Author's blabbering: Yay, chapter 3! After months and months of not working on it, I finally finished it, thanks to my friend who gave me a copy of Angel Sanctuary (You guys should read it! I recommend it!). Yay me! I totally apologize for the lateness of this fic. There isn't much action yet. I'd probably put them in the next chapter or chapter 5. As for my other fics, don't worry. They're NOT on hiatus. They're just not yet up to my liking yet and I'm still constantly editing them.
And if you had notice, I edited some parts in the chapters 1 and 2. I finally included the Angelic Hierarchy (because I found it so interesting in Angel Sanctuary). It might be confusing at first but everything will be explained anyway.
I'll also be putting up the one-shot I made as a gift-fic for my friend, Akizuki Sai. Yeah, and it was such an über-late gift… All reviews will be answered in the homepage as usual.
Disclaimer: I don't own CCS and all its lovely characters. Nor the Angelic Hierarchy. If you think, feel or sense that this fic is going against your religion, your beliefs or your traditions, then please don't read it anymore. I surely don't want to be sued by anyone. I'm not doing this to propagate a new religion nor do I get any money from this.
Yay! Let's get on with the story!
Chapter 3: "Who're you calling a devil?"
Eriol turned to the sweet, cheerful voice that belonged to one dark-haired angel. She stood in front of him, undamaged wings, white robes and all, her eyes crinkled in genuine delight and elation. He raised a slim eyebrow at her in skepticism. He had learned one thing already: never trust an angel with that kind of smile.
"What is it?" he asked, eyeing her warily. He really didn't trust her. Not one bit.
"You know what," she said slowly, biting her lower lip in thought. The smile on her face was impeccable. It was perfect. Too perfect. "There's something I forgot to tell you last night…"
"And that was?"
Tomoyo smiled even more brightly at him, an unreadable glint in her lavender orbs. "I'm here to take your soul!"
And with that, her immaculate white wings disappeared and turned into black bat ones. The golden halo above her dark head also disappeared, replaced by two tiny horns, and her clothes changed into a sleek red cat suit. A throne of evil appeared on her side and she sat down on it, crossing her legs at her knees. "Am I not the cutest little devil around?"
To say she was cute was completely an understatement but Eriol really didn't have the time to contemplate if the angel-turned-devil in front of him was cute or not. She's after his soul, for crying out loud!
"I knew it!" he told her, pointing a finger at her direction. "You're no angel! You're just a devil in disguise!"
The dark-haired girl let out an exasperated sigh, checking her perfectly manicured nails. "I think we've already made that one clear," she replied lightly. "That's what I really like about you. You love stating the obvious." Her malevolent smile returned and she jumped off her seat, taking a step towards him, a pale hand outstretched. "C'mon, Eriol-kun, come to me."
"Why should I? You're just going to take my soul and I surely don't want to die yet!"
"Don't be silly! Just because I'm going to take your soul doesn't mean you're going to die." Another malevolent smile from the supposed angel. She took another step and Eriol stepped back apprehensively. "Don't be so stubborn, Eriol."
He turned away from her, his eyes shut tightly, holding out his fingers in a cross-sign to her. "Just go away, you devil!"
"I said, go away!"
He had barely said those words when a sharp slap stung his cheeks and his blue eyes flew wide open, meeting a pair of cinnamon-colored ones. Just as sudden as that slap, he sat up so quickly that his head collided with something hard, round and resembles a head perfectly.
"Ow! Your head is as hard as cement, Eriol!"
Eriol shook his head, ignoring the pain and the dark stars in front of his eyes, and turned to the tall figure standing beside his bed, rubbing its forehead. He frowned slightly, trying to adjust his sight to the sudden bright light. "Nakuru? Is that you?"
His auburn-haired cousin glared at him, one hand flat on her forehead. "No, I'm the child of the devil," she retorted sarcastically. "I'm here to take your soul, don't you remember?"
The young man scowled at her, throwing the blue blanket off him. "Shut up," he hissed, rubbing his throbbing head. That was a fun way to wake up, getting a headache. "And what are you doing here at this time of the morning?"
