Written with Love Written Special



The angel

By Moira Marigold

Le depart/the start

Sabin sat cross-legged on his floor, a young man barely 18. His gangly legs awkwardly fit together as he concentrated on the book in his lap. Its cover and pages were so worn, that the title was barely legible, but if one looked closely enough, they’d notice the word "Magique". He bit his lip and stared intensely forward, unblinkingly looking into a void. A thin black hand emerged. It was dense. He stood immediately and strode forward, edging toward the tiny mound. He bent to touch it and smiled.

"Plein," [solid] he whispered thoughtfully. "Ainsi, Je suis heureux réussir ensuite trois heures," [well, I am happy to succeed after three hours] he mocked himself slightly. It had been a long night. Only hours before he had learned something about himself. For years he had been completely obsessed with the dark… with shadows, secrets, magic. All of these things implied ‘The Unknown’ to him; the vast, bottomless chasm in existence that had always enticed him. Tonight, he took his first step into the shadow and learned that it could be controlled. In a world that he despised, a place of society, class distinction, and proper etiquette, he found something of his own. The black hand slowly pulled itself back into the shadow as he grinned, tossing his brown hair out of his eyes.

Happy with his success, Sabin moved toward his bed. He had a brunch appointment with a professor, and although he could survive surprisingly well on only a few hours of sleep, he thought he might attempt to be congenial. As he turned, he thought he saw something move in the shadow. He stood and stared into it once again, convinced something might be staring back, but he saw nothing.

Plus tard/some time later…

Sabin walked into the small bar in Gambino, probably the place that he felt most at home in Gaia. Well, as close to home as he had felt in a long time. Even though he loved living in the small French mountain village of St. Laurent du Pont, it never felt like home either. He always felt as though he had to conceal himself, to hide at least some minute part of him. Now, hiding was more important than ever, and he wondered if he could ever feel that sense of belonging anywhere.

He was not the same man. His straight white hair, although pulled back, seemed to sneak its way back into his face, obstructing his vision. His thin frame had filled out, and he seemed to walk with an intense confidence and stillness.

He sat and ordered "the strongest you have". After the Anju, he had to grasp onto specific points of his personality. He felt as though the tiny facets were fading into his combined centre. The only way he could still feel like Sabin was to exploit his extremes. Drinking was one of those things. He looked around the bar quietly; his pointed ears and nails would be easy to hide in a place like this where no one could distinguish any type of feature at the end of the night. He took a quick swig and stopped mid gulp as his eyes fell on her.

A young woman sat on the opposite side of the room, and Sabin couldn’t help but stare at the small object on her forehead. She would turn to laugh, and it would catch the light, making it appear as though she literally emitted pure energy. She wore revealing clothing, something that a girl from his town would be practically stoned for; and he loved it. She wore a deep purple shirt with a plunging neckline, further accentuating her voluptuous curves. Sabin followed the makeshift arrow formed by the V-neck. Her unusually dainty shoulder steaming in mocha skin past the thick purple sash acting as a belt for her white miniskirt down to her impossibly long legs. She seemed to defy science and be average height, but both her abdomen and legs stretched toward infinity.

He looked back toward her face, noticing the soft curve of her lips and the light glow of her violet eyes. Her hair seemed to move perpetually. Even if she were to sit still, it seemed to flow. It was as if nature followed her. The wind played with her hair forever, just wanting to spend time with her; to bask in her energy. She laughed suddenly, throwing her head back and encouraging the wind. It seemed to glisten in the light, appearing both white and purple at once.

He knew she was there with someone else, but he couldn’t bear to take his eyes off of her to even check if he knew them. He simply stared, examining as much as he could. It was as if he feared he would never see anything that beautiful again. He had to see every part of her, to re-imagine her in her entirety. He noticed her soft pointed ears and the silver hoops adorning them. He looked down at her chest, noticing a silver chain with a small, heart shaped locket. She dripped with silver and purple, and he never realized how beautiful those colours could truly be.

He turned to put down his drink, averting his eyes for only a second. When he turned back, she seemed to have gone. Only with her absence did he finally look at the other inhabitant of the booth. When he turned to look at the young man sitting there, he realized that a pair of ice blue eyes were staring right back. If Sabin weren’t so versed in controlling himself and his emotions, he might’ve jumped three feet straight in the air. Instead, he continued to look around, acting as though their eye meeting was a complete mistake.

"Naturellement", [naturally] he thought. "J'ai pensé qu'elle était seule?" [I thought she was alone?]. Then, he felt a slight tap on the shoulder.
"Zut," [damn] he thought to himself.
"Did you like what you saw?" he heard a voice so beautiful that he barely understood the words, hearing the sentence as pure sound with little comprehension. It was her. He turned to look at her; he could sense the energy flowing around her and lost himself for just a moment, letting his control waver. He noticed that she had a slightly pained expression for a moment.

