Tenshi demo shita ni hipparu juuryoku/天使でも下に引っ張る重力
(The Gravity that Even Pulls Down Angels)

So I got tired of the typical rancid bull manure that rots around this part of FanFiction. It's all Maou-centric jazz; no one likes Sariel. Well, I finally did something about it because Sariel just happens to be my favorite Hataraku Maou-sama character (as well as Alsiel; they share No. 1). I don't wanna HEAR IT. I already know I have a serious problem being infatuated with a short, perverted, sorry excuse for an angel.

And so, although most people won't like it, I'm posting this story. It's half serious, half funny, so that makes it seriously funny.

I'm trying to be accurate with details, but not necessarily accurate with time flow. It doesn't necessarily adhere to the HMS timeline because…it's not really important. I'm kinda adding in my own story, but might not blatantly take place between such-and-such event. Since there isn't much info on Heaven, I'm kinda making stuff up. I'm also adding in a few original characters, since Heaven doesn't really have many… The most important ones are Camiel (who is a girl) and Uriel. There's one other character, but she's merely for plot development.

This story incorporates omiai (or miai). It's a sort of matchmaking service that's available in Japan. It's similar to arranged marriage but...not exactly. Look it up on Wikipedia.

I use a LOT of "angel talk" based off of Judeo-Christian angelology. It's not all 100% accurate, but I wanted a strong basis, so I used a lot of lingo that may be foreign to some. If it sounds funky, just look it up. You might learn something. Also, the angels' behavior is akin to that of innocent children. So, handholding and hugging and little kisses don't really mean romantic love, but showing innocent affection between people. Just thought I'd clear that up.

I appreciate reviews, but goodness, don't give me some stupid pointless drivel like "THERE'S NOT ENOUGH (insert character here)". I will be so upset (not really).

So, without further ado, welcome to my funtastic story.
Kelsey


PROLOGUE

Log of Hours, A Record to the Holy Seraph of the Most High
Day 1, a Thursday of the Earth-Month July
Current time: 21:38:49

An Account of the Transportation of Heavenly Property and Members, as told by Potentate Camiel of Powers and Virtues:

I imagine feeling rain for the first time is akin to a human newborn taking in its first breath. Except, that I won't forget it as the infant does. I only know of such human phenomena (re: birth) from what I've heard from the guardian angels, but I imagine it that way.

It came without warning, as a torrent, blasting the pavement like so many brittle bullets, each drop shattering and joining the others in collections of small pools and puddles. I was spellbound. It soaked through my cloak, through my hood, and my hair was plastered to my cheeks. But my skin breathed. It felt cool and warm all in one instant, the cold water sending a frenzy of new sensations across my waterlogged body. We don't have rain in Heaven.

I took the moment to stare upward into the street light, blindingly (and stupidly, I'm sure, from an observer's perspective) reaching beyond the light's limits and towards the dark void of night, only seeing the drops a split second before they burned into my eyes. We don't have pain in Heaven either. This is a strange experience. I suppose there is "pain" in order to make me blink—to keep the water from slamming into my eyeballs—but my curiosity was much stronger than the pain that was meant to prevent any further damage to my sight. Human organs seem to be weak and sensitive; this requires more experimentation.

I will end my own observational anecdotes about the Human Condition and offer information specific to this journey: We took a rest for half of an hour of earth time. I'm used to the energy requirement it takes for transport, as a frequenter of such accompaniments between Heaven and Earth. I'm also well acquainted with the initial Transformation that all Heavenly beings must go through in order to attain a proper human image and persona. The transition was harder for Archangel Sariel, who had never even considered such travels until mere days ago, and who required immediate assistance in order to successfully thrive as a creature of the Earth. His inability to function in a human body is remarkable. The many complexities of human nature and their effect on us Members of Heaven have yet to be fully witnessed and studied, as our descent and mingling with the human race as of late is intensive, as well as extensive.

A detailed report will be filed and relayed promptly upon my return. Please accept this as a temporary summary of our travels.


CHAPTER 1. TRANSUBSTANTIATION

Heaven. In the imagination of humans, Heaven materializes as a large cluster of clouds; an expanse of white; tangible fluff and rays of sun. Enchanting choirs of angels—dressed in elaborate gowns, adornments, and huge feathered wings—are expected to sing and revel in God's presence, yesterday, today and forever. Typically, they are imagined with lutes, harps, and other sweet sounding instruments, all harmonizing to deliver a perfect melody.

There is no change. There is no interruption. Humans on earth die, and then they go to Heaven, and their souls become angels.

"Do they really believe that?"

"Yes, most do."

Archangel Sariel laughed heartily, his boyish giggle carried on the breeze like the tinkling of wind chimes. He found it all to be absurd enough that he carried on like that for several moments as he sat in the long yellow-green grass, every blade bowing to the will of the wind.

"I can't believe that they believe something so…juvenile. It's like a children's book!"

Potentate Camiel calmly closed the report she was holding and smoothed her hand over the cover, beaming at it fondly. "Indeed, it is. Look around, do you see a cloud in sight?"

Both looked up at the periwinkle sky. It was completely vacant.

"Not one," the archangel said. "And where is your harp, Camiel? I've heard you're actually quite musical."

"I'm not limited to human instruments."

"Bingo!"

He laughed again, this time taking her hand in his and falling back into the soft ground, pulling her down alongside him. His aqua-blue hair mingled with the grass as he continued to lie there, stretching on nature's bed.

"Just as this place is not limited by human definition," he said finally, just as Camiel's eyes were almost closed. They fluttered open suddenly.

"Thank God," she yawned. She felt him lace his fingers with hers, squeeze her hand, and then sit up again after a few moments.

"Thank you for sharing your afternoon with me. You're impeccable with your collection of information and data."

"My pleasure."

"It's about time," he sighed, digging his toes into the spongey earth, the grass flattening beneath his feet. The ground cover appeared to separate and yield as if it was allowing him to do as he pleased with it. "I suppose I'll get going?"

The other didn't have to be persuaded, and she stood. "I'll be sitting in as well."

They began the short walk across a field of soft grass blades colored in a dazzling prismatic emerald, unlike any color visible on an earthly spectrum. The sky did the same: its vibrant blue, deep yet soft like old wise eyes, seemed to break into other hues and saturations, dancing and flashing around the base color. The grass, the trees and any creatures that lurked and walked and frolicked were all alive beyond normal biological functioning. The unseen world of cellular growth had a second, underlying layer holding its existence together: that of knowing, a subconscious understanding of what its purpose was, what it was meant to be. All was held together in holistic, platonic love, and nothing took from another for personal benefit or gain.

All was perfect. There was no wanton action that hurt another, that detracted from the beauty of the environment. Nothing was out of place; everything gushed wholesomeness; all was in harmony. From mountains that stretched to limitless heights to ants that kept to their hills, to deceased souls that merely enjoyed the presence of one another, no evil thoughts to be formed, no jealousy or lust, failure or pain.

That existence was Heaven.

The relationship between the angels was no different. Each sought the best interest of the other perfectly, seamlessly, so no selfishness existed. There was no reason to think of one as 'self'; love was extended to all, and love was received by all without second thought. 'Self' did not was how they could shamelessly play, dance, relish physical contact beyond all carnal desire that was inherent in human beings. Hand holding was innocent—like children reaching out to children, friends to friends. It was about being together, sharing and delivering a sentiment that was beyond common human knowledge. When one had his or her mind opened to the truth—the real consequences of actions, the reason behind actions—there was nothing that could break that fulfillment of knowledge.

But the fulfillment of Heaven was at war with the devilish savages and demonic beasts of Hell, eternally poised as enemies of all things good and right. The beings of Heaven fought hard for the consciences—and ultimately, the souls—of all species that would turn their hearts towards the will of God, the propagator of all things good. Wins and losses aside, their mission never wavered, even if the hearts of men would. That was the thought, anyway: save souls, fight for justice, repeat.

