The city was covered by a layer of snow and the different shops had colorful and shiny decorations. Takahisa had feared that going back to the country he had been born would bring back bad memories from when he had been alive, but after so many hundreds of years there was nothing left of the place where he had been born.
However he couldn’t afford to ponder on his life as a human. He wasn’t one anymore and he was determined to do this new task right and stay in the angelic realm. He would not lose.
Takahisa followed the man into a shopping center. He marveled at the bright decorations and the people bustling around with bags filled with boxes wrapped in brightly colored paper. He loved that, things had not been that way when he had been born. There had been trinkets, yes, but nothing like this, nothing this shiny. Of course, people had feared him, shunned him and well, stoned him to death eventually, so that might be giving his time on Earth a different, gloomier light.
Takahisa shook his head and refocused on his mission. The man seemed to walk aimlessly, not really paying attention to his surroundings. The angel wished he could read the man’s thoughts but that was not one of his abilities.
At that moment he felt it, a small tingling that ran from his now tucked in and hidden away wings, to his head, to his feet. The presence of a demon. He scanned the surroundings until he saw a woman. Medium height, long black hair with shimmering blue highlights showing under a black fedora hat with fine white stripes.
Takahisa had been warned that a demon had a similar mission to his. The man was going to kill himself on Christmas Eve, Takahisa was supposed to convince him not to which meant the demon had the opposite goal. She was his rival.
Cisarath saw her mission walking inside the mall, right where Camui said he would be. The man looked normal enough although he looked apart from everybody else in the busy establishment, not avoiding people but not exactly… integrated, was the only word that came into the demon’s mind.
A slight shiver went down her spine. She scanned the place and saw him. It had to be the angel also assigned to the same human. She supposed he did look like an angel: smiling and kind eyes, chubby cheeks and lips set in the slightest smile even as he was staring at her thoughtfully and sternly. Those were very nice lips. Cisarath kicked herself in her own head for getting distracted. This was her last chance.
The human went into one of the smallest shops. There weren’t many people in it so the targeted human was easily seen. Cisarath saw the angel approach her and she took advantage of that to look at the weird outfit he was wearing, an oversized black hoodie with a big bright yellow t-shirt and huge purple pants. The whole voluminous outfit made him look smaller and somehow big at the same time.
They were facing each other now and neither really knew what to say to the other. The angel rubbed the back of his neck and took a deep breath. Cisarath prepared herself for a verbal declaration of war.
“Hi. I’m Masuda Takahisa, well, that’s my human name anyway,” he introduced himself.
Cisarath just stared at him with her eyebrows raised. She had heard about the disdain the angels had for demons. Of course, demons were not exactly friendly towards their angelic counterparts.
She should ignore him at the very least. Maim him at the very worst so she can work on the human without intervention. So, of course she blurted out: “I’m Cisarath.”
“No human name while you’re here?”
Cisarath shrugged and didn’t answer. That was her human name, but if she got into that it would reveal too much about herself and she didn’t trust the angel.
“So…” he started but interrupted himself. “Where did he go?”
Cisarath turned around and realized the human was not in the shop anymore and was nowhere to be seen.
“Where in the name of Lucifer did he go?” Cisarath spat before they both took off looking for their mission together.
“How could you lose him!” She grunted in frustration.
“Me? How about you!?” The angel countered as they accessed the bathroom area.
“Looking for me?” A voice asked behind them. They turned around with equal questioning looks on their faces. “Who are you and why are you following me?” The man demanded.
“Following you? Who said we were following you?” Cisarath said feigning as much of a nonchalant attitude as she could muster. The man raised a single eyebrow and simply looked at them with a droll look.
“Well, yes, we’ve been following you but that’s only because…”
“My boyfriend here went to the same school as you and he recognized you and he wanted to talk to you but he is a little shy so…”
“Yes,” Takahisa followed. “We were not in the same year so maybe you don’t remember me.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, and… and well, I wanted to maybe go have some coffee or something and talk.”
“With your girlfriend in tow.”
“We were together and I don’t mind meeting people from my baby’s past,” she cooed while hugging the angel’s surprisingly well defined bicep, not that she was checking him out.
The man looked at them, speculating. “Well, I guess I can spare some time to talk to a kouhai.”
“Great!” Takahisa beamed.
