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1 -- PART 2
Disclaimers: Not mine, all
Ozaki-sensai's. Do I really need to remind you of that?
Before I forget it: This is AU and taking
up the Koji priest, Izumi angel symbolicsm. C&c welcome ^^
I force a smile onto my face as I bless
the child the mother holds out to me, trying to appear as kind as
possible. A hopeless attempt. I just AIN'T kind. I hate this job.
Finally able to retreat into my carriage I let myself sink into the soft
pillows, marveling at this aura of decadence I managed to organize in
these ascetic days. But I have to be careful, haven't I? Exhibiting
wealth is dangerous, especially for a high ranking priest whose hating
brother is the Great Inquisitor. Hirose'd just love to see me burn, that
I'm sure of.
- Stretching languidly I suppress a small
yawn. Women are the thing I miss most. With Hirose and Akihito far
away I always could amuse myself all I wanted, protected by the guise
of a spiritual advisor of Queen Isabella. Ah, such splendid days ...
- Now all I can do is keep myself one or
two mistresses in the city and visit them with masked face. But Hirose
knows though I'm sure that he can't prove it yet. Yes, Hirose knows...
I almost fall onto the floor as the
carriage starts to sway and suddenly rumples to a halt. What the hell is
going on?! Whoops. A good priest doesn't swear, does he? The horse-boy
appears in front of the window, looking quite distressed.
"The wheel is broken, my Lord. The
coachman says that he'll be able to repair it but it might take a while.
I'm sorry my Lord but I have to ask you to get out - the coachman says
he needs the carriage empty."
Forgetting about my good manners for the
moment I curse under my breath as I climb out of the vehicle. Why now?!
Angrily shooing the panic-stricken horse-boy away I declare that I want
to go for a walk. If I have to get my boots muddy I might as well
pretend that it was for a pleasant pastime.
- Annoyed I stamp down a path that leads
me into the woods to my right, my eyes closed to the beauty of nature.
I don't want to be here. I want to be in the town where I can sleep in
a soft bed and have a nice cup of warm wine. Angrily kicking a small
stone out of my way I discover a strange light on my left. Intrigued I
draw closer, pushing branches and leaves aside to see what is in front
of me. I almost fall to the ground as I realize just what I'm looking
at. This ... is impossible.
- The small clearing in front of me is
flooded with a soft, warm light, a light that obviously comes from the
small figure that stands under the trees.
- Strong, white wings are shining brightly
in the semi-darkness of the shadows, the gentle face of a boy hovering
right between them. For the first time in my entire live I feel true
humility, the urgent wish to worship that only the knowledge that one
is confronted with something undeniably sacred bring forth. It takes
quite some time until I take notice of the rest of the boy's - the
angel's - body but it is just as perfect as his face and wings. But he
is too far away... much too far away...
Carefully I step closer, wanting to see
more of him, to touch him to embrace him. I never dreamed such a perfect
being existed. An angel .... my angel. Have to get closer... closer...
- All of a sudden the angel's head snaps
up and he's looking right into my eyes. Such beauty. His face is
perfectly symmetrical, full yet well-shaped lips, a narrow nose and
eyes that have me gasping for breath. His skin has a wonderful warm
bronze tone. Sun-kissed. Dazzled by that celestial light I close my
eyes for the split of a second and when I open them again the angel is
gone ... just gone.
- My throat is constricting, a small sob
- No, don't go!! Angel...
Frantically flapping my wings I soar
higher and higher, all the time suppressing the turmoil inside of me. I
have been seen. I HAVE BEEN SEEN!!! And I hadn't even permission to fly
to earth! How could I let this happen?! This is horrible! HORRIBLE!! I'm
sure I'll be punished for this. Oh, I was an idiot to let my guard down
like this! Well, probably I just thought that after my little excursions
to earth have remained unnoticed for years nothing would happen to me. A
- I shudder as I remember the awestruck
face of the human. I've never been so close to one of them before. He
was so very ... mortal. His body was changing with every second, cells
dying and being built even as I watched. This body - this human body
that stood so close to me will die! In less than one hundred years
this body won't exist any more!
