Loreley sighed with bone-deep weariness, settling down on the sofa in the corner of his bedroom, finally about to get some sleep. His new 'pet' angel was already deep asleep on his bed, battered wings curled around himself protectively and seeming to shine softly in the darkness. It reminded Lori of a caterpillar in a cocoon...but the angel was already a very beautiful butterfly, so he didn't need to be cocooned...maybe it was more like a soft, feathery blanket...
/Mmm...it'd be so lovely to have a blanket like that with you all the time...it must be so secure...and if you still didn't like where you were, you could fly away.../
Lori smiled, snuggling further into the mass of black pillows that was under his head, but keeping his eyes fixed on the sleeping angel. Of course, all that could currently be seen of him was his head, peeking out of the feather-cocoon, now free of dirt and with a Band-Aid across his forehead to cover up a deep cut. Pale, porcelain skin and gorgeous snow-white wings contrasted sharply with amazingly long ebony hair, spilling over an equally dark pillow, melting into the deep, inky blackness that seemed to swallow up everything else in the room.
The wings themselves hadn't been tended to; the angel nearly had a panic attack when Lori tried to go near them, shrinking away with such terror in his eyes that it almost hurt to look at him. So Lori had settled for applying a little clumsy first aid, lending his guest some clothes (Angel didn't seem too impressed with the contents of Loreley's wardrobe), and pointing him in the direction of the bed before they both collapsed from exhaustion.
But they could always fix the wings tomorrow...
Lori sighed again, feeling infinitely glad just to be home, in his own room. The angel didn't like it much, but then it wasn't designed to appeal to a creature of light... Black walls, cluttered with posters of vampyr maidens in black satin corsets resting beneath blackened and twisted trees, band logos in black and crimson, anime posters of Gothic angels and demons and warped religious imagery, spearheaded by the blackened and inverted crucifix that hung on the back of the door...
Equally dark furniture, and curtains that were always pulled closed, so that you could barely see anything anyway. His parents wouldn't have liked it. He didn't know what his parents would say if they found out about their house guest, but they were away...they were away a lot, and the maid wouldn't tell them if he didn't annoy her. There were a lot of advantages to having two international business tycoons as parents...besides the money, of course...
Loreley snuggled down even further, pulling the quilt closer and following the other boy into a deep, dreamless sleep.
A few hours later, the harsh beeping of the alarm clock jolted Loreley awake. He growled in sleepy annoyance, reaching an arm out to bash the machine into silence, but hit empty air.
Wrestling with the covers for a moment, he managed to untangle himself and sit up, rubbing his eyes and trying to figure out where he was.
"Huh? *yawn* ...Angel?"
His eyes sped over to his bed, which was unoccupied. Laughing quietly at himself for actually believing the vivid dream he had last night, he hauled himself off the sofa and began his usual morning routine, which ended with him collecting together what school books he needed for that day, and going downstairs. There, the maid would usually pester him to eat some breakfast, until he left for a perilous journey into the psychotic hellhole, otherwise known as his high school.
He walked into the sitting room nearest the kitchen, throwing his books down on the Very Expensive Sofa, and switching on the Equally Expensive Widescreen TV for some background noise (not that there was anything on of a morning except breakfast news and kids' cartoons). It was good enough living in such a large, expensive house, but it was hardly what he'd call a home. Everything was ultra-modern, super-stylish, cold, trendy and impersonal.
Lori glanced at the top of the television, where instead of a photo of the family there was a picture of his mom and dad, shaking hands with an important business client. Sighing, he wandered into the kitchen.
"Hey, Natalya." he murmured a half-hearted greeting to the maid as he went over to the refrigerator. He picked out orange as the juice of the day and drank it straight from the carton, knowing he wouldn't be told off because the fridge door hid him from the maid's sight.
"Hey yoursel', Master Loreley." she replied huffily, busy frying something over the cooker and not bothering to turn around and greet him properly. Lori grinned to himself. Natalya was a youngish woman with short blonde hair and sharp green eyes, and he couldn't place her accent but knew that English wasn't her first language. She had erratic mood swings from time to time, going from highly courteous, and close to tears if she didn't do something completely perfect, to just plain rude.
