Disclaimer: I do not own 07-Ghost. Additionally this work takes into context certain liberties. For one, I'll be largely basing this off the manga and am assuming an ambiguous interim period in which Hakuren is already serving with the royal family. I'll be referencing some other events that have happened, but while waiting for the manga to be released I won't assume much. Please enjoy! I aim to make this a pseudo-NaNoWriMo thing. Read and Review please!


Prologue


The sky.

People wouldn't know it but Teito loved watching the sky. When he was in the Imperial Army he would think it silly, reading the shapes of the clouds and pointing out to each other. Then Mikage had taken him fishing and all they did was stare at clouds. After that, it became one of his most cherished memories of his friend, how they would both sit there for hours on end, talking about nothing but how something appeared to be when it wasn't. He eventually came to realise that the sky would talk: just like how the weather would predict days of hardship, the clouds would sometimes call out to him. It was silly, but again the occurrences were too frequent to be ignored.

Today, the clouds were upset. He would probably say it like how Labrador would remark how the flowers felt. But they probably sensed a disturbance in the air.

I can't imagine if I told Hakuren about this: he'd probably laugh at me.The fyulong dragon that was Mikage bounded up to him. He had grown as of late, becoming more slender and less chubby, like a miniature version of his mother dragon. Mikage had started to speak to Teito, even though it was just simple words. Kururu was one who had motivated him to speak.

Teito. That word spoke through him, and the voice sounded exactly like Mikage. Teito turned to the dragon as it nuzzled him. You… okay?

"Yeah, Mikage," Teito could hear the doorman calling for the closing of gates. "Just that the clouds said something would happen, but the day is almost ending. I wonder whether the church will have a disturbance in the night."

I see. Teito got up from where he was seated. Dinner would be starting soon, and if he wasn't in the dining hall soon enough Frau would come around "looking for that little brat", an indication of how much he cared. Thankfully Mikage could feed on eyefish too, but lately he wouldn't didn't know how to keep up the pace of feeding Mikage. He would have to ask Castor if the library held any books about the diet of fyulong dragons.

Sister Rosalie was there to greet him. Today's dinner was simple: bread and soup, but there was plenty. He had long since learnt to not question the source of the food, and just be thankful for it as he said grace. He still felt odd that he sat amongst bishops instead of with the priests, but what was he to do? They swore to take care of him and train him, and until he was strong enough he would never be able to recover the Eye. He constantly kept in contact with Mikhail, and the surges of energy had allowed him to mature. Frau had even commented that he had grown. Of course he had grown, he was eighteen now. If he hadn't grown something would have been very wrong with him, though probably no one would ever reach Frau's height.

"Hey, brat." Teito tensed as he lifted the spoon to his lips, then decided to wait for Frau and the others to be seated before tucking in. He was strangely hungry. Rosalie had taken the liberty of preparing Mikage's meals and fetching them from the kitchen. The fyulong dragon was exempted from social graces, consuming whatever was laid before him. Sister Libelle and Athena took their places as well. "How was your day?" It was weird having such a concerned question coming from Frau, but he thought of nothing.

"Nothing interesting, other than the fact that Mikage seems to be growing larger by the day," the table turned to look at the dragon as it looked up, having heard its name.

"Ah, it's a pity that eating plants doesn't satisfy him enough," Labrador sighed. "Then we'd have not much of a problem with his growth."

A sudden bang of the door opening sent the dining hall into shocked gasps as a gatekeeper rushed into the dining hall, heading to the first bishop he saw which happened to be Frau.

"Bishop! There's a person who claims he is a warsfeil at the gate. He says he seeks asylum in the church, but we have no idea whether to let him enter!" The panting make the words pause in between breaths, but Frau stopped munching on his flowers when he heard "warsfeil". A warsfeil, seeking sanctuary in the church? Usually, warsfeil were seeking entry into the church by any means.

"Has he attacked the guardsmen?" Castor asked, standing in concern. Labrador and Frau stood together.

"No, he just said he will wait until the bishops accept. He claims he has no harmful intent, Bishop Castor." He guardsman bowed slightly, shaking.

Teito chose to follow the three bishops as they headed out to the gate. It opened a crack and immediately Teito could sense the darkness that surrounded the area. A figure was standing some distance away, dressed in nothing but rags. Surely that atmosphere of dread and soullessness was enough to verify that the young man was a warsfeil? Even as the cold wind brushed past his cheek he could smell the scent of it: sterility, metal and too clean for a human. When those eyes scanned the four figures that was Frau, Castor, Labrador and himself, he caught the glint of red in his eyes.

"Do you realise the punishment the church invokes on people who are warsfeil?" Castor was always the one who took initiative to speak. Teito knew. They would be held in the light dungeon for execution. Even Frau hadn't escaped imprisonment when he was suspected of being one. How would a real warsfeil react? The boy merely smiled.

"I came here to learn under the church, so that I may learn to heal instead of kill, to help instead of hurt, to rid myself of the forced destiny that was imposed on me when I had no consciousness." The boy spoke well for a person dressed in rags. Perhaps he had truly made the journey alone, without help, but came from an educated background. That could be the only explanation. Surely the imperial army would never let go of a warsfeil, either submitting them to experiments or enrolling them into the black hawks. Defectors would have been too large a risk, and Ayanami would surely crush them in the palm of his hand before they could beg for leniency.

"Can you prove that you are truly warsfeil?" Frau sounded doubtful, despite having seen the telltale signs. The boy sighed again, as if he regretted everything that he had to say.

"Surely you don't want me to turn any of your people into wars. Then I suppose this would be sufficient." He raised his hands as the four of them stood defensively. A small breath of zaiphon was summoned, bleeding with the colour of blood. Red zaiphon – the sign of the corrupt soul destined to never meet the Chief of Heaven in their lifetime. Teito instinctively called out zaiphon of his own in a shield, his baculus glowing, but the boy quickly dissipated his own energy. Frau moved forward and touched the boy with his baculus. The blackness swooped through the staff, unlike when Teito had struck Bastien. Back then it had slowly taken over the baculus before it turned black, but this time it just overwhelmed the weapon. Frau unleashed his scythe.

"You cannot cut the links I was born to have with Verloren, Zehel. Not without my life being ripped apart as well." The boy kneeled on the ground, as if ready for his execution. "But if the church chooses not to take the risk, then I can understand. I will submit myself to the messengers of the Chief of Heaven, just so that I may be reborn without this sin I did not choose to have."

Teito watched and waited to see what would happen. Never in his lifetime would he expect a warsfeil to want to submit himself to becoming a bishop, or to serve the chief of heaven for any matter. Warsfeil were detestable things, but this man made Teito realise that they were not merely shells being manipulated: they were truly human beings that had a choice. It made him wonder if Ayanami and the Black Hawks had made a conscious decision to pursue the path of false truths, a path that revelled in the fall of God's treasured beings. How did this one know Frau's true identity? If it meant that he could see the scythe, then was he special too?

"May God have mercy on you," Labrador spoke as Frau raised his scythe.