Angel Hunt + Streifen: AU02 Pt02


Angel Hunt and Streifen in AU

(Alternate Universe 02)

(Part 01)


C H A P T E R  O N E : P A R T 02


Zephyr: Another sip of liquor kicks its way down the back of his throat as midnight eyes watch the two older Selestarri through the paned windows of the French doors. At his side, Innic leans back against the couch cushion, his own drink making the trip to full lips as they both look on for a moment, the remnants of the game on the coffee table forgotten. “What do you see?” The blonde finally asks, his gaze remaining locked on the balcony.

His best friend says nothing for the space of several heartbeats, his drink once again lifted to his mouth and then set on the table positioned between the couches. “There’s no deception that I can pick out. When he’s with Sashi the patterns around him change a bit, but it’s not at all malicious. More like some kind of curiosity, but not in a harmful way.” Innic shrugs. “His happiness is genuine, just like the smiling, and as far as I can tell, the kindness he outwardly displays is real. That’s about the most I can get without knowing him better.”

Zeph nods, trusting in the other Dark’s ability to read the overt emotions surrounding people, and he’s happy that it once again lines up with his own initial feelings about Lan. “He’s definitely hiding something, though, behind that illusion spell Sashi says he keeps up all the time, and there must be some reason he’s been at this assignment all this time when the other Bright have come and gone within months.”

Innic takes another sip of his drink. “We all have our secrets, and even the Bright are entitled to theirs, I guess.”

“True enough…” At the moment he’s content to let Lan hang onto what he’s hiding, and it’s not as though he can’t stroll into the other man’s mind and piece together enough memories to figure it out should he need to…

The dark-haired Selestarri laughs quietly and midnight eyes finally pull away from his brother and the Bright. “You can’t protect him all the time, Zeph,” Innic’s tone is half teasing and half serious. “I know you want to, but Sashi is more than capable of handling himself with one Bright.” Warm fingers touch at his cheek, trailing down toward his jaw as the shorter Dark leans forward until his breath is hot against the blonde’s ear. “Maybe you need a distraction?”

Midnight eyes slide sideways to catch orange and he grins wickedly. “Are you offering one?”

Shifting fluidly to his feet, Innic pulls Zephyr up with him, their faces close. Long fingers ease the crisp fabric of the blonde’s dress shirt upward until the garment slips over his shoulders to puddle on the couch behind. “Perhaps I am,” Innic whispers, “provided you can get the two of us out of enough of these clothes before I lose interest.”

Wrapping his hand around his best friend’s tie, Zeph pulls him in close for a scorching kiss that ends with a hard nip. “You know I love a challenge,” the taller Selestarri’s voice is almost a growl and a few quickly sketched runes pull the pair from the living room to the darkness of his bedroom. Another set send the door closing softly behind them…

Sashi: A haze forms over the heads of the two Selestarri as their cigarettes begin to dwindle, the gray smoke holding in the still air with no wind to dispel it. The Bright stands to his left, a vague outline of shadow in the Warden’s damaged sight, but other than raising the smoldering stick to his lips and back down, he makes no other motion, and the older man slowly begins to relax. He’s not sure why Lan decided to follow him out here, other than to smoke, since he seemed to be fine with Zeph and Innic and any conversation with them is much more likely to be interesting than anything he’s willing to offer. It’s similar to the same way he can’t seem to figure out why the Bright continuously attempts to talk to him, even when he goes out of his way to do so. He doesn’t understand other people, that’s been obvious to him for a very long time, but he truly doesn’t understand Lan or what kind of game he might be playing.

