Author's Notes: I know. I know, I KNOW. ...I really shouldn't be starting new fanfiction with all of the other unfinished works that I have yet to complete. But when inspiration is running wild for one thing and lying dormant for others, what's a fanfiction writer to do? That said, I hope you'll cut me some slack. I'm trying to get my fanfic muse up and running again, so I can juggle it with RPing and working on a PT fancomic that I want to do.

So. New story. Another AU (Alternate Universe). My apologies for those that do not like these kinds of stories, but I get the most weird and somehow most motivating and inspirational ideas by walking off the normal track.

Summary: AU. Large cities are never entirely safe to begin with, but what's a young woman to do when Death is literally on her heels at every turn? It's up to a troubled soul that had taken life for granted, to learn life's true value and protect one bright flame from being snuffed out. (Eventual FxA, MxR)

A few things to know about this AU (extended summary, of sorts):

Say hello to modern day New York (but this isn't related to the comic I've been planning, I swear). Everything seems normal enough to the naked eye. But there's always something going on behind the scenes that one may not be able to see. Deep in the reaches of a far away place lurk the souls of the dead, forever under the service of those left in charge of those souls. There are those with white wings, the natural or accidental deaths of the good at heart, who are limited in their services and often oversee the others - they also are often granted the roles of 'guardians' over certain living humans in need of special guidance. Their unblemished hands are never dirtied by the less pleasant tasks - those are left to the black wings, or the unnatural deaths and those who cause unnatural death - murderers and the lower of society, the darkness that creeps under one's door. But also lumped with them are those who have taken their own lives with their very own hands or by their own means.

However, Death itself had grown weary of order and listening to the commands of another. Recently having fled from the constricting bounds put around him, he mysteriously disappeared. And no word had come of him since - things proceeded normally: souls were collected and placed. Everything was controlled and many were on the path to being saved from eternal damnation through the work of good deeds. That is, until the plans for a particular living person were suddenly challenged - Death itself had intervened, somehow determined to take the mortal's life. And the Winged Guardians had no choice but to step in and try to protect them - this human had big plans for the future - and was to become a symbol of hope to the deteriorating society around them. They vowed that Death would not take her prematurely, no matter the cost.

...Confused yet? You should be. XD I suppose I'll get on with the story, and perhaps things will slowly start to make a little more sense (though many things deliberately aren't supposed to, as of yet).

Disclaimer: Princess Tutu and all of its character do not belong to me.

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Guardian of Black Wings

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Chapter One: Where Seventeen Have Failed

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"This is impossible!"

A frazzled-looking young man with short and neat golden-blonde hair stood before a grand desk, his expression clearly exasperated. The woman seated behind the numerous stacks of paperwork slowly blinked calm blue eyes, her pale hands clasped in front of her on the desk's surface. The room they were enclosed in was plain - a mixture of black and white, simple and very small. The very desk the woman was seated at was the only semblance of furniture present in the enclosure. However, what did stand out, was a remarkable feature the two shared: both the young man and woman sported a pair of large white wings - the man's flared out in agitation, while the woman's were docile and framing around her almost doll-like appearance in a serene manner.

She finally parted her lips to speak, voice holding little or no expression of emotion. "You accept failure, then, Ethan?"

He sighed heavily, wings drooping and crimson eyes reflecting in a tired luster. "You must realize how difficult it is to remain inconspicuous when the situation is this extreme."

She glanced down at a piece of inked paper in front of her, before her eyes rose to meet his again. "You will mark the seventeenth to have given up in this task," she remarked almost conversationally. "I will see to it that your superiors are informed. We had high hopes for you."

A light flush of embarrassment flit across Ethan's cheeks. "It's not as though I didn't try!" he spat out, voice raising. "I did everything in my power--and I'm exhausted!"