"Well, for your information, Your Majesty, I'm just here to wake you up. In case you haven't noticed, it's already 7," Nakuru replied patronizingly, walking over to the couch and picking up his satin comforter there. She then turned to him, a frown on her face. "What's your comforter doing here? Have you been sleepwalking again?"
"We both know that I do not sleep—" Eriol suddenly stopped in mid-sentence, the memories of the events of last night flashing in his mind. He raised his blue eyes to the sitting area in his room, searching for any trace of that ethereal, not to mention bossy, girl from last night. "Nakuru, where's Tomoyo?"
The older woman turned to him again, an auburn eyebrow cocked. "Where's who?"
"Tomoyo. The girl inside this room. The one who's been sleeping on the couch. Long black hair, lavender eyes."
His cousin rounded on him, her cinnamon-colored eyes narrowed into slits. "What's a girl doing in your room last night?" she asked him in a dangerous voice. "Don't tell me you've been doing that thing already?"
Eriol rolled his eyes in exasperation. Nakuru's imagination sure amuses the hell out of him, especially during mornings. "She fell into my balcony last night."
Nakuru snorted at him. "Don't pull my leg. You're on the second floor. How would anyone fall into your balcony?"
"Ask her! She'll tell you!"
Nakuru stared at him for a few minutes then returned to his side purposefully, taking seat on the bed. Much to the young man's irritation, she suddenly placed a hand on his forehead and on hers. "Are you feeling well, Eriol?" she called out to him loudly as if she was talking to a deaf person. "Does something hurt? Do you want to see a doctor? Can-you-understand-me-Eriol?"
Eriol slapped away her hand, the scowl on his face deepening. "Shut up, Nakuru. You're not helping at all."
The girl chuckled lightly before she stood up from the bed and walked towards the door. "I know it's fun to dream about your crush at school but I really suggest you start moving now before you get late for school," she told him nonchalantly, pulling open the oak door. "We don't want a girl to be the reason for the taint in your perfect attendance, do we?" She ducked behind the door to avoid a flying pillow. "I'll see you downstairs!"
When Nakuru's footsteps had finally faded, the blue-eyed boy swung his legs over the bed and walked over to his bathroom, the marble floor cool under his bare feet. Had he just dreamt it all last night? The meeting with that angel, saving her, speaking to her, having tea with her? But everything seemed so real, everything felt so real.
Then, out of instinct, he glanced outside his bathroom at the sitting area. The tray was still there, with its used teacups, the tin can of Danish cookies and even the jar of honey. They were all there, along with his comforter—the one she had unceremoniously took—neatly folded by Nakuru. So it wasn't a dream. It was real, his encounter with Tomoyo.
Then, if what had happened last night wasn't a dream, where was she now? Did she manage to get help from Azreal? Had she gone back already?
Isn't that great? She didn't even say goodbye, he thought absently as he stuck his toothbrush inside his mouth, staring at his foggy mirror. Still, at least I haven't got a sarcastic charge anymore.
With an inward sigh, he wiped away the moisture on the mirror only to find the subject of his thoughts standing right behind him with a very bright smile. Eriol choked on his toothbrush and turned around, his eyes flashing at the guest inside his bathroom.
"I could've been naked, you know," he told her flatly, pulling his toothbrush out of his mouth.
Tomoyo grinned at him mischievously, taking seat on the edge of the bathtub. "You could've but you're not. And besides, it's not like I haven't seen the entire male anatomy before," she replied breezily, shrugging her shoulders. "I'm sure yours is no different from the others."
Eriol stared at her flatly, not knowing what to say anymore, then went back to brushing his teeth. After a few minutes though, he was already getting uncomfortable with her staring at him. "Where have you been anyway?" he asked after rinsing his mouth with water. "I didn't see you when I woke up."
"Oh, I was there," she told him, twisting the one of the valves of the bathtub, and watched the tub slowly get filled with water. "You just weren't looking hard enough."
"You mean you could vanish into thin air?" he asked in disbelief. "And will you stop playing with my bathtub? I'm not going to take a bath!"
The angel looked at him, a mildly amused smile on her features. "You're not?"
