A/N: HI GUYS I'M JUST GONNA LEAVE THIS HERE TO SHOW THAT I'M NOT DEAD YET~ I'm super busy right now and I've had this chapter in my docs for a while now, waiting to release it, until I realized that the time may never come, especially since I haven't been able to write a lot lately! So here it is!
"The stars are beautiful tonight, aren't they?" The young girl gave a contented smile and a dreamy gaze to the night sky above their heads, speckled white with little orbs of light. Her brother pushed open the mesh screen door and set himself down on the porch stairs next to his little sister and focused his scarlet eyes on the same sight that she was observing. Stars. Millions, if not thousands of them, twinkling like glitter in a black backdrop.
It was a rather quiet summer evening, with the chirp of the nightly crickets faded into the background like white noise and the forest that surrounded their little house eerily still. "It is, Leila," he replied. He glanced at her and was pleased to see that her eyes sparkled with awe. She was only nine, so he didn't blame her.
They lived in the secluded part of town, surrounded by foliage, away from all the commotion and streetlights that diluted the heavens with their own illumination. It blocked the full view of the stars, and she wouldn't stand to be in a place that didn't provide a clear view. The little girl with long white hair, bangs pulled back with a blue headband, and crimson eyes giggled. "Can we stay here for a while, big bro?"
"Sure. Whatever you want," he shrugged casually. She liked stargazing every night, and she would stare up into sky for hours upon hours until she laid her head down on his shoulder and fell fast asleep. Then, after her breaths became steady and slowed he would scoop her up in his arms and carry her to bed.
Their lonely nights usually ended like this. He knew that she needed some escape from her harsh reality. She needed to forget, abandon the memory of their parents forcing them on a train to nowhere in the countryside. She had to bitterly accept that they had to stay in the city despite the wail of a siren, signaling the coming airplane bombings overhead. After the dawn of the Second World War, it wasn't common for parents to send their kids away to the countryside of Britain. The Germans preferred sending in their planes to bomb London and do the dirty work instead of just invading with soldiers.
When fleeing into their makeshift bomb shelter (which had become a nightly occurrence) and waiting for hours for the last boom to sound became too much for the girl, their parents made the impossible decision to get them out of the crowded city as soon as they could. He remembered that she refused to stop crying, and eventually he had to drag her onto the platform and into the train. She had banged on the windows viciously as the train screeched and started to lurch forward. Their parents watched with saddened eyes as their children moved farther from them. With each only having one luggage, they and a few other kids were dropped off in this small town, not knowing what to do.
The townspeople had been kind to them. They allowed some of the refugees to stay at their house, and even adopted some as 'temporary' daughters and sons until the war was over. Him and his sister, however, chose to exclude themselves in the woods. They'd been living like that for a year. Now that the fresh scars and memories had faded and blurred into the past, they had become accustomed to their lives. There was still no word about London, or the condition of their parents. "Hey...can I ask you a question?" She asked aloud as they sat in the silent darkness.
"What is it?" He asked.
"Do...do you think Mom and Dad are still alive?" She almost whispered, but her words were loud enough to send him back into quietness.
"I don't know," he answered solemnly. Right now, the hopes that they had escaped the war-ravaged city was their only chance of leaving this place. "I think they are, though."
"How do you know?" she asked again, driving another ping of pain into his chest.
"I don't." She went silent, averting her eyes to the grassy field that was their front yard. He bit his lip with regret. He should've been more careful with his words. He'd been telling her lies, assuring her that they were probably still alive and that they had sought refuge elsewhere when he had no idea about where they were. "But I'm sure they'd have moved by now. Maybe to America, even."
"You think so?" She perked up her head, hope resurfacing in the tone of her voice. "Then how would they be able to come back to get us? By boat?"
"Definitely." Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her smile and he relaxed. All he could do was tell lies.
He turned back to the sky. The little white dots remained planted in their spots, just as they were a few hours ago. They didn't seemed to move at all, just flicker relentlessly like a weak candle, ducking under black and returning to a strong chalky glow. He closed his eyes for a moment, and in that second he heard a loud gasp escape his sister's mouth. His eyes shot back open, darting up to the sky. "Look! Shooting stars!" She said with excitement, rising off the porch to stand in the middle of the yard, gaze centered to the above.