"Tone it down," came an annoyed third voice, another fair-haired man stepping past the doors and into view. However, the stark contrast of his jet black wings was unmistakable. He sneered at the man who looked like his identical twin, had it not been for the wings and mismatched eye colors. "Your lot is jus' incapable, obviously. Fat lot of good you prissy goody-goodies can do when you're faced with a real problem."

"Do you need something, Victor?" The woman interrupted before the outburst that seemed ready to fall from Ethan's lips could release in an angry tirade.

Digging into his pocket, the black-winged man pulled out a folded piece of paper and tossed it onto the desk, green eyes appearing highly bored. "There. That's my due this week."

"Thank you," she inclined her head in a short nod as she unfolded the paper and looked it over with a note of satisfaction. "It will be recorded. You're free to leave the restriction ward, for now."

"Excellent," he grinned, and threw a smirk in the other blonde's direction before he turned and left with a bounce in his step.

Ethan visibly bristled, but held his ground and tore his gaze away from the retreating form, settling the red eyes on the older woman seated behind the desk. He looked at the creased paper in her thin hands with evident distaste. "You can't be seriously considering that he didn't lie. Edel, you know better than anyone that he's only going to get into more trouble if you let him loose with the others--"

"Your brother is a handful," she agreed with a finely raised eyebrow. "But if he is in better spirits, then he is less likely to start trouble. Rest assured, we will keep a close eye on him. Now, I think you should return to the others. A replacement will be found." With a wave of dismissal, her eyes returned to a set of papers on the desk, which she began to root through.

The blonde hesitated, as though wanting to say something more, but ultimately decided against it and whirled around. Just as he began to leave the enclosure, another young man stepped in. But this black-winged one paid no heed to Ethan, passing by him as though he wasn't there at all. The blonde narrowed his ruby-colored eyes slightly as he watched him pass, huffed in an almost arrogant manner, and departed the room without another word.

Silently, the new arrival - a dark-haired young man with striking green eyes and full black apparel - approached the single desk and lifted one hand, in which was clasped a sheet of white paper. Once poised over the desk, he let it flutter down carelessly and immediately turned on heel to leave.

"It's blank," the woman called Edel spoke aloud, but did not at all sound surprised.

He only paused for a brief moment, shoving his hands into his pockets. Only his midnight black feathers gave a mild twitch before he started walking away.

"You can't keep doing this, Fakir," she informed the retreating figure, tone reflecting no nuance of chastising despite the words. "You don't want to stay in the restricted ward forever, do you?"

The young man shifted his weight from one foot to the other before lifting his feet to head toward the doors again. "...I don't care."

Her expression was almost pensive as she watched him make his way toward the exit. Tapping a painted fingernail onto the desk, she parted her thin lips and firmly said, "Wait."

Releasing a rather irritated sound, he turned his head halfway around to glower at the green-haired woman. "What?"

"You're not finished here just yet," she informed him, shuffling a stack of inked papers off to the side before reaching into the desk drawer to pull out an envelope with a gold-winged seal. "Ethan was late in reporting, but the other heads and I have already discussed a most important matter."

Fakir crossed his arms, refusing to budge from his position a few mere feet from the door. "And what does that have to do with me?"

A tiny smile curled up the corner of her pale lips. "So glad that you asked. You see, we have all found you quite difficult to deal with, Fakir. You refuse what's asked of you, do not at all mingle or speak with the others... and it has been two long years of that behavior, without a note of any change."

"So what," he mumbled, looking away from her.

The smile did not leave her mouth. "I'm afraid we're going to have to give you a little push. Your soul will never rest if you do nothing. And it is our job to guide the souls of the dead. All of them - and that is including you."

The green eyes took on a wary, distrustful luster as they raised to meet the neutral blue. "What I do or don't do is no one's business but my own."

"You can view it as you so desire," Edel said, picking the white envelope up and holding it out to him. "But we are here to help you. Even if you do not wish to be helped. Now, take this. It is your new assignment."

Fakir did not move an inch, looking at the offered envelope as though it was a piece of trash. "Hmph. You should already know I'm not going to do it. You're wasting your time."

