Between Heaven and Hell There is Earth
Summary: When the extreme few of humanity turn against both Heaven and Hell, an angel and a demon are thrown on a one way collision course. Now they have only one another and their human companion as they fight the war that can save or destroy both good and evil (Sakura & Syaoran). Rated for language.
When I first saw her I could see she was different. She looked like a beginner, a total klutz susceptible to lies, betrayal, and the best of all naivety. She looked like a little school girl with her two long pigtails daggling down her back with a thick fringe to frame her pretty face. And her smile carried the look of a school girl, confused, uncertain and totally at my mercy. That is, until she looked at me. Her green eyes carried that something I so desire to see in all of them: determination.
Determination I can quickly brake down.
I was wrong though. She stood her ground, fought back and we had to draw a tie. That or battle on until the end of all eternity, and neither of us were in the mood for that. So we came to a 'truce'. She does her thing, I do my thing. And we act. Our little act has become almost… perfect.
I watched her slumped back in the corner booth with her honey-brown hair tied back in a sloppy pony tail. Her green eyes were fixed on the contents of her glass as she continued to swirl it around endlessly without an apparent care in the world. I thanked the bartender as he handed me my drink before I made my way over to her. "Hello Li."
"Hello Sakura." I grinned as I slipped myself in next to her. I got a whiff of her sent, her sent of peace and fresh rain on a summer's day. I lit a cigarette and she glanced at me for a moment before turning her attention back to her glass. "Saved any souls recently?"
"Now, don't be that way. We are all friends here." I grinned at her as she snickered.
"Yeah, friends." She mumbled. I stretched myself out, balancing my whiskey and cigarette in one hand. The music was loud, like it always is in these kinds of places. People can say what they will, but nothing changed over time, just the music and clothes. In essence the people in clubs and bars are more or less the same.
I lifted a brow at her when she leaned back against me with her head resting on the side of my chest. Her eyes were still focused on her glass as she continued to swirl the contents. She suddenly drowned it all and placed the glass on the table. "I heard something." I replied with a small 'yeah'. We often share news, more out of interest sake than anything else. "There seems to be a new anti-eternity group making its rounds, and they are good."
"So?" I finished my cigarette and lit another one. "Those bastards have been around for as long as we have."
"But they never had the technology they have now."
"Don't tell me you are actually worried."
"Don't patronise me Li, I'm just telling you what I heard." Her hand shot up as she waved to our mutual friend trying to locate us form the opposite end of the room. I grinned as the girl slowly weaved her way through the mass of bodies grinding and winding on the dance floor.
"How good are they?"
"They got that big shot in America."
"No fucking way."
"Yes way. It's all over the net."
"What's all over the net?" I grinned as the other girl slipped in on my other side. Her long black hair was loose and her blue eyes were smoky from the black make-up she so loves to wear. She took the cigarette I offered and lit it with her stupid purple Zippo. Who the hell buys a purple Zippo? Oh yeah, the little prissy-missy using me as a pillow.
"Some crap about the wars in the East. The next thing you know the aliens form space started it all, that kind of thing."
"Sure Sakura." I watched the girl spin the lighter around between her fingers before slamming it down on the table to reveal the name engraved on it – Tomoyo Daidouji. "You two and your little secret conversations. No wonder all those rumours are flying around at school."
"What happened, didn't you lend out your ear to idle gossip? My Li, what is becoming of you?" I mocked laughed at the girl. "It's the usual nonsense. Apparently you and I are in a secret engagement organised by our parents and we live together, we just act distant when around other people."
"That one has been around for months." I watched people dancing on the dance floor, bright lights constantly flashing over them as they moved their bodies to the rhythm of the beat. I ignored the girls' idle chit-chat about clothes and guys. I swallowed the last of my whiskey. I'm still not sure how we ended up 'together', but it is something I have grown accustomed to. Facing the next few in this place with her didn't seem as bad as it did when I was alone. I suppose her sarcasm keeps me on my toes.
"I heard this really arb thing this morning down at central." I glanced at Tomoyo. "Two guys were talking about eradicating the 'mistake that God made' by hunting down and killing all angels and demons on earth. Who would believe crap like that in the first place? It's not like angels and demons walk amongst us like normal human beings." We laughed with the girl, but I could feel the other's uneasiness build for a moment before dying. "Must have been a bunch of crack pots high on something."
"Or they got hold of that cheap shit they sell down on the corner of main and 5th." I glared down at the girl when she looked up at me from my side with and amused smile on her face. "I don't do, I just hear."
"Yeah, yeah. Come on, let's dance." I frowned at her as she pulled me by my sleeve.