- When I reach the gates of heaven an
escort of four Seraphim awaits me. I am to be brought to Gabriel, the
archangel in charge, immediately. Head bowed I walk between my silent
guardians, the divine aura of heaven adding to my bad conscience. How
could I have been so irresponsible to go down to earth on my own? I
should have known that nothing good would come out of it!
Finally we have reached our destination,
the archangel's stern face intensifying my fear. He doesn't look really
angry but worried and a little sad and utterly determined to do the
"You know that what you did was
wrong, don't you?"
I nod my head, tears of shame stinging in
my eyes. Gabriel sighs softly then lifts his hands to announce my
"You have gone down to earth without
permission. You have violated heaven's law on a regular basis and even
worse, you've let yourself be seen by a human. We can't approve of this
and we can't let you go unpunished. Now listen to our judgement: From
this day on until the council of angel will have met fifty times you are
banned from heaven. You will be given a human body and live among
mortals on the planet you so love and when your time is over you will
know death and rebirth just as they do. Go now. You can't stay here any
longer but know that we love you and we will mourn your loss as much as
we will be happy about your return. You are and will always be our
No. Tears are running down my cheeks and
I wish I could throw myself to Gabriel's feet but I can already feel
myself getting weaker. Still not really understanding what is going on I
turn around and run, desperate to reach heaven's gates before the
transformation is complete. Spreading my wings I throw myself into the
air, quickly descending to my blue planet.
- My wings are constantly getting smaller,
slowly disintegrating even as I'm flapping desperately to keep myself
from gaining too much speed. My body is changing too, getting more
compact and imprisoning with every second that passes. A few meters
above the ground my wings disappear completely and I crash down,
sobbing softly as I draw my first shuddering breath. I'm breathing!
I'm actually breathing air!! And I'm aching all over, bruises forming
even as I watch. Why, of course they do, some reasonable part of my
mind mocks, your new body is made of flesh and blood after all. I am
human now, ain't I?
My mind is swimming, unable to put up
with that sudden, dramatic change of situation. Mere hours ago I was
still in heaven, laughing happily with my brothers and sisters. I'm
feeling strange, almost sick now and powerless in a way I've never felt
before. Gathering my strength I lift my head and look around, wincing at
I realize how gray and desolate this place is. God can't mean for me to
stay here for 50 councils, can he? This ... this is too cruel.
- All of a sudden someone is beside me and
I find myself being pulled against a warm body. Who?! Looking up I
realize that it is the man that has watched me this morning. I could
resist now, fight him because of that blasphemous touch but it is so
good to be close to someone, to be held and comforted and lifted into
a warm carriage. Shivering against the coarse fabric of his robe I
realize that I'm almost naked, only a few straps of cloth wrapped
strategically around my body. Well, I am - was - an angel. Why would I
- He is still holding me in his arms,
muttering soothing words and drying my cheeks with his sleeve. I cling
tighter to him as the carriage starts to move, the multitude of
unknown sounds and feels, scaring me beyond reason. Years in heaven
didn't seem to last as long as these minutes in the carriage but his
hand is stroking my hair and after some time I even feel quite at ease.
He will take care of me, he has promised it. When the carriage finally
comes to a halt I find myself wishing that it would go on. No matter
how short the time we have spent here, for these few minutes it was my
world. With gentle force he wraps a cloak around me, covering my
nakedness and shielding me from the cold. He lifts me up again and
carries me towards a small house. This is where he is living? But ...
I won't be seeing the sky. Resting my head against his shoulder I let
myself be carried up the stairs despite the sense of despair that
overcomes me as the starry night is being replaced by a plain wooden
Finally I'm laid down onto a soft bed, my
savior sitting down right beside me. He's unspeakably beautiful. He's
even closer to me now than he was back in the forest, his long white
hair falling into his face and making it seem even more mysterious. He
is smiling and timidly I smile back though I'm still not quite sure what
to make of all of this.
- All of a sudden my stomach gives a low
rumble and I blush furiously, embarrassed by this indecent sound. My
savior jumps up immediately, walking to the door and ringing a little
"You are hungry, aren't you? Please
excuse that I didn't think about this earlier. I should have asked for
something to eat in the second we arrived."
For a moment I just stare blankly at him.
