Ai no Tsubasa
"Black feathers floating around, surrounding me, engulfing me in a warm embrace. I reach out a hand to catch one celestial feather, and as I close my fist upon it, a bright glow shoots out, causing me to shut my eyes tight as the blinding light dominates over the darkness. Soon enough, my ears picked up the sound of flapping wings as the wind blew against me, soothing my skin, making me feel like my hair is as soft as silk, letting it be blown by the breeze. Slowly, my green irises widen in shock at the being before me.
So beautiful, so angelic, so ethereal;
I stare as the being looks at me with eyes the color of the abyss, letting me drown in deep pools of ebony. Sluggishly, my hand stretches out absent-mindedly towards him, and when he touched my outstretched hand, I was pulled into his arms wherein his black wings close in on me, preventing me from seeing things, protecting me from what's outside, and strangely, I felt like I didn't want to leave where I currently was, like I wanted to stay with the being, for eternity."
She looked up and narrowed her eyes at the girl who said it.
"If you ask me, I think it was so romantic…" another girl said with a dreamy sigh.
A smile made its way to her lips as she tilted her head slightly and beamed. "Thank you." The girl who gave the romantic comment smiled back while the one who said it was boring just rolled her eyes.
"Well, it was romantic and boring at the same time, and actually quite… I don't know, weird..?" a guy commented with a lazy look in his eyes. "Sorry Sakura, I'm just saying."
The teacher eyed her warily before opening his mouth to speak. "Well done though, Haruno-san, you may go back to your seat." She gave a nod and walked back to her chair which was located in the middle row of the teacher's further right side of the room, near the window. She looked back at her teacher when he told her to see him after class, telling her that he'd like to have a little chat with her about the piece of writing she came up with.
After giving another nod, the teacher called onto another to student to recite his work.
Chapter 1: Encounter
"You wanted to see me, Kakashi-sensei?"
"Ah, yes," he responded, looking up from his work when Sakura came walking inside the faculty room when one of the teachers led her to the silver-haired English teacher. "It's about your little story…" he whispered. She tilted her head a bit and blinked, giving a clueless look as Kakashi stood up and gestured the 17-year old sophomore to follow him. "Sensei, what about my writing?" she asked. Kakashi glanced at her. "Your writing is fine, it's just the content."
"Is it… too… unreal?"
"No, in fact, it's quite real."
Sakura would've had a question mark popping on top of her head due to her sensei's… confusing words.
"Then… what seems to be the problem?" she asked.
Kakashi stopped when they reached the back part of the school, where no one else was around. "Your description, it was…" he trailed off and looked up after giving a sigh. "Kurenai..." Sakura looked up and saw a raven-haired girl seated on a tree branch. Her wings were as black as her wavy locks, her eyes as red as blood, the same hue the short kimono she wore, patterned with white flower petals on the lower left, the hem of the yukata she wore reaching just above her knees, a white obi tied around her waist to secure what looked like an ivory-cased katana. "Kakashi-sama," she said, her head lowering in a low bow as she jumped and landed gracefully in front of Kakashi in a half-kneeling position, head still lowered.
"Sakura, this is Kurenai, my Shikai."
The pink-haired girl blinked and looked at Kakashi. "Shi… kai?" Kakashi gave a nod after telling Kurenai to stand up. He then began to explain to his pupil the terms that one must remember.
"Shikai, "Shi" is derived from "chi" which means "power", "Kai" means "break", combining the two, it would mean "Power Break". They are called "Shikai" because of their powers. They can control any element and even move objects. Their wings are celestial, but black. They appear human and angelic, but their blank faces and cold gazes say otherwise, thus, they are called "Demonic Angels" by most." Sakura gave a slow nod as she absorbed what her sensei told her. "Kurenai is my Shikai. I am her Chi-Ten."
"Yes, I am her master."
