The history comes first. Then you have the hurt and comfort, where everything's bittersweet and...well...I don't know.
Mikhail moved Teito's limbs around experimentally, flexing and stretching in silence. Teito had dutifully retreated to a corner of his mind, allowing the God to rein some control over his body for a little while. It was an otherworldly experience – Teito felt like a spectator, witnessing his own words and actions without being able to control them.
"Mikhail?" Frau mused. The name sounded strangely familiar. "You're…not a Wars possessing the brat, are you?"
Mikhail snarled, crimson eyes blazing with fierce anger. The God's fingers twitched dangerously close to the blades, the urge to strike the blond Bishop down growing stronger by the second. "You incompetent fool! I am the great archangel Mikhail, divine protector of Raggs! How dare you compare my glorious existence to those mindless knaves of Verloren?"
Don't do that, Teito said wearily, sensing the God's intentions. That's just Frau being Frau.
Mikhail retracted his fingers upon hearing Teito's request, the murderous look still on his face. "You should rest quietly, master."
I want to hear this for myself too, Teito insisted. The fatigue was creeping up on him, but the teen refused to succumb to it. If Mikhail was going to explain himself to the Bishops, then the brunet knew he couldn't afford to miss it.
"Frau," Castor interjected, a 'how-stupid-can-you-actually-be?' look on his face. "A Wars would not have the ability to carry out a comprehensible conversation with us, nor would a Wars ever denounce his loyalty to Verloren. This is a God, no doubt about that."
Something like realization dawned on Frau's face. "Wait, you're from the brat's twin blades, aren't you? You were the God sealed inside."
Teito and Mikhail fumed at the same time.
Stop calling me a brat!
"My master is not a brat! And to answer your question, yes – those blades were my home for a very long time. Many years, in fact."
Many years…? Teito asked, feeling trepidation rise within him. Since when exactly…?
"Verloren – or Ayanami, as you call him – was the one to cast the seal on me. I had been in the ruins of Raggs searching for the lost prince when he attacked," Mikhail said carelessly. "I admit that I was taken aback; unprepared for it. I tried to defeat him, but he was strong."
"The prince of Raggs is dead, isn't he?" Frau asked.
"He's not." Labrador was quiet, but everyone heard.
"What? But of course he is. Raggs was destroyed in the war between Barsburg for a long time. It's history. I learned that history," Frau argued. He paused before adding, "Well, unless you know something that we don't, Lab. Which is always the case, of course."
Labrador didn't answer and Teito held his breath, knowing where this conversation was going.
"The lost prince of Raggs," Mikhail announced, "Is standing right before you, Zehel."
Frau's eyes widened, his jaw dropping. Next to him, Castor and Labrador remained silent, their neutral expressions telling Frau that their suspicions had just been confirmed. What the hell, Frau thought. It was unfair at how he was always the last in discovering these kind of things.
Frau had known, of course, that Teito Klein was more than just a normal teenager. Still, he had always assumed that Teito could stay in the Seventh District's church, healing old wounds and finding a way in life which didn't involve the military. That way, the teen could reach for the happiness Frau knew he deserved. However, to be the lost prince of Raggs…it meant that Teito had his path cut out for him already. It was a rocky road filled with traps and pitfalls, a road that could easily lead to darkness. If Teito wasn't careful, he could easily stray to the wrong side.
Shit. Just what exactly would become of the brat in the future?
"Does Ayanami know?" Frau asked, his voice tight.
Mikhail hesitated and nodded slowly, a displeased frown on his face. Meanwhile, Teito watched from his mind, fascinated, as the Bishop's face morphed into one of worry and helpless frustration. It was strange seeing the grown man look like that without the usual cockiness.
Frau doesn't look happy.
Mikhail sighed heavily at Teito's observation. "He shouldn't be. Having Verloren know about your existence only complicates things further. Zehel in particular understands that the dark forces will only continue to come after you."
Alright, Teito said exasperatedly. Just how many people are we dealing with? We've had Ayanami, Verloren, and now there's Zehel?
Mikhail chuckled at the teen's question. "Ah, have you not told my master about Verloren and the Seven Ghosts?"
"Are you saying that Teito is aware of everything around him now?" Castor asked, looking surprised.
"Why, yes," Mikhail replied, "He is."
"How direct is the connection?"
"He hears what I hear, sees what I see. Conversations between us are made via a telepathic link."
Castor seemed to smile a little despite the morbidity of the situation. "Interesting. I never knew…"
"Allow the brat to be in control of his body once more," Frau said, his voice frigid. "And we'll tell him everything he wants to know."
