A/N: I'm still struggling to continue "Infatuation of the Rose". But it will go on. Yes, this deals with angels and demons again, but it has a completely different plot.

***A/N: Thanks to the reviewer Tsui for the text advice.


A light drizzle of rain fell from the solid wall of gray that was sky, and splattered on the asphalt below, lightly soaking the busy crowd of people that marched relentlessly down the wide sidewalks in a way that was reminiscent of an army of reluctant soldiers, trudging on to the battlefield where they were certain to meet their death.

Among the tired throng one person stood out, a tall man, dressed completely in black. He walked, completely unnoticed by the people around him, to the subway where even more people had gathered.

He tugged up the sleeve on his long black trench coat and checked the silver Rolex that was hidden beneath. If there was much more delay, then he would miss his appointment. Things always went bad when he missed his appointment.

He pushed and shoved his way to the front of the crowd where the subway train was temporarily parked, and was about to take off. The car was filled to capacity, in fact, there were even people hanging out of the open door. He calmly stepped up and pulled several of the people out of the car before stepping in himself, just as the doors were sliding closed. He resisted the urge to grin as the obsceneties of the people he removed reached his ears, and instead just stared back at them, his eyes masked by the large, reflective sunglasses on his face.

About twenty minutes later, he got off at his stop and walked the couple of blocks to the bank where he was expected.

As he neared the bank, the sound of sirens filled his ears, and the flash of red and blue echoed against the gray skyscrapers. A line of plastic yellow was stretched out across the entrance, and cops leaned over the hoods of their cars with their guns leveled at the doors.

He waved a gloved hand in the direction of the police before ducking beneath the police line and walking calmly toward the rotating doors. Inside he could hear gunshots and screams. He was right on schedule.

He walked through the doors just as the bank robbers ran past him, a female hostage held before them at gunpoint. He ignored them, and instead focused on his surroundings.

Five or six people lay sprawled out over the floor, crimson liquid leaking out over the shiny marble. The rest were tied up behind the teller's desk, still alive. Cops rushed in past him, looking for the survivers. He walked over to the corpses and waved a hand over them, slididing his sunglasses up on top of his head as he watched the souls leave their bodies. He gazed around for a brief moment, making sure he had gathered all of the souls from the dead bodies before turning and heading for the door. He had another appointment to make at the hospital.


Across the city, in a train station, a tall, blonde-haired man entered with two other people, having easily gotten past the metal detectors.

"Where do we begin?" asked his female accomplice.

"Wherever we want," he answered. "Who's gonna stop us?"

"You know who will stop us, given the chance," she pointed out.

"Then we won't give him the chance," he answered, then began making his way over to the front desk, his partners following close behind. "I thinks it's time justice is servered, don't you?" he asked them over his shoulder.

"Can I help you?" one of the receptionists asked, smiling.

He jumped on top of the desk and pulled a gun from its place beneath his brown leather coat. Everyone dropped to the floor and screamed, while his two friends wnet to guard the entrance.

"S-sir," the receptionist said, "I think you would have more luck robbing a bank or something."

"Shut up!" he shouted. "This isn't about robbery. This is about justice, the way it should be served!" he wheeled around to face someone behind the desk. "You! You cheated on your wife with her sister, then spent her whole life savings gambling. And you!" he began, turning to someone else, "You hit a man in your car and killed him. But did you ever turn back to see if he was okay? No. You let him die."

"What does that have to do with anything?" someone asked.

He cocked the gun. "Just this."


"Twenty people killed in train station shooting," the nurse said as she watched the news. "How awful. There are some real phsycos in this world."

Rinoa leaned back in her chair in the hospital room, and nodded. "Yeah, that's sad," she said, half-heartedly.

The nurse glanced up at her, a sympathetic look upon her face. "You worry to much. She'll be fine, the doctors said so. Maybe you should go home and get some rest. You look tired."

She shook her head furiously. "No, I'm not leaving. I have this feeling that something bad will happen. I hasve to stay here and make sure she's okay," she replied.

The words had only left her mouth a few seconds ago when suddenly the endless beep of the heart monitor sounded in her ears as the doctors rushed around the small hospital bed, trying desperately to save the frail woman inside it.

