Unbeta-ed and written in a hurry because my muse is damn hungry to write.
Disclaimer: I don't own anyone.
Frau was heading out to visit an old man he knew when he heard the commotion in the alley.
There was a hooded figure facing down a group of slavers, of which one was gripping the collar of a tiny runt of a kid. The runt was pale and topped with a mess of white hair. Adding in the large charcoal black eyes that took up half his face, he looked like a miniature snowman.
He also looked like he was about to freeze to death in the rags that were hanging off him. Frau would need to get him out of the snowy weather quick or the runt would get frostbite.
Just as Frau was about to jump down to do just that, the hooded figure spoke. His voice was surprisingly young, no matter how deep he tried to make it sound.
"I said, let go of him!"
The lead slaver, the one in front of the pack with the bad hair do, laughed out loud. "And why should I do that? I am the great Carl-sama! The most beautiful and clever slaver in all the land!" His subordinates cheered their agreement.
Oh, geez. Frau slumped over a bit over the handles of his hawkzile. It was a group of nut jobs.
"You, insolent stranger, should beg me on your knees for insulting such beauty!"
The hooded stranger took an attack stance. "Not likely," he said shortly before he jumped. He landed right in the middle of the group and with a flurry of movements, didn't take long at all dissembling it.
"Impossible!" Carl shrieked, and he whistled for reinforcements. Out of the caravans Frau saw deeper down the alley, two hulking monsters of men came stomping out. They had taken up a whole caravan each with their size.
The hood was a fair fighter for sure and Frau had no doubt that he had military training before, but he was still just one person fighting bare-handed against a crowd of armed men. The two giants managed to corner him against the alley wall, although he took one out in the process. While he was preoccupied with the other, which roared in fury at his fallen comrade and dove at him with deadly speed, another slaver slipped behind and caught him in the back with a taser. The hood stumbled, giving two others the chance to jump on him.
"No!" gasped the slave runt, eyes shining with unshed tears.
The slavers rejoiced at their captured prey, who struggled weakly in their grips, obviously still muddled by the taser shock.
"Alright, alright, back, you fools. Let's have a good look at him." With eager fingers, Carl pulled off the hood of the stranger.
Frau's eyes went wide. It was just a kid! Perhaps mid-teens at the most, with hair like pitch falling over the most defiant gaze Frau had ever seen, even as they were rolling in dizziness.
His thoughts mirrored the slavers, who gave shocked mutters at seeing the boy's face. One of them grabbed the boy's chin, ignoring the way he bared his teeth at the man.
"Look, Carl-sama! Those eyes are grade-A quality! Like jade! We could get a fortune off of this kid! "
"And the face is pretty nice too, isn't it?" Carl deliberated. The boy's dazed eyes glared weakly at him, and he snapped, "What's with those eyes! Hmm, it looks like you still haven't learned your lesson. Well, boys, what do you say to taking a look at the rest of our new slave's assets?"
The men hooted in eagerness.
Gasping in realization, the boy's struggling upped a notch. "No, let me go! Let me go!" he yelled as a slaver fumbled with his pants.
This had gone on long enough. Frau revved his hawkzile and flew off the rooftop he'd been resting on, aiming for the alley in almost a perfectly perpendicular dive. He caught the attention of quite a few of the slavers, who screamed and ducked as he hurtled toward them. Frau used the element of surprise to zoom in and grab the kid by the front of his shirt. He may have crushed a few of the slavers with the hawkzile, which he noted with no little glee.
"Hang onto me if you don't want to fall off!" Frau shouted over the engine as he pulled up again for another dive. The slavers were already starting to get over their surprise and were running for their caravans to get their own hawkziles.
"You have to get him too!" the boy screamed in his ear as he pointed frantically at the pale runt below. As if he didn't know. What a noisy brat.
Frau dived back down. In their haste to retaliate, the slavers had forgotten the runt and Frau plucked him out with ease as he sped out of the alley. "Make sure he doesn't fall into a ditch somewhere," the blond said as he passed the runt off to the boy.
