Disclaimer: Ah! My Goddess and all related characters are the property of Kodansha LTD. and ADV Films. No copyright infringement is intended. This work of fiction is for entertainment purposes only and no money has changed hands. The story and all original characters are the sole property of the author and may not be used or archived without permission.
Author's Note: I saw a story like this on the Ah! My Goddess! page and decided to try one myself. I think this has a better premise, but you be the judge.
AH! THE GODDESSES AND THE ROMPING ANGELS!
By Darrin Colbourne
It was a beautiful day outside the Tariki Hongan temple. The sun was shining brightly, the sky was a deep blue and nearly cloudless. It was just warm enough to make one think of visiting the beach or the pool, and the air was clear, carrying nothing in its soft breezes but the scent of the nearby trees and the petals of plum and cherry blossoms. It was just the perfect day, the epitome of the best nature had to offer.
It was too bad Urd and Skuld were completely missing it, but they were shut away inside the caretaker's house doing things they considered more important. For Urd, that meant floating lazily in front of the tiny TV and watching one of her favorite shows. This time it was a game show, one that gave her many laughs as the mortals on it dressed up in silly costumes and put themselves through the most insane tortures in a quest to win money. At least Skuld was being slightly more productive. She was in the process of upgrading Banpei's processing system using parts from one of Keiichi's scientific calculators. (She wasn't completely sure he wasn't using it anymore, but he could always buy a new one, right?)
At least Peorth was outside and could enjoy the good weather, but she was too engrossed in Skuld's manga to notice. The latest issue had just arrived in the mail and she had snuck it outside before Skuld could spot it among the pile of bills and packages. Now Peorth floated above the front porch and read the magazine voraciously, dying to find out how her favorite character's romance had progressed since she'd defeated her latest rival for her boyfriend's affections.
So focused were the goddesses on their various activities that they failed to notice the slight change in the upper atmosphere that signaled the arrival of yet another goddess. The new arrival didn't mind. She was a combat goddess after all, a soldier, and part of a soldier's stock in trade was stealth, wasn't it? That was why she didn't quite touch the ground when she descended in front of the house and floated as quietly as she could manage to the porch. She maneuvered so the unsuspecting Peorth could only spot her in her peripheral vision, then snuck up and tapped the Earth Assistance Agency Representative's shoulder.
Peorth shrieked and jumped straight up into the air, dropping the magazine in the process. She instantly regretted the unplanned flight when her head struck the bottom of the porch roof. "That hurt," she whined as she descended back to the floor and rubbed her cranium. When she had her feet back on the ground she turned to confront the evil person who had startled her. Then her eyes went wide and her jaw dropped. "Lind!"
"Hi," Lind said with an innocent smile and a wave.
"Why did you do that?" Peorth complained. "You scared the daylights out of me!" She rubbed her head again. "Ow! I think there's going to be a bump…"
"Remember that bump the next time you're inclined to think valkyries have no sense of humor," Lind said triumphantly.
"Oh, you have a sense of humor," Peorth scolded, "and it's twisted and mean and destructive!" Then she looked at Lind for a moment, took a cleansing breath and sighed. "But it's good to see you again - I suppose - but what are you doing down here?"
Lind shrugged. "I said I'd visit on my next day off. Well, that's actually tomorrow, but I finished my normal work early today, so I thought I'd come down immediately and stay the night. That's okay isn't it?"
"Oh, sure. In fact, your timing is great. Belldandy has something big planned for us tomorrow, and anyway you know what she's like usually." She tried to make herself sound as naïve and syrupy as possible as she mimicked Belldandy. "'The more the merrier! Tee-hee!'"
Lind offered an amused smile. "Yes, that's Belldandy all right. But what about Mr. Keiichi? Would he mind?"
"He'll be fine! I know he acts all nervous and everything, but obviously he likes getting all this attention from us goddesses, so it will be okay."
Lind nodded in understading, then looked down at the magazine Peorth had dropped. "Isn't this a manga?" She said as she reached down to pick it up. She was concentrating on the magazine, so she didn't see Peorth gasp when she mentioned "manga" out loud. "This is one of Skuld's, isn't it?" Lind asked, and now Peorth was waving her arms frantically, trying to tell Lind to shut up without actually saying it. It was no use. "Does she know you have it? As I recall she's not fond of the way you just take her magazines…"
Suddenly a high-pitched, shrill voice screamed, "PEORTH!"
