Author's blabbering: Okay, so this is another plot bunny, rampaging inside my head for some weeks now. I know I haven't updated The Testament yet. I'm still waiting for Dana-san to finish her school work before I give her the 18th chapter so I can't blame her. Anyway, I couldn't get enough reviews in Fiction Press dot Com (this was posted there as well under the pseudonym Maia Sinclair, my account) so I decided to post it here in Fanfiction dot Net. So if you're wondering why there are names here which are not part of the CCS, well…
Just give me what you think. And I know this is another one of my stories I would need updating but please, PLEASE, bear with me. It's difficult having a plot bunny rampaging inside you head, with no way of destroying it except to write and update. I'm terribly sorry…
Disclaimer: I don't own CCS. Period. Case Closed.
Chapter 1: "You're a what?"
The sky was inky blue, deep and mysterious as if holding a secret, dotted with twinkling stars, like that of diamonds scattered on dark, dark velvet. Lady Moon, full and pale, cast her silvery, effervescent cloak on the sleepy town of Tomoeda, outshining even the brightest of the midnight jewels. Truly she is the Queen of the Night, with her silver halo and velvet cloak.
But no one could admire her splendor that evening for everyone was slumbering peacefully under thick and warm comforters, transported to their own dreamlands. It was already midnight, such a cool and wonderful evening, that everyone had retired for the night. Even the young master of the sixteenth-century manor on the outskirts of the town was unusually asleep, obviously unaware of what would happen to him that night.
Seventeen-year-old Hiiragizawa Eriol shot up awake on his bed when a loud thump startled him out of his sleep. The noise was so loud he wasn't anymore surprised if a few members of his household had awoken as well. He stared grumpily at the dark blue drapes of his glass sliding door leading to the balcony, still wearing a sleepy expression. The sound definitely came from outside, as if something heavy had fallen from above and hit the marble. The sound, however, was muffled that he deduced it was something soft. A human being or rather large animal maybe, judging how loud the sound was.
Of course, it was impossible. For one, he was on the second floor. There was no way something could've fallen from up above. The guest rooms on the third floor were completely deserted and there was no way it could just be a cat.
He slowly got out of his bed and slipped on a silk robe to check it out, absently grabbing his cell phone and Swiss knife from under his pillows in case it was a burglar or serial murderer. Not that he'd been hearing news about a burglar or serial killer wandering around the streets of Tomoeda. Carefully, he parted the drapes slightly and peered out.
The entire balcony was bathed in white moonlight, reflecting off the pale marble. Beyond the balustrade though, it was unusually dark, as if there was a foreboding barrier between his balcony and what's beyond it. And the light was also unusual, brighter as if a spotlight was placed directly above him. Still, everything looked normal, nothing out of the ordinary…
Well, except for that figure dressed in long white robes, standing in the middle of the balcony, under the moonlight.
Eriol blinked then rubbed his blue eyes, erasing every bit of sleep in it. He must be hallucinating, seeing a figure outside his glass doors, decked in all white, in the middle of the night. The girl—he knew it had to be one, judging from her remarkable dark hair cascading down her back, a contrast to the bright surroundings, and her lean figure—would've passed his normalcy test…
If it wasn't for those large, immaculate white wings protruding out of her back.
He immediately convinced himself that he was dreaming, that this was just part of a bizarre dream he'd been having for the past few nights. First, it was something medieval, complete with castles and princesses and knights. Then it was this. He really had to refrain Nakuru, his cousin, from watching too much fantasy films.
But then, it was impossible for it to be a dream since he could still feel the pain of the cut on his leg thanks to soccer practice. And everything seemed too real to be a dream.
His gaze rose once more to the girl who was now kneeling on the marble, her eyes closed solemnly as if in prayer, her robes and hair pooling around her. But her reverie was suddenly shattered when he opened his glass door and stepped outside. She turned around to look at him and Eriol stared at her, a frown etched on his face. That's when he noticed the uncanny color of her eyes: lavender.
"What the heck are you?" he finally blurted out, finally finding a voice after all the weird things being thrown at him at the very moment. "And what the heck are you doing on my balcony in the middle of the night?"
She seemed to have snapped out of her trance and bowed respectfully to him. "I-I'm sorry." Her voice was soft and reminded him of bells. Small, glass bells. "I promise I'll leave at once. I won't take long."
Her lilac eyes were pleading anxiously, almost desperate, that he just shrugged and watched her, curiosity and amusement dancing in his eyes. While kneeling, she bowed her head reverently and clasped her hands together, eyes closed once more. Then, all of a sudden, a pillar of light sliced through the dark surroundings and enveloped her in warm light.
Eriol stepped back in alarm, nearly stumbling and crashing into the glass door. He pinched himself absently, wondering if this was all just a practical joke from someone he knew. Or if he was witnessing an alien transport beam.
He shaded his eyes from the bright light and caught a glimpse of her slowly floating to the source of light, her wings slowly unfolding like that of a swan's. Then, just as sudden as it had come, the pillar of light disappeared, leaving a trail of tiny pale lights, continuously rising to the dark sky. As for the girl, she fell from three feet in the air and came in the contact with the marble floor painfully for the second time that evening.
"Are you all right?" he asked, peering at her curiously.
