My eyes stared through the darkness of the prison I was in, no real form of light whatsoever flickered through the room. I smiled slowly, feeling the weight of my seal still resting in my pocket. It didn't matter if I looked human, or that the only one's who'd seen my untransformed state were the order, Rosette and Joshua.
I winced, feeling the water splash slightly on my horn. Even the drop of mortal blood running through my veins didn't ease the pain of holy water on my skin. A grim smile turned up the corner of my lips as I lifted my face towards the constant drip of water.
It burned down my forehead, towards my cheek, searing pain, like having a hot iron pressed ruthlessly against your flesh. It was worse than when they used their blessed whips and chains and maces on me. Worse than the tasers. Not quite so bad as their way of holding me stationary, however. The cross I'd been strapped to while I was in my self-induced purgatory, waiting to die. The purgatory that she'd rescued me from.
The cross had evidentially been blessed in my extended vacation from the covenant, and now it sent pain ripping through every piece of skin it touched. They wanted me to be too weak to fight when they killed me.
They wanted me to beg for them to kill me.
The moonlight faintly filtered through the window at my back, and I desperately wished that I could turn my head towards it. I knew that it was at least mostly full. I hadn't laid eyes on it's soft glow in almost a week. I hadn't felt the warmth of the sun on my face in equally as long.
And the last time I saw her...
I don't cry out as the holy water falls on me. I wont give the guards that pleasure. I timed the intervals and each time a drop was due, I would conjure a picture of her into my mind. I would conjure that time, when Joshua, Rosette, and I sat beside the lake. When all the darkness in my life was washed away by their unwavering light. I would remember when Rosette would give me a good hard noogie for tossing her out her bedroom window to get her out of bed.
I smiled sadly. Perhaps she would be there at my execution. If I could see her just one last time, that would make it okay. She didn't remember everything we'd gone through, but I did, and I remembered that I loved her. I remember her last few minutes in the last life, my arms wrapped tightly around her, as though I could force the life back into her.
I would have given up my powers to have her live.
The door opened and a timid nun entered. Her long white hair fell down her back and her purple eyes were lowered as she carried the tray towards me. The two guards stood by the door, smirking at my evident pain. They didn't realize that their weapons weren't what hurt me.
The idea I'd never see her again hurt me.
The nun lifted a metal spoon and tried to feed me some of the gruel, but I simply shook my head, smiling gently at her. "No, Azumaria." I said softly. "But thank you."
Her eyes widened at the fact that I knew her name. After all, she wasn't a student, nor a teacher, and I'd never met her in this lifetime. "Do I know you, Demon?" She queried, her face confused.
I looked away, smiling sadly. "Not anymore. But once upon a time, we did meet." I closed my eyes and sighed. "Your voice rivaled those of angels, they said." I looked towards her, curious. "Do you still sing?"
"Y-yes..." She said softly. "With the choir, here..."
"Waste of perfectly good talent..." I leaned my head back against the cross, not even wincing at the sound of my skin sizzling. She, however, cringed.
"Is there anything you would like to eat for your final supper?" She asked softly.
I smiled sadly, closing my eyes. "I would like to feel the moon upon my face. I have no need to eat mortal food, Azumaria. My vitality and health is solely based upon my connection to the astral line, which is weak right now. Besides..." I let my voice take on a teasing quality. "Isn't gluttony a mortal sin?"
"Your existence is a sin, Chrno the Sinner!" One of the guards cat-called from the back. "You should have just stayed dead!"
I ignored them, giving Azumaria a gentle smile. "Go, Azumaria. And thank Father Remington for me. He'll know why." With that, I looked away from them, focusing on the wall not far from my side. I listened to the sounds of them leaving my cell and sighed, lowering my eyes to the floor. "At least I got to see her...one last time..."
I was closing my eyes, willing my body to go into hibernation, that sleep where they can't actually kill me, when I heard something behind me. It sounded like scraping, and rustling. I would have turned to try to see, but it was futile. If it was an assassination attempt, I didn't care. Better to fall to one of Aion's goons than to die at the hands of humans, who try to kill in a way more painful and terrible than ripping my horns off.