"Ah, damn it," Peorth muttered
There was the sound of footsteps running to the front door, then the door opened to reveal an outraged Skuld. "I heard everything!" She screamed at Peorth. "Where is it?" She looked around and spotted the magazine, then stomped out and snatched it from Lind's hand. "I knew it!" She said as she examined the cover. "I knew this was supposed to come today!" She turned to confront Peorth. "You stole it, didn't you! I warned you what would happen if you did that again!"
Peorth rolled her eyes and bent low to look Skuld in the eye. "What? You were gonna sic Banpei on me? Well, go ahead! I'm not afraid of you or your over-engineered little wind-up toy!"
"He's not a wind-up toy!" Skuld shrieked. "And I'm gonna make you sorry you said that!"
Lind sighed. She was finding the exchange between child and egotist amusing, but she supposed she should put an end to it before something violent happened. She crossed her arms and cleared her throat loudly, just to remind Peorth and Skuld that she was standing right there. Skuld stopped yelling long enough to turn around and see who she'd actually taken her magazine from. "Oh! Hi, Lind."
"Hi, Skuld. I was wondering when you'd notice me."
"Oh, sorry. Say, what are you doing here?"
Lind began to answer, but someone else interrupted her. "What's going on out here? You're all screaming over my…oh! Hello, Lind."
Lind turned to see Urd standing in the doorway. "Hello, Urd."
"What are you doing here?" Urd said. Lind tried to answer again but Urd waved her off. "Oh, never mind, just so long as you are here. Belldandy will be happy. She's got something special planned for us goddesses tomorrow."
"So Peorth told me, but she didn't tell me what it was…and where is Belldandy, anyway?"
Skuld blinked. "Oh, Big Sis and Keiichi are at school."
"That's right," Urd said. "They had an early class this morning, and then they were planning to do something with that automobile club of theirs."
"And after that," Peorth said, "Belldandy said she and Keiichi had to make some things we'll need for tomorrow, but I'm not exactly sure what they are because they were talking about some kind of mortal science thing."
"Gee," Skuld muttered, "you dress like that and you're a dingbat. What a shock."
"Quiet, you!" Peorth yelled. Skuld tried to look innocent. Urd giggled.
Lind just sighed again. "Okay, do you at least know when they'll be back?" She was answered by the sound of Keiichi's motorcycle as it pulled into the temple compound. He drove it all the way up to the front entrance and stopped so that the sidecar was next to the steps.
Belldandy looked up from the sidecar as she got out of it. She smiled and took off her helmet as she called up to the porch, "Oh! You're all outside!" Then she beamed when she noticed Lind. "You're here! This is wonderful! Can you stay the night?"
"Actually, that's what I was hoping to do," Lind said. "That would be okay?"
"Of course it would! The more the merrier!" Lind and Peorth glanced at each other as Belldandy giggled. "Best of all, you can join us tomorrow. We're going to have so much fun!" She took some bags out of the sidecar and put her helmet in. "That's everything," she said to Keiichi.
"Okay," Keiichi said with a smile. "I'll be in in a minute." With that, he walked the cycle toward the garage while Belldandy walked up the steps.
"It's almost time for dinner," she said when she reached the top. "You must all be hungry. Don't worry, it won't take long at all." She'd known that she was going to be with Keiichi at Nekomi Tech all day, so she'd gotten up early enough to prepare all the day's meals. Dinner simply needed to be heated up.
"Can I help you, Big Sis?" Skuld asked like an eager puppy.
Belldandy handed her the bags. "You can take these into the kitchen for me."
"Okay!" Skuld took the bags, not realizing how heavy they were until Belldandy let go. Wow! Big Sis is stronger than she looks!
"One of those has the rocks in it, right?" Urd said when Skuld walked past.
"Rocks?" Lind said.
"Moon Rocks," Belldandy said. She kept walking as if that explained everything, and Urd and Peorth followed her inside.
Lind took a moment to get her bearings. Moon Rocks? Moon rocks were an alternative energy source for goddesses, weren't they? Where could she and Keiichi have gotten rocks from the moon, and - leaving that aside - what could they be doing tomorrow that would make them necessary in the first place?
Lind sighed one last time. "I really should stop coming down here when it's not business related…" she muttered, then she went inside.
Belldandy explained while she prepared dinner. "I thought it would be great if we could have an All Angels' Day tomorrow."
"I see," Lind said. It was a partial explanation, at least. An All Angels' Day could severely deplete a goddess's energy reserves. Still… "But why do you need any alternative energy sources? If we're having an All Angels' Day we'll be as close to Yggdrasil as possible while we're in Heaven, so our reserves shouldn't be depleted that much."
