Angel Hunt and Streifen in Roleplay

+ Alternate Universe 02 +

The Faculty Years

C H A P T E R O N E : P A R T 07

Sashi: The smell of the onions and cheese is delicious, the small crock heated to the perfect temperature as it sits before him. The telepath waits for Lan to take his seat before sliding his soup spoon through the layer of cheese and into the broth below. Using the edge of the spoon to part the soggy bread, he scoops up the mouthful and lifts it to his lips, nodding once again to the Bright as the flavors seep into his tastebuds. He has to admit that the soup is incredible, better even than the onion soup heís had many times in France. In just these few items tonight and the lunch yesterday, the white-haired man has proven his mastery of cooking. He could easily fit in with the cuisine at any of the five star establishments the Dark has dined in previously.

The reasons behind Lanís culinary abilities are all too familiar to Sashi, and he can hear the tint of sadness lingering behind the open and easy smiles. It seems as though the Bright faction can also be harsh to those who fall outside their guidelines of ďnormal.Ē For a race that contains people of every skin tone and wildly colored hair and eyes, there is still an intolerance of the few things considered unacceptable. There is only one Selestarri with white hair, the Sidereal Oracle, and the Bright all but worship her. The color is a symbol of her status and her connection with the Beyond, and also of all she gave up to become the spiritual leader of their faction. For Lan to also carry white hair must be too close to blasphemy for them and his unnatural yellow eyes only add to the reasons that likely drove the other Bright to isolate him. And the fire magic probably didnít help, either.

So maybe Lan was right about that one thing, maybe he can understand the pain of isolation, of being confined to the fringes as everyone around you smiles and laughs and makes friends. Maybe he knows how hurtful it is to be kept apart, either by your elders or by the hatred and fear of your peers. Maybe he understands just a little bit about loneliness. Itís not enough to make them friends, that risk is still one heís not willing to take on, but Sashi will concede that at least in part their experiences have similarity.

Continuing with the soup, the Warden finally circles back to the questions asked a few minutes before, his tone flat and emotionless. [We arenít taught to cook, but even if we were, I donít have the skill to learn.] A long list of burned foods and decimated kitchen implements can account for his attempts. Whatever it is one needs to combine ingredients in a way that constitutes an actual meal is something he lacks completely. No matter what heís tried, no matter how basic, even things like toast and pasta, he simply cannot cook. [Our elders used to decide at their whim whether I was permitted near the fortress kitchens, sometimes just for the day, sometimes for a week or two. Any ideas about keeping a secret supply were beaten out of me rather quickly...] Those were lessons mercilessly learned, and heíd had to depend on whatever he could find in the wilderness that surrounds the twin fortresses when he became hungry enough. [When Zephyr figured it out he was still pretty small, but he learned to cook in order to assure that I could always eat.] He still remembers the first meal his brother had brought him, the cheese on the bread only partially melted and the section of meat almost too tough to chew. Heíd still eaten it the best he could with a broken wrist and hand as Zeph beamed down at him, so proud that heíd been able to help.

As the last bit of cheese is scraped from the side of the bowl, Sashi leaves his spoon in the empty crock, his thundercloud gaze finally lifting to meet summer yellow. [Even once I had become an adult and gained the freedom to prepare my own meals, Iíve found that I have a tendency to destroy rather than create when it comes to food.] He watches as Lan finishes his own soup, and tattooed hands bring the cup of warm green tea to his lips. [So no, I donít especially enjoy the processed food that the humans seem to love, but as I am limited to items that can be cooked in a microwave when Zephís too busy to make meals, I have little choice.]

The Bright rises to clear the soup dishes, scooping up the bowl of cheese as he turns and disappears once again into the kitchen. Leaning back in his chair, Sashi continues to sip from the mug, suddenly feeling a little exposed by all heís said. Only Zeph knows much of what his childhood was like, and even then there are things heís withheld from his brother. Still, despite his uneasiness, he feels he should compliment Lan on the mastery of his skills with the dishes theyíve just consumed. [For what little my opinion is worth, your food is deliciousÖ]

Lan: his smile wanes just a little when the other man speaks of his youth, the similarities of their experiences touching him deeply within. He knows this is only a glimpse being given to him, just as heís shared a glimpse of his own experiences in return, but the fact that itís even being said to him, that heís been trusted with this minute piece makes him happier than the other man will ever know. What also makes him happy is that despite the injustices Sashi had to endure, and whether he realizes it or not, he was lucky enough to have a brother who cared for him then as well. One who in all of his childhood innocence, attempted to cook his food when others would not. That kind of caring is something he himself didnít have, and while the Bright would paint the other faction as the monsters of the two, they are obviously nothing of the sort. That caring Zephyr showed his brother is contrary to everything his faction is taught about the Dark, itís contrary to everything his faction teaches its own and itís nice to know that it happened, and that the suspicions heís had since his accident about the opposite faction are slowly being confirmed.

