AN: Finally, here's chapter two, complete with some actual plot. Enjoy!
Warnings: D N Angel AU, mention of child enslavement, mild cursing.
Standard Disclaimer: Sugarpony does not own D N Angel or X-Men: Evolution. No profit is being made from this fanfiction and no copyright infringement is intended. Some descriptions and dialogue have been transcribed directly from the season two episode "On Angel's Wings."
Children of Heaven
Living with Warren was a peaceful existence. The first thing the man did once he had shown them exactly why they would be safe with him was to usher Satoshi and Daisuke in to the kitchen for the best meal they boys had had in months. Then he went rummaging through boxes of old clothes for something they could wear until he had the chance to go shopping. He let them shower, and after they'd been dressed and well fed Warren showed them to a private room with one of the largest, softest beds either of the boys had ever slept in.
Not that Satoshi or Daisuke had actually slept that first night, not really. Despite being comforted by Warren having wings as well, they still knew nothing about him. He may not lock them up and put them on display, but if Warren was in contact with the others, things would just go back to being what they were before the pair had run away. Probably worse.
Still, Daisuke was cautiously optimistic, and when no one came looking for them after the first month, Satoshi found himself relaxing, too. Warren's mutation was different from their own, as he was unable to retract his brilliant wings and was forced to hide them beneath a long coat whenever in public. Against all the odds, they seemed to have picked up by the one person who could understand them but didn't know who they were.
For once, they could leave their wings out at all times, not having to constantly undergo the pain of shifting them in and out. What a relief it was to not have their backs crawling and itching with the constant need to release their wings! They didn't have to hide what they were or who they were while safely tucked away in the mansion.
They weren't locked in, and Warren had made it clear from the start that they were free to leave any time they wanted. But Daisuke didn't want, and strangely, neither did Satoshi. With Warren they were hidden, they were safe. They were free. Free to spend days at a time painting or sculpting with the high-quality supplies Warren kept well-stocked. Free to be completely themselves with no expectations placed upon them.
Warren protected them from the outside world. Comforted them when haunting nightmares kept them awake for hours. Never pushed, never pried, but always supported them when they needed him. It was... nice.
He had become a part of their self-made family before Satoshi was even aware he'd grown attached to the man. Now, Warren was someone both he and Daisuke would hate to lose.
Unfortunately, they may not have a choice if they wanted to keep their hard-earned freedom. If only Satoshi could get Daisuke to see that.
"You worry too much, Satoshi," Daisuke told him one afternoon as he cleaned his paintbrushes. The redhead leaned back against a counter as he ran the bristles through his fingers, scrutinizing them for any oils that may have been left behind. "We were stuck in that circus for months, and they never showed up, not once. Even if they come to New York for business, they have no reason to believe we're even in the country, let alone the city." Satisfied with their cleanliness, Daisuke placed the brushes back in their cup. "We'll be fine."
Satoshi's wings rustled restlessly. "I don't like staying in one place for so long. I like it here, too, but we need to keep moving."
"Not yet." Daisuke turned his back to his friend, began to catalogue his supplies. "There haven't been any heists nearby, no reports of forgeries turning up, no whispers on the street about them. Nothing to suggest we'd be safer if we left than we'd be if we stayed."
Satoshi didn't reply. Daisuke wouldn't be moved, not yet, and everything he'd said was true. He didn't like it, but they could stay for now. In the meantime, they both would keep their eyes and ears open.
Time passed quickly, and before they knew it the weather had turned bitterly cold and snowflakes were flying through the air. The three members of the household had taken to gathering around a crackling fire in the hearth every evening, sipping hot cocoa and simply enjoying each other's company. More than once the boys had fallen asleep on either side of Warren in a pile of red, white, and blue feathers and woken up tucked in their own bed, kept warm by a heated blanket.
