Angel Shroud
By: Sileny

Summary: there are some people who can be hurt and not affected. There are others… who simply become twisted. But that is simply their way of calling for help, of begging someone to come save them, although it is up to the savior on deciding how he wants to do it.

Disclaimer: If only I owned Prince of Tennis... *sobs*

Prolegomenon – Project Angel

Contrary to popular belief, the research institute was not an imposing structure of solid cement, with all four walls at least five feet thick and having narrow windows that were an inch wide set high up in them. It was not situated in the middle of the harsh arctic, nor was it situated in the middle of a bone-dry desert. Masked soldiers in camouflage gear did not patrol the perimeter of the facility, and there were no hidden traps in the geography around the building, fancy lasers included.

Instead, the research facility was a thoroughly modern building just outside of Tokyo, with nearly one whole side of it covered with glass windows that reflected the light of the sun (it made for a spectacular image at sunset and sunrise). It was four stories high, surrounded by cheerful displays of spring flowers and majestic trees. The first two stories of the building served as a doctor's office for a local practice of pediatricians and other doctors, both family doctors and specialized ones, so there were generally children around the area holding lollipops in their small hands as they left the building to go home, or older children shuffling their way into the building for their annual checkup, or the occasional senior citizen or other patient.

But that was the friendly side of the research institute.

While it was a known fact that research was conducted at the building, the type of research had never been disclosed to the general public. Nothing was leaked out; all information stayed with the research staff on the third and fourth floors.

Now, what sort of research is this, you wonder? It is actually quite simple: human genetics.

Only it was the quite ordinary subject of human genetics applied onto subjects that were not-so-ordinary people.


The research staff was composed of primarily eight scientists. There was Echizen Ryoma, the youngest of the team (age: 20) but undeniably bright, who was a Master in Biogenetics. Then there was Kaidoh Kaoru (age: 22), who was a Bachelor in Science, specializing in Chemistry, and his mentor, Inui Sadaharu (age: 25), who held a Ph.D in Chemistry. Momoshiro Takeshi (age: 22), was a Bachelor in both Biochemistry and Physics. Oishi Shuichiro (age: 24), was a M.D, and his best friend, Kikumaru Eiji (age: 23), was Master in Psychology. Kawamura Takashi (age: 24), held a Bachelors Degree in Biology (his sushi business came first, obviously, but he had still found time to earn a degree in science with the encouragement of his friends.

And then there was the leader of the research group, a man called Tezuka Kunimitsu (age: 25). He held a Ph.D in Biochemistry and Mathematics and was the only one who was able to single-handedly obtain order in his team, what with his stern face, harsh glares, and not-so-rare threat of laps around the research institute as punishment for disobedience.

Of course, his threats were always followed through with, so one could usually see seven scientists running around outside the building.

"How's everything going?" Tezuka asked, walking into the conference room on the third floor with a cup of steaming coffee (black, no sugar or cream added) held in his hand. He surveyed the rest of his team before sitting down heavily on a chair, sighing as he did so.

"Is everything alright, Tezuka?" Oishi asked worriedly, looking up from a stack of papers he held in his hand. In addition to being a member of the research team he held an office on the first floor and saw children from the ages of five to twelve.

Tezuka massaged his temples with one hand, looking tired. "Just tired," he muttered. "The new subject had a lot of paperwork attached to him, and upper management apparently holds the subject in high regards." There was a laptop in front of him, with many wires that connected to a projector. Setting down his coffee, Tezuka flipped open the laptop and booted it up. "Our project is one of top secrecy, and is called Project Angel."

"Angel, nya…! What a nice name!" Eiji couldn't help himself from exclaiming, and small smiles crossed everyone's faces (albeit Tezuka's, but that was to be expected).

"Momoshiro, turn on the projector," Tezuka said shortly, and the young man jumped up to obey. In a few minutes, the display screen flickered to life, showing the computer's desktop. Tezuka moved through several folders until he opened a file and then stood up from his chair.

"Allow us to begin," he said, and there was a faint rustling sound as all the members rearranged themselves so that they could clearly see the screen. "The subject's name is Fuji Syusuke, age 24, whose birthday on the 29th of February."

"Blood type?" Oishi asked, scribbling onto a medical form as he listened. Kaidoh and Momo looked curiously over his shoulders as he wrote.

"We'll be conducting a thorough physical examination when he gets here."

Taka was perplexed. "He's human, isn't he?" he asked, scanning the rest of the data on the screen. "Are we going to be performing tests on an actual human being?" He looked worried. "Is that even possible? Or legal?"

Tezuka returned to his seat, setting his elbows on the table ad lacing his fingers together, resting his chin on them. "Not quite. Fuji Syusuke is a… unique character." He moved onto the next file and several images popped up. A collective gasp was heard around the room. "This," Tezuka said slowly, "is Fuji Syusuke."

A young man with honey-colored hair that hung down around his face in wispy strands leaned against a post, resting his head on it with his hand reaching up to rest at eye-level. He was dressed plainly: a shirt that was a tad too large for him and with the sleeves rolled up to his shoulders and a pair of faded blue jeans. Blue eyes, not too clear in the picture, stared out at the eight men. But that was not what caught their attentions.

It was the wings. The pair of powerful feathered wings that the man possessed. Even in the photo, they could see each and every feather, which was so skillfully captured that they could almost feel its softness against the tips of their fingers. There were other pictures, from the side, from the back, a three-fourth profile picture, and one where his wings were spread out against a plan wall, but all eyes were on the first picture, because it was the biggest and the one that could let them see the best details about their newest subject.

Shock was on every single man's face except for Tezuka's, but only because Tezuka had already seen these pictures multiple times before. Tezuka closed his eyes, remembering the shock he himself had first felt when he had seen the pictures. He had sat at his desk, allowing open disbelief to cloud his usually stoic features as he had scrolled through the pictures of the winged man.

Rubbing his temples for a few moments, he looked up at the rest of his team. "Gentlemen, this is why our project is called Project Angel. We will be analyzing this man in order to see what he has in his genetics that we, as regular humans, don't have. We will be taking a logical approach to explain the phenomenon that this man sports."

He fixed each man in the room with a hard stare. "We are the only men who know of this Fuji Syusuke besides upper management. He is a top secret that no one else is to know about, and will be directly in our care for the duration of Project Angel. If anything arises, you will report directly to me, not to anyone else."

His gaze hardened, if that was at all possible. "Are there any questions?" When there were none, he stood, shutting off the laptop and closing it. "Very well, then. You are all dismissed."

At the door, he paused, looking back over his shoulder at the rest of them. "Fuji Syusuke will be arriving tomorrow at noon. We should prepare a place for him to stay tomorrow morning. I expect everyone to be up and ready at around eight."

There were several groans, but in the end, everyone agreed on eight. "Nya, Oishi," Eiji turned to Oishi as they left the conference room after tidying up the chairs and the like. "I wonder what this Fujiko will be like."


Eiji nodded, grinning. "I'm going to call him Fujiko! It's a friendlier name, don't you think?"

"Well… if you say so…" Oishi said, although he had no idea how Eiji had thought of that. "We should get going," he said softly, shutting the lights and ushering the other man out of the room before shutting the door. Wings, he thought dumbly, his green eyes looking very confused.

How is one… born with wings?

A/N: Whoo! New Prince of Tennis story along the lines of science fiction!

This means anyone can whack me on the head with a frozen fish if there's anything wrong with it. Writing a science fiction-y piece was harder than I thought...! *whine whine*

This was inspired by a picture my friend Teresa drew... in pretty purple pen. XD
Link: http:// fimbulvetrice(dot)deviantart(dot)com/art/Angel-Shroud-124502099 [replace (dot) with actual dots and remove the space!]
Isn't he pretty? Of course he is.

This was originally going to be a oneshot but I decided not to make it into one. Because I can't develop a plot in a oneshot because I'm just not cool that way. And now I'll shut up and go back to writing Sugar Sweet.

Read and Review! Please!!! Pretty please with whipped cream and a cherry on top!!!!!