[Your opinionÖ] Lan begins quietly, his back turned to Sashi as he sets the soup bowls down next to the empty salad plates, his movements stilling for just a second. [Öhas more worth to me than I think you realize.] the truth in his statement halts the Darkís own movements abruptly and his gray, storm cloud colored gaze slides over to stare at the younger manís back. Lan simply resumes his tasks without another word said, reaching into the fridge to pull a few containers out before setting them down and turning to retrieve a seasoned cast iron skillet from the oven.

In silence Sashi watches as oil is poured into the pan, sizzling without the aid of the stove before vegetables are dropped in. With well practiced skill, the lanky Selestarri prepares the main course for them, every so often looking up from his task to flash a warm smile the telepathís way. In short time a thick cloth is strewn on the table and the pan is set upon it before the Bright begins the arrangement of the main course. A thin savory mash is spread on the white dinner plate while Sashi looks on, followed by a helping of the vegetables, then a perfectly sautťed fillet of beautifully seasoned fish before he finally tops the food with a decorative line of a light colored lemony sauce. After heís repeated the same arrangement on his own plate he returns the containers and the pan to the kitchen before moving back to his place, another charming smile offered as he sinks down into his chair once more.

[On the subject of food] Lan begins again, waiting as heís done previously for the Dark to begin his meal, [Iíve quite a few recipes Iíve yet to attempt making due to a lack of neutral parties to try themÖ] Sashiís fork slides into his fish and it flakes to reveal the perfectly cooked white beneath the seasoning and once he lifts it to his mouth to savor the first bite, the white haired man follows, continuing to speak as he eats. [If you happen to find yourself without a meal because your brother has been unable to prepare it at one point or anotherÖ I would be happy to test those new recipes out in exchange for an unbiased opinion of the resultsÖ] he smiles.

Sashi: He doesnít know what to say when Lan makes the comment about his opinion and the value he believes it holds. Only Zeph and Innic have ever cared what he thought, and the words catch him off guard. Watching the Brightís back as he moves about the kitchen, the Warden finds that he still doesnít understand whatever game the other man is playing. The insight into his own childhood, the complimentary words, the shared meals, the pretend random run-ins, none of them add up to any kind of end result he can comprehend. Heís already stated his position on friendship despite the similarities of their experiences with their individual factions, so why does Lan continue to try?

His question goes unanswered as the main course is brought to the table and arranged on his plate, the dish just as tempting and beautiful as the others before it. He takes the first bite, savoring the flavors of fish, vegetables, and lemon sauce as Lan continues to speak. The fork slides into the fillet as the offer of future meals is made and a frown darkens Sashiís face. Again, whatís being proposed sounds suspiciously like something friends do with one another, and heís made himself clear. [Your food is wonderful,] the telepath says softly, [and Iím sure youíll continue to make delicious meals like the one youíve served tonight.] Stormcloud eyes drop to the plate as he absently flakes the fish into bite-sized portions. [But my position about friendship will not change, Lan.] He doesnít have attachments, he canít have them, itís as simple as that. [We may both have been pushed away from our factions, and we may both know what it is to be aloneÖ and lonelyÖ] The last word is the most admission heís ever given to the loneliness that constantly plagues him to anyone other than his brother, and the exposure it opens up causes a wall to slam down tight around the Dark. [It probably doesnít seem like it, butÖ Iím trying to protect us bothÖ]

Silence falls between the two as the rest of the main course is eaten, the Warden sinking further behind the defenses that have automatically sprung up to keep him safe. He knows Lanís not a threat, not in a physical or magical way at least, but the thick walls heís built around himself are to keep him emotionally safe as well, and thatís where the Bright seems to come at him so easily. The other man isnít cruel or hurtful, he doesnít unleash harsh words or veiled barbs, instead heís genuine and kind, complimentary and honest, but it unnerves him all the same. Thatís not how people behave in his presence, and while at times he finds Lanís lack of nervousness around him to be refreshing, thereís also these times where it sets him on edge because he doesnít know how to defend against someone determined to kill him with kindness.