He doesn't trust you very much, does he? Teito asked, sounding amused all of a sudden.
Mikhail seemed delighted over Frau's anxiety. "Evidently."
It's like…he's actually worried.
"I believe he is."
I don't trust you that much either, Teito said firmly.
"You do not have to trust me just yet, master, but know that my loyalty to you and Raggs will never falter." Mikhail's voice softened. "You do not realize how important you are to the world just yet."
For a fleeting moment, Teito could sense the sadness in the God's voice – but then it was quickly gone, replaced by his usual haughtiness.
"Still, I do not understand why you trust Zehel so much, master. He is strong, yes, but callous."
Zehel…? That was probably a reference to Frau, wasn't it? I don't trust him either, Mikhail, Teito said, using the God's name for the first time. He's a pervert who meddles with things too much.
The three Bishops watched as Mikhail's solemn expression changed to one of amusement. Frau raised an eyebrow, wondering what kind of telepathic conversation Mikhail and Teito were having. It was probably something about him, seeing as the God continued to send not-so-subtle glares over. The blond Bishop rolled his eyes, satisfied that it elicited a snarl – really, was this the powerful archangel Mikhail? He was acting just like a kid!
"Mikhail," Castor interrupted, "Ayanami caught and sealed you within those blades, giving them away to Teito after that. Was he not aware that Teito was the lost prince?"
Mikhail's lips curved into a smug smile. "That, Fest, was where he went wrong."
Fest? Teito wondered where all these weird names were coming from.
"Ayanami had no knowledge of my master whatsoever, other than the fact that he was a boy from an orphanage whom he terrorized a long time ago. Those blades, as you can see, reached my master purely by chance. A careless, arrogant move on the infamous Verloren's behalf." Mikhail grinned in a feral manner, the triumph evident in his voice. "Perhaps he assumed that my master was from a citizen of Raggs, or from a dying noble family – but he never would've thought that my master was genuinely the lost prince."
"Were you aware, though?" Castor pressed on.
"Of my master's true identity? Yes, I was aware of it from the very first day he held me in his arms."
Teito shivered inwardly. The first time he had held those blades Ayanami had gifted to him was also the very first time he had taken a life. He hadn't known that there was a God, of all things, residing in there – a God who knew who he really was.
You knew? The brunet asked, his voice surprisingly calm. You knew all along?
"I saw your soul," Mikhail replied simply, not bothering to explain further. "No one else has one like yours."
Teito frowned. That made no sense whatsoever. He was certain his soul wasn't much to look at. How did a soul look like anyway? He'd have to ask the Bishops someday and hope that they would take his question seriously.
Frau snorted and reached for a cigarette. He needed a smoke to fully comprehend all these serious issues. "Well then, what took you so long to reveal yourself? You could have come a little earlier, y'know."
"I would if I could," Mikhail hissed. "Trust me, nothing pained me more than seeing my master suffer all these years. I wanted to remove the seals and destroy everything that hurt him – but I couldn't. It was not until my master regained some of his memories from Ayanami's attack last night that I could break free."
Frau took a puff from the cigarette, watching as the smoke from its end rose in curly wisps. So Ayanami was that powerful, huh? Well, that sucked. From what the God said, it also meant that the brat had some memories now. That was a good thing, wasn't it?
"When Teito remembered his identity of being a prince…" Castor said slowly, "That triggered the removal of the seals."
"Is that supposed to happen?" Frau asked.
"Not all the time, no," Castor replied, casually plucking the cigarette out of Frau's lips and extinguishing it. "It would seem that Teito has some hidden strength of his own."
Teito looked down at his hands in childlike wonder, wondering what it could possibly be. He was already a harnesser of Zaiphon. If he had another sort of power, wouldn't he have known?
At any rate, it seemed like the link between him and Mikhail was strong. The brunet didn't want to admit it, but he would have to give the God some trust - especially since Mikhail seemed to know more about him more than anyone else. Teito had no idea what the God meant about him trusting Frau the most, though. As far as the teen knew, he was unwilling to trust Frau just as how Frau was unwilling to call him by his name. It was ridiculous, really.
Another question enter Teito's mind and it was out before he could even stop himself.
Mikhail, how…how is Raggs like…?
Mikhail chuckled dryly. "How is it like, or how was it like?"
Teito remained silent, embarrassment creeping up on him. Raggs was his country - his true home. How was it that he knew so little about it?
The God, however, didn't seem to be angry. "Do not feel ashamed, master. After all, you have lost your memories for such a long time."