Cisarath was sitting next to the angel without losing sight of the human who was talking on his cell phone outside. The last thing she wanted was to lose the man now that they had made contact.
“What do we do now?” The angel said.
“We have opposite goals, don’t we?”
“Yes, we do,” Cisarath shrugged. “I don’t see the problem. We both talk to him and influence him and may the best demon win,” she answered with a toothy smile.
“I won’t fail in this.” The angel spoke with determination and all traces of the smile that had been on his lips and eyes were gone. “I won’t come back here,” he mumbled so low that Cisarath wasn’t sure if she had heard him correctly or if she was simply projecting her own sentiment.
She was about to say something else when the human came back. “So,” he started as he sat in front of them, “you are visiting here from out of town.”
“That’s right,” Takahisa nodded. “And well… um… I was happy to see a familiar face.”
The man went silent again and again looked at them with slightly narrowed eyes. “Where are you staying?”
“Oh, um well, we are…”
“Homeless, at the moment,” Cisarath interrupted as an idea hit her.
“Really?” The man asked.
“Really?” The angel echoed in a lower tone. “Yes, really,” he amended as the demon stomped on his foot.
“I see.” The man sighed and finally said. “Well, I guess it can’t be helped. I have a soft spot for couples, such as you, in distress. Here,” he added handing them a piece of paper with an address, “you can stay there.”
“Oh… th… thank you,” Takahisa said, probably dumfounded by the human’s reaction just like her.
“I have to go now, but someone will let you in.”
“No wait…” both demon and angel started to say.
“Sorry, got things to do. See you later.”
The man was out the door. Neither wanted to use force to stop him, free will and all that but with one mutual look they decided to stand up to follow him. When they got to the street, Nishikido, their mission, was nowhere to be seen.
They had been walking the city looking for Nishikido to no avail and, worst of all, the angel was getting on her nerves. He was just too bloody happy all the time and she was not in the mood. She was sure that she had screwed up once again and she would face the decision of staying on Earth or being erased from existence.
Takahisa thought he might be starting to panic and he was close to dropping his happy cover and scream at every single person around them. It hadn’t been even a day and he had already messed it up. The fact that the demon was sulking and all but pouting those cute lips of hers was not useful.
“Maybe we should go to the address.”
“He’s on to us. He knows we are hiding something.”
“If it’s any consolation, it is your entire fault.”
“What! Why is it my fault?”
“You are a terrible actor and a worse liar.”
“I am not! And I’m an angel, I’m not supposed to lie!”
“Are you sure? About being an angel I mean. Why can’t you sense your charge? I heard angels can do that.”
The angel’s face changed so fast she almost expected a whiplash. “I am an angel! And I will finish this assignment!”
“Not if I can help it.”
“And how about you? You are a demon, can’t you trace him, transport over to him? And you know, you don’t seem all that demonic to me. You are too cute looking and you really haven’t done any evil so far. Maybe you are not even a full demon.”
Cisarath felt the sting of tears coming to her eyes and she was so angered by it that her blood boiled. She hated the emotions that resurfaced whenever she came back to Earth reminding her that, just as the angel had pointed out, she was not a full blood demon, she was not a full blood human. She fitted nowhere. Stupid angel.
The demon didn’t utter a word. They had ended up in a secluded alley in their search and that was perfect. They were hidden from the bustling people on the streets and shops. It was getting dark and the lamp posts and the red and green lights from the shops didn’t reach the small alleyway.
Cisarath faced the equally angered angel. She took a deep breath, moved a little closer lifted one hand and set the damn heavenly creature on fire.
Takahisa was fuming, fortunately, not literally anymore. Unfortunately, his clothes, unlike his body, were flammable. He had to take some clothes from a balcony and luckily he could make himself invisible or he would have flashed half the people in the town before he found the ill fitting clothes.
He had wandered around hoping he would run into the human until finally deciding to go to the address he and the demon were given. Like Cisarath had pointed out, he couldn’t track his charge like other angels. He had never thought about it much, different angels had different powers so he was lacking that particular one… On the other hand, he was the only one who couldn’t do it.
He shook his head and focused on the house before him. It was an old wooden two story house. Takahisa wouldn’t have thought that a man like his charge would live in a place like this. He wasn’t supposed to have a family, so why would a man alone live in a huge place like that.
Maybe he just rented a room. Yes, that was probably it. Hyde had not given him many details about his charge but speculating would get him nowhere. He walked up to the door and rang the bell.