Once the last bite is eaten, the younger Selestarri whisks the plates away once again, returning to the table with a beautiful tiramisu set on a raised cake stand. It smells of strong coffee in a way that instantly informs the Dark that heíll enjoy it immensely, and he remains silent as dessert plates and forks appear and thick slices are cut for them both. Lan also pours the wine, the scents that arise from the glass purely derived from fruits grown on both the Eyrie and Nova. Again the other man waits for him to take the first bite before eating, and Sashi does so, enjoying the sweetness of the ladyfingers and rum in contrast to the bitterness of the coffee. Itís easily the best dessert heís eaten in a very long time...

Lan: dessert and the wine poured are taken in the same silence that the main course had been eaten with, and all the while yellow eyes never once leave the features of the one seated across the table from where he sits. Sashi admitting to the loneliness he feels was unexpected and most likely not something the older man meant to tell him as it appears that by saying it, heís once again shut himself behind a cold wall. Yet this time he hasnít left as he did the day prior, instead remaining in place to continue their meal and itís this fact that gives him a bit of hope. Despite it all, heís again managed to take a single half step forward, even if the telepath did just take two back.

Any progress is progress, and it only strengthens his resolve a little moreÖ

[I do understand your position Sashi, even if it doesnít seem like itÖ] the Bright finally breaks the silence when the last bite of the tiramisu is taken by them both and setting his fork down, he slides a long arm forward and wraps tapered fingers around the stem of his partially filled wine glass. [Regardless of it, my position hasnít changed either,] he smiles as he lifts the glass upwards, offering Sashi a slight salute. [As it is with my extended hand, the offer of future experimental meals will continue to standÖ]

Zephyr: The morning is still early when the Dark slips into his office, flipping on the lights and getting hit with a wave of scent from the posies still perched on his and Junís desk. Rain streaks the windows, a pelting autumn storm that keeps the skies gray and the few people braving the early morning huddled under umbrellas. Leaning his own blue and white striped golf umbrella beside the door, the blonde hangs his jacket on the hook above and crosses the room to his desk. Setting his bag on the padded leather desk chair, he opens it and carefully pulls out his lunch and a small, white bakery box. Depositing his lunch in the officeís small fridge, he gently pulls the flaps on the box and lifts the lid.

A small sigh of relief slips through full lips when he sees the contents have retained their perfect form despite the trip from the apartment to the office. It would be much easier to teleport back and forth if their nosy neighbors didnít seem to keep track of their comings and goings and suddenly start to wonder how he, Sashi, and Innic were arriving and departing their apartments without being seen. Midnight eyes slide back to the two small, perfectly made breakfast crepes resting on a pink square napkin, separated from one another by a pink striped divider. The filling of each is made from the same fruit heíd put in the desserts from last nightís dinner, the same dessert his office mate had seen fit to take from the lacquered boxes heíd rejected.

Carefully closing the lid, Zeph walks the box over to Junís chair, setting it gently on the seat. If the Angel canít accept his offerings directly, heíll simply leave them anonymously. Jun may not be permitted to allow anyone to care for him, but since the Dark doesnít take orders from the Angels, he doesnít have to accept what they permit or donít permit. Hell, he doesnít even follow orders from his own elders or the combined Assembly of his entire race. If he wants to care about the white-haired man, heíll do it whether they like it or not.

Raking white-gold bangs from his eyes, the tall Selestarri turns back to his own desk, gathering the supplies he needs for a committee meeting that begins in ten minutes. Slipping the items into his messenger bag, he retrieves his coat and umbrella, shuts off the lights, and exits the office, grinning the entire timeÖ

Jun: the white haired manís steps are hurried as he makes his way towards his office, a frown on his face and his early dawn hued gaze fighting to remain open. The heavy white wool coat he wears it buttoned up to his chin, the fuzzy white thick cable knitted scarf wound tightly around his neck. White leather gloved hands are stuffed deep in his pockets, the white umbrella he holds latched on an arm as it drips steadily behind him and the very edges of his suit pant cuffs dampened from the short walk he had to make from his car to the university building itself. Snowy white locks are tied up high on the back of his head, the long thick tail of his hair tangled within both coat and scarf while the very tips of bangs held back with several black clips are wet from the condensation that lingers in the cold air.