Vaguely, she heard one of the doctors yell, "Clear!" but the flat line didn't flench, even slightly. At that moment a strange man wandered into the room, dressed completely in black. Everything had happened so fast, she wasn't sure if she was seeing things right, but after blinking and rubbing her eyes, she realized he was still there. And moreover, she had the undeniable feeling that this would be the man that would take her mother. She stood up quickly, ready to confront this suspicious man.

"Get him out of here!" she exclaimed pointing at him. "He's gonna take her!"

His head jerked around to look straight at her, an eyebrow arched in confushion. The doctors followed the invisible trail to where her finger pointed, but found nothing.

"Ms. Heartilly, I think you're delusional. Just calm down, we're doing everything we can for your mother!" one of the doctors explained.

Fresh tears began to brim in her eyes as she stared at him, pain and fear colliding in her eyes. He stared back at her, knowing he had a job to do, but being rooted to the spot.

"I don't want him in here! I know what he's going to do. Get him out!" she yelled, charging up to him. She looked him straight in the eye, but could only see her reflection in his glasses. He couldn't help but stare back at her, mesmerized not only by the fact that she alone could see him, but he was entranced momentarily, with her eyes. Never before had he stared straight into the eyes of his victims' loved ones. He'd never had to face that look of pain when a person knew they were going to lose someone they loved. For the first time since he had become the Angel of Death, he felt guilty.

"I'm sorry," he murmered, knowing that she would be the only one to hear him, if he was heard at all.

He turned away from her, and looked down at her struggling mother, knowing it was time to end her misery. Behind him, he heard the woman's daughter start to sob as she nearly collapsed to the the ground. He briefly closed his eyes, that unfamiliar feeling of guilt and regret surging through him again. He shook it off as best as he could, and came to stand over Mrs. Heartily, who's face was wracked with pain and suffering. He was supposed to have been there earlier, but he'd had to make an emergency stop at the train station.

"Are you ready?" he asked of her quietly.

She nodded slightly. "Please, make it painless."

He nodded. "Don't worry, Mrs. Heartilly. Where you're going, there won't be anymore pain."


Squall leaned against a wall, trying to catch his breath while he could. It had been a busy day, and it was going to be an even busier night, he felt.

"You actually have time to just sit back and relax?" someone asked from behind him.

Squall shook his head, recognizing the voice immediately. "No, Seifer. There's never time to rest with this job."

"Maybe you shouldn't have taken the job. It seems like it's getting to you."

He shook his head. "It's not that, I just... Somebody actually saw me today. When nobody else did. I didn't think it was possible. And then that thing at the train station. I just missed catching the ones that did this. It couldn't have been a human."

Seifer shrugged. "They'll find out eventually. Anyway, I gotta go. Even us regular angels have work to do."

"Yeah, whatever," Squall replied.

"You're not going to say bye to an old friend? I have a feeling this will be the last time you see me for awhile."

Squall frowned, "Got to hell Seifer."

"I also have the feeling you'll regret saying that."

Before the words, "Whatever" could escape from Squall's lips, Seifer had dissapeared. It was just as well. Squall had things he had to do also. As he was leaving his comfortable spot against the side of a church, he heard someone call to him.

"Squall, you're not leaving so soon, are you?"

He turned around to see a blonde-haired woman standing behind him, a smug smile on her face.

"Who are you? What do want from me?"

"My name is Quistis," she said. "I'm a prophet. I was sent here to tell you of your new mission."

"Mission?" he repeated. "I don't do missions. I just make sure dead people get where they need to go."

Quistis shook her head. "Well, you're going to be an awfully busy reaper unless you do something about this."

"About what?!"

"The incident at the train station wasn't a one time thing. It will happen again, many times over, unless you stop it. It's up to you."

"Me alone?" he asked.

She shook her head. "I am to help you. Along with many others. But first things, first. We have to get the most important person in all of this. This won't be an easy task, mind you. But it is necessary."

"And if I say no?"

"You're duty-bound," she said.

He nodded. "Fine. Who do we need to get to start this thing off?"