The silence continues between them, spanning long minutes, both men watching what little activity there is to see on the street three flights below. The first set of cigarettes is snuffed and replaced by a second, and the deep purple liquor in Sashi’s glass diminishes, leaving him with a tinge of warmth deep inside. For whatever reason, his mind is caught on Lan’s statement about the philosophy teacher cougar. Her persistence in gaining his attention is annoying, but to do as Innic suggests and tell her in no uncertain terms that he’s not interested in women will only open up much larger scrutiny that he’s not willing to endure. While some of these humans understand sexual preferences in the same way that the Selestarri do, most do not and openly criticize and harass those who choose differently than they think is acceptable. He doesn’t particularly care what they think because he’ll bring to his bed whomever he pleases, but it will make things complicated, and at the moment, he’s not interested in anything of the sort.

But he is lonely here, effectively exiled until he and Zeph decide otherwise, and that’s been harder than dealing with any of his injuries or any of his feelings surrounding their failure. Loneliness is the one thing he can never seem to get away from no matter how much he tries to bury it beneath walls and distance. For all his dislike and indifference to others, the irony of the loneliness is a hard, cruel trick that fate has decided to play on him. Better that he feel nothing for anything at all than to need so desperately that which he doesn’t understand and doesn’t particularly like. At least on Nova he could fill the hollow void for a little while in one bed or another, but this exile makes it much harder for him to find even that temporary relief. There are plenty of humans and he’s had many offers, but what he can take from them isn’t quite enough, and he’s slowly becoming convinced that he needs his own kind in order to gain even that momentary solace. Another cruel trick to need the people who loathe his very existence…

“She’ll give up eventually,” the long overdue reply surprises even the telepath, who hadn’t planned to say anything until it was coming out of his mouth unbidden. “Either she’ll find something new and shiny to attract her attention or she’ll figure out why I’m not interested.” He pulls the cigarette to his mouth, the exhaled stream of smoke adding to the haze that wreaths black and white hair alike. He has no idea why he’s continuing this conversation. “Either way, I don’t particularly care…”

Lan: there’s only a small pause to his movements when Sashi finally speaks, the actual surprise of being answered after all the time he’s spent in one sided conversations with the other man lasting for just a second longer, yet warming the smile on his mouth greatly. What he fancies best from it however is that despite the disinterested tone swimming in the older Selestarri’s voice, he swears he can hear a trace of surprise as well and he can’t help but suspect that the Dark might be a little taken aback himself that he spoke to him in the first place.

These will be the first words the other man has said to him beyond those required for Assembly reports and faculty meetings and while they may have only been given due to a loosened tongue from drink and not meant to be anything of real importance, at this moment they are about the most beautiful thing he’s heard spoken to him in a very long while.

“Ah yes… well, when one leaves another is sure to come in to takes it’s place… the world, and our school in particular has no shortage of human cougars, you can be assured of that.” the Bright replies with an amused chuckle as he slips his newest cigarette up to his mouth, and taking a moment he inhales the smoke deeply into his lungs before he allows it out to spiral slowly upwards. “Though with all due respect, I’ll have to disagree when it comes to one thing.” Lowering the smoldering stick in his hand, he slips it over to flick away the gathering ash and his smile turns positively charming when the Warden turns his full gray gaze to meet his warm summer yellow. “She may not lose interest as quickly as you’d like…” he continues to explain, “Given that it’s a little hard to find new and shining things interesting when a certain one remains rather spectacular and blinding…”

Sashi only stares at him and he offers him nothing further, and before long both men fall once again into that near comfortable silence that’s begun to pass between them while the cigarettes they hold continue to dwindle further. When a third set are lit and smoked down, the Bright finally pulls his gaze from the stars and glancing back to find the now empty apartment; he straightens his lanky frame out.

“Hmm…” Lan muses as he scans down to find a discarded shirt left in the place the other two Dark had been, his thoughtful tone pulling the telepath’s eyes to him once more. “I suppose it may be time for me to make my exit for the night…” sliding yellow eyes sideways, he offers Sashi a small warm and slightly questioning smile. “My own apartment isn’t very far, as I’m sure you know and I don’t at all mind escorting you to yours along the way, if you’d like. Unless you had plans to stay longer…?”

