- Merry Christmas!
- I know I should finish the chapter 8 from Where my demons hide before this one... but I'm just my muse bitch, I do what she tells me to do... and she was in a this Zechs' vibe now...
Warnings: Zech's Pov and 6+2
"If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late..."
I couldn't believe that I had a moment on that very same day where I thought things would be alright.
I should've known when Malahidael escaped from Nainah. Maybe it wasn't the best call asking for her to help him with the gear for a mission like that; I know the way he gets. However that whole protective attitude of Suriel toward him just… pisses me off. He acted like he was the only one to whom Malahidael was… special. So, selfishly, I didn't want to ask him to.
I know he was vastly different from us, but sometimes I thought that if we were just more rigid with him, maybe he could deal best with his... issues. I could certainly tell that Suriel disagreed… and well, in this case, Nainah too. She was the one that balanced us, being the middle ground, not letting Suriel go too far in his indulgence, nor letting me go too far in my strictness. I needed to admit that I valued her opinion very much and, of course, her attitude when things became heated between me and Suriel; which occurred more often that I would like.
So yeah, things had gone to hell that day long before all six of us were sunk up to our necks in a messy harsh battle. The demons were coming out of nowhere nonstop, relentlessly determined to stop us from destroying the two cities. I was not sure why someone above cared anyway, I didn't allow myself much thought on the matter, but it seemed, to me, too much trouble for just teaching humanity a lesson; if that was the meaning of those missions. Seeing their behavior from the beginning, I could tell that they would never truly learn.
As soon as the demons noticed that the main power was coming from the top of the hill, they came attacking us with all their might, trying to prevent the destruction of the cities they had under their dominion and control. If I had anticipated this heavy resistance, I would have thought to find a place further away. Unlike Nemamiah, who was in the sky, Malahidael needed to be on the ground to do his part. In the air he would be so much easier to protect, seeing as most of the demons didn't have wings. However, once he had started we couldn't move him anymore, the only thing we could do was deal with it until he was finished.
So, I was far from annoyed; at least, killing that many scums were giving me a way to release the pent-up rage that I had felt earlier since I couldn't really fight with Suriel like I would like sometimes.
Our front line started to break under the waves of demon hordes. I signaled to Nainah and our archangels and we shifted our formation, to prevent them from trying to get higher on the mountain, and Suriel and Gienah stayed further back in a close guard of our youngest.
It appeared to be the right call, until I noticed some high-level demons camouflaged between the ordinary ones. It was a trap, they had been waiting for us to lower the guard on top. We hadn't time to change back and form a shield around Malahidael. In seconds our formation was ruined, fighting with those winged garbage. I was just trying to get rid of them quickly, so I could get back to a better strategy when I heard the screams.
The first was a warning, a shouting with Malahidael's name, that sent shivers throughout my body, knowing that while using his power he was in a trance incapable of hearing it. The next was just a noncoherent scream, sounding like pain and death. Both were Gienah's voice.
Suriel was there when she finished the last one, though he was too late to save her from being killed. I didn't need to turn to see the bright yellow explosion of her grace on the top of the hill. Although, what truthfully twisted my guts was the stopping of the Malhidael's power.
Those blasted demons reduced their attack immediately; their only motive being stopping that power. I signaled to Nainah again and she just disappeared, racing to the top of the mountain. I just prayed, hoping nothing serious had happened with Malahidael, while I, with the two archangels, just confirmed that the demons had truly retreated. It didn't take more than a few minutes to have everything back under control, and Lucreziah just nodded at me, silently telling me that she and Milouel would be finishing those bunches of filth, so I flew to Malahidael.
Up there, I found Gienah's lifeless body laying on the ground, her face hidden, covered by long straight black hair, a huge crater of damage on the center of her chestplate. Suriel and Nainah seemed to be arguing. At first, I even tried to hear them, just wanting to see what had happened, and I was filled with relieve seeing that everything was alright, well, almost.
Malahidael was also laying on the ground, turned in on his side, his head pillowed on Suriel's lap while Nainah examined a piece of spear piercing through his right shoulder. If I was piecing the scene before me together right, Gineah had served as a shield taking the spear hit and giving her life, as should be, to protect him; and even though he still had been harmed, that appeared to be his only injury. His unconscious state was probably because of the energy that he expended in the mission. He always finished in this worn out state, needing to be carried back unconscious to Saturn.
At ease, I could finally pay attention to what they were arguing about.