Quistis smiled. "You'll see when we get there. For now, just follow me."


Rinoa was curled up into a ball on her side, her sobs having faded away just slightly. She hadn't wanted to return home, for she knew she couldn't sleep, but after her mother had been removed from the hospital, she didn't know where else to go.

She hadn't slept in days, having been far to concerned about her mother's condition, so eventually, she did begin to nod off. Unfortunately, her sleep was disturbed when she sensed the presence of another person in the bedroom of her apartment.

Rinoa sat up slowly before gazing around the room and finding two shadows at one corner of the room. She clutched her sheets to her chest and gulped down her fear before asking, in a shaken voice, "Who's there?"

Quistis stepped into the dim light that flowed in through the window. "I hate to disturb you," she said. "But you must come with us."

"No," Rinoa replied quickly. "You'll just have to kill me."

"It's not like that," Quistis said. "We don't mean you any harm. You must come with us for your own safety."

"Like I'm gonna buy that bullshit!"

"Squall, perhaps you can talk some sense into her?" Quistis suggested.

"Yeah, a lot of good you do as a prophet," he grumbled before stepping into the light himself.

Before he had a chance to speak, Rinoa jumped out of her bed, forgetting that she wore only a see-through black night gown and panties, and rushed over to him. "It's you! You're the one responsible for my mother's death!" she exclaimed and punched him as hard as she could in the stomach.

Squall, being pre-occupied with that fact that she was stronger than she looked, was unable to speak. Instead, Quistis jumped in.

"He did not kill her. It was simply her time to go. He had to make sure that she got there. You cannot blame him for that."

Rinoa sighed, her head hanging. "I guess so. But what are you? What do you want with me?"

Quistis expected Squall to say something, but once again, she found him distracted. She couldn't tell where his eyes were focused, since he hadn't removed his shades, but she had the feeling they were focused on Rinoa's thinly clad body.

"Perhaps you should cover yourself," she suggested.

Rinoa blushed deeply and pulled one of her sheets over herself.

"Now, answer her question, Squall."

"This will be difficult for you to believe," he began slowly. "I'm the Angel of Death."

She looked away for a long moment, as if sorting out her thoughts, and finally said. "I saw what you did with my mother, so... I believe you," she replied softly. "But what do you want me for?"

"Ask the almighty prophet over there," Squall muttered grumpily.

"I cannot tell you exactly. But I will tell you that you are needed to stop someone very dangerous. We need your help to stop the unneccesary killings. Your life is in danger as well."

"So if I don't help you, I might die?"

Qusits nodded. "Precisely. Realize it or not, you are a very imporant person. You must come with us, to be safe. We will protect you."

"How do I know I can trust you?"

"You don't," Squall spoke up. "But you don't know that you can't trust us, either."

"I don't-"

Just then, there was a commotion at the door, as someone attempted to get in.

"Do you live here with someone else?" Quistis asked.

"No," Rinoa replied. "I live alone. No one has a key to my apartment."

"They've come already. We have to get her out of here," Quistis pointed out.

"How? We can't use the front door," Squall pointed out. "And we're eleven stories up. This wouldn't be a problem for me, but since you two are human..."

"We'll have to hide," Quistis said. "Squall, you have to protect Rinoa. You'll have to use your abilities to shield her. Perhaps you should try the bathroom, behind the shower curtain. Perhaps they won't even look there."

"What about you?" Rinoa asked.

Quistis smirked slightly. "Don't worry about me."

"Yeah, but how will you-" Rinoa had started to ask.

Squall cut her off, grabbing her by the arm, and said, "Don't worry about her, I'm sure she can take care of herself. Now shut up, and come on."

"Don't tell me to shut up!" Rinoa hissed as they went into their hiding place. "And I can take care of myself too, you know!"

"Damnit, I said shut up! You're gonna get us all killed!" he growled as he heard the front door being busted down, and heavy footsteps wandering into the room. "Be really quiet, and really still," he added in a whisper as he peeked out through the curtain and through the cracked door.

