Title: Edge

Series: Angel Beats!

Summary: Before Otonashi, arrogance hadn't been a flaw. Naoi/Otonashi SPOILERS

Warning(s): Spoilers until Episode 13.

Please note: Naoi is kinda crushing on Otonashi. If that disturbs you, then please don't read.


Maybe it was his arrogance that kept them apart.

Before Otonashi, arrogance hadn't been a flaw. Any egotism he had was justified because, frankly speaking, he was superior to them. They were simple human beings and he was… Well, he was something else.

Desperate for classification, a name to go with his abnormality, Naoi had reached out to God. He received only silence but it fulfilled him all the same. If he wasn't human, if he wasn't an angel, then was he God? This world had no demons and no Lucifer; it allowed for the souls inhabiting it to become the evil they desired and Naoi knew the inherent cruelty of humans very, very well.

But they were his to control, to mold and to break. Was this the power of a God?

Yes, he had answered long ago, but now… He was unsure, his usually rigid principles thrown into disarray by just a touch, by just one person's care.

Would a true God fall so easily? And there was no denying that he'd fallen, harder than the others realized. They saw his attachment to Otonashi and thought of it like a wounded animal clinging to its rescuer, but that was not the case. He was devoted to Otonashi, hopelessly bound to him by an unnamed yet powerful force.

But Otonashi was not the same. He moved easily through the group, lending a helping hand where he could, and they all adored him for it. He was brave, wonderful, kind, caring, intelligent and simply better. While Naoi could pry a mind apart and manipulate it as he so desired, people would bare their souls to Otonashi.

At first, Naoi resented him. Otonashi was his. Why would he need anyone else? He had God at his side, what else could he need? But Otonashi wouldn't be the same without his kindness…

Naoi attempted to tolerate the SSS members for his sake. He found himself drawn to Yuri and her sharp intelligence, but found the glares from Noda to be discouraging. The others were the usual riffraff, trigger-happy idiots who clung to the belief that there was a better world beyond this. But, of all the fools combined, one stood out to Naoi as the Supreme Fool.

Hinata.

He wasn't worthy of being a rival, especially not for Otonashi's attention, and Naoi despised him. He wanted to turn his mind inside out, revealing all his secrets and fears and relishing in the despair they caused. But he wouldn't. He couldn't.

Naoi was hopelessly bound to Otonashi, his dearest friend. Mutually, they were friends but… Why did Naoi desire more?

What more could he give to Otonashi? Did he want his loyalty? It was already there. His strength? He'd give it all. His soul? His heart?

On their Graduation Day, Naoi could honestly say he left without regrets. He had resigned himself to the distance, the loneliness, and the unrequited longing which was no longer nameless. He embraced it. While there was pain, there was also joy that Otonashi could make him feel. He was but a shell of a boy before, a boy playing with a line of ants and feeling nothing when they squished beneath his heel. But now…

Through the tears, he looked up at Otonashi. The blinding white of the next world was creeping in, but he was not afraid.

"Thank you so much."

He was alive.


A/N: I finally got around to finishing the series. And this happened as a result.

As always, thanks for reading.