I'm so sorry this took so long. My wifi-provider-portable-pointer-thingy was on the blink, so I had no Internet. this chapter and the next few also have been written, edited and posted on my phone, so I'm sorry in advance for any mistakes.
So to make it up, I'm going to post my four ready chapters in the next few hours.
Thanatos stood on the steps to the temple. He looked up as Zaphira landed above him at the doors of the temple and began descending the stone steps, but said nothing.
"Thanatos," she said, her tone annoyed. The angel brothers landed at her side, ready for a fight, but she held up one arm like a barrier.
"Down, boys!" Thanatos' voice hadn't changed a bit: still squeaky as ever. "Aren't you good doggies?"
"Why are you here?" Zaphira was direct. "There are only angels here. By order of Lord Zeus, king of the gods, there is no place for death here. Ergo, there is no place for you."
"Why, am I not allowed to pay my little cuz a visit?" Thanatos pouted, his tone petulant.
Dark Pit's head reeled. Little cuz? Wait, what!?
"In technicality," Zaphira said whilst directing a glare at Thanatos, "he is my cousin. He was created by Hades, brother of Lord Zeus, my father. You still haven't answered my question, though. Why. Are. You. Here."
"Oh, I wanted to get revenge on those little flightless chickens behind you. Pit did kill me, you know, and then Pittoo stole his soul from my fingers!"
"They are in my realm, with my angels, under my protection. If you want them so badly, come and fight me first." Zaphira held up her hand once more, keeping Dark Pit from leaping at Thanatos, furious at the use of his nickname.
"Gladly!" The word hissed from between the god of death's teeth. He switched form, taking the shape of a large green wolf with huge canine fangs and mangy fur. The female angel merely chuckled as her body was enveloped in light. It died within an instant, leaving a silvery-grey wolf with long white teeth in her place. Dark Pit was shocked. "She can change form?"
Pit smiled at his brother's surprise. "Yes. She's a goddess, Pittoo. She has power the likes of us can never comprehend." Dark Pit merely hissed at the use of that watch, too interested in the fight that was quickly blossoming between the two immortals.
The green wolf leapt at the silver, aiming its yellow teeth at the throat of the other. The silver wolf skipped to the side, ripping open the green's side with large claws. The Thanatos-wolf whined in pain, and leapt again, teeth this time aiming for the silver's front leg. She leapt also, straight into him, and clamped her teeth down into his shoulder. He howled and fell back. She growled long and loud. The green wolf changed form again, back to his clown-like form, and so did the silver. Zaphira flicked her wrists, and two swords came into being, long and thin and beautiful. Thanatos charged her, and she whirled and danced, slashing and stabbing and using her wings to keep her balance. He fell back, golden ichor, the blood of the gods, leaking from his wounds. She stood over him, sword-tip held to his throat. "Yield," he grumbled.
The battle had lasted roughly thirty seconds.
She withdrew her sword and simply said, "go." And he went.
"What was that about?" Pit didn't beat around the bush.
Zaphira didn't answer for a second. "Personal revenge trip," she said after a pause. "He really doesn't like either of you."
"I've never even met the guy!" Dark Pit protested.
"No, but you did enter the City of Souls and snatch one out." She looked pointedly at Pit. "He takes that as a personal affront. It's his job to govern the souls of the dead. What sort of a job is he doing if he can't keep them in place?" Dark Pit shrugged.
Pit spoke up then. "The sun is setting. We really ought to go back to Palutena's temple."
"You are very welcome to stay here," Zaphira said. "I can send word to her if needs be."
"But what about Phos and Lux?"
"They're fine. I can have them brought into the stables. Besides," - and here she played her trump card - "I have to keep an eye on this one." She gestured to Dark Pit. He narrowed his eyes at her a little. She raised an eyebrow at him but said nothing.
"Well, if you have no objections, Pittoo..."
"Only one," the dark angel replied. "Don't. Use. That. Name!" He cuffed Pit around the back of the head. Pit grinned. Zaphira took to the sky, beckoning the brothers before it could devolve into a fight.
"I'll find you two somewhere to sleep, but I have to go keep an eye on things on the surface. Leila!" Another female angel broke away from the small group she had been flying with, saw Pit, and blushed a deep scarlet. Dark Pit glanced over to notice that Pit was also blushing. 'Hmmmm...' That would be an interesting bargaining chip for later use. But he followed Pit and Leila to a building on an island close to the temple and went inside.