Thankfully, she chose to take his advice, and remained silent while he attempted to listen to what was being said. There were low, deep voices coming from the other room, most likely male. They were speaking too quietly to be heard, however. The next thing that was heard was a gun being loaded and cocked, before random shots were fired around the bedroom, ripping into the wall, and shattering windows.

At the this sound, Rinoa let out a small whimper. Squall looked at her sharpley, then put a gloved finger to lips, ensuring that she stayed silent. He pushed her behind him, so that he was shielding her with his body. She gripped his shoulders from behind, out of fear.

A couple of the men opened the bathroom door and fired a few shots in their direction. Two of them missed, but one embedded itself in Squall's side. He let out a small grunt of pain that went unnoticed by the attackers, then looked to the would-be wound at his side. In only a few short seconds, the bullet seemed to drag itself out of his body and fall harmlessly to the floor with a small 'clang'. The broken skin immediately closed itself up, afterward.

"Humans and their guns," he muttered in a voice full of disgust. "I'll take care of them."

He stepped out of their small hiding place and into the bedroom, where they were just getting ready to leave, thinking they had taken care of anyone that might've been in the apartment.

The men quickly began to unload their guns on him, bad it had no effect on him. Instead, he pulled out a small black book from his pocket and flipped through the pages, before looking up at them and saying, "According to my schedule, you weren't supposed to die for a few more years. But I suppose I'll make an acception this time. I hope this is a leeson to your boss never to send a human to do his dirty work." With a simple wave of his head, they all dropped to the floor, very much dead.

Quistis popped out from her hiding place, "Good work. It makes sense that only a human would actually try to use the door."

"You're a prophet," Squall stated. "Why the hell didn't you tell me they were humans in the first place?! It would've save us all this bullshit," he growled as he headed for the broken, splintered remains of the door. "Now let's go."

Rinoa looked to Quistis, "Is he always this grumpy?" she asked.

Quistis shrugged. "I've only known him for about forty-five minutes. So far, though, he certainly seems that way."

"Sometime today, please?" Squall said, poking his head back through the door.

"Wait a second. I have to change clothes. I can't go out looking like this," Rinoa pointed out.

"Fine, go change," he said. "But hurry."

Rinoa grabbed some clothes from her dresser and walked into the bathroom to change."

"You know, we are suppose to follow her where ever she goes," Quistis pointed out. "Our top priority is her protection and survival."

"Then you follow her in there," Squall grumbled.

"Too ackward," she replied. "I don't know how guys are, but I, as a female, feel just a bit uncomfortable going in and watching some strange woman undress."

"Better you than me."

"You are to be her main guardian. I'm just here to give wise advice, and tell you the future. It is your sole duty to follow her wherever she goes, and make sure she is safe. Remember that at all times. You are duty- bound, Squall."

He scowled and was about to reply when Rinoa walked out of the bathroom, fully dressed. "I'm ready."

"Can we leave now?" he asked.

"Where will we go?" Rinoa asked.

Squall turned to Quistis, "Well, Ms. Fortune Teller, where are off to now?"

"Follow me, and I will show you," she answered. "And Rinoa, be sure to hold onto Squall, for safety," she added, try to mask her grin with much difficulty.

Rinoa nodded, and latched onto his arm.

"Go to hell, Quistis," he muttered and tried to jerk his arm loose.

"Uh-uh," Qusits scolded. "You don't want to go back on your sacred duties do you? And why does it bother you so much? Do you think there is something wrong with Rinoa?" she asked, thoroughly enjoying herself.

"What?!" Rinoa gasped. "There's nothing wrong with me, you jerk!"

"I never said-" he began.

"Shame on you, Squall!" Quistis cut him off. "How dare you say such things about Rinoa."

"I didn't say-" he tried again, but was once again cut off.

"Just do me a favor and don't talk to me for the rest of this journey," Rinoa broke in with a sigh before walking far ahead of him.

"Thanks, Quistis. Now, it's going to be so much easier following her around twent-four seven!" he hissed before following after Rinoa.

Quistis shook her head and smirked as she watched them go. If only he could see what she saw in the future, maybe he wouldn't feel that way.


A/N: It sucks, so sue me. No, I think I'd rather be set on fire with your flames. I can't afford to be sued....