He glanced up as two comets streaked across the sky at lightning-like speed, illuminating the darkness with flashes of light. They soared past, imprinting the sky with little strands of white and yellow, and then disappeared into the distance. He sighed. So much beauty, yet so little time to absorb it. "A shooting star is an angel, traversing across the sky. It shows that they're always watching over us from heaven, protecting us from any harm and making sure that we're forever safe," he told his sister, who was still looking up yearningly, as if they would come back to greet her again.
"Is that true?"
"Yup. You mean you already forgot what Mom told us about them?" He lightly teased, a slight smirk parting his lips.
"Then...do you think that the stars are doing the same for her?" She asked.
Once again, his little, innocent sister had found a way to trap him in a corner. "...I think so," he managed, the grin disappearing from his face.
Suddenly, a bright flash lit up the sky again. This time, the two little comets had reared around in the opposite direction. "Look! They're back!" His sister cried joyfully. They didn't just soar in one direction. They were doing their own little dance, smashing into and bouncing off of each other, darting around in the night sky.
"What the - ?" He was cut off by a thunderous, silence-shattering boom as one of the comets bounced back against the other and hurdled to earth. He stood up at once, and backed up under the awning of the porch. The loud boom echoed through the field, sending a pulse of wind that blew the grass violently to one side. Leila shielded herself from the blast of air with her arms covering her face. "Leila! Come back here! It might be a bomb!" Looking visibly frightened, she retreated back to the house and huddled against his chest.
The second comet hovered in the air. He watched it suspiciously as the little orb of light darted back and forth over the air where the first one had fallen. What was it? A German fighter plane in the middle of a dogfight? Or was it a missile aiming for a target?
It paused in mid-air. And then, it streaked off faster than the human eye could observe. He felt the startled grip of Leila's hands around his arm, and took a shaky step forward. From the sound of the crash and the feeling of hot wind in the atmosphere, he knew that it had landed awfully close. "What was that...?" His sister asked quietly.
"Stay here! I'm gonna go check it out," he ordered, leaving her clasp and leaping off the front porch and into the forest. Leila watched him disappear in the foliage and panicked, following after her older brother.
"Soul! W-wait for me, please!" She cried.
"Go back into the house!" He shouted back, even though she couldn't see him.
He barreled past low-lying branches and leaves and bushes, tracking down the site where he had seen it go down, driven by his own curiosity. He rushed past a pile of leaves, until something bright and shiny caught his eye. He skid to a stop for a moment, reaching down into the soil to pluck something odd from the dirt. It was a feather, but not a normal white one; it gleamed despite the complete dark around him, as if it was shrouded in glitter, and it gave off a soft white glow from the inside. It was not soft, rather, leathery and silky smooth. Like nothing he ever felt before. He examined it, seeing that there were small frills at the tip of it and its side was slightly charred black.
This was no comet, nor fighter plane, nor bomb.
He cautiously made his way deeper into the woods, and he could see a piercing light shimmering in the distance. It was so bright he had to shield his eyes from it, even though it wasn't even close to coming within its range. Reaching blindly through the branches, the light suddenly dissolved into the darkness, and the forest once again rang out with quietness. Still, he pressed on with the strange feather in his hand and felt the strange warmth emanating from its core. The harsh white hue had been replaced with a much softer and dimmer light blue color. It engulfed the little clearing where the 'comet' had landed in.
He finally pushed away the last of the trees and leaves, revealing a torn part of the forest, where trees had been blown away in a circle around the area of impact. They were all blown completely down, their branches bare and burnt black from the heat. In the middle was a small ditch where the 'comet' was, still radiating a strange blue light. As he got closer, he realized that the light also emitted energy, it vibrated the still night air with a soft hum. He was absolutely certain that this was not a comet. He edged closer, his footsteps cracking against the incinerated tree stumps and soil and leaves.
He thought his shoes would burn off his heels, but the ground was not hot at all. As though this strange energy affected everything but him. He peeked into the ditch, where the blue radiation was at its strongest. But there was nothing but cerulean bathing the area. It grew dimmer and dimmer, until he could've sworn that he saw the illuminated outline of a figure inside the small indent it had made in the ground, tinier than he thought at falling star would make. Usually, it'd be a large crater, but this hole was only a few feet wide and a few feet deep. The light disappeared at once, startling him. He drew back. "Sooouuuul!" Someone crashed through the bushes behind him and wrapped its arm around his waist tightly.
