The flight was silent, making Lust fidget uncomfortably, and wobble in the air. Chaos was obviously quite familiar with the path, after all, he was an angel slayer. She idly wondered how many angels he'd killed, and which ones. If she recognized any of them...

She was broken out of her thoughts when Chaos came to a sudden halt in front of her. His wings full out to the sides, and slightly curled to mimic a parachute, the demon slowly drifted down until his feet touched the sidewalk, landing with an inherent grace, while Lust merely furled hers and plummeted to stand beside him. There was something different about him, she thought while staring up at the looming figure that stood over her. That grace was uncharacteristic of a demon... even she was already picking up on the erratic movements and drastic motions that seemed to come naturally now, yet he retained his almost angelic nature. She wondered why...

"There are a few groundrules." the man began, his deep, underused voice vibrating in her ears. She merely nodded, unable to come up with a verbal response.

"You stay with me. No matter what." he said, voice stern, raising a brass-clawed finger, "Second, you see anything. Anything... another demon, fires forbid an angel, you go back through the portal immediately and wait until after I deal with it." his voice took on just the slightest hint of emotion, the first Lust had heard from him... ever. "Do you understand."

She nodded again, her voice stolen away.

"Allright, then." he said, turning. Up ahead, the road stopped. A spiked iron rail circumvented the city, but gave way for a small gap where an artful ramp sloped upward into the sky.

Lust squinted in the dark to see. Up above, a stylized metal monolith, with cuts out of the top that so that the entire structure took the shape of elongated demonic wings. Up at the very top stark contrast against the silver of the ramp was what could only be the portal. It was difficult to see, dark on dark, and the only way she could make it out was that it was the only part of the sky, a perfectly circular cut, that didn't have any stars.

"Follow me." her attention was drawn back to the man beside her at the sounding of his deep voice, and with one flap of the massive wings, he rose up into the sky. Rapidly, she followed, and they both followed the curve of the ramp up, like the rails of a train, sending them rocketing into the sky. Before she knew it, the swirling vortex swallowed her up. For a moment, she was afraid, wanted to scream, but stifled it... and soon enough, she came out the other side.

A war-torn landscape greeted her there, with a violet and copper sky. The ground consisted of many floating islands above a blood-dark sea. Rising like a bullet out of a whirlpool situated in the center there, their heads soon bobbed above the large chunks of land, so that they looked down on them from above. Huge gouges had ravaged the earth in some places, and there were the occasional littered bits of bone: wing joints and skulls, both human and inhuman. She shuddered at the sight, but Chaos seemed entirely unaffected. He'd seen it before, there was nothing new. "Welcome to the Land of Sunset. It lies on the threshold of Heaven and Hell, of day and night. This is the battleground where our war is fought."

Lust nodded, trying to take it all in, trying to remember, while also trying to scan the land and commit it to memory. The latter task was very hard, considering that each island, barring size and the occasional rock formation, was identical.

"It's not often, actually, than you run into a fight here." Chaos mused, mostly to himself while his eyes remained on the sky. "The chances of one demon and one angel just happening to arrive at the same time are... minimal."

"So I won't find Zack?" Lust's voice hard returned, though it was pitched higher, accusation and hurt residing there.

Chaos turned to her, his flight slowed. He heaved a sigh and raised a hand to his temple, as if to rub out a headache... at the hard look in his pupil's eyes, he quickly covered, running a hand through his short black hair instead. "The odds are very much against you. You would have to live here for flames know how long until he decided to saunter down here again."

"Then that's what I'll do!" she said suddenly, stopping, hovering where she was, hands on her hips, a hard stare in her eyes.

"Think, for a moment, about what you are saying." the male demon's voice was raised, and he too stopped and turned around, "You are a spoiled, inexperienced pre-meta, and you think you could handle living out here for months at a time? Any angel would come by and snap your neck like it was nothing!"

Tears were welling up in her eyes. Aside from the fact that this was her first fight with her mentor, and that she had recognized the idiocy in her own idea the second it had come out of her mouth, it was beginning to sink in that she would... never see Zack again. Providing he somehow escaped his terrible fate up in that tower she'd last seen him in, it wasn't as if he would be particularly apt to saunter down to the Land of Sunset again.

Chaos' fury cooled immediately, then, and he seemed to get a grip on himself. For the briefest of moments his eyes went wide, almost in shock for his own actions. He cupped a hand over his mouth, but it soon fell back to his side. "Forgive me..." the man shamefully muttered, slouching in his stance a little bit.