"I wouldn't turn your back just yet," she spoke calmly. "We do know that there is something you want. And... perhaps would be willing to oblige if you were to do us this favor."

His green eyes widened a fraction. "But you--that would be crossing lines of your own--"

"We are aware," she cut in evenly. "It was the Head Elder's suggestion. And we are willing to do so, if you cooperate and complete this one task."

Almost as if not of his own will, Fakir began to walk toward the desk, eyes fixated on the extended envelope. If it was for the sake of what he thought - and knew it must be, given the knowing look in Edel's eyes... then it would be more than worth it. Once within range, he snatched the envelope and flipped the seal open, pulling the papers out from within. His stern gaze leapt to the top of the first page and began reading.

Where seventeen others before you have failed, you are now entrusted to ensure the life of one Death seeks to prematurely end with its own hands.

His green eyes read over the following lines quickly, broadening with recognition once they reached the very bottom. Stunned, he looked up from the papers to meet the strange calm that was still swimming in the woman's soft blue eyes. "You...can't be serious."

The smile that had never left her lips widened. "I assure you, we have given the matter much thought and discussed it at length. And we believe you are the best one for this job."

He scowled, determined that the whole thing had to be some kind of a joke, and flared one magnificent wing out. "And has the counsel all gone blind? Obviously I'm not fit to--"

"You are going to be the first exception to the rule, Fakir," she interrupted immediately. "I trust that you will not disappoint us."

Slowly his wing folded back in, mouth still hanging open in something akin to shock.

Edel tilted her head pleasantly and gestured toward the papers he was gripping so tightly that there were creases from his fingers. "As of today, you are the first Guardian of Black Wings. Good luck."

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"Miss! Miss! The light is red!"

The shout seemed to break a young girl out of her stupor, her foot pausing just before delving down into the fray of a busy intersection. "Oh! Gosh..." she glanced up, the bright red "DON'T WALK" sign burning in warning above her. Turning around, she offered a sheepish smile to the worried-looking middle aged man that had come to stand behind her. "Um, thank you! I wasn't paying attention..."

"Good grief, girl, you were about to step off into heavy traffic! Be more careful!"

"I'm sorry for startling you!" she bowed her head in apology, long braid spilling over the area by her neck as her face flushed in embarrassment. "I had something on my mind and--"

"It's green now," he informed the young red-headed woman calmly as he stepped into the white-lined area. "Just be sure to keep your wits about you and take a little more care, hmm?"

She nodded, adjusting the purse strap on her shoulder as she followed his lead. "Thank you, Sir. That was very kind of you."

He waved one hand in tired dismissal, muttering something about 'young men and women these days...'. Pausing after she had crossed the walkway, the red-headed woman pulled her wrist into view and glanced down at her watch, eyes widening as they fell on the numbers. "Oh no! I'm running late!"

And with a sharp intake of breath, she was all but dashing down the sidewalk, narrowly avoiding plowing into numerous bystanders she passed in her haste. "Sorry---excuse me! I'm sorry! I'm late-----OOF!" Her frantic apologies were suddenly cut off as she ran right into someone who had just turned the corner, knocking them both unceremoniously onto the ground in opposite directions. Despite the sharp pain that stung her spine, the woman immediately lurched forward and onto her faded blue-jean encased knees, bending over the person she had run into. "I'm SO sorry! I didn't mean to--are you all right?"

When gold-brown eyes blinked open and looked back at her, the redhead woman felt her heart leap into her throat. She had never seen such pretty eyes before! "Um---I---!" she sputtered unintelligibly, at a loss of what to say and certain her face must be flaming red. The young man lifted himself to a seated position with one arm and bent closer to her. "Are you okay?" he inquired in a concerned manner, ignoring her own question.

Her blue eyes blinked rapidly, as if unable to process what he had said, and then heat flocked to her face once more as she stammered, "O-Oh, I'm fine! I'm perfectly okay! I was just being really clumsy as usual and I'm sorry that I--"

"I wasn't watching where I was going," he spoke up again, still looking at her with a solemn and apologetic shine in his wide eyes. "It wasn't your fault, Miss."