But as the Christmas season neared, Warren started spending more and more time away from home. It didn't take long for Satoshi and Daisuke to learn what he was doing whenever he went out. First it was rumors on the streets. Then the tabloids started writing articles. Next the papers picked up the story, and finally a report debuted on the evening news. The topic that had the whole city buzzing? Angels.
"It's time, Daisuke."
On the twenty-second of December, Satoshi finally put his foot down. They'd already had several discussions about leaving over the past few weeks, but now they had reached the tipping point.
Daisuke heaved a deep sigh and worried his lower lip. "I know," he said, "but we can wait just a few more days, can't we? We can't leave Warren all alone on Christmas."
"We've already stayed too long. There are more angel sightings every day. Before it could just be passed off as an urban legend influenced by the holiday, but he's been getting bolder lately. Not avoiding being seen as much, letting himself be photographed."
Daisuke stared at his feet. "I know, but..."
Satoshi took one of Daisuke's hands in his own and squeezed it tight. "We've been here almost four months, and it's been great," he said, "but you know the longer we wait the less chance we can make it out of town before they show up."
Daisuke sighed again and looked up. "I know," he said, "I'd just hoped we could finally stop running, maybe have a real home for once."
Satoshi swallowed a sudden lump in his throat. "It's a nice dream," he told him, "but that's all it is. The sooner we're gone, the safer all three of us will be."
"We'll go tonight," Daisuke conceded, "but can't we at least leave a note? Say goodbye? We can't just leave–"
"You know the rules," Satoshi chided. "Nothing left behind. It's too dangerous. We have to stay as ghosts if we don't want to get caught. Remember the training."
"Alright." Daisuke ran his free hand through his hair and started to move toward the art studio, pulling Satoshi behind him. "Then I guess we'd better start erasing ourselves."
Warren stood on the balcony of the church, out of sight, as he watched over the parents of the little girl he'd mistakenly pushed into the river. Part of him wanted to approach them; apologize, explain that it was an accident, do something to make it right. But he wasn't sure if he was really looking to help them or if he just wanted to be forgiven for his own peace of mind, so he stuck to observing silently from the shadows.
How ironic, he couldn't help but note, that he should end up in a place such as this. The Earthborn Angel, seeking redemption in a house of God.
What had he even been doing all this time? Warren wondered. When he had suddenly sprouted wings in the middle of the night so many months ago, he had thought he'd been cursed. He was an abomination, a freak of nature, and he withdrew into himself. Moved out of his family's home, took a leave of absence from school, hid away from the rest of the world, because he didn't belong in it anymore.
But then he'd seen the advertisement for Mozzie's Marvels, the shady traveling circus, and its star attraction the Children of Heaven. And he knew it was probably a hoax, but however slim the chance, it was possible that there were really others like him out there. And though he tried to put it out of mind, the thought kept coming back to him: What if I'm not alone?
And then he'd gone, and he'd seen them, and he'd known that he had to get them out of that rat hole, because if things had been different it could have been him in their place.
It was only once he'd brought the boys home that Warren had realized he probably should have thought things through more carefully. He had no idea how to care for two likely traumatized teenage boys! Nonetheless, that was what he'd gotten himself into, so he did what he could. "One day at a time" became somethings of a mantra for the three of them, and sometimes one day seemed to last forever. Yet slowly but surely, the boys somehow became his boys, and Warren couldn't imagine his life without them.
And then Warren had started to think. Maybe his wings weren't a curse after all. Maybe he'd been given a gift. Maybe with his wings he could help others like he'd helped his boys. So he'd taken to the skies of New York and become its guardian angel. Pulling a woman out of a burning building, stopping a mugger in Central Park; doing whatever he could to help, putting his gift to good use.
But then came the accident on the bridge, and all of a sudden strangers were shouting his deepest fears at him, that he was nothing but a freak, and he could never belong to the rest of the world. Warren didn't even know if he was welcome in a church anymore. He wasn't human, after all. Would God even care enough to answer his prayers?
