"Let's go on a date," says Raphael.

"Ra-raphael-sama?" says Mikael.

"Ra-ra-ra-raphael-saaama," Raphael mimics him, drawing out the vowels far longer than Mikael ever has. Okay, longer than Mikael does normally. There are times Raphael is so absurd he can't even haaandle it. It slips out.

"What?" he snaps, on the defensive now.

He can never let his guard down around Raphael; he should have learned that by now. The man is still his teacher, after all. Even when they're living together like - like a couple, it's still some sick kind of training that Raphael will swear to the death is "actually good for you, 'Kael, don't make that face."

"Say my name, 'Kael." Raphael is suddenly directly behind him, breath tickling his ear, and this is something else Mikael should have expected.

This is Raphael's favorite position from which to tease Mikael, and teasing Mikael is his favorite past-time, so it's only natural that he would appear there. Still, Mikael jumps every time. There is probably something incredibly illegal about this, according to the rules and regulations of the Angel School, but sometimes he suspects Raphael has more sway over the school administration than anyone will ever know.

"I already said your name, Raphael-sama," says Mikael. "Twice, now. And what do you want?"

"To go on a date," says Raphael. "Anyway, you're not saying my name right."

Mikael puts his hands on his hips and turns. As expected, Raphael disappears again without a trace. Mikael talks to the empty air.

"I don't know what your problem is. I'm saying your name exactly the way I always have, Raphael-sama."

"That's the problem."

"I don't understand!" says Mikael, trying to keep his temper under control. It's unbecoming of an angel to yell and screech, a rule he has never been able to impress upon Noelle.

Raphael appears again, floating in the air a few feet in front of Mikael. His legs are crossed exactly as if he's sitting in his favorite spot on the windowsill of their apartment. He doesn't have his guitar with him, for once. That's the only thing that keeps Mikael from flipping out.

"It's simple, 'Kael. You call me Raphael just once; I stop bugging you." Raphael smiles. "Then we can go on our date."

He says all this like it really is simple, the stupid smirk never leaving his face. Mikael fights his equally powerful urges to eschew the Angel School rules he has been learning for most of his life and throw himself at Raphael with the intent of punching him until the smirk goes away, and to do the same but with kissing. These are both inane ideas. The second one is made even worse by the fact that it seems to be winning out.

He'll never manage to calm down if he keeps thinking about this. Mikael focuses on a simpler part of this entire issue.

"And what makes you think I want to go on a date with you?"

"Well, I'm not going to leave you alone until you stop calling me Raphael-sama. After that you can decide what happens next."

"I - does it really bother you so much?"

"Listen, 'Kael, I'm not your teacher. We're not at school. You don't always have to follow the rules, you know. Sometimes they're just made to be broken."

Mikael chooses to ignore the expression on Raphael's face as he says that, because it suggests things that are entirely inappropriate for this discussion.

"But you're still my mentor," he says firmly, "and while I may not be your student, I still feel—"

"Mikael," says Raphael.

He's used his magic to teleport again, but this time to a spot directly in front of Mikael. Mikael can only watch helplessly as his mentor raises a hand to gently touch his jaw.

"I think we're more than that, don't you?"

Every possible retort he could make is wiped away by Raphael's eyes gazing lovingly into his, and their proximity, and the way Mikael is just now noticing how alluring it is when Raphael looks at him through his overlong bangs. He never would have thought of poor hair care as attractive. Raphael has changed a lot of things in his life, most more significant than that.

"Yes," says Mikael finally. "Raphael."

It's only after Raphael has finished paying for dinner at the surprisingly nice restaurant he took them to that Mikael asks what he'd been wondering earlier. Honestly, the date distracted him entirely. But the walk back, chilly and uninterrupted by anything but the rustling of leaves, reminds him.

"What would you have done if I told you I didn't want to go on this date?"

"Taken you anyway."


"It's so much nicer having you complain at me like this," says Raphael.

Usually Mikael doesn't accept satisfied smiles in response to complaints, but he lets it slide just this one. The warmth of Raphael's hand in his as they continue home has nothing whatsoever to do with his decision.