"W-Wasn't...? But I..."

"May I ask your name?"

Again her expression fell to confusion. She had clearly just run this man over and he was not only taking the blame, but asking for her name? And he was rather handsome, too, she noticed. Flocks of wispy white hair fell around and framed his kind face from all sides, gold eyes warm and filled with a concern she was not used to seeing in the eyes of people on the streets of New York. He looked like he might be about her age, maybe a little older...

"Ah, was that too forward? I suppose it's not common for strangers to--"

"Ahiru!" she blurted, then blushed to the roots of her hair when she thought of how stupid and awkward she must have seemed. "Er...my name. It's Ahiru," she corrected more calmly. "Um... can I ask yours?"

"MYTHO! MYTHO, WHERE DID YOU--" The distinct clack of heeled shoes rounded the corner to accompany the shrill voice, a dark-haired young woman pausing as her eyes landed on the scene before her. Crimson-colored eyes narrowed on the redheaded girl immediately. "WHAT did you just do?" she accused none-too-nicely, hands finding her hips.

"I--I'm really sorry!" Ahiru squeaked as she rose to her feet and started backing away from the one she supposed was "Mytho". I didn't mean to--"

"Rue," the young man greeted with a nod as he too, got up from the sidewalk. "Don't blame her. It was my fault."

Dusting invisible lint off of her expensive-looking and low cut black dress, Rue huffed, sending a glare of warning toward the startled girl in blue before coming forward to latch onto one of Mytho's arms. "Well I'm here now, so I'll make sure you don't run into anyone else," she promised in a voice that was almost like a purr.

Ahiru glanced away from the couple, biting her lip from the growing awkwardness. She wanted to insist that it had been her fault--she was almost certain that it was. But she decided the point was rather moot, now. And besides, she had...

Cerulean eyes broadened to the size of saucers. "LATE!" she screeched in sudden horror, waving at the pair with one hand as she made a mad dash past them. "Um--Nice to meet you, Mytho and Rue!" she added as she glanced back over her shoulder, meeting the kind man's smile and distrustful expression on the other's face briefly before she turned her attention back ahead.

"New York seems full of interesting people," Mytho remarked to his companion once the other was out of earshot, still watching the jean-clad redhead frantically run down the street and nearly take out a food cart in the process.

The woman hanging on his arm sighed dramatically and rolled her eyes. "So noisy! The people--the cars--and the weather is lousy, the buildings are tall and ugly... I miss the beachfront and sunny skies of Florida already."

The white-haired man sighed. "...Ah, I suppose my new job has made things a little difficult for you, hasn't it."

Her mouth fell open in horror as her grip tightened on the cloth of his shirt. "I didn't mean it like that, Mytho! It will just... I'll get used to it. It may take some time, but if I can be by your side.." Rue leaned a little closer and he wrapped an arm about her shoulders comfortingly. She rose on her toes to give his cheek a light peck. "What kind of fiancee would leave her husband-to-be to travel to a new place all alone?"

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The silence was weighing heavily on the redhead's shoulders with every passing moment. She had arrived late, certainly, but it hadn't been on purpose! And the way they were looking between her and the application laid out before them... it made her stomach flip-flop uncomfortably.

The man and woman dressed in crisp black suits abruptly began whispering heatedly back and forth.

"You have heard of her, haven't you?"

"I didn't think the coincidence would have---seriously, what are the chances that the rumors hold any truth?"

"And you're willing to risk the children of this school to find out?"

At that, the man hesitated, suddenly looking more aged and weary than his greying hair suggested. "I...I suppose you're right."

Ahiru could not hear what they were saying and waited as patiently as possible. Had she written something wrong on her application? The man she had spoken to via phone a few days prior sounded excited to meet and interview her.

