Frost had awoken early in the morning, and after taking her breakfast all alone, she went to the house library and began to read on the large collection of books her father had accumulated over the years. The books were mostly copies of handwritten work of historical figures, such as Christopher Columbus, and that made them valuable. Frost digested the books word by word, though she had finished the hundreds of books over the years, and her angelic knowledge doesn’t really require her to read. It was merely a hobby or leisure to kill time, or she would have been bored to death.

William, Richard and Patrick, Frost’s brothers came running in laughing loudly, breaking the silence and tranquility of the library. They stopped short when they saw their sister reading. Alone. Again. Looking at each another, they jeered. Frost ignored them and continued to read the book before her. The eldest of them, William, reached forward and snatched the book away. Frost looked up in annoyance. Eighteen years old and still behaving like an immature kid of under thirteen! What a shame.

“Return the book to me.” Frost said coolly.

“Get it back from us if you can.” Lawrence mocked, “Oh almighty one!”

“Yeah. Stop your Lazarus and Jesus threat. Dad and mom are scared but we are not!” Patrick laughed.

Frost stared at her three brothers coldly and they began to feel uneasy. “What are you looking at?!” Lawrence yelled, swinging his fist. Frost took a sudden step forward and William gave a cry of fright, dropping the book. Frost caught it, and tore it in half by the book spine. Frost gave a hard glare at the three of them before leaving the library and the Spencer household. Humans, she decided, were mostly immature and silly. Frost took a little walk in the streets and the morning breeze blew at her slim figure. She had came out without wearing much and she shivered in the cold. She went to one side of the river, staring in to it in deep thought.

Tabris was on the horse carriage after the breakfast at Rishta’s house. He on his way to the White Club to publicize his new medical thesis speech when he noticed a lone figure standing by the river-side, holding on to the rail. Recognizing the person, Tabris called out to his driver, “Hobson, stop.” Hobson obeyed his master’s order and stopped the horses. Tabris got down from the carriage and glanced at the man. “Go home.” he told Hobson, “I’m not going to the club. I have other things to do now.” Hobson nodded his head and drove the carriage away. Though not completely sure why, but he was used to his master’s bizarre behavior. Tabris walked silently towards Frost, who had her back turned to him.

Frost was deep in her thoughts when a demonic sense pulled her back into reality. She turned around swiftly, and saw a handsome man before her. She recognize him. A famous doctor named Clinton Crawford. But that was not all… “Tabris.” Frost uttered the name of the fallen angel. Deep within her heart, she knew she was in real trouble. She gathered up her courage and spoke to Tabris bravely, “What do you want?”

“Oh.” Tabris said. It’s Uriel alright. He smiled at the way she was behaving. She had changed little somehow, and the changes she had now, was bitterness and sorrow for the foolishness of the human race. “Nothing really. I just thought I saw an old acquaintance and so…” Tabris waved his hand and a veil of shield covered the area, blocking the mortal eyes from seeing them and their destructive powers. “Thought of greeting you…” Tabris’s wings spreads and his armor appeared. With a sly smile, Tabris slipped on his mints.

Uriel felt fear creeping into her heart. Even though she was extremely intelligent and was excellent at healing abilities, she knew her weakness. Her weakness in fighting skills and ironically enough, her poor health. Uriel didn’t wish to fight. For centuries, she had always been the one giving out strategies on how to fight the demons, but she had seldom fought herself… But it seemed like it would be different today. “Greet me? It seems like you want more than that, Tabris.” Uriel said boldly, trying to fight her fear. The mints were something new. She never saw the mints before. They must’ve been a new weapon. And that must mean that Tabris had become stronger than before. “Go away, for I have no wish to engage in any sort of fights for now. Leave it for the future.” Uriel said, trying to sound as brave as possible.

Tabris sensed Uriel’s fear, but was impressed by her courage to stay and face him. “You live up to your name indeed, Uriel. Nothing escapes your eyes. Yes, I’m not only here to greet you…” Tabris paused for a while as he glanced at Uriel. He smiled, “I want something out of you as well.” Tabris fidgeted for a while as he summoned his wire into his hands. It crackled with small bolts of lightning. “I’m bored, Uriel. Help me, will you?” Tabris said with an irritating grin across his face, “Play with me for a moment…” Upon finishing his words, Tabris lashed out his wires at Uriel!

Uriel’s wings sprouted from her back as she leapt away to dodge the blow. The wire cut down the lamp post and Uriel was forced to run again, to prevent herself from getting crushed. She prepared herself for battle as she summoned her spear to her hand. She posed her spear in front of herself with her right hand, so that she could move it freely to defend herself from Tabris’s weird weapon.

“Not bad, your reaction and reflexes are quite fast.” Tabris said smilingly as he collected his wire, caressing it with his gloved hands. “Now take this.” Tabris said coolly as he flew into the sky, whipping towards Uriel with the wire. The wire’s color changed from glowing white to bright red.

The wire came too quick and sudden for Uriel to evade completely. The tip of the wire caught her left shoulder and she cried out in pain. The fiery red hot wire burned through her clothes and badly scorched her skin. Before she knew it, the wire had lashed at her left hand. Uriel flew backwards but it was too late. Her left arm was dripping with blood and there was intense pain. Yet, Uriel was determined not to let her fear and pain show on her face, for Tabris would be far too happy at that. She would not allow Tabris have that privilege of gloating at her. “Is that all, Tabris?” Uriel said, panting, “And I thought how great you are.” Uriel touched her left arm lightly, and her left arm began to feel better as the wound began to slowly heal.

Tabris laughed softly at Uriel taunts. “Now that’s the spirit, Frost Spencer… Oh. Should I call you archangel Uriel instead?” Tabris chuckled as he flew forward and stopped suddenly, sending his wire towards Uriel’s head. Smiling, he seemed to change his mind as he twist his hand and the wire changed its direction towards Uriel’s chest. It was apparent Tabris wanted to punch a hole through her.

Uriel almost ducked when she saw Tabris’s hand moving slightly. Figuring that he must be changing the wire’s direction, she pushed her spear forward… The wire caught itself around the spear, and Uriel fought hard to keep her spear on ground. However, Tabris was too powerful and she decided that it was time to risk it. Uriel let go of the spear. The force of all the pulling sent the spear back at Tabris, threatening to pierce is heart.

Tabris was surprised that Uriel had such a trick up her sleeve. He ducked, but the spear caught his left cheek. Tabris was furious but kept his composure. The spear had embedded itself into the ground behind him and Uriel was now near helpless. Especially without her weapon and injured. Tabris flew towards Uriel and in an instant, caught her hands and locked them together above her head before she could do anything else. With a command, the wire’s powers died down and it looked like a common silver metal wire. He tied Uriel hands with it and the remnants of the heat which remained in the wire nearly melted her skin. “Now, if you might, Uriel…” Tabris chided with an malicious grin as he reached out towards her.

Uriel was shocked that her last resort did not manage to kill Tabris. She took a step back, and attempted to cast a spell when Tabris suddenly appeared in front of her and caught her hands. She didn’t even have time to react to her captivity when she was being tied up cruelly with the wire. She muttered in pain. Uriel was horrified. What is he going to do to her? No…
“NO!!! STOP!!!” Uriel screamed in horror. // Raphael, Adriel, Azrael… everyone… HELP!!! //

Tabris ignored Uriel as he gripped her wings tightly and he pulled. A handful of feathers and flesh was torn from Uriel’s back and Tabris delighted in her pain. He tugged at her wings and pulled out another handful of feathers again.

Uriel screamed as Tabris pulled her feathers out of her back. Blood splashed all over and her nervous system broke down, great pain searing through her body, so much it nearly killed her. She wished she hadn’t ran away from home or at least didn’t come to this certain riverside. But even now her mind was in too much pain and messed up to think of how to get out of the mess.
“Please… stop!!!” Uriel gasped in pain, falling to her knees as her whole body turned jelly soft at the pain.

