Title: To the Rescue
Author: Tsutsuji
Rating: T
Warnings: none really, just fluff and a little nudity
Written for Springkink Round VIII, Prompt: I'm Gonna Be An Angel. Raphael/Mikael. Slave auction – Mikael was never going to live down getting captured by demons.
Word count: 4240

Disclaimer: I don't own Tenshi ni Narumon/I'm Gonna Be An Angel and I'm not making any money for this.
Summary: Mikael learns why it's not a good idea for an angel-in-training to take a shortcut across the Demon World.
A/N: Wow, trying to capture the surreal silliness of Tenshi ni Narumon in mere words - how silly of me. This does not do it justice at all, but I tried! For song lyrics that Raphael sings, credit goes to Rudyard Kipling, A. A. Milne, and Owl City.


Mikael kept telling himself this could not be happening. He even tried varying it a few ways: "They can't really do this to me.... This can not possibly be real!"

No matter how hard he insisted, it really did seem to be real after all.

"I'm not really standing here, in chains and no clothes, about to be auctioned off to some demon!" he insisted one more time, quite emphatically.

But it was pretty obvious that this was exactly what was happening. He really was standing here in front of a room full of bizarre and rowdy demons of all shapes and sizes and kinds, and he really was entirely naked, except for the silver-studded, black leather dog collar around his neck, leather cuffs around his wrists and ankles, and the shiny silver chain attaching all of these together, collar to wrists to ankles.

It was equal parts infuriating and humiliating. At least, he thought, he could be thankful that the chains held his hands at a strategic location in front of him. That wasn't enough coverage to stop him from blushing as red as a beet, though, and it didn't keep the demons from leering and wolf-whistling at him.

He couldn't believe this had all happened just because he'd tried to take a simple little shortcut from the Angel Academy to the human world by cutting across a corner of the demon dimension. He had no idea that just slipping into that world for a few seconds would land him in this much trouble! Well, it was true that Raphael, his angel professor and mentor (and more), had hinted that he should never go that way, no matter how convenient it might seem to be. But Mikael had met so many demons and monsters already in the human world, and even if they were a little bit strange, most of them were friendly and harmless. After all, the one person who had caused the most trouble for himself and Noelle in their efforts to become angels had turned out to not even be a demon at all. Even Noelle's grandmother, who was so hostile toward both humans and angels, well, she certainly didn't seem capable of something like this.

He stared out at the crowd, miserable yet determined to appear defiant - which was not very effective under the circumstances, especially since he could hardly see them clearly through the wayward locks of his aqua-colored hair that had fallen over his face. He couldn't raise his hands to brush it out of the way, and considering the view that would give the demons, he wouldn't have moved his hands if he could.

He was almost relieved when the bidding finally started. At least it got some of the attention off of him, as a literal bidding war broke out among the demons most intent on buying such a rare pet as a young angel-in-training.

"I hear 50, who'll say 60? Who'll say 70?" the wolf-girl auctioneer called out, tail and ears perking up as she urged the bidders on.

There was yell of "60!" and a "75!" and then...

"Hang on, you skipped 70!" someone yelled. "Can we go back and do 70 first, please?"

"No!" the demon girl hollered, scowling at the hulking mecha-monster who had asked the question. "How about 80, who wants to say 80?"

"Is that 80 green credits or 80 orange credits?" a ditzy-looking, dyed-blonde demon woman called out. She raised her hands and there was a flash; in one hand, a pile of apples appeared, in the other a stack of oranges. "There's quite a difference, you know!"

"How about 70 and three quarters?" the mecha-demon asked plaintively. "Please?"

"Grr, no, and it's plain old gold shillings, not fruit, you ditz! On with the bidding! Who's got 80 for the cute little angel boy?"

"Cute little angel!" Mikael sputtered indignantly.

The wolf girl winked aside to him. "You're about the cutest thing I've ever sold, little angel boy," she said. "I'd almost like to buy you myself; you look yummy!" She licked her lips, showing sharp canine teeth. Mikael cringed; he wasn't sure which kind of "yummy" she meant, and he really didn't want to know.

"80! I bid 80!" a new voice called out from the crowd. Mikael spotted a pale, skinny, twisty-shaped demon; it reminded him of rotini pasta. "I want him for 80!"

"How about 80 and three quarters, then?" the mecha monster said. "Plus interest!"