I blinked, trying to turn my head to see who was psting me, but immediately regretted the action. The leather strap around my neck caused waves of pain to rip through me. I bit back a pained grunt and turned my head back to the front. "Who wants what of a sinner?" I asked, my voice slightly tight from the pain still tingling in my body.
"Sis! It's him! Chrno's in here!"
That voice I knew. It was Joshua. My breath caught in my throat and my eyes widened. Slowly, I lifted my head, my breath quickening slightly. There was only one 'sis'.
I hissed softly, this time, being too distracted by those behind me to guard against the pain. I heard soft scraping sounds again and my sensitive ears twitched slightly. Then, a louder scrape, and the sound of metal against metal. "You two are awfully loud..." I teased, my voice tight with pain and now also worry. The guards weren't demons, but they could probably hear the echo through the catacombs.
I heard a soft gasp that I would know anywhere, in any lifetime and tilted my head to the side. "Hello, Rosette." I said softly. I heard her fumble whatever she was using on the bars and smiled faintly to myself. Suddenly, there was a loud crash behind me and I winced, knowing the guards heard that one. In fact I could hear their shouts and rustling around. "Hide!" I gasp, my eyes widening, fear that they would be caught gripping my stomach roughly.
Apparently I shouldn't have worried.
Just as they were approaching the door, the sound of the alarm went up around the covenant, and I jumped startled. I heard the sound of two small feet hit the floor and then cerulean blue eyes filled my vision. My breath rushed out of me as I gazed down at her from where I was trussed to the cross.
Her hands quickly set to work, pulling the straps apart, I heard two more feet hit the floor and then another pair of hands went to work as well. Within a matter of moments, I was free, and I felt my limbs fold beneath me. Four arms, caught me, holding me up. "W-why?" I whispered, lifting my face to look at theirs.
I saw a timid smile on Joshua's face and a determined look on Rosette's. "You saved us, didn't you." She said evenly. She moved towards the door and pushed it open easily, slipping into the hall before Joshua helped me into it as well. "I think we have about five minutes before they realize it's a false alarm. So, we've gotta get out of here, FAST."
I shook my head. "Not out. UP." I pointed to the ceiling. "My astral is weak, I need to get closer to the astral line...The higher we go, the better." They looked nervous and I shook my head. "All of the fighters in the order are out protecting this place. Everyone else should be locked into the chapel. No one will look inside."
They nodded, and we began moving quickly up from the catacombs. I immediately felt better. In fact, the higher we moved, the more energy I felt, until I was running, practically dragging them along with me. I hesitated when we reached the top. Slowly, I cracked the door, peering outside. Father Remington stood there, Azumaria at his side. They looked directly at me, Azumaria wearing a frightened expression, Remington's passive. I stepped slowly onto the roof, and kept myself between them and the two mortals behind me. "Azumaria...Ewan..." I acknowledged.
Remington merely nodded in return, and pulled a small card from his pocket. "You three can hide there. I'll show up a little later tonight. It's probably best if you fly out."
I nodded shortly and watched as the pair left the roof. Then, I turned towards Rosette and Joshua. "I need both of you to hug my neck and not let go." I said evenly. They looked nervous, and I gently put an arm around either of their waists. "Hold on tight."
I felt them both hug tightly and I lifted them off the ground easily. They were feather light, practically. With three quick steps, I hit the edge and pushed off, spreading my wings and listened to the cries of alarm going up through the covenant. I heard a few people scream and realized that one of them was Rosette, whose face was pressed tightly against my chest. A blush rose up to my face.
A slightly wicked grin turned up the corners of my lips as I saw the one's that were guarding my cell and couldn't resist swooping towards them, scaring the living shit out of them in passing. Once outside the property, however, I felt my prior weakness return and I forced myself to glide to the ground, resting the pair against it.
At first, Rosette didn't notice that we were on the ground and I relished the temporary contact. It had been many years since I'd last held her, after all. She smelled just like the Rosette I remembered. I heard Joshua breathing hard, still clinging to my sleeve and gave him a weak smile. "Come on, we need to get moving fast..." I said softly, gently putting Rosette a little away from me. "The order isn't going to let me live unless they need me. It's always been like that."
