by Shadow Crystal Mage

Disclaimer: Negima Belongs to Ken Akamatsu. Setsuna is the guardian angel of DOOM! It helps she's usually wearing a hot maid uniform. This is Pre-Kyoto Arc.

She knew she shouldn't do this. It was shameful, despicable. It exposed her dishonor to all the world.

She couldn't help it.

Ever since she'd been cast out, by parents she didn't even remember, from a clan she didn't even know, and taken in by the Shinmeiryuu, she'd tried to hold in that part of her. She'd tried to reject it, forget it, bury it in training. What good was it, after all? If it didn't want her, she didn't want it. Besides, it hadn't done any good when she'd needed to keep her promise. There was no point to it.

But still…

She tried to hold in the need, the longing. She shouldn't, it wasn't right. But the day had been so bright and clear, the wind fresh cool against her skin, and she could feel the temptation rising. One last time, she could hear the treacherous parts of herself pleading, tempting. You know you want it…

She'd held off for hours, then days, hoping the weather would turn foul. She tried to exhaust herself during her training in the morning and found herself filled with seemingly boundless energy. Schoolwork could only take so long.

She broke on the fourth day.

She snuck onto the roof of the middle school building, her breathing quick with fear, anticipation and nerves. Conflicting desires sent goosebumps through her skin as she snuck through the corridors, both wishing for and fearing discovery. The temptation sang through her, tangling her in its siren song…

Now, in the coming darkness, she stood on the roof, her vest and blazer falling from her hands as she looked to the stars. The wind blew through her hair like a lover's caress, and for a moment, a different thought of temptation passed through her, if only for a moment. Then the wind receded for a moment, and she stared into the endlessness above her and gave in to the call of the sky.

She let go, and her wings unfurled behind her, spreading to either side, opened wide as if to embrace all creation. The wind rose once more and a different sort of instinct, one removed the dance of blade and blood she knew so well, took over as her shame and sin opened to catch the breeze, lifting her into the infinite emptiness. She rose, higher and higher, arms spread wide and eyes closed as she flew, sure and certain there was nothing to impede her way.

Thought fell away. Shame and responsibility, duty, honor, debt, she left all that behind her as she indulged her secret temptation, the one none other could know or conceive, the call of her blood, the call of the sky. The one she guarded from the shadows became irrelevant, meaningless pomp and circumstance compared to this, this most rapturous of indiscretions.

Sakurazaki Setsuna opened her eyes and gazed down at the world below her, a steadily shining grid for ants going about their puny lives and distractions. She raised her gaze to the clouds hanging beckoningly above her and laughed, pure, free and joyful, as she rose to join them.

Later she would feel the regret, the shame, the burden of responsibility. She would curse herself and swear never again, living haunted and cast down. A cold blade would be her soul, and empty duty her life as she protected her charge, her other temptation, the one she could not, could never indulge. Hell would be her life as she denied the heavens.

But for now, for the glorious, rapturous, wonderful now, none of that mattered.

Setsuna laughed again for the joy of living and flew faster…

A/N: Because I've always wondered about how Setsuna felt about flying…

Please review, C&C welcome.

Until next time, this is Shadow, signing off.