/Look who's back from her long sleep! And with a great deal of slashy fun- well, at least oddness. ^^;; Information about the keys was taken from Revelation Chapter 21, verses 19-20, but the idea is all mine, baby./

My God Who Is Wise and Wonderful

I used to live in a cemetery.

It wasn't so bad, really. There was an old chapel in the older part of the grounds with a loft area, high enough above the floor that the rats didn't bother to visit. The bugs had to be convinced with a few dozen cans of Raid, but even they didn't bother me much. It was dusty, dirty no matter how much I cleaned, and my home.

The caretaker was very old. He lived on the grounds, too, but he was most concerned with all the teenagers that just wanted a hidden place to fuck. I escaped his radar every time.

Jacob visited me often, whenever I was actually in town. There were a lot of places I had to go in those days, but he'd always be waiting in the chapel when I returned, with candles lit, food and drink waiting, and a warm, welcoming smile. When he was in the chapel, all the vermin left us to our own devices.

"What happened to your arm?" he asked me when I came home last month. I was surprised to hear him speak with such concern. It was wrong of me, but I had come to expect less regard from him than he oft-times gave.

"I- there was some, uh, trouble," I murmured, tensing up as he took my arm and inspected the burn scar ranging from elbow to wrist. "When I found the emerald."

"It was Michael, wasn't it?" Jacob whispered, a terrible anger in his voice. "I will punish him for this."

He frightened me greatly when he spoke like that, but most times he was pleasant, calm, and compassionate. That was the Jacob I knew and loved with all my being. That was the Jacob that I had hoped for so long, in that secret part of me that even he did not read, could be fully realized before I found the final key.

It was when I brought back the sixth key, the sardius, that he began to lose sight of this softer side. He was halfway there; if things went as planned, in sixth months the world be new and he would be that which he was always meant to be, in full power and true splendor. It was this that I feared most, though I worked for it with every breath I had been given. I knew my purpose and my task, but I suddenly loathed it.

He had made me too human, after all. The closer he came to possessing all the keys, the more I longed for the days of cool marble, my stone heart. Flesh is too fragile.

I went home one night before I was supposed to, ignoring my duty and, amazingly, not feeling all that bad about it. Jacob would know, and he might be angry, but I did not rebel to hurt him or to further myself.

Well, perhaps the last was a lie. I did wish for him to be what every child always envisioned: loving, forgiving, and so very wise. No one should have that much power so young.

To even think that was a sin. I felt him walking to my home and I shivered.


I heard him call me from below, but I stayed in the loft, trembling even worse at this outright defiance. He waited only a moment, perhaps testing my refusal to listen, before climbing up to the loft.


I was cold, though it was summer and the air was almost too thick with humidity to breathe. I stared silently up at the sloping ceiling, up at where either side came together. I could hear him breathing quickly, feel his eyes on me.

"Why aren't you wearing your clothes?" he asked, and then I tried to answer, but my throat closed up and I lay still as stone.

He was human that night, for a short time. Driven back into it by my denial and his fear of it, he held me all night long and whispered into my ear, promising this and swearing that and making my too easily bruised heart ache. I left when he finally fell asleep, exhausted and with tear-stained face, and brought him the beryl at dawn.

He almost knocked it out of my hand and away, and I wished for that with everything in me that loved him rightly, but he couldn't back down. He took it, put it on the altar, and pressed his body to mine with more strength than most would credit him.

I shouldn't have pushed him that far, I suppose. But being necessary is only like being loved, and I wanted more than the regard that most people give sunlight, water, and air. I wanted to know that he was still there, like he had been that first night, crying in the cemetery, reaching up his hands to a stone angel and making it come alive, a boy to return his love and to bring him to that holy place so that he could remake this world in a better image, a brighter dream.

But now I wanted him to leave this dream until he was old, perhaps too old to change it, just so that he could learn to love it and live it and let himself be as human as he'd made me.

Twenty-eight days later, I brought him the topaz and lost a little more of Jacob to that brilliance, that power, that glory underneath. And I began to hate him for that.

Only last night did I find the amethyst. Michael was waiting for me there, patient as a marble angel guarding cold stone, and his eyes were filled with fire and slow tears. Jacob was young and had a lot of power. Michael couldn't stop me, but he was there, just the same.

"You'll open the gates, then?" he asked, his voice like light. "And everything is new."

"He walks in, and you are all done," I whispered, making no move towards the gem. Michael waited, still. He wouldn't stop me. His love didn't move him that far, perhaps because it recognized that there was no reason for him to get hurt when there was no chance at all.

But there was; didn't he see that?

"It's been a long time," I said, watching him watching me. He could read the marks on my shoulders, I knew, but I wouldn't be surprised to have found those marks on another, once upon a time. Did Michael hate him for that, I wondered? "Things are different than what they were. But it took thousands of years…"

"It will take thousands again, if not more," Michael said harshly. "Do not fool yourself."

He walked out, then, and left me to my work. I took the amethyst and used the wings that had been left to me to have when they were needed, and to be gone when they were not, racing to my home, to where Jacob waited with all the other keys for me to unlock the twelve gates and bring about his ascension.

So I dropped it, over the sea, and nearly let myself fall after it.

"Kiriel," he whispered when I entered the chapel, shaking with rage. "What have you done?"

I could take it from the ocean, find it again at the bottom, but it was that I had dropped it in the first place that enraged him. I could see the light inside him straining against his human body, longing to reach out and just destroy me where I stood.

But it wasn't angry; it was Jacob who reached for me. The light inside of him only knew that I had gone too far and was of no further use. Jacob wanted to hurt me for betraying him.

Betrayal. Yes. But he had made me as human as himself and given me that freedom; how could he expect to take the world when he couldn't bring himself to love that choice? How could he hate me for being what I am?

I made no sound other than wordless cries of pain when he threw himself at me, fist and knee and elbow digging into tender flesh. Nails that drew blood and he didn't flinch when I screamed and I hated him, so suddenly, free in that too and I screamed, "Damn you!"

And fought back.

He almost let go, then, and let the light take me. I was prepared for it, for my annihilation, but the light died from my eyes just as quickly as it had grown, dwindling into nothing and only candlelight danced with the shadows in the cathedral. I gasped for breath, staring up at the bottom of my lofted room and hiding all my tears. Jacob didn't, though.

He was huddled against the altar, crying softly and whispering something over and over. I rolled over onto stomach, then crawled towards him. He was whispering, "Please, please, don't hate me. I'm sorry. Please, Kiriel, don't hate-"

Has any God told His servant that He was sorry? Has any God begged for His angel not to hate Him?

If He had, would there be a heaven and a hell?

"Don't cry," I said, taking him into my arms and holding him as tightly as I could. "I will not hate you. I promise."

And he was human, wasn't he? To cry for me.

Tonight he tells me of his new plan, even as he helps me move my few possessions into his garage. There's a small apartment on top of it where I will live until we go to school. He wants to learn everything he can, earn a whole lifetime of wisdom before he goes to speak with the Other who waits above. And I will stay with him that entire time, helping to keep him human like no one else can.

I will find the amethyst in some later year, when his humanity has grown to reach that light. And then I will give it to him, to keep until he wishes to see Someone who understands everything that I can't.

But I will know, and understand, everything else.

/Review if you like, flame if you have to, blink in confusion if you just don't get it./