"I believe we have come to a decision, Miss Ahiru," the sharp-eyed woman standing alongside the significantly shorter man spoke up. Her dark brown eyes looked as though they were calculating the redhead's worth.

"W-Well?" the anxious young woman pressed, blue eyes hopeful as she leaned forward on the balls of her feet.

"We don't think you're...appropriate for this position," the gruff tones of the grey-haired man supplied. His mustache seemed to twitch in agitation, but he did not elaborate.

Ahiru's facial expression dimmed visibly. Shuffling her feet on the floor, she looked down at them briefly before glancing up at the pair again. "May...I ask what the problem was? Where I um... fell short?"

The man sighed and raised a tired hand to his forehead. "You show difficultly with being punctual, obviously."

"No!" Ahiru's voice burst in almost instinctively, wracking her brain for excuses. This happened too much. She couldn't let every single opportunity go without a fight! "I promise I'll work harder to be on time! I almost--"

"And you seem like you might be a bad influence on the kids--"

"But I love children! I get along great with--"

"Your application has been rejected," the woman cut into the argument in a no-nonsense manner. She fixed the girl with a very cold stare. "Good day."

Mouth still open like a fish out of water, the redhead blinked, her jaw slowly closing. So...she had failed again. "G-Good day..." she returned lightly, swallowing as her feet turned and led her numb body toward the exit.

Once the automatic glass doors shut after her, Ahiru released a long and defeated sigh. She had been so hopeful--so sure that the job was perfect for her and that she met the requirements. And working with kids, she knew she would have loved it. The man had seemed nice enough when she spoke with him on the phone. Offered her and interview and everything.

And now...

Now she apparently wasn't even fit to supervise in a classroom of elementary school children.

That certainly put a damper on her day.

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A small crowd of winged beings had all gathered outside of a tall silver gate, eyes fixed on three figures standing just before it. The bystanders all had wings of the most pristine white and were watching the trio with a mixture of shock, disbelief, and anticipation.

The only one that really stood out was the young man in all black, with wings to match. His intended path to the gate was blocked a certain young blonde with fiery red eyes, and a small, brunette girl who stood supportive at his side.

Fakir narrowed his eyes. "I will not tell you again. Get out of my way."

Ethan spread his long white wings out, further blocking the gate from view. "No way! The council is clearly INSANE if they're thinking of...of letting one of your kind handle the Guardian's work!"

"That's right!" the younger girl beside him piped up, though she looked visibly frightened by the mere sight of the black-winged boy. "And--And you're from the restricted ward! You're not even supposed to be up here!"

With a snap of the hand, Fakir pulled a gold-sealed envelope into view. "Whether you approve or not, I have a task to complete." He flipped the papers out of view again and spared a dull glance to Ethan. "A task you have already failed, apparently."

The short-haired blonde grit his teeth, anger burning along the edges of his gaze. "You will NOT pass," he bit out through his clenched teeth. "You're no better than my murderer of a brother! The council may be foolishly determined that you can change or be 'saved', but I don't buy any of it!"

Something flashed in Fakir's green eyes before they hardened almost imperceptibly, his lips pinched into a tight, thin line. "Perhaps. But that is not your decision to make."

Ethan opened his mouth to retaliate, but stopped short as a shadow fell over them from above. Another winged person floated down and landed expertly with a beat of his black wings, taking a haughty stance behind Fakir. "Let 'im go, Eethie. You can't stop the council from doing what they want. No matter how much you don' agree with 'em." But the nasty smile that graced the newly-arrived blonde's features spoke of more than his words. He looked like a cat ready to spring. "But you won', will you?"

The white-winged twin did not even bother to hide his disgust and fury upon seeing his brother. "You are certainly not allowed up here. Get your damn black-winged self back down to the restricted ward, where you belong."

Victor mocked a hurt expression. "What a thing to say, deares' brother. It's as though you've forgott'n that I was kindly released from the restricted area by Miss Edel."