"Je le lui ai montré," [I showed it to her] he realized. The fear that he drew from her did nothing to sooth his troubled mind. Instead he stared blankly at her, trying to formulate a response.
"Yes. I did not mean to stare," he spoke with a slight French accent. The girl regained her composure and smiled seductively.
"It's ok. You know, I don’t wear this for myself," she said, biting her lip for just a second; enough for him to see it as an invitation but just little enough for him to wonder if he imagined it.

"I'm Kamiki," she said thoughtfully.
"Kamiki is a very beautiful name," he said with much greater force than his previous comment, realizing that maybe this meant something.
"Yeah… gonna tell me yours?" she asked playfully.
"Oh, yes… I am Sabin."
"Sabin, huh? Well, that explains the accent then."
"Accent?" he piqued, her radiance making him forget for a second that he was French.
"Oh, yes. Sorry. I am French," he rebutted quickly.
"I know," she continued, "Well, Sabin. Maybe I’ll see you around again."
"Peut-être," he whispered to her with a tiny smirk on his face. She turned to leave, the young man sitting in the booth trailed behind her, giving Sabin one last, angry glare. Sabin waved to him, making sure his patronization was clear. He stood immediately as they left in order to follow them.

La découverte/the Discovery

Sabin closed the door to the bar behind him and looked down the cobblestone road. He could still see her with the man, walking about 30 yards away. He walked briskly to catch up to the long shadow that she cast upon the ground. He used his ability, Shadow form, to follow her by literally becoming part of her shadow. He didn’t even know what he planned to do when she reached her final destination, but he knew he couldn't just let her go. There was something about her; some sort of comprehension. She saw part of his true form in the bar, and her fear lasted for merely a second. He just felt that she was a person who would greatly impact the rest of his life.

Then he felt it: the Anju. He knew what he risked by using one of his shadow abilities, but he knew it was worth it. Pain seared through his chest, as he felt his body tear. He felt as though the Anju were escaping toward the surface by clawing through his organs. He heard the deep, raspy whisper erupt in the back of his mind as he fought to maintain control, but this time was different. Somehow, the Anju was stronger. Perhaps it fed off Sabins fear of being alone; something that had haunted Sabin more severely since Samantha’s death. Maybe it finally had gained the upper hand. The only way that Sabin could escape from possibly being controlled by it was to break out of Kamiki’s shadow. Unfortunately, he knew that his concentration was scattered. He tried to maintain Shadowform, think about Samantha, think about Kamiki, and fend off the Anju. When he broke free, he would appear in his true form. But it was a risk he would have to take.

Le berceau/the cradle

The entire walk home Kamiki's thoughts wandered onto his eyes.
"He is so profoundly beautiful," she thought. She must’ve seemed eerily quiet to Simon, but he didn’t press the matter; this of course only aided her in thinking about Sabin.
"His eyes did flash red," she thought as she pondered what exactly he might be. She knew was no human, the hands, ears, and teeth betrayed that fact, but he felt so different from any of the creatures she had known. Of course, she wasn’t exactly normal herself being a Kitsune Elder Spirit Hybrid, but that didn’t seem to matter. She knew that it didn’t affect him; it was something that made her feel very comfortable in the midst of a city crawling with humans.

She was still thinking of him when she heard a sharp scream of pain erupt from behind her. She spun quickly, almost knocking herself off of her own feet in the process. She saw some sort of creature standing before her with six glowing red eyes and black mist oozing from its surprisingly small body. Her initial reaction was defense. Purple tipped wings sprouted from her back as she floated into the air, staring down at it. It seemed to be struggling against some unseen force. She noticed Simon staring at her, his unblinking eyes silently asking her what to do. She turned back and finally noticed the shock white hair that tumbled down its shoulders.
"Sabin?" she asked protectively.

L’ange/the angel

Sabin turned up and saw an angel.
"Je suis mort?" [I am dead?] he thought to himself as he stared into the face of heaven. Then he heard a voice calling from a distance:
"Sabin?" it pleaded. He realized the angel was speaking, but he recognized the voice. He would recognize that voice anywhere even though he had only heard for a few brief moments.

"Kamiki…" his voice trailed off in weakness. He could no longer divert his energy toward looking human; he had to focus everything on controlling the Anju. Then he felt it. A small hand brush ed his back; his true back. He turned to look into her face, the light still glistening on her forehead. It seemed more ethereal now with wings rising above her back creating a sort of feathered halo above her head, and he smiled:
"My angel."

Kamiki looked at the glowing red eyes emitting from the man she now realized was Sabin. She cradled him protectively in her arms forming a sort of yin-yang. White-black.
Sabin closed his eyes and simply felt the moment. He finally felt a part of him that he could never pin down in his youth; not in the mountains of France, not nestled in his mother’s arms, not in his adventurous dreams, and not even with Samantha, but he knew what he felt now. He whispered it aloud: