Title: Verloren's Angel

Author: phoenixtears07

Fandom: 07 Ghost

Rating: T

Genre: General, Drama

Synopsis: AU/AR Teito-in-military. Every God needs an angel. Verloren was no different. The only problem? The angel was taken from him, and the Seven Ghosts sealed him before he could find that precious being. Now, a thousand years later, the God and the angel will be reunited once more as reincarnated humans.

Disclaimer: I don't own 07 Ghost.

This chapter is all flashbacks. Well, except for the four sentences somewhere in the middle of the chapter.

Chapter 3

--

When he opened his eyes for the first time, his first sight was of a skeletal figure looming over him.

"I am Verloren, your creator."

That was the first thing he heard. The sweet scent of flowers was the first thing he smelled, and the soft texture of the petals against his skin was the first thing he felt.

"Verloren." The first thing he tasted was his creator's name as it rolled off his tongue as his first spoken word.

"Azrael. Your name is Azrael, my angel of death."

And he heard the first and most treasured name he would ever answer to in his long existence.

Understanding, he closed his eyes to sleep for the first time.

--

He was Verloren's first and only cognizant creation. His appearance almost mirrored the one for whom his creator felt the first inklings of love.

To Azrael, Verloren was his everything. He lived because of Verloren. And so, he would live for Verloren. Without his creator, his existence would have no value. So, he would do whatever it took to keep his creator happy. Even at the expense of his own happiness.

That, he decided, was his reason for living.

--

The first time he met Eve had been an accident.

The Chief of Heaven's daughter had gotten lost in the forest again. But instead of meeting her Father's perfect creation, she was found by another angel. One that looked almost exactly like her.

The only differences were gender and eye color. His bright green eyes were confused as he met her own blue gaze.

Unfortunately, she made a rather questionable first impression since her first words were, "Why do you look like me?" The moment those words left her mouth, Eve gasped at just how rude she had been.

The male angel laughed. "Are you Eve? The Chief of Heaven's daughter?"

"I'm sorry. That was rude of me. Yes, I'm Eve. You know of me?"

"Verloren-sama has told me about you. I'm Azrael."

Her eyes brightened. "You know Verloren?"

Azrael led the way out of the wooded area. Once they reached the outskirts of the forest where the flower field began, he smiled gently at her. "Verloren-sama created me in your image. That's why we look alike."

Eve's eyes widened in surprise. "Oh. Verloren…created you? In my image?" She felt her face heat up.

"Yes. Verloren-sama doesn't like to talk much, but he speaks fondly of you every now and then. I should thank you."

"For what?"

"You must have made quite an impression on him. He is more expressive and his tone is always softer…warmer when he talks about you." Azrael held out his hand and a petal landed on his palm. "And death is neither soft nor warm. So, I'm thanking you for being a light in his existence. It's rare to see Verloren-sama show his emotions. I'm glad the thought of you can give him some peace."

Eve thoughtfully patted her horse and moved to stand by her younger counterpart. "Then I'm glad you're here, too, Azrael." She continued at his questioning look. "You can keep Verloren company when I'm not around. I think you bring him some peace yourself."

Nothing else needed to be said. The two angels stood side by side with warm, understanding smiles on their faces. That was how the God of Death found them half an hour later.

--

"That Verloren doesn't belong here in Heaven. Why would you follow something like him, Azrael?"

Furious, Azrael lunged at the angel who dared to insult his creator.

Everything was a blur. After a flurry of activity that he couldn't quite seem to recall, Azrael found himself kneeling on the ground with something sticky covering him.

He looked down and stared in disbelief at the red substance coating his hands. A few last feathers drifted down to the ground. White stained red. Azrael screamed when he saw the torn, bloody body with broken wings lying next to him.

Running footsteps arrived on the scene and sharp gasps resounded in the thick air alongside the hysterical screams.

The archangel, Michael, stepped forward and placed a hand on the frantic angel's shoulder. "Azrael. What happened?"

Large green eyes stared up at the older angel. "I-I don't know. I remember being angry at him for something he said and wanting to hurt him. Then…nothing. I woke up like this." He stared at his shaking hands then at the cooling body. "Did I do that?"

Michael's lips thinned to a straight line and he pulled Azrael to his feet. "Come. We shall convene with the Chief of Heaven."

--

"You are guilty of murdering another angel."

Azrael flinched at the Chief of Heaven's harsh tone.

"It is an unforgivable crime."

The frightened angel choked on a sob. "Please…"

"Henceforth as punishment, you shall forever be banished from Heaven, and the marks of your sin shall be branded onto your soul."

Azrael tried to plead for mercy, but the Chief of Heaven turned his head away. The sentence was given. So mote it be.

He screamed in agony as the blood splattered on his wings was seared into the white feathers. The red stains from now on would never disappear from his soul. Once the pain in his wings subsided, his eyes began to burn. His screams began anew as red seeped into his irises, blotting out the original green.

Blood red eyes and bloodstained wings. Marks of his sin.

Azrael trembled as crimson tears slid down his pale cheek. His creator would not be coming to save him. Verloren had gone to guide some souls to the proper place, so the God of Death would not hear his cries.

"Begone from my sight, defiled angel."

'I'm sorry, Master. I won't be able to stay by your side anymore.' Tarnished eyes slowly closed.