Warren sighed and leaned forward on the railing. Maybe he would never get his answers, but it couldn't hurt to try. He closed his eyes and bowed his head, but before he could begin to pray he heard a strange noise behind him. He turned and recoiled slightly in shock of the figure before him.
It was a man–or at least he thought it was man. He was covered in weird red and black armor, a metal helmet obscuring his face and a long purple cape flowing behind him. What most took Warren aback, though, was the fact that this man was floating a foot above the floor.
"Wh-who are you?" Warren asked, unable to keep the stutter from his voice.
"Someone like you." Gee, how descriptive.
"What do you mean?"
"Someone who used to be confused about what he'd become." Warren backed away to the side as the stranger drifted forward, arms open as if to embrace him. He followed as he continued to speak. "Someone living in fear and self-pity, wondering what he's been cursed... or blessed."
Okay... That was creepily accurate. Maybe this guy did know what he as going through, but something about him just didn't feel right. Better get rid of him, he thought.
"Listen," Warren said, turning away, "I don't know what you're selling, but I'm not buying." He started to walk away but was stopped after only a few steps.
"Do you realize what a wonderful gift you have?" the stranger asked, voice full of awe. "You can fly. You can do what everyone else dreams about! And yet you live alone, hiding in shame.
"It needn't be so."
Warren spun around, facing the man. How did he know how Warren lived? Had he been following him? He didn't seem to know about the boys, but he needed to be sure. Best keep playing along.
"I'm learning to deal with it."
The man's voice took on a darker tone, apparently displease by his response. "You think that by helping a few pathetic people, they will learn to accept you? You saw how quickly they turned on you today. Do you want to live in fear for the rest of your life?"
"–There are others like us, Warren. I want you to meet them."
And there was the sales pitch. To be honest, this guy was making a lot of sense. He was playing right into Warren's fears and insecurities, but Warren knew better than to trust someone he'd never met who knew so much about him. Especially when he had his boys to think about.
"What," he asked, "some sort of club for weirdos and freaks? I don't think so." He strode off, intending to get as far away from this guy as he could.
In hindsight, he probably shouldn't have turned his back on someone who had practically admitted to stalking him, because the next thing he knew a tall candlestick was suddenly encircling him, pinning Warren against the wall. Warren ducked out of it before it could tighten itself, but he didn't let his guard down.
"What is this?" he shouted, backing away from the heavy piece of iron as if floated threateningly in front of him.
"This could have been easy," his attacker told him. "Regrettably, you have chosen to make it hard."
Warren grunted as he threw himself off the balcony, spreading his wings to catch himself. The stranger chased him in midair to the center of the room, where with a single gesture he somehow snapped the chain of a chandelier and sent it flying toward Warren, where it wrapped itself tightly around him, pinning both arms and wings to his body. Warren screamed as the light fixture dragged him toward the floor, but before he could hit the ground he was stopped and pulled back up to the man in the armor.
His captor turned to lead him away, but then out of nowhere a red beam of light shot out and blasted the freak through the large stained-glass window. Whatever had been holding him up now gone, Warren felt himself falling in an uncontrolled descent. Luckily, another red beam broke part of the chain, freeing one of Warren's wings enough for him to somewhat control his landing. Still, he hit the ground with a hard thud, and Warren could tell the wing he'd landed on would be sore for a while.
His apparent saviors raced toward him and helped him stand, but the young man and woman's strange outfits didn't inspire any more confidence in Warren than the other guy's had. More armor, this time layered over what appeared to be spandex.
"Are you alright?" The man–no, teenager–asked. "Hold still, I'll help you with that." He put one hand on his yellow visor, and more of those beams came from his eyes, ridding Warren of the rest of the chains.
The girl turned to her friend. "Well now we know Magneto's still in business," she said.
Warren had had enough for one night. "Wh-who are you people?" he asked, but before either one could answer, the man in the cape came soaring in through the shattered window.
"You fools!" He bellowed, pulling several heavy metal objects to float around him. "Have you learned nothing?" He roared, and then the metal was being hurled at the three on the ground, who hurriedly dodged out of the way.
