The Angel That Falls in the City
1 + 1 = 1 when a disillusioned man with everything but nothing catches a falling miracle. Pompous Pep.
In retrospect, he supposed he was glad that the air here, already made close to unbearable with the thousands of glowering, burning engines rushing back and forth like insects so far below, was sweltering. At the very least, it meant that he could sleep outside amongst the billions of stars flashing and twinkling below his haunt; he shuddered to think what would happen when Winter limped back into the State like a bereaved old man.
Kicking his feet back and forth from where they hovered over fifty feet of empty air, a young, pale-skinned teenager sighed as he drew his head back, feeling the soothing effects of the altitude's breeze on his angry and chapped flesh.
Ah. For whatever reason or another, his skin had always refused to tan; it only ever burned. He supposed he deserved as much for falling asleep on top of a building during a hot July afternoon, but he'd been so exhausted, and it had been so very, very hot down on the dark sidewalk, where the granite seemed applicable for all your egg-frying needs...
Eighteen year old Danny Fenton ignored his grumbling stomach at the thought of food, and soothingly pressed a hand to the irate flesh drawn tightly around his petite stomach. Eventually, he supposed he'd have to find another Soup Kitchen or Homeless Shelter and have a nice tuck-in, but lately, the places he found were swarming with suspicious, busybody social workers who tried to coax him into telling them his name, where he lived, who his parents were...
Hand moving downwards, he began tracing some healing scars on his stomach, Danny let out a dry, forced laugh. His parents! Maybe he WOULD try and visit that shelter with the suspicious-looking, stuck up woman with the ugly purple handbag again-good Lord knew he needed a laugh.
He glanced back downwards at the sprawling city far below him, unfolding below him like a strange picture book as he sat on the edge, not at all fearful at the prospect of falling. He'd actually thrown himself from a building or two in his time for fun, but the sport quickly turned boring, and the idea of being spotted-though he could easily turn intangible-was still petrifying.
Danny cast a slightly wistful look at the dark, obscure clouds overhead, and turned his eyes to an enormous building nearby that belonged to the DALV corporation.
'The workers there must have to work late,'
he thought dryly, holding up a hand to shield his dazzled eyes from the glaring lights still flashing from the numerous, neat rows of windows, all of which seemed to be set on fire with artificial light. Surely this many people could not still be working at the Witching Hour, though the City truly seemed to come alive only at night. He supposed that the snooty empire probably spent a fortune with its electricity bill for one reason only: Because it could.
Everywhere below, there were minature beams shooting out from little matchbox-sized cars zooming about the long and snake-like road, with their little red fireflies gleaming fiercely in their wake. People were only the faintest of shapes hurrying to and from the many lit bars and shopping centers somehow still open, still sending artificial light everywhere.
Glancing at a thousand, humming bulbs glowing near a buzzing Movie Sign, and at the Street Lights that all but carpeted the area in a serene glow, Danny wondered if people ever truly got rid of their childish fears of the darkness, where everything known is made mysterious, and unforgiving eyes never once quit their stare. He could easily sympathize with that kind of thinking, for even when he did good in this place, the eyes that surrounded him only said ever said:
Back prickling, and startling at the unexpected voice, Danny yelped, nearly slid off the building, and before he could phase into his ghostly form, a pair of strong hands seized him by his dirty and faded collar, and pulled him back safely onto the roof. Eyes still blinded by light, Danny heard someone murmur what sounded suspiciously like an oath and 'Banana Fudge Cheese Scones.'
"Gracious, boy, are you alright?"
Panting, Danny waited for the stars to pass out of his vision before he glanced up at a pair of the most intense cobalt eyes gazing at him from above, hooded and framed by dark shadows. The man had long, silver hair, but this did not unsuit him; in fact, Danny would have called him dazzingly handsome if he had needed another confession to make his parents want to run a buzzsaw through his vital organs.
The man had it drawn back into an elegant, sophisticated ponytail that reminded the teen of colonial times. He was wearing a suit (How was he not stifling in this heat?) and his hands were still firmly wrapped around Danny's arms, hot alabaster skin burning Danny's pale flesh. The young man winced, uncomfortable, and tried to tug away, and the debonair man let go almost immediately, looking awkward.
"Son, you nearly plummeted off of that building. What in the world are you doing so high up outside?"
Alarm fading away, Danny quietly appraised the man's attire and snorted lightly. Most likely not a Social Worker, but probably some hotshot lawyer trying to look good for the press. He slowly got to his feet, forcing a small smile on his face.
"I'm alright, thank you, sir. I won't do it again."
Danny made to sidestep the man, but the stranger casually stepped in front of him, looking as though he might have done it by accident.
"I'm glad to hear of it. Even people like you must take care."
The tips of Danny's ears went red. 'People like me? Gosh, thanks for the incentive, Mister.' He would not give him the finger, would not give him the finger, would not give him the finger...
Danny forced another smile, trying to be polite, and tried to move past the man for the stairs once again with a murmured "Excuse me." But once again, the man stepped casually backwards, just enough so to block the boy from leaving.
"I pray you don't take offense. But if you were to fall, you can't guarantee that someone would rescue you."
What, did this guy think he was four?
The man raised an eyebrow as he patiently blocked Danny's way again, noticing that the teen was starting to get scared. Or irritated. Mostly the latter. Danny finally pushed his way free with a nod, passed the man, and made his way for the flight of steps, intent on flying away as soon as he could be out of sigh-
"For," the man commented with a sigh, back still turned to Danny as he surveyed the city circus still twinkling below them, "If you had to change back into your lovely, true form, I think a few people might make the misapprehension that angels were flying a mass exodus straight into the concrete below."
THAT stopped Danny cold; just as his hand reached the old banister, he froze, and the heat of the day whooshed from his mouth in a soundless gasp. Now really scared, he whipped back around, heart hammering. The silver-haired man was still staring at the City, his hair fluttering faintly in the breeze.
He heard the man chuckle, and at last, the stranger turned, with a very strange expression on his face. Looking content, he strode back over to the boy's side, took the flabbergasted boy by the hand, and lightly bowed.
"Never fear. I can keep a secret."
Danny wanted to look away from those smoldering blue eyes but could not; his throat was dry, and the sweat that was sliding down his shoulder most certainly wasn't from the heat. The stranger gestured towards the stairs, satisfied and hungry grin appearing on his face, like that of a child whose found a present underneath their tree on Christmas morning, and already knows it's exactly what he wanted to find.
"Would you care to have a spot of dinner with me? I'm famished, and by the looks of it, you must be, too."
He carefully wrapped an arm around the nervous halfa's shoulders, and slowly began to lead him down the stairs. When Danny faltered, Vlad took the boy's hand, and slowly approached him, dark blue eyes smoldering.
"Well...I'd also like us to...better understand each other, Daniel Fenton."