It was for this reason that heavenly beings were making more and more descents on the land of mortals: to take back what was rightfully theirs, to lead lost souls back to the course, to fight against those that would provide false paths to wholeness. Camiel understood this, as did Sariel; however, the latter had never been involved so directly in the process, and for good reason: it was bothersome to put angels of high rank through the transition, as the separation from a spiritual existence to a mortal one was excruciatingly painful. The tearing of the soul, the persona, the very being was tantamount to an intellectual flaying and a physical searing as one fused into the cacophony of earth.

It wasn't something one chose to do, but was told to do.

The meeting was about to commence, and several seraphim and archangels sat in majestic pearl chairs in a large room shaped like a coliseum. It had no color whatsoever, awash instead in a blinding white. Walking abreast, Sariel and Camiel arrived through a stone arch and broke from the main aisle, Sariel giving a subtle wave of his hand as each made the way to their appropriate seat as was dictated by rank. Cherubim pranced in the air near the cathedral ceiling, a few chortling and cooing in tongues never heard by any human or demon. They calmly signaled that it was time to start and floated out of sight among the ivy-wrapped balustrades.

"Archangel Sariel," called out a six-winged seraph, its voice both powerful yet melodious. Its face was covered by two of the wings, as were its feet, even as it sat; the remaining two feathered appendages extended from its back, each an endlessly rippling mass of feathers that appeared to be iridescent and transparent at the same time. It moved in waves as wind over an ocean. "We have reason to believe—even since this meeting was scheduled—that some exceptionally evil work is transpiring. As we speak, the highest order of the wretched, hellish creatures is mingling within humanity. From here we proceed with your instruction."

Sariel smiled benevolently as he stood at his station, his eyes dancing as he glanced at his immediate right. Archangel Gabriel sat next to him, returning the gesture with a quiet grin.

"This is our work," he began. "If not for the cleaning of such waste, would we need to exist for anything else other than God's pleasure?"

"I know you mean no ill intention by your levity, but, with a bit more sincerity, let us consider the situation as follows," the seraph said gravely, its face remaining covered the entire time.

The blue-haired archangel wavered slightly, and grimaced. "And the situation is…?" Sariel asked warily.

"Satan prowls the planet Earth. Not merely as a tempter and liar—a prince of falsehood working out of shadows, fear, and seeds of sin. He is of human flesh, a demon taken on the form of a man."

A collection of hushed whispering and head shaking traveled around the room. Pulling out her notepad, Camiel jotted down all she'd just heard, preparing to continue the tale with her lucid pen pressed anxiously to the notepad.

'Satan prowling the earth. Not typical seraphim fare, surely…'

While they sang by God's side for most of their existence, the seraphim were also terrific angels of great power…and solemn character; Camiel knew this as a keeper and scribe of information, but wondered if Sariel ever bothered to commit to memory those details of her reports. He rarely had to appear in front of the High Circle, and since his character was so care free anyway, Camiel was sure he forgot how to address these creatures so as not to 'ruffle their wings'.

From the other side of the hall she waited patiently for the bad news, as only a seraph could report: how to solve the problem swiftly and efficiently.

Cocking an eyebrow, Sariel continued smiling, undeterred. "What would you have me do then?"

"As suggested by your contemporaries—most strongly by Archangels Gabriel and Raphael—you'll be sent to earth to target and monitor our opponent directly," the seraph stated matter-of-factly, its tone sad but firm. "As a benevolent angel of death strongly invoked for your protective powers, the proposal is appropriate. Once you are suitably prepared for your descent, your objective is to destroy wholly and finally. Anyone who defends the fiend can perish likewise."

Most in the room nodded unanimously in agreement. Mouth agape, the short angel looked at all of the heavenly hosts in the circular room as if they were rabid primates rather than servants of God. "Even if they are human?" he mumbled, already knowing the answer. "But we—"

"Indeed." The pearly wings shifted slightly, but never uncovered the thing's face. "Your goal is your goal, and you are to conduct whatever means necessary to achieve the end. How you manage it is up to your own creativity and devices. Prior to your descent, you'll need to be briefed on the process, as you've never experienced functioning in such an environment… We'll cover that in detail following this council."