Sashi: He has no idea what to say in response to the compliment Lan pays him, his eyes steady on the other man for a long moment before he returns his attention to the cigarette held between caramel-tinted fingers. If the Bright seeks to play a game, this is one he already knows well. Flattery seeking to disarm him in an effort to gain whatever the goal of the game is. Some had wanted him to do something in exchange for their pretty words, some had wanted use of his magic, others had simply wanted him in their beds. He knows this manipulation game, knows all its little incarnations after years spent as a primary target on Nova. Truthfully it’s surprising and a little disappointing to have the white-haired Selestarri attempt it with him as well, even if he has no idea what the other man seeks to gain.

When his attention is again pulled by the other man, Sashi’s gray gaze follows Lan’s into the apartment behind them, already well aware that the room is empty. He’d been blocking out the slow build-up of magic from the two younger Dark ever since he originally sensed it about forty or so minutes ago. Zeph’s discreet enough to screen most of it through wards, but unless he actively blocks it as well, the Warden can always sense the release of that much magic all at once. One of the many drawbacks to his level of magical sensitivity–being aware when everyone else around you is fucking.

Lan’s offer catches him off guard, pulling his eyes to the lanky man and the warm smile aimed in his direction. He’s definitely had enough of everything tonight and is ready to retreat to his own apartment. Functions like the one he endured this evening are a requirement of this job, and while he’d much rather blow them off completely, he attends for both his brother’s sake and to maintain this cover. Still, the forced interactions with parents and other staff members are draining and he’s always ready for the quiet of his own apartment once he can escape. Spending time with his brother is the exception, because the blonde allows him to simply be himself and doesn’t push for anything more. Also…

Silence hangs in the air between the two men, as thick as the smoke that still clings in a haze over their heads. Also, this hasn’t been too unpleasant, standing here with Lan. Other than whatever game the Bright is playing with his words, he’s continued to prove himself as a decent smoking partner and he retains that calm, not outwardly nervous demeanor that Sashi so rarely experiences around other people. The Warden snuffs the end of his cigarette in the nearly full ashtray, his gaze dropping away from Lan’s yellow eyes. “My apartment is only four doors down, an escort is unnecessary.” Shadows move in the corner of his nearly blind left eye as the other man stamps out his own cigarette, and despite the fact that he’s not directly looking, he can feel that same smile still directed at him, warm and slightly expectant.

“Whatever,” the Dark mutters after a moment, making his way through the balcony doors and into Zeph’s living room with Lan following quietly behind. The outer door into the dimly-lit hall opens on soundless hinges, their footfalls making little sound on the tiled floor. Passing two numbered doors and then turning a corner, they pass two more before Sashi stops. Reaching out to place his fingers against the lacquered surface just beneath the scrolled metal numbers announcing this as apartment 315, multiple layers of softly glowing runes light up across the door’s length and width, an array of overlapping spells and wards in more colors than the eye can easily discern. Sliding his fingers against one of the activation weaves, a soft click sounds at the latch as the locking mechanism opens without a key. Dropping his hand, the magic begins to fade and Sashi turns toward Lan, not quite sure what to expect now that the Bright has fulfilled his self-appointed escort duties…

Lan: Summer yellow eyes slip away from the Warden momentarily as tattooed fingers slide across the scrolled metal numbers of his apartment plate to activate the multi layer, hidden spell, a singular weave touched and the door unlocking a moment later. He was given a full, albeit rushed briefing about Sashi before he took this assignment and knows full well of the extent of what the other Selestarri is capable of as far as his magic goes, but to see something as simple as a protection spell sectioned into such a complex multitude of runes and patterned lines is… fascinating, to say the least.

“Well…” Lan begins, his gaze sliding back to meet gray when the shorter man turns around to face him, his quiet tone echoing softly throughout the darkened hall. “This is where I say my goodnights.” He smiles, “Thank you, for the conversation… and for the company. It was an enjoyable way to end the evening and I do hope that I’ll be allowed the pleasure of both again.” Not expecting a reply, the lanky Bright nods ever so slightly, his head dipping forward just far enough for shaggy white strands to shift. Without another word, he turns around and slips his hands casually into his suit pants pockets, before he begins walking slowly away…

space03Jun/Taz: “I’m starting to believe you enjoy being in this position, considering how many times you seem to end up in it whenever I happen to be in town” the Higher smirks down, his cool white gaze met with defiant early dawn hued pink.

