Keiichi and Lind found Urd first. She was right where they expected her to be. What they didn't expect was for her to be well and truly sloshed and passed out. She regenerated her power with sake, it's true, but it was possible even for her to overdrink and end up drunk as a mortal, or worse. Of course her body couldn't get poisoned that way, but she could still try to forget her sorrows.
Keiichi entered first. "Urd…" It wasn't hard to see just how hard she was taking it.
"Keiichi…come in…have shome shake. There's not nuff 'n here to drown yer shorrow or mine, but yer can at leasht forgetsh a little while…" Urd's voice slurred badly.
Keiichi tried to get in front of her, while Lind watched from the doorway. "Urd, listen to me, things aren't what they seem."
Urd did look at him, "Sho you painted yer fashe in memorial of her? Don't let Shkuld shee that, she'll bombsh ya into next weeks…"
Keiichi looked up, looked to one side, and shook his head. "Not exactly. Holy Bell?" The angel came out, just as she normally would. And tried to give Urd a hug. Who accepted it with a rather confused look.
"Don't know how she transhferred her angel to yer, but…thatsh Holy Bell alright." Urd found herself cheering up a little, at least her beloved sister's angel wasn't gone, though she couldn't guess how long Keiichi would be able to support such a strong angel.
Lind finally said something, "Sober yourself up. We need to collect your sister and head for Heaven. What's going with Keiichi isn't…something I can solve."
Urd shook her head, "We cantsh leave him alone down here!" As grieving as she was, she understood Keiichi had to be more so.
Keiichi said, "You won't be. I'm headed up to Heaven too. You'll see when we get there."
Urd, too plastered and grieving her sister too much to care how and why that happened, just said, "Ok."
They went to Skuld's room next…and they saw her and her machine of pain and suffering. Frankly, it looked like it was designed to create more suffering then even a demon wanted to give. Can't collect misery out of the deceased after all.
Lind blinked, "It really isn't necessary to torture the perpetrators with that, we've already found them and my Valkyries are taking them in for judgment…"
Skuld, looking beyond depressed, with dull dead eyes, said, "It's not for them. It's for me. It's my fault Onee-sama's dead. I should never have let those demons leave here unsealed. I should've…I should've…" She couldn't really think what she should've done, but she seemed intent on punishing herself anyway. "I don't want to live without Onee-sama anyway…"
A mighty lightning bolt came out of nowhere and obliterated the machine into countless pieces. Urd's eyes were blazing with wrath, "I lost one sister. I won't be losing any more." And she grabbed her youngest…now ONLY sister into a huge hug, crying over her.
"Should've zapped me with the lightning if you were gonna do that…" Skuld still looked depressed.
"Talk like that one more time and I'll hide all ice cream everywhere and make you build useless machines till you stop." Urd was still furious, even if she loved her sister dearly.
Holy Bell came out of Keiichi unasked, and gave Skuld a hug too. That took the dead look out of Skuld's eyes, replaced with shock instead.
"How in…there's no way you could have my sister's angel! I know you supported them before, but angels die when their goddesses die!" Skuld didn't know what to make of it. Looking harder at Keiichi, "And why did you paint your face with my sister's marks?"
Keiichi kind of shrugged, "I'm out of my depth here. All I know is that I have 7 more dimensions then I should have, and your sister's angel, and I'm planning on heading up to Heaven to figure out just what is going on. And we are not leaving you behind. We all go together."
Lind wasn't a commander for nothing. "To the gate" she said, in her best 'this is the Valkyries and I'm the commanding officer' voice. That time, it worked. The other 3 followed her to the gate, and it opened, accepting her and all 3 of those coming with her. Even Keiichi. Even if a human in heaven wasn't normally possible, Keiichi wasn't exactly human anymore.
On the other side…there was heaven. Keiichi had never seen Heaven before, and had a decidedly tourist expression on his face as he looked around at all the wonders the Celestial side of things had to offer. His appearance caused quite a stir, as several goddesses he'd never met before seemed to be gossiping, mostly about him.
"Isn't that Belldandy's husband? Belldandy's mortal husband?"
"Belldandy's widower, now."