But she had always looked after Loreley, or at least kept him alive and in school, so she kept her job.
"I had the weirdest dream last night, y'know..." Lori murmured, mostly to himself, but the maid's keen ears picked it up. She scowled, deciding that if they were going to converse then she was going to voice the reason for her bad mood.
"Dream nothin', wha' 'bout reality? That little boyfriend o' yours 'as been sittin' down here for past half an hour...'e's a bloody nuisance, if you'll excuse me saying, Master!"
"Uh...boyfriend?" Lori slammed the fridge closed and looked quickly around the kitchen. Seated on a bar stool, happily eating his way through an enormous mountain of pancakes and syrup, was the angel from yesterday. He was still in the black T-shirt that Lori had given him yesterday, way too big for him and almost reaching his knees (not that it fitted Lori much better), and had luckily found enough sense to hide his wings again. Angel's face lit up with delight at seeing his rescuer, and he dived off the stool and across the kitchen to ensnare Lori in an affectionate hug.
"I, um, ah...hiya!" he cautiously hugged the adorable angel back, deciding that either it wasn't a dream after all, or that it was, but still going on. Noticing the amused expression on Natalya's face, he quickly detached himself from the hug, blushing slightly. "Uh, you...you're better now?"
Angel beamed at him, nodding brightly before spinning round and returning to his plate of pancakes.
"See? That all he do, all time I with him! I say, you friend of Master Loreley's, he smile an' nod...I say, you wan' breakfast then, he smile an' nod...I say, what you want, you like pancakes, he smile an' shrug...I say, I make you pancakes an' I give him pancakes, he no say thanks or anythin', he just smile at me like I'm Queen of bloody Sheba! He not TALK!" Natalya glared over at the angel, who was still eating contentedly, quite unaware of the criticisms being levelled at him.
"Er, yeah, he sort of...I don't think he can speak, y'know?" Lori shrugged, wondering if his guest was listening in on this.
"Ohhh! Poor darling!" Natalya gasped, clapping her hands over her mouth and looking utterly mortified "Ohhh, a' shame on me! I go apologise!" she was about to go, when Lori grabbed her arm lightly and pulled her back.
"Nah, it's okay, really. I don't think he cares, t'be honest." Lori looked back at the hungry angel still devouring the plate of pancakes and chocolate syrup.
"You say he is better? He was sick?" Natalya asked, still looking very distressed.
"Ah, yeah...I think he got into a fight with someone, and he kinda got beat up..."
"Ah! That is why you have bruises too! You 'elp him, Master Loreley?"
"Uhh...yeah, that's right. But he was hurt pretty badly, and I don't think he could have gone home, so I brought him back here..." Lori paused "...I just wanna make sure he's OK."
"Ah. I under'stan', Master. So, he your boyfriend or no?" the maid grinned mischievously. Lori had no idea how or when exactly she had found out that he didn't exactly like girls...although it probably had something to do with the amount of yaoi manga she found hidden away in his room, the last time she tried to clean it...but she had never told anyone else (anyone else = his parents) so he didn't mind very much.
"No, he's really not!"
"Oh, 's a shame. You should have a boyfriend, Master Loreley, then maybe you no be so depressed all the time!"
"Umm, yeah..." Lori decided that he definitely didn't like the direction this conversation was going in. He went over to his angel and began guiding him out of the kitchen. Angel pouted at him, dragging his feet and glaring until he rushed back and got the remainder of the food as well.
/Oh well, at least he likes Natalya's cooking...and he's not so scared of everything.../
Lori led the angel back up to his room, glancing hurriedly at his watch...he was going to be late for class registration at this rate...
Once they were upstairs he carefully locked the door, turning around to see his guest leaning out of the bedroom window, perilously close to toppling out altogether.
"/Whoa/!" pulling the angel back, he guided him over to the bed and sat them both down, trying hard to keep hold of his patience. "Look, um...are you OK now? You seem a lot better..."
The carefree smile faded from Angel's face, and his eyes shifted to the floor, a little of yesterday's sadness seeping back into them.
"Angel? You're OK, right?"
Angel got up off the bed and backed away a little. Lori was about to ask what he was doing, when the other closed his eyes, taking a deep breath and suddenly becoming surrounded by a brilliant white aura, melting into the shape of his wings again. Lori gasped, watching as Angel was enveloped in a mini-snowstorm of soft, glowing white feathers, drifting softly down to the ground and creating tiny specks of brightness against the black of everything else. He just sat there, mesmerised for a few seconds, until the sorrowful expression on Angel's face shook him back to reality.
The wings were still in as bad a state as when Angel had been in the forest...any bleeding had stopped, but they were still covered in blood and dirt, and the left wing was hanging uselessly at Angel's side, badly damaged. It was obvious that he was flying nowhere very soon.
"Oh...Angel, you need them fixed...umm, I dunno, I guess we can't take you to a doctor..." he chewed absent-mindedly on a midnight-black fingernail for a minute "...Well, we can at least get clean them up. You wait here and finish your breakfast, I'll go talk to Natalya for a minute, OK?"
Angel nodded and watched Lori leave the room. He slumped back on to the bed and waited for a while, broken wings folded up behind him, swinging his feet impatiently and listening to the stamp of Loreley's retreating footsteps on the stairs. Quickly getting bored, he decided to explore his host's bedroom.
It was very dark; much too dark...poor Loreley must be very sad living in a room like this...Loreley was so nice, he shouldn't be sad...
Looking around, he spotted a shiny, silver TV remote, half-hidden under a heap of clothes. Delighted to have found something interesting to play around with, he picked it up and began randomly pressing the buttons.
Angel fell off the edge of the bed in alarm as a voice suddenly burst into life, chattering on from across the room. He clumsily picked himself up and turned to stare at the television set, which he had accidentally switched on. A grey-suited news reporter was talking about a train crash somewhere. Footage of a railway train flashed up, tearing along the track and colliding with another one in a fountain of sparks and blinding orange flames, coupled with a horrendous screeching of ripping metal.
Angel froze, transfixed with horror at the sight of the massive metal monsters fighting each other inside that glowing box. He turned and bolted for the door, running straight into Loreley.
Lori gasped as Angel dived at him, knocking his breath away and almost toppling both of them over. The angel was clutching tightly at his school shirt, face buried in Lori's shoulder, shivering slightly.
"Huh? ...Angel...shh, okay...what's the matter now?" he murmured, hugging the smaller boy tightly. A single, sparkling teardrop escaped one of the angel's eyes and trickled down his cheek. "Ssh...don't cry..." his voice dropped to a whisper as he ran a hand through Angel's ebony hair, trying to calm him. Before he knew what he was doing, he was kissing the teardrop away, pulling Angel close, feeling both of their heartbeats start fluttering rapidly as he moved to kiss the angel's lips...
Suddenly a loud noise from his bedroom interrupted them. Angel sprang away, hiding behind the other boy and peeping over his shoulder, wide chocolate-brown eyes staring into the dark doorway as if he expected some terrible monster to spring out and attack them.
Lori sighed and lead the angel back into his room, having to almost drag him through the doorway. Realising the source of his friend's panic, he grinned in amusement and calmly switched the TV set back off again.
"They don't have television in Heaven? Guess it can't be so perfect after all, then. Hehe..." he grinned at Angel, who was still clinging to his arm with a painfully tight grip. Realising that he had been frightened for nothing, Angel quickly let go, trying to regain some of his flung away dignity and acting as if he had never really been scared at all.
Lori laughed and pointed towards the bathroom "Right, Natalya says I can have the morning off school, so we're gonna try and fix your wings up a bit, okay?"
Angel simply blinked, letting the other boy guide him in the direction of Lori's private bathroom...another advantage of having ultra-rich, international-business-tycoon parents. But at least this room wasn't all black...just mostly black...
Angel sighed silently.
A/N - it's not like Lori is a Satanist or anything... o _ O ...he just has issues...lots of issues...
Okies, just wanted to point that out! ^ _ ^;