"Oh, we won't be going to Heaven."
Lind blinked. "We won't?"
"Heaven is lovely, but even the most beautiful places can become boring if that's all you ever see, and I don't think anyone has had an All Angels' Day on Earth in centuries. At the very least, I doubt there were many people on the planet the last time."
"I suppose not. So, you want to have an All Angels' Day here on the surface world?"
"Yes. I want our angels to experience this world in a way no angels ever have."
"Now I see. We'll have to build up our energy reserves then…"
"We'll do that tomorrow, so we'll eat and get to bed early tonight."
"And the moon rocks are in case there's a problem?"
"Where did you get them?"
"Keiichi and I made them. They're not real rocks. They're artificial compounds with the same metallic composition as an actual rock from the moon. They work just as well, and we made extras, just in case."
"Oh…so Mr. Keiichi is okay with this?"
"Of course. I talked to him about it and he offered to help me prepare for it. The moon rocks were his idea."
"Well, okay, but…did you explain to him what an All Angels' Day can be like?"
"Certainly! I told him it would be the most wonderful thing he'd ever witness."
Lind winced a little. Experience had taught her that "wonderful" for a First-Class Goddess and "wonderful" for a high-strung, human college student tended to have different meanings. "Um, Belldandy, maybe you ought to…"
Just then Keiichi's scream sounded throughout the house. "SKULD! Come on! That was my new calculator!"
"Geez! Calm down, willya?" Skuld shot back. "What's your problem with making sacrifices for the advancement of science?!"
"Why am I always the one doing the sacrificing?!" Keiichi groused. "Why can't you make Urd sacrifice something once in a while?!"
"All Urd has is that junk in her potion bottles!"
"And her computer games!"
"Nobody's touching my computer games!" Urd shrieked from her orbit in front of the TV.
"Will all of you quiet down?!" Peorth called out. "Some of us are reading!"
"That better not be my manga again, Peorth!" Skuld screamed.
"It is and I don't care what you say!" Peorth said defiantly.
Lind stuck her head out of the kitchen and watched in stunned silence as the exchange devolved into a four-way shouting match between Keiichi and the three goddesses, then turned to look at Belldandy, who was humming serenely as she finished heating up dinner, seemingly unaware of the turmoil brewing in the hallway. She used a ladle to taste the soup she was preparing, then put the utensil aside with a contented "Mmmm." When that was done, she turned and walked out into the hallway and faced the direction of the argument.
"THAT IS ENOUGH!!" Belldandy's voice echoed throughout the temple grounds - and possibly reached the ears of the nearest neighbors. The sound and vibration were enough to force everyone else in the temple to cover their ears and shut up. When everything was quiet, Belldandy took a calming breath and spoke in a more normal tone of voice. "Dinner is ready, so I want you all to go sit at the table." Keiichi, Urd, Skuld and Peorth all nodded sheepishly and rushed to do Belldandy's bidding. Satisfied, she went back into the kitchen, pausing only to talk to Lind. "Would you be a dear and set the table for me?" She said with a smile. "The plates and things are in that cabinet and the drawers beneath it."
Lind nodded dumbly, then hurried over to the indicated cabinets. As she was gathering bowls and eating utensils, she thought, If this is a typical evening around here, what will it be like tomorrow?
Keiichi woke early the next morning after a fitful sleep. He sighed and scratched his head as he sat up on his futon. Getting some rest didn't work. He was still at a loss to figure out how to replace the calculator Skuld wrecked.
He sighed again and got out of bed, then headed to the bathroom. When he was done in there he headed for the kitchen for some milk. As he walked down the hallway he noticed a soft, bright glow coming from the sitting room. He crept in and found the goddesses sitting around the table. Belldandy, Urd and Skuld had changed into their megami dresses, and it looked like they were all praying. Each goddess was giving off an aura that contributed to the unearthly glow, and Keiichi heard them reciting bizarre incantations in low whispers. It took him a moment to get a handle on what he was seeing, then he remembered: That's right. Belldandy said they'd start the day offering prayers to the Almighty in exchange for extra energy. The prayers have to be completed by sunrise in order to give them as much energy as they need. With that thought in mind, he crept through the room and went to the front door, then he stepped out and looked East. There was a glow on the horizon. The sun was starting to make its appearance.
Keiichi crept back into the sitting room and sat against one wall. He was trying to stay out of the way, but he really wanted to see how All Angels' Day would start. He watched patiently while the goddesses continued to pray and continued to glow until it got lighter and lighter outside. When it was officially a brand new day, the prayers were concluded and the goddesses stopped glowing.
