Tenkuu no Ryuugekitai - Owari

'Push! Come on, dammit! Push!' Mikyla shouted from the legs of her patient. The other girl took a deep breath and silently put all of her strength into the command. Mikyla was surprised the poor thing wasn't screaming, like most women. Then again, the girl had been through enough that such a trivial thing as labour seemed easy.

She had found the girl collapsed in an alley a few months ago, and brought her back to her new clinic. It struck Mikyla as déjà vu - she had found Migel the exact same way. Migel was out visiting Dante's grave, so Mikyla cleaned the poor thing up herself; bandaging her wounds, feeding her a thin broth.

'Who's this?' Migel asked, closing the front door of the new clinic behind him. Mikyla was about to explain when the boy suddenly caught sight of the discarded pile of clothes. He turned pale, and walked up to the semi-concious patient. He stared at her long and hard, and whispered a name. She opened her heavy eyelids, and looked up him. The girl have a sigh of relief, and then passed out.

'Here - I disinfected the cloths,' Migel appeared at the doorway. The girl muttered someone's name, and her eyes rolled around in her head.

'Thanks. Hey.. hey now. Wake up you! You've got some more work to do!' The boy looked disconcerted at the name, and sat down beside the girl. She grabbed his hand - her grip wasn't very strong - and tried pushing again. Sweat was dripping from her forehead, and her fiery hair clung to the skin.

'Mikyla, she's fading,' Migel whispered. His girlfriend knew. That was why she was trying so hard - trying to save the baby before the mother became too weak.

'Come on now, one more push! I can see its head.. just one more!' The girl blinked tiredly, slowly drew in breath, and put all of her strength into that one, single motion. Migel noticed two bulges in her back appearing, and she suddenly screamed her effort. Several black feathers drifted onto the floor. 'Migel, get the knife, quickly!' Mikyla took the knife and severed the tough cord connecting mother and child. She rubbed the baby over with a clean cloth until it began to cry. 'It's a boy!' Migel returned to the girl's side.

'It's a boy, Shanti,' In the distance, Shanti could see her tiny baby, a faint tuft of red on the top of his head, his minute hands flailing weakly against the onslaught of the cloth. He stopped crying, and made little whimpering noises. He was the smallest, most beautiful thing she had ever seen. She gave him a weak smile, and closed her eyes. She could see a faint light far away, coming closer to her.. someone was calling her. The other voices were beginning to fade when she saw a shadow moving towards her. She recognized it immediately, and her eyes filled with tears.

What are you going to call him?

'Gatti..' she whispered. She suddenly broke into a run, tearing towards the figure.. her wings sprang out of her back, painless. She soared with white feathers into the awaiting arms of her love, filled with an indescribable joy.

Migel watched as the girl gave a solitary sigh of peace, and became still. He muttered a last rites passage and went to stand by Mikyla. The baby opened his eyes, blinked several times, and looked over at his mother. His eyes were a stormy shade of grey. Mikyla held him gently, rocking him in her arms.

'Welcome to the world, Gatti,' she whispered.