On cue, another of the seraphim spoke up, its voice melancholy and feminine. Likewise, its face and feet were covered, but the back wings were folded neatly.

"You must understand the dangers and gravity of this situation, Sariel?" it asked in a weepy hum. "There is a certain degree of humanity you must attain in order to properly thrive on the planet. This includes affliction of conscience and a compromised intellect. You will not have all of you faculties about you as you do here. Satan's clutch is strong, and even more so when you are forced to concede your pure qualities as an angel."

Again, Sariel chuckled, this time hoping to remove any doubt in anyone's mind. "I am positive I can handle the change. These humans are nothing new to us; why should I be affected? Have we not mastered this…transformation process?"

The room fell silent. Those seated shuffled in their chairs, and the cherubim were now nowhere to be found. Suddenly a womanly chirp broke the silence. It came from a tall, flowing creature, terrible like the seraph but with revealed face. Its eyes were completely white and glassy like translucent marbles. The mouth frowned with sorrow, but when it spoke, its voice was strained and grated, as if perturbed.

"And your other goal, which must not be forgotten, is to retrieve our 'lost property'. You will retrieve 'Better Half' before you return." It was more of a demand than a statement. "Let us not forget in whose hands it belongs. The Church wishes to—"

"You have nothing to worry about or fear," the archangel assured all in the room. His lavender eyes scanned the expanse, daring anyone to challenge his words. "Although I've never been to earth, I have all the information I need to persevere." He looked to Camiel, who busily scribbled across the room. "My transport has been arranged, and prep is underway."

Despite their greatness, many of the seraphim whispered in worried rasps. Their shrill language swept through the ears of all present, but was understood by only a few.

"We hope, for your sake, that your confidence is based on understanding rather than a blind acknowledgement merely based on what you've heard," the presiding angel said forlornly. "It's not unheard of for our most holy to transition to a fallen state…"

With a clap of his hands, Sariel ended the session: "Lucifer's treachery was not a transition; it was a choice to defy. And I assure you, defying authority is neither something I condone nor wish to ever execute.

"You'll have your cake and eat it too: 'Better Half' as a palate cleanser, Satan's head on a platter for the main course."


"Don't you understand that they played you like a fiddle, Sariel?"

Like a lost child, Camiel followed the archangel as he walked around an annex off the side of a vast temple. He merely ignored her, fussing through the pages of a large book almost a third his size. Nervously, the female angel twisted thick lime-green curls of her hair, helplessly waiting for a response.

"They found me fit for the job. They didn't play me like anything," Sariel countered yet again. They'd been discussing it for several minutes and he was anxious to end it. "I know you're worried, Camiel, but—"

"This mission is not all that it seems," she barked gruffly, slipping into a soft scowl. "The toll of humanity is great, as the human condition is not only physical, but mental. Mentally deciphering between wholesome activity and the distractions and temptations that the human world has to offer… Your judgment may be clouded. Your knowledge from this world is not transferable to the next. Can't you just call it off?"

Again, he ignored her pleas. Quickly he wrote a few names into the book he ruffled through, and after erasing another set, he placed it back on its appropriate place on a shelf. Brushing dust from his cloak, he laughed lightly, kissed Camiel on the forehead, and walked towards the exit.

"I have to do my duty, and being asked by the seraphim isn't something I can simply 'call off'. I have the power of Heaven at my side, the heavenly hosts—armies of God—at my back… And with your guidance and knowledge, it's an instant win! What would you do if you had the chance to destroy our most formidable enemy?"

"…Know my limits and advise someone else to take the task," Camiel snapped. Her nose crunched into ugly folds above a moody pout.

"With your position and rank, you don't have many limits. So in other words…you'd be making an excuse?"

She threw her head back and whined in frustration as she stared up above; the ceiling didn't give her any support either. "Sariel, you have no idea what it's like there, and they're making you go! You're too optimistic to see the corruption that's seeping into our own environment. It's almost like—"

"If you're still the most educated about trans-ethereal travel, Camiel, I'd like if you'd accompany me through the portal, please. And leave this argument for someone who means to defy his or her superiors…"

"I…I don't mean to defy my superiors…"

Begrudgingly, Potentate Camiel sauntered behind her 'superior', for once strangely unwilling to make the trip to one of the most enchanting places she'd ever had the chance to explore.


