birth of serpents (590 wds, Joe/Angel Eyes)

So @hootenannie had the brilliant idea of Angel Eyes actually getting the birthday present they made me, in the polyfam-verse from Joe. And I wrote this goofy-ass drabble about it 😉 Thanks for my life, Jackaro 🙂

Title from The Mountain Goats song which isn’t so much fitting as it sounds cool and I can’t be bothered to think of a better title XD


Joe honestly didn’t think Angel Eyes had a birthday.

He had this way about him like he’d been around since biblical times– well, Joe had gotten the idea that Angel was pretty close to his age from Blondie. And he knew Mortimer was the oldest among them. But beyond that, he really hadn’t thought about it too hard, despite the fact that his (and Blondie’s, and Manco’s) shared birthday was more or less an unofficial holiday for the entire household.

So when Mortimer mentioned about a week ago that Angel’s birthday was soon, it really got Joe thinking. What on Earth would a self-important hitman with a kinky streak ten miles long want for his birthday?

Joe, of course, knew well the answer was probably ‘a good fuck, or nothing’, but that wasn’t going to stop him trying.

So after some scrambling together at a local children’s shop, and with some assistance from Manco’s sewing talents and Mary’s collection of dolls– the morning of the day he has a lumpy package tied together with brown paper and twine. He sits down at the breakfast table across from Angel and slides it across the table to him.

“The hell is this?”

“I know what day it is!” Joe’s voice is a little sing-song. He’s excited about the gift, shoots a grin to Blondie, who manages a thin smile over his coffee.


“Come on, do you want me to sing? I’m not above singing. Haaaaaaaapp–”

Blondie cuffs him on the back of head, which Joe figures is probably good if he wanted to avoid being murdered.

Blondie takes another draught of the coffee, “You’re braver than I am, Joe. Last time I got Angel a gift he glowered at me all evening. And that wasn’t even for his birthday.”

“Yah, but I figure if he hates it I’ll get the shit kicked out of me, which sounds fun.”

Angel’s mustache twitches. He takes the lumpy package with a scathing glare, pulls out a knife from his boot. Without breaking his stare, he slits the package open, using the knife to fish out the contents. Joe grins. For once, coming from him, this wasn’t a prank. Or not entirely.

“This is. The most ridiculous thing I have ever seen.”

Dangling on the dull edge of the knife is a small stuffed snake, wearing a black hat, pinned with a leather coat and white scarf, and nose dusted with a tiny mustache. Blondie coughs and his coffee and lets out a strangled laugh.

“But you love it, right?”

Angel stares at Joe with a look that would have made lesser men run from the room. Joe doesn’t even blink, just shifts in his seat slightly, licks his lips.

Ad perniciem solet agi sinceritas,” he mutters, glancing to Blondie, setting the toy down on the table. Joe doesn’t know what that means, but Angel rarely produces his biblical mumblings to anyone except Blondie directly, so Joe is ready to count this as a win. Angel spins the spur on the snakes boot with his knife, takes a sip of coffee.

“Soooo… you’re not going to beat me up?”

Angel stands up, leaving his bowl and gingerly picking up the snake, “I am going to beat you up later, you can take that as my gratitude.”

Joe fist pumps, grinning at Blondie. When a week later, the snake turns up on the shelf next to Angel’s bizarre wood carvings, Joe has the good sense not to crow about it. At least not to Angel’s face.