Itís cold and wet and heís feeling rather miserable at the moment, wishing a little that heíd turned off his alarm, rolled over and gone back to bed like he wanted to instead of coming in to teach his classes. When the temperatures drop like this he has a hell of a time just functioning and itís as if his body isnít at all built for the cold the way everyone elseís seem to be. In the Heavens itís never like this, itís always warm, always sunny and the temperature is always even and while being there tends to be so much harder for him because the small freedoms he has here on Earth are completely taken away, there are times like these that he almost wishes to be back just to escape the irritations of trying to function in the cold. Stepping into the darkened office, Jun pulls his hand from his pocket just long enough to deposit his umbrella in the small fancy holder that rests near the door and without removing his overcoat, scarf or gloves he continues towards his desk without bothering to flick the switch for the overheard lights, the brightness not needed for the purpose of gathering the books and papers heíll need for his day.

His footfalls come to halt when he reaches his desk and finds a small white pastry box sitting on the plush leather of his chair and for a few moments he simply stares at it without blinking or making even the smallest movement towards it. After a second or two he manages to drag his gaze away from it just long enough to glance back toward the open doorway, shifting over to an overcoat he knows to be Zephyrís that hangs on its perch before moving back to it and offering it a look of guarded confusion. Slipping his other hand from his coat pocket, he leans over and lifts the box from its place before turning to set it down on his desk. Removing his gloves completely and laying them near, he lifts the flaps and then the lid to find two fruit filled crepes separated by a striped pink divider sitting on a square pink napkin that just happen to be the same color of his eyes.

While visibly his expression darkens at the gift, somewhere deep inside something lurches and for a split second, he feels as if he wonít be able to take the next breath. Thereís only one person who could have left this for him and he knows he shouldnít take it because taking it will just perpetuate the problem heís finding himself inÖ

But even with the danger that will come along with accepting, and even though he knows what it could cost him to continue allowing the other man to do things such as these, much as it was the night before, an impulsiveness that he finds he canít control takes over and instead of closing the box, the tall Angel instead sinks down into his seat, intent on taking a few secret moments to enjoy the anonymously given mealÖ

Sashi: Eyes the same color as the overhead skies stare out the balcony window into the gloomy morning rain. Heís seriously tempted to call in sick today and spend the day simply lying in bed or smoking out in the rain, but while it always seems like a good idea to take a day off, he finds that when he returns heís bombarded with questions about why he was out. Last time when he lied and said he was sick, his colleagues continuously stopped by for three days with food or tea or to ďcheck-inĒ on him like heís some kind of child. Heís not really willing to endure that for the rest of the week, which means he needs to start the walk to campus.

Slipping into a lined black trench coat, the Warden ties the belt and slides a leather messenger bag over his shoulder and across his chest. Winding a light weight blue cashmere scarf around his neck, Sashi is just about to open the door when he catches a familiar magical presence heading in his direction. A small frown shadows his mouth and for a second heís conflicted between opening the door and simply disappearing in a teleport. His dinner with Lan had ended not long after the dessert course, nothing further said between them other than standard pleasantries and goodnights after the Bright had once again rejected his denial of friendship and of future meals and his own walls went up in defense. It hadnít really been unpleasant aside from feeling exposed and frustrated, and the food truly was delicious, but he refuses to give the Bright even the faintest glimmer of hope that theyíll be friends because itís not fair to the other man. The whole thing had been a fluke anyway after that gossipy economics teacher happened to wander by, but it wonít happen again.

But now Lan is approaching his apartment for whatever reason heís concocted today and there isnít enough time to get out through the back entrance or slip around before he can be spotted. With the frown holding steady, Sashi opens the door just as the Bright reaches it and counters the frown with a cheery smile and a warm ďgood morning.Ē He holds out one of the two umbrellas heís holding, saying something the Warden isnít completely listening to about how unpredictable the weather can be in the autumn and how he wanted to ensure the Dark didnít get wet and come down with some type of human cold. With a cold stare, telepathic senses spread out for a fraction of a moment to check for anyone nearby, and finding no one, Sashi simply reaches out and grasps the sleeve of Lanís open tan trench coat. His free hand sketches a few quick runes and the teleport takes them from the hallway of the apartment building to his office in the space of a heartbeat.