"Masters, on the other hand, are either called by their names with the "-hime" attached if the superior is a girl, and the "-sama" attached if it's a guy. Masters are called "Chi-Ten", "chi" as in power, and "ten" coming from the term "tien" - the Chinese character for Heaven. It means that they have powers from heaven, and it's called a blessing by some." He closed his eyes for a while as he raised his index and middle finger up to his nose. Sakura felt the wind circle around them as leaves swirled, surrounding the three of them. "That's one example of a master's power." Kakashi said, opening his eyes and dropping his hand as the wind and leaves returned back to normal. "Although Chi-Ten aren't exactly masters of elements, unlike Shikai, but Chi-Ten are the ones that provide their Shikai the strength to move on."
"Oh…" she yelped when something landed on her shoulder. Her green eyes widened when she saw the small fluff ball with big, round, onyx eyes stare at her giddily. It had three strands of long hair that bent forward upon reaching its maximum peak, its tail composing of a long hair-like strand; the tip looking like a long leaf was attached to it. Aside from that, sprouting from the thing's sides was a pair of wings with three feathers. "That is called a Solaris." Kakashi said. "It is the very energy of the Shikai when they run out of chakra, or the so-called "chi", from overuse of powers. The Solaris are their source of power, and would need them to regenerate."
Sakura eyed the Solaris, its wings were a dark red, along with the bangs and tail, but his body was a lighter shade of crimson. "Kurenai calls it 'Shinku', another word for crimson, just like her name." Sakura giggled at the hyper ball of fluff as it flew around her in a frivolous manner. "Anyway, your work earlier," he eyed her. "Your description was like you summoned a high level Shikai."
"Huh? How can you tell?"
"Shikai with onyx orbs are considered high level ones." Kurenai spoke. "Or rather, when the wind is fierce yet surprisingly warm on you; that means that the Shikai wielding the wind is a high level one. I am a level lower." She did not tear her gaze from Sakura. "But it's mostly based on the eyes." Sakura gave a slow nod before turning back to Kakashi when he cleared his throat. "Now then, may I ask what gave you the idea to describe your Shikai with such words?"
Sakura looked down for a while, as if in deep thinking. "I don't know. I just… started writing it all down. Not exactly knowing what possessed me to do so." She said honestly. Kakashi and Kurenai looked at each other with serious gazes. "That must mean," Kurenai started, turning to Sakura. "That your Shikai is trying to contact you, warning you, telling you to summon him now." Sakura blinked. "How do I summon him?" she asked as Kakashi decided to answer her question. "It'll come to you naturally. There are two ways to summon your Shikai. One is when you're in life-threatening danger, and another is by your own free will of calling him. The success of summoning a Shikai depends on how much you want your Demonic Angel to be by your side. If you really want him to be there, it'll be easier for him to break his chains and come to you."
Kurenai gave a nod. "Every Shikai can go rogue when released carelessly. That's why they are bound by chains. Heaven keeps them in place until they are called. However," she lifted a finger and tapped the gold band around her forehead. "Shikai are given some accessories to prevent them from going berserk. This band prevents me from unleashing my power, and if ever I do go out of control, only Kakashi-sama has the power to stop me."
The young girl gave a nod in understanding. "So, how come my Shikai wants me to call him so soon?"
"Shikai have an unusual instinct in them. They can tell whether something bad may happen to you soon, or not." Kakashi explained. "I'll assume that your Shikai happens to want to protect you from something that is about to come. He cannot be released by the Guardians (angels) up above, unless you call him."
"I'm not even sure if I really want him here…" she admitted. "But when I wrote those words…" she closed her eyes, the image of her Shikai appearing in her head. "I can imagine the whole thing happening, I can see everything clearly, as if it really occurred." She opened her eyes when she felt a hand placed on top of her head. She looked up to see Kurenai looking at her. "You must be a genjutsu Chi-Ten."