"How about red credits?" the ditzy demon offered, and with a flash and a puff of smoke, a huge bowl of cherries appeared in her hands.

"Grr, no cherries!" the auctioneer growled, her gray tail bristling. "And no fractions! I hate fractions," she muttered.

The rotini creature raised a skinny arm to bid again, but he was shoved aside by another demon with slicked back hair and a high-collared cape that hid most of his face, except for gleaming eyes.

"You're all too cheap!" the caped man cried. "I bid eighty thousand!"

The whole hall, including Mikael, gasped. The auctioneer squealed. "Oooh, now we're talking! Do I hear ninety thousand? Eighty-five thousand, even?"

"Eighty-five thousand!" yet another new voice called out, this time from a shapely cat woman at the other side of the hall. Her fur was velvety black with a single white lock of hair falling over her face. The vampire and the pasta demon turned to scowl at her, but she just smiled a very smug smile in return, and flicked her cigarette holder at them.

The auctioneer grinned and muttered aside to Mikael from behind her hand. "Woohoo, I could retire on that and never have to work for another demon overlord again! Sweet!"

"How nice for you," Mikael snapped at her. "What about me?! I get to live the rest of my life as a servant to either a lump of pasta, a vampire, or a cat woman - actually, she looks like she's part skunk," he added, wrinkling his nose.

"You'll do fine, honey," she said placatingly, waving her hand at him as if she would have patted him on the head. "Rotini-man will probably just want you to cook for him so he can chase you around the kitchen, and I bet angel blood would give a vampire a bad case of indigestion, anyway! And that cat-bimbo will just put you up on her mantelpiece on display; all you'll have to do is look pretty so she can show off her expensive taste in home decor to her friends."

"That's not very encouraging," Mikael grumbled in alarm.

He was interrupted by a loud yowling from the far side of the hall. Fur started to fly as a cat fight broke out between the black-cat-skunk woman and another catgirl demon; all Mikael could see was a cloud of tails and ears and claws, and other demons around them scrambling to get out of the way - or to get a better view.

"How about 81,279 and three quarters?" the hulking mecha-demon called out.

"How about cocktail!" the blond demon cried happily. She spun around with her arms raised. Chunks of apples, lemons, bananas, and pineapple flew out around her in all directions.

"I bid -" the pasta demon yelled out, but he was rudely interrupted by the vampire demon grabbing what appeared to be his neck. "Urgh, ack, let go of me you ankle biter!"

"Jeeze, where the heck is your jugular, you stupid lump of dough?" the vampire whined.

The auctioneer yelled for order, but she was drowned out by the yowling from the catfight and the crowd of onlookers gleefully jeering and cheering them on. An argument about the proper recipe for fruit salad broke out between the blond demon and the mecha hulk. Mikael and the auctioneer watched helplessly as the hall erupted into chaos, bidding all but forgotten.

"Not again..." the auctioneer muttered.

Mikael wondered, a little hysterically, if demon slave auctions always turned out like this.

Something large and dark and very smelly swooped overhead. The wolf-girl auctioneer ducked and squawked in alarm as a huge, scraggly bird circled around again and dive-bombed her. Mikael wondered why something that looked like a vulture was trying act like an eagle, albeit a clumsy one, and then he wondered why seeing a vulture here suddenly seemed like some kind of good omen bird.

Something tugged at the the chain attached to his collar, under his chin, except he couldn't see who or what was doing the tugging; there wasn't anyone there. He was almost beyond surprise or concern any more, so he thought it couldn't really have been him who made that hysterical, high-pitched squeal of alarm when he felt invisible hands pushing his chin up.

"Hang on , this shouldn't take a minute," a soft voice said from close by.

He could have sworn he felt warm breath on his hands. But ghosts don't breathe, he thought frantically, Do they? Things were getting so bizarre all around him that he wasn't quite sure of that anymore, or of anything else, for that matter. He didn't think ghosts should feel warm, either, but as a matter of fact, he could feel quite a bit of warmth radiating from something right in front of him, quite a lot like the heat from his own blushing skin.

"Hold still, it's just supposed to take a second for this gadget to work on the lock, I hope..."

The ghost's voice sounded nervous and rushed. Mikael wasn't sure if that was good or very, very bad.

Then the chain that linked the collar to his hands and ankles gave way with a click and went slithering to the floor. The collar and cuffs remained in place, but his hands were free and his feet were no longer hobbled.

"Aha!" the ghost cried triumphantly, then let out a piercing whistle. An invisible hand clamped onto Mikael's arm. "C'mon! This way!"

The chaos in the hall reached a crescendo. The eagle-vulture took another kamikaze dive at the auctioneer. Mikael almost felt sorry for the wolf-girl dashed off the stage, screeching. "That's it, I'm quitting the auction business forever!" he heard her cry before he lost sight of her. The bird cackled happily and flew off into the rafters.

Meanwhile, out on the floor, things were crazier than ever. The vampire konked the noodle-demon on the head, and Mikael watched it ripple to the floor like...well, like a limp noodle. The cat fight suddenly burst apart in cloud of flying fur; the black-cat lady flew backwards, bowling over a dozen other demons of various shapes and sizes. The big hulking demon yelled "STRIKE!" as they scattered and fell.

That was about all Mikael managed to see; the rest of the place passed by in a blur. Nobody seemed to notice him running through the crowd (still naked, as he could not help remembering even if no one was looking in his direction anymore) with one arm extended, led by an unseen force.

"Uh-oh," the ghost said suddenly.

Mikael ran into something solid, and realized that the ghost had stopped short in front of him. Then he saw the reason: a dozen squat, bulky mecha-demons had lined up across their path, blocking the way to the door. With an alarming clatter, every one of them raised and pointed its left arm toward Mikael and the ghost, and their rectangular eyes flashed red and yellow and green. They looked like a row of demented slot machines.

"You. Shall. Not. Pass!" they intoned in creepy, droning voices. Mikael shuddered as the rows of eyes started to blink and, one by one, each eye in the line turned up red. They were about to hit the jackpot.

"Not good," the ghost muttered. Mikael was inclined to agree.

He was about to pull on the invisible hand and make a dash for it off to the side, thinking they had a better chance of escaping through the chaos of the hall than facing the single minded slot machines. Before he could make a move, a burst of high-pitched laughter split the air right over his head. Something swooped down in front of them, and for a moment he expected to see (and smell) the dive-bombing vulture again. Instead, he was startled to see the blond, fruit-flinging demon woman, only now she was hovering in the air in front of him on a quivering broomstick.

"C'mon, hop on!" she cried, a little hysterically.

Mikael took a step backward, but the ghost cried out "Mama! Thank goodness!" and pulled him toward her.

Suddenly, Mikael realized what was happening. It all - almost - made sense - well, as much as anything to do with Noelle's crazy demon family could ever make sense, he thought, with a giddy rush of relief.

This didn't exactly make it any less alarming when the invisible girl pushed him onto the back end of the broomstick and jumped on behind him. Fortunately, as they went zooming up into the air over the heads of all the squawking, screeching, clattering demons, he didn't have much time to think about the fact that he was still stark naked, holding onto Noelle's Mama around the waist for dear life, while Noelle's invisible sister Sara clung to his back on the tail end of the broom handle. He didn't have to see her face to know how red it was; he could feel the heat from her blushing skin against his shoulder. After all, he remembered, if she was invisible, that meant she had to be naked, too.

And Mama rode that broom like an absolute maniac.

"This still can't be happening," he cried, as they went crashing out through a skylight into the dusky dark sky of the demon world.

They looped around once over the hall; flashing lights and sounds of chaos still reached them up here in the air far above it. Then Mama banked and swooped toward the ground. Mikael gulped, feeling like they had left his stomach behind somewhere up in the clouds. Mama put the brakes on and the broom stuttered to a halt, and he slid off the back to land on wobbly feet on damp grass.

No sooner had he hit the ground than something came bounding out of the dark and grabbed him around the neck - a squealing creature in a huge red hood and cloak, like a maniacal Red Riding Hood.

"Urk! What - eeiii!" he squawked and flailed in a panic, thinking he was being captured by demons all over again. That would just be too much, he thought; it was embarrassing enough that he'd let himself be captured the first time, but twice in one day...!

Then his eye was caught by a glint of gold peeking out from under the hood. Startled, he stopped flailing long enough to realize it was a gleaming golden halo.

"Noelle!"

"Kael-san!" the familiar cheerful voice squealed, deafeningly, in his ear. The hood slipped, and Noelle's pink-cheeked face appeared, grinning up at him. "We rescued you, we rescued you!!" she giggled happily.

"Yes, but ... it's Mikael..." he said, helplessly.