"Could be poisoned… I'm not sure… if we remove it and spread the toxin, he isn't in any condition to deal with it now…"
"Whatever… leave it there then… just wrap it so I can take him back."
She glared at him but started to tear Malahidael's own white long tunic to make some straps to wrap the shoulder, securing the piece of spear there.
"I will see if we are done and can get him back already…" I said, trying to be helpful, thinking to go find the commander to get our clearance quickly. So, I didn't understand Suriel looking up angry at me.
"He is done. I don't care what they say, I'm taking him back now."
He was irritated, incisive and… so damn haughty. Well, we all are haughty, even so, it was just enough to piss me off, that and everything that had been piling up all that unfortunate day.
"You will wait until I check the orders." I knew I was crossing the line, despite the fact that I was the leader I couldn't order him around, we have the same rank and he actually just gave up his leadership position, because he hates having to do the paperwork and deal with our superiors. But, why in the fucking heaven, he couldn't just wait a bit for me go check the orders? He knew it wouldn't take long. Sometimes I had a feeling that he did this kind of thing meaning to step on my toes.
"I don't want him to wake and see…"
It wasn't just Gienah's body, it was the glowing of her yellow grace that was still floating around us. Yet, if Malahidael wasn't aware of her death, he would be sooner or later. And again that excess of protectionism toward him made me riled up.
We were so focused on glaring, defying each other and Nainah still carefully taking care of the wrapping, that neither of us actually saw it coming. He had expended so much energy that the odds of him waking were small, but in that day, all odds had been against us, so it was just one more.
Because he was turned to the other side and we didn't see him opening his eyes. We only noticed when he tried to move his arm in the direction of Gienah's body.
Suriel just caught it from my eyes glancing that direction. Even Malahidael hadn't made any sound, Suriel just gathered him into his arms, ignoring the unfinished wrapping of his injury, smoothing his hair and shushing him. For a moment it appeared to be an overreaction, that our youngest didn't need. I wanted to yank Malahidael from his arms and finish the tending of his wound by myself. Then, the expression in Suriel face smoothed, turning sad while he was asked about what happened.
Malahidael didn't use proper words, just the movement of his lips, the expression on his face, and Suriel could just guess what he wanted to know. He didn't need to say anything, the flickering of his sad eyes was enough. And I could just see the immediate transformation of the younger's expression, from tired, exhausted even, to one of painful sorrow. The tears brightening behind his eyelashes, sliding down his cheeks. Even though I never said it out loud, I always hated to see him that way. I wished I could do something, say something, but, from experience, my… lack of tact would just make things worse, but I wanted to comfort him some way.
His sobbing was making his body shiver while Suriel tried to keep him from making the wound on his shoulder worst. I didn't have any idea what he was whispering to him, how he always knew what to say and what to do to calm him down. Nainah was just kneeling there incapable of doing anything, just like me.
It may be insensitive on my part to say that I felt saddest for his obvious pain, rather than actually for the death of one of our comrades, but that was just the truth.
Suddenly, Suriel appeared to give up the fight to keep him from struggling, and let himself be embraced tight, hands clenched into fists on his armor. He just shook a very brief look at me, very different from the kind one he wore a moment before, it was just full of rage and daring, that mother fucker. Without saying a word he disappeared from there, against my saying to wait for the orders.
I was inflamed by rage, partly because of that insolence of his always stepping on the rules, partly because of that attitude like he was the only one that cared about… He may be the only one fully capable of dealing with Malahidael, but he was not the only one who cared, nor the only one with the rights over him.
"Zechs! Calm down!"
It was Nainah's voice demanding my attention, using the short name that Malahidael used for me, to call my attention, her hand in a firm grip on the base of my wing, keeping me from flying; she must have thought that I would go after them, after Suriel, and that wasn't the right time for that.
"It's better, taking him out of here…" It was wise and I knew it, just... "Let me go to help him… you finish things here and…" her eyes turned to the body laying on the ground just a few feet away.
"It's alright, I will take care of everything…" I said using all my will and training to keep my composure, putting aside my wanting, my need to be near Malahidael, knowing that I would be more useful for other things. She stared at me for a moment until I nodded and she just disappeared from there too.
Despite the interruption, the mission was already at an end and it was considered complete; the cities had seen enough destruction and most of the humans were killed.