"Well, you aren't familiar with Shikai, but then, you managed to see your Demonic Angel so clearly, it only means your mind is that strong." Kakashi said with a sheepish grin. Sakura looked at her watch and panicked. "I have to go, my mom wanted me home ten minutes ago!" she gave a bow to the two before running, not looking back as Kakashi eyed her warily and Kurenai giving a concerned look. "I would've thought you'd tell me to guard her." She said, turning to Kakashi who didn't look at her but at where Sakura ran off to. "I would have, but I want her to summon him." He glanced at Kurenai. "Itis him, right?" she gave a nod and turned back to where Sakura last left. "Should we inform them?" she asked. Kakashi shook his head. "No, not yet; not until he appears to her…"
"I still wonder though, Kakashi-sama," she said in a soft voice. "How can someone like him, who is not a pure breed, be able to reach such a level?"
"I, too, have no idea Kurenai." He sighed and turned around. "Come on, let's go home. I still need to finish your application form."
"I hope mom won't ground me just like that! She tends to become highly overprotective!" she said out loud, sprinting down the sidewalk, expertly avoiding the people she passed by. She then hopped over a railing and took a short-cut to the park and over to the construction site of a new building in Tokyo. Stopping to catch her breath, she panted and had a smile on her face. "Thank God for gymnastics and track and field." She said, straightening herself up, took a deep breathe-in and attempted to run once more when she suddenly felt her body fly backwards at such velocity, causing her back to hit the brick wall. "Ugh!" she bit her bottom lip at the process, causing blood to pour out.
She quickly snapped her eyes open when a pair of red eyes appeared in her mind, causing her to stare blankly into space as she pondered over what she saw. "What was… that just now..?" she looked up when a creature walked up to her, standing on two legs, the feet looking like claws, its hands looking like paws that had sharp nails, the fingers long and slender, the build of the body was bulky, except the waist was thin, and the face, don't get her started there, but she nearly puked upon seeing menacing yellow eyes staring at her, a wide mouth that had a sinister smirk, saliva dripping from one side as it gave a high shriek and took big strides towards her.
Sakura attempted to get up and move, but as soon as she was on her own two feet, something pulled her back to the brick wall. She looked at her wrists that were bound by thick, dark green vines, while her feet were trapped by thick branches which erupted from the ground, swirling around her ankle like snakes. "Shit." She cursed, looking up and glaring at the thing that was just three feet away. She felt disgusted at the sight of its tongue, seeing how so much saliva had dripped onto the ground when it licked its lips. "No way… is this thing going to kill me?" she wanted to kick herself mentally for being so stupid. Of course this creature would kill her. Why else would it have such a menacing look?
She was snapped from her thoughts when she felt its fingers grip onto her school uniform, tugging it as the buttons gave way. She blushed furiously and glared at the thing. "What the hell are you going to do?! Rape me?!" oh she did not like the look it gave her when she yelled those words. "No way! Is this thing seriously planning to-!" she shut her eyes tight and flinched when she felt its hot tongue lick her throat slow and hard. "G-get away from me…" she said, but it sounded like a whimper. She couldn't get her hands free from the vines, nor could she kick off the branches that secured her ankles."Somebody, anybody, help." She thought, shaking with rage and fear mixed together, wanting to vent her anger out at this demon-like being when its teeth ripped some parts of her uniform.
"Get away…" she whispered, and as the creature attempted to fully remove her clothing, she yelled.
Her eyes snapped open, staring widely at her attacker that now screeched in pain from the blazing fire that engulfed it. She still couldn't move because she was still bound, but she knew she'd still be frozen on the spot even if her wrists and ankles weren't tied. The demon began to roll over on the ground in an attempt to put out the fire, but as soon as the flames died down, a shower of mini icicles came shooting down from the sky, piercing the creature mercilessly and repeatedly until it gave a final cry of pain before dying, its corpse decomposing slowly until nothing was left but the purple blood it had, and the icicles that showered from the heavens.