Tabris ignored Uriel’s pleas and continued to peel off her feathers roughly. Her screams of pain didn’t bring him much joy, neither did it make him sad. He was simply bored and trying to find something amusing to do. Perhaps he was wrong to think that torturing Uriel was the way. He tugs hard at her feathers and pulled out another handful. He shook his head with a sneer on his face as he kicked Uriel away. With a command, the wire untied itself and wrapped back around her entire body. With a smile, Tabris nodded his head and the wire glowed white.

More blood splattered and cries of pain were heard. Uriel slumped down to the ground, totally weak and drained of her energy. She coughed out blood. Stunned, she tried to get up but failed to. ‘Someone save me from this demon’s hands… I want to be alive… To see him…’ Uriel closed her eyes and blacked out.

// Raphael, Adriel, Azrael… everyone… HELP!!! // Gabriel’s head whipped up from the book he had been reading in the park. It was… It was Uriel! He wasn’t sure how he knew, but it was unimportant. She was in pain. With a quick look around him, he revealed his angelic form and shot into the sky, book forgotten. He summoned the winds to lend him speed, causing gale strength winds and thermals that tore shingles off of roofs and leaves from trees. He shot on, his six long golden wings a blur and his enchanted silver armor and white robes little more than a streak. He was grateful for the enhanced speed and strength of his angelic body; a far cry from his thin human frame. He finally reached Uriel, a drawn young angel with her wrists tied and bleeding in several places. A Demon had pulled chunks of her wings out.

‘TABRIS!’TABRIS!” He roared, mentally and audibly, pulling his silver bow and arrows. He knocked one and let fly, drawing another even as the other sought its target. He was flying up against the sun, a solar halo illuminating his wide open wings, the mark of a Seraph.

Tabris turned, a little surprised and startled at the unwelcome guest of his little party with Uriel. He turned around just on time to smash the first arrow broken. However, he did not expect a second arrow shooting towards him fast and it caught him on his left shoulder. Tabris laughed. “It’s alright. I have enough fun with Uriel for today. I will let you have fun now. See you another time, Gabriel. And we will fight by then.” Tabris said as he lifted into the sky and flew away, taking off the shield over the area.

Gabriel waited until Tabris left, not bothering to let fly with another arrow. He dove down to Uriel and hit his knees on the cobblestone, neither noticing nor caring. “Uriel? Uriel?” He shook her gently, meanwhile extending his small talent in healing to her most severe injuries. She wasn’t looking too good… Not like the Uriel he used to know. She was sickly anyway, and now had internal injuries. “Uriel, please…”

Uriel heard a soft and gentle voice speaking to her. A familiar voice. A voice belonging to someone she had always liked over the years. Uriel forced her sleepiness away and pushed her eyes open. “Gabriel…?” Uriel said weakly. She coughed, and there was blood. “I’m sorry that you have to see me in such a horrible sight…” Uriel apologized, feeling almost too embarrassed, despite her current state. “Is he gone?” Uriel asked in concerned, her eyes glazed, “Did he hurt you…?”

Gabriel shook his head. “I’m fine. Stop moving and concentrate on healing yourself. He’s gone. For now.” He wasn’t far off, in truth, but Uriel didn’t need to worry about that now.
He held her hand and allowed energy to flow from his body into hers, enough to heal the worst of her wounds. “Come on, Uriel…”

Uriel felt the energy within her and she shut her eyes and allows the energy to flow through. “Thank you, Gabriel…” she mumbled as she concentrated on healing herself. In a few minutes, the wounds closed though the scars remained. It would take sometime for them to vanish. Uriel opened her eyes and tried to sit up but a sharp pain in her back caused her to stop doing so. She remembered Tabris tearing out her wings most cruelly and brutally. “I might never be able to fly again…” Uriel said sadly, shaking her head.

Gabriel shook his head. “You rest and work on healing your wings. You’ll fly again. Don’t ever think you won’t, even if you fail to heal your wings.” ‘Because the worst thing that can happen is you’re grounded on firm earth with friends who care.’ He smiled at her, and detransformed back to his 16 year old body.

* * * * * * * * * *

Rishta arrived too late, and had watched the scene with wide, disbelieving eyes. ‘I knew there was something suspicious here… but I never guessed… a demon…’ Then he flew away, in her direction even, and Rishta didn’t move in time. He crashed into her. She quickly flapped her wings to stay afloat, but she felt angry – and betrayed. “Hello Dr. Crawford – lovely weather for flying, isn’t it?”

Tabris stopped and looked. He was surprised and slightly shaken to see Rishta. She seemed mad. And at him. Yet he remained calm despite his own feelings within himself. “Oh hi, Miss Farishta.” he said with a smile, “You saw everything? I suppose I don’t have to hide it any longer then. Yes, I’m a fallen angel. So?” Tabris laughed, “You don’t suppose you can stop me from leaving, are you?”

Rishta then sobered, her eyes sad. She had had so much respect for him. “Hello Doctor… and I saw everything. And stop you? Please. I do not wish to fight here. People might get hurt. If we are to fight, then it will be done in due time. After all, you helped Phillips… and no matter what you are, I owe you for that. However, you did hurt someone who tried to save me when I needed help… and for that I am not pleased. So, I have a question. Why?!?”

Tabris paused, considering Rishta’s question. “It’s a hide, camouflage, my dear girl.” Tabris said, after a long silence, “I can’t walk around being a bad guy isn’t it? The police will shoot me from all over the world and I tell you no one is that stupid.” Pausing for a while, Tabris allowed a smile on his beautiful face. “I helped Phillips because I’m supposed to. I’m a doctor in my human form after all, isn’t it? I’m fine in my human form, but once I discards it and become my true self, there is no mercy left.” Tabris stared into Rishta’s eyes and smiled. “For my name is Tabris, the Angel of Free Will. And a Fallen as well.”

Rishta frowned – he had misinterpreted her question. “A disguise? Obviously. I wanted to know why you harmed Uriel. And about the disguise: everyone needs one… mine is a rich noblewoman… mysterious, but rich. A hidden game. Yours – a doctor. Very simple. Mercy… I didn’t think you had any – especially after I saw the way you treated a former sister.” Rishta’s eyes were sad – infinitely sad. “So, Tabris… the Fallen Angel of Free Will, what happens now?”

“Must I answer it?” Tabris acted ignorant, “Oh, I must have forgotten.” he laughed. Folding his arms and still afloat in the sky, Tabris said with a cool expression, “I cannot tell you any reason, Miss Farishta. Because I attacked her for no reason. Simple as that.” Looking at Rishta, Tabris added, “And I forgot to tell you, most fallen do such things. So don’t be surprised.”

“I thought so. However, I thought more of you, so I guess I was hoping you had some reason.” Rishta was upset. That was putting it mildly. She had such a high opinion of him… “And if all demons do this, we are doomed indeed. Morally.”

Tabris laughed. He flapped his wings and flew near Rishta. “I was just bored and looking for some fun. It’s Uriel who’s too weak. She annoyed me and I’m trying to teach her a lesson.” Tabris said with a smile as he flew backwards. “I hope no one will do that to you… because no one will help you by then, Miss Farishta.” Tabris said with a laughter as he flew away, ignoring Rishta and the other angelic senses he had perceived.

Rishta was shocked when he flew so close, but refused to be intimidated. She just listened to him. ‘I refuse to believe she is that weak… and I can take care of myself.’ She thought, her face filled with determination. Then he flew off. “Coward. Afraid of me.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Azrael flew swiftly, following Uriel’s and Gabriel’s presences. She also felt Tabris and Rishta, and she saw them in the air above the city when she arrived. Azrael watched from a distance and narrowed her eyes. Azrael decided not to interfere. It’d be interesting to see what had Rishta’s father had been able to teach his child. Also Azrael wanted to see what was Rishta able to do and in which angel order she’d classify, in the case the Archangels would approve to include her in the armies of Heaven. They needed recruits. So Azrael simply flew down before Rishta and Tabris could see her. She landed next to Gabriel and Uriel, and as soon as she touched the ground she assumed her 6-year old kid appearance. “Hello,” she sternly said.

Uriel looked up at Gabriel and smiled as her face flushed slightly. Then out of nowhere, Azrael appeared, and in a most peculiar form – a child. Her back still stinging with pain, she couldn’t be bothered with Azrael. As long as Gabriel was around, all was fine with her.

The little child looked around. It was a real mess – feathers everywhere, splattered with blood. Azrael walked around Uriel. She wasn’t dying, so Azrael left her be. Tabris was leaving… Tabris left. Azrael turned to Gabriel to ask him if he had fought Tabris, then she saw the strange look on Uriel’s eyes. It reminded her of someone else. Azrael stood next to Gabriel. “Are you alright?,” she asked Uriel. “You have a strange look to your face. I’m sure you will heal properly.”

“Umm? Ah, I’m alright, I think… except for my wings…” Uriel replied, looking at the feathers on the ground mournfully. Though grateful for Azrael’s presence which might ensure Gabriel and her safety, Uriel was still slightly irritated that she couldn’t be alone with Gabriel.

Gabriel sat down cross-legged and cradled Uriel’s head in his lap. “You,” he said mock-sternly, “Need to stop picking fights with bullies.” He was only half-joking. He couldn’t bear to think what would happen if she died. Not only would the chance for peace be lessened, but he would lose a part of himself as well. “I hope you’ve learned your lesson. Next time go for the gut.” He smiled at her playfully, blue eyes gleaming in the daylight.

Rishta flew down, and landed near Uriel and the other angel, the one she had saw in the church. Azrael was also there – as a child?! “And I don’t believe it. Azrael… well, a disguise is a disguise.” She then turned to Uriel – mostly healed but her wings. They were a mess. “Do you need some help Uriel? I owe you for helping me last night…” She then took off her necklace, and shifted into her human form and handed it to Uriel. “This can focus energy and amplify it. Maybe you could focus on your nerves… and amplify your healing abilities.”

Uriel blushed as Gabriel cradled her head in his lap. She couldn’t say a word or do anything when Gabriel ‘told her off’ teasingly except nodding her head foolishly in reply. Uriel nearly fainted with Gabriel’s gentleness. She had never been so close to him before. Her face flushed with shyness. Then Rishta, the hybrid angel she had seen last night came over. Feeling insulted, Uriel gave the necklace back to Rishta, not showing her feelings on her face. “No, thanks.” Uriel says, “Thanks for the concern and help, but the Healer needs no help in healing herself.”

As Raphael arrived the scene, the first thing he saw was Tabris talking with Rishta. He frowned and was about to go over in case Tabris attacked when Tabris flew away. Noticing Tabris’s injuries, Raphael felt something was wrong. He flew over slightly, where Rishta had landed near the others, and saw a messy sight of torn feathers and tissues. The whole place looked garish and sickening. Raphael raised a brow as he noticed the victim of the scene – Uriel. He couldn’t help but notice Uriel’s ego acting up again. Keeping his wings, he walked over, tilting his head over to one side and said cockily, “Why did you allow Gabriel to help you with the injuries earlier then? I can sense his energy in you.”

“You…!” Uriel felt like giving Raphael a rough push but she was too weak to do so. Besides, Gabriel was around and she didn’t want him to see her getting rough with guys, so she could only remain where she was and glare at Raphael. She blushed at Raphael’s comments however. She hoped that her feelings for Gabriel would not get too obvious as it might invite unwanted comments or gossip. “I don’t need your comments on whatever I do or on the decisions I made.” Uriel replied defiantly to Raphael.