"It's a fucking slow song."
"So 'fucking' slow dance with me already." I groaned at the girl as I unwillingly obliged by being dragged onto the dance floor. "Li…" The girl whined and I let my hands rest on her hips as I slowly started to move my body with hers.
"Swearing is a sin you know." I whispered in her ear as she leaned her head against my collar bone.
"No it isn't, its only vulgar." I grinned at her answer. It's the same answer she has given me for years. "What will we do if it is true? What if they really do come for us?" I closed my eyes for a moment as I listened to the uncertainty of even her questions surfacing in her voice.
"'What ifs' are a load of bull." I stuck out my tongue at Tomoyo as she sat laughing her butt off at our table. She always laughs at my misfortune when prissy-missy drags me into something I don't want to be part of. When and how did I become so weak and susceptible to her? Oh yeah, since she is unable to take 'no' for a bloody answer and it is less painful to just do something and get it over with than argue with her for near eternity only to be dragged along in any case.
My eyes landed on a man eyeing the girl in my arms up. Seriously eyeing her up. I could feel his dirty lust for her running through me as I continued to dance with her, with Sakura. He licked his lips when his eyes trailed down to her jean-clad bottom. I slowly lowered my hand, just touching her jeans in a suggestive way. The guy's eyes shot up to my face and I grinned at him. "Stop using me to tempt people into fights."
I pulled her against my body and she glared up at me. I grinned as I let my cheek brush against hers when I lowered my lips to her ear. "You're a sin on your own Sakura Kinomoto."
"And you're a saint in wolf's clothing." She pulled herself free from my grasp. Her eyes narrowed at he man when she passed him.
I watched her green eyes pull the man's soul from it's depths before letting it fall under the exposing light he so tried to avoid. I sighed as I turned my back on her. This game we so expertly play… Will it ever have an end?
I took a drag from my cigarette as I watched my two best friends. The one was finishing his whiskey, his dark eyes always on the dance floor as he watched, the other was staring at the dark ceiling like a little girl too stubborn to come out of her room and apologise to her parents. Both of them have something to hide and something they can only confide in one another for one reason or another. I've learned that early on.
Sakura would talk to Syaoran and Syaoran would talk to Sakura, but not about the same stuff they talk about with me. In their conversations they don't talk about the new hot student that transferred into our school, or how we can torment the science teacher for a fifth time in a week. They talk about deeper things, things I have no knowledge of.
"I heard this really arb thing this morning down at central. Two guys were talking about eradicating the 'mistake that God made' by hunting down and killing all angels and demons on earth." Syaoran's eyes immediately turned to me, while Sakura kept her gaze firmly fixed on the ceiling. Syaoran always do say that her eyes reveal too much. I just haven't quite figured out what that 'too much' is.
"Who would believe crap like that in the first place?" He looked away, down at Sakura then at the cigarette in his hand. There is a wisdom hidden in his brown eyes that not even Sakura can dig into. There is a darkness that she knows and I have glimpsed, and there is a faint hope he clings to so desperately. Sakura… Sakura is in one word illusive. She opens up and you read through her at high speed and then she closes again. And when you think back, you realise you've missed so much. That like a manga you borrowed, you only remember the text or images.
"It's not like angels and demons walk amongst us like normal human beings." I laughed and they laughed with me, nervously. I've heard them talk about angels and demons before. I've heard them talk about saving and damning souls. I've heard them argue about Syaoran's 'final destination'. I've even listened to an entire conversation where they talked about what they loved the most about the 18 hundreds. I hid away, listening intently. Believing everything. "Must have been a bunch of crack pots high on something." They were there, they were there themselves.
"Or they got hold of that cheap shit they sell down on the corner of main and 5th." And just how would you know that Syaoran, I would have asked a few years back. I've learned not to ask anymore. Ask no questions and hear no lies, so they say. Sakura grinned her all knowing grin at him, the grin she only saves for him, the grin that means so much and yet so little. "I don't do, I just hear."
"Yeah, yeah. Come on, let's dance." I laughed when she pulled him up by his sleeve.
"It's a fucking slow song."
"So 'fucking' slow dance with me already." I watched Syaoran tease Sakura as he pulled her close to him and she stayed calm, like she usually does. I watched him dance with her and I could feel as sense of exclusion falling over me. That world they live in, the world I'm a small part of, is merely a temporary state for them. When I am gone they will move on and they will probably forget me.
I am sure that in their world I don't mean much to them. They simply keep me around. To them I am an expendable item. Syaoran looked at me and I laughed at him and his little predicament. He stuck out his tongue out at me. Sakura walked off to the bathroom and I grinned at Syaoran as he slipped in next to me. He placed a small kiss on my hair. "Wait until she drags you around."