As Camiel expected, the trip through the portal was jerky and rough. She'd made the journey hundreds of times to train guardian angels, guide them to their charges on Earth, monitor circumstances when 'miracles' (as humans called them) took place… It was normal to her now, and she expected the wear and tear to her system, as well as the inability to control her wings. Sariel, however, didn't take the transition so well. Blanketed in heavily hooded wine-red cloaks, Camiel could just barely hear her partner's intermittent gasping and brief yelps of pain as the thundering rush of wind swept past their bodies.

The tunnel of the portal became a torture chamber, the gravitational pull of earth immediately gripping their spiritual bodies as if in a vise. The archangel didn't expect it, wouldn't believe it, and then…couldn't handle it. He tried speaking, tried breaking from the current, tried breathing?

Camiel turned a stony face to him, almost forgetting the first time she'd undergone the transubstantiation process. "Don't struggle against it. Your lungs are rebuilding themselves to accept human air. Actually, your whole body's molecular structure is reforming…"

"—?!"

"And it would behoove you to control your digestive system too," she said darkly, a smirk coloring her lips. "Touching down is usually the final straw for most neophytes, and I'm not keen on being vomited on and covered in the pollution and filth that your body is currently accepting and filtering.

"And speak of the Devil… We've arrived."

In an explosive instant, the tunnel vanished and the pair slammed into what appeared to be a gigantic, moist cotton ball. But instead of cushioning them, it yielded as they broke through, stinging with microscopic burrs of ice. Several more of these followed until the angels charged into open air.

'Clouds,' the female thought to herself, studying the gray mounds briefly before comprehending that she and Sariel were approaching the ground more quickly than she'd wanted. The entire land was dark except for pinpricks and disconnected lines of glowing lights, indicating a city just below.

Without a word, she transferred her power into slowing their acceleration considerably, guiding them over a set of tall towers, and with great difficulty turning Sariel upright in order for him to connect with the ground properly on both feet. Floating, light as dust, Camiel glided past a street lamp and helped her partner do likewise.

They'd landed. The blast of air around them ended. And everything became quiet.

Instead of standing, the archangel merely crumpled in a maroon heap on the sidewalk. Sighing, Camiel used another burst of power to prop him up and steer him into a dark alley. Her eyes darted around to make sure no one was watching. The last thing they needed was to have kids past curfew recording them on videos or taking pictures on camera phones.

The narrow space was crowded with large metal trash bins and a few overturned cans. Something small and black darted behind a box, but neither angel paid it any attention. What was overwhelming was the stench.

'I always forget the air is different here…' Camiel smiled to herself, actually enjoying the foreign smells. She glanced around again, taking in the warm, quiet night. The breeze felt wet and heavy, something she'd never experienced before.

Meanwhile, Sariel slumped against a wall, his cloak catching on the rough brick as he slid down to the ground. He grabbed onto his chest, feeling something tight hitching in his body. Clicking sounds came from his throat.

"Let it in," Camiel instructed. "It's breath. Just release. The vacuum in your lungs will do the rest for you."

Immediately he began shuddering, whining, then doubled over and heaved onto the cement. He hadn't bothered pulling his hood back, and found himself sullying his bright blue hair and a portion of his clothing with whatever it was spewing from his mouth.

"Or, you could do that…" the girl grumbled. "I told you not to vomit."

"Oh God, oh God," Sariel moaned, clutching his abdomen as if to tear his guts out. "Why have you forsaken me?! I'm dying, I'm—"

"You're already dead." Camiel adjusted her hood and tucked her green locks behind her ears. "In a way, to transition is to die. We've degraded into a lesser state. You're lucky it's not worse. Your soul could have lapsed between dimensions and then we'd really have a case on our hands…"

He said no more, and instead sat hunched over wheezing, attempting to accept air through his mouth. Camiel let him continue to adjust and walked to the streetlight. Everything was silent, and then the sky spoke with a light sob. Weeping, weeping…the angel had never yet experienced rain.