Belldandy looked around at the others. "Are we all ready?" She got nods from everyone in return. "Then I'll start." She got ready to pray again, but this time she said clearly: "Reflection of my innermost being, manifestation of my purest energy, arise Holy Bell."
This time there was a glow at Belldandy's back, then the glow turned into a pair of white wings, then the angel Holy Bell emerged fully formed and hovered over Belldandy's head.
Urd, of course, was more succinct and more commanding. She raised her right hand high and called out, "Come forth, World of Elegance!" A moment later a black wing and a white wing emerged from her back, followed by the pirouetting, sleek form of the half-angelic/half-demonic being World of Elegance.
Skuld mimicked Belldandy's pose and spoke as if she were asking for seconds of ice cream. "Please, please come to me, Noble Scarlet." Almost immediately, the tiniest of angels, Noble Scarlet, emerged from Skuld's back and floated above her.
Peorth, refusing to be outdone by the Norn goddesses in style, raised her left hand high and said haughtily, "Come forth and amaze, Gorgeous Rose!" Gorgeous Rose obeyed, emerging with a pirouette of her own, along with a shower of roses and thorny vines.
By comparison to the other adult goddesses, Lind seemed shy about calling her angels, but she simply didn't see the need for theatrics. "Come to me, Cool Mint and Spear Mint," she said. A moment later, her twin angels, each with a single wing, emerged and hovered in the air above the valkyrie.
Keiichi watched the whole proceeding in awe. He'd seen all of their angels before, but he still found having all five goddesses and all six angels right in front of him an amazing experience. Belldandy was right, he thought, this is the most wonderful thing I've ever witnessed.
Belldandy looked up at all the angels and smiled. "Are all of you ready?" She asked. All of the angels nodded. Belldandy giggled. "Okay then. Go ahead…and have fun!"
The angels beamed, then each one kissed and hugged her goddess before severing the mystic ties that bound them to their hosts. Then they rose into the air above the table and circled a couple of times before Holy Bell led the way to the front door. She opened it and ushered the others out, then offered the goddesses a final smile before leaving herself and closing the door behind her.
Urd let out a breath. "Wow! That really does take a lot out of you. The boost we got from the Almighty may not be enough after all."
"I feel okay so far," Skuld said, "and we have these." She picked up an artificial moon rock that had been sitting in front of her on the table. Each of the goddesses had one.
"Right," Belldandy said, "and if we get too weak, I'm sure Keiichi will help us…" That was when she actually noticed Keiichi sitting against a wall in the room. He was staring at the door with an utterly confused look on his face. "Keiichi? What's wrong?"
He turned to Belldandy and pointed at the door. "Where are they going?"
Belldandy blinked and shrugged. "Wherever they want."
"Whaddaya mean, 'Wherever they want'??"
"Keiichi." Urd said, "the whole point of this holiday is to reward our angels for the special things they do for us, and the greatest reward a goddess can give to her angel is freedom, so on All Angels' Day, from sunrise to sunset, our angels are allowed to go wherever they want and do whatever they want without direction from us."
Keiichi stood in a panic. "You mean you let six angels loose in the world with no restrictions???"
"I thought Belldandy told you that's what we were going to do today," Peorth said.
"She didn't tell me that!"
"Oh, but I did, Keiichi," Belldandy said. "I told you that we would release our angels and let them be free all day."
"But didn't think you meant free free! I just thought they'd stay around the temple!" Keiichi was struck with a sudden horrible thought. "What if they go into the city? What if they go to Nekomi Tech?"
"So what if they do?" Skuld said. "It's not like they're gonna hurt anybody."
"That's not what I'm worried about, Skuld! What if somebody sees them? How would we ever explain angels gallivanting all over the place??"
"You won't need to," Peorth said. "You know how you humans are. Some big brain will get on TV and say it was a mass hallucination caused by swamp gas."
"Yes, Keiichi," Urd said. "You're overreacting, as usual."
Keiichi's eye was starting to twitch. He turned to Lind, who actually looked sympathetic to his concerns, but ultimately she just shrugged and said, "I'm sorry. That's just the way it works."
Keiichi looked like he wanted to raise one more point, but he just relaxed and lowered his head, then started out of the room.
"What is it, Keiichi?" Belldandy said.
"It just occurred to me that at this stage in my life, I should be used to things like this happening," Keiichi said. "I'm going back to bed. Wake me when the catastrophe happens."
When he was gone, Urd said, "That boy gets so worked up about things."