Prone before him the shorter Angel is topless and bound, the soft blue glow centering bright silver restraint collars are locked around wrists and neck alike, illuminating flawless skin and long snowy strands. Softly panting breaths spill into the charged air and he’s given only a moment longer to hold Taz’s gaze before his tormentor whispers a few short yet pointed words that cause the collar and cuffs to flair up brightly.

Pink eyes slam shut as unforgiving waves of agony pulsate through him, ripping cries from his throat and sending his body arching back. A few seconds later the blue lights dim, signaling a momentary reprise from the pain and as shaking arms slam against the floor below to support his trembling body, tangled strands spill around his sweat damped frame.

With a smirk given, Jun’s tormentor squats fluidly down at his side and reaching out, tapered fingers brush at snowy hair before trailing almost lovingly over his features to slip beneath his downturned chin. “I instructed you before the opening ceremonies began to stand at attention the entire night… no matter what was said, no matter what was done and no matter who spoke to you at any point in time.” Yanking the shorter man’s head upwards, Taz forces pink eyes to once again meet his cold white. “Did I not?”

Jun grits his teeth but says nothing and his defiance earns him another smile before those same lilting Angelic words are spoken once more. Rising up to his feet as the pulsing blue lights flair brightly to send the bound man’s body arching harshly, the Higher watches with in almost hungry amusement as his charge begins writhing below. The cries torn from his mouth quickly make way for hoarse screams, yet despite the commotion no sound travels beyond the confines of the room itself. Imprinted in the very walls, the faintest outline of a ward has been placed, set months prior to mute everything that might happen within. It’s only when Jun begins pleading for an end to his torment that Taz chooses to release him and with a simple word said, the light of the collar and cuffs dim yet again. Curling his body over, the Angel slides his arms up to cradle his head and before long his shaking frame is wracked by small and uncontrollable sobs.

“Insubordination doesn’t suit you, Jun.” The Higher remarks coldly, completely unfazed by the shaking mess now curled up at his feet.

“It won’t… happen again.” His reply is whispered in-between broken and harshly panted breaths, his words just a little mechanical despite the very real pain that laces his tone “I swear.” He’s said these very same words to the Higher many times in the past and they’ve never made any more difference then than he knows they make now. He’s tried, his Maker knows he’s tried everything to comply with his handler in every way to avoid these sessions, but he always manages to find a reason for them and he’s long since conceded that he probably always will.

Taz smirks in response as he continues to stare down and it’s only after Jun’s body has slowed its shaking that his expression softens in the slightest. Sliding down next to the other Angel, his hand slips out to brush almost lovingly at tangled feather soft strands but when his fingers come in contact with skin, Jun flinches so violently that it causes him to frown. “You do understand that I’m here to help you, don’t you?” The Higher continues, pulling his fingers away from white hair and trailing the very tips down along his side. As he takes time to trace carefully over every line and curve of perfectly toned muscle, the prone figure curls into himself a little tighter as if by doing so, he can ward him away but it only results in a new kind of hunger to flash through white eyes. Reaching over, Taz wraps his hand around Jun’s shoulder and with one sudden motion, he flips him flat onto his back.