"Leila! I told you to go back inside! It's too dangerous to be here!" He admonished.
"But you're here and you're fine!" She whined, distracted by the dying sapphire light that diminished into the night. "L-look!" She pointed a shaky finger in the ditch.
He gasped. Instead of finding the remains of a shattered space rock, he saw a pale-white face covered with cascading wheat-blonde hair lying face-down in the ground. Her eyes were closed, and her arms sprawled out on either side of her still body.
It was a girl, an average looking teenage girl with blonde hair and green eyes and cutely round cheeks.
He was dumbfounded for a moment.
She wore a torn silver cloak, tainted with black, and two legs protruded out from the end of the coat. She wore pair of tattered white boots. In some places where her long trench coat had ripped, her bare skin was exposed. And right above her pure coat, was a pair of pearly, bleach-white wings sprouting out from the top center of her back, longer than both her arms. The left one glittered with a frosted glaze, and other had a gaping hole right through the center. He held up the feather for a quick comparison. It was the same. All around her were shattered pieces of feathers, the same kind he had found lying around in the woods.
"Who is she...?" Leila asked, her voice trailing off. He took a step forward closer to the mysterious girl, and her eyes shot open at an alarmed speed. He froze as two green eyes, with irises as clear and as pristine as emeralds, glared at him dangerously. The girl shot up with unearthly speed to the opposite side of the small ditch, rearing up to attack, and her winds folded open with a fierce whoosh. She looked more frightened than aggressive.
Now that he could see her whole body, he saw that she was severely injured from her fall: the front side of her long and slender legs were bloodied with open cuts and bruises, and her arms, despite being covered by the sleeves of her trench coat, were scratched up and covered in red. Her ashy-yellow hair was tussled with streaks of brown from the ground. Her cheeks were smeared with a mix of dirt and blood. She was certainly human, or at least human-looking. No human, though, would've been able to survive that fall. No human had wings, either. An angel? he thought, as if the obvious white wings or pale skin wasn't a dead giveaway.
"Tu quis es?!" The angel demanded, in a strangely smooth tone. She had a weird accent and spoke in a language that certainly wasn't English. When he didn't respond to her, she asked another question. "Grigori vel Grimoire?!"
His jaw was still dropped, and words refuse to escape his mouth. "What is she saying?" Leila asked, clinging tightly to the back of his arm.
She figured that he wouldn't answer her. She flicked her wrists and they ignited with a pure sapphire glow that enveloped her fingers and the palms of her hands. She glowered threateningly at him with mossy eyes. She reared up for an attack. It took little time for Soul to realize what was going on. "W-Wait!" He raised his hands, and her gaze softened a bit. She perked an eyebrow, mulling over what he said. "You don't need to attack us!" He shouted at her, raising his hands over his head in submission. "We won't hurt you!"
She eyed him, observed every move he made. "Tu quis es?" She asked again, more calmer than before. The little blue flames that danced around in her hands lessened as she lowered her hands and folded her wings closer to her body.
"I...Um...My name is Soul," he said calmly, and she cautiously watched as he stretched a hand out to her. She glanced at it, and then back into his eyes. She studied his expression carefully. "You're hurt. We need to help you." A girl had fallen over 20,000 feet from the air and best he could offer her was his hand.
After a moment of tense silence, with the exception of the hum of energy emitting from her glowing hands and wings, her dangerous green glare was reduced to suspicion as her wings folded fully against her back. The power withdrew into her hands. She did nothing but concentrate her gaze on his outstretched hand, contemplating whether she should reach or not. Soul struggled to keep his arm steady. His mind was still hazy with disbelief, but he knew what he was doing.
Finally, she reached towards it with her own hand. Her fingertips skimmed the top of his palm, testing the feel of his skin as if it were her first time ever touching someone. His eyes widened. Her hands were as normal as his were, to his surprise. They were also soft, with strangely perfect and smooth skin. Soon, their fingers were touching, reaching across the gaping hole in the ground. He didn't make an attempt to grab her hand, or else he knew he would startle her and scare her away or she'd attack them. Instead, he waited for her palm to meet his, for her hand to slide into his grip so she could get accustomed to his touch.