A guy in his 20s opened the door. He didn’t say anything or looked surprised or even curious about what Takahisa was doing there. The apathetic looking boy simply walked back inside the house leaving the door opened, which Takahisa took as permission to enter.
Without looking back, the guy said: “There’s someone else waiting for Ryo.” He ended by pointing vaguely to his right so Takahisa assumed, again, that that was the direction he was expected to take.
He walked into a space scarcely decorated. There was only a huge flat screen TV, a couple of chairs and a spacious, comfortable looking black leather couch with a certain demon Tahahisa was itching to set on fire, if he would have had that ability.
“So the fire didn’t get rid of you, did it?” She commented almost casually. “Well, if at first don’t succeed, try again…”
He narrowed his eyes. “It won’t work; you would only set the place on fire.”
She shrugged and turned around and focused her attention on the TV screen with an annoyed grunt.
“Why are you giving me that attitude? You are the one who set me on fire. I walked around naked until I could find…”
“Mh, I thought I smelled burnt hair,” the guy who had opened the door said in the same apathetic voice. Takahisa was at lost on what to say, and so was Cisarath by the look on her face. If the other man asked about their conversation and being set on fire, he didn’t know how to answer. However, there had been no need to worry. “Ryo called, he’ll be late. I’ll show you to your room.”
“There is no need to put us in the same room, I mean…”
“Ryo said to give you one room, so you get one room,” the man said.
So Ryo was this man’s boss? He should ask Hyde for more details next time he could get in contact with him. As it was, they both followed the man up the stairs. At least he knew Ryo was still alive and hadn’t killed himself, which was really all that mattered at this point.
As he walked up the stairs, he took in his surroundings. The place had very little decoration and it wasn’t poorly lit but it wasn’t bright either. Maybe it was a reflection of Ryo’s mood and what he was planning on doing. Well, he was going to change all that.
“Do you two live here alone?” Cisarath asked.
“Everybody is gone now.” His tone of voice didn’t invite any more questions.
What had he meant with everybody was gone? Had Ryo lost all his friends or family? Was that why he was planning on committing suicide?
They were left alone once they reached one of the rooms. Again, it wasn’t horribly depressing, just devoid of any personal mark.
“So I guess we are stuck together,” the demon said.
“I guess so.”
“Look, just don’t stand in my way. Nishikido Ryo is not going to die.”
“Of course he is not! I am the one trying to save him so he doesn’t kill himself on Christmas Eve!”
“No, I am, you are… not here to make sure he dies?”
“No! You are here to…”
Cisarath merely nodded.
“What is going on here?” Takahisa asked.
“I have no idea… but, but I still don’t like you. You are nasty for an Angel.”
Takahisa sighed. He supposed he had said some very bad things. “I’m sorry about what I said. Really.”
“Yeah, right. You said I was a failure as a demon.”
“I said no such thing!”
“You implied it!”
“Fine, I’m sorry.”
“You angels are always the same, looking down on demons. We help keep the balance too, you know. And I am not useless! I may make mistakes and I may not be like other demons but… but…”
Where had all that come from? Takahisa had no idea but he wanted to comfort her and before he knew what he was doing he blurted out: “I’m not a full angel, so I really cannot look down on you even if I wanted to.”
That shut her up. She just stared at him wide eyed so he just went on. “My mother was a human and I don’t know who my father was but he was definitely an angel. I keep messing up and if anybody notices I’m not a full angel I’m basically dead. This is my last chance. I guess I just gave you a weapon against me, huh?” He finished in a lower voice feeling all kinds of stupid.
“Well, no… I’m not a full blooded demon. My mother was human, I don’t know anything about my father, except that he is a demon and I mess up all the time and basically this is my last chance before…”
“So we are both in the same situation with the same charge and the same mission.”
“What is going on?”
“No idea, but we better not fail.”
They had lost Nishikido yet again.
“Well, he couldn’t have just grown wings and fly away,” Cisarath sulked in the bench near the café where they decided to wait for the elusive human since he usually went there at some point in the day.
“I grow wings”
“You are half angel, he isn’t.”
Takahisa was silent after that until Cisarath broke it: "I've been trying to contact Camui and he is not answering. That had never happened before."
Cisarath looked down to her lap, hating the fact that she was showing her shameful vulnerable side to the angel, but, honestly who else did she have?
She looked up when she felt warmth envelop her hand.
"I told you not to call me that," she said but there was no real protest in her voice.
"We still have a week. And Nishikido is still alive, isn't he?"
"We don't really know that. He might have hanged himself from some Christmas tree for all we know."
Takahisa scrunched up his nose. "How could anyone do that? Anyway, we would know if he were dead.”
“Yeah. I guess…” She wrinkled her nose looking around. “Must be all the lights and Christmas carols that are keeping me on edge.”
Takahisa laughed. “You are so cute, you know that?”
“Cute? Cute?! I’m a demon!” She spat out indignantly, her eyes turning her natural red. “See these?” She asked lifting the fedora she was wearing that day to hide her horns, which were actually small and rather cute in the way they twisted towards the back of her head. However, Takahisa thought it might be wiser to keep quiet.
“Come on, let’s go back ho… back to the house,” she corrected herself. Takahisa let it go and followed her.
Cisarath woke up and stretched under the warm covers. She had never minded the cold but centuries in hell had undermined her resistance to it. She looked to the side and saw the still sleeping figure on the floor. Since Nishikido still thought they were a couple, they kept up appearances by staying in the same room.
She looked at him breath in and out deeply and regularly with his lips slightly parted and his bangs falling messily on his forehead. She wondered if he was comfortable, his wings were out and almost wrapped around him. She wondered whether he was cold on the floor, although he had never complaint and he seemed not to be bothered by the cold at all.
He wiggled a little and nuzzled his pillow sleepily before he settled back and Cisarath wiped the stupid smile that had formed on her face. He was an angel and even if they were working together just this once, it didn’t mean that she had fallen for him.
Fallen? Who the hell had ever said anything about that? Okay, so she did find him, trying to be all nice and positive all the time, more adorable than annoying and she did sneak a few glances when he was changing or taking a shower…
She was screwed. If anybody found out she had actually fallen for an angel, even if she managed to do this mission and stay in hell without being turned into a pile of ash, she would never live that down should anyone find out.
A noise on the door stopped her thought. It was a scratch and then a meow.
“I guess breakfast is ready,” Takahisa’s gruff with sleep voice said.
She didn’t answer, she simply got up and opened the door to see the white cat that also lived in the house. After over a week of living there, they still didn’t know its name. The medium sized animal moved its tail, gave her a meow and left after she said “We’ll be right there.”
“I wonder how they trained a cat to do that.” Takahisa wondered at loud.
Cisarath shrugged still refusing to speak to the stupid angel.
Yes, she did realize that he was not really at fault, but who said demons were fair that way.
They have been running around and for once they hadn’t lost Nishikido. And they still had no clue as to why he would be planning to kill himself and how to stop it but if they managed to keep on his trail, they could make sure he didn’t follow the plan.
Nishikido hadn’t disappeared on them this time but he had spotted them.
“Are you two following me?” He had asked with a smirk and they had both rushed a little too much to deny it. They were really clueless when it came to tailing a human.
Nishikido’s smirk became even deeper and kept on walking with the other two trailing behind.
“So, what were you doing here?” Takahisa asked. Maybe they could get something out of the man and figure out how to carry out their mission.
“Shopping around.” There were no bags in his hands.
“How about you two?” He asked
“Oh, the same,”
“Christmas shopping? I thought you two were alone.”
“Well, we have each other and we know two more people now. Do you feel like you are alone?”
The man chuckled. “Why would you ask that?”
“Well, you live in that big house with… one other person,” Takahisa finished when Nishikido didn’t provide a name for their roommate.
“Ah, well, there used to be a few more.”
“Yeah, the… other tenant told us everybody was gone now. What happened?”
Nishikido remained quiet, as if thinking about it. “It was their time to leave. As it’ll be my time to leave some time.”
Takahisa and Cisarath looked at each other. “Well, maybe that is so, but there are many things worth staying for.”
“Is there?” Nishikido mused. “What is your reason for staying on Earth? What does it have that is so great?”
Neither one could say anything because neither wanted to stay on Earth. That was the whole point of doing all this, so they could stay in their respective homes.
“So? Do you think it is worth staying in this world?”
“What a stupid question to ask,” Cisarath said while hugging her knees sitting next to Takahisa on the bed in their shared bedroom.
“Not really. We should have been able to answer.”
“How? We ourselves don’t want to stay.”
Takahisa didn’t immediately agree as Cisarath had expected.
“I guess… but what if we fail?”
“But what if we do? Would you choose to come to Earth or cease to exist?”
She was about to say cease to exist. Every time she had been on Earth it had been horrible. His life as a human had been even worse. However, something stopped her.
“I may… rethink it…” Takahisa almost mumbled looking at her.
She looked back and neither knew how long they stayed like that. They swayed slightly towards each other before Takahisa shook his head almost un-perceptively. "We should go to sleep."
Takahisa started to get out of bed when he was stopped by a hand on his wrist. “I don’t mind to share. It is a big bed. You can stay on your side and I’ll stay in mine.”
“Um, I don’t know. The floor is not that uncomfortable and the cold doesn’t really bother me…”
“So you are cold. Come on. I won’t bite you, I swear.” She gave him a sideways smile and got under the cover and turned on her side with her back to him.
“Won’t my wings bother you? It’s uncomfortable to sleep with them folded.”
“No, like I said, as long as you keep to your side I’m ok. Now shut your cute mouth and make up your mind. I want to sleep.” Okay, so the cute mouth thing might have been a bit too much, but it had slipped, she was really tired. She refused to acknowledge it and just pretended to fall asleep immediately.
A few seconds after she felt the mattress dip as the angel got into bed. As long as they both stuck to their side they would be fine.
Cisarath woke up very warm and feeling rested. She snuggled hugging the pillow closer and sighing in contentment. And then the pillow hugged her back. Her eyes flew open. So much for staying on their side of the bed. She knew she should move, but she didn’t want to. She was surrounded by the angel’s arms and wings, which had a dull white glow, perceptible but so soft that it didn’t disturb her eyes. The feathers grazed against her exposed skin and they were soft. She wanted to stay a little more like this. No one would know.
On a corner of the room, completely invisible, sat Camui. He was observing the two sleeping figures without showing any emotion. The door opened slowly and a white cat came in.
“Hello, there,” the demon greeted. The cat walked up to him and sat a couple of meters away and moved its tail once. “How have you been?” A small meow in response. “Ah, good. I’m surprised you are still here.” It moved its tail once and looked towards the bed. “Yes, it’ll be over soon. One way or the other.” Two meows. “Yes, you are probably right. You are smarter than people give you credit for. Well, I should go. It’s almost time for them to wake up.” With that the demon was gone.
Takahisa woke up and right away he knew he wasn’t on the floor anymore. So much for staying on their side of the bed. His arms were around Cisarath shoulders, her head nestled on the crook of his neck and one of his legs was nestled between hers.
It was a very bad sign that he didn’t want to move. Angels had falling due to associating themselves with demons, imagine if the angel in question though the demon in question smelled nice and was all soft.
She took a deep breath and nuzzled against the area right below his collar bone tensing her muscles a little and then relaxing before she opened her eyes. She frowned a little before she looked up straight into his eyes. They both blinked a couple of time but said nothing.
Without any conscious decision, Takahisa leaned forward and kissed her bottom lip and leaned back waiting for her reaction. Her eyes were wider now, no trace of sleep in them anymore. The second time they kissed, she kissed him, almost mimicking his previous movement and then they were both kissing each other both pulling even closer, the angels wings tightening around her, which gave Takahisa the double feeling of her skin on his hands and on his fine sensitive feathers.
They broke apart only to breathe and a long “meow” froze them. They both turned their heads at the same time to look at the small white cat sitting at the foot of the bed with its fluffy head turned to the side, and they could have sworn there was a glint of amusement in its tiny shiny dark eyes.
The both jumped at the same time as if each of them was made of molting lava, and as if the cat would think something of what it saw, resulting in Cisarath tangled in the sheets and Takahisa butt first on the floor, bruising one of his wings.
The cat, not really affected by all this, moved its tail, flickered one of its ears and jumped down the bed and meowed until Takahisa stood up mumbling between his teeth to open the door for it.
“You managed to get in but not get out?”
The cat didn’t think the question was worth any kind of answer and got out.
Takahisa and Cisarath decided not to acknowledge the way they had woken up the day before, or the fact that they ended up sleeping and waking up pretty much the same way that morning, minus the kiss. They both lied to themselves and said they did it just a get a good night sleep.
Today had been a quiet day. Nishikido had stayed home so they had had time to prod and make questions, to no avail, of course.
After a while, Nishikido had snapped at them saying that they were draining his will to live and they had readily and effectively backed off. After getting the promise that their charge would stay at home, Takahisa insisted on them going out to the mall they had met.
“What are we doing here?” Cisarath asked for the nth time. She didn’t like being in this place which was even more crowded than the first time they had been there. All this people could easily turn into a mob the moment they spotted her horns or his wings (she had no doubt that they wouldn’t wait to hear he was an angel.) She loathed feeling that way. She was stronger now, much powerful than these petty humans.
“I told you, I wanted to find something. And I think I know how to stop Nishikido from killing himself.”
“Stop asking him questions, for one?” Cisarath asked in full sulking mode now.
“Well, yes, it wouldn’t hurt to be less conspicuous. But also, he is lonely, that is the problem. He used to live with family or maybe friends and now they are all gone. He didn’t say it, but I bet they are dead and he will want to join them in Christmas!” Takahisa concluded with excitement. He looked so cute, with a smile that made his dimple go to its deepest, his eyes crinkle and sparkle and Cisarath would have kissed him then and she would be a mockery of a demon.
She wanted out of this mission. Away from the humans. Away from him. She had already decided that this mission was a trick. There was something else to it. She had no idea of what it was but it was not saving that human they’ve been following.
Camui was testing her. Whether she fell for the goodness of an angel, or half an angel, and then her human side would win or resist him and let her demon side win.
“Okay, if what you say is true, so what? How do we stop him out of his own free will?”
“We remind him of all the things left to live!”
“It’s so simple!” She faked excitement. “And how? He is not the most open person.”
“It is simple. Think about it. The time of year, this holiday in particular. It has to mean something… We have to remind him of the…”
Cisarath cut him off. “If you give me the ‘Christmas spirit’ crap, I’ll rip your Christmas bells off,” she snapped and then proceeded to plop on a bench situated furthest away from the people running around on their shopping spree.
He stopped, looked around with a frown and walked back to sit next to her. “Would they be Christmas balls?”
She repressed a laugh. Damn him. “You are right. So I’ll hang them on a Christmas tree as decoration. That’ll get me in a good place in hell.”
“Hey! You went too far,” he said looking a little green. “And here I thought you were starting to like me a little,” he pouted.
She shrugged, not really agreeing or disagreeing.
“Let’s go back, I still don’t completely understand why we came here.”
“I told you. And I… wanted to check something. But, you are right let’s go back,” he said grabbing her hand.
They had just finished having breakfast it had been the nameless roommate’s time to cook. Even after two weeks there they still didn’t know his name. He was a quiet boy, or man since he looked anywhere between 18 and a young looking 26 year old. He never said more than three or four words and complete sentences were rare. He did change his hair color all the time. He had had 6 different styles in the almost two weeks they had been there.
“Oh! Yeah!” Takahisa jumped surprising everybody. They were a quiet bunch except for the angel. “Where is the cat?”
“The cat. I got something for it yesterday!” He ran out of the room leaving two men and one demon looking at the exit as if he had lost his mind. “Here!” He said waving a small shiny package.
“You got something for the cat?” Nishikido asked raising an eyebrow looking at the now red headed roommate.
“Yeah, I got something for you two as well, but you will have to open that on Christmas. That is the tradition, right?”
“Uh, yes,” Nishikido conceded. “Why doesn’t the cat have to wait?”
“Well, cats don’t care about traditions,” he answered matter-of-factly.
“Well, that’s true,” the young tenant spoke for the first time.
“Well, it’s not around, so here.” He offered the small gift to Nishikido. “Since it’s your cat you can have it and put it on it.”
“Not my cat. It doesn’t really…”
“It’s mine,” the boy spoke again taking the small trinket. He opened it and looked at the delicate collar. It was an imitation of snake skin but it was bright pink with a little silver skull in it. “It’s pink.”
Nishikido laughed. “It’s a male cat.”
“Males can still wear pink,” Takahisa shrugged.
“It’s cute. But he doesn’t like wearing things around his neck.”
“Oh,” Takahisa sounded a little disappointed.
“He’ll still like it.”
“Good, you can give it to him then. Also, I don’t know if I’ll be here on Christmas so I’ll leave your presents in the living room, since there is no tree.”