As soon as one of them pointed 'widower' out, the innate compassion in all of them triggered, and they came over as a group. "We are so sorry for your loss. We hope you can find some peace" said one of them. Ere and Ex couldn't get in another word edgewise before Peorth showed up.
"You, sir, need to head to the Almighty's office. Immediately. This is a huge mess, but I'm told there's some hope in it somewhere." Peorth knew about the mess, but didn't have any idea what the hope part was.
Lind nodded, "Of course, I'll escort them immediately." And in her crisp, military fashion, escorted Keiichi and the two remaining sisters to the Almighty's office. It didn't take long when she said, "Lord, I've brought those you sought."
"Send them in." Came the voice from inside.
Inside was an oddly modest office. Tyr, in his true form, complete with a missing hand from where Fenrir bit it off, sat at his desk. "Well…I have bad news, and I have good news. And I have news I'm not sure how you'll feel about."
Keiichi nodded, not willing to reply out loud in front of the most powerful being in the universe.
"As you know, the doublet system was created to keep gods and demons from killing each other, over contracts or anything else. But we never anticipated a demon getting Machiavellian enough to kill one of their own to take out one of ours on purpose. Then, there's also the revised contract you made with Belldandy. "Unite with me" it said. Yggdrasil had to exercise its force to honor both the doublet system and your contract when Welsper was killed." Tyr may have been lord of the universe, but at this moment, he was pacing around as a father might be…and even Keiichi could tell he'd cried, recently.
"So the system did the best it could. It killed Belldandy's body, because there was no getting around it, and shoved her spirit inside of you, uniting you in the literal sense. This caused several problems in the system, because it's treating you and my daughter as if you were one in the same. So your wish came about when you called the Goddess Relief Line, then you responded to your own call and wished that a goddess like me would stay by my side forever. That caused about as many glitches in the system as you'd think it would. For all the glitches, though, we've actually lucked out somewhat. You hosting her spirit means Ragnarok isn't being triggered, because the system is currently recognizing you as Norn of the Present, and a goddess…yes, goddess…first class, second category, unlimited." Tyr smirked when he saw his son in law looking down at himself.
"I know, you're thinking 'but I'm still a male!' That's part of why there's so very many glitches in the system. It doesn't quite know how to handle the uniting it caused. That's also why you're not as devastated by her death as you keep thinking you should be. Her spirit, inside of you, is comforting you, filling all the wounds with her love, which is still very real and very present for all that she's lacking a body at the moment. You are hosting Holy Bell for the same reason. She still reflects my daughter's feelings, not your own, as any other angel would for their master." Tyr finally started wringing his hands a little, as if anticipating what he must say next.
"Now, then, the actual good news I have…is that it's possible to bring her back. I could never have recreated her spirit, spirits are unique, unique as human finger prints if not more so, and I could never have remade her. But since her spirit is preserved, all I have to do is remake her body. And that can be accomplished. The problem with that is that it takes such a dedicated effort from me to do that that I'll have no time to attend the rest of my duties while doing it. I have to get the details exactly right for her spirit to take possession of her new body. And since it'll take about a month…during that time, I suspect everyone's going to run amok, as I'll be too busy to punish them for misbehaving. However, for the entire month, I cannot be disturbed at all. If I am, the recreation will fail, and I'll have to start anew. And yes, I have to do it personally. Nobody else can. Not even Hild." Tyr sighed for a moment, and continued on his speech.
"There are consequences for uniting with my daughter for you as well, Keiichi. You were a 10 gallon water jug. My daughter was the size of the 7 oceans. For her to fit within you, one of two things had to happen. Either she had to shrink, or you had to expand. If she had chosen to shrink, she'd have had to cast off so much of herself that she'd be insane. She wouldn't be able to love you properly anymore either. So, you've expanded instead. Your soul has grown, as if you'd accepted the offer I made when I tested you. Though being united with my daughter has expanded you enough to be a 1st class god on your own, you'll have to start at 3rd class like everyone else, and earn your way up from there. If you're wondering, now that you've ascended, no, I can't turn you back into a mortal. Ascension is strictly a one way road. This has the upsides and downsides you might expect, including outliving all your mortal family on the downsides part. The upside is, once I'm done, you'll be able to give me grandchildren. As a mortal, you wouldn't have been able to have any children with her. That is why I told you you'd want the power someday. Not that you're power hungry enough to want power, but your heart is such that you do want to be a father. Another side effect is that all of Belldandy's power is contained within you. But since she still has control of it, I don't need to seal it. You do, however, have to wear her limiters. Even if they're, well, a little too girly to look right on a man." This time, Tyr seemed to want a response.