Her glittering emerald eyes lost all of their malice. She looked at him with shocked eyes, her fingers running across his, and then drew her hand back as if she had just touched a flame. He was surprised. Leila stepped forward, her eyes once again filled with the same awe. "You're an angel, right?" she asked.
The girl tilted her head again and blinked, sensing that Leila meant no harm. She didn't understand what the little girl had said.
Leila beamed at her. "Wow! You look so cool! Are those real wings?!" she asked excitedly, stepping forward to touch them. The girl jumped back defensively and Leila drew back, surprised. "Oh...um, sorry. My name is Leila. Laaay-lah," she enunciated. "What's yours?"
Before the angel could answer Soul pushed his sister back behind him. "Don't talk to her! We don't even know what she is!" he scolded.
His little sister pouted. "But Souuul!" she whined. "She looks so cool!"
And then, just when everything had fallen silent and peace had seemingly began to fill the air, there was another loud boom. It alarmed her, and she looked up immediately. Right above their head was a floating figure. "Is it another one?" Soul wondered aloud to himself.
He was still confused. Were they human? Were they demons or angels? He couldn't tell anymore. The only thing that assured him that he wasn't dreaming was his little sister pinching the back of his arm with a fearful grip.
This new person seemed different. Unlike the girl's angelic aura of pure energy, he emitted a darker, more dense feeling that blanketed the air. Instead of white wings, his were as black and as sleek as a raven's with a purple glow outlining each feather. The angel girl gasped and shriveled up slightly in fear at his presence. From the shadows, Soul could make out a smirk spreading across his face. "Inveni," he said with the same accent as the girl did, his voice even and cold. She started to tremble, her wings spanning outwards and her body became cloaked in a bluish light again. The dark man didn't seem impressed. As he neared closer to her, his features became more distinct. His long black hair cut neck-length was as murky as his wings, and he was wearing a black vest with a strange pattern that ran across his chest. There was a large grin plastered on his face, and a sense of dark entertainment in his obsidian pupils. His words sounded more menacing and deeper. "Veni mecum. Ut nobis veniat opus."
She didn't answer him, but looked to Soul. There was helplessness in her eyes, as she knew she wouldn't be able to summon enough energy to defend herself. Soul looked at her plea for help, and then focused on the intimidating man hovering closer towards her. "Leila, get out of the way!" He pushed back his sister into the bushes and picked up a stick. He tossed it at the evil man, but he whacked it away with the back of his hand.
He raised his hand, bathed in a dark purple light, and flung a lavender flame at him. Soul leapt aside and watched as the fire consumed the ground and left a scorched hole there. The injured girl ran to him and stood over him. "Dimitte eum!" She growled at him.
He chuckled, shooting another blast of fire at him even though he was still on the ground. But this time, the angel encased herself in her wings and blocked the attack, and the purple flames bounced off. She clenched her fist, drawing all the power she possibly could from within her, and countered with a flash of white light that blasted right at him. He tried to use his wings as a shield, but they weren't strong enough to withstand her attack. He was blown back into the air.
He snarled at her. The girl collapsed to her knees, gasping as her glow died down into nothingness. "Emorior!" He barked at her, raising his hand for another attack, but then his malicious gaze froze and he stopped in mid-attack. After his pause, he lowered his hand and darted off into the night.
Leila rose out of the bushes again, and saw them both on the ground. The girl fell backwards and landed in his arms. "Quod hærebat," she murmured to him as he cradled her against his chest cautiously. Her powers had completely died down. Soul leaned up with the limp girl in his arms. Her wings dissipated into little particles that were absorbed into her back. Once again, peace and calm consumed the atmosphere, and the lights and incinerated trees had faded into the blackness of the night. The stars that loomed above their heads had seemingly hid themselves away in the dark purple hue of sky.
"Soul..." Leila began quietly, approaching his brother from behind. "What are we gonna do now?"