If it was a clear day, the slavers might have had a chance at catching them, but during a snow storm they had no chance. Beyond the alley, the city was a haze of white and Frau weaved through the buildings with the ease of familiarity. He heard no engines behind him.
"What's your name?" Frau heard the boy ask.
"Ca-Capella," the runt stammered.
That's a good name, Frau thought to himself.
"What about you?" Frau glanced at the boy who had asked him like he demanded an answer.
So not cute, thought Frau. "Shouldn't you go next?" he replied.
The boy looked annoyed. "I asked you first."
"Well, I don't really need a name. You can just call me your hero," Frau said with a grin.
The boy went red. "Why you—!"
"You want to tell me your name?"
"After you go first!"
"But I don't want to."
Capella looked back and forth between the two with an open mouth. Though he seemed more awed than frightened.
"Fine!" the boy finally snapped, throwing himself back on the hawkzile. He stared off into the flurry of white around them. "My name is—Mikage," he said finally.
Frau eyed the boy through his goggles. Something about his expression was off.
"I'm Frau," the blond disclosed shortly. Then he took a sharp turn as he finally decided where to go. The two kids behind him screamed when their bodies lifted off the bike from the velocity of the turn. Around his middle, the boy's arms tightened like a vice. It was a strangely satisfying feeling.
"You, what the hell are you doing?" the boy, Mikage, growled when he pulled out of the turn.
"We're going to make a little pit stop before we leave," Frau announced.
"Leave? Leave where?" Mikage sounded nervous, "Look, I'm thankful that you saved Capella—and me, but just let me off here! I'll be alright."
"No can do, brat." Frau savored the angry little twitch he felt at his back at the last word, "You and Capella are going to the safest place I know. You two will be taken care of there."
"And that is?" said Mikage with hot sarcasm.
Frau replied easily, "The Church."
If anything, the arms tightened further.
After all he had gone through that day, Capella fell fast asleep as soon as he hit the hotel bed. Teito closed the door. Frau had gone out as soon as he dropped the two off, saying he had some business to take care of.
Teito wasn't sure about a lot of things, but he got a good feeling from Frau. He wouldn't be like those slavers. The bishop badge had been real too, he had realized upon inspecting it.
It didn't make much sense for Frau to be a priest though, as Teito's sharp eyes had also spotted a couple of dirty magazines under his coat.
Teito looked down at Capella's sleeping form. In comparison to his own, Capella's body was so small. His wrists looked like twigs, yet those slavers had placed such heavy manacles on them. With a twist of his fingers and a flash of zaiphon, Teito broke the chains binding Capella's wrists and did the same for his ankles.
"There, Capella. Now, you're free. You're not a slave any longer," Teito told the child gently, and he straightened Capella's bunched up shirt so it covered the tattoo on his back. The tattoo that labeled him a combat slave. Teito touched his lower back, where underneath his shirt his own tattoo would be in stark black on his pale skin.
"Frau looks like the real thing. He'll take you to the Church and you meet lots of other kids to play with at the orphanage. Be good, alright? Go with him and be happy, because from now on, you're free." Teito stood up to leave. He fixed his dark coat around him and raised the hood to shield his face.
"From now on…you'll never have to kill again." Teito backed out of the room silently and the door closed gently as Capella slept on, face relaxed and innocent.
Outside the room, Teito calculated that he had at least a mile to walk before he reached the nearest train station. Catching a cab was out of the question since he had no money. He could try to steal a vehicle, but that would attract unwanted attention to the area and the local police might investigate. Teito already had too much attention to worry about.
"Where do you think you're going?" Teito's blood went cold when he realized he wasn't alone. He whirled around.
There, leaning against the wall opposite the door, was Frau and he did not look amused.
"Frau," Teito breathed, trying to calm his rapid heartbeat. He had never had someone hide their presence from him so well. Was he here the entire time? Teito couldn't remember if he had bothered to look up when he exited the room. "What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to deliver something to someone?"