"I'm used to it. And I've learned to do the dragging."
"Oh yeah, how could I forget?" He laughed.
"Syaoran." I looked at me with one eye open as he lit his cigarette. "I think you should go and see if Sakura is alright. Some creep just followed her."
"Fucking hell." He dropped his lighter and cigarettes on the table before rushing through bodies and disappeared into the girls' bathroom.
But to me, in my world, they mean so much.
I watched the two leave their friend as I sipped my cocktail. She is a pretty little thing, this Tomoyo Daidouji girl. Her pale features and contrasting black hair made her just so much more alluring. I closed my eyes for a moment, breaking my intense concentration on her. I reopened them only to see the man with the girl again. Then he left, I heard him cursing under his breath as he rushed past and into the girl's bathroom.
It won't be the first time he had to get one of the girls out of trouble. The strange thing is though that he actually does it. He helps them, almost as if he… But that is impossible, most of them grow up in a void and without any emotions except hate, anger and an extreme sense of what is good and what is evil.
Tomoyo Daidouji, a girl of seventeen or eighteen with blue eyes, black hair, pink lips and pale skin. She looked my way and I smiled at her, lifting my glass in acknowledgement of her. She turned away, with a red flush of either anger or embarrassment over her cheeks. If she is anything like the two she hangs out with, it is anger.
I swallowed the last of my drink and followed Tomoyo and the man outside. He got into his car and she walked off. Smiling I got into my own and drove off. Perhaps there is still hope.
Stupid Li and his stupid sense of… I cursed under my breath when someone bumped into me, sending me straight into someone else. I mumbled a small apology and started to make my way through to my desired destination again. I hate clubs, they are always so full of people. Most of them are filled with stupid people, people who come here to look for a 'good time' but only end up hurting themselves more.
I pushed through a couple of people once more and was finally able to breathe when I reached a relatively empty hallway. Men and women were coming and going from either side, moving up or down to the bathrooms and back. I pushed open the door to the girls' bathroom. Added, this is the only club I know that can keep its bathrooms clean. Normally I wouldn't even dare make an entrance into one.
I could hear moaning and groaning coming from the one cubical. It was either one of three scenarios playing itself off in there: One, it is a couple who couldn't even make it to their car, two it is a guy and girl looking for some quick 'no strings attached' action, or three it is a 'lady' providing her services to a client. Then again, it can also be a dealer collecting on his dept. I've seen it all.
I entered a cubical on the far side and closed the lid on the toilet before sitting down. Now it is a waiting game. I give him max ten minutes. He is a sick soul. I heard the door open and the couple leaving, apologising to someone for bumping into him or her. I listened intently as heavy footsteps echoed in the now silent bathroom. One door after the other was being pushed open, hitting against the wall.
I crossed my legs as I patiently waited.
My door swung open and I stared up at the man. His beady eyes were pulling my clothes from my body as he towered in front of me. He closed the door behind him with a cocky grin on his face and I silently thanked the person who thought of making these cubicles a little longer than usual. "You have two choices tonight Mr Hinowata." He paused when I said his name. "You can turn around, walk away and start a new life."
"Or you can come with me to an eternal play ground of fire." I grinned at Li's voice above me. I glanced up at him as he balanced himself on the edge of the bathroom stall.
"What is this?"
"I will say it again. Turn around, redeem yourself and beg for forgiveness for your sins. Start your life as a new person."
"Or burn in hell."
"I don't have time for kids and their sick little games." He walked out, angry and frustrated. I looked at my lap before I stood up. I glanced up at Li, still balancing himself on the edge. His dark eyes met mine. "He made his choice."
"All the more fun for me." He jumped off and disappeared out of the bathroom.
"May God have mercy on his soul."
I slipped in next to Tomoyo and she looked at me with concerned blue eyes. "Are you alright? I saw that creep follow you into the bathroom and asked Syaoran to see if you are alright."
"I'm fine. He didn't even get near me."
"So Syaoran did his job as best friend?"
"Yeah, he did his job." I smiled at the girl as her pink lips curled up into a bright smile. I started a conversation about the mathematics test we are writing on the Monday to come, and as I listened to her soothing voice I fell into the familiar lull of comfort that surround her. In all the time I have been here, I have never felt so content as with the life I have now. Even Li provides a sense of strange comfort I cannot place.
Li came back reeking of self-confidence as he moved himself in between us, his usual spot. His hand found mine under the table as he quickly drew a little symbol on my palm with his finger before closing my fingers around it. Another one for him. It seems that I am on the loosing side. I let my fingers fall open again as I watched the dancing bodies moving about.