Right. Magneto. Flying metal objects. Of course.
Warren flew out the nearest window and around the building, grabbing Magneto from behind. "Angel! Let him go!" Trusting the guy with the laser-eyes, Warren released his captive and flew out of the way, letting him blast Magneto into a wall. He recovered quickly, though, sending one of the fallen chandeliers at the young man, trapping him in the chain as he'd done to Warren earlier.
"Scott!" The girl rushed to help her friend, but Magneto took the opportunity to make his exit.
"Very well, Warren," he said, and his next words chilled him to the core. "If you do not wish to join me, I will have to persuade others with your abilities.
"I'll tell the boys you said hello."
"No!" Warren gasped and followed Magneto as quickly as his wings would allow, but the man was already out of sight. So he did know about the boys after all. But even if he could catch up to him, there was no chance Warren could defeat Magneto on his own.
"What did he mean, 'others'?" The girl had helped Scott out of the chains, and now she was looking up at Warren. "Is someone else in trouble?" she asked.
Warren bit his lip. He didn't know if he could trust these two any more than he could Magneto. But there was no time to waste. The boys were in danger now. And besides, 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend,' right?
Warren glided down to the pair on the floor, eyes shining with worry.
"I need your help."
Satoshi glared at the mutant hovering mere feet in front of him and Daisuke. He'd caught them a few alleys away from Warren's home, introducing himself as Magneto. He portrayed himself as a savior of mutant kind, but both boys had spent far too much time in the underground to be fooled by his spiel. This man was dangerous.
Daisuke caught his friend's eyes and rubbed his nose. Satoshi pushed glasses higher onto the bridge of his nose and tucked his fingers into his jacket sleeve.
"Thanks for the offer," Daisuke told Magneto, "but we do better on our own."
"A pity," Magneto said, "but my offer was not a request." He spread his arms to the side, and everything nearby that was made of metal–trash cans, manhole covers, empty soda cans–rose into the air.
"Too bad," Daisuke said, bracing himself, "but that's not your choice."
Magneto moved to aim his metal menagerie at the boys, but years of training had honed Satoshi's speed. In between each finger of the hand he'd hidden in his sleeve was a long blue feather, and he flung them like throwing darts at Magneto's face, where they exploded into bright balls of energy. Magneto recoiled from the harsh light, momentarily dropping his weapons to crash on the ground.
Satoshi and Daisuke took advantage of their attacker's distraction and forced their wings to sprout from their backs. Satoshi bit back a grunt of pain as he jumped into the air, his own weight pulling harshly on his freshly abused muscles. Daisuke glided beside him, his own bright red wings straining to keep him aloft.
"We need a new plan," Daisuke shouted above the wind. "He knew where to find us, he might know where we were going!"
Satoshi held his tongue as he thought of a snide remark about knowing they'd stayed with Warren too long. He could tell by Daisuke's face that he was already blaming himself for getting them caught; making him feel worse wouldn't do either of them any good.
"We can worry about that later," he called back. "First let's just lose this guy!"
Daisuke nodded, then his eyes widened as he chanced a glance backwards. "Move!" he yelled, grabbing Satoshi's hand and winging sharply up and to the right. Satoshi spun in midair to see and empty dumpster floating menacingly toward them, its lid open wide like the great maw of a metal monster.
Magneto was waiting a distance away. Metal objects pulled from the roofs of nearby buildings were orbiting him like the rings of a planet. "There will be no more resistance this night," he growled. "I will have you join me, willingly or not!"
"Sorry to disappoint!" Satoshi closed his eyes, focusing all his energy into his feathers. He knew that it was working and they were starting to glow when he heard Daisuke gasp.
"We don't have a choice, Daisuke!" There was a deep groan as the dumpster lurched toward them again, and Satoshi opened his eyes to take aim, and then–
–The dumpster suddenly plummeted downward as Warren appeared and crashed into Magneto, grabbing him from behind. Satoshi's concentration broke, and he felt the energy gathered in his wings disperse into the cold air.