Adriel flew so close behind Raphael that when he landed, she landed right behind him. Adriel saw Uriel on the ground and quickly went to her side. She would survive – that was a relief. Azrael was there, a child again; Rishta and Gabriel were there, too. Adriel examined Uriel’s wrists marked by Tabris’ wire. Adriel’s back feathers puffed a bit when she noticed the look on Uriel’s eyes for Gabriel. She bit her lip not to smile or interfere with its energy. “Uriel, Gabriel… maybe it’d be better to lift Uriel from the ground. There’s a bench over there,” she gently suggested. Also, to break the possible verbal fight between Raphael and Uriel.
“Hi, Rishta.”

Azrael looked at Raphael with a blink. She looked at Uriel again – she had a funny look in her eyes but seemed like Gabriel didn’t find it odd. Azrael cast a very simple spell and made the splattered blood and scattered feathers disappear. She looked up at Rishta – she was very tall from this kid’s point of view. “Do you know Tabris from before?,” she asked.

Gabriel gently picked Uriel up himself and carried her to the bench. Although he wasn’t all that strong himself, she was light enough. Poor girl. He kept his mouth shut white Raphael tried to dress her down. Uriel was proud, yes, but she had earned it. Gabe didn’t notice Raphael actually doing anything worthwhile anyway except for exercising his mouth. Which was big enough. Uriel could take care of herself, at least on that account. He sat down on the bench with her, cradling her head once more. He was having a quiet moment, allowing his body to do the talking for him. He stroked her hair and sat silently.

Rishta accepted the necklace back, and quickly put it back on – she was always scared she would lose it. Uriel was proud, anyone could see it – and obviously she had this thing for the other angel. When Raphael retaliated, Rishta put her hand on his shoulder and sent a message //It doesn’t matter… she will be fine, and I think she has this thing…but, anyways, it doesn’t matter.// “As you wish Uriel…” Rishta then turned to Adriel, a smile on her face “Hello Adriel, I see you got home alright. I have your bike. I’ll have someone bring it later.” Then, as the feather’s disappeared, Rishta prepared for the inevitable question from Azrael. Rishta, however, was not afraid to answer it. “Well, not Tabris, exactly – the demon side of him I just met now. I actually met his disguise: Dr. Crawford, today, and had breakfast with him…” Rishta started, determined to tell the whole truth. “I had heard of him months ago, from my servants, since he is their doctor and I only saw him today… and now, I find this out. I had no idea…. no idea…” Rishta said, ashamed of the simple fact she had not realized what he was.

Rishta’s mental message was strange. Azrael wasn’t trying to get into anything. She simply used what was natural to her as part of her awareness. Azrael blinked. ‘What thing?’, she wondered. Azrael was worried about the archangels and leadership. They seemed more eager to exchange harsh words than to work together to a purpose. “You are an inexperienced angel and many things are new to you, Rishta. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. No matter how much could your father have told your mother to teach you, she still was only a human. Many things remained out of her sphere and your knowledge is shallow, but still you know more than you think you do. You will learn.” Azrael nodded sternly.

Rishta was shocked that Azrael heard her message, especially since she had only sent it to Raphael. Then she picked up What thing? from Azrael. Quietly, so only she would hear it, Rishta sent a private message to Azrael. //Well, Azrael… I believe that Uriel… uh… likes this other angel. This is why she is acting so strange.// She then listened to Azrael’s words, paying very close attention. Rishta may have only met her, but she had a lot of respect for her. “Thank you Azrael… however, when will I find the time to learn it all? Not now… and maybe not ever.” However, Rishta could not help but smile when she saw Azrael nod – she looked so stern, and on the face of a child, it certainly was amusing.

Azrael listened to Rishta’s mental message, yet it still didn’t reveal much to the archangel of death and destruction. Such emotions were not her field, it could be said. Azrael however knew from long ago Uriel was fond of Gabriel, but Azrael didn’t pay attention to others personal businesses. She cared about it as much as she cared about Uriel’s shoe size. However, Azrael took note of this for the future in case it was of some use. Then Rishta regretfully replied. Azrael shook her head and her long, thick black curls bounced. “There’ll be time for all,” she replied. “Besides, your father has a last mission which is to support you. When you are ready, he’ll part to his eternal rest. My seal is on your sword and he’s there to help you. Raziel can give you knowledge. Your father might help you to understand, by setting your auras in harmony. He might not have words, but he has angelic ways to help you. It’s your heart, not your ears which should listen.” Azrael nodded sternly.