"I don't understand," she mumbled, shaking her magnificent head, ignoring his inquiry. "Why didn't it work? Why wasn't I able to return?"
That's when he saw her wings, half of it damaged and crushed as if someone had sat over it, several feathers sticking up in different angles. White feathers fell noiselessly on the floor, unheard by any of them. "It's probably because of your wings."
She had finally acknowledged the presence of his voice and looked her shoulder, her face contorting to something like annoyance and exasperation from its previous calm expression. "Great! This is great! A damaged wing!" She let out a frustrated sigh, looking over at the other wing. "Make that two damaged wings!"
He knew it must've been from her first fall that her wings got crushed, or else she would've flown already. He took a step towards her. "Are you all right?" he asked again, his voice faintly laced with concern.
"Yes, I'm quite fine," she replied with a smile then bowed to him, her hands clasp in front of her. "Thank you very much for not forcing me to leave to earlier. I deeply apologize if I had disturbed you from your sleep and—"
"It's nothing. I'm awake already anyway."
Her polite smile dissolved, turning into a forced, irritated one. "As I promised, I'm leaving you now and I won't be back again." She walked over and sat on the balustrade, swinging her legs over the marble railings. "Well, bye now, Eriol!"
She was about to jump over when he suddenly call her back, jolting her reverie, nearly sending her plummeting down to the ground.
"Wait just a sec!"
She held tightly on the marble, praying wholeheartedly that she would not fall, considering half her body was already hanging in midair and she was clutching the balustrade with all her effort so as not to fall.
"What is it now?" she asked hurriedly, trying to pull herself up.
Eriol didn't seem to realize that she was close to falling as he didn't make a move to help her out. A nerve ticked in her head. "Before you go, tell me what kind of a creature are you."
Her eye twitched in irritation but she immediately dismissed it. Her kind should not harbor any ill feelings towards others. Still, in her near-death position, it was hard not to. "Isn't it obvious already?" she asked through gritted teeth.
"So you mean you're…" he asked once more.
"Yes, I am," she replied curtly. "Now can I get some help around here?"
The young man didn't move from his position, just stared at her as she clumsily tried to heave herself onto the balustrade. "Are you really an angel?" he asked suspiciously, a dark eyebrow raised. " Angels aren't supposed to snap or retort or look angry."
"Yes, we can snap and retort and look angry," she retorted irritably. "Sorry to burst your bubble."
"Aren't you an alien or something?" he asked in disbelief, earning a sharp glare from the said angel.
The girl rolled her lavender eyes at him, annoyed by his comment. "Do I even look like one?" she countered sarcastically. "And do those beings even exist?"
"Well, no… I don't know," he answered with a shrug as she continuously tried to pull herself up. "And if you're an angel, shouldn't you be up there? In the sky? Don't you have magic powers or anything?" He then narrowed his eyes at her. "Besides, how do I even know you're an angel? For all I know, you could just be a burglar with your elaborate props."
She sighed knowingly. "Another non-believer, eh? Well, that's too bad then," she said with a heavy sigh. "I'm not a burglar. If I was, I should've killed you already. And we angels haven't got magic. The only power we've got is the power to heal and transform so we could blend in with humans." She eyed him. "And we live in Azreal, not heaven."
"Aren't you a smart-alecky one?" he countered.
"Why, thank you, I always try," she shot back dryly. "Now can I get any help here?"
Eriol folded his arms across his chest, a scowl replacing his suspicious expression. "This has to be a dream," he muttered to himself then stared at the struggling creature. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll leave this ridiculous dream and go back to my own world!" With that, he went back inside his room, slamming the sliding door, the glass shaking slightly in its jamb.
"Oi, wait a minute!" she wailed loudly, loud enough to wake the whole household. "Are you just going to leave a helpless angel here?" He ignored her, wrenching the drapes back in their places. "Did you know angels can get easily sick on Earth?"
"Good luck then!" he called back, removing his robes and slipping under his comforter.
"Fine then! When I get back to Azreal, I'll tell the Keeper of the Keys what a cruel person you are, leaving me like this, and ask him to erase your name on the Book of Life! That way, you'll rot in hell for eternity!"
To her surprise, the door slid open again and revealed a grouchy-looking Eriol, glaring at her. She pasted her sweetest, most innocent smile at him. Wordlessly, he went over to her and pulled her up the balustrade and into the balcony. She heaved a relieved sigh, collapsing on her legs.
"Thank God!" she exclaimed, sounding alleviated.
"Blackmailing shouldn't be a habit of an angel," he remarked dryly, still looking at her.
She brushed her pale robes, rising to her full height. "What do you know anyway on being an angel?" she replied, not looking at him as she was busy cleaning her robes. "For all I know you're not one."
Eriol smirked at her. "Maybe you're not really an angel," he started and she looked up at him, eyes narrowed. "Maybe you're really a devil in an angel's disguise."
She shrugged her shoulders. "Who knows?"
He strode back to his room and she made a move to follow him when suddenly, he halted and turned around once more to face. She stepped back absently, warily watching his expression.
"You know," he began again and she cocked her head in confusion. "I never got your name while you know mine."
"Sorry, I forgot to introduce myself!" She smiled at him widely, clasping her hands in front of her. "I'm Tomoyo! I'm a Dominion!"