Gabriel/Raphael for 30kisses (in no particular order)

Title: Transparency

List: Beta #8 - Strings

Fandom: Angel Sanctuary

Pairing: Gabriel x Raphael

Warnings: Spoilers for Book 8 onwards.

Disclaimer: "Angel Sanctuary" and all related material are property of Kaori Yuki 1995.

By the time Setsuna happens, they've forgotten most of what it used to be like. At least this is what Raphael tells himself. He think that if he truly believes it, if he prays hard enough to believe it, it will become truth. But even his sleeping God mocks him. The more he prays to forget, the more he remembers.

He remembers lots of things. Mostly, he remembers how to heal. Raphael will always remember how to heal because it is part of who he is. But he remembers other things too. He remembers ancient council meetings with Lucifel when they all still believed in God and Heaven and Good and Truth. He remembers discussing the medicinal properties of plants with Uriel minutes before a judgment. He remembers watching Michael scream through blood and tears and rage after casting his brother out of Heaven. He remembers the birth of Metatron. He remembers the fall of Alexiel. He remembers that Rosiel was once sane.

He remembers.

Vaguely, he remembers looms. The old, old kinds made of wood; the kinds human tell stories about now. He remembers watching women make thread, watching it all come together neatly on a spindle, watching it all fall apart with the slightest mistake.

He thinks that if Heaven were a loom, whoever was controlling it had royally fucked up since before he could remember.

Heaven may not be a loom but his thoughts were strings; bit and pieces of colored string strewn about the chaotic landscape of his mind. And again, quite detachedly, he wonders why it is that he should suddenly begin to think like this today. He has far better things to contemplate, far more important. There is a woman in Jibrille's body on his couch, on the run from Sevotharte and half-blind. Indeed, he has far more important things to contemplate. Why is he - ?

Oh, well. He is no stranger to psychology.

He is avoiding her. He is thinking of everything to keep from thinking about just one thing. Pity it isn't working. He can't help but think about who she is. Or rather, who she isn't. He knows that this woman is not Jibrille, that much he was practically certain of by the time she had completed two sentences. Jibrille was never like this. This girl is different. For one thing, this girl almost trusts him. He kisses another cigarette and smiles bitterly at that thought. Jibrille would never trust him with her person especially if she was in the state this girl is in.

This girl is not Jibrille. Raphael remembers Jibrille and the memory makes him ache.