To his credit, Lan doesnít seem fazed too much by the abrupt change in scenery, yellow eyes shifting around the dimly lit space. [I donít walk in the rain,] Sashi says curtly, realizing in that moment that he still holds the sleeve of the Brightís coat and quickly letting go. Stepping toward the desk, he pulls the chain on a lamp, illuminating half the small room in pale light. [I also donít share an office...]

Lan: Without so much as an indication that heís about to do it or a word said, the Wardenís hand slips out and grasps a hold of his trench coat sleeve and a second later, he finds himself for the first time in an office so few within the faculty have been allowed to see. Yellow eyes pull away from the Dark for just a moment to glance around his new surroundings, smiling to himself about the appropriateness of the overall dťcor. Itís both old and young, and rather cozy, even with the faint smell of cigarettes thatís obviously ingrained into every surface. Itís only when Sashi rips his hand abruptly from his jacket does he look back, offering a lightly amused smile for the hard frown heís again given.

[The rain isnít entirely unpleasant to walk inÖ] the tall Bright replies, a trace of amusement swimming in his tone. [Ödepending on the company you happen to find yourself in. I would have spared you it actuallyÖ the umbrellas were really only for show.] Sashi glances up from his desk and flashes him a glare that pulls a lighthearted chuckle from his mouth. [Though itís noted,] Lan continues, pulling summer colored eyes away to look over the office space once more. [About the sharing of office space.] He clarifies as he steps from his spot, the lanky Selestarri moving forward and following the other man towards his desk. Sliding the extra umbrella he holds down, he sets it carefully on the polished wooden surface in between a neatly stacked pile of books and some well organized papers.

[Just in caseÖ] He smiles before he turns around and moves towards the door. [Thank you for the swift transportation,] glancing back as he twists the knob, yellow eyes once again meet thundercloud colored gray. [Iíll repay the kindness shortlyÖ] without giving the Warden any time to protest, Lan pushes the door open and steps out, offering the one behind him a final Ďuntil laterí before he closes the door, the latch clicking gently into place as his quiet footfalls begin resonating throughout the near empty stretch of hall...

Sashi: The Warden stands completely still for a moment after Lan disappears through his office door, struck by the other manís words and what they signify. That wasnít what he intended by teleporting them both here. It was an impulse to bring the younger man along, not any kind of favor or yet another way to make the Bright indebted to him. It was a mistake, an accident. Now heís giving Lan exactly what he wants--another excuse to see him, or make more food, or bring him coffee, or whatever it is that will be done to repay what was not kindness, but rather an un-thought through hasty decision. Whatís worse, the other Selestarri is apparently very good at turning everything into a situation that requires a form of payment and the steps the Dark has taken to crush even the smallest bit of hope that could signal the possibility of friendship have been undone. He shouldnít have bothered opening his door this morning.

[Iím not encouraging this.] Sashi sends out telepathically, his tone flat and stern. [This was not an act of friendship.] Despite the fact that Lan is far down the hall and almost out of the building, he swears he can hear the white-haired Selestarri chuckling...

Jun: Seated at his desk with his eyes scanning the open book before him, the silence of the empty room is broken here and there by the fluid scratching of his pen as he continues to write out a reference sheet for his absent student, while outside the rain continues to bear down against the windows, heavier now than it had been when the day began. His suit jacket is hanging neatly on the back of his chair, his crisp white shirt covered instead by a thick sweater and despite it, and the heating system that functions perfectly to warm the surrounding air, heís still a little cold, feeling as if the rain has somehow managed to get in regardless and is currently encasing him in a blanket of cold just to spite him.

Yet still, he works away without any outward indication, and when the door opens and then closes, and a familiar presence and scent steps in to greet him, he doesnít look up as usual or offer any kind of greeting in reply. A minute goes by where he can hear the opening and closing of the small mini fridge and only when the Dark has seated himself and begun eating does he finally speak a word.

[Thank you for the breakfastÖ] Jun says quietly and without looking up, he reaches forward to turn the page in his book, [But Iím going to ask that you not do it againÖ] pink eyes pull from his papers and he glances up, meeting deep midnight blue from across the small room. [I didnít want to waste it because you went through the effort of making it,] and dear god was it delicious, he spent so much time savoring the crepes in fact that he was almost late for his own classes. [But I canít accept anything else. I mean it, and I really need to know that you understand.]