By the time he managed to pry her loose and set her down, all the others were standing around them too. Papa was pulling off the last shreds of his mecha-disguise; Mama stood next to him, broom in hand and the crazy-witch gleam still in her eyes. Mirumu's cat tail was puffed up like a bulrush and her ears were still flattened as she plucked bits of black cat fur off her shoulder. Next to her, Noelle's brother Gabriel grimaced as he finger-combed his greased-down purple hair, trying to un-slick it, and muttered about ridiculous vampire fashion trends; "this is so 1880's!" he groaned.

Gabriel handed Sara his vampire cloak to wrap herself in as she faded into view. Smiling shyly at Mikael, she handed Noelle's younger sister Rukka a small key-like gadget. Mikael realized that it must have been one of Rukka's mad-scientist inventions that Sara's invisible hands had used to unlock the chains on his collar.

Mikael looked around at all of them in wonder. Even Noelle's Grandma, the glowering old witch, stood there at the edge of the group. Nekbhet, her clumsy pet vulture, scowled down at him from her shoulder just like the bird of prey he really wasn't.

"Everyone..." he said, feeling quite overwhelmed with shame and gratitude.

Noelle giggled happily. "We all rescued Kael-san!" she crowed. Her hood slipped back, revealing her adorable golden hair and her shining halo. She looked shockingly out of place in the gloom outside the auction hall.

"Noelle! You shouldn't be here in the demon world!" he scolded.

Her mouth fell open, and they all stared at him.

"NEITHER SHOULD YOU!" they all yelled at him at once.

Mikael winced, too startled and confused to speak.

"But, you all come from here!" he finally said, sheepishly.

"Hufh! That lowlife crowd!" Grandma grumbled. "What do they have to do with us, anyway?" She turned and made a rude gesture back towards the auction hall.

Gabriel looked around at the dark forest behind them and the perpetually gray twilit sky overhead. "Dunno, doesn't seem like home here anymore..."

"We don't fit in here now," Noelle's Mama agreed, only a little wistfully.

"That's right! We're more at home in the human world now," Papa said.

Noelle giggled and squealed "YAY," and the rest of the family all nodded in agreement.

And the next thing Mikael knew they had all pulled him into the middle of a great big family hug - which was mortifying when he suddenly remembered he was still stark naked.

"Um, everyone..." he said, trying to push his way out of the middle of the demon family love-fest.

They all gasped and jumped back as a blast of light burst out from the hall. A second later, as they all stood staring, there was another blinding but strangely silent flash.

When his eyes adjusted to the dark again, Mikael was astonished to see Raphael coming towards him from the direction of the hall, which was now completely dark and eerily silent.

"East is east," he heard Raphael singing softly as he came forward, his single white wing gleaming in the dusky light, "and west is west, and never the twain shall meet..."

Mikael blinked at him in utter confusion. What was he doing here, and where did he come from...? Why hadn't he seen him inside the hall, if he was there while Mikael was being rescued by all the others?

Grandma raised a crooked eyebrow as he walked past her at the edge of the group.

"Heh!" he heard her mutter. "You could lose your other wing for that, you know," she went, with a tip of her head toward the auction hall. "You're not authorized as an Avenging Angel, are you?"

"They'll recover," Raphael replied quietly as he passed her. He never even looked at her, though, his eyes locked on Mikael as he walked past the rest of Noelle's family. He started humming again under his breath, a different song this time.

"James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree!" he sang, in a slightly scolding tone of voice, and he shook his head side to side, giving Mikael the feeling the song was a scolding aimed at him, although the words didn't make any sense.

He considered scowling and scolding back at Raphael; after all, he'd been through a lot tonight! But instead he ducked his head, peering up at his angel professor from behind the lock of hair that fell over his eyes.

"I'm sorry I worried all of you," he said, but was only looking up at Raphael as he said it.

Raphael slipped out of his jacket as he reached Mikael, and put it around Mikael's shoulders, and wrapped his arms around the jacket with Mikael snug inside, and wrapped his single wing around his arms.

"You must never go down to the end of town if you don't go down with me!" he sang, softly, and pressed his cheek against Mikael's hair.

Abashed, Mikael remembered Raphael's warning about taking shortcuts. For once, he didn't try to sidle out of Raphael's embarrassingly public display of affection, but let his head rest against his mentor's shoulder.

"I'm sorry," he said again.

"It's okay!" Raphael said cheerfully. He drew back and raised Mikael's chin with his finger to look him in the eye. "This time! Just as long as we found you in time, thanks to Grandma!" "

"Grandma!" Mikael was surprised. The old witch seemed like the very last one to worry about him.

"Hmph," she said, her face turned away, and she muttered something about riff-raff and idiots. Mikael wasn't sure if she's talking about the other demons or himself, or maybe both.

Rukka stepped up to him and Raphael, grinning and brandishing a huge laser-ray gun with a barrel shaped like an old fashioned key. Raphael stepped back a little and they both looked at her, Mikael very nervously.

"I can get that collar and cuffs off now, if you want," she said eagerly. She hefted the bazooka-sized thing up on her shoulder. "Stand back, everyone!"

Mikael nearly choked, but Raphael just waved her off with one hand, with his other arm and his wing still around Mikael's shoulders.

"That's all right. I'll get rid of them," he said, to Mikael's relief - and then he caught Mikael's eye with a cocky grin. "Later. Maybe!"

"Raphael!" Mikael exclaimed. He held out his cuffed hands, pleading angrily. "You'd better get them off of me!"

Raphael put his finger to his chin as if he was considering the request. Behind him, Mikael saw Sara's face go red again; Gabriel wiggled his eyebrows and Noelle giggled - and Mikael suddenly remembered that he was still completely naked under Raphael's jacket.

"EEP!" He shrank back and pulled the jacket closed around himself again - no matter that he'd already given them all several eyefuls of everything he had to show while they were rescuing him.

Raphael tugged the coat even closer around him. He tipped his head toward Mikael, grinning, but with that scolding gleam in his eyes again.

"Uh-uh, nobody else gets to see all of Mikael that way except me!" he announced happily.

Mikael blushed even harder, both relieved and disgruntled.

"You seem to like to get me 'this way,' you're always leaving me without any clothes to wear!" he grumbled.

"That's because you're my 'cute little angel boy'," Raphael replied. "And you're worth more to me than any amount of apples or oranges or cherries can buy!"

"Ain't they sweet," Grandma grumbled, scowling when Noelle giggled again. "Well, are we going to stand here all night and watch two angels get googly over each other? How about dinner!"

"I want fruit salad!" Papa said.

"Let's go home and tell Yuusuke all about how we rescued Kael-san!" Noelle cried, dancing circles around the two angels. "We rescued Kael-san! We rescued Kael-san!"

"It's... Mikael," Mikael muttered helplessly as the rest of the family joined in the dance, but it was pretty difficult to argue with them about a little detail like that when they had, after all, rescued him.

Raphael chuckled, not helping at all.

"Thank you all for getting my little angel-in-training out of there safely for me," he said to Noelle's family, happily ignoring Mikael's indignation. They all bowed, nodded, saluted, or shrugged when Raphael smiled around at each of them.

Then he tightened his arm around Mikael and started singing again as he rose into the air, lifting Mikael along with him, tight in his arms: "Breathe and I'll carry you away into the velvet sky, And we'll stir the stars around and watch them fall away..."

...

"You are going to get these cuffs and the collar off of me as soon as we get home, aren't you, Raphael?" Mikael insisted as they drifted down toward the rooms they shared.

"Hm," Raphael said thoughtfully. "Why should I? If I carried you away from that auction, doesn't that mean I get to keep you, my cute little angel? I could just keep you on the mantelpiece on display, or have you make dinner for me so I can chase you around the kitchen!"

"Raphael!" Mikael growled through gritted teeth. Compared to those alternatives, though, Raphael's never-ending teasing didn't seem so bad.

"Heh-heh!" Raphael laughed as sailed in through the open balcony window. He landed and set Mikael down gently, facing him. His brown eyes gleamed with humor and with something warmer as he pushed his coat off of Mikael's shoulders.

"Don't worry," he grinned, while Mikael blushed crimson yet again. Except now, alone with Raphael, it wasn't entirely from embarrassment. "I have much more interesting plans for my adorable rescued angel!"

He pulled Mikael into his arms, held him tight, and drew his wing around the both of them.

"Please don't ever go missing on me again," Raphael said softly.

He nudged Mikael's face up to his with a finger under his chin, and gave him the most delicate and gentle kiss he'd ever imagined.

Mikael knew he was never going to be allowed to live down being captured and rescued from demons, but he had a feeling he was never going to forget being welcomed home again, either.

~ The End ~