"So…if I'm going to be a god now, does that mean I'll get an angel of my own?" Keiichi already accepted his fate; he'd never get around it now.
"It does indeed mean you'll get an angel of your own, though that'll have to wait till I finish. For now, Holy Bell will be more than enough for you. Also, it is necessary you remain up here in Heaven while I sort this out. You're technically a Norn right now, but you're too new at it to maintain Yggdrasil from earth. Urd and Skuld will show you what to do. And you're on leave from 'your' position in the Goddess Relief Office, so don't worry about that. We don't want any MORE glitches in the system then there already are." Tyr figured there'd be more questions, so he waited.
"Is there a way for somebody to notify my mortal family and friends that I'm perfectly alright and they shouldn't worry for me?" That was Keiichi's next thought.
"That's simple enough. I'll have Peorth tell them you're visiting Belldandy's parents in her homeland. This, since I'm right here, is absolutely true. Not that you'll see much of me while I'm working on this. I'll have my wife visit you while you're up here just so Peorth won't have a problem." Tyr continued waiting on questions.
"Where will I live, now that I'm up here? And is there any way to get my stuff from earth?" Keiichi did have a lot of things to consider.
"You'll live in 'your' house, of course. That is, Belldandy's house. This would be yours anyway since, even if there wasn't a glitch in the system, you're her husband, and she would happily share all she had with you. The only reason she didn't share it sooner is that you have to be a god to come up here for any length of time. As for your things from the mortal realm, Urd and Skuld will pick your stuff, and hers, up when they go back down to get everything. At the moment, they can't stay on earth either, as they must teach you about being a Norn, even if it's only temporary." Tyr waited to see if there'd be anything else.
"What will my duties be…afterwards?" With eternity stretching before him, he figured he'd need something to do.
That brought on a chuckle, "As I'd intended for you if you'd accepted my offer the first time, you will be god of racing and god of vehicles. It is appropriate, considering how you won my daughter's hand in the first place."
Keiichi nodded, and said, "Well…I better let you get to doing what needs to be done, then. I mean, it's wonderful feeling her spirit inside of me, filling holes I didn't even realize were there, giving me a warm wonderful feeling that makes me think I'm high half the time, as if there was a True Kiss on my soul that never stops…but, well, maybe it's the mortal in me, but I want to give her those True Kisses the old fashioned way. And you're right about me wanting to be a father too."
Tyr laughed out loud that time. "I'll work on it. In the meantime, go, and enjoy all heaven has to offer you. Urd and Skuld will show you around once they finish moving you out of earth. While they do that…Lind, if you'd escort him to his…well, Belldandy's house?"
"At once, my Lord." Lind, ever crisp and military in front of the Almighty, turned to lead them out of the office. And as she led the 3 of them out, she said, "You two better go pick up your stuff and his and hers like he said. It'll probably be a while before anyone gets to go back to Earth, though I've no doubt you'll head there immediately once you've earned a vacation." Urd and Skuld nodded, and departed. Both of them looked a little sad to be leaving earth, though.
Meanwhile, Keiichi followed Lind through heaven's shining streets till he arrived at the house. Her house, his house…their house, really. Lind smiled faintly, "Here it is, just put your hand on the door, and it'll unlock. As for everything else…I could tell you, but I think I'll let your wife do that. It'll let you practice communicating with her in her disembodied state."
Keiichi nodded. Lind was giving them their privacy, as if Belldandy was still in her physical form. And even without it, that True Kiss on his soul was still searing. He put his hand on the door…and entered. "Thanks for everything, Lind." The warrior nodded, and began to depart, and then he shut the door behind him. Some instinct he understood to be his wife nudged him towards the bedroom, and then nudged him again to lie down and rest. A new day would start tomorrow, and it'd be unlike any he'd ever experienced on earth.