The boy pressed his lips together, gritting his teeth. Shutting his eyes for a moment, he then pointed the door in exasperation, motioning her to get out. Could his day get any worse? "Can you please step out of my bathroom for a moment?" he asked, his polite voice oozing with sarcasm. When Tomoyo got up from her seat and walked over to the door, Eriol let out a sigh and stepped inside the shower stall.
After a moment though…
"Erm, Eriol, I can't…"
"What do you mean 'you can't'?" he asked from behind the glass, sounding every bit annoyed. "You can't what? You can't do that simple thing I'm asking you?"
"Hiiragizawa Eriol, who are you talking to inside your shower?"
Eriol froze at the familiar voice of his cousin, his blood turning cold. If Nakuru was inside his bathroom, then she would see Tomoyo. That alone would be enough for all hell to break loose. What more if she finds out that the girl was an angel? What would she do?
Opening the glass door of the shower stall, Eriol peered outside, his hair dripping wet, ready to explain everything. But what surprised him was Nakuru. It was as if she couldn't see Tomoyo, who was seated on the marble floor, staring up at her. Eriol glanced from Nakuru to Tomoyo then back to Nakuru, a frown on his face.
"What is wrong with you, Eriol?" Nakuru asked, her expression turning stern. "Is there something wrong with the floor?"
The young man raised his blue eyes from the bewildered angel on the floor to meet Nakuru's inquiring gaze. "Ah, well, it's nothing."
"Who were you talking to inside your shower?" the older girl asked again, placing a hand on her hip. "Is there a girl inside that stall, Eriol?"
Eriol shook his head firmly. "Of course not! Why would there be a girl inside my shower?" he retorted.
"Then who are you talking to?"
Eriol glanced once more at Tomoyo who wore a slight grin and racked his brain for an excuse, any excuse, just to get off the hook. "I-I was practicing—" he stammered, frowning at Tomoyo. "—for a play at school. I'm in the cast and I need to memorize everything by—by next week!"
The cinnamon-eyed girl stared at him intently, still suspicious of his actions. "All right," she replied hesitantly then glanced at the floor, right where Tomoyo was seated. "Just… hurry up, okay? I've got this weird feeling that I'm being watched right now."
"Maybe you are being watched by some weird entity in this bathroom," Eriol told her while ignoring the angel's strangle protest on his comment, feeling his every nerve bursting to anger. There were now two, TWO, women in his bathroom, waiting for him like there's no tomorrow. "Now will you get out of my bathroom, Nakuru, and let me shower in peace?"
The older girl left, still looking confused as ever, and Eriol let out a relieved sigh. Tomoyo's gaze followed the retreating back of Nakuru then turned back to Eriol, taking a seat lightly on top of the counter. "Aren't you quite rude when it comes to her?"
"She's annoying as hell," Eriol said dismissively, rolling his eyes. "Aren't you leaving my bathroom as well?"
Tomoyo raised her hands in the air, jumping off from the counter and walking towards the door. "All right, I'm going. No need to raise your voice," she told him with a sigh. "Geez, you're not exactly a morning person, are you?"
"I keep forgetting that you still go to school."
Eriol glanced at her reflection on the mirror at the sound of her voice while fixing his stubborn tie, watching her devour his cookies and his honey like there was no tomorrow. She didn't really look like some angel with a bad temper and a sharp tongue, more like those that can be seen in paintings. But then again, looks can be deceiving, something he had learned last night.
He let out a sigh, turning once more to his own reflection. He didn't know how in the world he could manage taking care of an angel for a couple of months. Even though Nakuru could see, hear or feel her at all, which puzzled him actually, it still wouldn't be that easy. Well, for one thing, it would be hard to explain if someone suddenly saw and thought that he was talking to himself loudly.
The signs of growing insane, as Nakuru would put it simply. And it's not like they'd believe him about angels coming down to Earth and checking out time disturbances. Even he couldn't imagine himself using those words in just one crazy-sounding sentence.
And to add, the girl seemed to eat only cookies and honey and tea. What would he say if Nakuru asked about the disappearing cookies?
This is hopeless, he thought inwardly, tugging his tie hard. I probably wouldn't get out of this month alive.