The angel in his arms stirred slightly, acknowledging the girl with a weak turn of of her head, but she did not speak. Soul felt her body ease into his, letting him realize that she had found some level of trust in him. He had two choices: leave her here to die, or take this mysterious angel-like girl home, who had just fallen out of the sky from out of nowhere, to his house to help her. He guessed the first choice would leave a bitter aftertaste in his mouth. Second option it was.
"C'mon, we need to get you back into the house," he told her something she failed to understand, and tensed when he made a sudden jerk. He maneuvered her upwards and scooped her into his arms bridal-style. She seemed to submit to his touch, and curled her blood-stained head up into his chest.
He ran through the forest again with Leila close behind him, past all the trees and bushes and such. Finally, when they had made it to their porch once again, he swung open the screen door. He ordered his little sister to go back to bed. He didn't want her to get caught up in all of this, and even he wasn't sure of what kind of crap he had gotten himself into.
The angel girl remained quiet in his arms as he rounded a corner of his house and opened the door to the bathroom. He sat her down gently on the toilet lid and she didn't argue. Searching through the medicine cabinet behind the bathroom window above the sink, she watched his with careful eyes, like a wild animal observing a human for the first time. "Caesum," she said to him as he bent down to examine the wounds on her legs, holding a roll of bandages in one hand and an amber-tinted bottle in the other. She tapped him on the shoulder, and he looked up.
"What is it?" He asked. "H-Hey!" He was shocked as soon as her face came extremely close to his, so close that their foreheads were touching and their lips were barely a few inches a apart.
"Caesum," she murmured to him. An emerald stare bore into his gaze and he froze.
He didn't retreat, because he had no idea what she was doing. Part of him wanted to stay there, with his lips lingering over hers, so close he could feel her soft breath skim across his own. She closed her eyes and waited, and so did he. But just as he was about to lean, he felt a shock shoot straight through his head. "Ow!" He yelped and fell back from his knees. His vision blurred. He struggled to gain it back. A sharp headache settled into his head. "What the hell was that for?!" It felt like a bullet had just been fired right through his skull and exited out the other side.
She spoke, and as she did, he felt something strange in the back of his brain. "Nunc intelligere potes me," she said, and a small voice echoed in his head, repeating her phrase in English: "Now you can understand me." She spoke again, but this time with much familiar words. "And I can understand you." She said something in his language, finally. But the words seemed to feel odd and unfamiliar against her tongue.
"The hell was that?" He choked out, rubbing his temples to ease the jolt of pain.
"What do you mean?" She spoke English in a choppy, monotone-like voice, as if she were still adjusting to its accent. "I exchanged the information between our minds through a brain linkage."
"You can do that?" he asked.
"Yes. It is normal."
His eyes narrowed. "What the hell are you anyways?" He asked.
"I am a Grigori angel from the land of Erigorias. In my land, all people are like this," she motioned to her unseen wings in her back. "What are you? I've never seen an angel like you before. You do not seem to be a Grimoire..." She leaned closer towards him with curious mossy eyes, examining him.
"I'm not an angel," he answered. "I'm human."
"H-human...?" she murmured to herself. Her eyes went wide. "What realm is this?"
"Planet Earth?" he responded unsteadily.
She allowed a quick gasp to escape her mouth. "I did not know that the portal would travel this far..." she murmured to herself.
"Wait, hold on," he stopped her. "What do you mean by 'realm?' Where the hell did you come from, outer space? Are you an alien?" he asked.
"Alien...?" she wondered aloud. "No, I am an angel."
He scoffed. "You don't look like much of an angel to me. When 'angel' comes to mind, I'd like to think of one of those glowing floating people with halos."
She pouted. "Of course I am an angel!" She defended, dirt-streaked cheeks flaring with red. She gulped, and squeezed her eyes shut and puffed her cheeks until they became red. From what he could tell, she was trying to re-summon her wings back. The air behind her back vibrated with turquoise orbs of energy, and feathers started to manifest together, one by one, until they collided together and formed into a large pair of silk-white wings that stretched from the edge of the bathroom to the other side. They shimmered like newly-descended snow on a frozen ground. Except, one wing was cut short with a large hole through its milky plumage, a resulting injury from her fight with the other dark angel. "See?" She said proudly, then gasped as she realized that a part of one of her wings were missing. "My wing is..."
"There's a giant hole in it," he observed.
