There was something about sitting out in the warm sunlight, Aku had decided, that he really liked. Something about the way it could just seep into every pore of your body and taint you with its bright purity and make you feel like a new person, burning away the impurities of the night. Or maybe it was just the company, he amended with a smile.
Beside him, Suzu lay curled up with her head in Miki's lap, white hair laying out flat around her like a halo. The fact she looked so peaceful in her sleep only furthered the illusion. The dark-haired man apparently was trying to keep himself from glancing down at her - and failing spectacularly and didn't not seem to care too much. He had to hold back another smile at the sight.
On his other side was a vision that made him want to sigh. By some small miracle, Enjeru had fallen asleep, and by some even greater stroke of luck, it seemed to be a peaceful one for once. In the small amount of time he had spent with Enjeru as a roommate before he'd moved into his own tent only a few days ago, he knew the general was prone to horrible nightmares that he never seemed able to remember once he was awake again. White wings spread out on each side of his thin body, making him looking like one of his namesake.
So if everything's so good right now, what has me so worried?
"General!" a voice screamed, breaking the tranquility of the scene. Both Suzu and Enjeru woke up with a start, each of them reaching for a weapon. A small young man ran into view, obviously out of breath. "General," he continued, his words broken by pants for air, "there're people at the gate demanding to see you right away."
A frown on his face, the general stood gracefully, folding his wings back until they vanished then offering a hand down to Aku. The young man stared at it for a moment, not quite sure what to make of it, then smiled and accepted it, letting Enjeru pull him up. Auburn eyes met navy for a brief minute and held, until Miki cleared his throat, ruining the moment. Suzu slapped his shoulder, scolding softly, "Baka."
"What?" He winked at her playfully. "We have to go meet the people at the gate."
"You're such a spoilsport, mon frere."
The young soldier started violently and stared at the young woman who stood beside him. Long blonde hair curled down to the tops of her thighs, and sea green eyes twinkled in glee. "Hey!" The soldier yelled. "How'd you -"
The girl cut him off by throwing herself onto Miki and Suzu. "Mon frere!" she shrieked, snuggling on the tall man's shoulder and hugging Suzu simultaneously. She squeezed them both tightly once more and then leaned back to stare at them. "How've you been?"
"Fine, fine, imouto-chan," answered Miki, carefully hugging her now.
"How are you, girl?" asked Suzu softly.
"I've been great, Suzu! Did you hear? I got married..."
"And had a son. Enjeru told us. So where are your men?"
"They're still at the gate. Where's - Enjeru!" She glomped onto a stunned-looking general and kissed his cheek loudly. "You're so bad to me, never writing me back!" She sharply poked his chest. "Why didn't you write me? Wait, let me guess: you were too busy to be bothered, right, mon chere ami?"
Enjeru looked a little contrite, actually even hanging his head. "Gomen ne. I wanted to keep you away and from ever being involved in all of this."
The blonde let go so quickly Enjeru actually stumbled and stared blindly at him. "Who are you, and what have you done with my Enjeru?" She grinned quickly, signaling her words as a joke, and started to turn back to Miki and Suzu.
"Actually," Enjeru stated suddenly, "there's someone I'd like you to meet." He turned slightly, a small smile on his face, and held his hand out to Aku, who had been trying to vanish into the background. Hesitantly, the young man grasped his hand and stepped forward, nervously clutching onto Enjeru like a lifeline as the blonde woman examined him. "This is Aku. Aku, this is Marie."
He bowed deeply and slowly. "Pleased to meet you. I've heard a lot about you."
"All good, I hope." She grabbed one of his hands from Enjeru and first shook it then kissed the back of it. "I guess since I haven't heard a single thing about you, we're about even. How long have you been here?"
She let go of his hand, and he immediately clutched onto Enjeru's arm again before answering. "Almost a month."
"That long, eh?" She playfully punched his arm. "You may just make it." She turned back to Miki and Suzu to finish speaking. "I'm going to go get Isaac and the others. You guys wait right here for me, okay?" Without another word, she disappeared.
"A bit overwhelming, isn't she?" Enjeru stated more than asked, not looking down at him and not moving the young man off of him either. "I wish I could say you get used to her, but honestly, you don't."
He nodded shakily. "Is she really Miki-san's sister?"
"Adopted..."Miki answered, turning back towards him.
"Sorta," added Suzu, also moving their way.
"I mean," the taller man continued self-depreciatingly, "do I look like a Seraphim to you?"
"Oh hush, you," Marie scolded lightly, already returning followed by a blond man maybe Enjeru's height, who carried a small child, and another woman with dark hair and deep eyes, and a small girl in his shadow. "You guys (except maybe you, Aku) already know Isaac. I'd like you to meet our son, David." Suzu immediately stepped over to cuddle the small boy. Marie smiled and then gestured at the dark woman, who seemed vaguely familiar to Aku. "This is Kuroi..."
The dark woman stalked over to Enjeru, running a dark painted fingernail up his arm, the one Aku wasn't still attached to, in a manner that sent a strange and hot and new emotion run through Aku's body. "I've heard so much about you, Enjeru. I'm sure we're going to be very close."
"And what makes you so sure of that?" Aku could have almost applauded to hear the icy disdain in the general's voice. Enjeru seemed to be looking anywhere but at the dark beauty before him.
She smiled silkily and stepped back. Great black leather wings unfolded from behind her. "Because I'm the other winged half breed."
5 August 2001
Well, here it is: the awaited Chapter Fourteen and the appearance of Marie - and the beginning of my true evilness. ^_~ A small bit of shounen no ai for mine and I-san's great love of the genre. *mumbles unhappily* And Kuroi...
In this chapter begins where I use my reference resources a lot, so I'll go ahead and
cite the one I used for this chapter:
McBrien, Richard P., ed. The Harper Collins Encyclopedia of Catholicism. New York: Harper Collins, 1995, p. 46-47.
One chapter till I no longer post on the internet. With some persuasion, I may be convinced to wait as long as Chapter Twenty, but that will have to be a lot of persuasion. The private e-mail list and (physical) mail list will always get first copies though.
Well... ja mata!!!
kyuu ni senaka wo daki-yoseru
mune no kodou tsukami
nureta hitomi tojiru
Suddenly, I embrace you from behind
Seeking the heart's pounding
Closing glistening eyes
-"Bosanova, Casanova," by Weisd kreuz (Koyasu Takehito and Seki Tomokazu)