“You are leaving?” Nishikido asked with narrowed eyes.
“Sweety,” Cisarath said mustering her sweetest voice. “Can we talk?” She didn’t give him the opportunity to say anything, she simply grabbed his wrist and dragged him to their shared room.
Still sitting at the kitchen table. Nishikido crossed his arms and leaned back. “What do you think?” He asked.
“I like them,” the boy answered staring at the light play on the silver skull of the collar.
“What the hell are you doing?” She demanded once she closed the door.
“I’m going to talk with Hyde. I don’t want to go back to heaven, but I’m not sure I can live here on Earth either.”
“So, what does that mean?”
“I’ll talk to him and… see my options.”
“There are no options!”
“Well, there is another option, and well…”
“So now YOU are suicidal. Where did all this come from?!”
“I’m not, but I’m really not cut out to be an angel and I am definitely not human…”
“Not cut out to be an angel? You are annoyingly chipper and nice all the time!”
“I’m not…” He couldn’t say more.
“Fuck everything!” she snapped and pressed her lips against his, prying them open to deepen the kiss. He ended up pressed up against the door. If he was talking like that, she was not going to be cautions anymore. This really confirmed her formed idea that all this was rapidly going awry so, like she had said, fuck everything.
“Shut up,” she whispered as they separated to breath.
“See? It’s better when you stop talking,” Cisarath was straddling him on the bed, her legs around his waist, while his wings were still around her, their glow dimming as they got their breath back
“When you are right, you’re right.” He run the tip of his fingers lightly up and down her horn and smiled when she shivered a little. “So these are really sensitive. That’s kind of funny. Not funny ha ha but…”
“You are talking again,” she interrupted and then she yelped. “Hey watch your feathers!” She demanded playfully.
“It’s a bit late for that,” he mumbles and he trailed kisses up her shoulders and neck.
“So no more talking about final decisions.”
“Was this just to convince me not to go to Hyde?”
“No, but it does make a good argument.”
He was interrupted by a rapid knock on the door. Reluctantly, they untangled and when they were half way decently dressed, wings tucked and horns hidden, they opened the door to find the other tenant waiting outside.
“Hey! I got that for the cat!” Takahisa pointed at the other man’s wrist where he saw the pink collar loosely displayed.
“I told you, he doesn’t like things around his neck,” he shrugged. “But, um, I’m kinda worried about Nishikido. He was acting weird after breakfast and now he is off to the rooftop and won’t answer me.”
“Yeah, maybe you can try talking to him since he is not listening to me…” He looked at Takahisa with a pleading look, which was the most emotion he had ever seen on the man. That and the fact that he had said more than one sentence really worried Takahisa.
He set after the other man with Cisarath behind him.
Nishikido was sitting on the edge of the slanted rooftop.
“This is not high enough for him to kill himself, is it?” Cisarath whispered next to his ear.
“It is if I fall on my head,” Nishikido said loud enough for both to hear, the slight amusement ever present in his voice.
“It’s time to make a decision. Is it worth staying here on Earth?”
“Well, yes of course it is… you… you still have… the other guy,” Cisarath cursed to herself for still not knowing his name. “And well, us, for now.”
“For now?” Nishikido nodded. “Ok, decision making time.” And he left himself drop.
Takahisa didn’t have time for anything before he found himself in a place he had never seen. Cisarath was next to him in her more demonic form, her eyes completely red, her fangs more pronounced and her skin more molten reddish in color, her horns bigger.
He knew he looked slightly different from his human form as well. He wasn’t wearing his clothes anymore, he could see the light emanating from his skin and he was sure his eyes were ice blue instead of the warm brown he usually has as a human.
“You are back,” Hyde’s voice said.
“I… I’m sorry, it was my fault. I couldn’t stop him on time.”
“Are you suicidal again?!” Cisarath snapped. “It’s not his fault. I distracted him and honestly, we had no information, the guy kept disappearing on us…”
“Silence!” Camui’s voice rumbled.
“I’m sorry,” Cisarath said in a soft subdued voice Takahisa hadn’t heard before.
“The time for ‘I’m sorrys’ is gone. We cannot protect you two anymore so make a decision.”
“I… I’ll go back to Earth,” Cisarath said.
“Me too,” Takahisa joined in, grabbing her hand.
Both Hyde and Camui smiled then. “That is a good choice,” Camui nodded.