"Zack..." Lust's voice shuddered. The violent wind was carrying her away, as she slowly drifted farther and farther from Chaos. She didn't seem to mind, however, and let it. The tears spilled over their edge, moistening her face, but as soon as she felt their hot touch on her cheek, her expression sharpened. "I have to find him!" she insisted, "I have to. He's my brother, and I-" Chaos opened his mouth to interrupt, but she cut him off with a shout, "You don't think I can do it! I know you don't think I'm strong enough to fight the angels yet, but damnit, I am! And if I'm wrong, well then I'm better off dead! I'd rather be back in heaven with Zack than stay a demon in hell with you!"

She twirled, the skirts of her periwinkle dress swirling around her fluidly in the air, and sped off, diving away from him for extra momentum. She needed a hasty getaway... she didn't want to see him, to face him right now. But where could she go? She didn't want to be in hell either... that meant she'd stay right here.

And wait for Zack. the girl told herself.

"Lust, wait!" Chaos' frantic call rebounded off the floating rocks. She only snorted, by now far out of sight. Her wings furled, and she came to a dusty landing on one of the islands, and curled up, hugging her legs to her chest, her chin on her knees.

I'll wait allright. she bitterly thought, blinking away another surge of salty water from her eyes, But not for you. her face turned heavenward, at the twilight sky that awaited her there, yet strangely enough... she thought she saw a thin beam of light. But where did it come from? Her eyes followed it in the sky above until it went out, blocked by a shadow... but she'd already seen the source.

A dark formation of cloud looming in the sky twisted and swirled into a tunnel, and from out of the center of that tunnel a dark shape was falling...

"The portal into heaven..." she breathed, getting quickly to her feet, clawed toes gripping the loose, uneven ground. Maybe that means I can go back! but out of sheer curiosity, she watched the being as it fell... had someone else, like her, been cast out? No, no it couldn't be that. Silvery wings fanned out behind them, and they fell purposefully, face-up, until their feet lightly touched the ground. The wings fell limply back to their sides, and settled down their back.

No, not wings... she thought immediately, ...hair! Silver hair! Seth!

Seth never showed his wings...

She took a step forward, then stopped. Her last memory of Seth...

"...I hereby banish you from the kingdom of heaven." his voice was so cold. His grip on her neck was crushing, she couldn't breathe... and then at last he lifted her up by it, tossed her casually over the tower's edge.

There was a swipe of pain across her stomach, a waterfall of blinding red. Her robes felt wet.

"Fall, and burn with the demons!" the mighty angel roared above her as she obediently tumbled down, down, down...

With a soft cry she abruptly shook her head. "No!" why was she thinking of this now? Seth was... Seth was her friend!

Seth cast me out.

Seth was just doing his job...

Seth took Zachary.

...but only to help him. He meant to help Zack!

"Ahhh!" she cried out, bending over, clutching tightly at her hair... she had such a splitting headache. "No, no, no! I won't fight him I..."

"You see anything. Anything... another demon, fires forbid an angel, you go back through the portal immediately and wait until after I deal with it." Chaos' words, now, rang out in her memory.

'Deal with it'... that's right. Chaos told me to... she turned and faced the ridge on her island, preparing to dive off into the oceanlike abyss below, find the way back into hell through there, do as she was instructed, but again, she stopped. Chaos is going to... kill Seth, and I'm just going to let him?! I'm even thinking like a demon now! she lamented, turning stubbornly again to face the angel, far away. No, I won't give in to that... "I won't give in..." she repeated under her breath, but out loud, bending her knees slightly before jumping into the air, her wings shooting out to the sides as she glided off the edge of the rock, towards Seth. I have to tell him. I have to warn him what's going to happen if he stays here...

"Seth!" she called out, still gliding. She was much closer now... she could make out individual features: his shining boots, always polished to perfection, his perfectly ironed, straight black robes, his long flowing hair, those mesmerizing emerald eyes... "Seth, I have to..."

...his silver sword.

Her next word was drowned out by a cough of blood splattering out of her mouth. She wasn't even within arm's reach. That vicious seven-foot blade stuck a good foot-and-a-half out her back, and had impaled straight through the middle of her gut. A little bit of dark liquid splattered across the man's face and hair, and he laughed softly, swiping a hand through the silver locks to brush it away.

"S-Seth...?" she stammered pathetically, her wings flopping to their sides, unable to sustain her in the air, and her body began to slide further down the sword, it's blade already slick and red with blood.

With a loud slurp and an audible groan from the woman as she fell to the ground, the angel wrenched it out of her. "That's right, Love..." he chirped, "...long time no see."

---

Author's Ending Note Thingy: Mwahahaha, cliffhanger. And aren't you proud of me for FINALLY updating? XD No, I didn't forget this fic! I really need to draw and color all these guys and put the pictures on photobucket or something. Anyway, I hope you liked it... no guarantee when the next chapter's coming, I've got three novels, and four chaptered fics currently being worked on, as well as the final quarter of Junior year of highschool, which is not a fun place to be. XD The wait may last all the way 'til summer.