She frowned at Rishta’s smile. In the depths of her mind, in the place out of any living or dead being’s reach, Azrael thought maybe this child form was alright to use on humans but not for angels. On some, at least. Discipline and order had parted from the heaven armies, starting by the Head General. Rishta was right; she needed training. She could be an easy prey for someone like Belial. Azrael frowned again. The Necromancer in London. The chessmen were taking their positions on the field. Azrael went invisible to human eyes and spreading out her wings she stood on the rail Uriel had been holding onto earlier in her angelic form, still as an statue. Her eerie shadow fell on Uriel and Gabriel on the bench.

Uriel sunk herself into Gabriel’s chest as she rested, not caring about the people around her. Her body, especially her back still hurt badly and stinging heavily as if needles were poking hard into her skin. She didn’t make a sound at the pain, not even a wince. She didn’t want to reveal her pain in front of a mere hybrid and certainly not Raphael, who might gloat at her. Uriel knew that he would do that for revenge. How typical of Raphael, she thought.

Raphael didn’t brush Rishta’s hand off but he frowned at her, as if telling her to respect his privacy and not interfere with him. Then he sighed and let it pass. He stared back at Uriel which resulted in a staring match between the two.

“Thanks Rishta! I’d appreciate that…” Adriel began to smile, then blinked as Raphael and Uriel engaged in their staring match. Still in angelic form and invisible to human eyes, Adriel puffed her feathers in frustration at the tension lingering in the air but didn’t say a word. Adriel coughed a bit and took out a hanky, coughing into it turning around not to annoy the others. Her chest still hurt from the blow Angel had delivered her and when she looked at her hanky she saw blood in it.
Adriel bit her lip in discontentment and tucked the hanky back in her pocket after wiping her lips. She didn’t say anything about it nor showed what happened; she thought she might heal over the day.

Rishta nodded at Azrael’s words. She could learn. She would learn – in order to save herself and her father’s soul. “Well, back to school again… but for a more important purpose.” She then realized that she must have intruded in Raphael’s privacy. //Sorry if I said anything to offend…// This was a weakness for her – she was always apologizing. The reason for this was that she was terribly afraid of losing friends, she was never like this in the past. Now, she would have to learn to trust these people, and stop having such a guilt-trap for a conscious. As Azrael became herself, Adriel coughed. Rishta didn’t like the way it sounded, it sounded kind of… congested, blocked by something. “Adriel… were you all in a fight? Are you alright? Your breathing sounds… bad.”

Gabriel wheezed a bit as Uriel pressed farther into his slim 16 year old chest. She was crushing the breath from his poor human lungs. Human ribs were no match for angelic force.
“Uriel,” he gasped, “You’re crushing my lungs.”

“Oh. Sorry.” Uriel apologized as she shed off her angelic form, still unwilling to move from her current position. In her space of happiness, she has clean forgotten that she was still in her angelic form. “Feel better now?” Uriel asked in a gentle tone.

“Much better.” Gabriel resisted the urge to take a huge breath and cough up a lung.

Uriel caught a familiar whiff of smell then. A smell so familiar to her for years. Much more than any angels or perhaps even demons. “Adriel, I smell blood on you. Are you hurt in anyway?” Uriel asked Adriel, where the smell of blood came from.

Raphael looked over at Uriel’s words and he went over to Adriel. Looking concern at her, Raphael asked, “Are you really bleeding or anything like Uriel said? Are you alright?” Raphael suddenly recalled the hit Adriel received on the chest by Belial and he looked at her like a little brother would. “Is your chest all right? Does it hurt?”

“Adriel…” Gabriel tried to think of something to say, but found that he was sorely lacking. So, instead, he tried another route. “Raphael… Why don’t you lend her some of your energy. Maybe it would help.” He smiled and shrugged at the angelic general.

Startled about calling everybody’s attention upon her, Adriel blinked and a faint blush covered her cheeks. “Oh… I’m alright, thanks for your concern.” She looked up at Raphael.
“My chest still hurts… but I’m alright. It’s nothing serious.” She took in a deep breath as to show she was fine. She stifled a cough and a tiny drop of blood appeared on her lips.

Rishta narrowed her eyes and glanced at the drop of blood. Blood always made her think about pain, which it was the detector of. But it also reminded her about the battle, and the streams of blood that was soaked up by the earth over the course of a lifetime. “Adriel, I think someone has succeeded in crushing one of your organs. You need help.” She then glanced at Raphael – who was still full of energy. “Raphael, can you spare some energy? Or is your shoulder costing you?”

“Hmm?” Raphael looked at his shoulder, which had ceased to hurt by now. “Yes. I will help along, Adriel.” Raphael said as he passed some energy to Adriel through her shoulder. Looking at Adriel, Raphael asked, “Do you feel better now?”

Adriel sighed and nodded. “Yes, I feel better now. Thank you.” She moved her wings and folded them tighter on her back, then looked down.

Gabriel watched the other angels silently… Those that he can see in his mortal form, anyway. He shifted Uriel’s head up a bit; she was still pushing his rib the wrong way, but it took some of the stress off. He didn’t feel like saying anything. There wasn’t anything to say, anyway… And he was feeling rather shy. This was the closest he had come to showing Uriel his feelings.

Gabriel’s head then snapped up and he froze. A voice echoed ceaselessly in his mind, as if it had issued from a deep well or one of those conch shells. //Gabriel… Come to me!// It had to be… Raziel? Yes. Raziel, the bookworm. Gabriel propped Uriel up on the bench and stood, taking on his angelic form. His golden feathers fluttered in the slight breeze, all six of his wings fanned out like a halo of glory. “Raziel… Is calling us. He wouldn’t unless something was going badly wrong. Uriel, can you make it home along on your own? Raphael, Adriel, are you two well enough to fight?” Without waiting for an answer, he took off, using the winds once more and disguising himself as a hawk. When it came to loyalties, his first was to protection; and the sky was his first love.

Azrael rose her gaze into the skies as he too heard the call; the call was filled with urgency and tinted with the proximity of the dark. Azrael spread her wings open and rose into the skies invisible to human eyes, flying at Gabriel’s left.

Sighing, Raphael opened his wings and took flight into the sky, flying behind Gabriel and Azrael at a slow speed. Looking down and behind, he said, “Are you fine enough, Adriel? I will fly slower.”

“Don’t leave me behind!” Uriel gasped as she watched Gabriel, Azrael and Raphael flying off. She wanted to follow them, even though she knew that she would be more of a liability than help wherever they are going and whatever they were going to do. Holding tightly onto a rail next to the bench, Uriel pushed herself up into a standing position and tried to follow but her wounds still stings. Besides, her wings were badly damaged and it couldn’t be recovered that fast. She needed at least a week or two. “Raphael, get me off here!” Uriel called out, as she noticed the angel turning back.

Adriel brushed her hand past her forehead, then looked at Uriel. “Uriel, you’d better go back home; you’re too hurt to fight and certainly you’d put your life at risk. We can’t afford to lose you.” With this, Adriel flapped her mighty wings and left the riverside, catching with Raphael.
“I’m fine enough,” she told Raphael with a faint yet grateful smile. “Thank you.” Adriel flew beside him after the others.

Rishta had heard the message to – and it had sent dots flying around her eyes. It took a few moments before she snapped back to reality. “Maybe I will go too” She said, to no one in particular. “Uriel… see you around.” And with that she flew off, easily catching up with her wings.
“Alright… I wish to help… after all, I never got my chance to fight yet – and obviously all of you have.” She said, again talking in general. At the slight joke, Rishta did not smile, and all you could see now was a fierce light, she had not fought in years.

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