So…was it a good place?
Mikhail answered rather wistfully. "It was a prosperous and beautiful country, master, filled with joy and contentment. The people were proud to be the citizens of Raggs, and the country flourished with a distinct culture." The God sighed a little, as if reliving the memory."Your father was a fair and just ruler. I enjoyed serving him."
Teito could not keep the slight stutter in his voice. Y-you knew my father?
"Including you, when you were merely a young boy. You have spoken to me, played with me even."
Teito could sense nothing else but truth in the God's voice and he felt bewildered, burdened by the fact that Mikhail seemed to know so much. How much had Mikhail seen? Did he witness the war, the screams of the oppressed, and his family's death?
More terrifyingly, how much did Mikhail know about Teito? After all, the God had been by Teito's side for years. The teen had used the God for killing others without knowing it. There had been so much blood smeared on those blades - blood which the brunet had learned to coolly wipe away without a second glance. Mikhail had seen it all, had witnessed Wahrheit Tiashe Raggs murder again and again - so why would he be willing to serve a prince who had killed so much?
"Master, master – it's alright," Mikhail comforted, sensing Teito's distress. "You're alright. You're safe for now. I'll protect you. I'll…"
No, Teito said, shielding himself protectively. No! Stayawaystayawaystayaway -
Teito gave a large gasp and found himself on the ground, staring up at blue sky, the familiar Barsburg church arches, and the anxious scrutiny of three Bishops. He panted heavily, blinking once – twice – before attempting to wiggle his toes and raise his arms. He managed to do so without any trouble, which meant that he was back in control. Somehow, in his panic, he had shoved Mikhail's presence into a deep corner and stepped out, reclaiming his body for his own.
"Welcome back," Labrador greeted, a gentle smile on his face.
Teito stood up slowly, feeling their gazes – particularly Frau's – on him. The blond Bishop wasn't saying anything, but Teito thought he could see concern in those deep blue eyes.
And then the emotions hit Teito so quickly that he couldn't even comprehend it.
The grief of everything seemed to weigh him down, forcing the teen down to his knees. The anguish coursed through him like a hot branding iron, reminding him of who he truly was. Teito felt like he was looking at life from a whole new perspective, rediscovering things that he had lost for such a long time.
The memories were slowly but surely resurfacing, from the past where he was a prince with a happy family until the fateful day where everything had burned. Teito had lost his kingdom and his families in a sea of red - he had struggled against the emptiness within his heart, seeking for the missing fragments that would complete him as a person.
How many years of his life had he wasted being under Ayanami's control? How much more did he need to remember? There were still so many puzzles that Teito couldn't piece together - Raggs, his parents, Mikhail, the ones who had reduced the vast Raggs kingdom to nothing.
The Black Hawks. Ayanami – no, Verloren. They were the ones who were responsible. The worst thing was that Teito had been manipulated by them so easily – he had worked under them, served them, followed their commands. They had been the puppeteer and Teito had been the gullible puppet, taking the lives of so many innocents - innocents who were loved and respected.
In that sense, was Teito any better than his enemies?
He hadn't realized he was crying until he felt the tears, hot and salty, streaming all over his face. Teito felt pathetic and he hastily wiped them away, turning so that the Bishops didn't have to see this display of weakness. He half expected the pervert to laugh and call him a snivelling brat any minute from now.
But to his surprise, Teito felt Frau's strong arms, encircling and cradling him gently. The next thing he knew, Frau had lifted and flipped the brunet around so that his face was buried into a sea of white. The gesture was intimate and caring, reminding Teito of how he was embraced by Father many years ago.
"You can cry, brat."
That was all it took for the dam to break. The silent tears turned into loud sobs as Teito grabbed fistfuls of Frau's robes tightly, sadness and confusion wracking his entire being.
"Why?" Teito's voice was scratchy. "Damn it, why?"
Frau remained silent, his slim fingers threading through Teito's brown hair. He had no idea how to comfort someone, but Bastien had done the same thing to him before - it had helped, he supposed, to ease the sadness into a dull ache.
If Teito wasn't pushing him away, Frau supposed there would be no harm in taking a step closer. Someone had to protect this troublesome brat, after all.
Uh...uhm. Okay. I don't know what to say, really, other than the fact that I'm trying my best in angst. Dubious plot is dubious. Awkwardly-worded sentences are awkward. I tried my best to beta-read, but there may still be errors. Sorry!
P/S: And oh, I'm off to China for a one-week holiday! :D