"How long have we been together?" I looked up at Li.
"Nearly five years. We met in grade eight, remember?" I watched Tomoyo scrunch her nose as she tried to recall the exact memory. "You moved here first and then Sakura came the year after." I nodded silently in confirmation. "Why do you ask?"
"Just wondering, it seems I've always been around you girls."
"You always are." I laughed as he pulled us against him in a tight hug. "I need to get home."
"What? Sakura, why?"
"Because Tomoyo, unlike you I have chores to do in the morning. And a refugee ship full of them as well. I'll catch you guys later."
"You're still coming to the movies aren't you?"
"Yes, that's why I have to leave now. See you around, okay?" I walked off and sighed with relief when the cold night air touched my skin. I pushed my fringe from my face, feeling the sweat wet my hand before I rubbed it off on my jeans. This certainly isn't a glamorous life, but it is better than what I could have gotten. I pulled on my hoodie, pushed up the sleeves and shoved my hands into my pockets. I don't need a cold to throw a spanner into my works.
The streets were filled with people, young and old, moving about doing goodness knows what. I passed a few whores trying to attract customers while their pimp watched over them form a dark corner. My eyes met his and he retreated further back into the corner, shame spilling from his heart. I pulled my hand from my pocket and flicked a folded paper to him. I heard him pick it up as I walked away and knew exactly what he will read on it: Repent, beg for forgiveness and you shall be saved.
Or burn in hell, Li would have added.
I turned another corner and climbed into the waiting black car. My heart felt heavy as I sat down on the leather seat and pulled the door closed. "Why can't we be the ones to choose?"
I lay in my bed, staring at the ceiling, rather much in the same way Sakura did a few hours earlier. Outside my bedroom door I could hear my mother snoring ever so lightly as the television blared on. I closed my eyes and I could see all the empty beer and wine bottles littering the expensive coffee table my dad bought some years earlier.
Ever since dad went missing mom has gone on a one way downward spiral. She searched for him so long that in the end she stopped working. Even to this day she still wanders the streets, flies abroad and surf the net in hope to find some trace of him. Even if it is just to tell her that he is dead. She needs closure. I need closure. But most of all I need my mother back.
When it got really bad, when I was really so depressed that I thought of killing myself and sending my soul to the depths of hell Syaoran appeared. And he changed everything, he gave me a reason to live. Even if it was just to be able to laugh with him and pull pranks on our teachers. And when Sakura came a year later… I was thrilled. She gave me love. The love I so longed for.
They didn't call me names or made fun of my mother's vain search for my father. They stayed with me, they listened to my stupid words and wiped away my stupid tears. They made me laugh and laughed with me. They sometimes laughed at me, but most of the time I would laugh at them. Especially when Syaoran teases Sakura.
And despite often feeling excluded, they always make me feel wanted.
If there really are angels and demons that walk amongst us, I would imagine them to both be angels.
I took a long drag from my cigarette and flicked the stump out of my window as I blew the smoke into the air. The passenger door opened as I lit another. Sakura climbed in, her head hung low. I glanced at her. It is not like her to be all moody. "Why can't we be the ones to choose?"
"We can, we just don't."
"I don't get it, I honestly don't." She sighed and looked at me. Her green eyes, the eyes I saw for the first time only four years ago, had changed. They no longer held that intense determination they once carried. "I'm loosing Li."
I let my fingers brush against the soft skin of her cheek and she closed her eyes as she surrendered herself to my familiar touch. "We are all loosing. The fall of the tower of Babylon can't compare to the world we live in now. Confusion, it seems, have taken control."
"Confusion or hate? I'm still loosing to you though." She gave me a half smile.
I let my cigarette fall to the tar covered road and took her face in both my hands. I titled it up so she would look at me. "Don't give up hope. Never give up. If not for your own sake or for His sake, then for hers and mine. We're going to need you later on."
"What do we call this?"
"What we have, what do you call it?"
"I don't know. A fucked up friendship I suppose." She mumbled a small 'yeah' before climbing out of my car to finish her journey home. I lit a cigarette as I watched her walk off into the distance and disappear around a corner. A fucked up friendship – that isn't even a very accurate description of what we have. I started my car and made a U-turn. What do you call a relationship between an angel and a demon who have to some extent become dependant on one another?
A big fucking mess, that's what.
AN: Okay, new story. Yet again. Ha ha! But this time you can honestly not complain that the chapters are too short or not understandable. Uh… Though the use of language is a little 'stronger' than before. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter.