Disclaimer: I don't own Ah! My Goddess or any of the characters therein. Please don't use without permission. Comments and constructive criticism are always welcome. And now, WillZ presents:
The Goddess and the Sky
Sora Haswegawa sighed heavily as she looked in the mirror at her uneven hair. She had tried her hardest to trim it herself to save on much-needed cash, but, for all her efforts, she had failed miserably. She usually had a no-nonsense trim, regardless of what the hairstylist tried to con her into. She wasn't a high-maintenance person, and preferred her life this way, especially with college sucking most of her time up like a vacuum.
She put the scissors down, and readjusted her glasses by tilting them slightly. Who would notice with such a subtle change? She sighed again, knowing that this move had bought her a very tiny amount of time before someone noticed.
In a flash of insight, an idea came to her: What if she asked Tamiya or Otaki for the cash needed for a cut, but didn't tell them what it was for? The thought of the interest they would garnish from her made her shiver.
With those two, there wasn't any honor, even though they bordered on the realm of thieves.
Sora stared at her hair, slightly mussing and straightening it out in turns, debating whether or not it was worth it to try another pass with the scissors. The worst case, she'd be bald for a couple months, the best, she only had to show a bit more of her forehead than she usually did.
Should she use her hair band to hold back her bangs? What if she used hairpins for a while? It might be worth the little extra effort…
Sora tossed that idea away, as well. Her freckles would be more pronounced if she changed her hair. She was a mess, and it frustrated her that there wasn't any magical formula to change it. It was like hoping that Aoshima would suddenly put down his philandering ways and devote himself entirely to a person he barely knew.
But that was the point of a wish, wasn't it? She decided to have another try at cutting her bangs herself.
Keiichi Morisato sat in his dorm room, reading one of the magazines he had been collecting to go to the trash. Nothing of interest was happening so far, but you could never tell when an interesting article would appear. He perused a few more pages before deciding that nothing good was in this issue of "Motor Monthly" and packed it in with the others.
At that minute, his stomach growled. Time had zipped past rather quickly as he did his chores, so he opted to get himself some takeout as a reward. His stomach growled in agreement. After bringing the burnables to the proper dropoff location near the dormitory, he saw that he had plenty of time to wait for the call that Tamaki Senpai was waiting for. Once that was done, he could eat. In his mind, he thought of what he would order, how long it would take to get there, and how much of it he was going to eat. His mouth drooled at the thought of a cutlet ramen special.
The phone rang. This was it! The call for Tamaki! After this, it was bliss in the form of a bowl of noodles, soup stock and meat!
"Hello?" He said, answering the phone. "Yes, Okay, Yes. I'll tell him. Thank you. Goodbye."
YES! The call had come! He finished scribbling the note on the memo pad, put it somewhere conspicuous so it wouldn't get lost, and grabbed the phone book. He flipped through the worn pages to the restaurants, scanned it quickly for the right number…
…And promptly dropped the receiver onto the floor.
He didn't know it, but such a small event was enough to change his fortune.
Across the campus, Sora picked up the phone. She had made a right mess of her hair – enough so that she caved in and decided to call Otaki and Tamiya for help. She picked up the phone and started to dial, not really paying attention as she fumbled the number.
"Hello," Said a woman's voice on the other end. Didn't the men's dorm have a "no women allowed" clause?
"Hello," Sora replied, "I-"
"Welcome to the Goddess Helpline," the voice interrupted , "Someone will be there momentarily to assist you.
The phone disconnected on the other end. Was this one of Tamiya's sick jokes? She was going to give those idiots a piece of her mind!
She was picking up the phone to start calling, when a flashing light in front of her made her look up. Her mirror was glowing! She dropped the phone back onto the receiver and jumped to her feet. What was she to do?
The instant she thought that, a hand popped out of the mirror. Was this part of her Senpai's trick? She looked behind the mirror and saw that there was a thin gap between the mirror and the wall. What the hell was happening?
"What's happening?" she said, voicing her thoughts aloud, "This isn't really happening, is it?" She said this last part a few more times as the hand slowly progressed into the rest of a human.
Wearing a blue, ornate dress.
And she was gorgeous, to boot. Sora didn't know if she should feel jealous or scared. In the end curiosity usurped both emotions and, as her visitor's final limb separated from the mirror, she was intrigued as to why she suddenly had a new arrival.
Oh, yeah, a part of her mind thought absently, the phone call. She unknowingly ignored this and simply stared at the new addition to her room.
"Good afternoon!" the woman said cheerfully, her blue eyes enhancing a smile Sora could only describe as "enchanting".
Sora waved her hand stupidly.
"Miss Sora Hasegawa? I am the First Class Goddess Belldandy. I'll be your granter today."
Granter? Sora blinked. The only time the word "grant" came up was in regards to theses and other projects appointed by the school. Was this person here to give her money? If so, didn't she realize that Sora had never even proposed a grant in her life?
Belldandy, smiled and tilted her head. Sora was mesmerized by the few wisps of light-brown antenna-like hair bobbing in the same direction.
"I am not here to grant you money, per se," Belldandy responded, "rather, I am here to grant you a wish."
Sora gave Belldandy a skeptical look.
"You have only one wish – you cannot wish for more." Continued Belldandy, almost as if she were reading from a script.
A wish. Thought Sora. A wish for anything I wanted.
"Yes," replied the goddess, "a wish. You could ask for money, or power, or to initiate the end of the world. However, the people we usually grant wishes to are those kind souls in need of help, so, if you had those kinds of thoughts, you wouldn't have been given this chance."
"A wish?" replied Sora, the information still not sinking in.
"Yes!" smiled Belldandy. To Sora, the goddess had an earnest smile and, if this had been some prank by Tamiya or Otaki, she didn't think those two would have the cash flow to hire a good enough actress for this, and she knew everyone in the drama club, so they would have outsourced, which would have cost more.
It hit he like a ton of bricks. She had seen real magic performed, and this was really on the up-and-up.
"Indeed it is," said Belldandy, "Have you thought about what you wish for?"
Power. Money. Love. These were all possibilities that opened a new world for Sora.
"I think," Sora gulped, falling onto her sofa, "I think that I am going to have to think this over for a bit."
"Wonderful!" the goddess replied, clasping her hands together, "I'll make some tea!"
Before she could protest, the blue-clad woman had gone to the kitchen to start the tea.
"Morisato!" Thundered Tamiya as he slammed open the door, the rest of his dorm mates following behind. He acted as if he half-expected to catch Keiichi canoodling with a girl in the dorm.
"Any messages for me?" Tamiya asked after scanning the place and seeing all was well.
"Y-Yes," Keiichi answered, gulping to give his heart a chance to recuperate after the sudden entrance. He handed the note to Tamiya.
"Good, good". Tamiya then handed the note to Otaki, who flashed a quick thumbs up, and a grin like the Cheshire Cat. He knew that whatever it was they were planning, it wasn't going to be good for him. He decided to make a hasty retreat while everyone else was talking about what had been written on the note.
He went out to take a walk and clear his thoughts, and maybe have a cigarette or two. He grabbed his motorcycle jacket and exited the building.
Keiichi went over to his motorbike and sighed. He would have loved to go for a drive, maybe up to the coast to watch the waves for a bit, but without the expensive parts the Beemer needed, it was going to be a long while before he was that mobile again.
"Hey, Morisato!" Tamiya called from the second floor window, "I fixed your bike for ya!" Tamiya tossed him some keys – some new keys – and continued, "The lock system was completely dead, and we gave it a tuneup! Have fun!"
"Th-thanks," Keiichi stammered. Sometimes, the guys in his dorm could really pull out the stops to help one another. He made a note to do something for them when the time came.
As long as it was legal, that is.
Sora wasn't an easily-excitable person, nor was she "flighty" like some of the other girls in her class. This whole situation though, made her feel like a nervous wreck. She unconsciously wrung her hands a few times, paced, twirled her now mismatched bangs with her fingers, and started the process all over again while she awaited her guest and the tea.
And that was part of what surprised her the most. Her guest had gone and offered to make tea before Sora could attend her needs, regardless of the Goddess's business. Sora wasn't traditional, but that didn't mean she had to be impolite, either.
The whole thing was out of her hands anyway. She couldn't' go back in time to fix it, no matter what she did.
This train of thought brought the crux of her predicament to the forefront again. What was she going to do? She only had one chance to change her life for the better.
This was the main sore point. She only got one chance at it. No regrets. No takebacks. No standbys. No safety net of any kind whatsoever.
What was she to do? How was she to know what was best, or even right to ask for in this kind of situation? She felt dizzy, and her stomach was making queasy sounds. Was she going to have to flee to the bathroom? That was just too embarrassing to think about, given the rest of the predicament she was in.
After what seemed an eternity, the Goddess returned, carrying a tray with her fine tea set, some sugar, spoons and, to Sora's mild surprise, some sandwiches. Sora tried to remember what she had in her fridge, and shivered; most of it had been old, wilted or moldy.
"Have some," Belldandy offered, smiling that big, warm smile.
"I-I'm fine," Sora replied. It was then that her stomach made another embarrassing sound. Belldandy giggled softly as Sora's freckled face heated up in what she knew was her typical blush.
"Don't worry." Said Belldandy, still giggling a bit from the sound, making Sora flush more "What is here is safe to eat. It just needed a little 'encouraging.'"
"Encouraging?" She feared that this was going to end with her in the toilet in one way or the other. It was probably a lot better than some of the disasters that she had created. She politely took a saucer, then the cup Belldandy filled with hot, reddish tea, and placed them on her lap. She put two sugars in the cup and mixed slowly before getting up the courage to take a cucumber sandwich.
Barring the possible food poisoning, Sora felt as if she were at a high tea like in the novels she loved to read. She took a tentative bite…
…Then another, and another, savoring the exquisite blends of flavors dancing across her tongue.
It was simply marvelous! She could almost feel tears welling up in her eyes from the perfect harmony. To cleanse the taste and give her a chance to recuperate, she opted to have a sip of the tea.
To say it was almost like drinking a cup of liquid heaven would not be an understatement. Sora stared at the cup in amazement.
How? Sora wanted to ask, but was too occupied trying to etch this wonderful cascade of taste burned in her memory.
"It's my own special blend," Belldandy replied, looking a bit sheepish, "You didn't' have any earl grey, so I took a few pouches of the types you had, separated them and put in the appropriate seasonings. I apologize for wasting the remainder, however."
Sora blinked. Was this actually possible to do? She separated the contents by ingredient?! How?! She stifled another tear as she savored more of this "liquid heaven".
She looked over to Belldandy, who was quietly huming as she added a hint of sugar to her own cup, stirring in time with the melody. Even her humming was bliss! She envied this woman's looks and skills.
"It's wonderful," Sora finally spoke. Belldandy blinked, surprised that the girl had finally spoken.
"Thank you!" Belldandy smiled, "For a moment, I was afraid you wouldn't like it."
You'd have to be insane, dead, or deprived of your senses not to love this stuff. Sora thought to herself.
"Thank you!" Belldandy repeated, her smile growing warmer. Unconsiously, Sora began smiling as well.
"Um," Sora said after a few moments, her nervousness returning, though not as bad as before, "May I ask a few questions?"
"Please do," Belldandy answered, placing her cup on her saucer. Sora once more unconsciously mimicked the action.
"First," Sora began, her finger unconsciously tracing her finger along the inside and outside of the cup's handle, "How didyou know my name?"
"Simple: We have 'Caller ID' at our office in Heaven."
"But I am not the one that owns this line. The landlord does." She pointed to the green pay box she had used to make the call to the Goddess Helpline.
"The system doesn't use conventional methods. It is based off psychic energy, resonance, and attachment to Yggdrasil, the life tree and database that is the foundation of what we do."
Yggdrasil? Life Tree? Database? While the terms sounded familiar, they definitely were not anything the mousy-haired girl thought went together. Maybe it was like how some people named their cars or computers? She decided to press on with her other questions instead of following this segue.
"Okay," Sora sighed, "Next: How did you get in here?"
"The mirror!" Belldandy replied, still smiling. "You saw me! Hi!" The goddess waved at Sora, who barely refrained from returning the gesture.
" I know you came through the mirror, but HOW did you do it, exactly?"
"We goddesses have the ability to use a medium that we are attuned to travel through. For me, it is reflective surfaces of the type you have with mirrors." In an odd way, it did make sense.
"So, why only one wish?"
"There had been some rather 'unpleasant' repercussions from some people that had abused the rules." Once again it did make some sense to Sora.
So, why did these questions make it even harder to make her choice? She looked at her cup, picked it up and took another, longer drink.
Keiichi had decided to walk around instead of taking off on his Beemer. With his luck, he decided to walk instead of putting the Beemer at risk of an accident just for a quick nighttime jaunt . When he had started it up, it had a nice, smooth rhythm, and some of the roughness that used to cough out of the exhaust in puffs of black smoke had been completely smoothed out. It ran as smoothly as if it had just left the plant.
He reached in his pocket, and pulled out a cigarette, placing it in his mouth. He reached in his pocket for his lighter, but decided against it. He really should quit: It was an expensive, dangerous habit, and it seemed that Sayoko didn't like smokers in the least. He also disliked how his teeth were starting to stain as well. He wasn't a neatnick, but he did want to keep what little that was presentable intact. Keiichi sighed, pulled the tobacco from his lips, and stuffed it into his pocket.
"Sayoko," he sighed, feeling his hand twitch in his pocket towards the unlit paper and tobacco trap. He balled his hand in a fist to resist the urge, but it was hard.
He returned his thoughts to Sayoko. She was the school's Queen through and through. Her looks were amazing, her grades were top-tier, and she was rich, but this wasn't what drove his thoughts to her.
He had seen her several times on campus, smiling and laughing with her friends. Something about the warmth of it made him smile. He was a sucker for a good smile, and hers had been one of the best he had ever seen.
It wouldn't be far-off target to say that it had been love at first sight: Seconds after seeing her for the first time, she had smiled, and his heart was hers. It was foolish, but he held the hope that, if he could get her attention, maybe she'd go out with him even though he was almost a full head and a half shorter than she was.
He was extremely self-conscious about his height, but that wasn't the only thing that bothered him. His looks were incredibly plain, and his hair, even when short, had a mind of its own. More often than not, his hair looked like he fell out of bed. He had resigned himself to the fact that his hair hated him more than his growth gland.
He blinked. While in his reverie, his hand had grabbed the cigarette, put it in his mouth, and was now fishing for the lighter. He frowned and tossed his butts and lighter into a nearby trash can before walking off. He'd probably regret it later, but he had really decided that, in order to get Sayoko's attention, he'd have to change. Not a lot, mind, but enough to at least make her see that he wasn't some idiot with greased-back hair in a purple-and-green striped suit.
He had to make the effort. He didn't want to become a pathetic, spineless loser.
Keiichi stopped at a store, and grabbed a pack of gum, to resist the urge to smoke. Chewing absently, he made his way through the green areas of the campus, taking in the soft glow of the lights, the hint of the tree branches dancing in the gentle breeze, and the few stars that peeked through the clouds.
He was nearing the other end of campus now. Somewhere close by was Sayoko's apartment, or at least he thought it was. He shook himself. He didn't want to seem like some creepy stalker. He had only seen her unique, expensive Mercedes in this area and had drawn a conclusion. Still, he kept is eye out for the car, wishing that, one day, he'd be able to get behind the wheel for even a block or two.
Keiichi debated which way he was going to return home. Should he just backtrack, or should he complete the complete route around the campus. Deciding he needed the exercise, he opted to take the long way back to the dorms.
Sora finished the tea, and Belldandy promptly refilled the glass, placing two sugar cubes into the cup. The goddess had answered more of her questions, even the ones regarding what Yggdrasil was. She stared at the cup while slowly turning the spoon in circles through the reddish liquid.
What else could she say? The whole thing was amazing in ways she could barely comprehend! Belldandy hadn't held anything back, either. She knew the goddess wasn't lying, either – the way the wish worked, the efficiency with which the wishes were dispatched were too organized and methodical to be made upon the spot.
It was also boosted by the fact that Belldandy so far had been the most honest and open person she had ever met in her life.
She finally stopped stirring the tea, and took another drink. It was really odd, but the more she had of it, the more she enjoyed it. She should have been getting sick of it by her third cup, but this fourth was already making her want more.
She had to stop, or she was going to burst.
"I don't think I can drink another drop," she said, "I want to, but I'd probably burst. It was really good tea."
Belldandy bowed, and promptly began cleaning up the remains.
"I'll do that!" Sora offered, but Belldandy merely shook her head.
"Please allow me! It's more important that you choose what your wish should be!" The goddess shooed Sora back to her seat, making her feel like a little kid told to behave for some reason.
Sora thougth about it. Belldandy was incredibly attractive.
She was an amazing cook.
She also could do things with tea that would make a tea shop owner weep and retire on the spot.
She had an amazing smile.
She also was incredibly honest and likeable.
Belldandy put the tray with the remains of Tea on the counter. She began humming a quiet, beautiful tune as she wiped the table and counter with a washcloth.
She can sing beautifully too, Sora was confident enough to put money on that.
"I wish you'd marry me," Sora whispered kiddingly, thinking back to how all the anime she had ever seen, one girl would always say that as a compliment to another's prowess in the kitchen.
Wait. Did she just…
Suddenly, Belldandy blinked looked over at Sora with a startled gaze.
Belldandy's power sigil glowed a soft blue.
No no no no no no.
But Sora had. She had done something incredibly, totally stupid.
Keiichi was getting a can of cola from a vending machine, when he heard a sound that could almost be called "ethereal." He looked around, curious as to what could make such a noise, when he caught a flicker of blue light emanating from a window in what he believed to be the Girls' Dormitory.
Curious, he approached the building. What could it be? Was it someone's thesis? A broken television? Maybe it was one of those home projection televisions that everyone in the Electronics department had been gossiping about.
It became apparent that none of these were the case; the roof had a pinhole punched through it by the bright blue beam. With each step forward, the beam got wider and brighter. His walk became a trot, then a run as he realized that the person living in that particular dorm was Hasegawa, the only girl in Nekomi Institute's Auto Club.
"Shit," He gasped as he ran. His lungs were on fire, and his feet were lead, but he kept on, hoping that the girl inside was okay.
He reached the landing in time to see the beam slowly dwindle in size before disappearing with an odd "gwink" sound. He blinked as his night vision readjusted, and made his way over to his Junior's door.
"Haswgawa?" Keiichi asked after politely knocking on the door, "Are you okay Hasegawa?"
No answer was forthcoming. He knocked again, but harder. He raised his voice as well.
"Hasagawa? Are you in there? Please answer."
He heard scurrying behind the door, followed by the sound of the deadbolt, the safety catch and the safety chain being undone.
Hasegawa opened the door, looking spooked. Her hair was a mess, and her eyewear sat too crookedly on her face.
"Are you okay?" he asked?
"Ah. Keiichi," She said, idly straightening her glasses and talking with a calm that definitely didn't touch her face. "Yes, everything's fine."
"Are you sure? I saw this light…"
"Oh, that? It was one of those pen lights my… Cousin gave me. Yeah. He um.." She sighed and became quiet. Suddenly, her lip trembled and the tears rolled down her face in a small torrent."
"Oh, Keiichi!" She exclaimed, opening the door, throwing herself at him while sobbing harder, "What am I going to do? I have no idea what I should do!"
He was speechless. He had no idea what she was going on about. He held her a moment in a friendly hug, patting her reassuringly.
"It's okay," he said, trying to get her to calm down, "It'll be fine. I'm sure of it."
"It's not okay," she said, pushing her face into his shirt, "It's never going to be okay! My life is ruined!"
He was going to ask her why, but before he could speak, the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen peeked out from the doorframe. She had light brown hair, soft blue eyes and the most wonderful, warmest smile he had ever seen in his life. Even Sayoko's smile was faint in contrast to the brightness of this woman's.
"Good evening," The woman said, "My name is Belldandy, Goddess First Class, Limited, and Sora-chan's wife."
Wait. Wife? Did she just say she was Sora's wife?!?
"Yes!" replied Belldandy her smile growing, "We're newlyweds!"