“You force my hand because you betray yourself too often down here.” He’s given a grin as long legs slip in-between his own and he can’t help gritting his teeth as he’s pulled roughly against the one above. “And we both know that they won’t be as kind to you as I’ve been…” the taller man’s smile turns wicked as he curls over and setting one hand besides his head, full lips brush his velvet while fingers trace the sharp line of his hips and over to outline the fastenings of his loose fitting pants. “…Should they find out your dirty little secret like I did…”

space03Zephyr: Carrying an armload of books and homework assignments, the Dark steps over the threshold of the shared Foreign Languages departmental office about ten minutes after the bell has rung to announce the lunch period. Midnight eyes immediately notice the presence of his officemate, the Angel seated at his desk and a student seated beside, both heads bent over an opened textbook. Moving quietly toward his own desk on the other side of the room, the blonde eases his books and papers onto one corner of the wide, solid wood top as he listens to Jun explain the conjugation of Japanese words into passive form.

Preparing the materials he needs for his next class, Zeph watches the pair discreetly, noticing how patient the Angel is when the student stumbles through words and how sincerely he encourages her when she gets it right. It’s another hint of that something he can’t quite place his finger on, that tiny bit that doesn’t fit into the cold, stoic front Jun presents to the world. It has him intrigued, he’ll admit. He wants to know if there’s more to the other man, more than the frigid chill and the military-like demeanor. He wants to see if those glimpses of kindness he thinks he’s seeing are the real thing, or if they’re just another part of the blockade the Angel carries all around himself.

After a few moments the student’s chair scrapes as she pushes it back and returns it to the other side of Jun’s desk. Thanking him with a deep bow, she catches sight of Zeph for the first time and bows to him as well. “Kjellin-sensei, konnichiwa. Shitsureshimasu.” The Dark nods and flashes the girl a smile even as she’s hurrying from the room to enjoy what’s left of the lunch break. He turns toward the Angel, but the other man doesn’t even look up as he begins a set of paperwork and after a moment the blonde pulls his lunch from the small refrigerator near the empty desk left for the still-unhired Classics teacher.

Settling at his desk, Zeph shifts a couple stacks of paper before setting out the container of cold noodle salad he’d made the night before. Easing back in his chair, he turns his attention once again to his officemate. “You’re very good with your students,” he compliments the other man. “You have a lot of patience, especially when the subject matter is difficult.” He gets no reply other than the barest flick from pink eyes in his general direction. Seems like it’ll be business as usual today. He speaks, he gets no reply. He tries to be friendly, he gets stonewalled. Jun could give Sashi a run for his money when it comes to cold disinterest. His brother’s not much for talking either, but he’s a very strong telepath and therefore when he does wish to engage in conversation he prefers it to be unspoken, which is understandable. Zephyr regards the man on the other side of the room for a long moment. Maybe… [Is this better?] His question brings the Angel’s head right up, and dawn-drenched pink meet midnight. [Will you talk to me if we do it this way?]

Jun: the white haired man’s head shoots up the instant the blonde’s telepathic words reach him and he has a moment of internal panic that nearly stops his heart in mid beat. Within the Angelic society there are so few actual telepaths and even despite his knowledge of the capabilities of the other man’s race, the ability is so far from his societal norms that it literally takes him by complete surprise. In all of his years the only personal interactions with a telepath he’s had was with Haniel. With her help he learned an ability none of his peers or superiors possessed and for that reason alone they’ve attempted on more than one occasion to rip it right out of his head. He allowed it to fall dormant because of that and he never had plans to bring it up to the surface again.

“Don’t…” he whispers after he manages to collect himself and after flicking his early dawn hued gaze towards the open doorway of their shared office as if he fully expects an entire Enforcer Faction to walk in and claim him, he lowers his eyes back down to the papers on his desk. “Just… don’t.”

Falling silent once more, Jun continues along with his business as if the Selestarri had never spoken to him in the first place, the only sounds made are those that come from the fluid scratching of the pen against his papers. With a resigned sigh given to this newest rejection, Zephyr shakes his head before he sits back in his chair to eat his lunch. As the minutes begin to tick on however, the Angel finds himself unable to keep his eyes from pulling away from his papers and every so often he glances upwards, on the blonde for just a blink of an eye before they fall back down to his task on hand.