She looked up, shocked to see a boy whom she estimated to be around her age from his looks alone. He had a silver hoop earring on his left ear, a black collar around his neck that can be removed when you release the strap from the lock, a silver cross pendant held by small, black chains around his neck. His wings spread out from his back, as if covering her from anyone who would pass by. Soft, celestial feathers surrounded her when he lets his wings flap a bit, matching the color of his sleeveless shirt that was hidden underneath the sleeveless coat of the same color, the zipper started from his waist up to the middle of his collar bone, letting her still see his neck. Somehow, his clothing reminded her of Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy, and she tried to get her mind back on what's happening now instead of thinking about the blonde character of the game. His pants were dark blue, and his shoes, like the rest of his clothing, was black.
Sakura tried to say something but realized that her throat suddenly went dry after she stared into his eyes: they were as black as night, as dark as his spiky and messy hair. The aura he had sent her to shiver a bit, but it wasn't the feeling of being afraid, but something about him just made her feel a bit tingly, something about his eyes made her feel entranced too much – as if she'd die if she looked away. He called her again, and she finally snapped back to reality when she heard him attach the 'hime' to her name. "You're my Shikai?!" she asked in disbelief as he gave a nod, his face still remaining impassive. "Seriously, you're my Demonic Angel? My protector..? My-"
"Sakura-hime," he cut her off. "As much as I'd hate to cut you off since you're my Chi-Ten, I have to in order to finish this conversation." She stared, mouth agape, eyes still wide and shocked. "I presume you are aware of your current situation right now as Chi-Ten?" he asked. She gave a nod. "Hn." He closed his eyes, knelt down on one knee before her, and introduced himself. "My name is Sasuke, and I am your Shikai even until the after life." She blinked and looked around. "Um… so, where's your Solaris?" she asked.
"Ryu is currently asleep in your residence."
"You know where I live?!"
"Yes Sakura-hime. As your Shikai, I must know where you go or stay in order to protect you from Kaiten."
Sakura blinked again. "Kaiten..?"
"The creature that attacked you is known as Kaiten. They are demons who devour the souls of Chi-Ten." He looked up at her. "However, they first have pleasure with female Chi-Ten, and torture male Chi-Ten, before eating their souls." His eyes widened a bit when she suddenly fainted, just in time for him to catch her as he blinked and looked at her swirly eyes. "…plea…sure..?" she managed to say despite her current condition. Sasuke sighed and carried his Chi-Ten bridal style, and soon flew off to her home.
She opened her eyes to see Sasuke carrying her daughter. "I see that she already called you." He looked up at the woman and bowed down a bit. "Kasumi-san." He greeted as the woman smiled and stood up from her kneeling position, her light blue kimono still looking neat despite her position earlier. She then walked down the two wooden steps of the huge temple they live in, and brushed away her daughter's bangs. "You don't need to be so formal with me Sasuke."
He lowered his head slightly as a sign of respect for an older woman. "Aa, but I'd like to keep our relationship formal and professional, since you are like a "sempai" to me as the younger students in Sakura-hime's school calls the older ones." Kasumi tilted her head slightly and smiled brightly at him. "You've been gathering a lot of data."
"Ryu does actually." He answered, glancing to his right when the light blue Solaris came flying towards him, its bangs and tail-end a dark blue, including the wings." Kasumi giggled. "And yet you told my daughter that Ryu was asleep."
"I did not want to scare her."
"That's true, but anyway…" Kasumi led him inside Sakura's room. "This is where you'll be sleeping as well. Tomorrow, you will be attending the same school and have the same classes Sakura has. But of course," she turned to Sasuke when he placed Sakura down on the futon. "We won't let her know that." A devious smile was on the lips of Sakura's mother as she giggled evilly. Sasuke remained impassive and just gave a nod to what the older girl said.
Her bright green eyes opened slowly and lazily as she tried to focus her vision on the ceiling. "Where..?" she slowly sat up and rubbed one of her eyes with her right hand, stopping when she saw Sasuke seated a few feet away, staring at her. "Ohayo, Sakura-hime." He said in a monotone voice, not really expressing how good the morning really is when he greeted her. Sakura, who still hasn't recalled what happened the other day, suddenly screamed.