Zephyr: Midnight eyes hold deep pink, the lunch in the Darkís hand forgotten for a moment as he looks into the deep pools. [I donít understand,] he replies quietly. [I donít understand at all.] He doesnít know why after months of ignoring him and turning his back, Jun suddenly decided to speak with him. He doesnít know why last nightís dessert and this morningís breakfast were eaten, but apparently only to avoid waste. He doesnít know why it seems so forbidden for the Angel to even acknowledge his presence most of the time. His observation skills were keen enough to see the cracks in the first place and to infer what lies beneath, so he doesnít know why the other man continues to present the cold facade. His brotherís frigid demeanor and disaffection he understands, he knows the reasons Sashi keeps others at a distance, but Jun doesnít seem to carry that same kind of damage, and it leaves the Dark without answers to his many, many questions.

[Yesterday you said that you canít allow someone to care for you. That your orders donít permit it.] Pulling his eyes away, Zeph returns to the homemade sushi and seaweed salad he holds in one hand. In fact, Jun had said heíd paid a steep price when he permitted another to care for him, and again, it leaves the blonde wondering how the Angel could be held responsible for the thoughts and feelings of another. [First, you canít control who does or doesnít care about you, no one can.] Actually, he amends, he can because heís a memory telepath, but for anyone else, itís impossible. [If someone wants to care, and is willing to take on the burden, then that choice is their own, and none of anyone elseís business, including the person theyíve chosen to care about.]

Taking one of the sushi rolls, he dips it in soy sauce and lifts it to his mouth, chewing it thoroughly before continuing. [Second,] he flashes the other man a grin, [Iím rather good at not following orders.] So good in fact that by the time he became an adult, heíd more or less been given free rein to act as he pleased, even from the Seekerís mandates. Perhaps most especially from her mandates considering that she was finally realizing her life was in very serious danger. [So Iím going to need clarification as to why I shouldnít care and why youíve been given such asinine orders you seem intent on following if you want me to understandÖ]

Jun: For a few moments the white haired man says nothing, his early dawn hued gaze locked on the blonde despite the fact that his own is cast downward to his meal. Itís clear from his words that heís judged Zephyr wrong again and in that moment of realization the small amount of hope heíd felt is dashed once more. Itís a game to the other man, this entire thing, isnít it? Curiosity about him and his race and a way to learn information he probably hasnít been able to gather on his own like he first suspected perhaps, but not a matter to be taken very seriously because it appears that he isnít capable of taking anything seriously at all.

[First] Jun finally replies flatly, the grip he maintains around his pen tightening and he begins pushing down against the paper without even realizing heís doing it in a way that brings blue eyes slowly up. [My kindÖ Angels, weíre held accountable for every action that we make and every action that pertains to us. Every. Action. That includes how others feel about us because itís considered our duty and ours alone to keep it under control.] Despite the fact that his words are sharp and revert back to being a little mechanical, itís once again as if heís repeating something thatís been forced into him, not something he truly believes.

[Second, those Ďasinine ordersí I follow are not a choice I get to make, I told you that already. We donít disobey our orders, we donít break them. Your kind may be permitted to toss societal order out the window and do whatever you want without having any adverse consequences but my kind is not given the same privileges. Those who are Ďrather good at not following ordersí are not permitted to live very long] The Angelic society does not tolerate differences, they do not tolerate chaos and suffer no change to the order thatís been in place since the world began. A difference is given no chance to reform; they are dragged out, beaten, tortured and used as an example to the others of what will happen should they attempt to follow. Within the Angelic society, the order maintained is absolute and there is no leeway given to any who happen to step out of line.

Suddenly the pen Jun holds snaps under the pressure of his grip, ripping him away from his thoughts in an instant. Pink eyes tear from black speckled blue and shift to his hand, and he stares at the pen for a moment in disbelief before he simply drops the broken pieces down. As the ink begins spilling onto his paper, he pushes himself back in his chair and stands, reaching over to rip his suit jacket from the high back of his seat before storming towards the door, visibly upset for the first time in a very long while.

