Anise wasn't quite sure what to with the burly SOLDIER before her, she was still recovering from the shock of seeing the large white wing emerge from his shoulder blades. Her mind was still screaming out at the impossibility of it all, that Angeal Hewley, 1st Class SOLDIER from Crisis Core was standing in the middle of her hotel room. And yet there he was, arms crossed, eyes narrowed as he focused on retracting the wing back till all that was left was just few measly feathers that drifted to the floor.
"Well, Mr. Hewley. We now have a much bigger situation on our hands. How…What was the last thing that happened before you appeared here. Because I can assure you that this is not Gaia." She said slowly walking closer to him, bending down to pick up the loose feathers and toss them in the trash when she recalled a certain promise to her daughter. Her tanned fingers drifted across the fallen feather then gently lifted it up and lightly twirled it between two fingers.
"I…recall helping a dark haired young man-"
"Yes…my student. I was helping him…into the life stream. And I was pulling him up and then I felt myself falling back…and onto you. That's the last thing I can remember." He said with a light grimace as he pressed his fingers to his temple with a shake of his head then glanced over to Anise's hunched form.
"If you don't mind me asking, but what are you doing?"
Anise turned around with a warm smile then looked down at the feathers in her hand before walking over to the kitchenette to grab a ziplock bag and place the ivory feathers inside.
"I promised my daughter that one day I'd get feathers from an angel wing to make a dream catcher for her. And it looks like I can finally make it." She said softly as she placed the feather filled ziplock bag inside her suitcase, zipping it shut then kept her hand on it as she recalled her sweet little girl.
"I'm no angel-"
"That's a matter of opinion, Mr. Hewley. In my eyes, you're not a monster. A monster couldn't possibly have beautiful wings like that." She with a twitch of her mouth, Angeal recognized from a memory of his mother, which signaled end of the conversation. They were both silent for a moment, niether one sure of what to do next, after all what did you do when a character from a game series appeared before you.
"Well…um…I suppose we ought to figure out what you're doing here. As I said before, this is not the planet you're familiar with."
"Could you please tell me where exactly I am then?" He asked glancing at his surroundings again, his fingers twitching at his side as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. Anise instantly noticed the signs of anxiety, after all how many times could she recall seeing her children with the same expressions.
"You're on planet earth. Its very similar to Gaia. It has mountains, valley, trees and other basic landscapes. But…um…" Anise faltered as she began to wonder how exactly to tell him. "…Mr. Hewley-"
"Please just call me Angeal."
"Okay then. But…what I'm about to tell you…is going to sound ridiculous but I promise it's the full truth." She warned him as he nodded then waited for her to continue, she saw the concerned look in his sky blue mako eyes.
"In this world, what you considered Midgar and Gaia itself, the entire fiasco Zack had gone through…was a video game here called Crisis Core. We have no Mako energy here or the life stream." She explained slowly not quite sure it would be good to tell him just yet that Crisis Core was only the prequel to the actual story.
"I see…what all did it show?"
"From the time you had Zack training in Sector 8, on the Mark 93-2, up until his death." She said quietly as she inwardly winced at the cutscene of Zack's imminent death. Then her light blue eyes looked over to the darker haired man, it was easy to see the pain in his eyes even if his expression didn't show it. Instinctively she walked up to him and placed her hand on his shoulder comfortingly, she wasn't sure what else she could do to comfort the young man other than just randomly hugging him, which might set him over the edge.
"You know this isn't all your fault. He died honorably, defending everything he believed in…including you. And that boy, he saved…would eventually save the entire planet as well. If it weren't for you, Zack never would have done that. But right now, we need to figure out what exactly happened that got you sent here and what will happen if you go back." She said soothingly hoping that he might see sense and not blame himself for all the trouble, even if most of it would have been different had he not had Zack destroy himself. Angeal looked at the woman before her as she gently squeezed his shoulder, he nodded knowing she was right about some things…but also some things even he would never let go, at least not yet.
"I don't understand any of this. Why I was brought here…I died. I've lived my life so what am I doing here?"
"Maybe you've been given a second chance-"
"I don't deserve another chance, not after what I did to Zack-"
"Well that's not up to you to decide."
"I suppose not."
"Hmm. Well, even if this is all by accident or whether or not you've been sent here to live again. You'll need a place to stay and a change of clothes." She said pulling away from him and moving over to her purse that laid on the small entrance table to her hotel room. " You don't exactly fit in and we don't know how long you'll be here."
"I don't have the currency this planet uses, I can't buy anything-"
"I never said you were going to buy anything did I? I'll cover this, it's the least I can do for you. But I'm afraid that you'll have to come with me…and leave the shoulder pads and leather gear here. I'd rather not have people think I associate with terrorists." She said with a playful smile as Angeal glanced down at his rather war like appearance, he firmly nodded in agreement before removing his armor…
"That wasn't too hard." Anise said as she closed the hotel door to her room with a few bags resting on her wrist while Angeal shook his head at her.
"Thank you for the kind gesture, but I don't think I could ever repay-"
"I'm not asking you to repay me in anyway, Angeal Hewley. I just want to help you." She said firmly before placing the bags on the bed as Angeal watched her, a bit ashamed that there was nothing he could possibly do to ever repay her for her kindness.
"What do you mean why?" Anise asked a bit taken aback by the question as Angeal looked over to the darkened window, the shades were cracked just so to reveal the starlight and shimmering moon.
"Why are you helping me?"
"I just…I don't know. I just want to help you in anyway that I can. I don't want you to pay me back for any of this, consider it a gift. Besides I do this all the time for my children-"
"No offence mam, but I'm not one of your children."
"No, you're not. But seem to me just as lost as one. Which is why I've been thinking a lot about this." She frowned with a tilt of her head then glanced at the bags of clothing. It had been nearly impossible to find clothes that would fit the burly SOLDIER, eventually she gave up and surrendered into going to a Big and tall clothing store which didn't have very many 'decent' clothes that she thought would be fitting for a SOLDIER. But never the less she got what she could and dragged the 1st class back to her hotel room.
"You don't have anywhere to go. This is an entirely new planet, new culture, new people and everything. Perhaps it'd be best if you'd come home with me…that is, until you get your bearings and we figure out what exactly happened." Anise said lightly pacing the floor knowing that the SOLDIER would resist returning home with her, but she wasn't sure what to do with him and she certainly wasn't about to let him wander about Earth without a clue of everything around him.
"Thank you for the offer, but I don't think your husband would be pleased to have his wife come home with a strange man, like myself." Angeal said with a wave of his hand over the bags of clothing "Especially after buying these things for me."
"Oh…oh. I didn't tell you did I?" She frowned with a shake of her head. "I'm not married…or rather, not anymore. We're divorced. You don' t have to worry about him and besides you don't have any where to go. I insist you come with me."
Angeal stared at the woman in disbelief. Divorced? He wondered what exactly made the marriage go sour, because the woman he saw before him had to be one of the nicest people he knew outside of Zack that is and his own mother. A single mother with two children. He knew he shouldn't intrude on their lives, but she was right. He had no inkling of how this culture worked and had no where to go. "I suppose that I could stay with you for a few weeks, but I don't want to be a bother."
"Trust me. You wouldn't be a bother at all. Its my children I'm worried about bothering you. They can be a handful at times."
Yays! Thank you all for the awesome reviews! It makes me update all the more faster!
~This story was inspired from Dragonia27's story 'Gods Touched' and 'A year of memories' on Deviant Art! All credits go to her!~