"What is hopeless, Eriol?"
He nearly jumped up seven feet in air at the sight of Tomoyo standing in front of him and the mirror, wearing a curious expression on her face. How did she get there without him noticing it? And how did she know what he was thinking?
He stared at her. "Can you read people's minds?"
"No," she replied, tugging his messed-up tie and looking at it closely. "But I can hear thoughts."
"Isn't that the same?"
Tomoyo sighed and started fixing his tie into a neat knot, her eyes looking intently at her work. "They're not the same, Eriol," she told him in a patient voice, earning an amused look from the young man. "We could only hear thoughts which are so loud. Just like yours. You think so loud I thought my eardrums were going to burst." She smiled at the neat tie she made and patted his chest hard. "See? That wasn't so hard."
"Maybe for you…" He glanced down his necktie and was rather impressed at her handiwork. Not even Nakuru could've tied it so tidy and precise like that. "But thanks anyways."
Tomoyo smiled back at him impeccably, her eyes twinkling. "In exchange for fixing your tie, can I ask you for a favor?"
Eriol looked at her warily from the corner of his blue eyes as he pulled his pale blue blazer over his shoulders. "A favor? What kind of a favor?" He just hoped he wasn't getting into another hole like the last time. "The dangerous kind?"
"Of course not. I wouldn't ask you to do something dangerous." Her smile widened as she took a step forward and stood on her toes, until their faces were only inches away. "But I'd like you to take me to your school."
Eriol stepped back from her, consciously aware of the proximity of their faces, fighting the urge to color. "To my school? But why?"
"Because it's going to get boring here when you leave," she reasoned out, pouting cutely. "There isn't anything to do here. And besides, what if your cousin finally sees me? What will you tell her?"
She did have a point, Eriol mused, but wasn't she asking too much? Taking her to school would mean he'd have to look out for her closer than ever. And what if there was also someone else who could see her? Wouldn't that be a bigger problem for him? But of course, it still puzzled him as to why Nakuru couldn't see her and yet he could.
"I have a question," he started and the girl nodded receptively. "Why is it that I can see you and my cousin can't?"
Tomoyo shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly. "I don't know myself," she replied casually, clasping her hands behind her back. "Actually, you shouldn't be able to see me as well. Humans shouldn't be able to see angels."
"So then why…"
"I don't know why but I promise I'll ask someone in Azreal when I get back," she said dismissively then pasted once more her bright smile. "So, are you going to bring me or not?"
Eriol waved a hand in the air with a defeated sigh. "Fine, you can come with me," he told her flatly. "But only if you change your clothes into something more normal." As a safety precaution, just in case someone sees her with him.
"Really?" she exclaimed loudly then hugged him tightly, her arms around his neck. "Thank you! I'm so glad!"
Eriol scratched his cheek awkwardly, not knowing what to do if an angel suddenly hugs you so unceremoniously. Apparently, she didn't seem to be aware of his self-consciousness. He'd never been this intimate with a girl before, even though most of the girls at Seijou High chase him like hell.
"Yeah, well, although you're annoying and all, it's probably ruder to keep you here caged inside my room."
Tomoyo let out a light laugh, which sounded like tiny tinkling bells, still unaware of his uneasiness and anxiety. "I knew you'd see it my way," she said with another laugh before finally getting a glimpse of his pale face. She tilted her head to one side in curiosity. "Hey, are you all right?"
Before Eriol could finish his statement, his door suddenly opened without any warning and Nakuru entered once more, scowling at the young man darkly. Eriol absently brushed Tomoyo away, taking a step from her.
The older girl placed her hands on her hips and towered over her cousin. "Why are you standing there like an idiot, Eriol?" she demanded hotly. "You are already going to be late if you don't get your butt moving!"
Then, without even waiting for a remark or reaction from her cousin, Nakuru turned heel and stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind her. Eriol winced at the noise, shaking his head in exasperation. Tomoyo grinned knowingly.
"Are you sure she's not your mother, Eriol?"
Reviews and constructive criticisms appreciated. Flames, you can just bring them with you when you go to hell -.-