The Shikai just blinked and closed his eyes, not bothering to calm his master down since she will eventually remember what had happened. "Who the hell are you?!" she demanded, pointing a finger at him. Sasuke merely shrugged and looked up at her. "Sakura-hime, please fix your robe." She blinked and looked down, seeing that the robe she had on was slowly falling off of one of her shoulders and that the knot was tied loosely. Again, she yelled. "What the hell?!" she fixed her clothing and glared at Sasuke. "What did you do to me?!"
"I just saved your life from a Kaiten, your mother was the one who changed your clothing, hime-san."
At the mention of 'Kaiten', Sakura stopped tying the knot of her robe and recalled how the demon almost raped her. She shuddered at the thought and hugged herself, her head lowering and her eyes shut tight. She still can't get rid of the image and the feeling of its claws touching her. "Sakura-hime," her eyes widened, letting the stored tears fall on the wooden floor of the temple, shocked that her Shikai would hug her from behind. "If you don't like it, you can push me away, I'm just doing what I think is right…" his voice was softer than normal, as if he was trying to comfort her. "No, it's fine…" she murmured, touching his arms that were around her waist. "It's really… comforting, thanks…"
She closed her eyes, absent-mindedly leaning back to him, raising her head a bit since his was lowered, just near her neck. She felt relaxed in his arms, now knowing why those black wings she dreamt of lulled her to him. The feeling was really serene and peaceful, and she found herself wanting to feel this all the time. "Hime…" he whispered. "Mm?" she asked, eyes still closed. "Your breathing is fast, and so is your heartbeat. I can't tell why."
Sakura's face turned beat red as her eyes widened. She soon pulled herself away from him and laughed nervously, Sasuke giving her a confused and worried look. "I… um… well…" she stammered at her words. Her face turned redder when he leaned down and touched her forehead with his, eyes closed as he tried to feel her temperature. "Your body heat is rising every second…" he commented, opening his eyes to look at her, and that caused her face to turn even redder if possible. Her breathing was hitched too when she stared at him, and he didn't drop his gaze but just continued to observe his Chi-Ten.
"Are you not feeling well hime-san?"
"H-huh..? No! I'm perfectly alright!" she said, taking a few stapes back and waving her arms up and down, looking as if she's attempting to fly with her hands. "You don't have to worry, I just need to take a shower and… yeah." She rushed to the bathroom and breathed a sigh of relief when she got there. Her eyes traveled towards the ceiling as she leaned the back of her head against the sliding paper door. "I can't believe I'm acting like a love-struck girl… towards my Shikai none the less! Ugh!" she sat on the floor and buried her face on her palms. "Okay Sakura, clear your head, Sasuke is your Shikai! You are not to feel this way towards him! Understand?"
"Even if he is hot…" she blushed. "AH!! This is not working!!"
"Is something wrong Sakura-hime?"
She yelled when he suddenly slid the door open, wondering what was going on. "S-Sasuke! You idiot! Don't come barging in like that EVER again!" she pushed him outside and slammed the door shut, muttering curses under breath as she removed her robe and took a bath. "This is not good…" she murmured to herself.
"…there's something you're not telling me mom…" Sakura said.
Kasumi only giggled and continued chopping the vegetables. "What do you mean dear?" she asked as Sakura drank her orange juice after nibbling on her toasts. "There's nothing I would hide from you." The teenager rolled her eyes and took a bite from her egg sandwich. "Why did you not tell me anything about you knowing what a Shikai is or what a Kaiten or Chi-Ten are?"
"You never asked. Why do you think do we live in a temple?" she asked with a smile. "And your father knows more about them than I do." She glanced at Sasuke who looked back at her with understanding. His Chi-Ten isn't aware of who her mother really is. "Anyway, I need to get to school." She stood up and grabbed her bag. "Sakura put your coat on." Kasumi said in a playfully stern voice. "Mom, you know that I don't do that!" she said back, looking down at her uniform which composed of a white long-sleeved blouse, a red tie, a dark blue vest over it with the same colored jacket tied around her waist and a black skirt. Unlike most of the students in her school, she wore an all-black boots reaching just two inches above her ankles instead of school shoes, and black socks to go with it.