[It was a mistake talking to you and itís not a mistake Iíll make again...] The Angel says flatly without looking back as he reaches the door and stepping past the threshold, he pauses, his ink stained fingers sliding up to grasp at the frame. [The only burden to bear in this is mineÖ] he continues softly, his pink eyes staring down at the polished wooden floor slats beneath his feet and his voice lacking the cold hardness that had been there a moment before. [I know this may be some game for you and you feel as if you can act any way youíd like in my regard, but you wonít be the one suffering the consequences of it, I will.] The torture and pain of having his mind torn apart for reformÖ heís gone through it too many times and he canít, he just canít go through it again. [Öthatís what I need you to understand.]

Slipping his hand from the frame, the white haired man steps into the hall and in a few short moments, heís gone, the Dark again left completely alone.

Zephyr: Stunned into silence, the blonde sits very still, his half-eaten lunch forgotten as Junís words repeat in his head. If what heís been told is true, then once again heís completely fucked up. Fueled by curiosity, his interest in the Angel had been harmless and even a little fun, a way to get his cold coworker to acknowledge his existence and to see if there really was anything beneath the facade. But now, from what heís been told, his interest could be dangerous in a way heíd never anticipated. The very last thing heíd wanted when he first reached out telepathically to Jun was to hurt the other man, but it seems as though heís done that, and unnerved him enough to snap that pen in the processÖ

Leaning back in the chair, the Dark is quiet for another long moment before he sets the plate of sushi on his desk, a sleek black cell phone appearing in his hand. Clicking it on, he flicks the screens to the first listing on his speed dial and waits a moment for Innic to pick up. ďYou up for a research project?Ē Zeph asks his best friend. ďGet me everything there is to know about the AngelsÖĒ

Stepping out into the wet frigid air with his umbrella held firmly in a leather covered hand, Junís face set in a familiar cold distance as he begins taking swift steps away from the building towards his car. Heíd been careful for the second half of the day to avoid any and all contact with Zephyr after the lunch time incident, stopping at their shared office only long enough to clean the ink spill, gather his things, and to move the flowers that had been placed on his deck to the empty one that belongs to the third foreign languages teacher they have yet to hire.

He spent the entire second half of his classes working to collect himself while he taught, and has managed to get everything thing once again locked down and pushed away. Mostly. For whatever reason heís still upset but instead of being angry for the blondeís carefree attitude and his own lapse of judgment about it, a sadness has taken root deep beneath the layers that he isnít quite able to shake. The conversation has only reiterated the isolation he has to endure and reminded him of how much he risked by reaching out to the Selestarri, and what he could have lost had he allowed it to continue.

These feelings are his own fault though and he knows it, he caused them by speaking in the first place, he caused them by accepting those few small gifts and he needs to get a handle on himself soon. If he doesnít and his handler should come back now to find him in this state, heíll be made to pay for it in a way that even the thought of causes a deep seeded dread to take hold. Though right now he feels like he deserves even that because after Haniel and every year thatís come since where heís paid the price of his actions during it, he should know better. He really should know so much better by now.

What he should do is go home and spend the night thinking about what heís done but the conversation has so completely unnerved him that heís not even sure he can stand being by himself. So his plans instead are to go there just long enough to change out of his work clothing and then heís going to find a bar or club on the outskirts of town away from prying eyes, surround himself by humans and for a single night attempt to drown his sorrows in as many bottles of drink that he can get his hands onÖ

Lan: The hallway is as usual, dimly lit as he steps from the rain and into the main apartment building, his folding umbrella in one hand and a small paper wrapped package in the other. Despite the downpour and the fact that he carries an umbrella, thereís not a drop on him or his clothing, his entire lanky frame kept in a subtle pocket of heat that keeps him completely dry.

Tucking the umbrella under his arm, the Brightís steps are casual as he moves through the hall, turning once he reaches a familiar junction not the way that will take him to his own apartment, but to the opposite wing that will carry him past all three Darksí homes. In little time he reaches number 315 and his footfalls come to a halt, knowing that inside the Warden is there, just as he knows the other man can feel his presence in return. But the white haired man doesnít reach out telepathically, nor does he attempt to knock as he suspects the older Selestarri is expecting him to do, instead he slips the small package in his hand downward and sets it carefully by Sashiís door, smiling as he straightens before he simply turns away and begins heading back in the direction that heíd originally come Ö

[B A C K] + [M A I N] + [N E X T]

The Angel Hunt story has been written by Nezumi LacSeul and is (C) 2004 - Present. All Streifen characters belong to Evphaedrielle. Please don't use, steal or borrow any part of it or take in whole.