Frau uncrossed his arms and pushed off the wall. "I called from the lounge. The old man said I didn't need to be there tonight, so I came back. More importantly, why are you out here when I told you to go in, take a shower and go to sleep with the runt?"
Damn the man's height, Teito thought furiously as he looked away from the looming bishop and backed up some.
"I'm going to leave," Teito said, eyes averted. "You promised you would take Capella to the Church so I don't need to stick around anymore. I have to be…elsewhere."
Frau narrowed his eyes. "I promised I would take Capella and you to the Church."
"But that's—I don't need to go to the Church!" Teito argued.
"I think you do."
Teito shook his head. "I can't stay here. I'm sorry, but I'm leaving. Thank you for all your help." The boy bowed shortly to Frau.
Before Teito could move though, Frau said something that made his heart go still. "Teito Klein. That's your name, isn't it?" His head jerked up and Frau stared back at him with knowing eyes.
It was reflex. Before he even thought about it, the zaiphon swallowed his hand and filled the hallway with red light, making the walls appear stained by blood.
Inside the room, Capella jerked in his sleep as a loud bam made the door tremble and underneath, the red light peeking through the crack between the door and the floor blinked out.
"Calm down," Frau ordered, one hand on Teito's head and another on his attacking arm, pressing the boy against the door.
Teito was still breathing hard, though his hand was empty of zaiphon. His hood had fallen off in his attack attempt, and Frau's gloved fingers were cold against his forehead. As his breathing slowed, he asked, "How did you know?"
The blonde said gruffly, "I saw a flyer outside. They did pretty well drawing your face. Although the eyes were wrong."
Teito let out a short, humorless laugh at his attempt to lighten the situation. "Are you going to report me?"
Surprisingly, Frau said, "No," and let go of Teito, stepping back.
The boy leaned against the door for support. "What?"
"You have bad hearing too? You really are a useless brat, aren't you?"
Teito fumed, "Don't call me a brat!"
"Love to. Just stop acting like one," Frau smirked and he mussed Teito's hair like he was Capella. "Now, get inside. Capella probably misses you."
"He's sleeping," Teito said automatically and then, "Why aren't you going to report me? Don't you know what I am?" A killing machine. An escaped slave. A murderer. A prince of a fallen kingdom, and the carrier of the greatest evil in the world.
Teito didn't know much about the world. He only knew his place within it, or his lack of one. As a member of the Church, the first thing Frau should have done was cuff Teito and drag him back into the dungeons.
Frau eyed Teito critically. He must have known what Teito was, the boy thought. He must have, because his eyes seemed to look straight through him, as if he saw how Teito had lived his life up to that point and knew all his secrets.
Finally Frau blew out a breath and said, "You're a brat."
"A rude brat, with no sense of courtesy for your elders. You're also short, stubborn and loud," Frau listed off his fingers, smiling wickedly as the boy's face grew brighter with each word. "As for who you are though…well, that's up to you isn't it?"
As Teito looked at Frau in confusion, gentle hands dropped down on his shoulders. "You have to decide yourself who you want to be and for what reasons. Don't let the past keep you from making the decisions you want to make. Walk towards the future with confidence," Frau told him, and the look on his face made Teito lose his breath. His eyes were a calm, serious blue; a day at sea when the waves were still and silent.
Frau's never looked at me like this before.
Before Teito knew it, he was reaching up, and his lips gently touched Frau's.
When Teito pulled away, the bishop looked like a block of stone.
Teito blinked. "Frau?"
When Frau made no sound, Teito poked the blond's cheek. "Hmm."
Teito had…broken him.
The boy tilted his head and thought for a moment on what to do before he tugged on Frau's arm to bring him closer. He whispered something in Frau's ear and then went inside the room to go to bed where Capella was still fast asleep.
Frau's ear tingled as his eyes slowly widened.
"Frau, I kept telling you to stop calling me a brat. I turned seventeen last month. I'm legal."
I know my romance is horribly stunted, so I tried to tackle it again here. As you can see, it wasn't exactly what you'd call a success. I'm still feeling 07-ghost, so I'll probably update something again later tonight or tomorrow.