“We apologize to you two. We should have never brought you to this side. You don’t belong here.”
“I’m sorry, I really tried…”
“This is not your fault, it’s ours. But we couldn’t send you back without you deciding it for yourselves,” Camui explained. “We had to keep you a secret in here, but down there, you won’t be alone. We needed their acceptance before we told you.”
“What are you talking about?” Cisarath asked confused and trying not to lose her temper.
“There are others like you out there. Half human half angel or demon. A few are half angel half demon. The only difference is that they have never been in this world. They’ve never touched heaven or hell. They’ve always lived on Earth.” Hyde continued.
“You two were the only ones found out and killed by humans. We couldn’t turn our backs so we brought you here to heal. Nishikido and the others who live in that house are like you and he has agreed to take you in.”
“Somewhat reluctantly, at first,” Camui added.
Takahisa’s head was spinning; the only thing that kept him on his feet was Cisarath’s hand in his. He was sure it was the same for her. It was too much information.
“Why didn’t you ever say anything?” She asked.
“Their existence is secret too. They are not supposed to exist, just like you. However, these babies keep being born. You would think angels and demons would show a little restraint. We and a few other angels and demons keep their lives a secret. I know you have many more questions, but there isn’t any more time.”
“We might see each other again.” Camui said cupping Cisarath’s cheeks, like she was a child. “I’ve always been proud of you, even if this is not your place. Remember that. We will talk more in the future.”
“Takahisa, you’ll be fine. You won’t be alone now.” Takahisa nodded lost for words. “We didn’t predict you two together, but it does make sense. So go now, live your new life.”
And just like that they were on the snow covered floor of a dark alley butt naked.
“Camui! You could have at least given as clothes! Stupid snow,” Cisarath kicked said snow with her bare feet.
“Well, if you are done, you might want to get out of the cold.”
Both looked towards the voice to see Nishikido standing with his arms crossed.
“You are alive!”
“Of course I am. I can jump really high. A kink from my demonic side,” he ended with a wink.
As the other man stared at Cisarath up and down, Takahisa became once again aware that they were very much naked.
“Hey! Stop looking at her like that!” He said standing in front of her, obstructing Nishikido’s view.
“Okay,” he chuckled and proceeded to check Takahisa out.
“Stop that too.”
“Ryo, stop molesting the new comers.” The nameless tenant’s voice said before checking both of them out as well, raising an eyebrow.
“Hey, you stop that too.”
“Fine, fine. Here.” He said as warning before throwing a bag at their feet. “Clothes. Angels and demons tend to forget you need to cover your butt down here.”
They rummaged the bag looking for clothes.
“So you are both halflings.”
“Yes,” Nishikido confirmed. “I’m half human half demon and I can jump off houses to scare other halflings into epiphany without breaking a bone.”
“How about you?” Cisarath asked nodding towards the other man.
“I am one too, though no idea whether I’m half angel or half demon.”
“My money is on demon,” Nishikido added earning only a shrug as response.
“Will you tell us your name now?”
The man shrugged. “Maybe it’ll be my Christmas present for you.”
“Can you jump like him?”
“Yes, among other things. Thanks for the collar, by the way.” He said with a wink, shaking said collar still on his wrist and simply leaving without giving room for more questions.
“Wait! Is he the…”
“He may be a shape shifter as well as a pain in my butt. But I’m freezing my ass off. Let’s go.”
Takahisa started walking but realized Cisarath stalled behind. He walked back to her.
“What is it?”
“This is… too much, I’m not sure I can do this, last time…”
“I feel the same but last time is in the past, and we are not alone anymore.”
“Do you really trust those two? They are weird and they’ve been lying to us…”
“I didn’t mean them, I’m here. And you are here. I mean, you trust me, right?”
“Maybe a little.”
He smiled the smile he knew showed off his dimple (yes, he knew the effect it had although he would never admit it). When she smirked, he knew he had her, at least for now and before one of them said anything to ruin the moment he kissed her, slow and gentle but still deep.
When they heard an impatient cough, they broke the kiss. He grabbed the hat she had in her hand and put it on her, covering her cute little horns which were still there, unlike his wings, which would get some getting used to but he had expected it.
“Come on. Let’s go home. Hey, it’ll be our first Christmas!” He said in an excited voice.
She merely rolled her eyes and let herself be pulled.