"None of the Black Wings are not allowed near the Guardian's Gates!" Ethan returned heatedly, one of his hands clenching into a fist at his side.

Fakir wasn't an idiot. He could sense the tension in the air, crackling almost like electricity against the sensitive feathers of his wings. Damn this place for being so full of simple-minded, arrogant souls. He didn't have time to deal with any sort of fight, especially not amidst those two. He knew their story, of course, but he did not care about that. Their problems were their own and he was not going to let either one drag him into their messes.

Soundlessly sidestepping the twins, the dark-haired young man headed toward the waiting gates, ignoring the scramble of awed and reproachful faces unabashedly staring at him from the sidelines. Just as he reached a hand out to pull the gates open, a small white hand grasped his own, the fingers trembling. Fakir turned to glare down at the young curly-haired girl that had been standing beside Ethan.

"You can't go passed the Guardian's Gates!" Her voice wavered on tremors of apprehension. Fakir shrugged her grip off of him ease, but she immediately latched on again, pulling at his arm. "You'll just let them die!" she near-cried. "Then everything the others have done will be for nothing!"

"Now, now... what do we have here?"

A sudden chorus of gasps and revered greetings of "High Elder!" pulled everyone's attention to the flambouyantly-dressed old man that had appeared out of nowhere, strolling along between them as though he was on a walk through the park. Unlike everyone else, he did not have any type of wings protruding from his back.

"H-High Elder," Ethan sputtered as he bowed.

"Questioning us now, are you, Eethie?" The old man smiled jovially, fingering his beard with one hand as he eyed the young man.

The white-winged blonde paled immediately, then shot a desperate accusing finger toward where Fakir was watching indifferently from the gates. "You must think things over more, Elder! A Guardian of Black Wings... it's unheard of! Surely he won't even try---why would you risk so much?!"

The so-called High Elder wagged a finger back and forth. "Oh, we have our reasons, we do." Setting his disturbingly large eyes on Fakir, he gestured openly toward the waiting gates. "No need to wait up. Go on. You have a job a to do."

Ethan watched in horror as the young girl backed away and peered after the exiting figure, a glimpse of black feathers visible only for a moment longer before the young man was completely out of sight.

The old man waved his hands up high, voice suddenly sounding gruff and bored, "All right, show's over! Go on back to your posts."

Victor left first, grinning widely, and followed by a reluctant crowd of White Wings that had spectated from the side. Ethan trailed behind them all, ruby eyes hard and his hand clasped around the smaller fingers of the curly-haired brunette, who had streams of tears running down her face.

And once they were all out of sight, the Elder approached the grand silver gates, spiraled eyes looking beyond them with amusement dancing in their molten gold-brown depths. "No doubt that you will be the eighteenth, my boy. And if the girl dies... well, that just makes everything more beautifully tragic, doesn't it?"

The old man cackled to himself, cape flowing out behind him as he hobbled away from the gates. A red gem on a gold chain dangled from one of his white-gloved hands. "In the mean time, I should make things much more interesting..."

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What felt like the hundredth sigh fell from Ahiru's lips as she hopped off of the bus, half-heartedly waving to the driver as the doors snapped shut and the large white vehicle continued on its way. She watched it disappear down the hill before she turned in the opposite direction. Just a few blocks away, she could see a small section of the apartment building she stayed in, one set of windows reflecting the shine of the setting sun.

"What a day..." she remarked to herself, smoothing out the bottom of her light blue top.

First a late start to the morning, and then she had burned breakfast again. Next came waiting an extra hour for her hair appointment and having to braid her long locks to hide the bad cut - which still stuck out in back where part had been cut short, and then she had ruined her dress for her job interview and had to go home and find something horribly casual to wear instead... Nearly walked into traffic blindly... Literally ran into the man of her dreams and then met his beautiful girlfriend or wife... Arrived late to her interview and was turned down... Got her braid caught in the sliding doors when she stopped at the music store...

As much as Ahiru didn't want to believe it, with the odd coincidences that happened around her over the past several weeks, she couldn't shake the thought that maybe she really did have bad luck.