"I am unsure...perhaps if I am able to consume mana, then they would be restored. B-but my wings are not fully grown yet! Perhaps short while I will outgrow them and earn a new pair!" She stammered nervously, tentatively feeling around the hole in the down of white.
"Don't think my medicine can heal that," he sighed.
"What is that?" she asked.
"What is what?"
"Medicine?" she answered. "I am unfamiliar with that term."
"'Medicine' is, well...a remedy for humans when they're hurt or sick. Dunno if it's gonna work on you, though."
She frowned. "Do you have water?"
His eyes shifted to the bathtub. "Yeah. You're gonna take a shower when you're all scratched up like this?"
She sighed and watched him with a hint of suspicion and curiosity as water gushed in a continuous stream from the pipe and filled the bathtub. "So, if I'm correct, you're supposedly an angel from another dimension who went through some kind of portal and crash-landed on earth, right?" She nodded. "Why was that guy chasing you? Lemme guess, he was a demon?" He asked, keeping a steady gaze on the rippling water.
She shook her head slowly. "He was also an angel, but of a different kind. In Erigorias, there are two types of angels: ones who possesses the holy power of a Grigori and one who possesses the impure powers of a Grimoire. I am a Grigori. Us Grigoris are descendants of the holy Archangel of whom our kind was named after, Arthur Grigori. Grimoire-type angels come from a different descendent named Noah Grimoire. That man, known by the name of Gopher, was a Grimoire," she said.
"Then why was he after you?"
"Even though we are of the same type, we are complete opposites. We share different views, segregate ourselves in different regions, and even our souls are different shapes. For years, the two different races have fought each other for land and power over the world. My race has always dominated, up until a few years ago when a powerful force of Grimoire rebels overthrew our kingdom. Our region quickly broke out into a war, and most of us were forced to flee our area. The Grimoires were swift in conquering our country, torturing and killing and enslaving Grigoris relentlessly..." she trailed off, and then continued when she realized that Soul was listening carefully. "We had nowhere else to go. My father and I were forced to use our powers to open up a portal to another dimension and flee to wherever it would take us. However, portals require much energy to keep open. My father did not make it through," she said sadly. "Gopher seemed to have followed me after I had left through the portal, and he attacked me while I was traversing across your stratosphere. He wishes to capture me and bring me back to Erigorias, but I have nowhere else to go but here."
Soul sat up on his kneecaps again, confused as hell, still unsure of what to think of things, knowing that all that had happened that night was that a stray comet that was actually an angel from another dimension just so happened to fall in his backyard, and now she ended up sitting on his toilet cover seat. "...That sounds like Europe right now," he muttered with a blank expression, testing the warmth of the tub.
"Is your world in chaos as well?"
"Well, the country that I live in and another country called Germany are fighting with each other right now. On earth, we call it World War two. It also made us leave our homes with our parents," he told her.
"Then we have that much alike," she attempted to smile untill a sharp jolt of pain in her abdomen caused her to wince.
"The bath's ready. Just get in here so we can clean you up." He pulled the lever to the bathtub.
She gave him a skeptical look. "I have never seen water being used in this way before," she said, observing how it pooled up in the porcelain tub.
"Well, it's pretty normal here to take a bath for once." He turned to reach for the shampoo. "And...you also have to take off your clothes - H-Hey!"
A hot flash crept up face and his nose felt like a dam about to burst into red as she shamelessly and swiftly ripped up the trench coat from her body, revealing nothing underneath but her pale-white skin riddled with bloody cuts and a modest-sized chest that beckoned to him while he squatted on the floor. "What troubles you?" She asked casually, frowning as he forced himself to look the other way. He flung his head around and snatched a roll of toilet paper, furiously pushing the whole roll against his nose.
"D-Do they not teach you shame there?! I mean, I-I thought angels were supposed to be pure and stuff!" He stuttered, pinching his nostrils shut from the onslaught of blood that threatened to run out like a broken faucet.
"Shame? Why do you act like this?" she asked with genuine curiosity.
"J-Just get into the damn tub!" He shouted. "Get into the water! But make sure you're all the way in the water!" Soul held the bridge of his nose and grabbed a tissue, wiping the last speck of his nosebleed away.
