12-26-2000

the sequel is here! yay!

george: ::snorts:: took you long enough.

::glare:: *you* weren't exactly helping, buddy. um. yeah! the sequel to what? black winged angels, o'course! anyone remember that?

::crickets::

er...considerably longer 'n' the original, and i might just rewrite that for the hell of it...anyway, consider this a christmas present! ()^_______^()<--earmuffs!

warnings: chock full o' angst. no happy ending yet, people. oh. yeah. shounen ai and an eensy weensy bit of blood. oh! and i'm showing off a bit o' my spanish. having spoken it all my life, i *think* i should be able to construct coherent sentences, ne?

archive: DHML archive and the Obsidian BlaZe (thanks, HB!). anywhere else: ask and ye shall receive. don't and i'll get really mad.

disclaimers: oh come ON. you MUST know by now. they're not mine. they never will be.

[i didn't hear you leave
i wonder how am i still here
and i don't wanna move a thing
it might change my memory
oh, i am what i am
i do what i want
but i can't hide]
-dido, here with me (awesome, awesome song)

[blood stained feathers]
lady of the mer

[part two of the angel trilogy]

Angel’s blood is silver.

Argent and slithery, like quicksilver.

It should be beautiful, staining feathery black wings. But it isn’t.

Not when those wings are Duo’s. Especially not when those wings are Duo’s.

I’d been with Relena that day. The day I died. She was giving one of those speeches, the ones that are supposed to support the idea of “Absolute Pacifism”. She is vice-foreign minister, you know. A damn good one.

Not that that made being married to her a bit easier. I didn’t love her. I never really did, I think. I thought I did, though. I honestly, truly thought I loved her. I was in love with her ideals, really. I tried to make myself feel attracted to her. For many reasons. Because she was young and rash and would probably kill herself if I didn’t love her. Because she was needed for peace. To try and convince myself that I hadn’t fallen for the lithe boy who was my partner all too often.

And she knew it. She knew it all too well.

She knew it that day. She’d known for years. Ever since Duo had left, she’d known it. She knew it because of the tears that silently tracked down my cheeks and splotched the ink of the note. She knew it because of the picture of he and I that had a permanent place of honor on my nightstand, beside our wedding picture. She knew it because of the lock of chestnut-gold hair curled in my drawer.

That’s why she didn’t cry when the bullet hit my chest, causing a morbid crimson flower to blossom upon my chest. She didn’t cry when my knees buckled, sending me tumbling to the floor. She didn’t cry when she knelt by my side, smoothing my unruly bangs across my forehead. She only pressed a downy black feather to my hands.

“Here,” she’d whispered, eyes shimmering. “Duo’d want you to have this. It’s one of his.”

Everything faded into a soft, hazy red, and I barely made out the broken glass, shattered by the force of the object slamming through it. Barely made out the collective scream as the glass hurtled down, a deadly rain. Barely noticed the night-black feathers swirling around me. Barely made out the arms holding me, lifting me up, up.

The arms pressed me to a strange, ebon-clad chest. The fabric which clothed the person was strange, water-like. Wings beat the dead air, muscles straining. Feathers loosed from the force of the wing-strokes drifted behind us in an odd trail. Wings caught, suddenly, and gave a powerful stroke, buffeting the air and heaving us high into the sky.

Passing through clouds. Odd, misty things, clouds are, I mused. The strokes tore the cloud into tiny tendrils of curling mist, winding around my arms in an odd garment. Up through the cloud, and now through another.

Wind began to rise, howling like some terrible wolf. It pounded at my savior, rolling him over and over in the sky. He folded his wings around us, forming a soft, black shell. The wind whipped, tearing feathers from their secure holdings. I buried my face deeper into the thing’s—whatever it was—chest. Pain rippled through me and I shuddered, pressing myself closer. Suddenly, a stray, wispy idea floated about and took root in the soils of my conscious thought.

What was this thing, anyway? It couldn’t be a bird, couldn’t be a human. A genetically manipulated being, perhaps? No. There were no scars and the wings curved naturally out of the person’s back, as if they were there when it was born. Couldn’t be a spilcee[1]. Then, out of nowhere, a thought superimposed all others, overshadowing them.

An angel. This thing was an angel.

I dug through my weary conscious to find a fluttery, airy memory.

//“Heero, do you believe in God?”

“There is no God. Humans created him because they have the need to feel that they are being controlled.”

“I’ll take that as a ‘no’.” Duo heaved a sigh and flopped onto the cot.

“Do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Believe there is a God.”

“No. I don’t.”

The clack-clack-clack of my fingers skimming the keyboard filled the room once again.

“Do you believe in angels?”

“Angels?”

“Angels.”

“What are angels?”

Duo rolled over to lie on his stomach and supported his chin in his palms. “Angels are the Lady’s Children. Beings of pure body and spirit.”

“Aa.”

“So. Do you believe in them?”

“No.”

Duo let his head fall to bounce on the bed. “I do.”

“You don’t believe in God but you believe in angels?”

“Yeah. Putting it in a nutshell.”

“Who is the Lady?”

“The Lady is the mother of all things. She created the world and the life on it. Since she used her soul to form this,” he gestured vaguely, “she is now but a feather of a thing.”

I turned around to pierce Duo with a somewhat-hostile stare. “So. You believe in angels and the ‘Lady’, but you don’t believe in God. Then why do you always wear a cross?”

Duo stiffened and looked up at me, his eyes two broken pools of violet glass. “It-it’s a long story,” he said voice cracking minutely.

“Oh.” I did not press the matter further, hearing the barely-masked pain in his voice.

Neither of us said anything after that.//

I blinked as the memory floated away into oblivion, then shivered violently as the wind lashed at me with its ice-cold whip. I could feel my life slip away, as evasive and slippery as catching sand with a sieve. Then I felt Angel (as I had so named him) tremble slightly and a sudden warmth flooded into me, wrapping all my cells in balmy heat and soothing the shudders of pain that rippled through my body.

The wind wailed again and Angel’s arms tightened around me, nestling me closer to his chest. I could feel Angel struggling against the gale, tumbling over and over again in the air only to right himself with a flip of his wings and toil on. Shadow-black feathers caught in my clothing as they were torn more and more frequently from his wings. He now used all of his pinions, catching and shoving the air beneath himself to push upwards.

Then the rain started.

Tiny silver bullets, pelting us with moisture. Droplets caught in Angel’s feathers, making them heavy and waterlogged. A violent stroke from him shook the stray water from his feathers, but I could feel his breathing become shallower, gasping for air. He quivered with the effort of maintaining us aloft and I felt him straining for ether, chest rising and falling rapidly as he took in gulps of it.

Suddenly, we were surrounded by gray-green moisture. It surrounded everything, clogging our nostrils and filling our ears, finding any place that wasn’t covered and permeating it completely. The mist broke as Angel floundered in it, but, just as quickly, it regenerated itself and surrounded us. Rain continued to pelt us, stinging me wherever it hit, now freezing and imbedding itself in my eyelashes and Angel’s feathers. Tears were stripped from my cheeks and were hurled into the storm, disappearing forever.

I had burrowed my face deeper into Angel’s tunic (shirt?) when suddenly the mist vanished and was replaced by a gleaming landscape of white-on-white. Blinding white light reflected off of tiny water-crystals, fracturing into millions of microscopic rainbows. I narrowed my eyes for fear of becoming blind and through tiny slits I saw that the sky here was not blue, but stark white. Completely and utterly colorless. Sterile.

I felt Angel set me down upon a cloud, and the minute crystals dug into my skin, leaving imprints, as grass does. I heard an unexpected hiss of pain and suddenly something warm and silver was pressed to my mouth.

“Drink,” a voice said softly. “Quickly. Before They come.”

I sucked tentatively at whatever was pressed to my mouth and felt two droplets roll down my dry throat. Blood, I discerned quickly. But not human blood. Not salty or corrosive or sweet. Different. It was very hot, burning my tongue, my mouth, my throat. It tasted…tasted like pain and ecstasy and sorrow and joy. Tasted like tears, like anger, like laughter bubbling from the deepest recesses. Tasted like sobs, wracking your body, making it hard to breathe. Like grief, overwhelming loss, losing part of your soul.

I latched onto Angel’s bared wrist and drank, lapping at the blood with the feverish eagerness of the almost-dead. Waves of emotions rippled over my being, saturating every cell, every molecule, every electron. Fear. Happiness. Anguish. Frustration. Worship.

All penetrating me, filling me, wrapping me in ribbons of passion and desire and rapture and ache. Until I was full, teeming, laden with emotions. All of them one. A being. A being with the knowledge of the deepest corners of the deepest trench, with the knowledge of the life on a single blade of grass, of the past, the present, the future.

The knowledge of emotions.

I ripped away from Angel’s now-dry wrist. My vision cleared, I could see everything now. I rose silently, standing, taking no notice of Angel. My garments blurred and shimmered until they formed a simple white robes, draping about my form in elegant folds. Pain rippled through me, but I took no notice. Twin white, feathered wings exploded from my shoulder blades. They curved around me and feathers drifted lazily this way and that, swept by the ever-light breeze of this place.

I turned, facing Angel, expecting to see any color eyes. Blue, gray, green, black. Anything. But not violet. Not heartbroken purple, not cracked iris glass. Not expecting to see a half-loose braid, unraveling with the zephyrs that tugged on it and bade oaken strands to drift across a face. An alabaster, angelic face, dominated by weeping violet eyes.

“Duo,” I pronounced quietly.

He nodded and a smile wafted across his face briefly, saddening his delicate features.

“Welcome home, Heero.” He whispered, and then his vision shifted. Not looking at me, rather, through me. “Won’t be long, now, until They arrive.”

“Who are ‘They’?”

“You’ll see, soon enough.”

A noise broke the silence. The rustle of wings, the soft jingle of metal against metal, ringing loudly in this landscape.

<<Angel Isaac[2]>> The voice purled around us, ribbons of joy and sorrow woven through it. <<It is forbidden for one of the Fallen to return to my country. You know that.>> It sighed. <<So now you must be punished.>>

“Yes, Lady,” Duo whispered, eyes downcast.

<<I am sorry, Isaac,>> the voice said softly.

Another angel, this one with wings as white as mine, appeared in front of Duo. A black whip curled at her belt. She unfastened the whip and it uncurled with a crack. The thin rope of woven cowhide tipped with steel flashed through the air and wrapped around Duo's’ leg. With a harsh tug from its mistress it uncurled, ripping skin and staining the black whip silver with angel’s blood. The thing flashed again, a deadly black viper, and curled around a wing, downy feather catching and ripping loose as bleached bone was bared. Another crack, and the lash tugged his braid, harshly loosing it from its confines.

I almost cried, then, when I saw Duo being punished. I wanted to run, to grab the whip from the lady angel, to shout, to do something. But I couldn’t. Something was holding me back, invisible chains rooted me to where I stood. I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. All I could do was watch in morbid fascination as the viper struck again and again, stinging my Angel.

Each time the whip flashed, a streak of blood stained Duo’s white skin. His garments were ripped, torn, and many feathers were gone from his once-luxurious wings. Blood matted his hair and criss-crossing welts patterned his back. His head hung limp upon his chest, and as he raised it to look at me, I could see tears weaving trails down his cheeks.

“I’m so sorry, Isaac,” I heard the female angel whisper and she refastened the whip to her belt.

“I know, Lorea, I know. You don’t have to apologize,” Duo whispered.

The angel strode purposely forward to where Duo stood and bowed her head for a moment. She then slammed her fist into his jaw with all the force she could muster. A trickle of blood slid down his chin and dropped with a soft splat to the ground. An onslaught of kicks and punches rained on my angel, but he took them without protest, letting himself be tossed about like a rag doll. When, finally, a punch to the gut sent him reeling to the edge of an opening in the giant cloud, he took to the air, hovering painfully. The female angel was weeping openly now, sobs racking her body as she stared at Duo, as if to imprint the image of him in her mind.

As if she’d never see him again.

“Do it, ‘neechan.” A broken whisper.

Lorea nodded and curled her hands into fists.

“Poderes de los angeles ante mio, ayuda me!”[3] She cried, raising her hands above her hands, palms facing the sun.

“Da le ha este lo que mereze! CUCHILLO DE VIDA!” A glittering, glowing something formed in her hands. She curled her fingers around it and blood seeped through her closed fists, dripping down her arms. The glowing solidified and I saw she was squeezing a naked sword. The girl threw it up and caught it by the hilt, getting silver splotches on the black leather. She made a pass or two and then walked up to where Duo hovered.

“Tu! Tu has cometido el crimen mas grave de todos. Tu, uno de los Caidos, has regresado ha este sitio, el Pais Sagrado! Ahora sufres!” With this proclamation, the girl swung the mighty knife like a club and hit Duo with the flat of the blade, sending him tumbling in the air. Duo spread his wings and flapped feebly, trying to right himself, but it was for naught. His tortured body gave and he fell from the air, a bundle of silver-stained feathers and bloody limbs.

And then, finally, when the spell released me, I went to the rim of the rift through which Duo had fallen. I knelt there, wings rustling, eyes dry. Suddenly, I buried my face into my hands and wept. Tears ran down my cheeks in tiny rivulets.

Angel’s blood is not beautiful, I decided then.

It should be, but it isn’t.

Silver staining black-feathered wings, angel’s blood is the ugliest thing in the world.

[end]

[1] one who’s been genetically spliced or manipulated.

[2] ‘isaac’ means laughter, I think. how appropriate, ne?

[3] spanish translations!

“Poderes de los angeles ante mio, ayuda me!”- something along the lines of ‘powers of the angels before me, help me!’

“Da le ha este lo que mereze! CUCHILLO DE VIDA!”-erm... ‘give him what he deserves! SWORD (knife?) OF LIFE!’

“Tu! Tu has cometido el crimen mas grave de todos. Tu, uno de los Caidos, has regresado ha este sitio, el Pais Sagrado! Ahora sufres!”- ooo, this ‘uns a longie. sumthing like ‘you! you have committed the gravest crime of all. you, one of the Fallen, have returned here, to the Sacred Country! now you suffer!’