Rosette blinked, slowly opening her eyes, and apparently realized that she'd been clinging to me rather tightly and her face flushed and she quickly moved towards where they parked their racing bikes. She looked towards me and then Joshua. "These fast enough?" She asked, picking up her helmet.
I smiled, reaching into my pocket and pulling out my seal, clasping it around my neck and fiddling with the settings, till I was more comfortable in my appearance, not looking like a 17 year old kid. I heard their collective gasp and looked back at them, knowing my golden eyes were now deep red. A wry smile turned up the corner of my lips and I nodded. "Those'll be perfect."
His arms around my waist were warm. It was one of the only things I'd noticed since getting on the bike. Had I known that I would be so distracted by him, I would have sent him to ride with Joshua. His cheek was resting against the thin cotton of my school uniform and it sent my imagination into overdrive.
I glanced towards Joshua when he signaled me, and then I noticed we were approaching our destination. It was a small, slightly ratty cabin about three hundred miles from the covenant. I nodded towards my brother and lightly applied the break, allowing it to slow to a stop. I felt the boy behind me sit up and heard him choke slightly. His arms left my midsection and I was startled that I missed their warmth.
My ears caught the crunch of Chrno's boots hitting the dirt and suddenly he was walking towards the cabin in an almost trance-like state. A frown tugged my lips down and I pulled off my helmet and followed, hearing Joshua do the same. "Chrno?" I asked softly.
He didn't answer, stopping outside the cabin, pushing the door to it open and looking calmly inside. His face was an unreadable mask, no emotion whatsoever showing on his handsome face. As I watched, he closed his eyes, slowly stepping into the cabin, leaving Joshua and I alone in the darkness. I frowned, following him inside, and I blinked. Rather than having all the modern comforts, it looked like the inside of the cabin was stuck in a previous century. There were no faucets, no bathroom.
"What is this place?" Joshua asked softly, looking around in confusion. "Why would Minister Remington send us here?"
I was wondering the same thing when I heard Chrno speak for the first time since we'd climbed onto the bikes.
"Because he knows the Order wont think to look here." He said, and without looking pulled something off of the small table beside the small, tattered bed. "Last time...it took them months." He smiled bitterly. "I suppose all they found back then were corpses."
The grimness of his voice startled me. I moved slowly, hesitantly towards him. "Chrno?"
He blinked, looking up at me, then, he got a strange expression on his face and moved out of the door, lightly replacing the frame on the bed-side table. "I...need to be alone for awhile. I wont go far." He said softly, then stood, walking out of the dusty, slightly oppressive cabin.
I watched him leave and heard Joshua gasp and my eyes darted towards him. "What's wrong?"
Slowly, the boy turned the picture towards me and my breath caught in my throat. It was black and white, five people, in a carnival setting. It was yellowed with age, slightly bent, with obvious fraying on the edges. On one side was a young looking Chrno in a dark coat, Azumaria, one of the young nuns at the order, Ms. Harvenheit, and there...
I covered my lips, sucking in a sharp breath.
It was me.
AN: Another chapter done. Everyone can do their little happy dance now if they'd like. Chrno is safe, and he's 'together' again with Rosette. I almost had their 'safe house' be an inn or some bar or something, but I thought the cabin where Chrno and Rosette spent their last months together in the anime would be more appropriate. You may have started noticing that I've incorporated some things from both the anime AND the manga into this, and it will continue to be as such. There are just some times from both where I think they're just awesome and I wouldn't cut them out for anything. I.E. When Chrno goes berserk in San Fransisco and to punish himself, pretty much sends himself into his own private hell. It was in the manga, but not the anime, but I loved the scenes so much, and the concept that I just had to keep it. Anyways, I'll try to post another chapter for this sometime soon. I dunno where it's really going still, but I've got a few ideas which may or may not stick. Please R & R. Love, Peace and Doughnuts, DemonSaya