I needed to go to the other group to explain what had happened to us and check if they needed something before our retreat. Nemamiah was unconscious lying in the arms of one her female archangels. Even being the same type as Malahidael she had a very different appearance, short spiked ginger hair and caramel skin, the long wings were the only thing that indicated that they were the same type, maybe the fact of her having exotic eyes too. Her crimson eyes opened heavy as soon as I started reporting to her leader, with a weak and rusty voice she asked if 'Dael was alright. Even though they didn't have too much contact, aside from the missions where more than one of them was requested, they have some kind of link, some understanding, maybe they just felt things in the same way.
I wanted to assure her that everything was ok with him, but her skeptical look almost burned me, telling me that she didn't believe it. And she ended up telling me, in an almost inaudible voice, to remind him what she had told him before closing her eyes and immediately slipping back into exhausted unconsciousness. Earlier on that day, she had requested to talk with Malahidael. I had thought she was just worried, maybe because Suriel had insisted on letting him sleep during the briefing. But now I wasn't sure; I had no idea about what they had talked, watching from a distance until they finished holding each other in a tight embrace.
I requested that Milouel take care of the preparations for Gienah's body. Angel bodies don't rot away like humans, they stay still, like they're frozen in time until the stones on the wrist are removed. So, we could just make the return to stardust anytime. If was just for me or Lucreziah, we probably would just have done that already. However, Milouel had reminded me that probably Malahidael would like some kind of farewell after getting some strength back, so I left the task with him.
It didn't take long for me to return back to Saturn. Still, it bothered me that Suriel refused to wait for proper clearance. Nevertheless, to find Malahidael still sobbing loudly, clinging to Suriel almost made me rethink that. The blonds still quietly arguing about whether to remove the spear or not. I just walked there and, on purpose, made a cut on the palm of my hand with the metal blade sticking out of his skin; a small line of my red grace brightened before the cut healed by itself.
"No poison. So, remove it already."
They appeared to be surprised for just a moment. Then Suriel held him even more, somehow bringing him nearer his body, bending his head to whisper something in Malahidael's ear, which served to just annoy me even more. Especially when Nainah pulled the spear from his flesh and he didn't do more than whimper. I wondered why he was still awake while he was so exhausted like that, he was obviously fighting against the rest that he should've been taking now.
Lucreziah appeared bringing the pieces of his armor that had been left behind on Earth. I examined it while Nainah stopped applying pressure on the wound and started bandaging his shoulder, the grace that was escaping there was very slim and the white color was matte and weak, showing how much he had expended of his own power. It was a considerable amount of damage on the armor, made by a divine metal that would have killed him if he'd been struck in a more vital place. It had to have been a surprisingly strong demon to have a weapon like that and the strength to still hurt him through an archangel body and armor. It made me worry.
"I want you to go to Mars." I turned to face Lucreziah handing back the damaged piece of the green armor to her.
"Now?" she asked, raising an eyebrow, doubt all written inside her dark blue eyes. I didn't understand why, normally she had just done what I asked without batting an eye. We'd known each other for a very long time and didn't need many words to understand each other, many times it looked like she could read my thoughts.
"Yes," I reinforced, "I trust your judgment to find a good candidate, I want a replacement quick-"
"What are you saying?!" The shout behind me was full of anger. I turned, shell-shocked, to find Malahidael struggling to crawl out of Suriel's arms.
"'Dael… calm down, little brother…" Suriel was trying to hold him, avoiding his injured arm and shoulder.
What caught my attention was the fury in those purple eyes, that fury was directed at me. I blinked at him, very much surprised, to not say hurt, for the way he was looking at me. He was just a sweet being, I had seen him express many moods before between happiness and sadness, but never in rage.
"Don't you care even a bit? Wasn't she our sister? So, what are we to you? Nothing more than disposable tools that can be replaced at any time without even a second thought?"
I stay frozen not knowing how to react to that sudden unexpected attack and when finally I found something to say, it was all the wrong words. "Not you. You are the only one that can't be replaced." I knew as soon as it left my lips, but it was too late to take it back.
Malahidael started to struggle against Suriel's arms more vigorously like a wounded animal wanting to attack me. I felt the cold hand of Nainah pulling me back, some steps away, and I just let her, too astonished to do anything else.
Suriel got him back in his lap after some fighting and needed to use a bit more of a fierce attitude than he normally would. The wrapping of his shoulder had loosened letting some more of his grace leak off while he was still struggling. And finally, Suriel caught him by both arms, shaking him to stop. It was the words, more than his rough action toward our so precious little one, that shocked me.