He doesn’t understand it. He doesn’t understand why the other man continues these attempts at speaking to him. He’s never replied beyond what was necessary, never given him any inclination that he’s interested in talking back so the fact that he’s still trying even after all these months confuses him in every way. He’s watched him when occasion would allow, he’s seen how he interacts with the others of his kind, with the humans, the faculty, the parents, the students… he’s outgoing and friendly to them, social because he’s allowed to be, social because his race doesn’t appear to have the same restrictions that his has.

Or rather, he amends, he doesn’t have the same restrictions that have been placed specifically on him. He in particular has a spotlight on him and because of it, he isn’t allowed to be like the others, he isn’t allowed to talk or act as the Selestarri acts. Talking the way Zephyr does could lead to a slip and that slip could cost him everything. If there’s one thing he’s learned after all of these years, it’s that the price he’ll have to pay for it isn’t worth even a momentary reprise to his isolation, nothing at all is.

Yet… as pink eyes flick upwards one final time, shifting towards the doorway once more before falling away again, yet this particular form of speech is almost unknown to his kind. No one in the Council he’s dealt with, none of his past handlers or the Enforcers, not even Taz is capable of it as far as he knows and that fact causes a tiny spark of hope to flair up somewhere beneath every carefully protected layer buried deeply inside despite his best efforts to keep it repressed.

[What…] the white haired man begins suddenly, his split second decision causing him to impulsively reach out [What exactly would we talk about?] His quiet yet cautiously even tone stops the European languages teacher’s movements abruptly and as midnight eyes slide over, he finds the Angel’s gaze still locked downward as he continues to work on his papers as if he hasn’t spoken with not even the tiniest break in his outward demeanor given at all. [If I begin speaking to you like this…]

Zephyr: He knows his attempt at speaking with Jun through telepathy was a shot in the dark, but there’s still a sense of defeat when the other man shuts him down, and with a sigh, the blonde Selestarri eases back in his chair to eat his lunch in silence. Even though he can’t point to a reason beyond the cracks he spies here and there in the Angel’s cold demeanor as to why he wants to talk with him, the frustration remains whenever he gets little to nothing in response. From the initial briefings, he has a general understanding of Angelic society–cold, hardass, militaristic–so maybe he shouldn’t expect anything less than what he’s been given ever since he first set foot in the Foreign Languages department.

But he just can’t seem to let things go and give Jun the space he seems to so rigidly require. Something keeps pulling him back and so he asks one more question and tries to start one more conversation, trying to wrench some form, however little, from the other man. Maybe it’s a lost cause and he should just let it go, chalk up the cracks to some weird idiosyncrasy in the Angel and give himself a break. Maybe Jun just prefers to be alone most of the time like Sashi and that’s why he doesn’t welcome any conversation. His own innate stubbornness keeps him locked in, though, despite Innic’s advice to let things be and his own experiences with his brother…

When Jun’s quiet telepathic words halt Zeph in mid-chew, stunned into stillness by the first words the other teacher has spoken to him that didn’t involve something strictly work-related. Did he really just…? A glance at the Angel confirms that he’s still grading papers, his face a mask of stoic concentration as if nothing has been said at all and after a moment the Dark finishes his mouthful and casually lifts his fork for another bite. If they need to pretend outwardly that nothing’s happening, he can do that. [We can talk about whatever you want.] Jun doesn’t look up from his work and when he doesn’t reply, the Selestarri offers a few suggestions. [Our annoying students and coworkers. The weather. Food. Why we’re both here pretending to be teachers in this human cattle farm.] Honestly, he doesn’t give a shit what they talk about, he just wants to talk to the Angel, to get to know him, and find out if there’s anything actually in the cracks he keeps spotting here and there. [If we have to be stuck day in and day out with these humans, we might as well enjoy each other’s company, right?]

Jun: he doesn’t answer Zephyr immediately, frowning a little at his words instead. To enjoy one another’s company…? The entire reason he’s spent all of these months attempting to coax him into conversation was simply so he could alleviate some boredom he seems to feel while around what he’s called ‘human cattle’? He’s risked everything by replying, and to know the reasons behind the other man’s efforts is almost devastating. The Selestarri’s remarks remind him a little too much of his own kind and he should have known better than to believe the false outward appearances of friendliness he’s consistently put up. He of all people should have known better. It’s an act, one that could contend with any Angel and he’s completely misconstrued it from the start.

[What I want doesn’t matter.] The white haired Angel finally returns flatly, the scratching of his pen halted as he pulls it from his papers and sets it onto the pen rest laid neatly at the desk’s edge. [If it did, I wouldn’t be here pretending to be a teacher to all of these ‘human cattle’ as you put it… if what I wanted mattered, I’d probably be living my life as one of them.] This is the most truth he’s spoken to any other in a very long time and in this moment, he means each and every word.

He does envy them all a little, he always has – the cattle as the Dark has claimed them to be, or filth and talking monkeys as he’s heard from his own kind’s mouths many a time over. They may seem insignificant and small minded, short lived and fragile, these humans, but they have an innocence to them that he’s never been able to overlook. They have freedom in their societies that he’ll never be able to attain even despite their own shortcomings and limitations, it’s a freedom to choose what to do with their lives, a freedom to live anonymously, and a freedom to be whatever they can imagine themselves to be.

It’s something he’d give anything to be able to attain himself.

[Listen, I’ve seen you and the others and I know you have enough of your kind to keep you company,] he continues while pushing his toned frame fluidly back in his chair and rising up to his feet he leans fluidly over to scoop the graded papers away from the desk’s surface, the long pure white braided plait tied neatly at his back slipping forward as he moves. [You don’t need me to fill in for entertainment when they aren’t around.] Straightening with the papers in hand, Jun finally glances up at the Selestarri, meeting his midnight gaze with a return of his flat dawn drenched own.

“Enjoying another person’s company is a liberty I’m not allowed to take.” His voice is suddenly distant and once again mechanical –as if he’s repeating words being read to him and is not saying them because he wants to. Swimming somewhere in the depths of his flat tone is the faintest lilt of resignation however and it’s as if in that moment he’s fully accepted his fate and expects it to never be any different than what it currently is. Without another word or look given to the blonde, he turns and with near silent yet graceful strides, he exits the shared office, his footfalls echoing softly in the emptiness of the wide hallway that lies just beyond.

Zephyr: The Dark leans back a little in his desk chair as the Angel exits the departmental office, midnight eyes held on the doorway even after the footsteps in the hall fade away. So… he well and truly fucked that up, now didn’t he? Apparently he’d hit something sensitive in the other man, something having to do humans and the reason Jun has been positioned here by his elders. The last bit had sounded like something the Angel had been drilled to say, similar in the way that some Selestarri are prepared and briefed for immersion assignments. It sounded almost like Jun has been ordered to repeat it upon command, like a dog barking when its owner snaps their fingers.

It’s interesting, but not as interesting to the Dark as what may be behind it. Does Jun truly feel he’s not permitted to be with others? Or has he been made to say it so many times because that’s not what he really believes at all? Equally interesting is that the Angel said what he wants doesn’t matter. He knows enough about the white-haired man’s society to understand it’s rigidly militaristic, which means that it’s very likely that Jun’s been drilled over and over to believe that it really doesn’t matter what he wants, because someone higher up will decide that for him. If that’s true, then the concept of free will would be nonexistent to the other teacher.

Taking the last bite of his noodle salad, Zeph chews thoughtfully, the wood and leather desk chair beneath him creaking when he tilts it back enough to prop his feet on his desk. This whole exchange bears thinking on, from what he said that so angered the Angel to the small bits Jun dropped without even knowing it. Luckily, his assignment here is for as long as he wishes it, no matter what the Assembly may have to say about that, which means it will certainly extend long enough for the Dark to continue chipping away at Jun’s facade to discover if what he’s beginning to expect lies beneath it is truly there or not …


…to continue.



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