It misted first, drummed second. Small dots showed on the lit part of the sidewalk, slowly engulfing the entire thing with dark circles. The drops—lines of static in an otherwise clear darkness—could be seen through the lamplight, which Camiel stepped into fully. She pulled back her hood. Rain soon soaked her skin, her hair, stinging her eyes as she looked stupidly into the water pelleting everything. She pulled the damp strands from her face like strips of neon seaweed.

"It's…it's…"

Something stirred in her to pull out her notepad and write, but something else demanded that she merely observe. The world was beautiful from this angle, and for a moment, she almost found it preferable…

'…over Heaven…'

She admonished herself for forgetting her purpose and quickly replaced her sodden hood before returning to Sariel. He was now standing, leaning his back to the wall, eyes closed.

"I'm very…I feel like I want to close my eyes forever," he tried explaining, ending in a whisper. "I can't describe it."

"You're tired. It's a common human ailment. They don't have our endless energy and regeneration of structure and being. You'll have to suffer it until you can regain enough power to compel it." Allowing him to drape an arm over her shoulders, Camiel supported him as they began walking. "You need to practice using human energy, so you're going to have to walk."

He responded with a grunt.

"I have a place for you to retire for the time being, and you can rest until you're ready to proceed," she said softly. "I'll return after you're settled. It's—"

"You aren't staying?"

The distress in his voice was very real, and very human to Camiel's ears. She felt something move inside her that she wasn't used to, but understood.

'Human compassion,' she noted factually. 'It rouses with the power of sadness, yet…not quite sadness. I suppose I should feel sympathetic. With his compromised intellect, he's emotionally unstable. I'll have to remind Uriel…'

They arrived at a small apartment building, no more than three stories high. It was outdated and worn, but not dilapidated. The main door was illuminated by a dim yellowish light, and several moths gathered around it, tumbling in the glow like live confetti.

Three knocks, and it opened. A tall, lean man with rectangle glasses peered through the crack, his dark long hair framing his face. Spotting the two, he smiled.

"Was wondering when you'd arrive," came his soft voice. "I've prepared the room. Wow, Sariel, looks like your journey did a real number on you…"

"He'll be fine."

Camiel nonchalantly hauled the blue haired archangel into the building and let him collapse to the floor. The tall man winced as Sariel groaned.

"I suppose he has to learn…"

"It takes them approximately five days to understand which generic actions cause pain and which don't. Preventing that hurt takes much longer," she stated before a low laugh. "I haven't brought an archangel before, though, so we'll see how he measures up to the guardians."

The man snapped his fingers and Sariel stood on command.

"Second room on the left, please," the man demanded calmly, following the whimpering archangel as he entered through a door.

"Uriel, he's not going to be stable for a day or two," Camiel mumbled while scribbling in her notes. "You'll have to monitor him closely."

"I'm well aware by now, Camiel, how to handle transfers. I once had to go through the same thing, so… Make sure he's comfortable, and I'll wait by the front to let you out."

The one called Uriel left the two in the dark room, and Camiel carried out her final task as Sariel fell headlong into a bed in the corner. The metal frame squeaked in protest.

"I release you to this world to fulfill your sacred duty," she said firmly, holding her hand above the bed. The whimpering subsided, and Sariel cracked open his eyes. "You have the blessings of God and all the angels, wherever you go. The powers of Heaven will bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone, and you only need to say the word when all of the members of the heavenly hosts will come to your aid."

"You never said you'd leave me," Sariel growled, a distinct change from the weak moans he was just letting out. "I can hardly function…"

"Archangel Uriel upholds this establishment as a hideout for any and all angels that serve our side. You have refuge and companionship when you need it instantly. Otherwise, your needs will be met, and you only need to say the word.

"I am needed elsewhere. Servabo fidem, I will keep the faith," she said quietly, almost forlornly.

"Serviam, I will serve," Sariel responded bitterly. He tried keeping his lavender eyes open while watching her leave, but as Camiel turned to give a final look, he was already fast asleep.


YES, that was Latin. You can review now.