths of study and play that interest them.
"All right, I'll think about it," Ezbon mutters against her skin, sulkily. "I suppose it wouldn't do to let him monopolize your attention."
They share surprisingly well, for Habbalah who are not also sharing each other. She pets his legs, and smiles, and leans against him. "Thank you," she purrs.