Zaphira was confused. She stared into the surface of a pool of water, watching as Thanatos sulked in the throne room of his palace at the bottom of the sea. She had been watching him for hours after she had left the angel brothers. What could have possessed him to act like that, coming to attack her in Skyworld? He must have known he would lose. Then again... He was incredibly stupid. It might have been just his lack of brain cells that led him to fight her.
"You're frowning. A lot."
She spun at the voice, drawing a small ball of fire into the palm of her hand. Dark Pit lifted his hands, palms outward, to show he had no weapons. She extinguished the ball of flame. "What are you doing here? I have guards..."
Dark Pit laughed. "I'm pretty good at getting past guards."
She merely smiled slightly, then turned back to the pool of water. Thanatos was throwing a tantrum. Oh, Gods, she was lucky she wasn't in the room with him. When he threw a tantrum, the surrounding area was usually reduced to rubble. He changed forms rapidly when he was upset, going from elephant to mouse and back again.
Dark Pit glanced over her shoulder at the water's surface and what was revealed there, before leaning nonchalantly against the fountain's edge and looking at her. He laid his hand over her own on the side of the pool. "You don't like him, do you?"
"An astute observation from a masterful detective!" Though her words were sarcastic, she smiled to take the bite off. "Of course I don't. He's the god of death, by extension I am the embodiment of life. We can never coexist. We have this uneasy bargain - he does not take these angels unless they die in combat. Even then, I have to fight him off frequently."
"Sounds like an annoyance." Dark Pit winked. "But he can't fight very well, can he? You beat him without too much effort."
She huffed. "He is death. I am life. When we touch, our souls are ripped. It hurts." She still hadn't looked away from the water and its image.
Dark Pit sighed. "Come on. Looking at him, I don't think he's much of threat for a while."
She drew her eyes from the water, looking into his eyes and smiling. She touched the surface of the pool, creating ripples that distorted the image there, and turned her back to it, gliding over to the window and the darkened clouds outside. Dark Pit followed. "Have you ever flown at night?" Her voice was quiet. "It's so silent, it's like there is just you and the air, no-one else. No gods, angels, or humans." She slipped outside, standing on the ground, on the edge of the island. "You coming?" She glanced back as Dark Pit joined her. He slipped his hand into hers, feeling her soft skin as cool as the night air around them. She squeezed gently, and then pulled him off the island.
He didn't let go. They fell headfirst towards the ground, but he didn't spread his wings. Not yet. As they approached the ground, Zaphira pulled out of the dive, gliding alongside him. She dipped towards the hills beneath them, flying at great speed mere metres above the grass. They soon reached the sea, the salt spray flying into their faces. Hearing the wind ruffle their feathers and the sea murmur below them. Dark Pit said nothing, valuing the silence too high to break it.
They soon turned around, flying back up to Zaphira's islands. Dark Pit still had hold of her hand, not wanting to release her lest she fly away. They flew through the still-open window, gently coming to a stop on the stone floor.
He looked at her, cheeks rosy from the wind, hair blown back, eyes shining. And he couldn't resist. He touched a feather-light kiss to her lips, and then, despite his best wishes, pulled back. She produced a sound in her throat that was half-growl, reminding him of her wolf form, and half-sigh. It made him hard instantly.
She leaned forward, taking his mouth in a kiss so strong he gasped. She seized the opportunity to slip her tongue between his lips, running the tip across his teeth. The effect was instantaneous. He started kissing her in earnest, matching her vigour with his own. He took hold of her waist, holding her against him, and wrapped his wings around them both like a shield. She wrapped her arms around his neck, not about to let him go. He tasted like smoke and molasses.
He backed her up against the wall, running a hand up her back and over her wings. She moaned into his mouth, slipping her fingers into his hair, and broke off her kisses to run her tongue along his jaw. Dark Pit struggled to breathe, so hard it was painful. Zaphira chuckled gently, planting a kiss at the meeting of his neck and shoulder. She gave the area a slight nip with her teeth, and he groaned. He seized her lips with his own again, lifting her up by her waist. She wrapped her legs around his hips. His erection strained forward into her, and every movement against that sensitive area made him harder and harder. She shook and released a breathy moan, which he drank up with a kiss, when he pressed himself against her.
An angel with white wings hurried away from the door to the room, eyes bright with tears but fists clenched in fury. He loved Zaphira, and he was not going to let this dark angel stand in his way.