With his head still facing the other way, she shrugged and removed her underwear and boots and carefully set herself down in the tub of water. She yelped as she felt the sting of her injuries clash with the heat of the liquid. Though her wounds were still open, she could feel them fading from her skin. "Does it hurt?" He asked, daring himself to swivel his head around.
Feeling its warmth infiltrate her body and her pain easing slightly, she let out a contented sigh. Soul slowly brought his head back to face her, and she was fully crouched down in the bathtub, her chest covered in steaming water. "Præcepero aqua ad sanandum," she whispered. Soul leaned back away from the tub as the porcelain and water illuminated with a glaring white light that bathed the whole bathroom. He shielded his eyes from it. When the light had disappeared, she still remained in the tub with the same water, in the same position as she had been before. He noticed that all of the marks on her arms and cheeks were closing up slowly, until nothing but slightly paled flesh of a new scars remained. "I commanded the water to heal me," she said, lifting her unharmed arms.
"That's pretty damn cool," he smirked. "Know any other tricks?"
"I know how to control ignis sacer. Sacred fire in my palms." She flicked her wrist and a small cerulean spark danced across her fingers, and then died down as it was extinguished by the wetness of her hand.
"You mean the blue flames that you fired at the guy earlier?"
"Yes." He turned off the faucet. The water had turned brown-red, and he knew the residue of blood and bacteria from the ground was magically seeping out of her cuts. "When I go back to Egirorias, I'll finally become a true Grigori. That's when I'll shed these primitive wings for larger and better ones. My fire will also become stronger. So, I must get back as soon as possible," she said.
"And how the hell are you gonna do it? You said that the portal is extremely hard to open," he said.
"I must gather the mana necessary to restore my powers. That way, I may possibly have enough energy to open it for a few split seconds..." she closed her eyes for a moment. "This 'bath' feels nice," she changed the subject, sinking her neck into the lukewarm bathwater. He sighed, slowly rubbing the soapy towel in a circular motion against her shoulder blade.
After a beat of silence, Soul spoke. "Next time you get in the bath...don't do that again, okay?" he grumbled after a brief pause of silence. He wrung out the cloth and freed it of its suds.
"Do what again?" She asked, tilting her head innocently.
"...Take off your clothes in front of other people."
"Never mind...Just...don't let people see you naked anymore, okay? It's wrong," he told her.
"How so?" She asked. He gently wiped the brown dirt off the bottom of her cheeks. She reached up and wrapped her moist fingers around his wrists.
"On Earth, it is not acceptable to be naked in front of other people - "
"You're very warm," she murmured, derailing the subject of the conversation to another thing once again. What a strange girl.
He paused, feeling her smooth fingers caressing his bony wrist. "Well, things here on earth are a bit different than in your world," he said. "There are certain things that we can't do." She listened attentively and nodded even though her gaze was concentrated on his hand. "Listen, I'm going to drain the water again so we can get a cleaner tub, and then I'll teach you how to wash yourself with soap and shampoo, understand?" She nodded, tilting her head on his unrecognizable words like 'soap' and 'shampoo.'
He refilled the tub, making sure that his gaze was focused on the spiral of mud and red going down the drain instead of her body. When the tub was refilled, he took a bottle of shampoo and squeezed it over her soiled hair. She cringed as she felt the strange gooey and cold sensation in her scalp, but then relaxed as he massaged it in her hair. While he washed, she amused herself with the bubbly white suds. "So what're you gonna do now? Is that man - Gopher - gonna come back to attack you again?" Soul asked while he rubbed the rest of the shampoo and freed her tangled strands from the muck.
She blew a foamy bubble from the tip of her nose. "I am not sure. I suppose that he was called back, but he cannot return to Erigorias after expending so much of his energy. He either must recharge or someone must power the portal for him, which would be nearly impossible because Earth is a distant realm," she said.
"Does it mean he's still hunting for you, though?" He asked.
"Most likely. It is also possible that he was not the only one to travel to your world."
Soul sighed bitterly. "Great. That means we might have more than one psycho flying around in the sky."
"I would not trouble yourself with those thoughts, Soul. They would only target Grigori people," she said, thoughtfully wrinkling her nose when another bubble popped on it. "I have a strong feeling that I was not the only angel to escape here, also."