--

New memories permeated Azrael's mind. Memories that did not belong to him but to his Master.

As a being created from part of Verloren's very soul, he shared an unbreakable bond with the God of Death. One that allowed them to share thoughts, feelings and memories. And now, the bond between them reawakened along with his soul.

--

Fear flooded his senses and he knew it wasn't his. Verloren sighed, wondering if Azrael had gotten lost in his thoughts while flying again. The last four times the angel projected his fear, Verloren had come running only to be greeted by the sight of a sheepish Azrael getting to his feet.

He needed to guide these souls to Purgatory. Surely the easily distracted angel could deal with a few bruises on his own for a while. Content with that, Verloren continued his duty.

When the fear did not subside, Verloren started to become worried. He left the souls in the appropriate area and turned to go back.

Without any warning, pain ripped through him. He tensed and his fingers tightened around his scythe. It took a moment for him to realize he did not have the injured body parts.

Wings.

Azrael.

Did the angel hurt his wings?

His eyes widened when the angel's thoughts echoed in his mind.

'I'm sorry, Master. I won't be able to stay by your side anymore.'

Azrael's presence abruptly vanished from every one of his senses. Fearing the worst, Verloren raced back to Heaven.

"Verloren."

He had been heading for the last place he felt Azrael's presence when Michael stopped him.

"You won't find him there."

The God of Death kept his voice carefully blank, when all he wanted to do was scream at the archangel to get out of his way. 'What do you mean?"

"Uriel is dead. Azrael killed him."

Violet eyes narrowed in disbelief. Azrael wouldn't do that.

"The Chief of Heaven has banished his soul to Earth. He shall be reborn as a human over and over unto the ending of the world, at which point his soul will be erased from existence. That is his punishment for murder."

--

Months then years passed.

Not a day went by that he didn't think about the angel lost to him.

Without Azrael around, Verloren felt adrift as though he merely floated along the currents of fate. There was no color, no meaning. Just his duty to keep him company.

The God of Death had never realized just how deeply his creation had burrowed into his frigid soul until now.

Death was a cold, lonely facet of existence. He had accepted it long before Azrael was even a concept in his mind. Yet, his angel had eased the heavy burden placed upon his shoulders by the Chief of Heaven. Verloren, with Azrael's guidance, found warmth and hope in his corner of Heaven. It had been a novel feeling.

Now, everything seemed twice as cold as before Azrael's creation. And, loneliness gnawed at his bones. Eternity bleakly stretched out before him like an unending nightmare.

"Verloren?"

The God of Death watched Eve's approach from the corner of his eye.

The Chief of Heaven's daughter stopped beside him. "Do not look so lonely, Verloren. Azrael's soul is sleeping so he won't feel any pain."

Unexpectedly, a surge of white-hot rage rose up in his chest.

How dare she try to comfort him with cruel words. What use did that reassurance have? Yes, he was glad that Azrael would not be in pain, but that also meant the angel would never again stand by his side.

"I won't ever leave you, so don't look so lonely."

And as Verloren fixed his gaze on Eve, he realized that he hated her. He hated her for not being Azrael and wished that he hadn't crafted his angel from her image.

Azrael was unique. And he should have had a unique appearance.

"Fine. I won't ever willingly leave you, then. Is that agreeable?"

His scythe sliced through the air, and a fountain of blood followed the blade's path. The Chief of Heaven's daughter collapsed like a puppet whose strings had been cut. Dull, blue eyes stared sightlessly at him.

"Then it's a promise, Master."

He hated that her death did not fill the emptiness yawning within his soul.

--

"You! You killed my daughter!"

The accusation nipped at his heels as Verloren fled to Earth. He had a soul to find.

If Azrael was sleeping within a human, then he would wake the angel. After all, his creation had sworn to never willingly leave him. He would gladly spend eternity on this wretched Earth if it meant his angel stood by his side.

"Where is it?"

His scythe lashed out over and over again.

"Where is it? I know it is here in this world."

Months of fruitless searching had him growing more frantic by the day.

"Is it you?"

A woman's corpse fell to the ground.

"…No…then you?"

Her husband followed.

"Will I be able to find it by myself? No, I must not falter. I will not rest until I've bitten into all of the souls of this world!"

"That's far enough, Verloren! According to orders from the Chief of Heaven, you will be executed." Seven skeletal figures landed in a circle around him.

Verloren looked around in confusion. "Why? Why do they have the same form as me? Did the Chief of Heaven use my fragments to create them?" He held his hand up before his face to study the bleached-white bones. "Laughable. I, alone, am Verloren. God's greatest masterpiece is only one."

As his own greatest masterpiece was only one. With Eve dead, Azrael now had the unique appearance he deserved.

If only he could find that precious soul taken from him…

--

And...that's all for this chapter.

My computer had the lovely idea of crashing, so I lost the other chapters I wrote. And I'll be busy until the end of the semester. (Why do professors assign projects? Is it some form of torture that just never became popular outside of the scholarly field?) So, please don't expect an update for a little while.

Ch. 4 Preview

Amused and uncaring of the fact that he had been inches from certain death, Hyuuga relaxed into a more casual position. He reached into his coat and pulled out two lollipops with a flourish. The Major held one out to Teito. "Candy?~"