"It's bad enough that you're not wearing the proper footgear."
"Sheesh. The school won't mind as long as I keep my grades up!" she then ran outside, not wanting to hear more from her mother. She loved the woman and all, but hey, she was just a teenager who, like all the other normal kids, would occasionally disagree with their parents. "You're not one to follow rules, are you, hime?"
She yelled when she saw Sasuke flying just a bit above her. "And you always seem to forget my presence…"
"Why are you following me?!"
"…It's pretty obvious that it's my job."
"Well, people will see you flying around! They'll think-"
She wasn't able to finish her sentence when he landed on the floor silently. "Your wings…" she muttered. He blinked and glanced at the black celestial thing that was attached to him. "My wings, hime?"
"Yes. You need to blend in with humans if you're going to follow me around."
He stopped walking and turned to Ryu who gave a nod and closed its eyes. Sakura's eyes widened when the blue ball of fluff glowed, along with Sasuke's wings. Soon, Sasuke was like a normal human being, save that his clothes weren't what you'd think would be casual. But it's better than having to fly around in public.
A little later, they reached the school and Sakura quickly dragged him to a secluded place. "Alright, you wait here; you can't come inside with me since people will question you or me about it. Just stay here and wait for me to come back, okay?"
He gave a nod and Sakura soon left, not noticing how Ryu reappeared behind him and beamed at Sasuke when it said its name. (Just like how a poke'mon says its name) He glanced at the Solaris and gave a nod to it. Again, Ryu began to glow and within seconds, Sasuke's clothes were changed, and the things he needed were there. "Good job Ryu, hide here." He opened the zipper of a bag and Ryu flew in, making sure it kept quiet as Sasuke closed it and slung it on his right shoulder. He looked at himself first before making sure his collar and earring were still in place. Once he was satisfied, he walked towards the entrance of the school.
She sighed and sat down on her chair, her shoulders slumped and looking as if she carried something really heavy. She nearly jumped when someone gave her a light tap on the shoulder, breathing a sigh of relief when she saw that it was only Hinata. "You scared me…" she whispered, smiling when the long-haired girl gave an apologetic look. "Is something wrong, Sakura?" she asked, placing a hand on one of the pink-haired girl's shoulders. "Nothing, I just didn't get a good night's sleep last night."
"Alright class, settle down." They all looked to the front when their teacher came in. "The bell just rung so it's time to start another school day." Most of the students couldn't believe their eyes when they noticed that Kakashi was early today. "We will be having a new friend, so please take your seats and remain quiet." He turned to the door. "Come on in."
Sakura gasped when she saw who it was.
"I would like you all to meet Sasuke. He just transferred recently."
"What the heck are you doing here?!" Sakura yelled, standing up and staring wide-eyed at Sasuke who sighed and twitched. "Really, she needs to control herself…"
"Oh, so you already know him Sakura? That's good!" Kakashi beamed, but the glint in his eyes told her otherwise. She knew that he knew who Sasuke was. "What relationship do you have with him then?" the silver-haired man asked with an innocent smile.
Sakura just stared at Kakashi then at Sasuke, knowing very well that her classmates were gaping at her, wanting to know. "I'm his…uh…" what could she say? There was no way she'd tell them that she was his master and he was her… guardian.
"I'm her boyfriend."
To be continued…
Next on Ai no Tsubasa: Chapter 2: Contract
She stared back at him for a moment, contemplating on what he just said before lowering her head, wondering if it was really the only option. What he said had a point, and she couldn't say anything to counter his words. He was cunning alright; Kakashi sure wasn't lying about her Shikai. Sasuke was really a high level one, and she's not sure whether she should be proud to be his Chi-Ten or not. Without anything else to say, she gave one last sigh and looked up at him with narrowed eyes. "Fine, but only if-" her eyes widened when she got cut off with his lips on hers.