Hungry? Then I finally remember - yes, humans have to rely on bound
energy in form of food, haven't they? Could it be that this slight
discomfort I've been feeling all along is hunger? Now that I think about
it this seems quite logical. Of course my body is starved from its
recent transformation, a vast amount of energy having been taken from
- He doesn't seem too surprised that I
don't answer but continues to order servants to bring things I've
never heard of before, obviously doing his best to make me comfortable.
- Finally a tray with a bowl of something
hot and liquid and some other dishes on it is brought in and placed
right beside me, the servants retreating as quietly as they have come.
My savior hands me the bowl first, together with some metallic device
- a spoon if memory serves. Having never eaten before I look
insecurely at the things in my hands, not entirely sure of how to use
them. Then it's back to the good old trial and error, I guess.
I must appear pretty clumsy I realize,
and am probably holding that spoon thing in a wrong way, for my savior
suppresses a laugh and quickly takes it from me. But I am still hungry!
Only when he starts to feed me I understand. Yummy. Now that I don't
have to bother with those impractical tools any longer it tastes even
more delicious. Of course having to be fed is lightly embarrassing but
who cares? There's nobody here but him anyway. When finally the last
morsel of food has disappeared in my mouth I feel full up in a way I've
never felt before. I just hope I'll be able to remember the names of the
things I've eaten so that I'll be able to ask for them tomorrow.
- He has put one of his arms around my
waist and pulled me closer long ago and now I'm resting comfortably
against him, head pillowed against his shoulder. He is looking
intently at my lips, a strange expression on his face. Is there
anything wrong? Almost unconsciously my tongue sneaks out and licks
over my lips to check if there are any leftover crumbs I don't know
of. I blush furiously as he mimics this gestures though I don't know
why I'm suddenly so nervous. Is there any deeper meaning to this?
- All of a sudden he leans down and
touches his mouth to mine, ever so gently urging me to open it to his
questing tongue. With a small gasp I eventually give in. Mmmh, why
have I ever resisted? My whole body is tingling, his moist lips and
tongue sending shocks of sensations down my spine. But what exactly is
this? Another way of communication? A strange ritual I don't know of?
Well, at least my new body seems to know exactly what to do for it
proves quite uncontrollable, arching against him and doing everything
to get closer to him. But this does feel good.
- From one second to the other he pulls
back and scrambles out of the bed, looking almost hysterical. He
babbles something about me being surely exhausted and wanting to rest
then quickly leaves the room. What is this all about? It felt so good
to have him close to me. I don't understand why he can't stay.
- Back in heaven I have scarcely been
alone. Except for my excursions to earth there have always been others
around, the loving, unobtrusive presence of my brothers and sisters
soothing me and keeping me from feeling lost. Now in this crude human
room I'm for the first time all alone.
I weep silently as I realize that even
God has abandoned me, his warm, comforting presence in the back of my
mind just no longer there. But doesn't he love me anymore? Struggling
out of the long cloak I've been wrapped into I slip between the sheets
and draw my legs against my chest, sobbing helplessly as I wrap my arms
around myself. I don't want to be alone. After some time my tears ease
and I'm not able to cry any longer. Again I'm feeling strangely weak
despite the huge amount of food I've just eaten. I'm even close to
blacking out it seems for my eyes are trying to slide shut again and
again, simply ignoring my mind's order to remain open.
- Constantly fighting the urge to close my
eyes I feel panic rising in me. Maybe the body they gave me doesn't
work properly and is dying right now. Maybe I've been injured as I
crashed down from heaven a few hours ago. Maybe... may...be....
When I open my eyes the next time the sun
is shining through the window, warming the floor and the bed I'm lying
in. What... has happened? What have I done all this time? Was I
unconscious? Am I still injured? Carefully flexing my limps I decide
that I feel quite OK. OK? This is better than OK - for the first time
since I've become human I'm entirely comfortable with myself.
- Seconds later the door opens and my
savior enters, followed by servants that once again carry trays of
food. This time I chose deliberately what I eat, already knowing that
I like some things better than others. He doesn't feed me again but
stays well away from me, sitting on a chair at the far end of the bed.
I miss being close to him - to anybody. I wish he'd just come over
here and embrace and comfort me as he has done yesterday but as he
doesn't move and I quickly push those thoughts from my mind, not
wanting to bother him with these petty desires.
- When I've finished eating I look up at
him, for the first time wondering what he might be thinking about all
of this. Does he even know that I'm the one he has watched yesterday?
"Why... why don't you ask what has
- He smiles softly and shrugs his
shoulders. "It doesn't matter - you are my angel. If you want to
tell me you will and if not it is not important. But say, how are you
feeling? Is there anything you want?"
Numbly shaking my head no I continue to
stare at him, taking in every detail of my appearance. Now that I'm also
mortal and can't see the way time works on him he's even more fetching,
more beautiful. And his clothes too are different from the ones everyone
else is wearing here - a long white robe with wide sleeves and a scarlet
cross on it. These clothes, do they mean anything?
"Why are you dressed this way?"
He looks slightly shocked as if I had
asked something he would have expected me to know. Was this
"Well, because I'm a priest. A
bishop in fact."
- "And what is this? A priest?"
- Now he's really shocked, his eyes wide
and unbelieving. "You... you don't know...? A priest is a servant
- "But aren't we all servants of God?
Then everybody is a priest."
- "No, you get it all wrong. A priest
is a very special kind of servant - a person that is chosen by the
church and that is closer to god than normal people and that can
sometimes represent him."
- "Oh, then He talks to you? That is
wonderful! Maybe you could ask for mercy in my name? I'd be so
- "No, no, NO! Of course he doesn't
talk to me! He never - well, almost never - talks to a human being. We
just have a book where all his past words are recorded so that we can
reread them and interpret them whenever questions arrive. And of
course the highest priest can speak in the name of god. They say
sometimes god talks to HIM but I don't believe it. It's just to add
weight to his words."
I don't say anything, overwhelmed. God
never talks to men? How can this be - I know that he loves them just as
he loves anyone. But maybe they are just too far from him, with their
souls imprisoned in those confining bodies. Maybe that's why He won't
talk too me as well, why I can't feel Him close by. He... hasn't really
left me? But how do they live without that close contact? Without
knowing that all encompassing love and understanding, the security that
no matter what happens he will never abandon us. Not even me...
- My savior is shifting uncomfortably in
his chair, looking as if he had just said something he isn't entirely
comfortable with himself. Then he looks right into my eyes.
"Listen, I have to leave you alone
for a few hours - there are some appointments I just can't cancel. If
there is anything wrong just call the servants - they are instructed to
give you anything you want. You will be OK, won't you? But ... there's
something else you need to know: I've told everybody that you were the
son of a Landlord who has gone bankrupt and died and that I took you in
to make you my pupil. You mustn't say anything that could raise
suspicions. If anybody asks questions just say that it is still too
painful for you to talk about it. Do you understand?"
"But ... why? Why do we have to lie?
Why can't we just tell them the truth?"
- "They wouldn't understand - they
believe nothing but what they want to believe and they surely wouldn't
accept that a boy that was found half-naked in the gutter is an angel.
We have to give them a reason for your staying here they are able to
He's looking intently at me, pleading me
with his eyes to accept this lie. Well, what else could I do? I don't
want to cause trouble. When he sees me nod he sighs with relief. Is it
really so important what other people think? And what exactly WOULD they
think? He hugs me briefly then gets ready to leave. As he's all but out
of the door he stops in his tracks, turning around at the last possible
"I never asked ... what is your name?"
- "Izumi. My name is Izumi."
He smiles at me one last time then the
door closes behind him. What are those things that are so urgent that he
has to leave me alone? A strange feeling washes through me and for a
moment I feel like smashing something. What is more important to him
than me?! It is over as abruptly as it has begun, leaving me emotionally
exhausted. Why did I just feel this way about him?! As if he was my
propriety or something. Sure, he's nice with me and has taken me in and
everything but that doesn't give me the right to feel this way about him.
Not at all...
- After mentally scolding myself for
another half an hour I grow really bored. Isn't there anything I can
do? Standing up I take a few steps towards the windows but stop
immediately when I realize that I'm still nude. Well, now I at least
know what to do - find myself some clothes. Humans are so horribly
touchy about their own bodies, keeping them covered from head to toe
whenever possible. And he said that I mustn't raise suspicions.
Looking around I discover a large wooden
wardrobe in a corner and open it immediately, feeling a small pang of
guilt for doing this without permission. Well, he told me that I could
ask the servants for things and he surely wouldn't expect me to talk to
them naked, would he? When I think this way about it what I'm doing
seems almost right.
- The clothes I find obviously belong to
my savior - a lot of these strange white robes but also more common
garments, like simple trousers and breaches, tunics and shirts. Of
course everything is much too big for me but I'm in no position to be
picky. I quickly struggle into a pair of trousers and pull a tunic
over my head, almost fighting with the unfamiliar garments. In the end
I roll up the sleeves and trouser legs and wind the belt twice around
my waist, securing the baggy tunic. Once these little adjustments are
made the clothes fit quite well. I wonder what I look like.
Now that I'm properly dressed I might as
well leave this room and take a look at the rest of the house. There are
no servants in the hallway as I silently slip through the door, a fact
I'm infinitely grateful of. I couldn't have stood being watched by all
those curious eyes just now.
- Though the house is big according to
earth standards it is not nearly extensive enough to get lost in it.
The rooms are exquisitely furnished, even I can see that now - always
the same woods, always the same simple, immaculate style. Now and then
I catch a glimpse at servants working and chatting but by and large it
is quiet here, peaceful. When I reach the kitchen it is already noon.
The cook seems to be surprised to see me down here but gives me
something to eat without complaints, probably dreading his masters
- Chewing on a big slice of bread I go
back up again and sit down beside the window, looking down into the
sunlit backyard. Rosebushes and ivy are growing alongside the walls,
large numbers of other flowers in the middle. My eyes slide shut again
but this time I don't panic. It is just sleep...
When I open my eyes the next time the
shadows are considerably longer and a faint shade of red tinges the
horizon. Already evening? I frown as I notice some movement at one of
the walls. What? A young man is clumsily climbing over it, obviously in
a frenzy to get away from something or someone. I give a small,
frightened scream as all of a sudden a dark figure leaps down on him,
something metallic glinting in the afternoon sun. I clamp my hand over
my mouth as the pursuer catches up with his prey and repeatedly drives a
dagger into that struggling body, blood staining grass and flowers red.
- Suddenly the assassin lifts his head and
looks up at me, eyes widening as if he had expected to see someone
else. Then he smiles and slowly licks his lips, brown eyes sparkling
cruelly. Frightened I immediately back off, moving out of his sight.
My knees give out as I realize what I've just watched. That boy ... he
is dead. Murder. This was just a murder!!
Again and again the scene I've just
watched is repeated in front of my mind's eye - the blood, the numerous
wounds inflicted by that dagger, the assassin's crazed eyes, the sound
of the body slumping onto the ground. Finally merciful darkness descends
I almost jump with surprise as someone
opens the door and enters my room without waiting for my permission -
without even knocking. A small shudder runs down my spine as I
recognize the cloaked figure as my younger half brother Akihito. He is
smiling at me though the darkness in his eyes is as predominant as
always. I just don't know what to make of this brother of mine. He
kills with cold blood and yet there is something almost innocent about
him. Though he is a murderer there is no cunning in him, nothing that
could make him appear vile or evil. Yes, I guess in some way he is
pure - pure in his simplicity, in his way of thinking. I'm the vile
"I did what you asked me to do -
that boy is dead."
I quickly cross myself and send a brief
prayer for mercy to heaven. It was necessary - I couldn't have done
"He gave me a hunt 'till right in
front of Koji's door - it was exciting, really. Ah, that reminds me of
something else - I have quite an interesting piece of information for
you: when I was there - in front of Koji house I mean - I saw a boy at
Koji's bedroom window. A pretty, little thing, really. It was very ...
I almost laugh. A boy in Koji's bedroom?
A servant probably - everything else is unthinkable. Akihito frowns as
I tell him so, obviously not convinced.
"But he wasn't a servant! I've got
that feeling about this thing - you know, that there is something
weird going on."
Though I try not to show it I'm a
little disquieted - Akihito's feelings usually prove right. Maybe
there's really more to that affair.. From one second to the other my
brother is standing right in front of me, hand caressing my cheek. I
shudder ever so slightly as I realize that there's still blood on his
fingers - blood he is now spreading over my face.