"Get away from my boys!"
Warren used his momentum to send the surprised Magneto flying into the roof of a skyscraper. Before he could recover a bright red light slammed into him and knocked the metal manipulator off his feet. A teenage girl ran from the roof's entrance and placed her bare hand against Magneto's face until he shoved her away.
Magneto returned to the air with a roar, but the girl's eyes glowed gold and she followed him into the sky. "This isn't over!" he screamed, and then Magneto beat a hasty retreat, the girl in quick pursuit.
Satoshi and Daisuke landed on the roof, where Warren immediately embraced them both in a tight hug. "Thank God we made it in time," he whispered, then pulled away to examine them at arm's length. "Are you two alright?"
"We're fine," Daisuke said. "I'm just glad you got here when you did."
Warren heaved a sigh of relief and pulled them into one more brief hug. "So am I, although to be fair, I had some help myself."
A young man with a strange visor across his eyes and even stranger taste in clothes approached them. "I'm just glad everyone's okay," he said. "But Magneto doesn't give up easy, and the dude definitely knows how to hold a grudge. He'll be back sooner or later."
"Hopefully later." The girl who had chased after Magneto rejoined her friend. "He got away. Sorry, Scott."
"Don't worry about it, Rogue." He rested a hand on her shoulder. "He'd gone for now, that's the important thing. At least now we know that he's still trying to recruit."
"I know," she sighed, rubbing at the back of her head. "I just wish we knew why."
Satoshi stepped forward, frustrated by the night's events. "Look," he said, "not to sound ungrateful, but we need to go. This Magneto person knew all about us, where to find us, and I refuse to wait around for him to come back and try again."
"Satoshi's right," Daisuke chimed in, glancing apologetically at Warren. "It's time for us to move on."
"Actually, we might be able to help with that," Scott said. "Rogue and I are from the Xavier Institute in Bayville. It's a place where mutants like us can come and stay, and just have a normal life without having to hide. We've got teachers to help us figure out our powers, and the mansion's security system keeps everyone safe."
"Not to mention P'fessor X and the other teachers," Rogue added. "Magneto knows better than to mess with anyone under the p'fessor's protection."
Warren crossed his arms in front of his chest. "I don't know," he said. "What makes you any different from Magneto's pitch? I mean, suddenly it seems like everyone wants us to join their organization or something."
Scott shook his head with a smile. "No, it's not like that at all. Believe me, we're nothing like Magneto."
"Yeah, he's on a total power trip," Rogue said. "We're just tryin' to fit in and make good use of our abilities."
"But we've learned that we've gotta be careful, because most people just aren't ready to deal with us yet," Scott cautioned.
Warren sighed. "Yeah, tell me about it."
"Just come with us and meet Professor Xavier," Scott invited. "Check out what we do and see what you think."
Warren turned to look at Satoshi and Daisuke. "You know I'd never ask you leave," he told them, "but if Magneto does come back, I don't know that I'd be able to protect you. I just want you both to say safe, and it sounds like this Institute could help with that."
Satoshi firmly squashed the creeping guilt of having been in the process of leaving New York without so much as a note. He felt Daisuke tug on his coat, and he didn't have to meet his gaze to know what he was thinking. A place where they would be kept safe from anyone looking for them? Where they could have a normal life, or as much of one as was possible for a teenage mutant? It was what they'd always wanted. It was the reason they'd run away in the first place.
Satoshi didn't trust these people, even if they had come to their rescue. They may have their own agenda in mind. But they didn't appear to be lying, and he and Daisuke knew how to escape from tight spots; the only reason they'd been stuck in that damned circus was because they'd been caught off guard and forced into those horrible collars.
In the end, it all came down to risk versus benefit.
"When do we meet this Professor Xavier?"
AN: Please review, let me know what you think or if there's anything you'd like to see happen in the future. Thanks for reading!