"Stop 'Dael! You know that he didn't mean that... Please, stop before you hurt yourself more. Zechs was just worried about your safety. Of course he was upset about Gienah, we all are. But you… you're still here and it's with you that we need to place our care now. Please, baby brother, calm down... it's ok, it's ok..."
It was shocking that Suriel was kind of defending me, I would never have expected him to do that. And it worked, Malahidael just stopped struggling and let himself be held against Suriel's chest again, crying louder and sobbing hard. I could hear his muffled shaking words saying that it was his fault, again and again.
Suriel was whispering in his ear, smoothing his hair, rubbing his back, rocking back and forth with him until he started to actually calm down. I couldn't hear what he was saying; I wanted to say that wasn't his fault, that it was Gienah's duty protect him, that it was the duty of all of us to keep him safe, that any of us would be glad to give our lives to guard him. Still, I kept my mouth shut, not even because of Nainah's gaze telling me to, but because I knew that Suriel knew better what the younger needed to hear that time.
I couldn't help but feel jealous, envious of that skill, able to make him feel better that easily while I just made things worse even unintentionally. Envious of that proximity they share. Envy, there was no other word to describe it. Nainah always insisted that was because Suriel was with him since the very beginning, but I wasn't sure. I came not long ago but she was there almost all his life too, and he also didn't trust her in the same completely and deep way that he trusts Suriel.
"Are you ok?" Lucreziah asked at my side with a strange and worried stare.
"Go…" I said and then took hold of her hand for a second, it was too late for what happened to Gienah, but that outburst of Malahidael's made me think, even against all my standards, that we could try something different for the selection of the new archangel "... try to find someone… friendly."
She gave a tug on my hand and with a comprehensive smiled and a twinkle she flew to Mars to accomplish my orders.
Diana C. Figueiredo
Written: Apr/29 and Sep/04, Re-written at Zech's Pov: Nov/11/2017 - Published: Dec/24/2017
Beta Reader: SFA and Cylina Nightshade (Dec/2017)
Last change: Dec/23/2017
 Sodom and Gomorrah; so for some research I made it occur after the Tower of Babel event and before Moses, so, between 2200 BC and 1400 BC, I couldn't find a more approximated year, but there was no need, it's just to give an idea, the ideal time for this story is this occurring around 1600 BC. Also, in this universe, there was no Christ, the mark of year 0 is about another event. I forgot to put in the note about the Great Flood but that event was just before the Tower of Babel, around 2300 BC.
 Nemamiah and the earlier mentioned Cassiel are both other angels the same type as Duo/Dael here, they are not related to the series being my creation. The names are from actual angels names, Nemamiah is the angel of just causes and Cassiel is the temperance angel, the names aren't chosen randomly, yet they aren't these angels in my story.
 One of the archangels of this story paired with Suriel. Not any of the series's characters. And about the name, well, this is not a real angel name, but fits with the female angels names that I have been using and wanted to use it. Gienah is a star in the constellation Cygnus (Epsilon Cygni), which I have a fish named after. ^_^
 Now we have the entire triad (despite the one that just died) of archangels that, also, was part of what 'Dael call 'family'. So, Noin, and I needed to use her other name because there was no way to make Noin angel-ish, and Milou that was the twin brother of Naina in Frozen Teardrop and he looks like Noin. Ah… and now you know that archangel's grace is yellow.
 Mars is the fifth sphere of Heaven, in accordance to Dante's Comedy. Here is the place where all the warriors live and had their training.
# I need to thanks so very damn much for all help from SFA, that have been helping me a lot with a better development of the ideas in a language that was not my first one. And also, thanks very damn much for Cylina, that is my beta-angel with the English even been so busy always finding a time to help me. Kisses and hugs and all good things in the world for both of you!
# This part is the join of two other, Duo and Solo povs, because I was hit with this idea of having an outside perspective would be nice and because my muse was in this Zech's vibe turn into his point of view. Hope you enjoyed see a bit more of this angel world with other eyes, I wanted show how heartless the angels actually are, but also that they don't have the notion about this. Also, a bit of 6+2, who don't love it?
# Thanks to my darling Marl Paz that always leave me sweet comments ^_^. Also thanks to my phantom readers.
# I wish all of you have a great Christmas and amazing New Years, that all our wishes come true, and that next year come with lots of inspiration and yaoi and time of course, to write, read and maybe draw a lot. Lots of kisses and hugs!
So, this perspective from Zechs was interesting, wasn't?