"You've committed a sin, Hirose.
Again. A man is dead because of you - because you said that it should
be done and you know that I'd fulfill your every wish. Now say, do you
Shame overwhelms me and I bow my head.
Yes, yes of course I regret. I don't really like to hurt, to kill and
I hate the way it makes me feel afterwards. Guilt is smothering me.
These are the moments when it doesn't matter that I just do what has
to be done, that everything I order is absolutely necessary - all I
see now is how much pain I've caused and that I deserve to suffer for
- Keeping my eyes down I finally bring
myself to answer.
"Y... yes, I have committed a sin.
He's smiling again, a wicked gleam in
"Of course. Come with me."
Head down I walk after him, feeling
dirtied, stained. I wonder how Akihito can do this without having a
bad conscience but then, sometimes I doubt that he has a conscience at
all. So lucky. Well, as long as he helps me clear mine I won't
- He takes me down into the cellar,
strictly speaking into a small hidden chamber right next to the
dungeon. I don't fight as he ties me to a wooden post right in the
middle of room. What will happen now will be horrible but afterwards
I will feel so much better. Still, as he strips me of my
upper-garments I can feel my resolve melt away. I struggle vainly
against my bonds, knowing that not even begging or reversing my
orders could save me now. I wanted it like this, I keep telling
myself, I wanted it like this...
- Still, my back arches desperately as
the first blow hits me, trying to get away from the pain. A futile
effort. Soon tears are streaming down my cheeks, more and more blows
raining down onto my tortured back, making me writhe with agony. But
at least the knowledge that this is what I deserve helps me to
endure this ordeal without begging.
Finally something hot and liquid is
trickling down my back and with a sigh of relief I realize that the
whipping is over. I'm feeling better already, somewhat redeemed. But
it isn't enough - it still isn't enough! What now? He won't continue
after he's shed blood once, he never does. Heaven know I've tried to
make him a few times in the past but nothing I said could make him
change his mind. So strange that this is the only thing he ever
refused me. Sobbing I force myself to lift my head and look at
He's touching my face, my hair. For a
moment he looks almost sad, a small frown creasing his otherwise
"Still not enough, love? Look, you
are bleeding. Why are you torturing yourself over that silly boy? He
just got what he deserved, nothing more and nothing less. You've
suffered enough for him. Let it go."
These hands that have been hurting me
so cruelly mere seconds ago are now gentle, caressing me and soothing
the tremors that are shaking my body and soul. But no, Akihito is
wrong. I need to get this over with in order to be able to go on. As I
don't say anything Akihito sighs softly and his hands grow rough again,
tearing away the rest of my clothing. Tears are streaming down my face
as he draws up behind me, tilting my hips so that he can comfortably
- I press my cheek against the coarse
wood of the post I'm tied to, waiting for the inevitable thrust
forward. When it eventually comes I can't help but scream with the
pain it brings upon me, pain intense enough to make me thrash wildly
in a futile attempt to free myself. But all too soon I lack the
strength to as much as lift my hand, his constant in and out
draining my energy. By now every part of my body is aching - the
burning welts on my back, the dull throbbing ache in my bound wrists
and most predominant: the rhythmical explosions of pain in my abused
PAIN. I'm drowning in a sea of pain -
pain that bans every coherent thought from my mind, that leaves me
wonderful clear and bare of all guilt. Something close to a whirlwind
is rising around me, gigantic hands lifting my from this abyss of
agony. I am forgiven, God is forgiving me. For a moment I feel pure
bliss, the wonderful security that everything is as it should be. When
it is over I could have fallen to the floor from pure exhaustion but
my bonds are holding me up, unrelenting.
- Almost immediately Akihito is by my
side, cutting me loose and gathering me into his arms. I let him
help me up the stairs and into my room, my mind reeling with the
aftermath of sensations. He takes me to bed, once again my lover
brother. Brother? No, I don't think that he sees himself as my
brother though what brought him to this I still can't imagine. Well
for now I won't complain. My eyes slide shut and sleep is
threatening to overwhelm me.
"Mmmh, about Koji and that boy -
watch them. I want to know what is going on there."
To be continued...