It all started with the loss of her waitress job. She had struggled hard to overcome her clumsiness and she had gotten along very well with the customers there. The bubbly redhead had even managed to pull a lot of extra tips for her friendly service. Everything seemed fine - great, even!

And then it was like a light switch had turned off. Suddenly she was dropping things left and right and one of the expensive chandeliers in the main dining room had nearly crashed down on top of her head unexpectedly when she was serving a nice married couple their drinks. No one had been hurt, thankfully, but the shock was immense. And although agitated, her boss had at least forgiven her for the accidents.

However, it hadn't stopped there. The very next day she tripped and fell over a balcony on the top level - and though she had miraculously landed unharmed, the tray she had been carrying crashed down into the midst of a family eating their meal. Beyond startled and infuriated, the parents had called the management out and yelled at them for their poor choice in waitresses. And that had been it for that job.

Ahiru accepted being a little bit of a klutz, but when everything that could go wrong did... she started to worry. Anything she had been hired for was lost within two days, tops. And she was barely dodging terrible or even life-threatening accidents on a daily basis.

It was like she had been cursed.

'No, no, no!' she chided herself silently. 'I can't think like that! I have to keep trying! There's no such thing as curses!'

Resolved with a sudden fire of determination, she picked up her sneaker-clad feet and started in the direction of her apartment, head held high and alert, pace quickening with every step. This was no time to be down! The 'help wanted' ads were surely awaiting her with the evening's newspaper - and Mister Cat would be getting hungry and---

"QUAAAAAA!" she suddenly cried in surprise as her foot hit a heightened slab in the broken sidewalk. Her lithe body lurched forward with the momentum of her her brisk walk, the weight of her purse tilting her off toward the road and sending her sprawled out over the asphalt on her side, falling to her back as she groaned in pain.

Jeez... as if her spine hadn't already suffered enough abuse already for one day...

Ahiru suddenly jolted when she heard loud horns blaring, and lifted up on her hands just in time to see a semi truck roaring down the road at high speed, a mere dozen yards from her current position. 'Oh my god,' she thought in absolute terror, eyes wide. 'Maybe I really do have back luck, maybe it's really over--'

There was a sudden, impossibly hard tug on her braid from behind, and the girl felt herself flying up and backward, landing hard on her behind upon the sidewalk just as the semi screamed by in front of her. For long, breathless moment, she stared straight ahead where she was sure she would have been flattened by the monster vehicle, blue eyes wide in utter disbelief. She frantically looked around, searching for someone who might have pulled her out of harm's way just in the knick of time... but there was no one in sight.

"M...Miracle," she mumbled in a dumbfounded manner, one hand raising to rest on her pounding heart.

Unseen by the young woman, Fakir stood off to the side, arms crossed as he studied his charge. Not five seconds after he had spotted her and already an incident? Perhaps the White Wings hadn't been exaggerating, after all.

If seventeen others before him, all good-hearted white-winged Guardians, had given up on protecting this girl...

Looks like he had his work cut out for him.

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...And that concludes the first chapter.

There's lots of little things going on that are going to contribute to later chapters, but I'm not going to point them out just yet. XD Feel free to make any guesses you would like, though. To clear a few things up: Yes, Fakir is dead. (Don't BAAAWWW at me just yet.) No, I'm not going to tell you how it happened yet or why his wings are black. Stay tuned and you'll find out what's going on with him. Eventually. XD You might have also noticed some parallels to the series. Defying Fate, for instance, is now twisted to Defying Death. If you think you've seen others, feel free to try to point them out. :3

I'm sure this has probably been quite confusing up to this point, in general. I'm not even sure if this AU idea was a really good one, but I felt inspired to try it, so before that inspiration faded into nothing... here it is. lol

Should you like the idea, hate it, find it unbelievable, have questions, etc, I'd appreciate any feedback you might have.

And as always, thank you for reading!