Soul finished with her hair and wiped his hands free of suds. "Wait, how do you know my name?"
"Through the brain linkage. I acquired more information from your head than you think," she giggled.
"So does that mean you can practically steal information from anyone's head?" He asked, slightly flustered and slightly impressed.
"Yes. Your little sister is named Leila, she is nine, and your parents lived in London, which is your home town," she said plainly as he poured a bucket of warm water over her head to wash away the foamy shampoo.
"So now that you know everything about me, why don't you tell me about yourself just so we're even?"
"My name is Maka," she said, blowing away a wet strand of ash-blonde from her bright olive eyes.
"Maka? What kind of angelic name is that?" He drawled, unimpressed.
"I'll have you know that my name originates from another famous Archangel - " Soul dumped another bucketful over her head.
She shot him a glare through her soaking bangs. "Your head's all clean. Now we need to wash the rest of you up. You heal pretty fast," he observed the open cuts that were once red had now closed up into healing scars.
"Of course we do. The spell I summoned from the water was designed for angels, since we heal twice as fast as fast as a normal human would."
"Geez, for an angel that's never been to Earth before you sure know a lot," he smirked.
"Actually, you were the one who taught it to me," she mirrored his smirk, pointing to her head.
He handed her a towel to cover her nakedness, and allowed her to stand up. Her legs had completely ridden themselves of injuries. But that was not the only noticeable thing. His eyes roved up and down their slenderness, slick from the wetness, an endless track of smooth porcelain skin. He fought back the urges of his eyes, hard.
Staring is rude, he convinced himself.
But of course, she wouldn't know that.
He jerked his eyes away when she noticed his staring. He forced his attention to her arms. There were slight traces where bruises could be spotted, and her bleeding stopped completely. There were only small nicks where there had been open cuts on her milky skin. Maka was preoccupied with feeling the softness of the towel in between her fingers to notice. Soul's eyes skimmed from her arms to her collarbone, aiming further down. He resisted the gravitational pull, tugging his gaze southward, more and more, eventually centering right on the towel part that meagerly covered her modest chest...
She reached out a finger and poked him on the cheek, her skinny little finger digging slightly into the soft flesh of his face. He shook himself free of his daze. Maka smiled. "I am grateful for your assistance. I feel safe since I sense no traces of hostility towards me."
Soul stood up abruptly after stooping over the tub for a good hour and let out a prolonged yawn. "It must be late outside, and I'm sure you're exhausted. As soon as we get you dry, you can sleep on the couch in the living room, okay?"
"Couch?" She asked.
He sighed. "It's the - eh, never mind. I'll show you it instead." He led her out of the room and ran into his bedroom to fetch a shirt and loose pants. As he was about to open his drawer, he felt a small hand tug at the end of his shirt behind him.
"Soul..." a sleepy-eyed Leila asked her big brother. "Is the angel gonna stay with us tonight?"
Soul bent down on one knee. "Where else is she gonna go?"
"That's good," she managed a weak smile. "Do you think she can help us? She's an angel, so she should be able to bring back Papa and Mama, right? Angels do miracles, right?"
He lowered his gaze to the floor. "I don't know, Leila. Just go to sleep," he told her softly.
Maka wove a damp tip of her hair around her finger and waited on the couch with nothing but a bath towel covering her body. Soul turned away as she put on her clothes, which were an over-sized pair of his old pajamas. "I cannot express my gratitude to you, Soul Evans. I promise to repay you for your kindness when the time comes," she said as he pulled the soft covers over her chest.
"No offense," he murmured cynically. "But I have a feeling that not even an angel would be able to help us."
Then, he sulked all the way back to his room and plopped down on his own bed, still in his old clothing from the day. He took in a long sigh and flopped on his bed, feeling strangely tired. He could hear the angel girl shifting into a new position on the couch and settling down to sleep as well. Soul allowed his heavy eyelids to slide shut and drown his mind in darkness.
A/N: I decided to write this because I've been watching too much Hataraku Maou-sama. It's a good anime, I totally recommend it.
The type of foreign language I used for Erigorians is a really crappy translation of Latin from Google Translate. I apologize for mangling that language.
Oh, and before I forget:
I don't own Soul Eater or any of its characters.